The Artist

My photo
what happens when a published fine artist gets serious with wood and latex paint?

Thursday, June 13, 2013

fire my secretary, please! (if i had one)

this is imaginary secretary's best effort to make amends:

february - into awesome new place with reediculous workshop!(thank you country club ward menfolk who assembled trucks and trailers with zero notice! gracias leiland y asia!)

featured: lucky way-soft evil shirt stolen from asia, two watercolor brushes & a white charcol pencil in my hair. if i could stash french fries up there, i would.)

yes, that's dog food under the toxic's okay. james is a certified life guard.

and yes, that's what used to be 
a dynamite vanilla coke... 
my assistants

hey! don't be a hater - i know exactly where everything is!

(thanks jason and dave p. for power tools on loan!thanks richard for professional engineering smarts and muscle! thanks ralph for the expert skill demo!and yes, i am talking gently to the sandpaper, i promise.)

speak to me NPR! broadway's "Secret Garden", "Jane Eyre", "Daddy Long Legs", "Les Mis" & "Newsies"! the best of hard rock, heavy metal, christian rock and mexican rock! chamber music and baroque! sing to me sweet baby james taylor and thrill me joe satriani!speak to me "Radio Lab" and "This American Life" podcasts!and who ever out-grows john bytheway? seriously. (thanks, valerie!)

heading north into the house:

the cute little leaf lamp was $7 at goodwill

bedroom: before & after

library: before & after

front room: before & after
(did you notice the mad men chairs?)

dining room: before & after

end of march - finished furniture items for myself, began projects long over-due for others

(thanks, kandee for dragging this 
out of the alley for me!)

 thanks, rhonda for saving what ed dragged out of the alley!doesn't it go great with my mom's old cabinet?

another alley treasure - thanks reuben! who'd guess it was split in two?!

thought you'd never see these again, huh, ann...

if you ever wondered what a $25 drawer pull looked like - you're looking at it. D:

supplied little projects to julie precious at sweet salvage on 7th

 the inspectors

end of may - finally hosted my artist's open house (thank you, hugs & kisses everyone!)

june - completed pieces for bff cynthia at modern on melrose

and i'm still not caught up yet.
thanks, vicki - sorry I didn't notice the necklaces in there sooner...

Sunday, December 2, 2012

November Show at Sweet Salvage

my winter aspen secretary displayed in 
the november Sweet Salvage show

note to self: learn how to use a camera.

dang! the "Before" pics didn't happen. who knows what button i was pushing. fiddle-dee-dee.  you will simply have to trust my written description of what these three interesting antiques looked like before I got my hands on them. the following projects were prepared in a little over a week during the end of october first part of november. 

note to you: nothing is stenciled. zip. this is all free-hand work.(i must explain this because people keep asking!) D:|

julie from one of the most exciting shops in the valley (Sweet Salvage on 7th) sent me to my workshop with three amazing antique pieces she had previously scouted out. my assignment: to embellish two in her white-on-white theme for the november show. the third piece i was granted full-reign to do with what I would, as long as it also had a basic white background.

first item:

white on white striped bureau

this beautiful low profile old bowfront bureau was a deep, dark, rich cherry wood color. the little gold key holes are awesome, as are the cute little wheels. it was admired in the pre-show exhibit the night before the sale by a young mother of six. she successfully snagged it the following  day! it went to a good home in mesa. (sniff) 

i had to completely stuff the key holes with thin strips of rags to keep the paint out, in case you were wondering. 

a word about manipulating the piece to appear genuinely worn & weathered. i am annoyed with furniture that someone obviously spot-sanded randomly or bashed with chains all over the entire thing. i don't know about you, but i've never seen anything damaged or nicked across every flat surface in the natural world.

is it not usually the edges that get the most wear? around moving parts?  

around contours?

and around darling little key holes?


     see this pattern of wear? ^  cool, right?  
i did that on "poipose". so you see, wear patterns are also aRt!

next item:
vine heart secretary

this slim-profile secretary used to be a light ash wood. the crowning trim was broken off.  my cheerful handyman of the hour was dave hale. he needed wooden pegs. none were found in the workshop. so he lickety-split whittled a scrap of wood and made his own! genius. sheer genius. the other peg holes were filled with the original pegs broken-off deep inside. he suggested it was better to buttress the top by adding supports attached to the back.(i later shaped these supports myself with a heavy duty blade). again - he crafted exactly what he needed right in front of my eyes while singing a tune that was stuck in his head. I can't remember, but i believe it was paula abdul...  

we applied wood glue like fairy dust and clamped everything to sit over-night. the end result is a very sturdy repair. dave! you rock, dude!

top piece firmly in place.

the vine motif, checkerboard and stripes were applied with very little measuring or marking in an original blend of "raffia" white and taupe. this seemed too dark once i finished, so i white-washed the entire thing with white thinned with my favorite medium, floetrol

um, not to be confused with the other flotrol. that would be gross. catchy tune, though. 

both techniques are done in a watercolor style with watercolor art brushes.

(the inside of the secretary is the original wood, stained but unpainted.  :(  no pics.

again, note the "natural" distressing. i chose areas most likely to chip or wear. i teased the surface with a flat screwdriver, a blade and my paint can opener. viola.

detail of wooden embellishment

this vine and striped secretary also sold the first day of the show. 

last item:
winter aspen secretary

here is a deeper secretary with drawers, and the beginning of the winter aspen piece. it originally was a very dark brown wood.

faint blue sky and first two trees blocked out.
more trees and branches, and the bark in near-final layers at this point. i lost count on how many layers.
a bird is charcoal penciled-in; do you see him? 

fun begins: paint applied
finished bird = about 20 to 30 minutes

second bird:
first paint application


the inside original wood organizer:

awesome-sauce original drawer pulls:

note the dusting of snow in the air on this view of branches

all done. see, touch, smell and purchase our winter aspen secretary at Antique Gatherings!

professional finish-stage photos by asia. she's for hire.

gracias por todo, beautiful!