Thursday, May 24, 2012

Blank Canvas...and other projects

Welcome to my house! I finally found a strong, sticky hook to hang my wreath. It has been leaning on a shelf near the front door for too long.

My landlord came over this afternoon and hung some pictures for me. It's something I've been needing to get accomplished for a while, but can't do myself. The walls here are practically made of cement. Nine pictures took Hans 1.5 hours, and he isn't done. He still has four more to go but he ran out of hooks. He'll be back tomorrow.

Actually, it isn't fair to say he hung pictures. I had him hang blank canvases too. He was a bit confused by this. And of course I had no idea how to explain my intentions to him in German, but I tried. I think he got the gist of it by the end because he did the work. As cool as the house looks with a bunch of white squares everywhere, I will fill each and every one with a new painting. Then I will share them with you!
Here is how it looks now. I think it will be interesting to compare before-and-after photos.

And another piece of art from my mom next to my bed. I think it looks great with the jewelry box Phil got me for my birthday.
My side of the bed is all dolled up.
Phil's side is so empty. If you ask me; he doesn't have enough tchotchky in his life.
And my license plate collection has found a nice home in the half bath, or wash closet…if you will.
I love it. It reminds me of a restroom you'd find in a funky beach bar in a tourist town on one of the Keys in Florida. I wish I had a buoy and some fishing net to hang with it.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

And Another One...

Here is another painting I just finished. It comes from a photograph I took in Switzerland. It's much smaller than most of my other paintings. My process was a bit different this time too. I made the painting first, then I spray painted the chairlift on it last. Usually I start with the spray paint. The following photos capture my efforts...
The sketch and the first layer of paint.
The final layer of paint.
Making the stencil out of a cereal box. I love to reuse.
 Puttin' on the stencil.
 After the spray paint.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Steamboat Springs, CO

The latest edition to my chairlift series has been born!
This composition comes from a trip Phil and I took to Steamboat, back in '06, maybe '05. Man, time flies when you're having fun!
This painting is acrylic an spray paint. It measures 24" x 34." Look below as I demonstrate my process.
I start with a photo. I sketch out the photo. Then I sketch the image lightly on the canvas. Then I tape out the parts I want to spray paint.

I build a stencil from the masking tape and an exact knife.

Then I apply the spray paint. After which I remove the tape and Voila!
The actually painting, with brushes, starts somewhere in the middle.
This is the part where Phil gets scared because he thinks the painting looks like crap.
And I always agree with him, but the more paint I apply the better it looks.
Until one day when I've had enough.
I paint the sides and sign the back.
And admire it from all angles.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Ludwig's Furs

In case you haven't heard this is my neighbor, Ludwig. No, not the guy on the right. That's my husband. My neighbor is the gentleman on the left. Ever since we moved to Germany he and his wife have been one of the highlights of our life. They have been key members of our social circle. They don't speak much English and we don't speak much German, but we get along quite well. They are always sharing tips and tidbits to help us make the most of our German experience.

Ludwig is, in my opinion, a real man of the Earth. He is hunting and fishing all of the time. When he goes on these local expeditions he brings back deer, boar, rabbit, trout, and any other catch to be found in the woods or lakes here. He also will pick berries and bring them home and his wife makes jams, or desserts. Just yesterday he went hunting and brought home some fresh flowers. They shared them with me.

This flower is called a May Bell, and it smells delicious.

The reason I am sharing all this information about my neighbor with you is because he has a decent collection of furs from his recent hunts. Together we thought I might be able to help him sell them on Etsy. If you, or anyone you know is interested here are the links:
These pelts are smaller and reasonably priced. They are perfect for someone just beginning to sew fur. Their size is just right for small projects like trim on a collar or a hand muff.
Ludwig hunts the animal population in the local woods, here in Ansbach, Germany. This has been his home for roughly 50 years.