Bedroom Update

Ok, so I mentioned in my last bedroom post that I am planning to do a gallery wall on the wall with my window, which will surround my bed, little dresser, and desk.  However, there was one problem.  I don’t really have much artwork other than my own.  I wouldn’t mind putting a couple of my pieces on the wall, but I didn’t really want to fill it up with all of my artwork, especially since my artwork doesn’t really fit the look I am going for in the space.  And let’s face it, it’s expensive to buy art.  Although I certainly could try to find artwork I love at local antique stores and thrift stores, my area doesn’t really have much of that.  And of the various lawn sales I went to over 4th of July weekend, I didn’t see a single piece of art.  So it appeared that artwork to fill this space might be a bit of an issue.

This afternoon, I went to my grandparents’ after work.  I try to stop by several times each week.  When I was there, I went up to their bedroom to check out some new books my grandpa had gotten at a book sale at our local library.  There was a painting on the wall that I had never noticed before.  I mentioned that I really loved it, and my grandma said she’d put my name on the back of it so I can someday inherit it.  Then she took me into one of the other bedrooms, where she had several other works of art and photographs.  She wasn’t really ready to part with any of that, but she remembered she had a basket full of her mother’s flower paintings under the bed.  She took them out and said I could have any that I wanted.  There ended up being several that I absolutely love.  They are mostly practice paintings, but they are quite amazing for a woman who was never trained as an artist and didn’t start painting until pretty late on in her life.  I was especially drawn to the ones with yellow in them.  Most of them are in excellent condition, but a few are stained.  There was also one embroidered piece, which I also love.  I’ll have to frame them, but I’m so excited to have these for my gallery wall!

In addition to finding the perfect art for the room, I have also made some progress on the painting side of things.  The ceiling has been painted (a moody blue/green/gray), and the tree that I had previously painted on my wall has been primed over.  I have also spackled the many holes in the walls, sanded, and taped off some of the molding in preparation for painting the walls.  My paint has been purchased, and now I just have to find the time to paint!  Hopefully that will occur soon, because all of my furniture is currently crammed into half of the bedroom, and my bed is surrounded, so it isn’t really the most ideal situation for getting into my bed easily.  Patience is a virtue, right?

Update on My College Art Courses

I realized I never shared the rest of my work from my art courses.  I took Printmaking I in the fall and Drawing I in the winter/spring.

I really enjoyed Printmaking, although it was very challenging physically.  I didn’t love all of my prints, but was relatively pleased by them.  My first print was a small linoleum one- about 4×6″ and was a silhouette of a giraffe and tree.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI was pretty pleased, considering it was the first print I’ve ever made.  The marks around the edges were not intentional, but I kind of like how it turned out- it gave the edge some definition.

My second print was also a linoleum print, but was much bigger (about 8×10″).  It was a quote and I used red ink to print it.  The letters were rather hard to make since the were small and detailed, but I was pleased with the end result.  I did have some difficulty printing it because I couldn’t get the red ink to go smoothly over all of the raised area.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy third print was also a linoleum print and was pretty large.  For this assignment, we had to take an image and change it using Photoshop to use as our template.  This was my favorite of all of my prints!  I did not using a rolling press for this one, as the lines were too small and moved when it went through the press.  Instead, I used a vertical press which I hand cranked down to sandwich the template and paper together between two pieces of wood.  It turned out really good, although it wasn’t embossed like it usually is when you use the rolling press.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt’s of three kayaks.  In the picture I used, the kayaks were resting on the grass, but I made it appear as if they were floating inn water in my print.

We then moved from linoleum prints to etching.  Our first etching assignment was on plexiglass and I loved both the process and the result.  I did it of my dog, Maisa.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI liked how the image could be more detailed and looked more like a drawing.  I also think that it is very realistic.

Our professor was out of plexiglass, so he had us do copper etchings.  Although the process is similar to that of etching on plexiglass, I didn’t like it as much.  It was much harder to create clear lines and when we printed, it was much harder to get excess ink off of the plate.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOur next assignment was to take various materials and make an image which we would then ink and put through the printing press.  I decided to use wire and sand to make an image of the barn that is down the street from us.  It was very time consuming!  The finished product is large (about 20×26″).  I had to hold down each piece of wire for several minutes until the glue was dry, which took forever.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOur final assignment was to take our printing “mistakes” from our previous assignments (we could use the discards of other students in the class as well) to create a collage image.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe could also use other materials, such as paint, to enhance the image.  I used mostly pieces from my own discards and used watercolor paints to add some color.  It’s okay, but I don’t love it.

Although there were parts of my drawing class that I liked, I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as printmaking.  I found it to much more tedious and difficult.

Our first assignment was to draw one object from sight.  I found this incredibly challenging (I probably didn’t pick the easiest item, either).  I did a graphite drawing of a pearl necklace.  My favorite part is the clasp, which was gorgeous.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOur second assignment was to take three objects and create an interesting arrangement with them, and then take a picture from which we would draw the images.  I chose to do a graphite drawing of a sneaker, watch, and ribbon, all of which are related to track and running in my mind.  The sneaker also symbolized all that I did while wearing the sneaker (I wore this particular pair of sneakers pretty much every single day for two years).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI am in love with the finished product, which is good because it took me forever to get all of the little details right!

Our next assignment was a hand drawing.   Our own hand had to be in the image, and it had to be interesting.  I chose to hold a dandelion in my hand and have it blow away.  It was my first charcoal drawing, which was both challenging and exciting.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOur next assignment was our self-portrait.  My expression is very interesting and unsettling.  I still can’t decide if I like it.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOur final assignment was pretty open to anything.  So I did an embroidery project.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI am pretty pleased with the final project.

Overall, I really enjoyed my art classes and plan to take several more next year.