Friday, April 28, 2017

Going Solo

One year ago this month, I joined forces with my friend, Jay Bailey and moved into a beautiful industrial studio space in Deep Ellum, Dallas. It was a dream come true. I was finally out of my house with space to grow. And guess what? I grew.

I'm so grateful for Jay's company, his guidance, and his generosity. He helped me to grow my business and get clear about the way in which I want to work.

After much consideration, I'm taking another leap of faith by going solo. Today, I signed a lease on my very own studio space. I'm still at the Continental Gin Building on the 3rd floor, but now I'm down the hall in my own 467 square foot studio. What a thrill!

Here are some photos of the empty studio. I'll do some cleaning in the week ahead and then start moving in! I can't wait to share photos and updates as I make this huge transition. Thanks to everyone here at the blog who has supported my work over the years. And also gratitude to my patrons on PATREON. I'm so grateful!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Studio Work Table

I'm looking to build a studio work table. I want something that's waist-height and provides plenty of storage bellow for canvases and materials. However, I'd also be open to something that resembles a big long farm table. And of course, it must be on casters for mobility around the studio. There seem to be a million ways to accomplish this task, but I thought I'd start with inspiration photos that look functional and generally attractive.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Looks Like Heaven

I love everything about this space. EVERYTHING. The bungalow style architecture, the fireplace and wood stock, low profile furniture, sisal rug... GAH. Transport me now.


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

2017 Home Tour

I think the best way to enjoy your favorite things is to only possess favorite things. If I don't LOVE something, I consider it a moral imperative to let it go. It's the only compassionate and sustainable thing to do.

Six months ago, I walked away from home ownership and downsized my life. My family of four and a dog moved out of a 2,500 square foot detached home with a full garden into a 1,000 square foot apartment. Now, I know that 1,000 square feet is still a lot of room. But for us, it was a huge shift. We also divested ourselves of 70% of our furniture and belongings.

And guess what? I don't miss a thing.

And to be clear, we're not minimalists. We're not part of the tiny house movement. We just want to preserve the resources we have and to enjoy more time together as a family. A smaller and more manageable household helps us to do that.

So here is the new and improved 2017 house tour. 
You can see my previous home tour HERE

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Painting Live During Easter Services

This weekend I tried something entirely new for me. I painted live during Easter services at First Unitarian Church of Dallas. For the past few weeks our ministers have been delivering sermons that focus on creativity. Our need to process life's experiences - the joy and the pain, the abundance and the lack - by transforming it into something expansive and filled with beauty and meaning, is what makes us human. So First UU decided to put an artist on the chancel for Easter to bring that message home. It was a thrilling experiment. 

My paintings were made in tandem with gorgeous hymns from our Sanctuary Choir and also some poetry readings, one of which I've included below. I painted a 48 x 48 inch piece for each of the two services during the hymns. While it's difficult to "finish" a huge piece of art in 30-40 minutes, I enjoyed the freedom of knowing that it was, by nature, an impulse-driven exercise, more concerned with process than product. Many of those in attendance filled my inbox and Facebook feed with kind messages about the service. I'm so grateful to First UU for asking me to the party. It was an Easter I won't soon forget.

Easter Exultet 
By James Broughton 

Shake out your qualms. 
Shake up your dreams. 
Deepen your roots.  
Extend your branches. 
Trust deep water 
and head for the open, 
even if your vision 
shipwrecks you. 
Quit your addiction 
to sneer and complain. 
Open a lookout. 
Dance on a brink. 
Run with your wildfire.  
You are closer to glory 
leaping an abyss 
than upholstering a rut. 
Not dawdling. 
Not doubting. 
Intrepid all the way, 
Walk toward clarity. 
At every crossroad 
Be prepared to bump into wonder. 
Only love prevails. 
En route to disaster 
insist on canticles. 
Lift your ineffable 
out of the mundane. 
Nothing perishes; 
nothing survives; 
everything transforms! 
Honeymoon with Big Joy!

Here are the pieces I created during the first and second services:

Here All Along, 48 x 48 inch acrylic on canvas

Trust Deep Water, 48 x 48 inch acrylic on canvas

Feedback from Congregants

I can't begin to tell you how privileged we felt this morning watching Sarah paint during Easter service. I admire her courage, generosity, inspiration, and talent. What a beautiful complement to Daniel's sermon. ~ Janine Fields

Watching Sarah work today was the greatest gift. We don't make it every Sunday but when we do it's always very worth the trip and the crazy... On this Easter Sunday...I am being gifted the privilege of watching Sarah Greenman create and that renews and lifts my soul in a way I didn't expect today. ~ Barrett Nash

Sunday morning was an artistic wonder - painting, music, and a sermon that was poetry. Life does not get much better than that - nor does an expression of spirit that reaches depth and wonder. ~ Charles Vorkoper

We were treated to the beauty of live painting during the service from Sarah Greenman today and a wonderful sermon about becoming awakened and "woke" and how that can change lives and the world for good. ~ Shelby Eidson

ARTWORK as a part of Easter! I can't find the words to express how much I LOVE this, so I'll just explain what it is: Sarah Greenman is painting a new piece in each of the two services this morning - painting during the musical portions of the services - whatever inspires her, and improvising. All of this is an incredible example of the creativity, openness, and joy within First Unitarian Church of Dallas and the people who are here. Huge bonus: The rich, powerful, gorgeous singing of Jonathan Greer in the solo portions of "Easter," from "Mystical Songs" by Vaughan Williams. His voice and Sarah's art are both such a treat for the ears and eyes and heart. ~ Dana Lynne White

Monday, April 17, 2017

8 Must Haves in the Studio

It was almost a year ago that my studio mate asked me to share a space with him at the Continental Gin Building in Dallas. Before that time, I created a studio space in my own home. Having my own dedicated studio, separate from my home, has been revolutionary for my art practice. When I sit down to work now, I'm more focused. I'm able to approach the work with greater clarity. And when I'm painting, I can completely disengage with the narrative of wife, mother, house-manager, schedule-keeper... it all just fades away because I am literally in a different space.

Now that I've been in my studio for 11 months, I've become dependent on a few key elements. For some artists, they need a certain amount of light or square footage or a particular kind of brush. Today, I'm going to outline some things that have become my "must haves" in the studio.

1. White Walls

I only have a couple of windows in my studio and they are covered with vining foliage, so to better reflect the natural (and artificial) light in my studio, I think white walls are best. 

2. Storage

I like to keep things tidy in my studio. I work quickly and I like to have all of my tools within reach. I don't have a fancy set up like the one below, but I'd like to!

3. Rolling work space

The table legs pictured below are from Ikea and they are the same ones I use in my space. All artists need a workspace, but it also needs to roll out of the way for studio visits, classes, and art openings. Putting your work table on wheels is the easiest way to accomplish this.

4. Task lighting

My studio, while well lit, doesn't always fit the bill. I use clamp lights and swing arm lights to illuminate spaces on the fly. My studio mate also uses this kind of lighting to light models when he hosts figure drawing classes in our studio.

5. Protective clothing

I am a super messy painter. I spatter and drip and use my fingers and wipe my hands on things. So, I need protective gear. I use good old fashioned canvas aprons while working in the studio. 

6. Golden Acrylic Paints

I work almost exclusively with Golden Acrylic paints I like both the fluid and heavy bodied paint textures. My favorite colors are always on hand.

7. Dark accent wall

I know, I know. Number 1 above was white walls. But I also like having one dark wall to provide contrast for my artwork. I like placing my work on a dark wall for perspective. I have one black wall in my studio and I love it!

8.  Space to hang my work

Its also really important to me that my studio be a place that clients and students can visit and view my work. I don't need a ton of wall space, but I need at least one clean white wall to display my work. Here's a shot of my display wall in my studio.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Eclectic Kitchen

Many of you will remember that I sold my home last fall. My family has since transitioned to a much smaller apartment, which is proving to be the perfect place for us. We've got around 1000 square feet - which is plenty for a family of four, a wheelchair and a dog.

I'm so grateful for the smaller space. My housework-load has diminished exponentially and the cost of upkeep for our 2,600 square foot ranch house has disappeared. The other benefit is that we have access to a pool, a private gym, and a lovely dog park, all of which I do not have to maintain. Heaven.

But this morning, I'm missing my kitchen stove a bit. It was a beautiful 5-gas burning stove and I loved cooking on it. My current kitchen, while bigger and certainly upgraded, does not have the charm of my previous kitchen. So today, I'm sharing photos of dreamy eclectic kitchens. These homey spaces remind me that I need to add a few more personal touches to my cookie cutter apartment kitchen.