Thursday, May 5, 2011

White Day In The Studio

Yesterday was what I refer to as a *white studio day*. These are the days when bundles of canvasses are opened and the gesso comes out.

The above photo pretty well describes my world. I am in the throes of prepping these, to get them (and a few others) acceptable for paint and collage. The new gesso that is used is not to my old fashioned liking; it is nonabsorbent and many of the techniques that make my work my own will not function on a slick surface.

The backs require attention as well; being mass produced means little details like extra canvas showing from the front is the norm, so everyone gets a haircut. (I notice these things from years and years of doing my own canvas, raw, from the sizing up.....maybe I would have been better off born into this pre-made world we live in! LOL!)

And *THIS* is much more ME...color.

And MORE color. As I sit in my little world of nothing but white, I am taunted by these gaudy girls and brushes that seem to beg to be used.
Instead, I reach for the broad priming brush and keep to the job at hand.
Two coats minimum; frequently three depending on the substrate. For my box canvasses, it is many more (they require both sides to be slathered and filled) as I build up texture and air bubbles with layers of the gesso~~well worth the work for the effect it gives.
But sometimes, at the end of the day, all I have to show for my efforts is this...

.....and I suppose that is okay.
Artist's hands are not clean, not manicured.
Not when we're working.
They bear proof that indeed I did something productive all day.
I think today though......I would enjoy COLOR!!!



Georgina said...

You're so organized!! You're probably thinking I'm nuts, well, I am, but nuts about thinking you're organized!! Need to send you a pic of how I "organize" (a-hem...if that's what you want to call it, Georgina!) then you'll feel so much better about yours!! LOL

I'm not a fan of prepping, but then I think most artists aren't, but it's a necessary evil because we know that after the prep time, the real fun begins!! As for manicured hands, what's that???? I'll find smudges of paint on my arms or elbows even after I take badge of my profession or just need to be more mindful of scrubbing during the shower time!! LOL

Have a great one!

Loves ya,

elle said...

From pristine white to.... COLOUR! Luv it!
And, what a great way to store your colours!Very creative!

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Just pretend you're painting polar bears in a snow storm.

audrey said...

You have been working too hard, Anne!!! (:
Time to lay down the whites and celebrate the colors of Cinco de Mayo!!!!!
Sorry you haven't heard much from me of late - I am trying to get mega things done before I take off for Charleston on Sunday.
Have a GREAT day!!!!
xo audrey

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Hey Georgina,

Many the day I've wandered to town (like yesterday!) thinking all the paint or dye was off, but noooooo...there would be a patch someplace everyone else could see.
Except ME.
I think taking Comet to the shower is a necessity! LOL!!!


Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Hey Elle,

I *must* have my colors in order and where I can see them, thus, I can grab quickly. When I get a bunch out on the table, I tend to sort them there too.
I am thinking it is a GOOD thing as opposed to an OCD thing.... ;-D


Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Ah Debra!

I'll have to employ that mode of thinking next time it is gesso day....which could be tomorrow too! LOL!!!
Thanks! ;-)


Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Hey Audrey,

I still have a list.....I was lucky to be wheezing too bad this a.m. to do anything but a blogpost! (see, there is an UP side to allergies!)
I think I should be celebrating Cinco De Mayo with in nice yummy food dish and then a bubbly bottle of something with a slice of lime... :-)


Marilyn said...

I guess every great artist has to start somewhere!!
Have a Wonderful Weekend!

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

You got it Marilyn, and I am still deciding if this is really quicker than doing all these little guys from scratch (yes, it is YES).....
On the other hand, I am happy with how they turn out, so all in all, it is worth the time.
Hope you have a good weekend too!


Dosfishes at Sparkle Days Studios said...

YOUR paints are so NEAT, oh if you could see the mess here. Love this system though, can I copy? I am all about do it fast right now, no thinking, practicing my intuitive skills. Looking forward to what comes out of these small squares, I love multiples of squares! xox Corrine

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Corrine, having you paints in order where you reach for the same area each time is one of the biggest time savers.
Plus, I know when something has sprouted legs and wandered off, or if I am low on a paint, I generally put it elsewhere. (although I have slipped up in that department lately...)
Try it, even if you used a sturdy cardboard box, with the back tipped up, so you can see what you have.
You'll love it!


Jan said...

At least this is productive mindless work, for the most part. Probably rather relaxing and then you will have all these lovely canvases just waiting for inspiration to strike when you are ready.

Robin said...

Anne, as the "resident non-artist" here, I find this all fascinating! It reminds me of the post I did on the Legion of Honour's "Pulp Fashion" - where all the clothes wers made of room consisted of all "white" clothes..from various centuries... I loved it - but when you saw the vivid colours in the other rooms....ah, nothing was better!

Thank you for sharing!


♥ Robin ♥

p.s. How cool you once lived in the Presidio! When my knee was "cooperating", I used to go running, I hike - but it is a wonderful place to be in....

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Hey Jan,

You know me, I can take mindless work and make it a thinking process!!! hahaha!
The first coat is mindless, then I have to start considering how they will be used, so that determines brush or knife for the second coat, etc.
*I* am mindless today.
Maybe I should gesso more! ;-)


Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Ooooo Robin, I would love to find the link to that post; sounds fascinating!
And I do appreciate white (and the difference in the shades of it, as the gesso is a much more neutral, softer white than the primer on there) and love to see what can be done with that alone.
The Presidio...oh my. I miss S.F. a was a beautiful city to be in, with so much culture everywhere!


(Queenmothermamaw) Peggy said...

I am loving just learning so many things from you. I am waiting for canvas since I just finished my first oil painting. Now that is where I get all my smudges and messes from. Don't know if I will do another one. I hate the drying time.But I do know when the canvases come I will be Gessoing them all at one time. Take care dear sista.

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Well, you could always try using acrylic, with a medium to slow the drying time, since it tend to dry really QUICK compared to oils.
If you can find Demco Gesso, order some. It is the old school gesso made of slaked plaster as opposed to polymer who knows what. It makes all the difference in the world and you will LOVE ME for suggesting it!
I believe I ordered online from Reulles in Utah. And make sure you get the Artist Quality. Trust me......


Jo Murray said...

What a joy to be surrounded by all those materials!!! Tintillating to have to wait to use them.

Jo Murray said...

OOPS!!! Can't spell today.... I did mean titillating.

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

LOL Jo!!!

I am having a very bad dyslexic day today; everything I have typed has been in some language other than properly spelled English!
I have found that having everything as far as paint where I can see it leads me to thinking about different color combos, wondering how one thing would work with another~~~I may not be organized in the *house* but my paint? Oh yeah!!!


studio lolo said...

Anne, do you gesso canvases that come already primed?? Um, why? For more texture? Just wondering. I can see you slopping on the white stuff while cool jazz is playing!

I've been in a fog with our upcoming trip looming and a kitty that's fragile, Yikes. Art has taken a back seat and HOW I HATE that.
But I will be back on track when I get back in town on the 16th.

I hope the weather has had you smiling ;)


Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Hey Lolo,

Yes, I do gesso canvas that is already primed. I really dislike the new ground they use; I used to always use white lead, and that was the ultimate. The current *whatever* they coat the canvas with is too slick for how I work. Demco gesso has a very good ground, much like old slaked plaster gesso, and I can build up texture if I want. It makes all the difference when I put color on and then rub some off~~it eventually allows a patina to build that I can't get otherwise.
And I am sure that is clear as MUD! ;-D


yoborobo said...

I'm with you, Anne! I really don't like the feel of the primer/gesso that is on the canvases I buy. It feels...weird. LOL!! I usually put on a couple of layers of gesso, and slap on some medium, and then it seems to feel better. :) It takes SO much time, though, doesn't it? You are smart to do a bunch at a time. I am sooooo disorganized. I really have to do something about that - hahahaha! xo Pam

Mary Helen-Art Saves Lives said...

As long as my hands are healthy and I am able to work....who needs a manicure???? Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

kj said...

this is an A-plus feel good post! I LOVE the picture of your colors and brushes. that should be a poster for instant inspiration.

anne, i've been thinking 'white' all day today. JB and i are thinking of painting our porch all white, i went to the paint store to look at whites (benjamin moore has 200 different whites!) and then i'm at the eye doctor's and a thumb through a magazine with an article on usingt white to decorate.

too funny.

i hope you have a great weekend. paint away!


freebird said...

Sounds like you just threw yourself back into winter! But it also sounds as if spring will come quite quickly and all that color will spread out onto that white space. I tend to work with watercolors so don't prep canvasses but as much as I enjoy making a new journal, I much prefer getting out the colors too!

Cameron said...

I love having paint on my hands at the end of the day! It makes my heart giggle inside:)

I'm wanting to try gesso....never felt the need to use it before...but I have a feeling it will be the "once you try white, nothing else is quite right" kinda thing...haha!

Sunshineshelle said...

Splash on that colour babe!!!!
I'm waiting ;)

Gaby Bee said...

I also do gesso all my canvases, primed or not. Sometimes a couple of layers of gesso. I think it gives a gorgeous texture.
Wish I lived closer to you so we could art together:)

Happy creating!

Manon Doyle said...

Did I ever tell you that I'd bathe in gesso if I could? : ))) Love the post and the pics, girlfriend!! Reminds me of the gessoing I have to do!! hands are the most unmanicured rough looking things around!! yikes!!

Magpie's Mumblings said...

Is that all you have on your hands after a day working with gesso? You are most definitely not related to me then, because I'd have it right out the wahzoo!!

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

I have days like that too.....but I was working with smaller canvas, sooooo...less waste!
I do try to keep as clean as possible because if I don't, I end up with paint in the WRONG PLACES!


*Ulrike* said...

You are taunted by paint colors and I am with all the seed packets I have yet to plant!!

di from di-did-it said...

I'm a color-girl too, so can relate with you. I like how you store your paints and it never dawned on me to dab a touch on the lid of each so the color was more easily seen ~ DUH! I still stretch my own canvas, as you used to. In fact, I've got several blank ones screaming for attention... I'd best get at it... thanks for the inspiration!

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