Thursday, January 31, 2013

Studio Update

I thought I would share with you what my studio looks like now with the bed installed. The only piece of furniture I had to get rid of was that tall shelf you see in the photo. There are some shelves on the opposite wall that you can't see in this photo where I was able to put all my paints. The rest of the old jewelry supplies are in the closet in plastic bins. It is kind of weird that it was only a few months ago that I decided not to make jewelry anymore. It turns out to be a good thing because I really couldn't make jewelry with a bed in the room. There is too much filth involved in jewelry making between sanding, drilling, filing etc. Painting and art making are much cleaner activities (some of you may disagree with me on that one) but relatively speaking it is cleaner. No dust masks needed with acrylics!

I like it much better than I thought I would. It gives the room a nice sitting area. Today I am testing it out! LOL. I am so exhausted from all the stuff going on and the bed is so comfy.............sigh. The only thing I may do now is switch my work table around. My table with the printer and scanner is quite large and my drawing table is kind of small. I still haven't decided. Perhaps this weekend things will be resolved and I can get back to some type of semi peaceful existence. I won't hold my breath but I can always hope anyway........

Well, at least I mailed out my postcards today for the postcard swap. One of the people on my mailing list lives in the town where I was born, New Bedford, MA Imagine that! Small world!

I hope to have some new art to show soon but for now I need to rest.

Have a lovely weekend everyone and thank you all for all your kind words and comments on my blog. As always they are really appreciated.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Postcard Swap


I am participating in a postcard swap as seen on Artists in Blogland. These are my three postcards which I will be sending out shortly. This seemed like a manageable project for me right now as I have a lot of other things going on and not too much time to create. They are small enough where I could do them all at one time. They are all 4" x 6".

I have never done a swap of my artwork so this should be a lovely thing for me. It will be fun to get something in the mail besides junk and bills! Plus I like to do my part in keeping the Post Office alive and well!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

This and That

Cairn in the Woods by Roberta Warshaw
Cairn in the Woods, a photo by Roberta Warshaw on Flickr.
This weekend has been a bear for me. I am totally exhausted and just resting today. I knew the day would come when I had to install a guest bed in my studio. Living in a small condo has it’s drawbacks and I have had the second bedroom as a studio all to myself for a few years now. But those days are over and the bed is installed. I spent all day yesterday moving things around, and getting rid of things I no longer use or need. I did end up losing a giant bookshelf but it couldn’t be helped. I found it in the trash room and so back to the trash room it went.

Now that the bed is in, it doesn’t seem as bad as I thought it would be. In fact I am sitting on it as I type this and the room seems cozier somehow.

Anyway,  Seth Apter has created a wonderful directory of artists who blog. Apparently there are over 400 artist web sites included and it is all alphabetical. I am just now getting through the A’s! I am on the list and I have had many new readers from it which I am so thrilled about. Thank you Seth Apter! You did a wonderful thing connecting all of us.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Bird On A Cairn

Bird On A Cairn by Roberta Warshaw
Bird On A Cairn, a photo by Roberta Warshaw on Flickr.

Just when I thought that my bird series was coming to an end, inspiration has struck. Although as you can see this one is a little bit different. The piece is simpler with less going on yet i think it still has a boldness to it. I think it looks like the cairn is on a beach somewhere.

For this one I kept the paper on the plate while I carefully removed the string masks. This left the detail where before it would have been stark white lines.

I am happy with it and yet another new direction with the printing process.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Old Sketchbooks

Since I seem to be having some down time creatively speaking, I decided to go through some of my old sketchbooks for some inspiration.

I must have over a hundred of these sketchbooks so it is going to take a while to go through them all. Especially when I am stopped dead in my tracks as I was with this sketch. It doesn't look like much, I know. A couple of garbage cans in the grass.

But if you look at what I wrote underneath it, it says "O'Briens Garbage Cans." Tom and Eileen O'Brien were my very dearest friends from Key West and Callicoon. They are both deceased. When I saw this sketch I made in their yard that day, I started sobbing uncontrollably.

I remember exactly the day I drew this.That is the wonderful thing about a sketchbook. You go right back to the moment when you were drawing. It was a lazy, sunny summer day. I was sketching, Eileen was hanging the laundry, the kids were all playing together. Who would have ever thought they would both die so young leaving three kids orphans.

I think about them all the time.

I think I have perused my sketchbooks enough for today. Another day maybe. More memories will be stirred up. I am glad I kept these though. With their yellowing paper. They go all the way back to 1976 when I began drawing and painting.

A long time ago.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Bird Series

Goldenberries by Roberta Warshaw
Goldenberries, a photo by Roberta Warshaw on Flickr.
My bird series has been a wonderful adventure. But I fear it maybe coming to a close. I feel quite bereft of ideas right now. I want to work but nothing is coming. Well I shouldn't say nothing. Yesterday I made some gelatin prints that were very different than anything I have done before.

I can't decide what to think of them yet, hence I am not ready to post photos of them.

I did find a wonderful artist online who really helped me a lot in my never ending search for interesting color palettes. Her name is Katherine Herriman (although she goes by the moniker, Nellie Windmill) and she has posted some wonderful color mixtures online. I have been struggling somewhat with the acrylic colors since they are so different than anything I have worked with before.

Some of her mixtures can be seen here. The new color for me is Napthol Red. It is similar to Cadmium Red which is what I had been using but this red makes some lovely mixtures. As I have said before I am a big fan of limited color palettes. I like to see just how many colors I can get from three juicy primaries.

Since I am struggling right now with new ideas I am going to try mixing up some colors and perhaps just color some paper for now until something reveals itself to me.

Friday, January 11, 2013

My Non Goals........

Edge of the Woods by Roberta Warshaw
Edge of the Woods, a photo by Roberta Warshaw on Flickr.
I think if I hear the "G" word one more time I shall implode.

The "G" word, in case you haven't noticed stands for "GOALS".

Every January everyone brings out their goals and resolutions for the new year.

I don't believe in goals. I think they can set you up for failure. So many expectations placed upon you. And you do it to yourself no less!

It is not for lack of trying either. When I was making jewelry I tried the ring-a day challenge, the the 52 earrings a year challenge, the collage a day challenge etc.

I always fail at these goals and I am not going to do it to myself again.

So no. No goals for me. I just want everyone to stay healthy this year (including myself) if you can call that a goal and I want to keep painting in my studio as much as possible.

Oh I guess I do have one goal albeit an unattainable one. To create my masterpiece. I consider it unattainable for two reasons. The first is that I wouldn't know it was my masterpiece and second if I did create one it would become a masterpiece long after I have left the earth.

So the only answer is to keep working every day that I can. And on a day when I can't get in my studio I am not going to beat myself up over it.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Tales from the Feeder

Singing on The Fence by Roberta Warshaw
Singing on The Fence, a photo by Roberta Warshaw on Flickr.

I live in the city where we don't get much wild life at all. This has been especially true over the last few years. There has been so much construction going on in my neighborhood for the last 10 or 15 years that any wildlife we did have disappeared. Unfortunately all we seem to get are sparrows, sparrows and more sparrows. And they are really fat ones too. And there are many, many more than there ever were before.

My feeders and suet hang on my balcony outside the bedroom. I fill the tube feeders each day with sunflower seeds. There is a huge sliding glass door for perfect close up viewing. Even my cat loves to sit and watch. Occasionally it becomes too much for her and she leaps at them. They know the glass is there though and they just ignore her.

But never the less, I keep putting out food and hoping that the blue jays, cardinals and woodpeckers will come back. As well as the mourning doves and chickadees. I miss the mourning doves most of all. They were so friendly and adorable.

Yesterday I was complaining to my husband about the over abundance of sparrows. So who do you think paid us a visit? A huge hawk! He was perched right on the railing. We were inches from each other. He seemed to be just as shocked to see me as I was him. We stared at each other for what seemed like many minutes. He must have come to see what was going on here with all the millions of sparrows and to see if he could grab lunch!

I am most happy to help! I hope he comes back for his next feast. I can spare a sparrow or two or sixteen!

There were two sparrows left hiding under the chair who were too frightened to move for hours! They looked like statues!

I hope the hawk comes back soon. He/she was amazing!

Must go now and fill those feeders! I have a new appreciation of sparrows as hawk food!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


Bird on the Ground by Roberta Warshaw
Bird on the Ground, a photo by Roberta Warshaw on Flickr.

Well, another year has gone by. Frankly new years is not my favorite time of the year. I don't like celebrating the passage of time. Especially as I get older.

And it is cold. I long for sunnier climes but it is not to be right now. My husband still toils away at his job. Sometimes I think about going alone for a couple of months but I am not really a solo traveler. I envy those who can just pick up and go on a whim by themselves. I am not one of them.

I spent new years day in bed, under the covers watching The Twilight Zone marathon.

I have been out of my studio for over a week and it keeps spitting me out when I try to go in. I am not sure what that is all about. Well I do but I can't talk about it on here. Let's just say the last couple of days have been horrible and leave it at that.

Also I haven't been swimming in almost 2 weeks. The pool I belong to caters to children when they are on vacation so lap swimming was curtailed. I went over there on the day after Christmas and turned around and left. There were too many children in the lap pool. I don't like swimming with them because, frankly, they pee in the pool. I find that too gross and can't bring myself to take the plunge so to speak.

So today, they are all back in school and I am going swimming in a little while. I hope it makes me feel back to myself again.

I think it will.

The piece you see above is the last piece I did. It was last week.