So it took me about 2 weeks to spiff up the studio for this tour. I tend to be a bit of a hoarder and messy when in the midst of a project. I went through stacks of papers, stowed things in closets and placed my junk on shelves in artistic arrangements. I vacuumed eraser dust, charcoal, gold leaf flakes and spider webs out from behind the desk, scrubbed the floor and the baseboards.The bathroom in the studio is the only place in our house that did not get touched in our remodel, and was really showing its age. I threw a shower curtain over the nasty shower surround and stapled place mats over the cat wallpaper boarder. It didn't look too bad.

I put my art up on the walls and on the tables and waited nervously to see if any one would come. I hate this part. It's like waiting to be asked to the dance in high school. But they did show up. A slow but steady trickle of art lovers and curious people came through. I had some nice conversations with some nice people. I showed them a bit of my soul and they either liked it or they didn't. I am glad to say that if they didn't, they waited until they got in to their cars to talk about me. 

I started work on a small triptych inspired by the colors in a bowl of marigolds that Nathan brought me this last fall. The orange reminded me of the undertones in my Rhode Island Red, Miss Piggy's feathers and in Jacob's skin tones. People ask how I come up with my ideas for my paintings. I don't really know. Some times it's very obvious, but it's usually like my studio, kind of a mess of ideas and images collected in my head and then, bang, they pop out in to one idea. I thought it might interest people to see some works in progress. After I sketch out, photograph and finalize my composition, I draw the picture in pencil or charcoal. Then I block in the basic values with a base color. Sometimes I wait until this layer is dry, some times not. Then I begin to paint in large areas of color and then blend and blend and glaze and glaze until I'm happy with it. This is what I was working on during the tour when I wasn't talking to my guests.