To join me on a virtual sketching trip, download a travel sketch-journal here.
I add tutorials to them so you can learn the techniques and details you see in the sketchbooks.

My former workshop students asked me to upload my workshop workbooks to make them available to everyone. So you can also download a workbook and give yourself a workshop! Enjoy!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Journal ~ Costa Rica Feb.'08

Maybe I misjudged. Only a couple of my Costa Rica journals have been downloaded so far, and I put them online a week ago. Of course, I sent out quite a few complimentary copies, but I thought others might be interested too. Hmmmm....

Well, I am not going to quit on the idea yet. In fact, I decided to rearrange my studio so that I could journal and paint in journals while looking out the window, which means that I've been pushing and tugging and hoisting boxes, sawing and installing boards for shelves, hauling filing cabinets here and there, etc. Actually, I probably wanted an excuse to try out my new tools.

Mostly when artists talk about "new tools," they're referring to a rainbow of colored pencils or soft new brushes and such. Me, I was talking about my new rechargeable circular hand saw and drill, complete with 2 batteries and a charger, which I bought at Home Depot this week for $89. Oh yeah, and my two new saw horses for $21. That pretty much used up my proceeds from the yard sale I did with my friend Darby last weekend (it didn't rain!). I've been wanting these for years so I wouldn't be dependent upon extension cords and trying not to saw through the saw cord, untangling cords, etc.

I LOVE the new tools, and used the saw to cut first a shelf, then a piece of molding to put on the front edge of the slanted desktop so things wouldn't roll off. (The new sawhorses worked admirably.)
And the drill to drill holes then act as a screwdriver to attach the top edge of the desktop to the sill. My brother David gave me an electric brad-driver when I was in Idaho, and I fastened the molding on with that. Cool!

Below right is a picture of my studio now. On the left is my computer desk (with the computer monitor down UNDER the desktop so I can sit comfortably without craning my neck upward toward the screen).

The new drawing/writing/journaling desk is just to its right, with a high chair Daniel loaned me sitting in front of it. The chair is "guy-sized," but it works. The desk top is a piece of plywood with a skunk drawn on it, then stained and varnished. I did that many years ago, and the desktop has been languishing in the storage shed for a long time. It's nice to see it again. I love skunks ~ I used to be a licensed baby skunk rehabber.

In the foreground is my shipping table where I fill orders. It juts out into the center, with its scale to weigh the packages on (so I can apply postage from my computer and not have to stand in line at the post office), and an order of books being processed. Invisible around the corner to the left of the computer are my b/w and color printers.

You can see why I'd want to sit in front of the lovely view of the hillside, with its ponderosa pines, Douglas firs, manzanita bushes, oak and madrone trees and miscellaneous little forbs and grass, and other forest floor stuff.

Of course, in order to see the scenery out the window, the next step is to wash the windows. I've let them get pretty dirty to ensure that no birds will hit them, but I'll put very narrow strips of sticky-back shelf liner six inches apart on them as soon as they're clean. The birds see the (1/16") strips and notice the window, but the strips are barely noticeable from inside ~ and it's worth it to have clean windows!

In fact, in the photo at right, two strips of shelf paper, applied to the outside of the studio door glass lengthwise, have been there for four years now (can you see 'em?). So obviously they're weather proof, I can see out into the yard from inside, but I seldom notice the strips. Since I put it up, I haven't had a single bird hit that glass! Yay!!!

So, as soon as I get this all squared away (I'm still carrying out junk), I'll work on the next journal to put online (traveling across Oregon's High Desert). If anyone is interested, that is.



Unknown said...

It is such fun to see people's art spaces... I live in an apt. but have managed to make a corner into my "studio". The space is 6' long and 3' deep... I have managed to get an art table, a book case and a narrow 3 drawer unit in this space... I have a lap top that moves when I "do" my art... above is a large bulletin board to keep my treasures and inspirations.

It is so important to have " a room of one's own".

Renie said...

It sounds as though you've made wonderful use of your small space.

My house is rea, about 35% of it being office/studio, but what that means is there is a lot more area to gather junk and make a huge mess. And I'm sure good at that!

Renie said...

oops, part of my sentence got chopped. I meant to say "My house is really small, about.....

kathy said...

Your studio looks so organized. Mine not so. My husband has a binding machine for the nature & travel workshop I just bought. So happy! I have a blog now, but so boring and dull. Got to work on that too.

Renie said...

Hi Kathy,
It's usually pretty messy -- I gave it a spruce-up for its portrait.

I went to visit your blog. It's not boring, there's just not enough writing on it. Try getting more descriptive. BTW, that funny looking caterpillar? That's a White-marked Tussock Moth caterpillar. Cool, huh!

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