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A Splash of Paint

A Splash of Paint

In the introduction video on my YouTube channel (jeffwspencer), I stated that my primary goal is to share adventures and life with family far removed by distance.  My tertiary purpose is to share the journey of learning to be a better artist as I learn how to smoosh oil paint on canvas.  Today, however, I am forced to work on the grid of life.  I have found that not only must I practice the art of creating art, but the art of creating digital art in the form of motion graphics and video editing.  I am currently in the process of making ready a dedicated art studio where I will practice splashing paint on my shirt and shoes.  It will also be the place where I will practice video editing and motion graphics.

Jeff working with Ultra White PaintMy Laboratory – The Bull Creek Studio

It is a truth of life that an art studio requires a certain panache to allow an artist to have fun in the creative process.  A studio with good light will not interfere with the color found on canvas.  My task this week, therefore, is to prepare an old bedroom as my office and creative studio.  The former occupant of the room had painted the walls red and brown.  No, I was not responsible.  Well, I did supply the paint and the tools.  In all other respects, I’m innocent.  It was done in a style popular with female high school students in the 2010s, painted by a gaggle of giggling girls.  Needless to say, middle age men prefer something more simple.  I’m repainting the entire room, including the ceiling, Ultra White with a flat matte finish.

Why White?

A studio environment is traditionally a dark color since the time of the grand masters.   The masters worked in a dark room and used a hole in the roof (the sun) as their source of light. This allowed the artist to avoid glare on the wet paint and allowed dark colors to not be lost in the glare of light, such as a very dark green against a black background.  My studio, however, is white with a purpose.   The flat matte finish will work to reduce glare, but the white walls will reflect light from any angle from the numerous 5200k LED light sources that will be in the room.  I intend to bounce light so that whether I’m shooting video, or painting on an easel, the light will always be without glare and always near 35 degrees, in order to maximize the vibrancy of the colors, and can be adjusted both in intensity and temperature.  So, painting the room ultra white is an experiment and goes against every rule taught in modern art schools today.   I intend to control light – not hide from it.   So, what’s not to love?

Jeff is splashing paint on the wallHow to Paint a Room

The process of painting a room can be broken into several steps.  1) Clean the walls, 2) Remove outlets and tape the trim, 3) Prime the walls if necessary, 4) Paint the corners and where a paint roller will not reach,  5) Roll paint onto the walls using a W technique for efficient coverage, 6) Paint the trim with an angled brush, and finally 7) Remove the tape and perform quality checks. It’s not rocket science, and you really shouldn’t skip a step in the process.

Video Editing, Graphics FX and Audio?  Oh my.

I also stated in my introduction video that I didn’t know where this road lead.   My statement was, “I’m going to start where I am” – and I didn’t realize the literal nature of that statement.   I don’t have a logo yet, nor a video entry punch, watermark, or even a channel advertisement.  This week I found myself watching Lynda.com and learning about video production and the tools and associated tasks including pre-production planning, production, and post-production tasks.

Just Do It

Further, last week I stated that you learn best by practicing – by actually doing it.   This was not a hollow statement.    I’m going to be busy learning video production and editing as the YouTube channel progresses.  It will, over time, become more professional as I hone my skills.  

The Fundamentals of Drawing   

In addition to studio preparation, video production, and my day job – I am trying to also spend time learning how to draw.   I’ve learned the differences between pencils in terms of hardness, and I’ve learned that I need to disengage my left-brain when I’m drawing.  I am now learning the row by row, grid by grid drawing method employed by many artists including Leonardo Da Vinci.   It involves using a rectangle divided into squares, using it to frame your subject, and then drawing lines in each grid.  “Just draw the lines” the instructor says. I’m learning.  I’m taking baby steps – and I’ll share some of my progress with drawing in a couple of weeks.

Work, Work, Work – Everybody, Back to Work

Back to the studio and what I’ve done so far this week – I painted the walls with a primary and secondary coat of paint.  Two (2) more gallons of paint will be purchased to finish the room with an even white finish – covering red and brown with ultra white is not an easy task.  I had painted the walls before I launched the YouTube channel.  I will move my workstation into the studio after the first of March so that I can continue production as the room is finished.

Future Projects

After I move my workstation into the studio, future plans include ripping out carpet and finishing the floor with laminate wood, adding shiplap to one wall, hanging some old fashioned barn doors, and a new window treatment.   Those events will happen in the future.  While all of this is going on – Traci’s studio will also be getting a facelift.  Although her space is smaller in size, it has really good light with full size french door windows.  Regardless, we’ll be refreshing rooms as we continue over the course of time.  It should be fun.

About The Author

Jeffrey W. Spencer

Jeff is a 25+ year survivor of stage IV melanoma cancer. He describes himself as an outdoorsman, though he is a technology professional and primarily works at a desk. He is a veteran of the USMC. His undergraduate studies were taken at SWTSU (Government/English), with graduate studies at Texas A&M (Philosophy), and the University of Texas at Austin School of Law. His hobbies include photography (landscape, travel), writing, and computers. He lives with his wife and some dogs in the Texas Hill Country.

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