10 Things To “Close Shop” for Artists – My End of Day Checklist

16 Apr

What if you walked in your studio, lit a candle, pushed your iPod’s play button, slipped on your apron, picked up a paintbrush, and got straight to work all within THREE minutes?

Sound good? This is my new routine! And I’m super excited to share my secret with you. This pertains to you even if you aren’t an artist.  Just make the scenario suit your work environment and you’ll reap the same benefits. (Feel free to continue reading in an infomercial voice.)

If you’re a night owl like me, you especially will want to do this. It’s a must and will change your life forever! It’s merely accomplishing more the night before to make things as easy as possible for you to get working the following day. It’s NOT hard and I promise you won’t believe how good you feel when you get to work.

I don’t think I’m alone when I admit that as I work on my art, I make a HUGE mess.  I just can’t be bothered to put something away while I’m working. Hello? Creative process?  It works for me.  But if I think for a moment that I’ll be able to pick up right where I left off the following day, I’m poorly mistaken.  I will not remember that my gloss gel is in that other spot, or that one of my favorite brushes will be okay sitting in water overnight. If I don’t “close shop” properly the night before, my following day, and my paintbrush, have just become second rate.

On the other hand, if I bookend my day with my checklist and close up shop properly, my next day is freakin’ awesome. Here are the rewards you can look forward to enjoying when you end your day properly:

  • Find your groove faster and get working sooner
  • Inspiration comes easier and more naturally
  • More productive… meaning you get more done in less time!
  • Quality of work is better
  • Feel more accomplished

How could you say no?? So here it is, my gift of starting a day UNinhibited… 10 things to close up shop!  Check each of these babies off when you’re done for the day and you’ll give yourself a high five (a clap?) the following morning:

  1. Water jars, paint brushes, sponges, palette knives, rollers, and all other tools are all washed and put away
  2. All paint and medium containers are sealed or have caps snapped/screwed on properly
  3. All misc. supplies such as rulers, tape, levelers, etc. are put away
  4. All art pieces or canvases are in a safe spot
  5. Studio is straightened and tidied, including supply tables
  6. Sweep & mop or vacuum if needed
  7. Following day’s checklist is made (important!)
  8. Set up for following day’s project: water jars filled, tools/paints laid out, etc. (important!)
  9. Chargeable devices are plugged in, lighting is turned off or unplugged, candles blown out
  10. Trash is emptied & recycling taken out

WARNING: Don’t underestimate this checklist!  It seems simple, which it is, but it’s your golden ticket to a spectacular tomorrow!

Of course you should make the checklist your own and make sense for your work and space.  Be very specific!  And be demanding.  You are your own boss, sometimes you have to be bossy.

You’re welcome.

My Curations VIII – Brian Dettmer

12 Apr

With my current painting series based on games, it was easy to catch my attention with an incredible piece of art made from an old book titled, “Complete and Authoritative Book of Games.  But when I looked up the artist to find out more about him, I was baffled by how innovative his works are. Brian Dettmer is known worldwide for his incredible sculptures made mostly from antique books.

Brian Dettmer, Complete and Authoritative Book of Games, 2012, hardcover book, acrylic varnish, 8-3/16″ x 7″ x 1-3/4″

I was especially intrigued by his process, which is much like an archeologist. There is no plan beyond the initial shape and sealing of the book. The books are sanded and excavated with precision instruments one page at a time, never relocating or changing what naturally emerges. Dettmer calls it “reading with a knife” as he reveals what lies behind each cut. He’s very strict about not altering where the images and words were originally located in the books. It takes him up to a few weeks to finish a piece which may fetch a price up to tens of thousands of dollars.

Brian Dettmer, Compiled Upon A New Plan, 2010, Altered Books, 10-1/2″ x 10″ x 10-3/4″ Courtesy of the Artist and Packer Schopf Gallery

Brian Dettmer,Tower 1 (entire Britannica encyclopedia series), 2012, hardcover books, acrylic varnish, pedestal, 89-1/2” x 15” x 15″ – pages are weaved together to form the bond/relationship

Brian Dettmer,Tower 1 (Britannica), 2012, hardcover books, acrylic varnish, pedestal, 89-1/2” x 15” x 15″ – working from the bottom up, Dettmer carved each individual book page by page, with overlapping corners.

It was pretty difficult for me to pick out pictures to feature in this post because Brian Dettmer’s Flickr page has years worth of jaw-dropping pieces. Coming from someone that looked at every picture, I highly recommend taking a moment to check them out.  It’s a shame not to.

While I love a great piece of art, part of me always aches to know what happened behind the scenes. I’ll take a moment to marvel, but soon the wheels in my head begin turning and the very next thing I want to see is the studio it was created in. So here it is! Brian Dettmer’s studio. I was so pleased that he threw these in with the rest of his Flickr photos:

Large old books waiting to be immortalized

Shaping and sealing

Carving away at an encyclopedia set

Old blades. Any dullness will tear the delicate pages instead of cut through them.

Large book becoming a work of art in Brian Dettmer’s hands

After looking at a few hundred pictures of his work, I started to confuse myself about whether or not I approved of the destruction of something as beautiful as an old book. I squirmed thinking about the bibliophiles out there. However, Dettmer won me over with his justification that everything he uses is destined for the dumpster anyway, such as outdated dictionaries, encyclopedias, and school books. His artist statement focuses on the fact that the digital age is obsoleting the need and use of physical information, and that information is being lost every day. I decided I was okay with it after I thought about how he up-cycles a dusty outdated book with something even more beautiful and interesting. So Brian, you can go ahead and keep doing it. Thanks for convincing me.

If your curiosity is piqued and have about 10 minutes… Here’s a video. It has subtitles, but it tells you a lot about Brian Dettmer as an artist, his thought processes, and some techniques behind his work.  Enjoy!

Being My Own Boss & The Conversations I Have With Myself

8 Apr

I’d like to take a moment to give my parents a great big fat THANK YOU for homeschooling me, since I’m really seeing the self-starter qualities come out to play with this whole be-my-own-boss thing. I’m learning a lot about myself. I found out that working at home is awesome, but also takes an insane amount of discipline.  I’m also finding that I have to be my own boss–as in demanding and bossy–because if I’m not, there isn’t anyone else.   I have to hold myself to high standards, kick myself in the pants if I take too long of a break, and begrudgingly point out my brushes if I let paint dry on.

At the risk of sounding like I’m going crazy, here are some of the conversations I have with myself (in my head, just in case someone is listening).  Sometimes I get in fights, sometimes I lose, sometimes I win, but I usually listen to my boss… because I don’t want to lose my job.

 

Me Me: It’s fine, no one will notice that smudge.

Boss Me: Yeah, I’m sure…

*two hours later*

Me Me: I ended up fixing the smudge.

Boss Me: I knew you would.

 

Boss Me:  You better not miss out on that canvas sale going on.

Me Me: But I don’t even know what I need right now.

Boss Me: Then figure it out!

Me Me: K, I will in a bit.

Boss Me: Now.

 

Me Me: I have to keep working, I don’t care if it’s already been 15 hours. I have good work ethic!

Boss Me: Yeah and your posture looks like you’re 85, you smell like the homeless, and your husband won’t touch you until you’ve been disinfected.

 

Boss Me: I’m sure it’s dry.

Me Me: You sure?

Boss Me: Yeah, you can tell.

*proceeds*

Me Me: IT WASN’T DRY!! Ugh!!

 

Me Me: I should probably work on social media stuff.

Boss Me: Have you painted yet today?

Me Me: No…

Boss Me:

Me Me:

Boss Me: … … …

Me Me: Right, got it, say no more.

 

Me Me: What if no one buys my art?!

Boss Me: Shut up.

 

Boss Me: There are studio-less artists downtown who would love to have that easel!

Me Me: But it sucks and keeps tilting…

Boss Me: You suck and keep tilting.

Me Me:

My Curations VII – Live Painters

5 Apr

You’ll need some popcorn for this one!

We’ve all seen painting videos on TV and YouTube, but while I was researching for a new series I’m working on, I stumbled upon something I found pretty exciting.  Though I don’t have her video featured here, I came across Miss Led participating in a painting event and it got me searching for more painting performances.

Live Painters, where painting and live performance meet. All they need is their paint supplies and an audience. I can’t tell you how incredibly inspired I am by these people.

Sit back, relax, and enjoy the show…

What do you think? Would you ever hire a painter as entertainment for a social event? Would you be impressed by an artist performing at a social event?  I’m curious because I think this would be pretty cool to try.  Of course I’d have to adapt my performance side and switch up my style so it takes me a couple hours instead of a couple days, but I think I’d like it!

Enjoy your weekend! And don’t forget to like my new Facebook page here or on my sidebar. ->

Art Reveal, Etsy Shop, Facebook Page, and a New Art Website… Big Week!

2 Apr

Open for Business!

I’m finally showing everyone what the heck I’ve been talking about all this time.  I think people were starting to wonder who this artist is with no art. Well wonder no more!  I’ve opened the shop doors.

What I least expected? How nervous I would be!  I posted a week long countdown on Facebook leading up to the revealing of my art, and on that last day, I woke up realizing what I was about to do… no one had seen my art yet.  I was so excited to get the pictures back from Tiffany of my pieces and to hit this huge milestone that I sort of forgot what was actually happening.  Suddenly I got a knot in my stomach. This is it… I’ve been working so hard on getting everything together and now the moment is finally here.

I spent about half the day yesterday getting my Etsy site going.  I looked up other shops, read all of Etsy’s tips, got my pictures ready, wrote my descriptions, figured out my options, verified my prices, and I’m so relieved the hardest part is over… that first listing.  I still have goals to get the rest of my shop glistening, but it’s definitely open for business! Please, come in!  Take a look around, share what you like, buy something, and check back because I’m nowhere near done:

Lynette Marquis Fine Art Etsy Shop

I’m also posting on my new art website, which is also a work in progress. Soon I’ll have a nice bio, links going back and forth between my two sites, and some other cool features.  But for now, take a peek and imagine how beautiful it’s going to be when I get more content posted! Ooooo… ahhhhh… Don’t forget to follow it so you don’t miss any art postings.  It’ll be the first place I send people when they want to check out my art:

www.LynetteMarquis.com

Can you believe there are other Lynette Marquis’s out there? I know! Thankfully I got my domain name, but I had to add “art” to the end of my Facebook page. Who knew? Anyway, I made my Lynette Marquis artist Facebook page yesterday. This is just another spot for people to find me, follow what I’m doing, and hear about any events I might have coming up. I want to get a bunch of likes so it looks all official and enticing, so please pop on over and like it!  That is, if you do. But of course you do:

Lynette Marquis Facebook Artist Page

And finally, my art.  Yesterday I posted the first painting of the Games series I’m currently working on. It’s called Twister, and it’s based on the Milton Bradley game, which is evident by the dots floating around the tornado as debris. I’m pretty sentimental, so most of my work has a deeper meaning and I love for my observers to fill in the blanks. I go into more detail about the paintings on my art website, so please click the images to read more detailed descriptions about the series they are from and about each painting. Let me know what you think!

TwisterHD

Lynette Marquis – Twister – 48″x24″ – Acrylic on Canvas

And today I revealed MASH, which is based on the Mansion-Apartment-Shack-House game.  You and a friend use a pen and paper to determine your future.  The symbols on the roofs, the moon, the smoke rising from the chimneys, the homes, they all have meaning.  Click the picture to go to my website to read all about it.

MASH1

Lynette Marquis – MASH – 36″x36″ – Acrylic on Canvas

MASH is one of my favorites. Even though I’ll be thrilled to make the sale, I’ll be a little sad when this one goes. I’ll most likely gift myself of the the 20 reproductions so I always have it.

What will tomorrow’s painting be??  You know where to find me!  And in case you forgot, here are some more addresses to my homes in the wonderful land of social media:

Facebook Page - lynettemarquisart

Twitter - @SeattleCafeGirl #seattlecg

Instagram - seattlecafegirl

 

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