Open Studio This Weekend–Welcome To My Studio–A Virtual Tour

Most of you who read this blog do not live nearby and can’t stop in and visit, so I’m bringing you a narrative, day in the life of, studio tour to you.

It is a beautiful day here in the Pacific NW.  I started my day doing my Doodling Devotional (which I post every morning at DoodlingDevotional@wordpress.com–shameless plug, I hate it when people do that!).  Then off to Lewisville Park with my dog, Bekkah, who meet a new golden retriever friend.  They romped around while I visited with the dog’s “parents.”  I love walking at Lewisville Park.  It’s a little like over the hill and through the dale, to grandmother’s house we go.  We start out walking a mile through the woods, which in the spring looks different every day.  It was as if the woods exploded into every shape, shade and texture of green, with a pop of pink salmon berry flowers here and there as well as a clump of Trilliums dotting the ground.  Then we’re down the hill and walking another 1 1/2 miles along the currently, rushing Lewis River.  It’s a feast for the senses–especially if you’re a dog.

Let’s get back home….studio tour days are unpredictable so I eat a couple fried eggs and a piece of toast, this had better hold me for a while.  Indeed it was a good idea because my next meal didn’t come until 3:45.  (We will have to be more prepared with snacks the next couple of days.)  The day started slow.  I had time to answer a few emails and catch up on things that I needed to do.  Around 11:30 everything changed.   My first group was ladies from the coffee shop (thanks for bringing them Linda–you know who you are), and it never ended till 5.  I had a blast seeing friends who drove an hour to get here and coworkers from a past life, as well as new friends from my gym.  It never ceases to amaze me that people would take time out of their day to come see what I do and to take such an interest in it.  I am most blessed!!!  Thank you everyone–wait, I’m getting ahead of myself.  You haven’t seen the tour yet.  The entry to my studio as you come into my driveway, and of course, the door going in.  (Don’t you love the welcoming, hand-written sign, oh, if you’re tall, duck your head coming in so you don’t hit the canopy.)

Welcome to Kara's studio.  I put a canopy here hoping people will realize they need to come here instead of my front door.
Welcome to Kara’s studio. I put a canopy here hoping people will realize they need to come here instead of my front door.
Please come in.
Please come in.

Several waves of friends and acquaintances flowed through today.  I have been pleased to see the interest people have taken in my plein air pieces.  It’s definitely time to paint more as several have found new homes. As you come into my garage/gallery/studio, this is the first thing you see.  Two of these pieces have found new homes.

First impressions--Bekkah, my dog taking a nap when she was a puppy and a few framed plein air pieces.
First impressions–Bekkah, my dog taking a nap when she was a puppy and a few framed plein air pieces.

I have painted several new bird paintings this year already and it has been fun to get a vote on the two that I should enter into an international show I’m hoping to be chosen to participate in.  This is my new last year “gallery” space.

So far the vote has been the "Territorial Dispute," the large painting and the American Bittern piece which is still under construction/wet.
So far the vote for the paintings to enter has been “Territorial Dispute,” the large painting and the American Bittern piece which is still under construction/wet.
"Evening Preen" is also a piece in the running for me to enter.  I'm interested in what everyone out there in computer land thinks.
“Evening Preen” is also a piece in the running for me to enter. I’m interested in what everyone out there in computer land thinks.

So far I’ve been standing in one place to take the last two pictures.  If you spin around to the right you will see that I’m set up to get some painting done–possibly tomorrow.  We’ll see if anyone comes.

Maybe I'll paint!
Maybe I’ll paint!

Now, let’s go into the inner sanctum–where that easel is usually set up–my studio.  It’s usually warm and cozy, music is playing (Hey, that’s what I forgot to do, turn on the music!) and the instant I come in I feel inspired.  To the right as you come in the door are two pieces I painted in a couple of workshops with William Cochran.  Teacher and artist extraordinaire!  This is where I learned about values and color and working with a VERY small pallet–the result, vibrant, harmonious paintings.  Thank you William.

Top painting done in black, white and sienna I believe. Lower painting was painting with primary colors plus black and white.
Top painting done in black, white and sienna I believe. Lower painting was painting with primary colors plus black and white.

Take two steps further and on the right is my desk where I am currently sitting and typing.  (I’m invisible and chairless–spell check says this isn’t a word–in this view.)

Above my desk is my wall of inspiration.  Lots of stories there.
Above my desk is my wall of inspiration. Lots of stories there.  Bekkah’s bed and my pretty tin garbage can that I LOVE!!  It was my mother-in-laws.  A real antique.  Oh, the desk and file cabinet were hers as well, just remembered.

Now, I’m sure you’re tired.  Have a seat in the chairs that used to be in the reception area where my husband works.  I did a little upgrading.  Behind them are my “barn door” display walls.  You don’t want to know what is behind them–actually, it’s blank canvases and supplies.  These are a few plein air pieces.  It’s a great way for me to have a place to set small wet paintings and enjoy them even after they dry.  Sorry about the glare.

Take a load off and visit.
Take a load off and visit.

While you’re sitting you can look at the other wall.  Here you will find a collection of reproductions of my first three in the Bird-Watcher series–what inspired the concept behind this blog.

A few things to look at while you relax.
A few things to look at while you relax.  If you’ll notice, under the drafting table is the prop I used for the hummingbird painting.  It was sitting up on the shelf where the poppies reside and I stood on a step stool to paint that painting so I could maintain the perspective. I had a light rigged behind the window to shine through onto the still life.

A little more to your left, more things to look at.  Two older pieces.

A couple of older paintings. The nest, "Waiting to Crack," is in acrylic, and the Beware painting is mostly done with my faux finish plasters, spray paint and chalk. The bird area I masked off so it would be smooth. This piece is called, "What City Birds Hate, Scary Graffiti."
A couple of older paintings. The nest, “Waiting to Crack,” is in acrylic, and the Beware painting is mostly done with my faux finish plasters, spray paint and chalk. The bird area I masked off so it would be smooth. This piece is called, “What City Birds Hate, Scary Graffiti.”

The tour is now coming to an end.  I am getting hungry again and should go eat and crash.  Thank you for taking the time to walk through my day with me.  I hope you have a wonderful weekend.  And, if you happen to be in the neighborhood, stop by.  I’m here tomorrow and Sunday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s