Alla prima quick study of my little girl’s beloved friend, Baby Monkey:
A collector (a tiny adorable collector, I might add) has already claimed this piece.
The other day I stopped by Littlehouse Galleries to check on some paintings I had there and found that one was missing! “Bright Idea,” one of my favorites has recently sold and made its way to a new home. Happy trails, little friend.
I used to hang my paintings on the wall as they were completed. However as paintings sold, commissions were picked up, new paintings were finished, etc. paintings were removed or shifted around and the walls were left with a bunch of nail holes. I couldn’t bear the thought of poorly planned nail holes in my beautiful new gray walls! My friend Drew mentioned the idea of putting them on a shelf, which hadn’t occurred to me. My tons of wall shelves that I added, while helpful, still didn’t give me enough room to store paintings. However I had a boxy particle board bookcase. I didn’t think to take a before-picture, but you know the kind- brown, faux wood laminate, moveable shelf, etc. I decided that shelf would work, but it most definitely didn’t go with the light, airy studio image in my head. Also, I was afraid to leave my paintings within easy reach of my toddler. Which leads me to another deficiency that needed to be addressed- I didn’t have any place in my studio that was kid-friendly, where perhaps the small one could occupy herself for 5 minutes. (Let’s face it- 5 minutes is probably the most I could realistically ask for.)
The solution? Multi-stepped, but easy and working out well for us.
First I sanded down the bookcase (just enough to rough it up) and applied Kilz Latex Primer. Then, I spray painted it white. Figuring that taking books or paintings off the shelf would probably be tough on the paint (since I’m sure latex paint on top of laminate is not archival), I covered the shelves with some decorative contact paper. Now comes my real innovation. I put felt feet on bottom of the bookcase so that it could be moved easily without damaging the floor (but not so easily that the wee one would likely move it) and I turned it to face the wall so that the paintings were not accessible. Lastly, I painted the back panel with chalk-board paint, cut, painted, and nailed trim around the “chalkboard” Voila! A storage spot for small paintings, a chalkboard for the kiddo, and a pretty piece for the studio. I love it when a plan comes together!
(I’m still having computer problems, so once again, forgive poor photo editing and cropping.)
“Grumble grumble grumble.” That was a brief synopsis of my mood and thought process whenever I walked into my “studio.” It was a room that I had never really crafted to be my own or even to function well for my purposes, but rather a room that I moved to out of necessity because it was there and I had decided our baby needed the backyard view that my former studio afforded. My various supplies and paraphernalia basically landed where my 8-month-pregnant self, fueled by nesting energy, had managed to drop them and had pretty much stayed there. I had made a few attempts to re-organize and re-arrange, but it felt hopeless. So, a complete overhaul was required. Here’s a before picture.
Eeek. Cramped. Dark. Cluttered. Have I also mentioned that it serves as a home office and dogs’ bedroom as well?
The first thing I did was pick out a paint color. I wanted something cool, light, and most of all, calm. I’m kind of obsessed with the moss and lichen that grow on the trees in our yard (I actually have bits of fallen bark that I’ve collected all over the house). So, I turned to nature for inspiration and matched the paint to the lichen on this beautiful little piece of bark.
“What happened next??” you ask. Well, I painted it. But that’s not all! Stay tuned for the next exciting installment!