Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Paintings, floors and chaos

I gave you a sneak peek at this a week or so ago. It is a 70 x 50 inch canvas that I did for the CR Laine showrooms during High Point Market 2016. I actually did quite a few special pieces for them.

I was given fabrics to coordinate with and free reign when it came to my ideas. It was a joy and also challenging but the two go hand-in-hand to me.
You can see a selection of my work for CR Laine on this page of my website or better yet, come to market!

Whilst this was going on my studio, that is still in my home, major tile work has been underway.
My dear husband did tile work right out of college with his brother in-law. They were meticulous. Lucky me.
Our house had 100% builder grade and ugly finishes. Last year I got new quartz counters in my kitchen and my tile guy installed the backsplash.

The floor was was much debated and the quicker solution than hardwood throughout was chosen to facilitate the move to Charleston.
Take a gander of the floors I lived with for 5 years.

It was always ugly but recently began to delaminate.
Our goal is to upgrade at a reasonable cost. Many of my choices would have been different were we staying but I was not willing to compromise on style and harmony. We are going for ROI not cookie cutter suburbia, yet cost was a consideration.
Welcome lovely new tile!

This warm gray tile paired well with the counters and the warm, mahogany colored cabinets. It also works beautifully with the Sherwin-Williams Repose Gray on the walls.

At less than $2 per square foot, it is a deal my husband, spent 9 days on the floor at a cost of about $700 in materials.
We love it!
It was not pretty process. Our fridge had to live in the foyer, and my large paintings were leaned wherever I could find a spot. The pantry was emptied onto the dining room floor and our kitchen table was in front of the TV. Oh and my kids in college came home for Spring break. In case the level of chaos is not apparent...

As I write this, my dear husband has finished a 13 hour day of tile work in our master bath (a blog post all its own just for the sheer crazy factor) Today was day 8 on said bath and tomorrow appears to be another 12-13 hours of backbreaking work for him.
Master bath goodness coming soon!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

What I learned about color while painting commissions

One of the best things about being an artist is the places it has taken me, both literally and metaphorically. I am partnering with furniture manufacturer CR Laine again for 2016 High Point Market. This time I was given sizes and color palettes to create pieces specifically for their vast and inspiring showroom.

I love this new colorway in Bruschwig and Fils' Le Lac fabric

This kind of project is what I live for. I love the process of color matching and the wide open freedom to create whatever I think will work in a space given a set palette.
While I can't show you any of the completed pieces yet I want to show you the process and how it changed how I get to a finished work.

Detail of larger work

The fabrics above were the collection I was given for a 70 x 50 inch canvas and the color palette scared me. There are viridian and turquoise and Pthalo blues that I normally avoid in my work. I decided to use the yellow ochre as a starting point. I really used a bright yellow spray paint and some ochre for my first layer. Next I layered sheer and opaque whites. Grayish, beige-ish, yellowish, and bright whites but those bold colors still needed to find a way on to the canvas. In the photo above you can see areas of viridian that were part of my next step that absolutely terrified me.

Detail of larger work

I spoke to an artist friend and she said the thing that she has often said, "Give your self permission to paint something ugly." I knew she was right. I only had two layers on so I began roughly adding all of the scary bright colors with no clear idea how I would turn it into something that someone would want to look at or hopefully, buy.
I began adding in the black and brown found in the fabrics and had a little epiphany. You see I was also painting a 36 x 48 canvas for the same space and I started with a painting that was in progress that had a few of the right colors but also had a peachy coral and a hint of lavender. Why do I have to stick firmly to these colors, I thought ? Maybe add another green or a variety of grays along with the prescribed colors. I did and also continued layering on the grays and beiges while finishing with more ochre and the bold blues in the fabrics.

Wet ochre color in this detail of a larger piece

Well, I can tell you that the most challenging painting is my favorite of the bunch and it taught me something about how I use color. The discovery in each painting is a big reason for my doing it at all and this did not disappoint. I heard an apt quote recently. 
"You will never know everything about something you love"
Stay tuned in April and I will be showing you what I take to market. If happen to go to High Point Market this Spring please stop by the CR Laine showroom and say Hi. I will be there on Saturday and Sunday.