A little of this...

...a little of that.

I've been doing a lot of dabbling since we moved.  The great thing about my new studio setup is that I can work on lots of projects at once.  The bad thing about the new studio setup is... that I can work on lots of projects at once.  

I built this sweet double wall easel:

And to celebrate, I started... a watercolor.  Which doesn't use the wall easel at all.  Oh well!

This watercolor has been AWESOME... the client preferred an autumn setting, and the colors of the leaves REALLY make it pop!

11x17" original watercolor

11x17" original watercolor

While I was working on it, I experimented with several ways to capture the process.

I fiddled with Flipagram:

And then took some progress videos... one was excruciatingly slow, but I used iMovie to condense it from 5 minutes to 41s:

The iMovie quality is better, but this clip of painting is a little more interesting... I think?  I made it using LapseIt, which takes timelapse pictures and turns them into a video... unfortunately, it degrades the quality a little bit.  Or maybe it's just out of focus.  For your viewing pleasure:

Obviously, I'm not a technical expert.  

What do y'all think?  Which one do you like?  Or do you prefer the good-ol-composite photo, like this?

Please do let me know - I'll try to keep things as interesting as possible!

For more in-progress works, follow my Instagram @alysonjohnsoncreative

Ta-ta for now!

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!

A Wedding at Grand View Lodge

I just finished a very big painting with lots and lots of details!

grandviewlodgeweddingpainting

I'll try to show you the scale of the piece… and give you an idea of how hard it can be to place suggestions of faces with even my smallest paintbrushes:

detailwbrush1.jpg

I loved the dappled light on the planters, stone, and foliage!  The trees below were cool, too:

And a shot of the well-heeled artist, hard at work:

(A friend asked what I actually wore to work every day… well, dear readers, this is it.  Yikes.  I have no idea what EEF is… my husband brought this apron home from a business trip.)

This painting is 24x36" and took a lot longer than typically expected, because of all the pockets of details… but I adore them all and hope the client will, too!  This baby will ship to Minnesota this week!

What should I call this?

Ooooh… I finished a big pretty abstract that I love!

IMG_3282.JPG

This one was born of necessity… most of you know that my current studio doubles as our guest room.  I'm always trying to balance a peaceful, clean guest space with a functional/messy studio space.  

When you look into the room, from left to right, you see a chair, big wire shelves, and then a mattress.  I finally covered up the wire shelves (and blogged about it here) and it was a huge improvement.  Then the mattress is usually propped up against the wall like a big ghetto wannabe Murphy bed.  

With plans to wrap around the mattress, I bought some light green canvas from the fabric store.  (Artists - is this legit?  I've done the traditional canvas method, buying raw duck cotton canvas from the art supply store and stapling it around stretcher bars and then sizing and gessoing it.  In this case, I skipped the stretching and went straight to clear gesso to keep the paint from soaking through the canvas. Sort of experimental… but I dig it.)

supplies.jpg

I made a painting the size of the mattress, about 60x70".  I based it on a Monet I once saw at the VMFA and adored… but changed the scale, color, medium, etc.

Now it's a lovely backdrop AND disguises the guest bed! I love the blast of color it adds to the room.

So what should I call it?  Naming abstract art is really tough… this one has a lot of landscape elements to it, so maybe something with landscape names?  Pond… something?

it's huge!

it's huge!