I still feel like I am living in some weird sci-fi movie with this whole pandemic thing. I am doing my part- staying socially distanced, washing my hands and using hand sanitizer, cleaning a TON, and wearing my mask.
But ya'll know I gott be extra, so my masks are just another accessory- but one that can hopefully keep myself and others safe :)
I may or may not have mentioned it, but one thing that has made the adjustment to moving back to NC so tough is the fact that our rental was NOT move in ready for us. I literally have a laundry list of issues that we had when we walked in the door...but one that caused me to have a mini nervous break down was the room that was to be my studio. It was pink, with a gigantic stencil on the wall and the carpet...that is a whole 'nuther story.
But...I am not afraid to work so I got permission to paint it myself. It was pretty awful, my hands were torn up from taking that stencil and MIRRORS off the wall and then definitely felt like I was hit by a truck after painting those walls- but I made it happen. And they later replaced the carpets, so that helped as well.
One challenge for this new space is that fact that I need to also include a spot to record my virtual art lessons and do my Zooms (you know, on account of the pandemic) I decided to use a large table for this purpose with the same backdrop as in my actual classroom. I also have shelving under the table to hide all of my supplies...even after giving away so much to my high school students before I left Florida I still had a TON of stuff.
Another challenge is the smaller closet for my clothes (not pictured). I basically have all of my shirts hanging in there, bins for t-shirts and tanks on the top shelf and the bottom half of the closet is all pants...and my accessories in drawers like earrings, rings and bracelets. Dresses and pjs are in the master bedroom, outerwear and shoes downstairs in the gym closet. The actual rental house is pretty large but the closets/storage are definitely smaller. Luckily I know how to creative with my storage!
This isn't part of the studio but my closet and accessories share this space so...gotta include this. If you know me then you know about my love for costume jewelry and my ummmm...collection. I wanted to create a spot for my necklaces that didn't put too many holes in the wall and was also out if sight. I found these wooden strips in the garage and used a saw to cut them into pieces that I could attach to the wall space behind the door. I like that they are out of the way.
...the only thing is that that still wasn't enough room for my necklaces- so I created another spot tucked away beside the closet. I painted that mirror white and added glitter too.
Full disclosure, I hate that little door that accesses the attic. Like...I am kinda scared a monster or a homicidal maniac is hiding in there soooooo....I created this fun desk nook. It blocks the door from whatever might be behind that door and actually is a great use of the space. I made the table myself, measured the space then had the wood cut...painted it and added the table legs. I had some black and white striped bulletin board paper I bought for school so I covered a piece of foam board with that to put on the wall behind the desk.
The best part of this little spot is in the morning til about noon the sun shines in and illuminates the chandelier I hung above the desk. My girl Gin sent me a beautiful crystal with instructions to hang it in a special spot...done.
Oh, and I mentioned earlier in my ramblings that my home studio/virtual classroom set up matched my classroom one. Wait- what? Yes, I have a virtual set up in my classroom, too. We are 'Plan C' for the first nine weeks, which is 100% online. I can work from home on some days and the other days I have to report to campus...even though I am teaching virtually. I do my daily Zooms in the storage closet so I can control the lighting, and that is where that backdrop is. I found it on Oriental Trading Company for $20. If that seems pricey keep in mind it comes with 3 pieces, which is perfect because I used one at home, one at school and I have one in my 'on the go' bag...for when I am teaching remotely but might not be at home.
Man, July was a tough month not even gonna lie. There is so much 'behind the scenes', especially in terms of social media...through it all I am thankful to have my daily art to maintain my sanity. This year I decided to focus on fashion illustrations for the entire year- and that has also served me well because...I didn't know. None of us knew what kind of year 2020 would become. Fashion is something that comes easier for me, I can just sit and my ideas just flow onto the paper. With what would become such a trying year, between the pandemic and moving to a new state, starting a new job, gaining and losing friendships...knowing every day that I was going to sit and work on a fashion piece has been my comfort.
So for August, I added an additional buffer by revisiting a previous series that I really enjoyed- my #PaperCutsJLG them from July 2017. I worked on that series when I was on my FAEA STAR artist retreat at the Hermitage in Englewood, FL. That is a whole seperate post...no literally, here it is;
The idea of the cutouts was new to me at that time, and I applied it to my 'big eyed girl' style that I revisit from time to time. The beginning of the month started with just the cutouts and during my residency experience I continued to push myself, adding rendering to my faces and watercolor backgrounds, and completing some larger pieces, too in addition to my fiber work.
For me that time in my life represents a high- and a low. I was recognized at the state level for my artistic ability and chosen on that merit to attend and create art. I formed new friendships that I still hold dear. And I had a whole month to do nothing but just create and focus on myself and my art- all with an ocean front view. However I will always look back on that time with a little sadness, as that was the time that my little soul cat Scooter was becoming ill, which we didn't realize. He would pass away later that December.
I decided to revisit that theme, this time with fashion illustrations. There are actually many artists out there using cutout in their art, one that directly inspired this body of work is Shamekh Al-Bluwi. Here is a great article about his fashion cutouts;
The idea is to do my style of fashion illustrations, include cutouts and then take them on location to find my 'fabric'.
Ideally, I would have sat down maybe each week and updated this here blog. I gotta tell ya, every since I started using Instagram I definitely have been posting to my blog less, and when I do it is waaaaay after whatever I am posting about happened. I thought about not posting to my blog anymore, heck I don't know if anyone out there reads it...but it is my way of documenting in another area of the interwebs my life and my art at this time...so, here goes.
If you have been following my social media then you know that we MOVED. Yup, in the middle of a pandemic. Awesome. It has been such a weird time, these few past months. In many ways it has been like one long block of time. It is hard to remember when various events happened, and hard to remember what 'normal' life was like before social distancing and face masks. Now add moving on top of everything. It was tough to be leaving south Florida mid-July and not being able to see everyone that we wanted before we left and go and do all the things we wanted to, but we will be going back- it's our vacation spot once again.
So what I am going to do is just kinda summarize the month of July, not in order but grouped a bit based on topic.
Okay, here goes- but first gotta go back to June;
June 2020 wrapped up with an art giveaway!
In addition to the pandemic these past few months have been full of social and political unrest- so much swirling around race and basic kindness. I wanted to do a small thing to try and encourage some positive vibes, so I did an art giveaway on my FB page. Folks just had to think of someone different from themselves in some way and give them a public shoutout- say something nice! The pieces were snatched up quick- I gave away just about the whole series, and it felt good to see all the nice comments folks were writing about others.
July...Saying goodbye to SoFlo :(
What is harder than trying to hit up all your favorite spots before you move? Trying to do it when Covid has everything turned upside down! If you know me personally you know that John and I LOVE traveling- but the pandemic has definitely kept us more local. We did manage to make one last trip to Orlando to spend the 4th, went and had a drink at our favorite spot at the least busiest time of the day so there wouldn't be too many people there (wore a mask walking in, they clean and disinfect constantly AND are open to limited capacity WITH social distancing on top of that- they are on top of their game) then picked up food to-go from our favorite places and hung out in the hotel for the 4th by ourselves. John made sure to get a room with a balcony so we could have a view of the lake- and we even saw a few fireworks. For the past few years we have spent our 4th at Willie Nelson's picnic in Austin....this year was different for sure, but we threw on some Willie songs and just made a new 4th of July memory.
...just a gal trying to get this art out of my soul to share with the world on a DAILY basis...no big deal...check out my ramblings!-JLG