Friday, December 30, 2011

The Christmas Card

I will begin a new painting right after the New Year.  I know just what it will be and can't wait to get started.  But until then I will enter some recent works, a new one every day or so.  Happy New year!
While shopping with my daughter at Pier One, I found these pretty little spheres, each with a different letter and design.
And actually found enough to spell out "Tuliszewski".
I've been kind of fascinated with reflections lately so I have them set up on a large mirror with a beautiful floral fabric draped behind.

I usually like to complete the background on my still lifes first.  Color reacts with color, so I really can't make color decisions on the foreground until I see how the color plays off the other colors around it.

Copyright © Carmella Tuliszewski 2011
Completed painting.  Watercolor, 15" x 30"

I can't tell you how much I loved working on this.  The play of color and light bouncing off all the spheres was a challenge.  The two reflected qualities, in the mirror and from sphere to sphere, made for happy painting.
I find watercolor to be a very unforgiving medium.  You must get it right first try or the colors can get muddy and lost quickly.  I make every effort to stay true to the watercolor theory of not using white paint and letting the white of the paper represent highlights.
Most of the time I paint around the highlights but on occasion, as with this painting,
 I use an Art Masking Fluid by Winsor & Newton.   

Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Little Tour

Before I get into all the art work, I thought I would give you a (very) little tour of my studio.
Don't blink (as they say) or you might miss it!

My workstation.  I always like to see how other artists set up their studios so I'd like to share some of my set ups for a small space.

The drafting table is a nice size, 40" x 60".  The whole tops lifts up at varying degree of angles.  But I usually keep it flat because I just don't have the room to add another table to keep the pallette and paints.  I have a small box to just prop the surface up while I work.
That little cabinet on wheels is great as an extra surface and storage.  And it scoots under the table when not in use.

The pictures on the wall are from a series of Christmas cards I illustrated in pen and ink of my family.  I'll post them sometime soon.

The basket on the left helps with poster storage.  These are mostly for student visuals when I introduce a new project at school.

To the left of my drafting table I have a slim cabinet to hide extra storage and house my music.  That basket is just full of great CD's,  everything from 70's folk, broadway shows, and classical.

The bulletin board is a recent addition.  I need somewhere to keep finished paintings that are either waiting for the next sale at Michael's to be framed or that I just want to view and rework later.  Hence the amazing Homasote board.  I was looking around for a really large display, but ran into crazy prices-like hundreds of dollars!  So I looked around on the internet and found this great site with easy instructions.  My board is 4' x 6'.  It would be great anywhere.  I covered it with outdoor canvas material on sale at the end of the summer.
Here is the site, if you'd like to try it.


They will cut the board at the home store to the size you need and you artists can use the extra board to staple larger sheets of watercolor paper.  Just coat both sides with an acrylic varnish first.

The other side of the room for more books and computer work.
I hide a lot of larger boards and paper behind the desk.
Also I keep baskets on either side of the desk loaded with 
supplies.  And it still looks nice in the room.
And this little black beauty was a Christmas gift this year.   A big improvement over the slightly padded stool I've been using.  It's a SAFECO chair ordered from
A good place for art supplies.  They have everything, good prices and fast delivery.

Well, that's it (I told you not to blink) This room was formally a one car garage inside an 80 year old house.  My work space for many years was in our basement.  I'm not talking finished, I'm talking dungeon-really.  Once I had a greeting card assignment due ( never miss a deadline) it had to be in the mail by 2 pm. (before computers) It was pouring rain that day and the basement flooded and the sump pump was not doing it's job.  But there I was at my desk in goulashes, having to get up every now and then to slam the sump pump with a broom handle to get it working again.  Made the deadline, tho!

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