Fine Arts and Natural Family Living--looking for tips from other artists! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 07-31-2012, 09:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi Fellow Artists,

 

I've been thinking about several things related to my art and would love to get a conversation going with fellow artists.

 

Time

I've been working on some pieces when the opportunity arises, but I am finding that a bit frustrating. I'm curious...do most of you have time set aside on a daily or weekly basis to work?

 

Space (Part I)

I don't have a studio, so I work on my art in my home. I like that, but what I don't like is that I don't have a dedicated work space. There isn't really a work that I can make a dedicated work space. Any suggestions about how to make part of a room into a mini in-home studio?

 

Space (Part II)

I'm struggling with where and how to store pieces of work in progress or completed work. Some of my work is small, but I'm really interested in exploring using a larger canvas. Any tips on where and how to efficiently store art work, especially pieces in progress?

 

Products

I really want to use materials that are greener and support companies that focus on non-toxic products. I am particularly interested in watercolor and acrylic paints (but would consider experimenting with oils), adhesives, canvases and papers, and simply metal/fastening elements. What do you use that you really like?

 

Reusing Materials

I'm trying to think about creative ways to reuse materials when I am not happy with the results of a piece. Do any of you reuse your materials? How?

 

Fine Arts with Children

I really like creating art with my DD, but we haven't really used my fine art with her. She's curious about them, though, and I'd like to encourage her to explore the materials. Any ideas on ways to do that?


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#2 of 5 Old 08-06-2012, 05:37 AM
 
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Hey! I'm also a Mom and an artist, so I'll tell you what I do.

 

Hi Fellow Artists,

 

I've been thinking about several things related to my art and would love to get a conversation going with fellow artists.

 

Time

During the summer, I tell my children that I need two hours in the morning to work on my art. I set up something for them to do (usually art supplies, so they can work on similar things) and after two hours, we do something fun. I also get up early and work on my art before they wake up. I try to work after they go to sleep, but have found the lighting is so dim that I end up redoing whatever I painted the evening before because the color is so "off".

 

Space (Part I)

If you can have a table, or bookcase that is your art space, it can work fairly well instead of having a full studio (which would be awesome, btw). Right now I have a coffee table that is filled with all of my paints, brushes, pencils, etc. Wet paintings just get leaned against the wall, and my kids are old enough to not touch if I tell them it is wet.

 

Space (Part II)

This is a challenge. Our house is very small, so I'm constantly switching art around. Especially when I'm preparing for a show, and there's tons of art everywhere it's hard to keep it organized. What I find is the best is making an inventory list, and then carefully organizing all of the finished art in the basement. Then, when somebody purchases a piece, I can look at my list and see if it is still available without digging through piles of art in the basement. Wet paintings always stay upstairs, though.  Putting in week's worth of work into a painting only to have it smudged into a mess in the basement would be horrible.

 

Products

I work only in oils and charcoal. My charcoal drawings are done on old cardboard, which is a great way of reusing something that would otherwise get thrown out. I don't concern myself with the health hazards of oils paints, because any job has its hazards. Mine is no exception.

 

Reusing Materials

I paint and repaint canvases if I'm not happy with the result. I've done some of my best paintings over old paintings that I did when I was first starting out!

 

Fine Arts with Children

On my blog, I actually have fine arts lessons to do with kiddos. Mine are 8 and 6, and are really starting to enjoy doing "real" art. No coloring books, glittery, babyish projects for them. My blog is at: http://beanboo-beanboo.blogspot.com/

 

Hope this helps you a little!

Kim

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#3 of 5 Old 08-06-2012, 08:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi Kim,

 

Thank you so much for your post. You've given me a lot of ideas. I haven't used oils, but I'd like to start because I'm finding acrylics aren't really working for me. Can you suggest some oils? Also, I need some new canvases; where do you get your new canvases?

 

Thanks!

 

PS I haven't yet checked out your blog, but I am looking forward to doing so. smile.gif
 


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#4 of 5 Old 01-04-2013, 05:58 PM
 
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Hi, I've painted my whole life and did so while a young Mom with a day job. For me it worked best during that time to have a drafting table and bookcase in the corner of our family room/ dining room. My kids could be at the table doing homework or a puzzle, etc. while I worked away in my corner. I kept most of my supplies on the bookcase.

I did a lot of drawing and watercolor since it would not generate fumes, and you could start and stop without a lot of clean up. Acrylics might be similar, though I never got the hang of them.

I made large folders out of discarded cardboard to keep my work flat and protected. Anything framed hung on the walls, often in multiple rows. This kept it out of harms way.

I have a large studio now, and more time to myself, but I still think I did some of my best work in the middle of the family commotion.
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#5 of 5 Old 01-27-2013, 11:15 PM
 
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As far as materials safety: You can paint with oils with no solvents and there are then there are no fumes.  Walnut oil is a good medium that replaces solvent in painting that is safe and really works well.  You can saturate brushes with non-drying oil to clean them too and almost never use mineral spirits for anything then.  The tricky thing with oils is how easily they get on other things like clothes or furniture--since they stay wet they can smear and make messes when you are not paying enough attention.  Hard to clean up and move back and forth from painting to helping children if they are very young. 

 

I order from Dick Blick and I think their Blick brand artists' quality oils are great quality and value although Holbein makes lovely paint and you can get little half-size tubes and save money that way too.

 

I am always fighting clutter and getting rid of stuff, but I do have some space set aside and found a huge cabinet to use for a table that has sliding doors underneath.  It's deep enough for full sheets of matboard!  So happy!

 

When I paint I actually work at an easel in our living room in the middle of other activities. 

 

Reusing materials:  I often paint on boards and I will cover up a painting completely with white or gray and start a new one.  My boards are also available at Dick Blick and are called Hardbord.  They are so cheap and lighter weight than masonite you can get at lumber stores.  I find them extremely simple compared to canvas and love the smooth surface.

 

I don't have time set aside. My creative time is used right now for designing and sewing toys that I sell, and I am not sure when I'll just have to paint again and will feel I can.  But I do miss it!  I was feeling really inspired a few months ago and did some work but I can't focus on it.


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