Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Paintings Cleaned? and Delivered to Temporary Housing

   Temporary excitement! The painting cleaner/restorers delivered 6 of my 50 or so paintings that needed to be cleaned after the fire. Insurance paid to have them removed from the frames, vacuumed and wiped. A few days after the fire I was told the paintings must go to these restorers in Newton, even though I said surely I can clean them myself. We waited and waited for the pick up, insurance payout and cleaning. I was so excited to get some of them yesterday. Last night Joe and I nailed them up only to have our fingers marked with soot or residue from the smoke. Not what we expected.

    Joe and I put Miles to Go Before I Sleep with myself surrounded by favorite artists, painted in their own styles, over the dining room table in our temporary housing. Several tables in the dining room now, with plenty of company! We draped Bounce sheets on the hanging wire, not to cover the hint of smoke smell, but maybe to neutralize the odor somehow. Seems to work a bit. The company said they can't ozone the paintings because it lightens the colors. I might risk it. They didn't feel they could remove canvas. Huh? The company volunteered to try again, but I want my paintings now! Maybe the next paintings will be cleaned better.

     The next painting was Linda and the Painting Teachers,  installed over my new little Yamaha with real piano key touch. Note the earphones so no one in our temporary apartments has to listen to me play the piano. I work from a salvaged book of son Bill's classical pieces brought to my level of expertise: Classics to Contemporaries, early grade piano pieces selected and compiled by Marie Hill.  I ordered Reader's Digest's books of songs arranged and edited by Dan Fox. Dan Fox is the name to remember. His arrangements of popular and beloved songs are wonderful and manageable. The piano is so relaxing.

      Finding more soot was not a thrill. A simple swipe along the edge of the painting to the frame seemed so easy to accomplish at minimum?...a wipe with white cloth over the painting gave a brown cast to cloth. What to do. And they recommended varnishing my paintings...over this? Maybe to cut the action? Smoke is damaging. Much to learn. Google!
I will see what I can find out at the museum.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Up in Smoke: my February post

     Deadlines surround in February and March. I missed my February blog posting yesterday by one day, but I finished rebuilding my lost website to renew it and my domain name, just in time.

      Up in Smoke is a bigger painting (24" x 30") I started this past month in my house fire series. I have had a devil of a time working out what to do with this montage to keep it simple. But today I stopped the clock, gave myself no more time and made it publishable today. All for my blog! A blog is an impetus to create regularly, in my case once a month. A blog is also a place to store one's work for free. I am one day late.

     The paint is not dry yet, so the oils will settle to make it look better. I will surely work on it more, since a photo helps one see more clearly what needs work! You can see the loss and resilience of art.

       Months ago, my website disappeared from my computer on an overnight visit to the Apple Store, but the old software remained. The site remained up on the Internet but I could not add to and subtract. 

         Using the old software, I hopefully totally rebuilt my website from scratch, made a few additions and visited Go Daddy to renew my domain name, Lindahicksweb.com (don't forget the word "web" after my name) and GoDaddy's hosting for 3 years. I can add and subtract paintings to the site on my own, whenever, with no more expense.

      When painting, I often borrow from art history, this time from the great London fire. Also, an IBM ad I saw this morning gave me the idea for the dollar bills floating into oblivion. I had planned to have flying papers symbolizing the nightmare of insurance claims, but the fleeting dollar bills were more fun.

      Last night I found some old photos of the destroyed studio taken after I got Ikea chests to hold my art supplies. Now I can visit the old place nostalgically. In the first photo you can view the circuit breaker box in the closet where I first saw flames that looked like angel wings. Arcing filled the room. Smoke gathered quickly. It was good I forgot how to use the fire extinguisher in the kitchen since it is the wrong kind for an electrical fire! The table beyond the easel reveals that back then I was into encaustic painting. Must do some more soon. I found an electric grill that would be perfect. Always new beginnings! Things are moving along fine. Blessed.