Tuesday

The Studio... Part 3



This little old sign has been with me since 1993... Just painted on an old cedar shingle .. it hung outside on my last house in Springfield, New Brunswick, for 7 years before moving along with us when we came here. It hangs by my bead desk now.




Thing 1 hangs over the computer desk... I found him in a bag of toys we bought at a flea market for the dogs to play with... He is a tiny finger puppet and was just too cute to have his head ripped off by those rambunctious rascals... it is much safer here for him ... but he had to promise not to get into mischief !!




As boring as this picture is.. I have to tell you, that in it is one of my most favourite things in the studio.. the electric pencil sharpener.. Ahhh.. yes... It's still a baby... only 1 year old... so it gets special care and sits on my main desk...

I had a rotary model for 16 years and I still have it but nothing will compare to this... I absolutely love sharp pencils!!



This is the copper counter top we made for the sink... I don't worry about keeping it shiny with heavy polishing and cleansers... I mean I do keep it clean but not with harsh chemicals that alter the surface... I just let it develop its own patina... I think it tells a story of a sort and seems to become more beautiful with use... and copper is antibacterial, by the way...




Our son, Max, made this Map of Canada, 24" x 35", as a project several years ago when he was 10... he felt very good about his achievement and I thought he did a great job on it, so we hung it in a place of honour in the studio.

... Max collects all things science and nature so some of his butterflies and moths have come to light here... the Luna Moth is rather large... surprisingly it's bigger than Newfoundland!





Some of the books that I keep up in the studio... science.. art... jewelry... design... nature... geography... literature... history... fables... pop-ups...




Quite a few belong to Max but we all share....



.... art... design...calligraphy... rhymes... weaving... quilting... pattern making... even some cook books...



I liked the way the sun was shining in on these trays of colored beads... rather cheery...




A coal heart... a stone heart and a thick rusty metal heart... all found on the beaches of the Bay of Fundy... The Luna moth was found in a service station parking lot...



This post holds things that make me feel at home in my studio ... they inspire... and lead me here and there in my mind... I can come here to think and they are waiting for me... I am very grateful for this...

.

29 comments:

Ruth said...

I love sharp pencils too! I am the pencil sharpening queen. So that photo is no boring to me. The copper counter is going to grow its map of experience more beautifully every day. The sun on the beads must have been great to see, because it is in the photo. A collection of hearts out of the earth - Oh Gwen, and a found moth. I can see why these things make you feel at home. They are treasures.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Having one's own space in which to create is so important, isn't it? Virginia Woolf was right about that one. I do share your love of sharpened pencils, and am quite taken with Thing. Lovely studio!

Chris' Greetings from the Shady Grove said...

I just sharpened 72 new colored pencils by hand, I'm envious. I guess I'll steer clear of Newfoundland. Those giant Luna moths look vicious. It's wonderful to see the things you hold dear.

Gwen Buchanan said...

I am so glad I am not alone in my sharp pencil fetish!!! Pamela and Ruth, that must make us kindred spirits of a sort!!


Ruth, I am so glad you feel as I do that sometimes it's the little things, when they come together, bring the deeper satisfaction..



Pamela, you are so right... a special place to let the ideas out, to float around till they become something new... Thank-you.

denise said...

Oh, the electric pencil sharpener - it has to be put up high in this house, as the boys will sharpen and sharpen in an addictive frenzy until all that remains is tiny stubs of pencils! ;)

More lovely treasures...a very inspiring and creative place.

Gwen Buchanan said...

Thanks Chris you're funny!!!
Oh I forgot.. I have always sharpened my pencil crayons by hand with an exacto knife... oh yes , I never let them near a pencil sharpener ... I dread to waste a single precious colored pigment from them...
My new baby is just for my fast dulling graphic/lead pencils...

Are your fingers sore?

and Steer clear of the Luna!

Gwen Buchanan said...

Ahh. Denise, You describe that so well!! I will have to watch out for that when the grandchildren find out what it can do.. Thanks for the warning... Take care!!

kathi dunphy said...

Ahhh, Gwen, We are on the same wavelength with the electric pencil sharpener...mine is almost an antique and I love it dearly. I always feel a twinge of guilt deriving such pleasure from its use tho... My first husband eons ago bought it on a whim when we didnt have 2 cents to rub together. I chewed him out royally at the time for being so wasteful, that must have been about 1972. Now it has a place of honor in my studio where it still performs admirably.
kathi

Gwen Buchanan said...

Funny story, Kathi!! I have to tell you that the first electric pencil sharpener I ever saw was at Your House at the watercolor classes... It was love at first sight!!!!!!

I hope mine lasts for a 1/4 century!

Don said...

As you can imagine, I love sharp pencils too. I amm amazed how third graders are content to use the nubbiest pencils they can find. I like 'em sharp! I also love how your studio is your big piece of art. It must help you create

Arija said...

Gwen I even hate to waste anything even from a lovely soft lead pencil and have carries a Gillette razor blade in a sheath in my coin purse since 1963 in case I stop to sketch, who knows, it may see use again some day.
I'm very impressed with your studio, the bead tray and hanging beads and everything so clean and in it's place.

Gwen Buchanan said...

Thank you Don, The studio space is very precious to me and so kind of you to notice.
...Where do old pencils go to die?... they never die... they just live in little kids pencil cases.....
...maybe it is a combo of their tiny fingers and what Denise was saying of young children not knowing when to stop at the sharpener.. they are probably mesmerized by all the shavings that are being created and then Opps!! no pencil!! so cute!!! Their parents probably sent brand new ones with them in the morning.. haha

.......

Thanks so much, Arija, that is such a smart thing to do... I usually carry an olfa blade in my tote bag, just in case.. A little off topic but it just occurred to me, that I never thought of it as a weapon of any kind till now.. I wonder how many people carry things with them that could be construed as a bit lethal?.. All for our love of Sharp pencils!!!

Anet said...

So funny, Noah burned up our pencil sharpener the other day. He was sharpening a bag of Halloween pencils that he just got. I think maybe the motor was too hot, I should give it another try it just might work again now it's cooled off.
I love Max's map! I have this thing for maps and globes. Especially old ones.
The hearts are so sweet, what a great thing to collect!

Gwen Buchanan said...

Max will be glad to hear that Anet! Thanks!!

That is some pretty hot pencils you have there!!! Hope it works when you try!

seth said...

Such great collections and wonderful objects to be surrounded by. I love the way Max's things are mixed in as well. His map is fantastic.

Gwen Buchanan said...

Thanks Seth, Max learned so much while doing that map.. he toured Canada at his tabletop using various book sources... one favourite was "The Beauty and Splendor of North America"..

He could have done one of the States too as he had enough info... who knows he may, he loves map-making...

shicat said...

So many textures and objects of inspiration. I loved the copper sink and the beads in the sunlight,combine all of this with that fabulous view, wow you are one lucky arty gal.

Marie Alton said...

I have to say...I laughed out loud when I saw Thing 1! I used to love reading Dr Seuss to the kids. Have you ever read "All Because a Little Bug Went Kachoo" ?
A great lesson in "cause & effect".
Now that I think about it...it might not have been a Seuss book...but was in a set that my sis gave me...fabulous anyway.

Luna moths have always intrigued me...so beautiful.

Pencils...I personally like the "clicky" type...the ones you put lead from a tube in.

Thanks for sharing all the cool stuff in your studio!

Gwen Buchanan said...

Hi Marie, Those Dr. Seuss books were so fun, weren't they... even now... One of the last quilts I made for one of my baby twin grandsons I appliqued The Cat in the Hat on the back corner.. on the other I appliqued Curious George.. I'll have to get some pictures of them to post.
So you are a Clicky pencil girl!!!

.....

Hi Shicat, thanks for dropping over.. I have been admiring your watercolors!!!

PG said...

Is that Luna Moth real?? It is incredible! I saw you had 'Nightmares in the Sky' on your shelf, I've got that and what a great book it is, now out of print I think.

Robyn said...

I wish I could abracadabra myself into your studio, Gwen. Am I repeating myself?

Gwen Buchanan said...

Robyn I wish you could too.. What a great time that would be!!! then I'll abracadabra myself to yours!!!

...

Your are so right Gretal, The thought of running out of our heat source spurs us on to fill up the woodshed.. We are starting to stack a couple cord into the garage now... just in case... I answered your comments on the opposite posts.. must not be fully woken up yet!!!

Sandy said...

You can definitely tell this is a home where artists live. I really enjoyed seeing all this, and I agree, sharp pencils, since I love to work with colored pencils so much.

I really enjoyed this thread, enjoyed the one above and I like that photo of Jon by the wood pile.

and the one above that, the letter book...

all interesting posts.

Gwen Buchanan said...

Hi Sandy! Thank you!

Sharp pencils are the winning common factor... I guess it means we are all using our pencils ... that means we are all being creative or pursuing a needed task or project...and I like that!!!

We are so glad so much wood went under cover.. we really should have had it done earlier but procrastination got in the way...

dberube-art said...

Great post, made me smile. Can completely relate to it.
Funny thing too, I have a stone "heart" collection as well. Every place/country I visit, I come back w/a special new heart shaped stone. Just came back from Big Sur with a beauty. LOL

Gwen Buchanan said...

hey that is fun... Maybe you happen to have a dog that tears things to pieces occasionally.. what would we do without them...
Big Sur.. well that would be a dream ..... You must have a fantastic collection ... They are quite irrestible aren't they?

mansuetude said...

a coal heart
a stone heart
a thick rusty metal heart
all found

I love these.
Pencils, it is my first and oldest thing, that always ended up in my hand... it was one of those places that my body mindlessly wanted to take to myself, and keep for me.
This is like a place (a pencil) that opens up a link to what is old, very raw and simple. It could be for me, likened to a cave, a way to get back to something sensed, old (a tool to dig with, to build fires . talks ... ;)

this is a secret. ;\:)

Gwen Buchanan said...

oh yes the pencil draws out the thoughts.. words... pictures...

who can see what is hidden inside a frame of flesh and bone... the sum of what has been experienced by that same being... how they interpret it it... so individual and fresh...

mansuetude said...

we are unfathomable
one to each other,
and yet, on some level
the same...

its amazing &
you are wise