Well, my studio work this week is all about painting and collaging, as I prepare for the 2010 Coronado Historic Home Tour on May 2. This tour is called "The Winchester Legacy", as most of the Craftsman style homes were developed by F.C. Winchester between 1909 and 1911. The one exception is the home where I'll be perched. This "folk-Victorian" home was built in 1896, the same year as the Hotel del Coronado. This home shares many details and similarities with the Hotel del Coronado, the most notable one is the identical railing pattern.
I have been invited to be a "Garden Artist" at the Historic Home Tour for the second year in a row. (Sounds better than a "house painter", doesn't it? I didn't get much response when I referred to myself that way last year!) I am honored to prepare and present for this important event. Coronado is my home town, and it's charm lies in it's lovely and unique historic homes. We own a lovely historic Spanish Bungalow, and after we restored it, I vowed I'd do what I can to help Coronado's preservation efforts in maintaining their historic homes.
So, just what the heck is a garden artist? you might wonder. Well, it's where I take my paints and easel, set up somewhere in the garden, and paint away during the home tour. I think the best subject matter for these events is the actual house where I'm located. I will be perched on the front porch of that lovely folk Victorian. I'd better wear some period garb in order to blend in!
Though I paint during the Tour, I have a lot of interruptions and chit chatting going on around me, which isn't too conducive to concentrating on the painting. So I 'pre-paint' by having some finished paintings to show, and I start a painting or two, doing the most demanding work, a day or two prior. This also lets the paint set up and cure a bit. I like to paint in oils, and you have to deal with drying time, or you will be facing a mushy mess if you want to finish a painting in one sitting. Well, at least that's how it works for me!
The other thing that I'm all about right now is painting on a prepped collaged base. This preparation involves alot of tools and working fast. I will definitely NOT be doing this during my garden sit. Best people don't see me in action during this harried and fast worked process. Lots of cries of "Yikes!" and other unprintable things, with running trips to the sink, paper towels, rag bin, etc. You get the picture.
Here's a finished painting of the Myers family home, a Winchester home on C Avenue. I couldn't resist painting this gem, and including important messages in both, like "History matters" and "Remember". I've held myself back from getting too specific in the text department. I'm sure people don't want many of my historic preservation messages shoved down their throats. What I've really wanted to say is more along the lines of "QUIT TEARING DOWN THE CORONADO COTTAGES" and "Once they're gone, they're gone for good", and last but not least, "Your Newly Built Monstrosity Ruins the Fabric of Our Quaint Beloved Town". Heck, I just have to use that last one. I'll just paint over alot of the message so it's there only if you look for it. Look reeaaal hard!