Wednesday, 10 July 2013
One of My First Minis, a UFO: The Artist Studio
If you are going to have an artist's studio, you need paintings to go into it; these are 10 small paintings I did many years ago for the studio. The coin for comparison is a 10 cent piece. I am not really an artist; I cheated with this, borrowing books on learning how to paint from the library and doing the steps in miniature, on pieces of matboard. My favourites are the scene with the cows, as the water looks very much like water, and the seascape with the rocky shore. My least favourite is the winter scene in the top row, as the bushes are too red for my liking.
Some five years ago I did some more miniature paintings, 5 of them, as gift exchange items for the Camp MiniHaHa attic roombox scene we did. Those were all portraits in the American Primitive style, worked from illustrations in an art book. So somewhere out there are 5 more, probably unsigned, paintings!
The furniture for studio came from a couple of sources, with the artist's working furniture made from Helen Ruthberg's book, Miniature Room Settings. I love the drafting table, which has a metal rail and knurled knobs (old watch parts) on the sides, a metal edge on one side and a stop at the front. She also designed the tabouret, easel and work table, and many of the tools on top; T-square, set squares, brushes, sandpaper paddle, cleaning brush, etc. The little tabouret contains a rubber brayer, sticks of Conte crayon, a portfolio, and as yet unfinished paint jars and a turpentine can.
Here is a less cluttered photo. The box with the tubes of paint needs a little colour added to it, time to get out the marker pens. And that easel and table are far too clean for a working artist!
The living furniture came mostly from Carol and Nigel Lodder's book, Making Dolls' House Interiors. The two chair seats were made with hemp jewelry cord, and were inspired by Vincent van Gogh's bedroom chair. I am very fond of the warm golden brown colour of my favourite stain, Ipswich Pine, and use it for just about everything. The two shelf units are unpainted, as I need to decide on my artist's colour scheme.
The photo above is a closer look at the living furniture. There is a roombox for everything to go into; I wanted it to look like a factory loft conversion, so had put a roof skylight in, with textured glass. Unfortunately, the framing let go, I re-glued it, and now the glass doesn't fit. My intention was to make a removable front with mesh wired glass windows and brickwork top, bottom and sides.
The roombox for all this stuff (and more that I purchased) is the one Ms. Ruthberg suggested, with a raised area at the back, where the artist lives, and the studio space at the front. It has a door, but it is too short, so needs to come off. (I suspect I made it with instructions for a 1/16 scale scene!) I am having a hard time with that, as I made it myself with laboriously sanded panels in it, and glued-on items rarely come off without damaging the MDF they are glued on. It is huge, and lives on a shelf in the basement storage area, until such time as I get the courage to take it apart and re-do it. There is a bed, but the mattress has yet to be made. I've already got a wonderful, aged oriental carpet to go into this scene. Oh yes, the raised area needs a railing, something else I have to make as yet.
By the way, any decorative work on the furnishing was done with files, knives and sandpaper. I am not really comfortable with power tools. My husband gave me a Dremel tool years ago; it lives in his workshop and he uses it....
I am working away at the Camp MiniHaHa '12 project, as well as finishing off some small UFO projects, like antique boxes, a couple of small benches, Versailles planters, bucket bench, flower box, and a birdhouse bench, all items that have been sitting around for years. Some of them will go into the CMHH project, others will go into my box to take to shows and, hopefully, sell.