Artist Hideouts

Sketch of artist's studio "MadJane's Magic Show" a gypsy wagon type building from Sandra VanWinkle

Everyone thinks if you work at home you have it all. Well, this is true. You do have it all. You just don't want it all. At least, not in front of you begging to be done, finished, washed, picked-up, etc. Working from home can be great, but sometimes separating the housework from the artwork gets tricky.

There are some tough souls who can determinedly work on projects without allowing the two worlds to overlap. This takes a great deal of perseverance, dedication, time management, and focus. Unless I'm on a tight deadline, I don't do so well in these areas. I will doodle around a bit, get thirsty, get up to get something to drink and then lose the day entirely.

While getting the drink I think - "I may as well load those few dishes into the dishwasher", then I will notice the fridge needs a wipe down, the mail needs sorting, did I start the dryer in the basement? well before I go down there I may as well get all the clothes from the clothes hamper in the master bath upstairs - after loading the clothes washer I pass the broom - hmmm does the front porch need a sweep? may as well take care of that while I'm up. And so it goes and so goes my day.

I know that it will be the same no matter where I work. I'm just one of those mind-jabberers who can't shut it off. I jump around from one thought to the next. I do get things done -eventually- but I'm constantly thinking about my next task, next drawing, next doodle, next painting, next technology course, next class, all in a stream-of-consciousness way. Kinda like a kaleidoscope.

Knowing this about myself does not keep me from dreaming of unique little cottages to work from. I used to tease about "Woman Hut". I gave birth to three sons, grew-up with brothers, have worked in mostly male dominant 'day' jobs, so I longed for a space that was just mine and more feminine in overall atmosphere. I used to joke about it being all shell-pink and white. But, in reality, I'm more gypsy/steam punk meets Neil Gaiman than Martha Stewart.

VelvetRustica (tm) is descriptive of my style. Opulence without fru-fru. Cinnamon-y coppers, lush plums, patinas of verde-gris, moss-covered stone, peeling painted surfaces, dark coffee colors mixed with antique lace. Addams family+MadScientist Lab+Romanian Castle+Faerie all rolled into a very delicious mix. I prefer my wild wood growing roses to the perfect and finicky hybrids. I like brambly landscapes mixed with small areas of manicured lawn. I like chaos. I like textures. It all keeps the creative juices flowing. Gives you something to think about.

A few years ago I decided that one day I would build a little artist's studio. It would be on our property deep in the woods. Far enough from the main house to make it feel like I was going to work. I could pack my lunch, take a thermos and head off to play the day away. I would not allow phones or computers or electricity. I would come 'home' when the light grew too dim to work by and my mind was depleted of ideas for the day. Still dreaming about it.

Because I believe "waste not, want not" I have always loved found-object art. This also includes building. I have started a great collection of windows, small building rafters, 2x4s, plywood, brick, stones, etc to build my dream studio. Ultimately, the materials will determine the final structure. That does not stop me from drawing sketches of what I might build if I had the time and specific materials.

Above is one of my many sketches of ideas for my hideout. I'm still gathering materials. I will continue to doodle new ideas. I have several books, magazines, articles, internet sites, and other reference materials to keep me busy with my dream for a long time. I will post other drawings from time to time and maybe someday a photo album of the real deal.

Hope all your dreams come true!


Tools for Artists

Illustrating a Cowboy in Photoshop and Illustrator from Jelle Gijsberts on Vimeo.

Take a look at how this artist is using Adobe Illustrator. I think you will like this. There are a lot of good illustrators and artists using these tools in amazing ways.

I love Adobe Illustrator. It is such a versatile tool for today's artists. I can not help but imagine how the Great Masters (Rembrandt, daVinci, Durer) would utilize this amazing tool. I think they would love the ability to create and manipulate their concepts these programs.

Illustrator is not for the faint of heart. But once you understand it, you wonder how you ever created without it. My students whine about it when I first introduce them to the wonders of Bezier and vectors. Most of them have had some exposure to Photoshop and think that Illustrator is just a different version of it. Wrong. The students come around after a few lessons and learn the power of vectors!

Hope you enjoy this video.

Knoxville Permaculture Guild

I just joined Knoxville Permaculture Guild
I took the above image of a Wyandotte hen a few years ago. This is a photoillustration. It consists of a composite of the photo of the hen and a shot of my backyard woods. I thought it would make a fitting image for my Permaculture page site.
Check out Knoxville Permaculture to learn more about it.