Studio Makeover

First, I must say in my loudest outside voice, that I’m GRATEFUL to have a space to make art and call my own.  When we moved into our new home twelve years ago, this space was the previous owner’s “man cave”.  But I claimed it the first day.  The windows are east facing, the ceiling is coffered and it fits all of my stuff.  Except my textile, embroidery, knitting stuff in the extra bedroom closet, but that’s for another day.

Having Multiple Muse Disorder means that interests, desires and manifestations of many creative paths must get out somewhere.  White Wolf Studio is the place where my artistic visions dream, breathe and live.  But with that comes “stuff”.  All good stuff, but I can get myself stuffed with stuff pretty quickly.  I love to try stuff, buy stuff and ultimately stack stuff.  I’m such a stack rat.  So……..I took about 12 hours of my time off from work and this is the result.  It may not be as glossy as some of those great “Studio” magazines or as interesting as Lynn Perrella’s “Art Making & Studio Spaces”, and even as I post these pictures it may not seem like such a big deal.  But I’m ready for 2012 and my space is open, breathing and full of life and potential.

Before. Check out the upper book shelf, sheeeeesh!!

After. Select a book without danger and press fabric.

After. Ahhhhhhhh!!

Before. Full sheet of watercolor paper? Not thinking so.

Before. Dusting nightmare.

After. Dusted for another 6 months.

After. Oh, there are those due dates.

Before. There's a project board here somewhere.

After. Hey, room for my hands to find stuff.

Before. All those tracing, sketches, prelims really need a home.


Connie Furgason's class at Berkeley, CA 2007 with my friend and calligrapher Carol Pallesen of the Silent Hand Scriptorium, Reno, NV.

And then there are those gems I find when I sort, purge and toss bits and bobs that just can’t go in the bin.


2004 Art Journals

The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron has an exercise called Morning Pages.  She advises to write three stream of consciousness pages each morning upon waking.  The idea is to get all the junk out of your mind for the day.  So about 2002 I started the exercises and went for a long time.  But eventually I got tired of the whiny sessions.  About 2004, I started adding snippets off memorabilia and my books eventually evolved into art journals.  Many pages are still whiny, but it is a very safe place to play, practice and pretend.  I fill a journal about once a year.  I’ve used many different books from cheap composition notebooks to watercolor paper journals, hardbound to spiral bound.  They all have their characteristics and my mission is to just fill them with musings, memories and meanderings.

Art Journal 2004

A place to ponder.

Art Journal 2006

A place to pretend.

Art Journal 2006a

A place to pour out.

Art Journal 2009

A place to practice.

2003 Calligraphy

Back in the 1970’s I had glass pieces in a little gallery/boutique called “Norfolk, The Big Blue House on the Corner”.  At the same time there was a calligrapher also showing her work and had a small studio in the building.  Her name was Carol Hicks.  I loved her work, her cards, the fact she had a studio in such a hip place, but only met her a time or two in passing.

Fast forward to 2003.  Our wonderful Nevada Museum of Art has an array of classes of which I took drawing, watercolor painting, mixed media and all of a sudden there is a class “Italic Calligraphy, Carol Pallesen”.  There was only the one Carol I knew in Reno that was a calligrapher, but how many Carol calligraphers could there be?  And could it be the same Carol?  I signed up and when I walked into the room, I was transported back to the Big Blue House on the Corner and there she was.  I was thrilled.

I had dabbled in calligraphy, trying to teach myself.  I love pens and inks, words and quotes, letters in general.  But, I really wanted to learn from a master and I am.  I’ve taken Carol’s classes every year and have followed her into the deserts of New Mexico to learn.  She travels and shares her skills all over the United States and I am lucky to have her right in my hometown.  She is my ink mentor.

I started making images for our Christmas cards and in just a few short years have started a tradition.  My family is not very steeped in tradition, so I start one any time I can.  These are the last three years.

Painted 2006 

Jack Frost 2007

Perfect Light 2008

2000 Collage on Canvas

My father came from New York City to Reno, Nevada in the 1930’s.  I don’t remember what drew him here, but he loved Nevada, the desert and all things antique.  He taught me the value of handcrafted items, was probably my biggest fan and also the biggest contributor to my Multiple Muse Disorder.  He encouraged any and all artistic or crafty journeys I decided on. 

I remember him here, because I believe his love of antiques transferred to my obsession with old books, oddities, curios and photos.  I haunt antique and thrift stores looking for ephemera that speaks to me.  Just this week I joined a friend at Art Walk downtown and I just had to pop in to an antique store (the old Parkers Western Wear) just to burn some time.  But, I found cabinet photos to inspire future work. 

I began mixing these elements with calligraphy and continue today.

My Hometown 080109

Nothing like old casino shows with their crazy themed costumes.  I love this place.

Goals 080109

Sorting out the meaning of “Goals”.  When Alice asks the Cheshire Cat which way she should walk from here and he asks where she wants to go, she replies that it doesn’t matter just so long as she gets somewhere.  His remark speaks to me.  He says that it doesn’t matter then which way you go, you will get somewhere if you walk long enough.  Hmmmm……he’s right.  Should probably have a goal.

Red Thread 080109

I ran across this Chinese proverb in one of Lynn Perrella’s books and again I connected with the words as it relates to a relationship I formed with my best art pal, D.  We literally met in thin air.

Multple Muse Disorder 080109

This piece put the name to the disease, Multiple Muse Disorder.  This old photo of Tonopah’s 1932 women’s basketball team had just the right amount of muses, nine.  Glass, Calligraphy, Design, Paint, Collage, Draw, Jewelry, Golf and Textile are the muses here.  They toss me around like a ball, all in accordance with Art Mother’s plan for me.  Do I enjoy the ride?  Yes.

Dilettante: one who pursues the fine arts, literature, or science, only for amusement: an amateur.  Perhaps, but I like Tolkien’s “Not all who wander are lost.”

New Millenium Art

I remember writing in a library book once and boy did I get in trouble.  I was taught to respect books and highlighting in text books was about as comfortable as I would get.  To tear up a book was unheard of.  Enter the age of altered books.  A craft I’ve dabbled in, but tearing up text for collage and cutting out unique images for my calligraphy work is keeping my muses amused.

Rose of the Desert sm 072909

Just the Two of Us sm 072909

Always Because sm 072909

Altered Book Relay

This is the last submission for the Altered Book Relay, Colors.  The theme is India and the colors are Pink, Yellow and Orange.  The whole book is a big, chunky burst of color.  I’ll be packing it up and sending it to Connecticut today.  I will get my own book back, Lime and Plum, in a month or so.  These relay submissions helps keep me working to a deadline and an assignment.  All the artists in the group has produced quite a body of work over the years.

India 051609d

India 051609c

India 051609b









 India 051609a

India 051609e

These images are from a severly water damaged book called Famous Pictures I found in a local antique store.  The book is over 100 years old, but the paper that survived is in pretty good shape and the images suit my collage style.  They find their way to Altered Books, Cards, Art Journals, Calligraphy Projects and my Stash, waiting their turn to audition.  Sometimes just looking through them inspires an idea.