Welcome to 2018!

change, artworksbymarcine, marcine, stars, lights, new year ,2018

I’m sitting on my couch (it’s a rarity, trust me) on December 30th in the afternoon.  The snow has stopped falling here in NJ and I was actually happy that it was snowing because I had nowhere to run to .  Two pots of coffee and a quick shovel of snow, I’m  here writing this blog entry.  I started to think about the year that has almost come to a finish.  I think the theme of “Change”  is a pretty good way to describe the year as a whole.

I’ve always liked changing.  Who wants to stay the same?  Not me.    I think that’s inherent in being an artist.  We’re all about change and embracing it.  That’s how we grow as creatives.   External  physical changes are easy to spot: different hair color (I think I’ve been every shade of red since I was 16) , different clothing styles, (as long as it comes in black–my fave.)   The real changes that are most important are the changes on the inside, in my opinion.  It’s those changes who help us grow and learn.

My son graduated high school this year and was off to college.  I had to deal with letting go.  He was my first one leaving the nest and since my mom passed away 5 years ago, he has been my rock.  Yeah, it was hard.  I had to grow up a little.  I think he was already grown up and ready to leave the nest, lol.  (There’s a saying I have that “We actually learn from our kids.”  )

My husband had Thyroid cancer, which he beat, but then developed lymphoma, and later Lyme  He has had two clean PET scans so no lymphoma but we are always watchful and stay  on top of bimonthly checkups.  The Lyme?  Well, that is another story.  We’ve become vigilant about our health and are proactive in addressing any concerns.

My younger son, who is in the sixth grade,  has had changes in school, which directly affects us at home.  We are trying to give him more responsibility to manage himself but in small increments so he doesn’t get frustrated.

And me?  Well, I’ve changed some of my habits, getting rid of not so good ones and replacing them with more good ones (still a work in progress.)  I’m making friends both online and offline with people who are more of my silly, sarcastic,  real, down to earth, creative ” tribe,” who are positive thinking, honest individuals which is a good thing, and I’m weeding out the toxic people.   Professionally, I have had the opportunity this year to work for  really wonderful clients who appreciate and see the value in what I do and trust my judgement. Yes: appreciation, value, trust.   Clients like that fuel my fire as an artist and a business person and for me, that has been super exciting.  The end result is some really cool projects I completed. This is one of my goals for the new year: to find more clients exactly like those people.  One of my other goals is to keep expanding my tribe.  In my personal artwork, I started getting back into making my art.  I have paintings in my studio that I feel are unfinished.  I just don’t have an ending for them now.  I tend to overthink my work and that has proved to be stifling.  That’s another thing I have to work on.

That’s just some of the changes here….I’m sure that 2018 will hold even more change.  I think the theme of 2018 will become (dare I say Change) Opportunities: opportunities to teach and be taught, opportunities to grow, opportunities to lead, opportunities to give,  opportunities to create.

I am so looking forward to it.

I hope you are too.

Happy New Year, everyone.  May 2018 bring us the most wonderful opportunities life has to offer!

 

Repairing a 44 year old mural

wall repair, mural,

I had received a phone call from a client last year about repairing an existing mural.  There was cracking and buckling of the wall surface.  Upon inspection of the mural and getting a little background by the client: age of home (around 100 years old) age of mural (completed in 1973) I knew that I had to do a little more research.  I pay great attention to detail and am thorough in every job because the end result will have my name on it.

mural, repair, wall
portion of wall before repair by Artworks by Marcine, LLC

I contacted Scott Haskins of Fine Art Conservation Lab in California ( www.fineartconservationlab.com )  He took the time and explained to me various options of what needed to be done.  I am very grateful to this gentleman for sharing his expertise with me.

Because the house was older, traditional plaster on wood laths was how the walls were constructed.   From close inspection of the photos, we both agreed that there was some kind of water damage.  Therefore, the origin of the damage should be found to make sure it doesn’t happen again, and then the wall needed to be stabilized: scraping away the loose layers of plaster and reapplying new plaster to stabilize the wall.  I took this information to the client and she had contractors come in to look at the damage.  Superstorm Sandy was to blame for the water.  Thank goodness there were no other water leakage issues.  A plasterer came in and then repaired the damage.  Last on the checklist was me to come in and repaint the areas of the mural that were gone.

Here’s a photo of one of the sections:

wall repair, mural,
Section of wall once plaster was completed.

This area was the largest of the repair areas that had to be done.  The other areas were smaller and were the result of necessary electrical work .   Once the area was clean of plaster dust,  I began with two coats of primer and then studied the mural work in the surrounding areas.  Because I only took small shots of the damage itself, I didn’t take whole wall shots.  My bad.  I had to look at the contextual clues of the surrounding areas to paint in the missing pieces of the puzzle.  I studied how the artist painted the sky, how the mountain range was done, the trees and the foreground .  There were different colors intermixed and my eye is pretty good with such things so  I honed in on doing the sky first.  I always work back to front, top down.  The sky was the most challenging area.  One has to account for fading of colors, etc.  Once I had addressed that area, sections began falling into place.  Upon closer observation, the original artist did a red underpainting in the mid to foreground area!  Consistency is the key, so in the repair, I did the same thing.  While I was working, I thought about when I was a child and I would spend hours copying works of art.  I always felt that in doing so, I had an understanding of how the artist worked and could understand his or her rationale in doing what he/she did.

Within 7 hours, this section was repaired:

mural, repair, wall
Section mural repair completed by Artworks by Marcine

The end result was to have everything look like it belonged.  It was as it should have been.

I’m glad I was able to reach out to Mr. Haskins for his expertise.  I’m glad that the client did the steps necessary to ensure a good result.  The effort was worth it because the end result  was seamless.