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May 12, 2020



That is so *cool*! It's fascinating seeing the paintings "in real life" - I mean, obviously not in real life, but "painting size vs. office chair size" gives a pretty solid grasp on the scale here?

And yes, that sliding-lid, rotating-out wooden box is fabulous! Really, your whole desk layout is very nice! (is Gary's workbench also being colonized by a stack of art books in addition to being the temporary iPad perch? I can't tell.)

And ah, vacation space near the water... perhaps you are secretly a toadstool, producing artistic flourishes in the dampness and darkness?

(more likely: artists who are doing portraits of people or who do not *have* reliable, even sources of good artificial light *need* a studio with lots of natural light; now that we are a century away from dealing with candles and oil lamps, and have many decent options for artificial light for still-lifes and such, natural light is still really nice but is less of an absolute necessity and may in fact be a bit inconvenient for still life, since it's perpetually shifting, whereas your artificial light kindly stays put!)(but oh, natural light is *so* nice when it cooperates!)(probably basically nobody *prefers* an occasionally-bubbling basement; but you do what you can with what you have, and what you have is an occasionally bubbling basement, and as long as that doesn't rot anything or give you mold problems, then sure, why not?)

(but it is so nice having spaces to do things in, and to be in, and it is nice that we do not have to have Magazine-Worthy spaces as a prerequisite to doing art things.)


KC - it is a good spot. I like your argument about candles. And the stack in the workbench is all the old paintings (the bottom of the stack is the red tulip/lamp painting from last month).


Ah! That makes sense - I couldn't figure out why all the "books" were so similar in general dimensions, but different in "spine" colors.

(I do think that there's probably kind of a lot in our current Maxims Of Fine Art that got codified before technological advances were made and that may be somewhat less applicable now, but still sold as part of the Eternally True Art Assertions. That said, generous diffused sunlight really *is* a gorgeous thing for both paintings and photographs; it's just less absolutely necessary now than it was then.)


KC - only thing I don’t like about the basement is that it is very cold in the winter. The dark and damp don’t bother me.


Do you have a space heater down there that just doesn't quite cut it, or are you going cold turkey on heating systems in the winter? :-)


KC - very nice, safe space heater I keep forgetting to turn off, so I try not to use it.


Can you attach it to a timer, maybe? (like, ideally a countdown timer, where you set it for an amount of time you are comfortable with the heater being on if you stop painting, but I'm not 100% sure those exist for outlets [they exist for hoses!]. If you were comfortable with it and if you usually painted from X to Y and your main concern is not having the heater on for too many hours [rather than not having the heater on unattended, which would frankly be the more normal concern], then you could use an anti-burglar "the lights are on, someone's home, really!" sort of timer might work) (*Or* you could set phone alarms whenever you turn on the heater so that it buzzes at you in an hour. Or put the heater physically *between* you and the way out of your Vacation Home Painting Studio Dreamland.)

(can you tell I don't like being cold? I don't like being cold.)


KC - I could attach a timer, Or I could do what I did with the soldering iron: stick a big sign to the door that says TURN OFF SOLDERING IRON. Or, as it is spring, I could just not think about it until winter.


That is brilliant, re: soldering iron sign. What craft/hobby/thing was the soldering iron for?

But yes, also I was forgetting it is spring now and probably the basement is not cold. I am... not very firmly attached to temporal concepts at the moment, can you tell?


KC - the soldering iron was for stained glass (technically art glass, I don’t have a kiln). The last Two times I tried to use the soldering iron I melted what I was working on entirely. I hope when I go back to these old art efforts that I don’t start at ground zero.


Fascinating - I thought stained glass was pieces of colored glass that you joined together with (semi-molten) metal? But that is one of those "I have always been interested in this, and if an opportunity arises, I will totally take a class or somethign" things, rather than a "I have gotten enough of an itch to dive ALL THE WAY IN to the research and stuff" thing. (I *have* done that on doing blown-glass things with sugar candy. I haven't ever done it, though, because the tubes and stuff are a bit challenging to source, and also it is very much a "and... now what do we do with it?" thing. Can't make a coffee table out of blown sugar bubbles. I mean, I guess you could, it would just get sticky fast...

I have found that my hands remember a lot of things, to a kind of eerie degree, but there's usually a speed/precision gap between "now" and "years ago when I last..." - which closes up more quickly or more slowly depending on circumstances. And then also there are usually a few "oh, shoot, that's right, I forgot about that problem" sorts of things.

I hope any craft you go back to treats you kindly! :-)


KC - in my stained glass glass the teacher said technically, we were doing art glass. Stained glass is when different colors of ground glass are mixed and then fired on to existing glass to make faces and drapery folds, etc., as you would see in a church.


Oh. Wow. I assumed those were painted, but... no, that is rather more involved. I figured all of it was "stained" a color [except, I guess, the clear stuff] and thus the name, but... no.

(sometimes church glass is only done with pieces, though, not with... altered pieces? I don't know how to phrase it now that I know the details aren't painted on!)


KC - it sounds like the technique for coloring the glass depends on the century. You can stain or fire in a kiln, either way.

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