Friday, May 31, 2013

Artist Zen

by Staci L. Smith

 
I have always been an artist, even before I knew what that was.  I was happiest making things, or with a pencil or pen in my hand drawing something.  I used to doodle on everything.  everything.  Nothing was left uncovered.  I drew all over my notebooks, my friends notebooks and when we got older, I drew on my friends with sharpies to make fake tattoos. 
 
 
Bead and jewelry making is something I LOVE, but I do miss drawing and painting.  I love having a brush in my hand, feeling the paint smooth on, layer after layer, stroke after stroke.  I especially like when I can work big.  There is something released when I can use my entire arm, and body to create giant movements that turn to art in front of me. 
 
If you read my personal blog, you will know I am in the middle of a studio re-vamp.  It kinda came out of nowhere, since the hubs was around this week.  So we dove right in.
 
We ripped up the carpet and he built me strong workbenches around two walls.  Due to lack of funds and time, we just left the sub floor as is.  I didn't mind, since I'd be ruining it most likely anyway (I am not a tidy artist).
 
Here it was with the sub floor left as is.
 


 
I am not big into decorating and making things matchy and such things, but it just didn't feel right to me.  So I went to get some black paint to cover the ugly 2x4's we used on the frame of my tables. 
 
I had been thinking of painting the floor.  Wasn't sure how it would work or anything, but thought I'd try it out- I mean, I was surrounded by paint in Lowes, how could I not want to paint more stuff?
 
So I got a nice brown grey, and painted a layer on the sub floor.  But it looked sooooo blah, it was too thin, it still showed all the imperfections.
 
So I doodled it.  I took the leftover black paint and just went to town.  The experience, which I want to share, was wonderful.
 
 
I put on some really good singer songwriter music, and got my paintbrush and paint, and just started doodling.  I loved being able to paint so large, to just go free form, with endless room to  take each new idea and design.  I could have done this endlessly (if my body co-operated more- sitting on the floor hunched over that long took its toll on me). 
 
 
I loved going over the strokes again and again, since the floor is rough, I had to make sure each line was really coated.
 
 
As the floor filled with swirls and squiggles, designs and dots, I felt such a smile inside, no other way to explain it, just happy. 
 
I took time with some area's, letting them design themselves. 
 
 
Others area's got deliberate designs, or symbols, as I thought of people I cared for, or situations that I am going through.
 
 
It was so meditative.  No thought required, no work,.  Unlike with jewelry, there are mechanics to figure out.  This was mind freeing.  It was simple, and pure and I enjoyed it with every ounce of my body and soul.
 
 
I know that there is zentangle now, but they just finally put a name to what so many have been doing forever.  If you like zentangle, I recommend trying it with paint.  It just flows, the brush engages your whole body. 
 
 
Now I hope the floor is not too distracting.  I want to just stare at it.  I hope looking at it proves as meditative as creating it.
 
I also hope it holds up.  I put no finish on it, and it is only latex paint.  But the floor is bumpy, so I hope that helps it to stick.  I didn't want to use any kind of finish in the house- (we have birds and frogs and kids with asthma.)
 
I will let you know in 6 months how it held up. 
 
So there you have it, I did NOT expect to find zen in a studio remodel. 


22 comments:

Patricia Wood said...

I just love it! What a great job you did. I sure hope it will last a long long time:)

Kristi Bowman said...

I love that floor Stacie, makes me wish I hadn't let my hubby put in pergo but my studio is in the middle of the house so I had to do it.

Aly Jackson said...

This is so awesome! I am a doodle-lover myself. To see where your talents took you is amazing!

Skylar Bre'z said...

How wonderful! I have really ugly (as opposed to just plain ugly) black linoleum from the 1950s throughout my house. I've long wanted to paint the floor. Since I'm doing a total bedroom re-do in about a month, maybe I'll start there!

Elaine Ray said...

Thanks for taking the time to write this up. Reading the words and gazing at the pictures was my zen moment for the morning. Inspires me to add a bit of visual personal pizzazz to my work space.

Thanks again,
Elaine

Kelli said...

FANTASTIC!!!!!!! I love it!! I understand what you mean about the" brush flow" I painted a new banner for my booth last weekend. I was so dreading the task, but once I started, it was SO therapeutic for me. Made me want to paint something else!!!!!

Bobbie said...

WOW! So very cool -- it's sure to bring a smile to your face every time you walk in, and what could foster creativity better than a happy mood?

maryharding said...

Your floor is so cool!! I love the endless variety in the doodles and the dynamic black on the lighter background!!

Emakaye said...

That is fantastic! I absolutely love it. A clever way to finish off the sub floor.

Meridy Migchelbrink said...

Staci, the remodel is great and the floor is FANTASTIC! What a wonderful meditative "sand painting" you've created. I'd love to come to your studio and just sit on the floor and look at it! <3

Gaia Copia said...

Awesome!!! Super love the process and the result. Now to go look up Zentangle...sounds intriguing.

Artisan Beads Plus said...

OMG, Staci!!! I LOVED this post!!! What an awesome thing to do....... It looks great :o)

lunedreams said...

That is so awesome! It looks great, and I actually love the black over the gray-brown--it looks almost like one of those funky concrete floors which I love. I can't really draw (not even abstract stuff) but I LOVE coloring in coloring books. Meditative, like you say!

Staci Smith said...

I actually had a strip of linoleum on one side of the room and painted it black. It painted up nicely.

Nicole Beadwright Campanella said...

I have to agree with everyone else. I love that floor. Great idea great job.
Nicole/Beadwright

Kathy Lindemer said...

The floor is wonderful. I would make it a rule that no one wears shoes on it just like in a yoga studio.

sandi m said...

Stunning! This is publication worthy in one of those studio magazines. Your images are so fun I could see them turned into rubber stamps for etching.
What a difference a week makes - the room turned out just great.

stregajewellry said...

Staci, what a wonderful way to free up your creative energies and just let those creative juices flow! Plus you got a great looking floor! Love it!

Ann Schroeder said...

I love this, and loved hearing about your process! Very inspiring. Thanks for posting.

Gardanne said...

If you ever need a new design for your wire or polymer clay just look down. I envy your freedom I am too perfectionistic to make something like that happen.

Kerri said...

that floor looks so awesome! i am so jealous, but i do still love my hardwood floors so i can't do anything like that.

Jess Green said...

That is amazing I love 'zentangling', or doodle-bugging as I tend to call it :) I really want to incorporate it into my jewellery designs - perhaps by way of etching.

I think you can see a connection to your wonderful bold and swirly jewellery designs here as well. Awesome stuff.

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