Monday, January 3, 2011

Some questions from e-mail answered including one on studio wall color.

1930 Dusenburg. Could any car have been more elegant?

1979 citivan built by citicar. Looks like a doorstop, it matters what stuff looks like.

I will answer a couple of my e-mailed questions tonight.

"Stape; Love your blog, and find it generous, crisply-written, betrays not a hint of egotism and is always encouraging. But it looks like a ton of work, and the selfish bastard in me has me wondering why you do it, considering your busy schedule as painter ,teacher, entrepreneur, spouse, what have you. From their timedates, your blogs look like the last conscious thing you do at the end of what must be an exhausting day. I’m no spring chick, and am pretty sure we’re roughly the same age. At midnight, or whenever you find time to write your blog, I’m fast asleep!"

It is a ton of work and I do it the last thing every day. Sometimes I am exhausted. Here with bullets is why I do it.
  • Remember when I wrote about Earl Nightingale here. Earl talks about the importance of being a leader in your field and working towards being an expert in your field? The blog is part of that. I have to study to write it so it is a learning experience for me too. The economy has made it harder to make it as an artist, Doing this blog is part of my adjustment to that reality.If you want more out, put more in.
  • Last time I looked, I had 39 comments tonight thanking me for doing the blog. I get thank you notes every day in my e-mail, I like that, it is affirming and I will work for praise. I like to feel useful and valued. That is I suppose a little shallow, but I am hooked up that way.
  • I am a natural pedant, I like to pontificate and the blog gives me the opportunity to be a blowhard and get away with it. I talk all the time, it seemed like a natural fit,
  • I do know a lot of esoteric art stuff, having spent a life studying it, starting as a child. I knew the orders of furniture before I knew the facts of life. I didn't marry until I was thirty five because it took that long to find a woman with cabriole legs and ball and claw feet.
  • When I was a younger man I found amateur artists irritating because they didn't know much about art. At some point I figured out that since the art schools and the media didn't teach it, it was wrong to fault them for something that I could have told them. The onus was on me to tell them what I was disappointed that they didn't know.
  • I was taught to paint by Ives Gammell who was raising up a pack of Jesuits to change the art world. This is my contribution to that end. It is my way of having an effect on the art world rather than just grousing about it in bull sessions with my fellow artists.
  • I will die. I have seen a lot and known a lot of artists, that should be documented. I have been a fly on the wall so many times and it would be irresponsible not to set it down.
  • I post the blog at whatever time and then go back in and reset the timedates for the next day. That means that when people wake up and read it with their morning coffee it bears that days date. It is published late at night but is dated for the next day.
Here is another:
"We recently converted our garage into a studio for me and I'm faced with choosing the wall and ceiling colors.
I saw something online about painting studio walls dark grey to cut down on glare:
However, I'm not sure this is the best idea for my space because it doesn't get much natural light anyway- Just two skylights and a small south facing window in the door.
I'll be using the space for painting as well as my office.
Any suggestions?"

You said your space is a little dim, if you need to maximize the light I suggest Linen white. It is a WAY off white and my studio is painted that color. It is close to ivory. Pure white is too much, linen white seems about as close as you can get without it being too antiseptic and having too much glare. That should maximize your light. If you have plenty of light, I would go further still off-white towards a gray or dove color. I would avoid a strong color as it would affect your painting by being an ambient bias in the color of the light in your studio. Rubens had a dull red color in his studio and I painted a gallery that color once. It was a nice space and I was happy working in it. Remember the floor is also a reflective surface and you want to take that into account also, if you have a dark floor, that will absorb a lot of light and make your studio darker. I have an oak floor which is very dark and that is one of the reasons my northlight studio has off-white walls.


Pati said...

I love this blog - my husband, a lawyer, found it for me, and we both read it at least a few times each week. I found the first email particularly fun as it echoed thoughts I have often had when reading your blog. And your answer is great even if a little humbling, since I'm lucky to have a day when I've finished a painting,(or a set up for next painting), posted to my blog, and kept up with email, social media ( which is where I show my work) hanging out with my husband, and just living a great life, before falling asleep. So, just another appreciative artist for your labor of love. Thanks, Stape. I hope I get to meet you someday.
Pati Springmeyer

Reece Hancock said...

Thank you for this blog. I am just getting started as an amateur painter (a little over a year under my belt) and I want to absorb as much as I can because I want to do it right. With two small children, I don't get a chance to paint or draw every night like I would like, so I study. This blog affords me that important study. Thank you, Stape!

Debra Norton said...

I didn't catch your anniversary post in time - but I still want to say THANKS! I really appreciate all the work you put into this, and I love your wacky sense of humor. Reading your blog reminds me of talking around the lunch table when I was in art school.

b said...

This is the best art blog ever.

Other blogs, and books for that matter, teach you the mechanics of making art and then stop. You keep going and teach how to think while making art.

I talk about things you've taught me on this blog to other artists and all I get are crickets chirping. It's like I've joined some secret club and I forget that those around me aren't members.

I don't know if you ever come out west, but I hope one day to attend a workshop, or at least a lecture by you.

Anonymous said...

you will be well asleep when i read this in scotland as i can see it was published 3 hours ago.... here is another sincere thanks for sharing your thoughts and knowledge:)

Philip Koch said...

The lights of Hollywood have caught up with Stape!
Our intrepid blog writer is one of the artists featured in the new documentary film "Painting Together in Provincetown" that will show this Sat., Jan. 15 at 1 & 3 p.m. at the Cape Cod Museum of Art in Dennis, MA on Cape Cod. (Rumor has it that Stape himself will arrive at the screenings in his fully restored 1930 Dusenburg, perhaps with starlets on each arm).

The screening of the film coincides with a group show of the artists in the film that will be on display at the Museum through Feb.28.

Mary Byrom said...

How interesting to hear your studio walls are linen white. That is the color my husband told me to paint my new studio. (a converted garage like yours) I went even farther as my north light windows are covered by trees for 3 months and painted the floor ivory. Wow, what a difference. People love being in this space. The guy down at the lumber store calls it a greek temple and wants me to keep it lit at night...from the street it does look pretty after dark . said...

Hey Stapleton, I 'll throw a big thank you, here, to you and Kathleen (Stapleton's wonderful wife ) for your blog and getting in some meaningful discussions about art. I probably agree with you most of the time but you only remember the times I am a contrarian...because that is more fun and memorable. Can't wait for the posts on aesthetics..MoreAlex Katz discussions?

Plein Air Gal said...

The walls in your studio are PAINTED? All I remember is books, books, books ... I don't think I even SAW a wall!
Congratulations on 2 years of blogging ... here's to many more!

Tim Fitzgerald said...

I must confess to being asleep when you write your wonderful,informative,instructive,interesting and the best art school around blog. I have learned so much from you and realize the small steps we take with your help are what gives us the incentive to keep going down this long road of learning to paint. There's only one Stapleton Kearns.
Thank You

barbara b. land of boz said...

Stapleton, time does seem to fly when your doing something you truly love. Its all been said, about the way you lead us thru the dark halls of history, (we kinda like it too)and the old hard edge soft edge,cool or warm color, lets not forget the big Value part of the never ending power of having that knowledge in our pockets ready to be used as needed. Yes Stape, you are useful...but don't let us use you all up!
I wanted you to publish your book right away,(because I like a hard copy to study) but now I am quiet happy to see what new thoughts you care to share with us each day. I, and many others benefit from the way you "Pay It Forward." Thank you for your time indeed!

Stapleton Kearns said...

Thank you.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Thank you too!

Stapleton Kearns said...

It reminds me of that too except I am doing all the talking.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Thank you. I am having a influence on the people who read this blog I guess. I hope it has made you the best informed in your cricket group.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Why don't you Scots put out a good book on Raeburn?

Stapleton Kearns said...

I will wear my mink!I got some really outrageous quotes on that movie, I have seen the rushes, I hope they didn't end up on the cutting room floor.

Stapleton Kearns said...

I hope to see that studio some day!

Stapleton Kearns said...

I may have to do an Alex Katz post soon. It ain't gonna be pretty.

Stapleton Kearns said...

I do have some books. But there are painted walls. I have dark wainscoting halfway up the walls too.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Thanks to you too,

Stapleton Kearns said...

I have decided to self publish, because of the expense of that it may not happen soon. But that is OK, I keep piling up material in the archives to use.

Mark Heng said...

Hi Stape, Thanks for the studio wall insights...I was originally going to go for a 50% gray, but maybe I'll split the difference between that and the linen white.