In The Studio |The First Friday

A Review of the February 2021

Last month I wrote about my year in review for 2020, The Zentangle Method® and the Artists who created it, my Mom, and her book “Ramblings.” In addition to my three blogs, I spent most of January getting ready for 2021, yes I know, it was a bit late but I’m a huge planning procrastinator!

In addition to “business tasks,” I started my inside spring cleaning. Some folks like to wait until it’s actually springtime, but my thinking is “if I’m stuck inside I might as well get my inside spring cleaning done now.” I live in Indiana where one of our favorite lines is “If you don’t like the weather, wait a few hours it will change!” There have been times where we’ve experienced all four seasons in one day. By getting my inside work done I have more time when it’s actually nice outside to work in my yard and do other things besides housework!

Picture of the lake with snow
Winter in Indiana

In addition to going through the stuff mentioned I clean out shelves, drawers, nooks, and crannies as I go. A couple of years ago, I kind of got organized and created a “place for everything and everything in its place” which I try to follow through with. However, when I’m in the middle of more than one project at the same time I tend to be a “stacker” until the project is done. One of my goals this year is to end each studio session by setting out the items needed for the next day and putting everything else away. The other is to create an inventory spread sheet and maintain it. We shall see! I’ve worked in the middle of studio chaos for so long that this may not happen.

For me, spring cleaning in the studio typically involves going through items like cards, magazines,  leftover papers, incomplete Zentangle® tiles and paintings that I’ve put aside during the year with the thought of “doing something” with them. As a result, I end up with a years’ worth of clutter to sort through. In my mind it’s kind of the same concept of “if you haven’t worn it for a year toss it.” I also have a “she shed” where artsy crafty things I’m not ready to let go of yet land during the cold weather to be sorted out when it’s warmer.

Besides the everyday life things, I’ve also made time to be in the studio this past month. One of my top commission clients had an abstract painting that was created by her deceased Mother-In-Law which had one of her least favorite colors, pink, in it. We worked together to find a replacement color she liked, and I touched up those areas with it. I’ve also been working on a new work series using The Zentangle Method® and planning a class which I will talk more about next week in my Zentangle® blog.

Thanks for hanging out with me this week!

In The Studio | The First Friday

Well….. really the second Friday because the First Friday of 2021 was New Year’s Day. Whew… WHAT a year 2020 was for me! I always like to look for the ray of sunshine peeking through the clouds and this year with COVID-19 I had the big thought of Yay! I have more time to whip my online “art stuff” into shape. Life and work happened, and I procrastinated right through December 31st, 2020 where online tasks were concerned.

Writing makes me think of my mom Rose Mary Clarke (columnist for The Weekly View) who was very dedicated about writing something everyday and had zillions of ideas. Me, I tend to be more dedicated to creating and less dedicated to writing. Oh yeah, and this is my very first blog…. Ever… and I miss my Mom. Sigh.

Rose Mary Clarke & Victoria Clarke

But! I am taking the bull by the horns and following Mom’s example. My primary non art goal this year is to create one themed blog per week. Some potential items… what I’ve been up to in and out of the studio, featured artists, The Zentangle Method®, and maybe some tips, tricks and “Ramblings by Rose Mary” with the illustrations for starters.

So, enough about the new blog! Let’s jump into what I’ve been up to with a quick year in review. For a few months, my Dad came to stay with my husband Tom and me at the beginning of the pandemic. In July, he went back home, and Tom and I adopted a stray Chocolate Lab, Snickers, (pictured second) from our Veterinarian Dr. Sam at Monon Vet Clinic. Tom had been wanting another dog every since we moved to our current home near Monticello Indiana and I had kept telling him once he was living at home full time we would get another one. I also thought our 12-year-old Lab Lily could use a little sister. In case you don’t already know me, Lily (pictured first) is our love child, adopted around the same time we were married and living in Fremont Indiana.

Dr. Sam informed us Snickers was about a year and a half old, able to jump 6 ft fences and was not leash trained. After messing around for almost 5 months trying to train her with some help from Dani Sosbi of DogWood Kennel we decided it was a good idea to send her to doggie boarding school for a month at Ruff Lyfe to work on her manners. Additionally, she is learning to be friendly to cats so that she can go on visits to Grandpa’s (my Dad) house. We pick her up tomorrow…. It should be interesting…. Fingers crossed.

Snickers in training to like cats

Besides getting to spend almost five months with my Dad and working on various acrylic painting commissions, another COVID-19 ray of sunshine was that I became a Certified Zentangle Teacher® (CZT®). For the first time ever the fine folks at Zentangle® offered the Certification online so I was finally able to attend. What a blast and what an awesome group of people! I’m looking forward to helping other folks start a new avenue of personal creativity. More on that next week! Look for my next blog titled “Zentangle.”

On New Year’s Day the “New Year, New Me” syndrome kicked in and… (fingers crossed) hopefully this will become a good new habit instead of falling by the wayside like so many New Year’s resolutions seem to. I hope you enjoyed spending a little time with me and my crazy life and hopefully we’ll get together again next week. In the meantime, if you want to follow my progress on various art projects feel free to look me up on Face Book (@vclarkeart) if you haven’t already and like my page. You can also find me on Instagram (victoria_clarke_projects) and just for fun on Pintrest (vclarkeart).

Have a wonderful week!

3 commissioned paintings. Each are acrylic on canvas board “Grand-Doggies,” “Pickles” and Dave

3 separate 5 x 7 acrylic paintings. Grand-Doggies, Pickles, and Dave

“Barcelona Flower Shop”

14 x 17 Acrylic painting Barcelona Flower Shop
Zentangle(R) Holiday Cards