Saturday, January 31, 2009

Inspiration & Travels

I have a bunch of goals for the 2009 year, but one that stands out is my goal to get out and travel. Visiting new places far away and near home is something that I often put off when other more pressing or time critical tasks fall on my desk or into the studio. So this year I am committed to traveling and soaking in everything both familiar and new.

This past week, I had a chance to go to Long Beach California, a place that I have never visited - and I took the opportunity of long days and unlimited mileage on the rental car to visit some nearby art haunts.

I am starting to record some of the items that I find inspirational here - as a virtual idea-book for myself. I hope that you also find inspiration - if you do let me know.

I found an unexpected piece at LACMA, an embellished conch shell. Of course the textures on the shell itself are beautiful but what amazing detail on the silver and the inlay of coral, jade, and turquoise.

I find myself also drawn to the collections of illuminated manuscripts and examples of calligraphy and scientific drawings on exhibition at the Getty Center and the Huntington Library. These patterns will surely find their way into my work.

The LACMA, Getty Villa, and Center, and the Huntington Libraries hold amazing collections of decorative art, sculpture, and paintings. I drove on most of the major freeways in LA remained sane, saw amazing art and great gardens. What a great week!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Beauty in the Garden


I have winter flowers like pansies that fill window boxes along side the back porch. I plant them in the fall and they live through the frosts and light snow of our winters in Charlotte. But the first daffodil that pokes through the piles of dead leaves is something very special.

I couldn't believe it on Saturday morning when I walked out the back door to find the first flowers of 2009 in my backyard garden!! 3 wonderful Daffodils that I brought into the house - what a wonderful addition to morning pages and coffee!

I love the depth and harmony of all the yellows, how the petals curl, the textures, the patterns. I look forward to seeing how this shows up in my work. - janet

Friday, January 16, 2009

Studio Up-Grade for 2009

I have been busy these last few weeks doing some remodeling in my studio. If you haven't been to the studio - it is in a coach-house behind my home in Charlotte, NC. The upstairs has a ceiling line that follows the roof line and so it slants from the floor up to the peak on an angle, I was constantly hitting my head not to mention feeling really cramped.
This was an interesting project for me since I really have no experience using large miter and table saws - and of course designing in the field, caused many trips to the hardware store.

I am really excited about it - the greatest feature is a large photo-light table that can be used to expose photo emulsion screens. I don't feel like the available workspace is so confining. So I designed a table to run along the side of the space and finally got a large photographic light table and some flat file storage.

I am using some paper storage boxes on the shelving under the table to keep new and collage papers clean and sorted. This is an affordable solution for a "real flat" file that I hope works for me.

I most often work standing up, the table is a bit higher than counter-height but this allows me to work without any real leaning over - so less neck and lower back pain. I also like to use an L-shaped configuration for a worktable so this layout will be great. There is a lightweight cover for the glass that will protect it when I am not using the light features - making even more layout space.

I have to finish up the storage shelving, clean up, and plug in the iPod speakers - a good start for the new year!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Happy New Studio Year!

I would like to wish you all a happy and creative new year. I am totally new to blogging - so please be patient with my lack of ability to use these tools internet tools. janet