Many years ago when I was attending the University of Florida getting my fine art degree in studio art, one of my personal projects was a portrait I did from a slide taken in Austria some 10 years prior. The subject was a fellow missionary in the Austrian mission, in my district at that time while we were working in Steyr. Our district, consisting of four missionaries, took a little scenic tour with some members of the branch one Saturday. We went on a train to a small valley and climbed around the hillsides and had a picnic lunch that day. I took the pic of Michael Arehart in front of an old barn. Years later, I pulled out my slides and found the picture to be a perfect reference for a painting project at Florida.
At some point in the last 20 years, I removed the painting from the stretcher bars and rolled it up. Then I forgot about it. Recently, as I was moving items and old art work, and materials out to my studio space, I came across the rolled up canvas. I decided it was time to bring Arehart out of the moth balls and re-stretch the canvas. I ordered some stretcher bars from Blick and yesterday I managed to get that old painting back on the stretcher bars and ready to hang up somewhere. I wish I knew where he was so I could give the painting to him!
While waiting for a shipment of paper from Blick art supply to arrive, I have begun tying up a couple of loose ends hanging around the studio. In all fairness, this place has always been and will always be, in a fluid state, constantly evolving into something different…and better. There are at least two spaces on the front wall in need of more built-in shelving. That’s one thing I’ve been doing today. Building one of those remaining shelves that will slide into the wall space to make use of that 12 inches of gap between the stud walls and the insulation of the metal building.
I’m sure, if I studied it for a few more months I could identify other such spaces where I could add sunken shelves, but for now, those 2 on the front wall are all I need to get done.
I keep saying to myself that I will drive over to Daphne and visit Home Depot or Lowes so I can but that darn bathroom door! And I really need to do that. I had tentative plans to do that today, but got sidetracked with that shelf project. The doorway has been covered with a makeshift towel hanging there to give a semblance of privacy when I take a shower in there, and since there is never anyone else around, the building locked doors suffice to give me actual privacy. But a door there would be nice. Another reason for having a door there is to create a totally dark space for doing light sensitive processes in the silk screen and cyanotype works.
The final loose end will take a while longer, and has been a loose end for quite some time, but it still is classified as a loose end because I planned to do it a few years ago and still want to do it because I think it will be a really nice painting. Its the large painting of a child wearing a hat, done in the same style as the self portrait I did some years ago. I at least have moved it onto the easel and take a good look at it several times a week trying to get up the courage to dig in and start painting. One day I will.
This studio workshop is taking forever to get finished! Right now it is a chaotic mess inside with tools strewn all over the place and projects, both art and workspace related, half completed and laying around everywhere.
One problem is my time is split between here and traveling to Georgia to visit my little wife who is working up there and has her own apartment. She wants me to spend all my time there, but I really need to be here doing things here! Oy veh! What a predicament!
I finally got my drain sewer pump and line installed so my drains work; shower, washout sink, vanity, toilet, and I completed installation of the small water heater and got all my pex lines connected and crimped inside. I just need to crawl under the house and tie in to the main water line. Hopefully there will be no leaks! I also got my tiles laid on the bathroom floor. I just need to grout to complete the floor, then I can install the vanity and toilet. Once I ensure there are no water leaks, I can finish the sheetrock work and move on to to the rest of the workshop walls and shelving. It seems like a never ending job.
My fourth bird painting still rests on the easel where it needs to be painted soon. I have gessoed canvasses leaning everywhere; large and small!
Colder weather is coming and it would be nice if I could get my heating and cooling system installed and working, but that is a ways down the road. I will probably have to rely on my trusty kerosene space heater again this winter. The main issue in this area is the interminable hot summers. I’m just glad for some cooler air, even if it did have to go through two hurricanes to get here.
Well, that’s it for now. If you are reading this, I promise to have some more art work done real soon! Don’t give up on me!
I got this table from an art supply store in Atlanta back in 1986. Binders is the name of the store. I worked at their picture framing production location in Buckhead at the time and this table was damaged merchandise that I got at a very good price. Since 1986 I have done many, many drawings and small paintings on this very table. Every time I moved to a new living arrangement I would dismantle this table and set it up again as the second piece of furniture…right after the bed, if I had a bed. Once or twice I ended up with just a fold out mattress or futon on the floor. Those were the days!
Once I lived in a large warehouse in the Castleberry district of Atlanta, on Peters Street. While I was there one of our other roommates was hospitalized and died of AIDS. The landlords, a couple, lived there as well in the far end and had a very sweet bulldog named “Big Head”. He really did have a big head, and scared off all the homeless and vagrants that ended up in our parking lot. I had the windows of my vehicle busted out twice while there. And this table was the primary focus of my existence when not at work. I recall doing two major drawings on that table during my time at Peters Street.
I have taken down this table and re-assembled it a lot of times! Each time I hoped would be the last time. Luckily it isn’t hard to take apart and set-up. Just awkward to do by myself, but I find as I do it each time, it brings memories flooding back of times and places where I had it set up to draw on.
The studio portion of my building is almost done inside. I just need to put up all the finished walls over the studs and build in shelves, etc. Of course the bathroom in the front corner is nowhere near complete, but the bathroom is not really necessary for me to work on most things. Moving this drawing table and my file cabinet out to the shop from the house are some the final furnishings I have to install there.
I think this will be the last time I have to set up this drawing table.
By stuff I mean new brushes. I got me a few new small brushes. These little babies are not cheap either. I had to go out of my social isolation mode and venture over to the Hobby Lobby in Daphne to pick up a can of spray mount. I noticed a sign that said, “all brushes 1/2 price”, and I had to get a few. As you can see in the background I need them for a current project.
This project, along with coronavirus anxiety, is jamming up my mojo somewhat. I am NOT having fun with it…but I AM working on it from time to time and buying new supplies helps to reinvigorate my excitement for painting these days. If the new brushes don’t get me far enough along, I may have to go get a new big tube of white paint. I can always use a big tube of white paint, even though it costs about $37 and 3 rolls of toilet paper. That’s pricey!