Spot Light or Dimmer Switch

As I prepare to be a featured artist at a local festival I have finally spent some time in my studio. My biggest obstacle this week has been heat since it is not air conditioned. Our temperatures have been around 85 and humidity in the 80’s as well. When my husband and I built my studio around 15 years ago as an addition to our house with our garage I thought it wasn’t necessary. I am cold natured anyway so the added expense wasn’t worth it. However, I did heavy research in lighting. It was north facing which is ideal, having subtle sunlight all day. There were lighting systems on the market called full spectrum lighting but they were costly. I have a light on my drafting table that has a switch for yellow, incandescent or blue, florescent. Switching both on gives a close representation of natural light. So we inexpensively mimicked that by putting an equal amount of both systems in the ceiling. The incandescent lights were also installed with a dimmer switch giving me more control.
So, what is the big deal about the color of light? Does it really matter how bright it is or if it is soft or hard light. Lighting greatly effects the appearance of the colors of a painting or any use of color media. Incandescent light will warm up the picture while florescent light cools colors down. If you are a realist like I am the use of just one of these can cause an inaccurate representation or prevent you from getting the desired look you want.

This is the project I am working on under only incandescent light:

20150617_182701

Florescent light:

20150617_182710

Both type of light:

20150617_182740
It hit me that it is the same with how we addressing certain situations. Harsh lighting, color lighting, subtle lighting all effect how we view something. Like when we debate an issue or present our opinion on a sensitive topic. How can we expect another person to be open to hear our opinion if it is not an accurate representation or if it comes across harshly? Strong words can be like a spot light in the eyes. However, if the lighting is too dim the image, or point, can be unclear.
I guess I went through all this not only educate others of the effects of light but also to make a point about discussing tricky topics. There needs to be just the right balance of the different types of light to create visual clarity. Just like we need the right amount of tact when trying to make a point. It doesn’t require you sacrifice your principles or soften your opinion. Your words just need to have a dimmer switch to fit the conversation.

Advertisements

It’s Time

Writers block…erggg. normally I post early on Wednesdays and sometimes I even write my blog earlier in the week but it escaped me this week. With the end of the school year and the beginning of summer I have lost all routine.  I have all the time in the world but struggle to schedule that time.

I remember when I was in college and tried to budget my time.  It was odd how in the fall when I played volleyball and had little time but I did so much better at getting my work done.  I knew I had to get on my projects early because games, travel and practices consumed a lot of my time.  I learned quickly to review my syllabi weeks in advance to prepare myself for how big assignments fit into my volleyball schedule.

Second semester was an entirely different senrio for me.  Compared to my first semester I seemed to be loaded in free time. Without my sense of urgency I increased my natural tendency to procrastinate. I stopped looking ahead and started filling my time with “fun stuff”. Before long I was playing catch up finishing each year worse than the beginning. Too many times my summers imitate my college second semesters.

So, a week in to my summer break and my goal of spending Tuesdays and Thursdays in my studio has already failed.  I did get in a Thursday but not the last Tuesday.  I have an art show I would like to enter next week and my pipes drawing is not half finished. Next week I am teaching at an enrichment program until noon so maybe that is my new “second semester”. I guess I need to fool myself.  Head games are not my strength but I really need to look ahead and plan better.

Here is my accountability attempt. Thursday I will put in 3 hours.  At the end of that I will schedule my next time in regard to how far I get and where I need to be by next Friday when my drawing has to be at the competition. Next post I will have photos of my pipes drawing. This is now a commitment.

Now Is The New Later

Expectations of 2015

Expectations of 2015

When things are not done that I ask my kids to do I usually get one of two answers, “I forgot” or “I didn’t have time”.  This usually prompts a short lecture on time management and procrastination.  Don’t put things off until the last minute or until later because you may run out of time.  Simple concept, do it when you think of it so it gets done.

As the week progressed I found myself not in my studio…at all.  Why am I not working on “the project” that I couldn’t tear myself away from earlier.  Yes, I have been busy since I went back to work after a two week holiday break and I have had a couple of evening obligations but did I really have no time to work on it, to even touch or reflect on it.  Could it be that my kids learned from the best?  Yes, I am one of the best “I’ll do it later” people in the world.  Not many can procrastinate like me.

The weekend came and I knew I had to get on that project.  I did not want to write a blog that I had failed to make any progress on my journey.  Saturday came and so I had my usual relaxing morning with the knowledge that I had all day with nothing scheduled to pull me away from working on my project.  After relaxing for three hours I realized lunch wasn’t too far away so I decided to clean the kitchen and hit the studio after I had eaten.  Lunch came and went.  The kitchen wasn’t even close to clean and there I sat.  Pulled in.  Almost in a trance.  Suddenly, the proverbial light bulb went on.  What had robbed me of all my time this week?  The goal bandit.  The great thief of my productivity.  It was the television.  Did I gain any worth while knowledge by watching the television?  No.  Was my life expanded or enriched by those hours in front of the television?  No.  Was anything memorable or a treasured moment made through the experience of watching it.  No.  Did I loose valuable time that could lead to achieving my goals.  Yes.

With this awakening I decided the kitchen could wait.  My project could not.  I left the kitchen half done with chairs left in my den from the unfinished mopping.  I could no longer use the later excuse.  It was time.  I went to the studio, sat down and began.  It wasn’t long until time was lost, but this time it was enriched and memorable, it was productive and another step in my journey.  I was creating, being, and dreaming.  Where is this project going?  Plotting and planning each mark of my blade and rotary tool.  Applying sand paper every now and then.  Still imaging colors and the possibilities.  My mind flew completely free with all the unencumbered choices.  Even when I needed to stop two hours later there are so many decisions to still make.  Loving that every one takes me down a different road to a different finished product.  No one better or worse than the other just different.

All In A Days Work, or Two.

Well, I have really let the studio/junk room/music room/sewing room get out of hand. The time had come to take care of this mess and restore the room back to it’s intended purpose…art.

Getting started was the most difficult part. I really hate cleaning. As motivation I put on some music and glanced from time to time at my first goal…the unfinished project. It was lying on my corner table wrapped in a towel to protect it. I don’t dare unwrap it until my studio is clean.

Ok, trash out to the truck, check. Excess supplies to get rid of loaded in the Jeep to take to work, check. All music stuff that is not temperature sensitive moved to the loft, check. Just your normal sweeping and wiping and Yada Yada the deed is done. Well, mostly done.

Sure, it could use some more organizing and straightening but “the unfinished project” was beckoning more loudly than ever. I had worked very hard for nearly a day and a half. It was time.

After unfolding the towel, there it was. I was actually very happy with direction it was going. Excited about the possible outcome and the fact that it was closer to finished than I remembered. I only had 30 minutes before dinner but I had to. I just had to do just a little. Just one section would quench that desire to create.

Wrong, I tore myself away but with satisfied anticipation of my next visit. To live to create again.wpid-20150101_152127.jpg

Every Journey Begins With A Step…Which Way

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” -Laozi

I have been thinking about the beginning of my journey and which direction to go on day one. I ask myself where do you want to end up this time next year. I hate to call this a resolution because I typically do not do those but commonly set goals throughout the year. Most deal with fitness or career. Not this time.

I want to apply for a fellowship in November which means I need at least 6 completed art pieces by then. I also want to finish a project I started 5 years ago and set aside. But more importantly I want to just create consistently.

With these objectives in mind I am ready to set out. The first obstacle is my studio.  Not a very inspiring place right now. We added it about 10 years. The last few years it has become the “junk” room filled with music stuff and larger items I wanted to get out of the way.

I am a pack rat as I find all art teachers are with the mind set of free supplies. I find items like wadded up brown paper and think, treasure maps; potato and onion sacks make great textures and cream cheese containers hold lots of paint. Guess where I store them.

Now that I have a rough map of where to go with this it is time to get off the couch and take a step.

image