Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Dressing the Chest of Toys

I once returned the destiny of a toy chest I found in a free pile, back to a free pile. Little did I know that this moment of decluttering would upset the universe, impregnate my sister's fertile womb, and leave my family without a perfectly good chest to put miniature people's toys in.

It took 4 years, but this past Christmas, I rectified this situation. Here's how it all went down.

First step - craigslist. App. 1 week left until Christmas.

This adorable bench/toy chest caught my eye immediately, and luck would have it that it was still available. It is bigger than the one I freed, and doubles as a bench. Awesome.

Sanding off the adorable Noah's Ark scene came first, which I found to be emotionally actually quite hard; to deface what I imagine is some sweet little old lady's work, not simply because of what I can only imagine to be true, but also that (assumably) she did a fine job of adhering her image on this chest I imagine her little old husband built. Of which, I am hoping she/they can rest soundly knowing that the previous (and possibly intended) children enjoyed for many years. It's purpose for them was well served.  For that, I thanked her many times in the process and am here on the interweb showing my gratefulness and appreciation for her art and thoughtfulness.

For it's new life, the chest called to me to for a change, a new look, a makeover indeed. I washed it up and sketched out it's new "outlook." The shape instructed and inspired the new image.

I have been experimenting with metal leaf, the more economical version of gold leaf, but hadn't yet had the pleasure of trying it on wood. There was a little experimenting on the back and then throwing myself into it, only to have it not behave as it did on the reverse.

toy chest project by Lauren T Kistner©2014 Lauren T Kistner Arts, All rights reserved.

This was not a deterrent, though a little frustrating at first. The hap-hazard way it chose to adhere gave it areas of interest that would not have happened if it had gone on smoothly.

toy chest project by Lauren T Kistner©2014 Lauren T Kistner Arts, All rights reserved.

I filled my house with metal leaf flakes. Every time the doves flew in the cage a gentle snowing of flecks of gold fell about the house. The vacuum collection tube has never been prettier. 

toy chest project by Lauren T Kistner©2014 Lauren T Kistner Arts, All rights reserved.

Starting work on the waves gave me some respite from leafing. 

toy chest project by Lauren T Kistner©2014 Lauren T Kistner Arts, All rights reserved.

Getting closer. 

©2014 Lauren T Kistner Arts, All rights reserved.

Sun scene complete, work on the sides commences. 

toy chest project by Lauren T Kistner©2014 Lauren T Kistner Arts, All rights reserved.

Getting closer still. Countdown to Christmas - 2 days. I'm going to make it! 

toy chest project by Lauren T Kistner©2014 Lauren T Kistner Arts, All rights reserved.

A little more line work and the letters of my niece and nephew's first names adhered to the sides. 

toy chest project by Lauren T Kistner©2014 Lauren T Kistner Arts, All rights reserved.
All done, all done! 

Completed and sealed just in time for Christmas. My mother placed it in her living room where she could watch it glow from many angles in her house. Together we filled it up with toys that my sister and I used to play with for the Grand babies. It fit perfectly into the gap between the windows, next to the little old wooden musical rocking chair that her mother had gotten her when she was a child. (Side note: the rocking chair cost $10 at the time, Grandma put it on layaway paying $0.50 a month until she could bring it home.) Then my mother dug out her tiny wooden children's desk and chair that we recovered from the school that she and her brother attended, before they tore it down years ago. I can get carried away in all the stories.

Guess what? Now I am addicted. You can look forward to more projects like this one from me. Until then, I will wish you a joyous and successful new year, filled with imagination, adventure, line, color, and texture.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Winter, and Windows...

So, yeah, we got this big blizzard thing the likes that Boise hasn't seen in ages. I finally got a chance to build a snowman, who quite surprised me in it's quest. Hence, I have prepared for you now -  The Progression of the Snowman...

As if to say, "I'm a Dancer!"

 And then... 

HOW is this even possible?!

Next I painted some Christmas lights on Global Travel: 

Also some Playful little Penguins on Banner Bank for the Downtown Boise Association's Winter Window Gallery. 

Snowball Fight! 

Catchin' Thanksgiving Dinner, are we? 

Tubing accident just waiting to happen... 

Roasting Marshmellows is quite the Penguin Treat! 

Love comes in all shapes and sizes, and temperatures - Meeeeowww! 
In other News, I have been accepted into Art Source Gallery! You will be able to find me and my paintings there as early as December's First Thursday! Will I see you there? I do hope so! 

Happy Holidays to you, keep warm and eat much excellent food.  I will now leave you with this adorable image. 
Snow Cat

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Project Nesting

With winter fast approaching and the colors of the garden all fading into one another, I am finding myself more and more drawn to a tiny nook in my house. You see, my Grandmother recently gave me her fancy red chair that I have drooled over for years. It is so rich in color, and incredibly comfortable, with a matching foot rest - it is perfectly filled with memories of my family gathered together for holidays.

Then, my Sweetie found me a flat file (Yay!) that I washed and sanded, administered navel jelly to, then spray painted, and spray painted, and sanded where I screwed up, and spray painted some more, and finally clear coated. It was quite the process, indeed.

I decided it should compliment the chair. This is where the color nook obsession began - a combination of a much needed flat file and a fancy vintage chair.

The addition of a baby blue vintage fan, a yellow lamp, and a freshly spray painted red new pot for my tree to thrive in, brought the space together.

Not sure if it is a good idea to spray paint the lamp shade too... So I added one of Grandma's old costume necklaces and a hair piece by Danielle Demaray. Much Better.

It wasn't hard to collect things already in my house that are pastel primaries. I chose a few special mementos to adorn the space. A thirty two foot yacht that was my Grandpa's, a tiny teapot from a friend, marbles, a toy car, a top, my whisker collection, a pocket knife from my father, and a very old necklace from when I was a kid. A tiny little place,  a teeny little altar, a miniature color corner of my own.

All I need now is for my very skilled mother to crochet me a blue and yellow throw blanket. (Christmas hit Ma)

And my sister to sew me some complimentary curtains. (Christmas hint Sis)

And a new runner.

I know spreading this color scheme to fill the entire living room would probably drive the Mister nuts, so I will try to minimize it to this one space. He doesn't think it's a good idea for me paint the bird cage anyway...

And on top of it's visual appeal to me, it also helps to organize my trinkets of the trade in a very reasonable manner. MUCH Better than the paint dappled plastic rolly bins I've been rockin' for years. Though I do thank them for their years of dedicated service...

Roosting on my perch

Color is assured in my home for winter, and all seasons for that matter. I encourage everyone to make their very own nook. Even if it is just a corner of your desk. We share our lives with so many distractions. Make a cave. Create a time out corner, an area for reflection, a shelf for clarity, a blanket fort, a tree house... Whatever is most appealing or available to you, but most importantly, create for yourself a grounding space, and go there often.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

It's been a while....

And I can't remember half of it. I know there was A LOT of painting in there, and preparation for Art in the Park and Boise Open Studios weekend.
because I have a camera, I know these things happened as well:

©2014 Lauren T Kistner, Bolete, All rights reserved.
King Bolete is yummy to eat, with eggs and bacon is quite a treat. 

©2014 Lauren T Kistner, Oh, Dear, www.laurentkistner.com
Oh, dear

©2014 Lauren T Kistner, Willy, all rights reserved.
Flight Show at Birds of Prey

©2014 Lauren T Kistner, It was foggy, www.laurentkistner.com
It was foggy
© 2014 Lauren t Kistner, Balloon classic, all rights reserved.
Balloon Classic

©2014 Lauren T Kistner, Prisma, www.laurentkistner.com
Prisma Completed and Installed in her lovely new home

©2014 Lauren T Kistner, Bird Bath High Five, all rights reserved.
Bird Bath High Five

©2014 Lauren T Kistner, Squinty Eyed Frye, all rights reserved.
Squinty Eyed Frye, in a cone of shame. He hated it. Over now; gorgeous as ever. 
© 2014 Lauren T Kistner, Art in the Park, Boise, ID
My booth for Art in the Park! It was quite the adventure! 

Boise Open Studios Weekend

©2014 Lauren T Kistner, Surel's Place, Garden City, ID, BOSCO Open Studios
I had the grand opportunity to display my work at Surel's Place in Garden City for Boise Open Studios Weekend this year. Not only was the space beautiful, calming, and inviting, a few of my larger works got a chance to come out and see the world, something that would not have been an option in the confines of my tiny studio. It was a great pleasure to meet friends of Surel Mitchell (1944 - 2011) and introduce new guests to her place. She was an amazing woman. This website will give you more information on the house and the programs it hosts -

Surel's Place

All are invited to the afterparty! If you turned in a passport for the weekend, your chance to win art from BOSCO Artists is coming right up.

BOSCO Reception and Passport Art Drawing
First Thursday, November 6th
Fire Fusion Studio
1124 W. Front St
Boise, ID
5:30 - 9 p.m.
Drawing Starts at 7:30

Now that things are calm for a minute, I am tackling some home projects that I have wanted to complete before the weather turns frosty. There are a few new large paintings in the works, and I will be working on some new illustrations and experimenting with Encaustic again in the near future. Stay tuned :)

Thank you for all your support :)

Friday, July 4, 2014

Idaho Statesman's 4th Annual Chalk Art Festival

©2014 Lauren T Kistner

Excitement sparked and I was able to wake before my alarm clock this day.  I drew on the sidewalk, in a rather big way. 6'x6' and a tad more, hey hey.

©2014 Lauren T Kistner

It's the Chalk Art Festival at Ann Morrison Park; art born and thrives for just until dark. Everyone's big chance to chalk it up and make a good mark!

©2014 Lauren T Kistner, Chalk Art

Henrietta, pulled out of the concrete with pastels and chalk, stood independant and sang forth, bock, bock, bawk, bawk, balk.

My partners of featured artists all pulled out their best stuff,

Melissa Chambers
Karen Bubb 

Chi E Shenam Westin

Geoff Everts

The competitors out there made the competition tough!

After 5 hours of work I was finally done

©2014 Lauren T Kistner

Happy 4th of July to each and everyone!

Be safe tonight friends, and thank you for your support!