Tag Archives: artist studio

“The First Thing You’re Going to Paint is the Walls!”

As you may have read in the previous post, we bought a house, and combined our living and working space, so we moved out of the studio on 4th Ave. As you can imagine, I haven’t been able to get much work done, because I’ve been spending all my time moving, shopping for furniture, and spending three relaxing days in Cordova to celebrate Maria’s birthday. One of our friends came over to check out the new house, and when she saw my studio downstairs, she said, “The first thing you’re going to paint is the walls!” The previous owner had quite a festive taste, and painted the large room downstairs in three different shades of orange. So, yesterday I began the long process of covering up the orange paint. I worked on one painting right when I moved in, because it had to be done by a deadline, and the light in that room was really screwed up because of the bright orange. I felt like the greens in the painting turned out weird, because the room was playing tricks on my eyes. So, before I do any more painting, I’m covering the walls with pure white primer. I’m on the second coat, and I think it will take three coats!!! So, if you need me, you know where I’ll be for the next few days — painting the walls in my new studio.

If you think this is bad, check out the next photo.
It looks brighter IRL!

By the way, our condo is on the market. Click here to check out the listing.

Life Changes on the First Day of Snow

~ by Maria Benner

First Day of Snow

Today is the first day of snow!  This is a very exciting day for most people, and this year it happened on a Monday, making the dreaded first day of the week a bit interesting.  We all know the first day of snow is coming, but for some reason most of us choose not to do anything about it.  But this morning we quickly realized that we’d have to add some extra chores to our list today if we want to continue with our regular daily tasks, like driving.

  1. Change tires on our vehicles to winter tires.  Preferably studded ones, which have the best performance on ice versus the ones that claim to be studd-less winter tires.  Some stores, like Costco, stopped carrying studded tires, because they cause so much road damage, but we found a place just a couple blocks from our studio that still sells them, and tomorrow we’re dropping off our truck so it can get brand new studded tires put on it.
  2. Switch to our fat bikes that also have studded tires.  We ride bikes to the studio from our condo, because the studio is only 1 mile away, and we have to pay for parking.  So today we had to air up the tires on those bad boys, and get them ridable again for the first time since last March.
  3. Put the big brushes that we use to clean the snow off our truck back into the truck.  We took them out for the summer to have more space in the back seat.
  4. Pull out winter boots, and put away summer shoes.  Same goes for winter jackets, hats, gloves, etc.  Good luck finding all that stuff after several months.
  5. We live in a condo, so we don’t have to worry about snow removal, but most people had to clear their driveways on top of all the other snow-related chores.

We still have to wash our summer bikes to make the transition to winter complete.  Right now we’re excited for winter, and all the activities we’ll get to do like ice skating, skiing, and fat biking.  Ask me again in a few months how I feel about it.

In case you’re looking for some indoor activities now that it’s cold outside, this Friday we’re hosting a First Friday Open Studio event.  Stop by and see the newest oil paintings for the first time, enjoy some complimentary refreshments (Scott always bakes fresh cookies), and meet the artist if you haven’t already.  Click here to see the event on Facebook.  If you’re not on FB, here are the deets: November 2nd, 5 – 7:30pm, Suite 4 inside the 4th Avenue Market Place on 333 W 4th Avenue.

Talkeetna Air Taxi flight over Denali

One of the newest oil paintings never seen by anyone in person yet, except the artist and his Business Manager. 36″x18″, oil on panel.

“How is the new studio working out?”

The most common question we’ve been hearing is, “How’s the new studio working out?”  Two months ago we moved our work outside our home to a more spacious studio space inside the 4th Avenue Marketplace building on 4th Avenue and C Street.  Many people think this is a gallery space with regular hours, but it’s just a studio where we work.  We open it to the public on First Fridays, and customers and friends are welcome to visit when we’re here.  If we wanted to open a retail space, we would have chosen a much better location.  Most of our sales happen online at our Etsy shop, at Dos Manos year-round, and at galleries around Alaska in the summer time, and the two solo exhibitions at Midnight Sun Brewing in January and June each year, and at Modern Dwellers Chocolate Lounge in October.

So, how’s the studio working out?  Well, it’s nice not having our small home cluttered with work supplies, and now there’s a definite separation between work and personal life.  We’re more productive in a shorter period of time.  The studio makes us look more professional to clients who stop by to pick up paintings, and having a First Friday event space is definitely a bonus.  We love the view, and the extra space.  On the other hand, we had to adjust to leaving home to go to work, sometimes forgetting things at one place, and having to plan a bit more carefully.  That’s not a big deal though.  So far we haven’t noticed the extra cost of the space in our day-to-day lives, but it definitely hasn’t generated enough revenue to cover the extra expense.  With the summer tourism season coming up, that may change, but we’ll miss about half of that, because we’ll be in McCarthy finishing up the cabin.

Eventually the plan may be to open a gallery, but we don’t want it to be a conventional one, because those seem to be empty most of the time.  So we’ve been brainstorming about offering beer and wine and an area dedicated for kids.  What else would make a gallery more of an attraction?

Several people who stopped by on First Friday asked what the studio looks like when we’re actually working, rather than hosting a reception.  So here are some photos of the “action”.