Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Materials of Life

 Sonja checking out my new dresser

Last week I wrote about wanting surfaces to paint and buying some artist boards in order to have some.  Since then, many surfaces have come into my life.  Don't tell me the Law of Attraction doesn't work!  Of course, it helps that I live practically next-door to a thrift store and make a practice of keeping an eye on the loading dock.  

I am feathering my nest.  I bought a dresser from another antique dealer, Don Hallock, who lives a fascinating life.  He's a civil aviation collector who will be starting a museum here in TorC, and his wife, Priscilla Spitler, is a nationally known bookbinder.  You should see their respective workshops!  Wow!  I wish I'd had my camera with me when I visited their home. I could write numerous blog entries just about them and their work.

But I'll stick to my own.  While Don and Priscilla are painstakingly meticulous in how they execute their work, I'm more of a play-in-the-mud splasher.  I got the dresser home from Don's, thought about making it pristine white or neatly adding a few Southwest motifs, and then got out my acrylics and just started painting haphazard stripes in some of my favorite colors.  I like how it turned out.  It's a really happy dresser to wake up to in the morning.  I particularly like how the colors flow into one another.  

I needed the dresser because I had my winter clothes packed away in bags, and it's about time to start wearing long-sleeved garments again, at least some of the time.  We've had quite a bit of rain lately and occasional temps as low as the 60s.  

 Bulletin board above my drawing desk

In addition to finding and receiving furniture for my own home, I've also been acquiring some great stuff to make into art pieces.  And thank goodness for that!  When I went to the Art Hop on Saturday night, I stopped in at Grapes, a gallery owned by my landlord.  I mentioned to him that I was looking forward to showing some work in his gallery for the November Trash Bash (a recycled art show that I mentioned in my last blog entry), and he said they could also use my work for their October local artists show.  Each artist will have about 10 or 12 feet of wall space, and so far they only had about four people signed up and needed another half dozen or more.  So I said, "Sure, that would be great."  

Then I went home and couldn't sleep that night, wondering how the heck I was going to fill up all that space!  But it's okay.  Stuff is coming to me.  I'm working on an old rococo shelf that needs rehabbing, using papier-mache to make it into a Freakishly Ornate Rococo Shelf, or a Ro-Cuckoo Shelf, if you will.

It followed me home, Mom, I swear.
Then I ran across a banjo case that is so beat up, it's no longer functional for its original purpose.  I'm not sure what I will make of it yet, but the idea of a Steve Martin tribute is attractive to me.
  The inspector at work
Finding the banjo case reminded me that I have a couple of inexpensive ukeleles amongst my art supplies, and they make great canvases for mosaic, collage and painting, as well.  And I ran across some old shelving at the thrift store that is quickly becoming a multimedia diptych that I'll photograph and share in my next blog post.  
Being in such an acquisitional frame of mind, today I am buying a vehicle that is NOT an RV.  Well, it actually could be an RV if I chose to use it as one, but it's a 1998 Ford Windstar mini-van that I'm going to use as a small cargo van.
I'll be able to deliver furniture for customers at January's (for an extra fee--the store doesn't offer delivery) and I'll also be able to drive down to Las Cruces or up to Albuquerque to buy furniture that I'd like to resell here in TorC.  I've used my small Class C Toyota Dolphin to do a lot of eBay fodder shopping across the country, but a major limitation to the kind of stuff I'm into lately is that the Guppy has only a person-sized door.  My van will be great for larger items.
And it will be another canvas.  It's got some cosmetic damage--no accidents, just peeling away of some of the paint layers as a result of the beating it's gotten from the sun here in the Southwest.  I've always wanted to have an art car!   




  1. This new phase of your artistic life is going to be fun to watch. Love that dresser!

  2. Wow, this blog is like tinder, stoking my own imagination. Love it!

  3. I sense some graffiti coming to the van how cool that would be! I love the dresser...its very deco and simply an awesome color pallette too! Kitty is saying "its a great cat bed!"

    1. Graffiti is a great idea. I know some young people. Maybe I will invite them to a van painting party.

  4. I need you to school me on that LoA stuff. I'm not feeling the flow.