Welcome to Wild Hawk Studio

Come share my views on art and art-related topics and see my works in progress…

Please note all images are copyright ©Barbara A. Lewis and cannot be used without written permission.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

What A Bargain!

We are all in tough economic times, and as an artist, I am always looking for bargains on supplies and materials for my studio. I have “re-purposed” numerous items for my studio - among them, cast-off rolling file bins from work (these came without lids, but have a shelf underneath and they hold my various sketchbooks, paper pads and photo mats!). The nice thing is that they have wheels and can be rolled around the studio wherever I need them. They are metal so I can use magnets on them as well.

Whenever my company (I work full time as a print production artist, and work evenings in my home studio as a fine artist) has a free to employees supply day, I look around and scrounge through the cast-off former office supplies, and over the years I have been rewarded with everything from staplers to metal file cabinets, adjustable office chairs to undershelf lamps. I don’t mind the “scratch and dent” condition and with a little black paint can make them look just like new! And my studio is an eclectic mix, so things don’t have to match to suit me. My main goal in my studio equipment and storage is functionality since my studio room is so small.

My company recently purchased brand new, state-of-the-art computers for us and decided to generously sell us the older computers. I could not afford a brand new computer, but submitted my name for one of the used computers which is still a powerhouse compared to my old tired Mac. The company had a drawing and I was one of the lucky ones to have my name drawn. So my “new” computer which I proudly dubbed “Mackenstein” has become my newest acquisition for my studio and quite a bargain at that!

My husband and I are avid yard-salers and I have found numerous bargains on art supplies, frames, and reference books for little or no cost. I once picked up a brand new set of Rembrandt pastels for $1.00, a metal studio easel for $5.00 and just yesterday found an estate sale where one of the owners was a draftsman and artist. I got a HUGE pad of watercolor paper for $1.00, an antique oval mahogany frame for $1.00, and a custom framed print for $2.00, and several art reference books!

Since I have a shoestring budget, I cannot afford to have my art custom framed, but I can find custom framed prints at yard sales for next to nothing and re-use the frames for my art. Plus it is always fun looking and on several occasions I have met other artists and have enjoyed talking about our work!

Someday I hope to have a bigger, more organized studio. But for now I am happy to just simply have a place to create my art!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Organizing My Studio

It all started with helping a friend get ready to move and ended up with a total reorganization of my little studio. My already bulging at the seams house was not ready for any more furniture, but my friend had a gorgeous little oak triple shelf that looked just big enough to hold my nature reference books, Audubon guides, and my Foxfire series, etc. These rather small books had taken up residence on the top shelf of the converted closet space and to reach them I had to use a small step stool which of course meant that I seldom bothered. They were too high up and I would have to move my easels aside every time. So I measured and yes, the shelf would fit, although snugly, in the closet.

So I moved two of my recycled rolling bins into the hall closet outside the studio and placed the shelf in the closet - voila! But I had moved a bunch of stuff off of the existing shelf and now had to figure out where to put those items, so for the past couple of weeks I have been slowly rearranging my workspace and my poor drawing table has had to act as support for piles of art-related “stuff” which left me no room to draw!

The best I could do was a few sketches, but at least my small studio is starting to make sense and become more functional. And now I am hoping to have a new computer in a couple of weeks which will entail moving the old computer out and putting the new one in, so my space will be disorganized again!

I attended the monthly meeting of PPAS (Pinellas Park Art Society) tonight and was very excited to receive a third place for my drawing of Penny entitled “Loyalty”. My niece will be thrilled that her dog’s portrait won an award! Penny will probably just want a dog biscuit for posing for me!

While there, some members of our group gave a very nice discussion concerning artist trading cards. These are little 2.5 x 3 inch cards that artists draw or paint on and then they trade them with other artists at shows and meets - similar to baseball trading cards. They are both very accomplished artists and had some beautiful examples of their little artistic gems to show us. In addition, they gave us a couple of cards of our own to do and bring back to our Sept. meeting where we can trade them - clever idea and wonderful way to not only share our talents, but a great way to spread joy in these tough economic times.

I will be getting back to my paintings this week and hope to have my mallard painting posted up here soon. Be sure to check back!