A Peek In the Studio (Part One)

I was having some fun the other day just snapping photos in the studio and thought to myself, “Self, it’s been a while since you posted studio images!” SO, here you go!

studio, looking toward work areas
material used for texture in watercolor
I think every studio should have a kaleidoscope…
work in progress
paper, paper, glorious paper!
watercolor pallets from student classes
reception/extra work area
mandala art supplies
woo, hoo, supplies!
torn book pages for collage
my little Zen garden
my office space (yes, there IS a futon for napping!)
close up of mixed media artwork

I’ve got more…coming soon.

Industrial Art Duo – Workshop Saturday, August 18th!

So I’ve been debating on a few new classes to offer the next month or two. This is the first and I am SO excited to announce it!!

“Industrial Art Duo” ~ Two Exciting Projects, One Industrious Day!

miscellaneous metal parts

Don’t let the title (or the image!) scare you – I’ll be there to guide you through using any of the materials or equipment that may seem intimidating. I’ve also recruited my favorite collaborator, my husband Mark, to assist us with some of the work. Especially the welding!

finished work, turquoise topography © lynne medsker
“turquoise topography” 1 & 2, commissioned artwork, mixed media on wood panels, 20×20″ each

I’ve had several people mention how much fun it looked like it would be to create art using concrete as a textured underlayer (by the way – it IS fun) but I couldn’t figure out how to make that work in a one day class since there is a fairly long gap of time for the concrete to dry. Then it occured to me I could add a second project during that drying time that would keep us all busy.  Compared to just staring at the concrete as it dried it seems like a perfect solution. But what other project goes with concrete? Steel, of course!

wall sculpture #23 12×25″, $295 © medsker metal art

We will start and finish the day working on our concrete creations! You can choose if you’d like to create that work on one large wood panel or several smaller ones. Then, using various tools (and most likely your fingers!) you’ll make marks, lines, texture – or even embed items – on the surface. Once you’ve satisfied your yearnings to texture concrete, it’s time for metal!  To begin that project you will select different pieces and layout the design for your metal wall sculpture (approximately 12″ x 18″) as the concrete dries. You’ll get instructions on how to prep the metal materials and then Mark will work his welding magic to construct it for you.  After it has cooled from the welding process it can be spray painted, wrapped in wire or further embellished in a variety of ways. Although we have quite a selection of parts and metal to choose from you are welcome to bring in any items you’d like to include in your sculpture and we will help you find a way to incorporate it. At some point there will be lunch and snack breaks as well, keeping you busy until your wood panel is ready for more attention. Finishing the concrete artwork includes sealing it and then covering it with layers of acrylic, adding, subtracting and blending until it makes you smile. That could be just one or two layer, or many, many more!

work in progress © lynne medsker
work in progress © lynne medsker

Gloves will be provided for the concrete work plus there are gloves and safety glasses available for you to use when working with the metal. Although not neccessarily needed for the concrete work you will need to bring a long sleeve shirt, long pants and full cover shoes when working in the shop creating your sculpture. Most work will be done outdoors but we will have fans available to keep you cool. Bottled water and afternoon snacks are provided, please pack a sack lunch for your noon meal. Detailed information and a release form will be emailed to you once you have signed up. Be prepared to get dirty and happy during this creative day!

Date: Saturday, August 18th 2012

Time: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (more or less!)

Cost: $145 – includes all materials & instruction for creating two unique pieces of art (if you wish to bring a spouse, family member or friend to collaborate with the fee for creating both pieces is $175 per couple.)

Minimum 2 participants/Maximum 8 participants

I can’t wait for this day…it is going to be so much fun! Now if I can just decide what fun to have with the other new class on my schedule….

Lynne

Me, happily working in the shop! Safety glasses over real glasses, such a great look! 🙂

Yupo Play Images

I’m blushing a bit at how long it took to get these photos online and posted! These are all from a “Yupo Play” class last March! Better late than never I suppose. We had a good time exploring this interesting “paper” which is synthetic and machine-made in the USA of 100% polypropylene. It is waterproof, stain resistant, extremely strong and durable, PH neutral, amazingly smooth and Recyclable!  Here are a few images from the class:

mash-up with yupo paper
“mash up” two pieces of damp Yupo paper & watercolor “mashed” between them, then taken apart
1/2 mash up
One side of a “mash up” watercolor & Yupo paper

These were fun and reminded me of a more colorful/interesting version of the ink blot images we used to make as kids – we could all see different things in them! What do you see in the image above? I’m curious if it’s the same as what I do.

One thing we attempted wasn’t very successful, but that’s what happens in a class titled “play” – we were experimenting with media, not aiming for masterpieces. 🙂 The technique was to take the paper outside and use stencils, lace, etc. and spray a clear acrylic paint over them to leave a pattern that would be blocked out in white when we added the watercolor. It probably didn’t help that it was a windy day and we had spray paint issues! You can see in this image that there was a bit of success but even that eventually disappeared as more watercolor was added.

stencil
stencil dots on Yupo paper
stencil
stencil stripes on Yupo paper

Oh well! Perhaps a repeat on a non-windy day will have better results. 🙂

Washing on a layer of watercolors and then laying plastic wrap on top made for some really interesting abstract patterns. Well, if you were patient enough to let it dry before you took the plastic off!

plastic wrap
plastic wrap over watercolor on Yupo paper
brayer
rolling paint with a brayer

We had so much fun moving the paint around on the paper that even our paper towels ended up looking colorful!

colors
palette, paint, paper towel

The last technique we tried involved tissue paper layers on painted Yupo. Some were removed, others were kept, some moved to new placement and were adhered to the paper with clear acrylic gel.

tissue paper
tissue paper collaged on Yupo

And, yes, it was as much fun as it looks – you should come try it sometime. 🙂

Slowest clay project ever!

"obustus #1 & #2" ceramic relief wall sculptures, $175 set © lynne medsker

Well, perhaps I should clarify that it’s only the slowest clay project for ME – I’m sure someone out there has had a project that took longer to complete! I began these pieces during my residency at The Tin Shop in Breckenridge, Colorado last September. I love to play with clay and build pieces with my hands and so when the opportunity arose to do just that, I jumped at it. Little did I know when I began rolling out the clay that it would be 10 months before I’d hold the finished pieces in my hand! The timing ended up being toward the end of my residency and there was only time to fire the pieces once so adding the glazes and re-firing would have to be done after I returned home.

front view of small ceramic sculpture © lynne medsker

They were wrapped/packed with care and joined me on my meandering week-long trip home. When I arrived home there were many projects to catch up on and they sat around the studio, waiting patiently. They moved from storage tubs to tables and back again. You can see them laying on the work table in this blog post from last November! By the time I was ready to get to them it was the middle of winter and the lovely artist who had agreed to fire them for me had retreated to Florida for several months. Back in the tub they went until this April when I finally remembered to retrieve them. I glazed them and, eventually, dropped them off for my artist friend to fire. Unfortunately she wasn’t informed that I’d dropped them off and they sat for another month or two before I quizzed her and she discovered where they’d be stashed.

back view of small ceramic sculpture © lynne medsker

Two weeks ago I got the news that they were ready to be picked up! This past week I was able to find the time to drive out & get them. Since that time I’ve photographed them, wired the two pieces that hang, placed them at ArtSplash Gallery and found a home for the sculpture in my studio. Whew!

I found it a bit ironic that the image of them in the studio last November was showing how I’d arranged and cleaned up the studio and guess what I spent the last three days doing? Rearranging and cleaning the studio, of course! I eliminated the 4 ft. x 4 ft. table space I was so excited about in that post. I should know by now if you give me more flat surface I’ll just fill it up with more clutter! 🙂

studio space with new shelves!

I like the open feel of the studio now with the large opening in the center, but I kept the folding tables stashed nearby for when I truly do need more work surface. My favorite part of all during this update was adding 16 foot of shelf space!! It came *this close* to eliminating all of the floor clutter. One more shelf at the top probably would have done it but then I’d have to climb a ladder to get to it and, when it came down to it, I’d rather see it sit on the floor that go up & down a ladder! 🙂

Have a great Monday! There will be another post soon!

Lynne

Sun & Earth Mandala

sun & earth (prior to being divided!) mixed media mandala on watercolor paper © Lynne Medsker

Yes, another mandala! Next post, probably more mandalas. After that? Still have some I haven’t shown you but I’ll try to change it up somewhere there in the middle of things so you don’t get bored! 🙂 This is the first of a few pieces that I have been working on lately. I’m still working on that “use what ya got!” attitude and I found three frames with double opening mats that I thought would be fun to feature some mandalas in. Created with the idea of cutting them in half once completed made me think a bit about how to lay them out on the paper but it didn’t take too long to come up with a few different designs I thought would work. Here is a photo of today’s mandala after the watercolor had been applied over the design. work in progress image © lynne medskerAfter the colored ink was added to get to the step shown at the top of the page then came the hard part. Getting out the scissors! Something about cutting up a newly created piece of art just feels wrong, even when it was pre-planned. Despite it being a bit concerning, I really liked the outcome once it was in the frame!

"sun & earth" part 1 & 2, mixed media mandala, framed to 11x22" $95 © Lynne Medsker

So all’s well that ends well! Currently this piece is located in my studio, feel free to schedule a time to stop in & view it. Even better, let’s re-locate it to your home or office, I bet you have a perfect spot for it!

Lynne

Finished studio space!

It’s been well over a month since I mentioned that I would be turning part of my home into my studio space.  Although the plans have changed many times over since then it is finally complete (or at least close enough to declare it done!).  I am still waiting on a couple of display grids to arrive & I’d like to make a new cushion for the storage bench, but otherwise it is finished.  The space had been my photo studio for the past nine years and had collected an enormous, messy amount of backdrops, props, supplies and (I’ll admit it) junk!  

before
"before"
before
"before"
before
"before"

It felt dark, crowded and most decidedly not user-friendly but I made it work as best I could.  Obviously by the end of it I wasn’t too excited about keeping it clean.  (Blush!) It hadn’t been designed for photography and really didn’t have proper space for that but you make do with what you have, don’t you?   (On a side note –  I am not giving up portrait photography I havejust  redefined the way I will do it from here on out, focusing on outdoor & location shoots instead of studio shots.  I am excited by that change and look forward to being out and enjoy some different scenery!)  

Amazingly I was able to clear almost everything out of the room in a single day!  I didn’t think that was possible!  After most of the stuff was cleared out we began the painting process.  Although technically the room was white before it was amazing what a couple fresh coats of paint did for it!  

cleaning out
"cleaning out"
"painting"
fresh paint
"fresh paint"

 Next the old carpet went out…and (after a week or so) the new went in:

old carpet out
"old carpet out"
new carpet in!
"new carpet in!"
new carpet
"new carpet"

By that time we had decided, re-decided, changed our mind, made up or mind, changed it again and finally had a loose kind of idea of how to proceed.  Looking forward to the future we have plans for retirement and selling the house so decided against any kind of permanent, built in storage, as the next owner many prefer just to use the space as a porch.  A few other options were vetoed along the way and I was actually slow to decide exactly what I wanted.  Normally I am one to jump right into to something and later wish I had thought it through a bit more first so I actually did that this time.  It felt strange! 🙂  In the meantime it was a big, nicely carpeted room for our grandson to play in and we spent many evenings running back & forth from one end to the other playing “Get me!”.  I was glad to get some furniture in there after that, he was wearing me out!  Although he still enjoys having a new place to play I think our days of running are over (at least indoors!).  Anyhow, here are images of the finished space…although almost all the art shown hanging here has left to go to galleries & shows!  But I have plenty of backup pieces that are filling in the gaps quite nicely. 🙂

south east corner of room
south east corner of room
south west corner of room
south west corner of room
south end of room
south end of room
west wall
west wall
more west wall
more west wall
north west corner
north west corner
north end of room
north end of room

As you can tell by the photos I’ve already been working at my new work space (that is the collaborative artwork I mentioned in a previous post).  My only fear is that I made the space too “nice” and will be overly concerned with making a mess with paints, etc. but I’ve got several sheets of plastic I can throw on the floor if need be and, honestly, when I am really feeling messy I usually go play outside in the yard where paint splatter doesn’t matter! 🙂  

Sorry for the overly-long post but now you’ve had the online tour of my studio!  I plan to be hosting many workshops, classes and events now that I have my own space so perhaps before too long you can get the “in person” tour instead of just viewing images online!

Until then!

Lynne

Ideas & Daydreams

 

ideas & daydreams digital collage (c) 2003, Lynne Medsker
'ideas & daydreams' digital collage (c) 2003, Lynne Medsker

I was still sorting through files when I stumbled across this piece.  It is one of my first digital collages from back in 2003.  It took me hours & hours to assemble it from photos and clip art using a very primitve photo editing program.  I was so excited when it was finished I am sure I e-mailed it to every person in my address book!  I still love the concept & title and I am pretty sure that if you could get a snapshot of the thoughts & ideas floating through my head it would be something similar to this.   🙂   I will brag a bit and tell you that when I entered this image in the state fair that summer I won the blue ribbon for computer art!  Which shows how much computer art has progressed in the last six years…this seems so very basic anymore. 

The current ideas & daydreams dancing in my head revolve around getting my new art studio space set up. I’ve been taking some photos of the progress, I will post them when the project is complete.  I spent all day Friday sorting, packing and emptying the room followed by a weekend of painting.  And more painting!  My goodness it takes a long time when you are working around ten windows and a pair of french doors.  I sure love the room full of sunlight but flat walls without windows are certainly faster to paint!  In addition to those obstacles the room had hunter green trim (does that date it for you?) that had to have two coats of primer before we could even begin to paint.  BUT, it is a beautiful, clean, bright white now!  It will be over a week before the new carpet can be put in so we’ve got a bit of a lull in activity.  I am in the midst of drawing up plans for the built in storage that I want to add (after the carpeting) and my head is spinning with room arrangements, furnishings and details.  I want to keep it fairly open yet also want to put all my art supplies in there, have a space for doing both mixed media and digital work plus be able to use at least part of it for social gathering.  It will be a balancing act!  Now I am off to look at some furniture online…

Happy daydreams to you!

Lynne