Sunday, 30 November 2014

Spring cleaning

I've been trying to get control of my studio. It's the largest room in my apartment, and the most overcrowded. I've removed the second easel that was dominating the centre of the room because it's one of those that stands on 4 feet when installed. I now have 2 4-footed easels on my loggia. I still have one easel to work on - it's supposed to stand on 3 feet, but it usually does the splits and leaves me hanging on to my painting - usually wet, of course, I mean the painting - but I've solved that problem by backing it against bookshelves that have been there for 8 years and unlikely to buckle under! The artificial lighting has been adjusted so that I can actually see what I'm painting.

daisy splash 40x60cm

I've been painting less as I already have so many canvases taking up every awvailable wall and floor space (and a cellar full as well). I'm trying to get away from the idea of painting as if something were a photograph. It takes a long time and I'm never satisfied with the result so I just go on and on. No more of that. The previous painting to the one now in progress is this one. I stopped before it was finished according to my old intentions!

My second job was to throw out a huge number of old crayons - unsorted, unused, dusty, dired out, broken, some unidentifiable, and definitely too many cheap quality (bought in desperation on holiday, for instance) and just in the way. A while ago I threw out a lot of old oil paints, for almost the same reasons. Parting is such sweet sorrow, though it does make space!

What next? Well, in order to be able to use the heating, the radiator of which is under the window, I need to clear away anything that was in front of it, and that is no small task. Done. Next task is to sort out which mediums I still need and throw the rest out - there's nothing dangerous among them, but if I paint in oils, I now use water, so any other substances used in oil painting are not needed. 

If all that sounds dreary, it's because it is, and that's the reason I only get round to it when it gets too cold to work in the studio without heating it first. And that's why my spring cleaning takes place in November.

I suppose I should admit I'm at a bit of a loose end, finding tasks to fill the space before my next project, revising past work, which starts on December 1st. Last night I made bread to get myself off the computer games and doing something, the fruits of which I would enjoy. I always make a lot because making bread isn't something you do all the time, so some of it has been frozen and will come in handy when I'm hungry for more home-made bread. Bread freezes well, but should be defrosted at room temperature. 

But why be at a loose end when there's so much to do? I finished my book on time and December will see the book I wrote in the spring getting a bit of spit and polish (the December project!) and being uploaded to a custom designed blog here. I plan to revise at least one chapter a day; 2 chapters are up there already. The most recent novel in the series is here - completed for nanowrimo on 28th November. When I say completed, it does need more revision and I'm thinking of adding a bit more to tie up a few more ends, though the main plots have been resolved, but I won't do that until next year. This book brought me a couple of really interesting new characters - all fictional, of course. That's the advantage of doing a series with some of the main characters forming a thread. The disadvantage for me is that I can't seem to get away from them.

After a nice carol concert yesterday, my chorus will be waiting for something new to sing, so I have plenty of arranging or rearranging (to suit the current voice situation) to work on. 

I think I'd better post this diary entry and do somethign useful!