Friday, July 20, 2012

American Byways Collection by Aaron Christensen

  Introducing my American Byways Collection- a series of five pieces and coordinating reclaimed wood patterns and signage.  The imagery and derivatives of it, are available for licensing in a variety of categories.  For consumers, canvas reproductions are available for sale on my website. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Hi Resolution - A New Year's Studio Meet and Greet

Welcome to this exciting blog hop featuring twelve artist's studios.  For those of you that are new to hopping you will find an alphabetical list of artists and/or forward and backward buttons within each artist's posts to help guide you through the tour.  If you get lost, meet me back here and I'll get you back on track.

Our studio meet and greet showcases artists that may seem familiar.  If you look closely in the boutiques and stores around you, I bet you've seen their art and designs on products, fabric, wall art, calendars and all those retail goodies you desire.  This rare behind the scenes glimpse will give you a peek at artists in the wild, in their native habitat.  Please keep your hands inside the windows and please no flash photography.

You can see one of my paintings behind me, it's from my children's line of art
available from most of the well know children's retailers and a bazillion
places online.  You can also catch a glimpse of some of my many vintage Dr. Seuss

As your host, I'd like to start our tour with my own studio.  I'm a lucky guy, I have a studio on the same property as our home.  It's 100 feet from the house, far enough for me to escape doing dishes yet close enough for me to wander down to in my slippers and disheveled hair.  I've combed my hair and put on a clean shirt for you my visitors.  Welcome!

Here's a glimpse of some of my art that you'll see out there.
All of it is created in-studio by hand painting.  I do use a computer for color corrections
and to create derivatives.  I held off showing you my desk and computer space,
simply from the fact that it's loaded with projects and paperwork.  You've seen
one messy desk you've seen them all!

Two of my childhood favorites loom over my drawing table reminding
me to stay young at heart.

Besides being one of those artists with art and products out in the retail world, I also own a design company called Embellishments Kids, that specializes in interiors and custom stuff for children's environments including those fun over-the-top kids rooms.  I make a lot of custom accessories, props and bizarro stuff.  A terrible side effect of being in the "themey" biz is my habit of collecting things that speak to my inner child, who's barely a teenager.  Yes, still sweet and innocent...

art studio tour, studio ideas, artist studio, by Aaron Christensen
Now I know my ABC's, but as a reminder I have
them as a 3-D collage. 

The previous homeowner used the building to work on cars, which is not my thing.  So, with some elbow grease and finish carpentry I remodeled the space to my liking.  I  drilled and plumbed an old stainless steel bucket turning it into a wash basin for my brushes.  It's mounted on a storage cabinet I made out of repurposed cabinet doors.  A distressed paint job and galvanized tops finish it off.  The oversized chalkboard is actually a "secret" door (don't tell anyone), it leads to a really organized storage room for most of my art supplies and huge collection of books.  Did I mention it's really organized?  Gosh, for some reason I forgot to take a picture for you.  I guess you will have to take my word on it... really organized!

Anyone want to buy a vowel?

My collections of the unusual line the walls.   The guy
up in the left hand corner features a favorite quip.
"Man can not live by words alone, despite sometimes he has to eat them."
The "faux" sliding metal door leads to the wood shop.

Because I build props, furniture and fun stuff I needed a way to contain sawdust and hide the less than decorator wood shop.  So, I faux painted joined hollow core doors into my rusty metal pride and joy rolling door that weighs almost nothing.  I know, how weird to have anything rusty be pride and you get me now?

I have a large work table in the wood shop side for big projects.  In the studio side I either paint on an easel, my art table (where I'm seated above) or tinker on my little industrial rolling cart.  The only thing I haven't decided what to do with is the floor.  Right now it's raw concrete.  It's covered with years of stains, interesting gobs of goo and my own flourishes of spilled creativity.  I like the fact that I don't have to worry about it other than sweeping, but I would kinda like a floor covering.  I'd love suggestions.   

"I'm unimpressed by Aaron and his goings-on!"- Ricco

No studio tour would be complete without introducing you to my studio cat Ricco.  He's actually my son's cat but he drops by to take over my computer chair for his luxurious naps.  While he's great company he's no art aficionado.  I burn my candles at all ends, all hours of the day creating, crafting and doing my thing.  When I ask him for a little positive reinforcement all I get is a half hearted wince and he's back to napping.

I haven't been fully forthcoming with the pictures.  My desk and computer area was a tad messy and I only wanted you to think the best of me..ha!  The view out my window is a drizzly Portland grey.  Come spring, I may offer up some pictures of my beautiful yard that surrounds the studio and a less gloomy view out the window.  Heck, if there are any fellow plant geeks out there I'll show you some of my weirdo plants and sub-tropicals I'm coaxing along in our less than tropical northwest climate.

Here's a few of my favorite things.....

Inspired by Dr. Seuss, I created my original Nesting Head Doe.
You can follow her story over on my Embellishments Kids blog post
about being respectful of copyrights and how to be inspired without copying.

If a prisma color pencil sells for 1.75, I have my retirement fund invested
in a rainbow of colors.  Please no comments on my brush hygiene.  Come on, a guy
has to have at least one vice.  Mine is wrecking brushes.

In the world of digitized fonts, I love to browse my collection
of old typesetter catalogs.  There's some wonderfully inspiring oldies but

Well, you're on you way.  One studio tour complete.   If needed you'll find the restrooms behind you and there are snacks at our concession stand.  Let me turn your attention to the following list of art divas, Yep I'm the only non-diva (the facial hair is a problem).  Please hop on over to their studios by clicking either their names or you can progress using the forward or backward buttons you will find below.

Considering you are invisible voyeurs sneaking about our spaces without a trace, you might consider leaving any one of us a comment, following our blogs or checking our sidebars for links to our Facebook or Social Media haunts.  Drop us a line, say hi.  We are happy you are here and would love to make your acquaintance.

Thanks for joining me.  I look forward to hosting another studio hop, this summer and hope you will consider visiting again.

Hop along to the following (hover and click).....

or give this a whirl....hold on!

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Monday, January 2, 2012

New Years Blog Hop - Hi Resolution

Thursday, January 5th I'm hosting a blog hop.  I'll introduce you to twelve of the licensing and art industry's talented artists and their studios.  A lot of the artists will be very familiar to you, you've seen their work on canvases, products and retail goodies worldwide.  They will give you a sneak peak into their spaces great and small.  Join me here and I'll hop you through it!  Happy New Year!

If you've landed here on the day old announcement, click the forward button below to start your studio tour.  Enjoy!