Today, I am taking you on a tour of my studio. It's my "Happily Ever After" spot.
It all started when my husband told me he wanted to turn one of the barn bays into an art studio for me. What?!? Really? Can I be honest and say it never crossed my mind...I was thinking a place for horses, lol. But yes, please. I'd love a studio. We were fortunate the largest area already had a concrete floor and three walls. It just needed to be closed in but the main structure was in place!
We named it "Tin Roof Studio" because, well, it has a tin roof. I absolutely love it! It's more than I ever thought I'd have - nice large windows, large space to spread out, and all my own!
The first picture shows the front of the studio where the big windows are. I just painted my door chartreuse - it used to be red but it needed to be repainted and this bright color is so happy.
The second picture is my sewing and printer corner.
Next is my work table with all my acrylic paints, watercolors, and canvas storage rack - it's along the same wall as my sewing/printer area.
The next picture is across the room and it's here that I have my easels set up for oil painting...This is where the best light is in the room. I have an old crib spring hanging on the wall with clips on it that holds all my tubes of oil paint. My inspiration shelf with all sorts of objects is there as well.
The picture with the red lockers is on the back wall. This wall is for storage, a bookshelf and picture ledges for paintings.
As you can see, I have several studio assistants. Looks like they spend their time either eating or sleeping though. But seriously, I enjoy their company!
Another view of where I do most of my painting. I have picture ledges and a gallery wall to display more paintings.
Lastly, another view of my work table, canvas storage rack, plus my small drafting table where I draw or work on watercolors.
It's a really wonderful space! My commute is short and I can't wait to go there each day.
I hope you enjoyed seeing where I create.
Oops! I was supposed to get back and show you progress on Heartwood. But I got busy with several other projects - a commission, cleaning the studio and repainting the its door, and working on our garage conversion so I don't have a picture to show you yet.
However, I can share pictures of the garage. It is going to be our new living room/dining room. Our current living room is small and we need room for family/friend get togethers!
It has been a lot of work - we had to remove the garage door, close in the opening, add siding and a new door, paint the door, add insulation and drywall, scrape the popcorn off the ceiling, repair the ceiling joints, tape and float, then finally paint the ceiling and walls. Whew! Are you tired yet?
Then it was time for lights. We hung a ceiling fan in the center of the room but needed a light for above the dining table. We went to the store to look at their available lights and none of them were what we wanted. Bruce told me he could build one using the light pendants so we grabbed three of those along with the Edison bulbs and headed back to the farm. Once there, I headed to the barn to see what I could find for a base.
I found the perfect chunky, weathered board! It was even the perfect length!
We figured out the spacing on the lights then Bruce and his brother got busy (he and their mom were visiting). I'm glad he was here to help Bruce - I'm not sure I could have held the board up while he bolted it to the ceiling. Fortunately, I didn't have to find out, LOL.
I absolutely love how it turned out - farmhouse rustic with an industrial vibe! Flooring and trim are next then we can get the furniture in place and I can decorate.
Then finally I'll be able to get back to Heartwood and bring it to life through my art.
When we bought our farm 8 years ago, I wanted it to have a special name. However, all we could come up with was "The B Farm". It was ok; after all, it was our farm and our last name starts with a "B" - it just wasn't very imaginative.
Then one day, Bruce was cutting down a dead tree along the driveway and he found the trunk was in the shape of a heart. "We should name the farm 'Heartwood'", he exclaimed.
I agreed, but by then "The B Farm" had stuck.
"It's too good of a name to waste though", I thought.
Fast forward to now and I wanted something to help tell the stories of my fantasy paintings. And then I had a lightbulb moment! Why not use "Heartwood" as my fantasyland where my unicorns, dragons and fairies exist? It is a perfect fit - Heartwood has a delightful sound and feel to it and seems like the perfect place for my creations to live.
Inspiration abounds in the woods and pastures of the farm. Below are pictures of things that caught my imagination. What will they become?
Check back next week as I start the transformation of the landscape timber into the beginning of "Heartwood"!
Day upteem-tired of quarantine...You too? I don't know about you, but I'm missing hanging out with friends, going out to eat, being able to find essentials...just to name a few.
A friend commented to me the other day how fortunate we were to have moved to the country last year as we were already in "quarantine" and used to not being able to get out right now. I had to disagree with her. We were not quarantined just because we moved to the country. We may not be in town where it's easy to run to the store, but we were still able to go shopping and to church, out to eat, and meet with friends. That's not quarantine. That was life as we knew it; a little slower perhaps than city life but still free to go and do.
Now we are stuck at home except for running to get groceries (only one of us allowed in - we can't even shop together) or to pick up the occasional meal. No social interactions. It's a good thing we have acreage to walk and work on. I am so glad I'm able to work in my flowerbeds and to have a new garden started. Both help me to feel like I'm accomplishing something good in this uncertain time.
Besides gardening, I cleaned and rearranged the part of the studio that was driving me buggy - the back of the studio where I store things. Too much clutter in sight. I don't work well in clutter - it distracts and irritates me.
To hide the storage area, I pulled out my show backdrop (can't use it for that right now) and set it up as a gallery wall in the studio - which also made me rearrange the mess into less of a mess. HA. But seriously, it does look better and I'm happy with the results. Time will tell if the layout works.
Lastly, I started a new flowerbed. My unicorn needed his own garden. I had several plants I'd brought from the city house and now that's it's spring, I needed to get them in the ground. I planted several daylilies, a rock rose, and a hibiscus. I still need to mulch but I'm happy with the progress I made on it.
So maybe quarantine isn't so bad after all. It's all about finding some silver linings in your situation. Now, if we can just go out to eat!
I have a new logo! My son, who is a graphic designer, took my idea and made it a reality! He did an outstanding job creating just what I wanted which was to take my initials and turn them into a unicorn. Then he added the colors I wanted.
I am so pleased with the design. I used it on my new business cards and will add it to other business products. Here's what the card looks like:
Awesome job, Jay. Thank you for bringing my vision to life!
Jay's contact info: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Woohoo, I finished my 30 days of sketching! I was able to explore some new ideas for paintings and most of all, improve my sketching skills. And most of all? I had fun! I had a few moments of fear and doubt but I managed to push through and sketch anyway. Some even were good.
I am going to develop some of them further as paintings. Should be a fun process.
I also did this pet portrait. What a pretty kitty she was! I hope her owner will love having it as a sweet reminder of her kitty.
The weather has been pretty gloomy lately - we're getting lots of rain and cold. Makes for some good studio time although I'm ready for Spring. I'm ready to go on an adventure - I'm headed to North Carolina in about 1 1/2 weeks to an artists' conference. I can't wait to see my friends and get new ideas! Creative well filling time!
So how are your New Year's Resolutions going? January is already flying by. Goodness, Christmas and New Year's feel like they were just a week ago but here we are past the middle of the month!
To help me keep on track, I make a 3 month plan that lists out my goals which I then broke down into categories.I then created a journal with pages for my art, business, spiritual, personal goals, and so on. I have boxes to check off as I go. It really helps to have a visual reminder and I had fun creating it! I will make a new journal for each quarter.
Below is the Goals Journal I made for January - March with the description page. It will be fun to go back at the end and see how I did.
In other news, I am happy to report I haven't missed a day of my 30 Day Drawing Challenge and best of all? I'm having fun! I didn't make a prompt list - I'm just drawing what seems like a fun thing to draw for that day. No pressure, no expectations of perfection, just a simple have fun drawing.
I'm also currently working on a pet commission plus a new T-shirt design. When those are completed, I have another commission to work on from someone I did some art for a couple of years ago. It should be a fun one.
Besides art, I am committing to a healthier lifestyle which includes eating better and getting consistent exercise. I'm enjoying exploring new recipes and have found some really good ones. All in all, January is shaping up to be a great month!
I hope your New Year is off and going smoothly. How are you keeping up with your goals?
I hate sketching with a pencil. I blame bad art teachers, being a perfectionist (I want it right the first time I do it), and being sensitive to what others think. But give me a paintbrush and oil paint and I jump right in there and sketch away. The thing with oil paint is you can move it around, get it right. Or if not, it's easy to cover up later.
So, back to drawing with a pencil. I'm getting pretty tired of that hang-up. I feel like it's holding me back. What's an artist to do then? I'm so glad you asked! :) I have decided to challenge myself to do 30 sketches in 30 days, starting today! If you're interested in following along, you can find me at: ceciliabramhallart on Instagram and Cecilia Bramhall Art on facebook. Here's the one I did for today. Let me know what you think!
"You can't do that". "It's not done that way". "That's the stupidest thing I've ever seen, heard, (fill in the blank)". "It's not possible..."
We've all heard those words at one time or another in our lives - sometimes it was spoken in a demeaning way, other times it was well-intentioned nevertheless the words were wounding.
I've been asking for a bigger than me dream; a God-sized dream. That means something far beyond what I can even begin to imagine or have the know-how to do. I want my art to reflect those dreams, to push the boundaries of what I know - to dream impossible dreams - fantasy art is one way I express those dreams. I seek to make possible the impossible. To dream big. Go beyond limitations. To use my God-given imagination to push past the mundane.
Will you dare to dream the impossible too?
We're So Ready for Fall
How has your summer been? We're still hot here in Texas. I'm so ready for Fall to get here! I've been busy painting, getting ready for a couple of shows in the Fall.
The first one I'll be at is Comic Con in Tyler, TX, November 2-3. I will have plenty of unicorns plus magical landscapes both in paintings and prints. The second one is The Market: (The Market is a one-day holiday shopping event showcasing local artisans and their handmade, homemade, unique and vintage items. It will be open to the public Saturday, November 23, from 10am-3pm at Harvey Convention Center in Tyler, Texas. Admission is $3 per person. (children under 10 are free) Shop Local), Both are at the Harvey Convention Center.
I'm pretty excited about being at these shows. I'll have the opportunity to showcase my "fusion of reality with fantasy" art.
In other news, we are getting settled in after the move, getting boxes unpacked and things put away. I guess when you live somewhere for 26 years, it just takes awhile to go through things, decide what to keep and what to get rid of. I like living in a smaller house though. And I absolutely love my studio! What a great place to have. Finally, a space with good lighting!
If you haven't done so lately, check out our gallery.
Hope you are staying cool or have cooler temperatures to enjoy! I can't wait for Fall!
Until the next time,
Hi! I'm Cecilia and I'm an oil painter from Texas.