Redux Recap // Seeking a new Studio

During a vacation in Charleston, I got to visit Redux Contemporary Arts Center, which had been on my radar for a long time.  It seems like every cute Southern artist I started to follow had a studio there.  I first learned about it years ago, when Sally King Benedict had a space there.  Since then, a handful of crazy talented women have joined, who you've probably seen all over Pinterest, blogs, etc - Teil Duncan, Lulie Wallace, Kate Long Stevenson, Blakely Little.  

Sally King Benedict at Redux

Sally King Benedict at Redux

Blakely Little

Blakely Little

Kate Long Stevenson

Kate Long Stevenson

Teil Duncan

Teil Duncan

Lulie Wallace

Lulie Wallace

click photos for links to sources

The artist that really blew me away, personally, was Raven Roxanne.  

My husband and I were wandering around the half-empty studios, peeking into most of them to see what was in progress.  Admittedly, we were a little nervous to poke around unescorted.  I really admire these artists... it was like wandering around a movie set trying to find your favorite celebrity at work.

So, of course, while shuffling through a particularly bright studio, an artist walks in on us and we became totally stutteringly awkward.  Luckily for us, it was Raven, who put us at ease right off the bat.  Y'all, she is so cool and nice.

Raven explained some technical decisions to us, like her glass palette table and how she uses the wall as an easel, and then we got into a deeper conversation about being a "solopreneur" and work-life balance and making the leap to pursue art full-time.  She was a wide open book and I can't even begin to tell you how uplifting and encouraging that was.  She even suggested that I stay in touch and ask questions down the road.

Raven's palette table

Raven's palette table

Teil at work, the day before a big online sale!

Teil at work, the day before a big online sale!

Every artist I met at Redux raved about the space and its collaborative atmosphere.  They lend each other new materials to experiment with.  They plan days to do their crating + shipping together.  They share business advice and artistic critiques.  

My brainy husband came away with a mind full of business ideas, but I was really touched by the openness and kindness of Raven and the other artists.  They were so normal.  And nice.  How do you find something like that?  

So, I'm on the lookout!  Now I have big dreams of finding my own Redux here in Cincinnati.  It could be an office/apartment that I share with one or two people, or it could be a big organization like Redux.  

The visit made me realize how much I miss collaborating with other creatives.  I'm not a huge fan of working from home.  There is so much to be gained in a community where you can bounce ideas off each other, find inspiration... or just have an excuse to put on real clothes without elastic waistbands.  I'd love to get in touch with other Cincinnati creatives.  If you have any ideas, or are looking for a studio mate yourself, please don't hesitate to contact me!

...and we're back!

Hello, friends!  Greetings from sunny Ohio!

What a whirlwind summer it has been.  How can I even begin to catch you up?

We went to Savannah, Charleston, and Boston in the spring, a beautiful wedding in St. Simons Island, then my husband graduated from his MBA program (woo!), then we moved out of our North Carolina apartment and became happily homeless for the summer.

Goodbye studio!  I loved you!

Our things in storage in the midwest, we miraculously found a house in Cincinnati in one day, spent a short week in DC, and then embarked upon the GREATEST month-long adventure of our lives!!  France.  Italy.  Art.  Food.  Drinks.  Sun.  Butchering the language.  Loving it anyway.  Repeat.

Y'all, I can't even begin to tell you about all the beautiful things... but I'll unpack them as best I can over the coming posts.



Just another day in Versailles.

Not to save all the love for France and its fancy-fance... here we are hiking Cinque Terre in Italy:  

Try not to be too jealous of my shoe + sock combo.

We made a slideshow out of a fraction of our Europe pics, and it became an hour-long YouTube video, no kidding.  Our families were so sweet to humor us and actually watch that thing.  Point is... the Europe trip might influence this blog for a long time. 

After Europe, we spent more time in DC, then were on to Louisville, KY... Birmingham, AL... New Orleans, LA... Kiln, MS... back to Washington, DC... Pawley's Island, SC... Columbus, OH... Hot Springs, AR... Louisville, KY... then we finally moved in to our new home in Cincinnati!

I'm still unpacking the studio and getting organized.  I put down a vinyl floor covering to act as a heavy-duty drop cloth (see below).  I'm pretty psyched about it... it flows with the rest of the home's hardwood floors, I don't trip on it or rip holes in it, and it will be super easy to roll up and remove from the real hardwoods underneath when we move out.  Hooray for Home Depot!

Today I'm working in the lovely Redtree Art Gallery & Coffee Shop, organizing files from the summer and figuring out who's on deck.  I can't wait to dive into these projects and get some paint in my hair!  Get ready Cinci, here I come!


Working from Photos

As y'all know, the bulk of my work comes from painting my clients' photos.  Some of the photos are awesome, with great light, a clear composition, and it's easy for me to pick what I like to highlight and create a beautiful painting.  Sometimes, though, I spend as much time trying to piece together what the photo is supposed to represent as I do actually painting!

Before Christmas, I painted a series of small watercolors to commemorate a family's homes over the years.  My client only had one photo that she'd taken herself; the others had to be sourced from Google Maps.  Sometimes this works (see #2!) and sometimes... a LOT changes between the time you lived in the house and when Google took its photo (#3).  I was lucky to have a thoughtful client with such a good memory!

Let's start with Exhibit A:

This first photo has great light and shadows, with nothing obstructing the composition... it's awesome.  She just wanted the car removed.  Easy peasy.

Exhibit B: I used two Google Earth angles to piece together this former home, and my client's memory, and her absolutely amazing/adorable sketch to fill in the landscaping that had changed:

Et voila!  A cleaned-up version of her old house.

Finally, Exhibit C:

This one needed digital triage for me to be able to paint a watercolor from it.  There was no roof to be found, the horizontally striped awnings were gone, every surface had been repainted, the trees weren't the newly-planted baby trees of her memory... so we had to collaborate a lot to make sure I captured the right image.  

I've been working on a number of pieces lately that required a ton of digital TLC.  I am grateful every day for Photoshop, but my goodness, it has opened a Pandora's Box of time-stealing tasks.  I enjoy it, but I'm really not trained in that, so it takes me a long time.  And I don't want to create a bunch of paintings that look like cheesy Photoshop printouts - anyone who's seen my Pinterest board knows I gravitate toward loose, flowy, hyper-colorful stuff.  I think that having such precise photographs is making me a stickler about painting the photograph instead of just painting a painting.  Maybe I should start taking more source photos myself, or just say "no" to bad source photos.  What do you think?

Stick around - there might be some big changes coming for AJC in 2015. 

Happy Holidays from AJC!

2014 has been a year of enormous change for me and my business.  Thank you for reading along and sticking with me on this journey.  I truly appreciate your support and encouragement every day.  Here's to making 2015 as beautiful and colorful as possible!  

Have a happy holiday, everyone!