A new studio

 

Val Nelson's new studio, looking north
Val Nelson's new studio, looking north

Things are more or less in place in the new studio, and I finally got back to painting this week. Opening up my box of brushes was like an emotional reunion with old friends. As it’s been several weeks since I’ve painted, I decided a low-stress way to get back into things would be to touch up some pieces I had started in January.

I’m on the third floor of a one-hundred year old building that used to be a mattress factory. It’s filled with the bustle of artists, designers, and craftspeople in an industrial neighbourhood with warehouses, other artist enclaves, and an auction house nearby.

Val Nelson's new studio, looking west
Looking west

Not too many cafés close at hand, but there’s a gelateria and a quaint neighbourhood grocery store/bakery not far away. Meanwhile I’ve inherited a toaster oven and invested in an electric kettle, so  can save money and precious time by eating in most days.  It’s getting very comfy–which is good for being really productive. The only downside is I may not want to go home at the end of the day!

If I don’t paint soon, I’ll go mad!

 

 

Val Nelson, Guesthouse, 2007
Val Nelson, Guesthouse, 2007

Learning to drywall has been interesting, but let’s get to the art part already! It’s taken me three weeks to tear down my studio and set up the new one, and I’m worried I will soon have forgotten how to paint.

Monday: paint all the walls white. 

Tuesday: mop up the dust, open up my beloved art supplies,  and begin the shift back into painting mode. A big part of painting is the time spent thinking about them.

 

Pello armchair
Pello armchair

I’ve also been  pondering furnishings. Now that there’s the space for it, I can have more fun decorating! I’d love to have a chandelier like the one at left found at Hampstead Village Guesthouse in London, but items like these are rather scarce in Vancouver, and likely way beyond my price range. Meanwhile, across the hall from me, Eszter Burghardt let me sit in her comfy Ikea chair. Only fifty bucks, and great for taking a break from hours of standing.  

Pictures will be coming soon of my new studio.

Thinking about new paintings

royalmail“Voyages en Zigzag” is the working title to my next show, which will be in November 2009 at the Bau-Xi Gallery in Toronto. This time, instead of working from photographs from my travels, I will stay at home (this is the era of a new restraint, n’est-ce pas?) and collect jpegs from friends and acquaintances in my computer’s Inbox. It’s exciting to see a big download coming through the internet line, a good indication that some new, delicious images from someone’s holidays are about to land.

Just received some nice photos from my pals Amanda Forbis and Wendy Tilby, (shameless name-dropping) who have become quite the jet-setters with animation festivals and such. I also have been fortunate to get permission to use the photos of a quantum physicist who posted his delicious images of Russian palaces on Flickr. I love the notion of a guy who deals in particle theory sending me pixels of objects through the World Wide Web, and then me translating them into paint.