Friday, April 26, 2013

Between Two Worlds

©2013 Jessica Torrant
Acrylic and oil pastel on canvas, 16 x 20 inches

CLICK HERE for purchasing information - $350

Thursday, April 25, 2013

All of It


©2013 Jessica Torrant
Acrylic on canvas, 18 x 24 inches

Studio Clean-Up Round 2

If you read my last post you know I have been on quite the cleaning kick lately.  After getting the porch area cleaned out, I tackled the indoor area which was much more disheveled and disorganized.  I had a couch in this space that served no purpose (I never sat on it) so I took that out of there which opened up a LOT of space as well as the dresser that I moved out to the porch.

This is my new art storage area.  I used the shelving that originally went with the work table outside that perfectly lined up with the spacing between boards.  Foam core boards give some stability to the larger paintings on top and a piece of board was used on the bottom to connect the bottom shelves which keeps my 16x20's off the ground in the middle.  It's still not a perfectly ideal storage solution, but it's better than what I had been using.

I went through the dresser on the porch and organized each drawer.  Above (from left) you'll see one for brushes, one for drawing materials, and one for water media.

Here you'll see my new shipping/framing table with various tools, hardware and shipping supplies tucked below.  To the left is my stack of paintings that still need work and/or can be painted over.  They are right by the sliding glass door that leads out to the porch so they are ready to go with easy access.

Here is the view looking out to the porch.  On the left are paintings that need some TLC due to slight damage or other issues.  On the right are my canvases waiting to go and up above the door is a collection of trinkets I've collected and special paintings that remind me of my favorite places, people or states of mind.  An "inspiration shelf" if you will.

And finally, I just had to share this picture of my beautiful one eyed boy Leo who posed for me in front of the studio.  What you may not be able to get a sense of is the fact that his entire body is tense with anticipation of me throwing a frisbee in one hand while I snapped the shot with the other.  He looks so calm and docile here but in reality he was seconds away from sprinting full steam ahead after his wonderous flying friend.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Spring Cleaning

When the forsythia blooms, that's when I declare Spring's official arrival.  Time to put your work clothes on, rake the lingering leaves, clean out gardens, and dig in the dirt!

I planted this humble little garden outside the porch area of my studio (the potted bulbs you see are now planted too).  Some colorful flowers and little trinkets make me smile and draw me out to the space.  Some extra personal touches include my grandmother's knitting needle holding up the sun sculpture, the frog that reminds me of my uncle (and a little painted stone that represents him watching over me).  I know my loved ones are always with me, but little things like this are just a visual reminder and tribute to them.

Lately I have been on a big "if you don't do it the right way, don't do it at all" kick when it comes to all things cleaning.  I will admit to years of only giving cleaning a cursory effort, which frankly is not nearly as rewarding.  So instead of just sweeping around furniture and wiping down tables, I took EVERYTHING out of the screened in area of my studio (where I paint), and swept from ceiling to floor.  So much dust and pollen and cobwebs gather during my off months, it's great to start my "painting season" with a completely fresh space.

When it came to bringing everything back in, I realized how rickety the shelving units that held up my table had become.  Click here for what this originally looked like.  Looking at alternatives I had around, my grandfather's old dresser was the perfect height, super sturdy, AND it would make all of my materials easy to retrieve and at the same time out of the way.  How had I not thought of this sooner?  I had been keeping it in the indoor portion of the studio holding various supplies and last year I had the drawer with paints out of the chest and sitting on top of the table.  Now it's easy access to ALL of my supplies!  I'm going to have a blast geeking out on re-arranging and organizing those drawers.

The only issue with this was the table top slipped around, so my husband (who I had enlisted help from at this point) glued on some non-stick pads to the top of the dresser.  It worked like a charm.

This was also great because I was looking for something to represent my grandfather (and others I still have yet to find the perfect item for, but will) to put in the garden, something to honor him.  This was an even better active tribute of gratitude for him, especially since that man supported my art career with incredible loyalty and love, never missing a show and always the first to arrive.

In the process of moving the dresser out, I had to move some things out of the way and rediscovered an old mirror I've had hanging around for ages.  It was a tag sale find about ten years ago - a huge antique beveled mirror that weighs a ton.  I thought I might be able to fix it up, but never bothered (there's a lot of etched away areas on the back which makes it look dirty even when it's clean).  Finally I found it's intended purpose - a palette!  The most epic palette of all time, if I might be so bold.  30" x 36" - now that's a lot of room for paint mixing.  I'm giddy just thinking about it.

So other than a couple folding chairs and a tv tray, I'm keeping that space pretty sparse for now.  Just the basics.  But before you start thinking my work is done, take a look at this....

It's a good thing you can't get a clear view of the complete mess that lies beyond these sliding glass doors.  Lots more work to be done! 

Soon this will all be filled in with wild violets and the strawberry plants will start launching out in all directions on the south side of the porch and the sun will keep setting later and later in the day.... ah... welcome back my favorite time of year.  I missed you.

Friday, April 05, 2013

New Work

 ©2013 Jessica Torrant
Acrylic on canvas, 22 x 28 inches

©2013 Jessica Torrant
Acrylic on canvas, 12 x 16 inches