wee studio

The featured image is my wee bedroom studio (well, how it was a few months ago – made a few upgrades since then). I spend a lot of time in here. And it’s pretty small as you can plainly see. But I’ve managed to build my own $5 easel system that can support a canvas of 48″x60′ rather well. Of course, navigating such a canvas into the bedroom through my narrow hallway is a submarine-like adventure, but it’s doable with colorful language.

I have three cats in my little family who live inside my studio. The one in the window ledge is Buffy. I love my little calico Buffy. The problem is she and Shumi don’t really feel a proper sisterly love towards each other. Or maybe any 😦

A few years ago they got into a fight that seemed destined to a bad ending. I had to stop it in a hurry so I doused Buffy with a big pot of water. That really cooled her jets before she did some serious damage to Shumi. Still made her little ear bleed though. What the heck?

The next morning I installed a plywood door (plywood should be my middle name!) in my narrow hallway and now I have a duplex – my kitty-plex home. So Bunny & Buffy live in the back half and I spend much of my time back here in this wee studio painting, blogging, doing web design, watching movies… sleeping you say? HAHA that’s for sissies!! No, I wish I was more. But I’ll sleep when I’m done making art!! So…

Anyway, Shumi lives in the front kitty-plex” comprising my kitchen & my living room (which is really about 80% art gallery). You can see my home art gallery in some of the art photos on my website “Perturbations” – displayed in my home gallery.

Also, I have another studio painting space in that west side of kitty-plexia. It’s not quite usable now, but I see the need to get it up and running, again. I did most of my painting in it way back at the turn of the century. Probably you didn’t need to know a thing about it. But, I really wanted an excuse to type, TURN OF THE CENTURY!!

So, I have an unusual art studio arrangement. But my little cat family and I are having our little creative lives together in this place, for many years now. Could it be better? The salads are always crisper somewhere else – isn’t that how the old saying goes?

I’m trying not to waste my life looking for better lettuce elsewhere. Boab is not getting any younger apparently. My knee’s been able to predict the weather better than the local weathermen for years now!! Obviously this is not the life glamorous by artist standards! ha! But I’ve been able to produce some artwork that not only moves me steadily down my art path (plain to see as I’ve been gazing at it for 50+ years). And from time to time I get all geezer gassed about a painting and commence to hobble dance around the studio 🙂 haha So I’m good 🙂

Hot Jupe!

Astrophysicists and cosmologists (and cosmetologists for all I know!) are busy as all get out finding exoplanets. These are planets that I guess are also busy – busy orbiting other suns. Not our sun. I’m talking about suns way the heck out there, in other parts of our galaxy. Maybe by now the telescope people have managed to find exoplanets that are orbiting suns in other galaxies. It’s all very exciting. Certainly it is to them, and it is to me, too!

I need to refill my coffee – back in a bit. . . . Ok, that took a while. Hope you were enjoying the featured art on this blog. I painted it about 2-1/2 years ago. It’s a pretty big diptych to be painted on wood. The title indicates, hopefully, that the Hot Jupiter exoplanets were my main inspiration for the piece. Of course I do abstract things in my work just a bit. But who knows what’s going on in other solar systems?

According to the astrophysicists some of these exoplanets orbited their sun several times while I was making my coffee!! (well, uhhh …) They are planets in a hurry, though… really so crazy how fast some of them are orbiting, some of these HOT Jupiters, in orbit about 6 feet off the solar ground and orbiting so fast, orbits just a few days long – maybe hours. I’m not keeping up with those Jupes! Are you?

No really, I got interested in the Hot Jupes several years ago. I’m not just sitting here sipping (well, maybe slugging, ok) caffeine drinks as I blog blog blog, paint paint paint, code code code. I’ve always had a big interest in astronomy.

Again, though, I guess it’s good when a blogger can be a little bit honest. Sometimes ya gotta figure things out and it can takes a bloggie a while on that. As with my meteorology avocation-ish I’m getting the feeling (and understanding) that a lot of the interest I have is coming from the innate artist in me, and is visually driven. I don’t have too much interest in calculus, ya know. haha

Aren’t negative numbers real numbers? I’ll tell you what my interest in learning higher math was (is) … about -500. So I DO have a “real” interest in it, from a mathematical point of view ~ kinda. 🙂

No, really I’m glad I’ve lived in the 20th century & now this new one, whatever the dang thing’s going to be called. They’re both very charming in a quarky sort of way. Ohhh, I hear the groans from people who’ve heard that one way too many times.

Well, better get back to my web designing. I do love that! So thank you so much you math and science people who made computers and the internet happen. And who invented telescopes. If I can ever move to a dark sky place (like my dream of a home in the Land of Enchantment) aka New Mexico. I plan on once again trying for my cherished 18″ Dob!! Oh Yeah!!

And of course New Mexico is a GREAT Place for visual artists like myself. New Mexico hits so many happy buttons. No need to search for my own personal Hot Jupe 🙂 But! I’m kind of living my happy dance life now. Here, in Texas! How did THAT happen?

I love them!

This little wall sculpture was the first of a series of quite a few small wall sculptures I made in the early to middle 1980s. I had a wall full of these and they looked good! Good enough that Kauffman Gallery decided to accept me into their “stable” as some galleries call their artists. I’ve never been too fond of that term, but I do love horses 🙂

Be that as it may, It was late 1984 and I had quite a few of the little wall sculptures finished. I thought they looked strong – a solid direction to present to a gallery. And life was pressing in on us. Things back home were not good. My parents were going through it and every time ET phoned home the news seemed worse. Bad for them, but sort of a sword dangling over my head to work my tail off to present to art galleries. Why my parent’s plight affected me directly like it did I’m not entirely sure. My existential artist plight was drenched in family drama at that time.

So, I got up my nerve and called a gallery (big deal for me). She seemed to like my work but informed me the next day that my work was not a fit. I was disappointed but it was only the first gallery I’d called, so… I recovered quickly and in a day or two called the director of Kauffman gallery – which I felt drawn to already. I’d attended shows there and (years before) hoped someday I would show my work in their attractive gallery space.

The Kauffman director, Leigh Smitherman, caught me off guard. I asked if I could show her my work and heard, “Sure, do you want to come in today?” This was such a surprise to me I fumbled around and said, No, I can’t today, but tomorrow is good (what a big artist dummy I was…).

The next day, I arrived at the gallery with my little sculptures in a cardboard box. haha What a presentation. I was a few minutes early, so I pretended to look at the art on the walls, but, yes, that’s what I was doing. A few minutes passed and she came in – but I didn’t know it was Leigh.

She saw my box of art first and said, “Oh these must be Robert Terrell’s pieces! I LOVE THEM!” That was one of the best reviews I EVER HAD. I think I said, I’m really glad you like them, and then told her I was the man! haha We looked at the ones I brought – I think about 8 of them. I told her how I made them and what they meant to me.

She told me the gallery voted on new artists that coming Friday, so I had to wait a couple of days to find out if they were interested. From her opening comments and our conversation I was hopeful but still I didn’t want to get my hopes up too high. You never know. She was not the gallery owner. But, like I said, I’d wanted to be in their gallery for a long time 🙂

Friday came and I called (I think I did the calling). Leigh told me I’d gotten a thumbs up from the gallery committee, and that such great news – it was the beginning of my new life at age 31!! They started hanging my art, including some larger pieces (I will post photos of a couple of them).

The first month with the gallery I sold two pieces for about $750 and $500 so I did the only rational thing – I quit my pretty good job at Texas Art Supply. And, No… that wasn’t the best idea I ever had.

My wife and I began eating more potatoes than usual.

My joining the gallery was still such a good experience for me… I finally felt like I’d achieved a real artist goal. Now other artists had a reason not to like me (they thought) – and some of them did seem to have some issues. They had more Houston connections, they had more art schooling…. oh well.

Even after all these years, I still look back to that afternoon. “Are these Robert Terrell’s pieces, I love them!”

You can see several of the little wall sculptures here on my art website: Little Wall Sculptures by Robert L Terrell