Friday, February 26, 2010

So you think you are in control?

Today I thought I would take advantage of the time I have been given and jot down some thoughts. No matter how much we think we are in control of our lives the universe or the divine lets us know the cold hard truth. The reason why I have the extra time is this morning I got up turned up my heat and nothing. I thought I could push what my oil I had left and not fill my tank till next year. Although I had 25 gallons in the tank life said nope you need to order oil. So I am waiting in a very cool house for my delivery. My furnace and heat pump are old and I think I might switch over to natural gas so I wanted to empty my tank. Ah this is life stepping in and saying not now with your furnace, maybe just the heat pump. Whenever I am in a quandary over something in my life I ask to be given some guidance or answers. You need to stay aware of the signs because they are usually subtle and gentle nudges although sometimes I need a swift kick in the pants. So today I am reminded again how little control I have over the events in my life. I am simply grateful that the oil has now been delivered and the heat is coming up once again and that I have the money to pay for the oil that has been delivered. I guess I should look into some heat pumps.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Recycling Found Furniture

This is a dresser that found its way to my shop. It was in such disrepair but I could still see the potential in this dresser. I started by sanding and removing the brown paint and discovered the top was in good condition but the body of the dresser would have to be painted. I removed the hardware and replaced the knobs with new stained shaker style knobs. The feet were structurally sound so I opted to paint them the same as the body and drawers of the dresser. The top was stained a honey brown color (my own mixture) and the rest painted blueberry blue with alkyd paint. The total of three times with a light sanding in between each time gave this dresser a durable base finish.
I was ready to add some decorative finishes. I used acrylic paints to create the garland design on each of the drawers and after the paint dried I add line work to detail my design. Once I am satisfied with the look I have achieved I then add two coats of varnish again lightly sanding between each time. When the piece is completely dry and that will vary due to humidity in the air, I then finish with beeswax.
The finished piece is quite different from when it first came to the shop. It was on its way to clutter another landfill. Now this little dresser was unique in design and would last for many years if not generations.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Oops I changed the name again.

I am stream lining my branding name so I have changed my blog heading to follow with my business name Laurie Rohner Studio. Since I have taken a new direction with my business it is important to keep everything as coherent as possible. This gives your customers and yourself an easier way of connecting with you and your work.
I find it has become imperative to the growth of my business and my own creativity to draw on a multitude of talents. This will not only improve the quality of the work but I will grow as an individual. There are many fine artists in this world all waiting to be the next discovery which when you are married or wealthy or retired or working full time at a job and your art is secondary I guess you can wait. But I am none of those and I am terrible at waiting so I am doing what I do best. I enjoy taking wood and sawing it down to create a functional useful work of art. My style has been cultivated and honed and when I work in my wood shop and smell the wood it is comfortable and I am at home. It is the same when I smell the paint as I work the canvas or paper or walls or wood. I love the entire process.
That is why it annoys me and saddens me when other artist (many women) make judgements and critique how another artist makes a living. You read volumes of how to be successful artists yet they have never had to survive on their own. There are scores of people declaring their success only to disappear by the end of the year. Then there are a number of us who work at their craft, honing their style and skill, because they discovered a purpose. An artist is someone who experiences all that can be created making no judgement and finding joy after it is finished. If you are an artist that has to keep an eye on the bottom line and is what I think is a professional artist please join in and criticize.
I recently added a fan page to facebook and was surprised when friends didn't become a fan. Maybe a glitch in the facebook system and maybe not but it is a nonverbal way of alienating another. I personally will become a fan to anyone who sends me an invite. Just good for karma.
My hope is to make people aware that a professional artist life is very challenging and when you are a single artist it can be daunting. Funny thing I wouldn't have my life any other way.

Monday, February 8, 2010

A Small Discovery.

I had decided to start the year ready for new and exciting changes. I organized myself and my living /work space. I donated to worthy causes and discarded items to be recycled or put a sign out offering them for free and as I worked I discovered how freeing the experience had become. There has been a lot of change in my life with the passing of some key people and the numerous moves I had made over the past several years. I found that I had held onto the ghosts and memories of an old outdated life that no longer represented who and how I wanted my life to be lived. People who brought back painful memories and who are not in my life anymore yet I packed photos carefully and moved them with me each time. Why do we cling to these painful memories and people so tightly? I feel sometimes we stay so connected to things in the past we get stuck and can’t move forward. Growth becomes stagnant and our lives are lived out in a void of indifference and without passion. So this past week I had a clearing away party and burned the photos of all the people and events that didn’t support my life (maybe they never had). As the fire claimed the memories I would say a positive affirmation. The final step to claiming my life back and saying good bye to the ghosts of the past and discovering a new life of possibilities is waiting. I experienced a jolt of renewed energy, of optimism and passion showing me where I wanted to go in life. I see my path with clarity and excitement.
One thing did strike me; the world has become too complacent with corporations doing whatever they want and people feeling as if they will never see the light again. Maybe it is time for each of us to clear out the things, memories and people who are weighing us down. Take a stance and take responsibility for your actions and life. We fill our lives with nothingness and are shocked when we still have nothing. Cut up the credit card or throw away the cell phone you can’t afford. Instead learn how to cook a healthy meal for your family and friends or take a hike in the woods with your dog and kids and learn more about the world that you share with an entire planet. Fill your life with things of meaning not just things. Be an individual and do it because it is right for you. Better yet venture out of your comfortable little box and experience something challenging. You may just discover someone new and it may even be you.

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