Wednesday, September 22, 2021

SHOT FROM A TALL LADDER - THE GARAGE ART STUDIO

Welcome to another online studio tour. I hope to inspire you to make-do with what you already have.

This is my garage studio

One of the bays in our garage has been repurposed; it’s now my painting studio in all but the most inclement weather. A workbench and some shelving were already in place, and I added a couple of tables, two trolleys, my easel, a tool chest for paint storage, and a child’s toy cabinet. A friend built a freestanding painting wall from three hollow core doors so I can use one side for paintings in process and the other for display. Since I took these photos I claimed the opposite wall for large canvases, and during Washington County Open Studios I’ll spread out across the entire garage in order to display more artwork.

BEFORE

It was pretty but dark, so I increased the lighting and covered everything with white paint.

AFTER

THE PAINTING WALL AND 4FT. TABLE


6FT PAINTING TABLE


TOOLS OF THE TRADE

The drawers of the workbench hold miscellaneous items such as sponges, paint rollers, assorted paint sticks, inks, paper, and even a few woodworking tools.


PAINT TROLLEY


TOOLS OF THE TRADE

I use tools and supplies intended for other uses. The yellow tray is a styrofoam meat tray. The red plastic box came from a paint store, intended for paint and roller. The black covered take-out container has been repurposed into a small stay-wet palette. I used the big lazy-susan container at the rear on my desk for years... bought for office supplies and now for brushes. And of course, there are the yogurt cups and brushes for water... must have lots of water handy.

I'm forever grateful to the former owners of this house for building out this corner of the garage so I didn't need to do so. Plastic on the workbench, paintings, foam-core, old magazines, canvases, and my heater, all up and out of the way on those shelves.


I hope this peek at my garage studio inspires you to make do with what you have, and that those who live close enough will come to see the studio in person on the weekend of October 16-17 during Washington County Open Studios.

I'll have free maps available to direct you to the many other artist's open studios within the county. 

I'm asking all visitors to wear masks. This is my home and I must protect my family.

There are two studios

Yes, you read that right. You'll enter the garage studio, and after looking around there, you can go down the path to a back door into the collage studio where I'll limit visitors to 4 at a time. Read about this studio in my last post.


If you find a work of art that is just right for your home you can pay with a card, cash, or through an app. We make it easy to claim your treasure.

I'll have all sizes and price points available, from $4 cards to larger paintings... there's something for everyone.

Come any time between 11 and 5 on October 15 or 16. I'll be waiting.

Jo

Tuesday, September 07, 2021

Don't put it down; put it away

 Don’t put it down; put it away

… that’s Mom-speak which still rings in my ears.

 I’m starting the process of getting my art studio show-ready for the Washington County Open Art Studio Tour which will be the weekend of October 16 & 17. The current disorder reminds me of my mother’s admonishment which still applies:

 A place for everything and everything in its place

.... so said my mother, over and over while trying to teach me good habits. I'm still working on it.

My goal is to have this place show-worthy when you walk in the door, but when I go to put an item away, I find myself wanting to play with it instead… to paint, or draw, or glue, or sit down to write a newsletter. The writing comes lots easier than using the Mailchimp software. And now I’m paying the price: two untidy studio spaces.

Two studios in one small house! 

Yep, I’m gradually taking over the house. And how grateful I am to have room to play right here at home. I began the takeover when we moved in 5 years ago, downsizing everything. I disposed for two-thirds of my art supplies, but that still left lots, and I can’t resist buying more and scattering it all about, too.

We decided to sleep in the smaller of the bedrooms and let me remodel the master for art-making. That worked for about a year, and when we gave up the extra car my greedy eyes fell on the empty bay of our two-car garage… the wider side and the workbench. So, I went to work converting it into a painting studio while preserving the original studio for collage, office, reading, and sewing.

 

This is the library/napping corner as seen from a birds eye view, with stacks of books and small personal items to put away before visitors stop by.

Visualize me on a tall ladder with my handy smartphone camera, taking overhead shots so you can see the mess! That was such fun that I made detail shots about what’s used where and why, hoping that my setup strikes a chord with you. Watch for future newsletters and come see it all in person.

The middle of the room is taken up by two tall 2 x 4 ft. tables that give me standing room to work with paint and paper. It stays messy but that's a sign of the artist working daily at her job.

 The space under the tables houses three trolleys with specific materials for working. This one holds paint in small containers. Most of my paint is in the garage studio.

Painted plywood is used for the top of the flat files and I placed a tall Ikea table over that, leaving a 
5" high space between for unresolved paintings.

And finally, the corner tables where I do computer work, sit-down collage work, journaling, printing, and working with the sewing machine. It's always a work in progress and should be plenty of room but I'm forever shoving something aside to make room for the next project.

Save the date! Mark your calendar now!

October 16-17 from 11:00 until 5:00.

14150 NW Bordeaux Lane, Portland, OR 97229

Masks required.

Email me your address if you want a postcard reminder

joreimer255 @ gmail.com (no spaces)


Saturday, February 20, 2021

WETLANDS sketches

 Last week I showed you how I taped off a large sheet of paper, preparing to paint some sketches of the nearby wetlands. I made the six sketches using acrylic paint, collage papers (paper bag, washi paper with embossed leafy vines, heavily textured washi, and drawn lines. 

Like sometimes happens, some of the results were very helpful in moving forward and some told me what not to do. 

I scratched back into wet paint to make grass-like marks and used parallel lines to indicate the boardwalk. That led me to thinking about symbolism and how to use symbolism within abstract paintings to reference my thoughts and emotions and observations.


For instance, this wetland is underneath some powerlines which pattern the sky and are reflected in the waters. Therefore, when I use blues I'll crisscross the blue with thin black lines.

Scratchy lines in wet paint indicate the tangle and chaos of the vegetation.

Tall curvy and dark lines refer to the trees along the edges of the wet.

This week I'll work with those ideas to paint on 4 12" panels, a 16x20" canvas, and a half-sheet of mixed media paper. It's simply experimentation and having fun with no preconceived outcome.

I have no idea what the results of all this might be. and that's okay.





I hope some of you sign up and take the Art2Life Creative Visionary Program, especially those who have taken my in-person classes. I'm open to your questions either by phone or email. Click on the image below to take the free workshop (open until February 24) and learn about the Creative Visionary Program which begins on February 25, 2021.  The free workshop consists of 4 video lessons, membership in a private Facebook page, and daily Facebook Live lessons with Nick Wilton. Do take advantage of it. 



Friday, February 05, 2021

Still Scattered

 I goofed on the links on the last post.  Click the image to sign up for the free workshop.

Art2Life Free Workshop signup





Making Something of my Scatterbrain

 The family knows this about me. Friends... not so much.

I'm not naturally organized.

... though I appear organized and efficient it's only the result of hard work. It probably comes from being creative, a maker, one seeks and solves problems. But the result is a frequently messy workspace, whether it's my kitchen counter, my desk, or any flat studio space. It feels like I'm constantly picking up after myself.  Years ago my mother's constant refrain was "don't put it down, put it away".  

I work at being organized.

My own answer to being naturally disordered is to have systems and stations within the spaces of my home and studio and remember to put each thing away in its designated place when I'm finished using it. Somedays I'm more successful than others.

In the kitchen, there's a cabinet for ingredients above the counter where I bake, and within that cabinet is a carousel for baking spices and flavorings, another for cooking spices, and so on. There's a cupboard for glasses next to the sink, a drawer of spatulas and big spoons next to the stove.... you get it.

And in the studio, I have stations for sewing, desk/computer work, painting on the wall easel, painting, and journaling at a table, with rolling drawer units underneath for the small tool storage.

I got tired of cleaning off the white desktop where I paint and draw so I decided to kill two birds with one stone and taped off an 18" x 24" sheet of mixed media paper and taped it to the desk. It will catch all the runoff from painting and testing and in the process, a surface of marks and colors will accumulate on the paper which I can use in a future set of small works.


I'm posting another picture of the big table in my studio on my Instagram grid, @jo_reimer where I'm much more active than here. I'd love it if you follow my Instagram feed, ask questions, make requests, and leave comments. After all, you've been my peeps for a long time. Let's stay connected.

It's time once again for the Art2Life Free Workshops. Yes, It's FREE! You can sign up by clicking HERE. The free workshops are only accessible through the link. Go ahead and sign up and you'll start getting really fun text messages from Nick Wilton with creative challenges and tips for painting. Of course, you'll need to leave your contact info. but I guarantee you that it's safe and you won't be bombarded with unwanted emails afterward. BTW, if you've already signed up through another link, I'd appreciate it if you do it again through my affiliate link. 

I'm a huge fan of the Art2Life courses, having taken the Creative Visionary Program (CVP) two years running. It's changed my art and added joy to my studio practice. I can't sing enough praises! Just do the free workshops which start February 15 and see if it's a fit for you, too. You'll get an emailed lesson three mornings and can do the exercises whenever it's convenient.




Tuesday, December 29, 2020

50 in 50 CHALLENGE

 What do I mean by 50 in 50?

I've been making notes about ideas that I might chase after in 2021. Not resolutions. I don't do guilt anymore and resolutions do nothing for me but bring on the guilt because I rarely carry through.

No, I'm still working on FOCUS. Staying off the rabbit trails that lead me away from my PATH. Unlike the magpie who chases after all the bright shiny things, I would like to use what I own, what I know, ideas I have, and build on that. I intend to continue learning and experimenting. 

So, 50 in 50 comes out of the idea of reining myself in and using my stuff. I'm challenging myself this way:

During 50 weeks in 2021 I'll work with 50 art tools.

one each week

Every week in 2021 I will choose one art supply, tool, process, technique and see what I can make of it during the week. 

I've left 2 weeks for holidays but I'll take more time off whenever I need or want it.

I'll be flexible. This is meant to be a fun way of teaching myself ways to use these things in my current ... in my paintings, in collages, in my journals. Only rarely will I use these things as a stand-alone exercise. The question will be "how can I use this____ on the painting on my easel, or on a journal page).

I've made my list by typing each item into an Avery return address label template (I used Avery 18167 from their website). I then attached each label to an index card. The cards will live on my desk, banded in blue, and I'll choose one when I have my weekly planning hour on Sunday afternoon. 


If you'd like a copy of my list for ideas for making up your own list just ask (in the comment section or by email to joreimer (at) comcast.net) and I'll email it to you. Remember, this is a list of supplies I own; your list will be different.

Since I post most of the art I make on Instagram or Facebook you'll likely see what I make of 50 in 50 there.

Wishing you a bright, healthy, happy 2021 (that's a lot harder to type than 2020)


Thursday, November 19, 2020

HOW TO PRINT PHOTOS ON TISSUE PAPER


SUPPLIES:
  • 1 sheet of cartridge (copy) paper 
  • Tissue paper. Any will do but the best is the kind you buy at an art supply store. 
  • Photos on your computer 
  • Laser printer 
 PROCESS: 
  • Make a Carrier Sheet by folding down ½” of the top edge of the copy paper. (this can be used multiple times.) 
  • Cut tissue paper to the same size as copy paper: 8.5 x 11” 
  • Slip the leading edge of a sheet of tissue under the fold of the copy paper.
  • Put it into your computer so the tissue I on the same side as the print heads of your printer. 
  • Pull up a photo on your computer, either from your own photos or a copyright-free image and print it with black ink. (I suppose this works with colored laser inks but I haven’t tried it.) Instead of using the folded edge of the carrier sheet you can tape or glue the tissue paper to a sheet of copy paper, using low-tack double-stick tape or a glue stick. 
 TROUBLESHOOTING:
  • If the tissue wrinkles or jams as it goes through the printer, work it out and try again, perhaps using a glue stick to glue the edges of the tissue in place.  
  • The resulting printed tissue can be used in many ways in your painting. Make lots of copies of printed tissue and experiment. 
  • Always apply glue to the receiving surface, not to the tissue. I use acrylic medium of some sort, brushed or scraped onto the substrate. I avoid wrinkles by lightly misting the tissue paper before laying it in place. This relaxes the fibers in the tissue before it hits the glue. Use a rubber scraper to gently work out any air bubbles. Brush more medium onto the surface to seal it down. The tissue will mostly disappear into the paint leaving a sharp image.

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Every House has a Story, a Collage Tutorial

 

House on a Hill
16" x 12"
collage on panel
available



EVERY HOUSE HAS A STORY

On visits to my hometown in Arkansas I'd often drive east on Highway 10 passed a lovely old unpainted house on the rise just back from the road near Blue Mountain, and I'd wonder about the people who lived there. I made up stories about it, though they were just flights of fantasy. There was something about that house that really appealed to me. Sometimes there were flowers in the front yard but I never saw a person, no signs that a child lived there.  

One day I slowed the car, rolled down the window, and shot a photo.




Who lives there? How do they make a living? They must be old because there's no trike, no red wagon in sight, just the lonely house beside the busy highway. Year after year the same.

Then one day I drove there to take some good photos and maybe knock on their front door...

THE HOUSE WAS GONE!


No more house. bulldozed and discarded.  I'm so glad I still have one photo.  
(This is the first layer of the collage, indicating the empty home place.)


So now, here, I've made up my own story and placed the house on a hill, added a barn and a farmer who's thinking: There's weather coming, just look at that stormy sky! I better get the cows in and get up to the house before it comes a gully washer.

The farmer is heading to the house where his supper waits on a red checked tablecloth... leftover fried chicken and mashed potato cakes, with some juicy ripe tomatoes out of Mama's garden and chunks of sweet onions.  Maybe pecan pie and ice cream and a night of untroubled sleep. 

HOW I MADE THE COLLAGE

Smooth a thin layer of gesso over the panel. While the gesso dried I printed some photos onto tissue paper and began selecting sections to build the farmyard idea. I augmented the house photo with a photo of a barn of the same vintage, and a photo of my father, also the same vintage. I printed several copies of the photos so I'd have extra bits of tree foliage to piece together.

HOW TO PRINT PHOTOS ONTO TISSUE

Make a carrier sheet by folding down the top 1/2" of a sheet of computer paper. Slip a piece of tissue, cut to size (8.5 x 11"), under the folded edge. Place in your printer, fold first. The fold protects the leading edge of the tissue from bunching up in the printer rollers.  There are other methods; look on YouTube.  Warning: expect a few printer jams before you master the process. Your printer manual will tell you how to retrieve the jammed paper.

 

I used Liquitex Gloss Medium and Varnish to adhere vintage book pages to the support and then glazed over the papers with gesso juice (1 part gesso to 1 part water) to soften the text and add a bit of mystery, and let that dry thoroughly.  Then I added more tea-dyed papers on top. 

I'm sorry... I got so excited about the work that I forgot to take more process photos!

And finally, I got to THE IMAGES

I decided on a landscape format because of the general look of the background and the stormy sky at the top. I played around with the placement of the images before settling on the final composition.

GLUING TISSUE PAPER IS TRICKY.

You need to put the glue on the substrate, not on the tissue, but in order to prevent the tissue from wrinkling it needs to be moist. I have a spray bottle that sends out a fine mist that works well with fragile tissue. 

Put the glue on the substrate, lightly spray the tissue, count to 10, and lay the tissue in place, putting one edge down and carefully rolling the rest in place.  I keep a rubber bowl scraper at hand and use it to flatten out the tissue.

I know I typed that fast and made it sound easier than it is. Working with tissue in this way takes lots of practice and patience... and a willingness to scrape it all off and start over if need be.

So there you have it, a House on a Hill, with a story to go along with it.


Please leave any questions about my process in the comment section below. If you have a question I'm sure others will want the answer, too.

Best regards,

Jo




Thursday, October 01, 2020

Woo Hoo! I'm showing in the Beaverton Art Mix

 Beaverton Art Mix VIRTUAL show begins today and I'm beyond pleased that four of my paintings are in the show and that I can offer you an opportunity to visit my studio to see more of my work. 

Beaverton Art Mix virtual show:

Here's the link to the BAM show.  Search by artists' first name or click on Random Artist.


Vera.  24" x 36".  acrylic on canvas.

Make an appointment.

If you live nearby or will be visiting the Portland OR area do get in touch with me to make an appointment to tour my studios and see other paintings or to make arrangements to buy one of the works in the show.

Open Studios for both Portland and Washington County have been postponed until next year. Knowing that many of you enjoy visiting artists' studios every October I have decided to host my own informal open studio, with social distancing protocols and no more than 6 visitors at a time, throughout the month. I live in a gated 55+ community so appointments are absolutely necessary. 

You are welcome to visit my studio.

Contact options are noted on the BAM website. Simply search for Jo Reimer and you'll find my phone number, email, and website information so you can make an appointment to visit. My acrylic painting studio is inside my garage and my collage studio is accessible via a door from the courtyard. I hope you can come sometime in October. The garage is wheelchair accessible but the collage studio requires two steps up.

Fair warning!  I've decided to leave my studio in working condition rather than to perk it up with special displays, so if you visit you'll see how I really work day by day. 

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Goodbye Summer 2020

 Goodbye Summer. I missed you... I think.


Friday in the Garden
12 x 12 Mixed Media

I was determined not to waste a single summer day, but it happened. Maybe it was the weather that caused me to waste time. Certainly it was current events, what with a worldwide pandemic and my husband and me right smack in the middle of the range of senior citizens who needed to be extra cautious in public. So we were. We stayed home, and while I intended to spend the summer painting in my lovely studio I didn't get around to doing much painting. I gardened. I puttered around the house. I fiddled with my collage papers. I wrote copious plans in my journals, plans for someday, just not right now, thank you very much. I'm hibernating.

Bless her heart, Crystal Neubauer recorded some encouraging collage related demonstrations on Facebook and directed viewers to join her in making 5-minute collages as a way to begin the day. If you've been around this blog from its beginning 10 years ago you'll remember that daily collages prompted this blog, One-A-Day, in the first place. I was making 5x7" collages, one every day and writing about what I learned in the doing... and here I am, doing it again. 

Upon being prompted by Crystal I gathered scraps of watercolor paper and cut dozens of 4" squares, gathered a box of collage compost, and my YES! Paste mixture and began. I'm just 4 short of 100.  One Hundred small collages finished. I call them Lagniappe. That's pronounced LAN-yap, and it means a little something extra, a gift, like a baker's dozen or 13 donuts.  I heard it in New Orleans years ago and always liked the idea. 

The painting at the top of this post is one of a small series that I call In The Garden. The collaged bits are from a vintage fabric sample book, just perfect for the painting and reminiscent of my past work in textiles. I wish I had lots more of these fabrics or similar vintage wallpaper.

I'm back to sewing, making masks again. In the spring I used my very last tiny bits and pieces to make masks for a local medical clinic but had to quit when I ran out of fabric. Recently a couple of friends gave me their scraps so I'm at it again. I set up my sewing machine on the dining room table and am doing an assembly line routine of cutting, pinning, and sewing, an hour one morning, 15 minutes while the kettle boils. It all adds up and no matter how long it takes I'm sure I'll have dozens of masks ready long before we can safely bare our faces.

I live in the Portland OR suburbs and if you've been following the news you know that our normally clean pure air is the worst in the world this week due to all the wildfires devouring our forests and farms. I'm thankful for tightly fitting windows and doors and a good air filter on the furnace as I join thousands of others praying for rain. 

That's all. I'm just checking in with all ya'll. (giggle if you must; I'm Arkansas born and that's how I learned to talk way back when). I hope you're well, exercising your creative muscles, reading some good books, and have found better movies than we have on Netflix. 

Yes, okay. I'll take some pictures of my little collages to show you, maybe next week if you ask nicely.

Anything else you want to know about? 

Jo

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