Tuesday, January 12, 2010

State of the Studio

{Roll Up Thine Sleeves}

I have two shows in the next two months. Two big shows that warrant good, long days in the studio. Two big shows that will stave off the winter blues (I hope). It is time to hunker down, paint.

Sharpen pencils.

Get to the studio early, with coffee. Mix pigments and solvents and create, through that ancient alchemy, paint the color of precious stones.

I keep good company. The dogs stretch out underfoot or bask on the doorsill in the winter sunshine. From the corner the six-foot spoonbill watches me, with regal authority, through rose madder eyes.

Outside the day creeps west over the mountains, eventually blackening the roofs and Joshua trees into flat silhouettes. The cobalt sky bleeds into quinacridone red before the last triumphant, ecstatic shriek of orange peals across the horizon. Always, these colors.

It is time to hunker down, paint.


  1. I want to come paint in your studio and your pictures are always GREAT!!! Good luck with your shows... wish they were closer and I would come see what the OH SO TALENTED LILY has created!!! Sending you much love!! xo

  2. 1. My best friend, who's a photographer, has that exact same bracelet.

    2. Have you read "De Kooning: An American Master"? It's one of the best-written nonfiction books I've ever picked up. http://www.amazon.com/Kooning-American-Master-Mark-Stevens/dp/1400041759

  3. i have only had a couple of painting lessons in my life...and i have decided the most difficult thing about painting would be, by far, mixing paints to get just the right color. you have my utmost respect.

  4. I'll jump in as spokesperson from the camp with no ability to make their hands create likenesses madder-eyed or otherwise.

    It’s funny though, I have an itch for raw materials as if I had gifts I don’t. I collect pencils and pieces of colored chalk, and you wouldn’t believe the yards and yards of fabric I have stashed in the linen closet without intent to learn to sew. Blank paper excites me absolutely endlessly. A tube of egg yolk yellow paint sat on my desk for an entire semester of school, and I remembered it when I got the same old thrill from your books and your pencil sharpener. Apparently you don’t have to be alchemist yourself to read into raw things the heady, absolutely innate possibility of change in the right set of hands.

    It is clear that I will end up a batty old thing living in a trailer full of pointless objects I can’t use. Whatever. In the meantime, I claim custodial rights to my share of the world’s art supplies.

  5. p.s. you're on for Friday. I set my post to go live at noon, which makes me feel like my life is the final few minutes of a spy movie. Good stuff to have something dastardly ticking down in the background.

  6. Good luck. Break a leg. Happy painting.
    (What do you wish an artist as they hunker down to create? Can you tell there is an enormous dearth of creative souls in my everyday life? No wonder I'm attracted to online artistic friends like a bee drawn to honey...)

    Whatever it is that you draw upon within yourself when you come to create your beautiful works, I hope that it is there in huge and readily available abundance as you draw and paint. (And if you need a little something extra, I wish you some of my very best juju.)

  7. Make sure you tell us when and where your shows are! I'd love to come see your work.

  8. Congratulations Lily! I can't wait to see what you are working on and showing. xo H


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