New studio Construction part I

Finally, after months of searching, I’ve finally found the perfect art studio. Still need to do all the drywall, change out some of the light fixtures and build a booth for the resin, but the wall framing stage is pretty much complete – thanks to the two guys in the photo. I mostly stood around taking pictures and eating reeces pieces….

more updates coming soon.

Squirrel Taxonomy

 

I know it’s advised in the driver’s manual to NOT swerve or slam on the brakes to avoid hitting wildlife, but … and I should probably give this warning to anyone who might ever find themselves riding in my car, I will most definitely without a doubt swerve and slam on the brakes to avoid hitting an animal – specifically squirrels.   I will  careen into curbs, medians, or oncoming cars, and I will foolishly risk totaling my car, maiming myself, and potentially injuring any passengers or innocent bystanders who happen to be in the area.  My carelessness could cause a 10 car pile up, with vehicles exploding and human bodies and carnage being strewn across the road – and I would still, priorities in tact, first attend to the squirrel.  I know this is entirely illogical and also probably a crime, but it is the most likely outcome to the “squirrel jumping in front of my car” scenario.

In fact, if I even saw a squirrel get hit by a car, I’d needlessly swerve off the road to help it.  As I did the other day.  Contrary to what it appears, I’m actually very pragmatic about the biological fact of death, and I’m not especially emotional about it.  Nor am I very squeamish about normally squeamish death type things – like blood, disease, coffins,exposed internal organs or maggot infested rotting carcasses for example.  Those are natural, necessary parts to a beautiful cycle of life.  However, hurt, panic stricken small furry things desperately struggling to pull their hurt bodies off the road are another thing entirely, That makes me burst into tears immediately.    Therefore, swerving off the road for hurt animals is not a rare occurrence for me.   I happened to have many necessary supplies on hand, and luckily, the squirrel did not seem to be hurt too badly.  I considered that being manhandled and stuck in a box was probably just as traumatic as what he had already been through, but  I wrapped him up in a towel, put him in a box, and drove him to the audubon society for further manhandling anyway.

Because the rest of this story was so uplifting, we’ll end on a low note.  The squirrel ended up being an eastern fox squirrel, which is considered an invasive species.  Therefore, after all that, he had to be euthanized anyway.

Unlike most people I spoke with, and to my utmost gratitude, the guy at the audubon society didn’t seem at all surprised / confused / or in any way put off by the fact that I was so concerned with a squirrel.  I sometimes donate a percentage of painting sales to organizations I like (because I rarely have money to do it otherwise.)  So a percentage of this new one will be donated to them.

"Stampede"
"Stampede" mixed media and acrylic on wood with resin

long distances and custom paintings

Just finished the first of 4 commissioned pieces I need to get done by next week.  The rest are sitting in varying stages of completion – propped up in a small circular gathering in my studio.  There is something indefinably gratifying and equally intimidating about custom work.   They’re stories about  important part of other people’s lives.  People who I’ve never met and are mostly strangers to me.   It’s a peculiar thing to feel connected to a person in this way.  Plus,  I always worry (maybe a little too much) that the paintings won’t be perfect.

And then there’s the business of trying to get an accurate portrayal of the work onto a computer screen . .  which is a completely  futile battle.  Lets just imagine this looks approximately  700 times better…

helpful cats and dogs


 It may not be immediately apparent that just to the edge of all my product shots is an overenthusiastic cat and very helpful dog ensuring that every photo shoot is perfect.  Their work ethic is apparent. They run, climb, and jump over zealously upon every project presented to them.   Then they roll around on it, flip flop back and forth and kick it around a little.    They might sniff at it, lick it a few times,  or otherwise stick it in their mouth.  Maybe bite off a little piece  then act confused that it doesn’t taste good, then maybe take another bite just in case .  They’ll take little breaks to nudge my arm with their heads or see how close they can get their faces to the camera, but then they’ll get back to work – experimenting with how best to place their paws and heads and tails and ears into imaginitive vignettes around the product .  One of them will usually stretch out on the project and try to take a nap , but often that’s at the exact same time that the other one decides to jump on the project.  Most of the project at this point will be strewn about in a mess of chaos and excitement . .  and someone will do that funny fake cartoon running things that happens when you want to go really fast but weren’t prepared for it and are trying to run on a project that’s a little slippery.    This will be fun and exciting for both of them so they’ll scramble around on the project together for a while  then run a couple of really fast laps around the couch.    That will be the sign that the project is done and one of them will go cry at the door and the other will go lay down on the bed.

New postcards available here:    www.kendrabinney.etsy.com    Don’t worry.  None of these will have scratch marks or dog hair or cat drool on them.

 

 

 

 

Old Paintings and Spider Farming

I always loved to draw, and did it fairly obsessively – covering every available sheet of paper with scribbles of little girls eating apples and sitting on swings with rabbits.  When I ran out of paper, the girls and rabbits would find themselves on other things: the contents of my dad’s briefcase, the inside covers of the brand new encyclopedia britannica set, and occasionally the walls.  (though to be accurate, that was more of a sculptural piece involving intricate girl /bunny  butter knife carvings.)   Despite all this, I never really wanted to be an artist.  My long term career goal was to become an  arachnologist.   More specifically, I had a detailed strategy of creating a large scale utopian spider farm so I could develop a conducive way to mass harvest the spiderwebs and spin it into the strongest silk on earth.  I could then sell it to chinese emperors  or the US department of defense . . .that part may not have been very well thought out, but I think I imagined myself creating some sort of impervious military armor  in the intricate styling of embroidered silk kimonos.  Sadly, my years of research, field work, and catching spiders and putting them into different types of test containers never materialized into success.  I blame it on the spiders’ short life span,  as it didn’t allow for the deep spider/human bonding necessary to my idyllic vision.

With years invested and no real back up plan in place, I decided to just go to art school – where, strangely enough I never even took an actual painting class.  My first paintings were done only a few years ago – and may seem (not unlike my arachnology career) somewhat ‘dilettante’.  But here they are anyway.  I decided to re-release a few of them in my etsy store  (along with special nostalgic low prices)

www.kendrabinney.etsy.com

Also, as it turns out,  My spider farm dream has been hijacked and skewed into gross genetic alterations of spiders, hamsters, and cow kidneys to create mutated cells that secrete silk like proteins.  However, I hardly see this type of animal expendability being worth even the most lavish bullet proof kimono.