Studio update

I can’t believe I announced the extension of my studio more than a year ago and only now realise that I never followed through on that.

So in order to begin blogging again, I guess I might as well start where we left off. I’ve spent some time delaying this by internally debating whether to begin at the end instead, so a compromise was reached: I’ll either share willy-nilly regardless of when a thing actually happened OR this might be a one off heehaw petering out into nothing.

First I just wanted a vertical wall to hang stuff instead of stacking layers of canvasses over my shelves. This evolved into new window for extra light.

Husband thought skylights would be better.

Then while I was at it, I might as well add a second wall and a door to keep out stray cats and their disruptive, stinky behaviour. Oh, and a ceiling to prevent dust on my wall of paintings.

All that remained then was insulation on the two remaining walls and perhaps electricity. Because encaustics space. And papermache table. I simply spent more time clearing my only table in the other room than actually making stuff on it, and then it would be off limits for days with items drying.

So I basically just kept going way beyond the plan and I now occupy the entire hayloft apart from a middle aisle due to stairs in the middle. We’ve just concluded getting a new roof on two buildings this summer (asbestos fiber panels from the 60’s), so perhaps I’ll even insulate a bit more of the inbetween space. Although cold air still comes up from the stable below, I speculate it might even out the quick temperature changes through the roof tiles and perhaps some of the humidity.

All I need now is to get rid of my chronic headache.

Hayloft studio

Three years since my studio was finished and it’s been a wonderful space, even more so since I had water installed. It’s also very cluttered however, the more I do, the more canvasses are stacked everywhere, done or half done, various supplies getting crammed into to few shelves. What I really need is a dry and dust free storage space and/or weaving room separate from the painting! (my dream is 100m2 heated studio with straight walls including my office/library, but that is a completely different budget, especially the heating cost)

So I’ve been contemplating using the rest of the hayloft as a cold studio/summer messy space, eventually with inner walls to minimize moisture and cat damage. Only it’s taken me this long (20 months since I lost the ponies) to get rid of the 200 strawbales  dusting everything up as well as using the space obviously. I couldn’t even be bothered tidying up there, it was just so hopeless. Basically when I do have the energy to go make something, it needs to be easy access, not 2 days of tidying for half a day of painting.

But I finally got that part done AND I was gifted a window for my birthday, so next week the mason will fix the hole to proper size and I’ll at least have a bit of light without the wind, airflow when it’s too hot and a place to spray paint stuff so that I don’t have to leave the studio until the fumes are gone (as well as accidentally spraying my laptop and other sundries). I hope to build one tall wall to hang stuff to dry (or else cats) at least until it gets too humid in autumn.

Lake pigments continued

SURVEY at the bottom of this post, please cast your vote! If you are using Firefox on a desktoip computer, you may not see the polls if you have tracking protection enabled under security settings. Click the shield icon in front of the URL and choose disable protection for this site. (if you wish obviously)


Now that I have a small first collection of pigments to play with before new plants can be tested next summer (I do have some old dried things I can try too), there are multiple ways to use them. They need some kind of binder, although I suppose you could just soak them in water. Alcohol? But even watercolours have binders added to add intensity to the colour as well as make it stick to your paper.

You can use oil, egg, honey*, gum, shellac, wax, milk, spit! or buy readymade binders for a variety of mediums. Even an acrylic binder which I may just have to test, although I’m leaning towards wax and shellac since I plan on working with that anyway.

Continue reading “Lake pigments continued”

Plant pigment

Five years ago I did a brief test of concentrated plant dye baths to see what they were like as watercolours. I didn’t add anything to it as I recall and I’m not sure where my sample is now!

Continue reading “Plant pigment”

Paraphernalia

Didn’t get ready today to show you a full version of my pigment experiment as planned, as I’ve had other things to attend to. So I thought I’d show you my latest finding, a book press which I thought could help me get water out of new paper sheets, rather than stacking cinderblocks on the floor. One way of tackling multiple projects could be doing so as efficiently as possible!

Continue reading “Paraphernalia”