I don't often get to show you my works in progress - but that's because I'm often designing specific things for my licensing partners that can't really be shown until they're ready to launch the product in a retail setting. So in the normal course of creating, my teeny tiny little studio and most of what comes from it is sort of shrouded in mystery.
But when I'm making stuff just for fun, I can show you everything - so that's what I'm doing here:
This last weekend I stayed in the studio and played. No plan, no ideas, no projects or assignments. Just making stuff.
A couple weekends ago I finally got out the fun New Year's present Artstuff bought me: a shiny new set of water soluble oil paints.
Once upon a time long, long ago, oil paint was my #1 medium: the feel of it, the smell, the soul - it was what I loved the most in the whole world: to paint with oils on a big piece of wood. But as my art became what I did for a living, more practical "immediate gratification" mediums eventually overtook slow-drying, messy, impractical oil paints. I was curious when I saw that these water soluble oils existed, and decided to indulge myself, just for fun. Call it an End of Year Bonus for a Job Well Done. I thought I'd start small with this experiment and raided my brother-in-law's scrap bin for little pieces of wood.
I fell in love as soon as I opened the first tube: whatever molecular mojo they do to this stuff does not have any adverse affect on the amazing smell of the linseed oil. A deep breath brought me back to a happy place I hadn't been in decades.
I started swishing it around and scrubbing it into the wood - it all started coming back to me. I'm in love with these paints! Wet, sticky, and workable for weeks - but I can clean my brushes (and my hands - and lips, and nose, and eyelids, under my nails, my hair...) with soap and water. When I think of all the turpentine I must have ingested in my 20s . . . well, that may explain a lot. Never mind.
The first layers on the first few boards were dry when I got them back out this weekend, and I started playing again.
I experimented more with some of the vintage and antique ephemera my dear friend Sue shared with my last month when I visited her studio
with bits of this and pieces of that.
The lumber stamp on this little piece of Douglas Fir became the inspiration for the tiny painting yet to come.
Others are still inventing themselves from the background up.
When I ran out of small scraps to paint on, or space on my desk (I'm not sure which happened first) I pulled out the Paperclay and played with it for the rest of the day.
Now it's time to set this all aside to dry in anticipation of some future weekend, as the Artstuff Studio returns to its normal, focused, more practical and businesslike self. Except, of course, for that heavenly smell of oil paint that lingers as the first few layers of these little guys dry. Aaaaaaahhh.