Upcoming events

Sometimes I am grateful for the cool rainy days of spring. It makes me feel like I can do things like clean my studio or prep my plein air panels and frames without the tinge of guilt and regret from not being outside in the thick of it painting all of that spring color. But without the prep work, the other doesn't happen, so hooray for rain and clouds and wind! :-)  

This week I am preparing for a couple of upcoming events that I am excited to share with you. The first is coming up speedy-quick. It's a plein air painting event called "Plein Air Unleashed" in Whitestone, Virginia. I have never been to this area but from what I have read and heard, it sounds like a location ripe with subject matter for plein air painting. 

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Starting this Thursday artists will descend on the charming, sleepy towns of Whitestone and Irvington and unleash actual havoc with flying paint and violent brushwork! Seriously though it should be lots of fun scheduled over a long weekend this Thursday, April 26th through Sunday April 29th. Please visit the Plein Air Unleashed Facebook Page for all of the information on the demos and events planned. The paintings from the event will be on exhibit at the Allure Art Center through May 26th.

 "Charmed In Beynac", Oil on linen, 11x14", will be included in the upcoming "April Showers Bring May Flowers" exhibit of flower-themed art at Gallery Flux.

"Charmed In Beynac", Oil on linen, 11x14", will be included in the upcoming "April Showers Bring May Flowers" exhibit of flower-themed art at Gallery Flux.

Also this month I will be participating in a spring-themed exhibit at Gallery Flux entitled "April Showers Bring May Flowers". Come enjoy the color on display in this floral themed exhibit with works by over 20 artists. The variety of mediums, sizes and floral interpretations make an eclectic mix of artwork celebrating the beauty of spring. Opening Reception : Thursday, May 3, 2018 5:30-8pm. Exhibit continues through May 25th. 

I hope to see some familiar faces at one or both of these events. If you are further afield, follow me online on Instagram and Facebook where I'll do my best to keep you updated!

A Room of One's Own

Yesterday on social media I posted the video of my long-awaited studio completion. If you weren't tuned in to that, I'm including it below. Today I'm also sharing a few more photos and some details because I'm really excited to finally have a permanent home to create my work.

Yes, the garage-to-studio is complete! Hurrah! 😄 I feel as if I have been moving for nearly two years, because, well, I have. So just the very thought of not having to shuffle my supplies and equipment from one place to the other is a most delicious concept to me.

It doesn't have the cottage charm of my former studio,  but it's open and airy and has North light and storage, so I feel like I'm in luxury any way. Here are the bins we had built:

artbins_jenniferyoung

We built them "up" to keep the work off of the floor, even making use of the space over the water heater. 

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I'm using the same hanging system for hanging art as I did in the last studio, using picture rail and a hook and rod system from Walker Display. But my favorite feature is the shelving that runs along the perimeter of the space. 

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This came about because I had a strange cinder block bump-out that ran along the walls of the garage, and the carpenter suggested capping this off with some shelving where I could perch works-in-progress, wet paintings, or other unframed art. He also ran this same shelving over the doors and windows I had framed in, in place of the the old garage doors. 

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This space is just slightly east of due north studio lighting. But as you can see, when the sun goes down I still need supplemental lighting. For that I have installed Daylight LED tube lights and tracks. At some point I may install a couple of additional short tracks over my framing and auxiliary painting area, but I have enough to get me up and running. 

In keeping with tradition, I maintain my usual impeccable timing, and have completed the studio just in time to leave for two weeks on a plein air painting trip to Maine for an artist's residency. So, as excited as I am for my new space, it will have to wait to get junked up until I return! 😉  Meanwhile, God and internet willing, I hope to blog from the road during my travels. 

Changing spaces (again)

I mentioned in one of my recent posts that we are in the planning stages with a builder to build a new studio at our new residence. It's coming along-- I'm excited! 😃  But given that we are just in the permit stage, I know enough about building an art studio to know that it will be a while yet before that dream becomes a reality.  Meanwhile, it will be important to save some money to help pay for the new digs. Sooo, I'm giving up my rental space and yet again, moving my studio. 

This time I will attempt to work once more in the house. I feel like we have rearranged our house so many times in the year that we have lived here, that it's comical. So what's one or two times more, in the scheme of things? The room I've cleared out for my little temporary studio has been a catch-all room; a mud room, a temporary guest bedroom, and eventually it will be my office.  It has a door that leads to the back screened porch and faces the site of the future studio. It sits a bit away from the rest of the house, and is just down the hallway from the garage. So in some ways,  the location is ideal for a little painting space.  

What's not ideal though, at ALL, is the lighting. This room is very, very dark, which is why I never thought to use it previously for a home studio. What's changed since we moved to Ashland though,  is the easel light, shown below (installed on my Sorg easel, with an unfinished painting.) 

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The light is one by Revelite, which I learned of from seeing postings raving about it in several of my friends' Facebook feeds. Revelite makes traditional picture lights for lighting artwork, but also these work lights designed to work with artist's easels. They are slim profile, adjustable LED bulbs, with a high color rendering (CRI), purportedly, of over 90. 

I purchased the 36" light. I will admit I was sweating bullets when I ordered this thing because while I was "pretty sure" this light would work with my easel, I still harassed Revelite's customer service for a few weeks with a barrage of inquisitive emails.  It was, after all, a very expensive light. And it carried a hefty restocking fee in the event it needed to be returned.  Luckily, though, the light mounted to my easel without an issue, and I am really pleased with the quality of the light it provides to my painting surface. 

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Above is my new home-based  temporary studio! Although I still think I need more light for the room, at least I have lit the most important parts of my workspace in order to get the job done.  I've lit the palette area with a standing Ott-lite for now, but as you can see this is a very cold, bluish light compared to the warmer but still very clean easel light (which I prefer.) I am still working on a better solution to this problem, because putting different lighting on my painting and palette will likely be problematic. 

If this little space is looking quite neat, it's because the rest of my supplies (frames, equipment, paintings, etc) are stashed in a million different places throughout my house,  with even more still at the rental space. All of that stuff will need to be moved out and consolidated and organized by the end of August, so aside from painting and splashing in the water with the kiddo, you can guess how I will be spending a good part of the rest of my summer! 

Commissions part II

This post is a continuation of a prior post I've written on my commission process. If you missed it you can find that post here. Having secured the final approval for the first commission I wrote about yesterday, I needed to do it again for the second painting.  During my image archives search for a complementary composition I came across this 20x16" painting, done some years ago from my own photo references and sketches done on site. I felt this composition was similar enough in feel to relate to the first painting, and yet different enough to add some visual interest:

 "Little Shop on the Corner" (SOLD) ©Jennifer E Young

"Little Shop on the Corner" (SOLD) ©Jennifer E Young

Because I wanted the  two little commissioned paintings to "talk to each other", I reversed the above painting, and scaled the image to 16x12". Like the first painting, this one also scaled really nicely to the new format:

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Using my photo-shopped mock-ups, I provided a this shot below to show how the two paintings would look side by side:

 Vibrant paintings of French and Italian villages ©Jennifer E Young

Vibrant paintings of French and Italian villages ©Jennifer E Young

There were a few color notes to keep in mind. The client wanted these to pieces to go in a room with an open floor plan where other artwork was already present. There was one painting in particular, a large pastoral with a red barn, that I needed to be cognizant of when creating my pieces. I didn't need to "match" the red, but I needed to be aware of it so as not to clash. This painting had a mid-to-cool temperature red focal area, so I'd steer away from anything too orangey. There were also some lovely aubergine and turquoise accents  in the shadows of the large painting that I noted and would attempt to riff off of in the paintings I was about to create.

My collector gave a big thumbs up to the ideas I had proposed. Whew! Awesome! Now for the fun/hard part of creating them! In my next post I'll show you how everything came together in the final paintings, and provide some thoughts to keep in mind about commissions in general, which I think will be of interest to the collector and artist alike.

Super cheap wet panel holder

This week as I am plodding through the daunting task of packing up my studio, I have storage on my mind (as in, where the heck am I going to put all of this stuff?!) Granted, a number of these boxes are my office supplies and files, but let's face it; artists have a lot of stuff.

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And so we painters are always trying to come up with nifty and cheap storage ideas that will protect our paintings when they are wet and keep them organized when they are dry. With that introduction, meet my cd storage racks turned painting panel holders:

 Wet Panel Storage

Wet Panel Storage

This is about as low tech as you can get. Two CD holders are tied together with twist-ties on either side.

 Wet panel storage

Wet panel storage

These are also great to have in the car for plein air paitning trips. I put the whole setup inside of a box lid sized to hold them for added stability and reduced mess. It will hold painting panels up to 12" and keep them neatly separated from each other so that they don't touch.

Granted, CD holders are becoming a little harder to find as we move further into the digital age, but they are still around. If push comes to shove, a letter sorter from an office supply store will do.

art storage tips
art storage tips