Hello all, I am Beth Welch, for those of you who might be new to my work and my site. I am a visual artist based in Prairieville Louisiana, just southeast of Baton Rouge. I am currently moving into a new home with my wonderful husband, Jordan, our four month old son, Finnegan, our sweet dog, Ella, and sassy cat, Sherlock. My paintings are mostly oil on panel, however I often also work with charcoal on paper. When I am not painting I am usually designing and decorating interiors. I work at a wholesale floor store by day and paint after the baby goes to sleep at night.
I am so excited to begin a virtual studio tour with the following amazing artist: Beverly Gurganus, Tram Colwin, Christina Keith, Margaret Sheldon. This tour will take you to the studio of each of these talented ladies. I hope you get the chance to learn as much as I have from these amazing artists.
Also, before I begin, there's a giveaway opportunity waiting for you at the end of this post!
Now, let's walk around in my studio for a moment, the first thing you will notice is there are a lot of boats everywhere. I have 3d printed boats, and carved boats, tons of printed images of boats and toy boats from my childhood and boats I have purchased from amazon.com. These boats are the characters and key features in most of my current work. Sometimes, after a long day at my day job all I want to do is crawl into a canoe and fall asleep with the sound of the water lapping against the side of the vessel. Alas, I cannot do that being on land and without a boat to float in or a body of water close enough to embark upon. So I paint the scenes in which I wish to disappear into.
When entering my studio, to the left there is an idea wall where I post my images and sketches of all the things I wish to paint. This wall is flexible and ever changing and growing. I also keep a calendar and a 10, 5 and 1 year goal list to keep my focused and grounded. Sometimes I also have deadlines of shows posted, but i find if I apply to them once I see them I am much more likely to enter and not stare at it and tell myself, "just one more painting then I'll submit to that show."
Beside the idea wall is the desk where all of the lovely things, such as filing taxes and editing images in photoshop, happens. Don't get me wrong, it's a lovely desk that my husband found on craigslist, all solid wood and good intentions. Sometimes, the desk area is not nearly as fun as the easel in front of it. Sometimes, while I am at work I think of the desk and the easel conversing about what painting I am working on. The desk is always more prudish and conservative in my mind, but maybe it's the detail work in the drawer pulls that gives me that vibe.
My happiest place in the studio is my easel, with a desk I made in college nestled next to it. My glass pallet is covered with color and smells of oil paints full of hope and promise, and a hint of turpentine (Well, it used to be turpentine until I got pregnant and I switched to odorless mineral spirits). Above my pallet I have a wall with silverware containers full of my oil paints, organized into cool and warm sections. Under the desk I have stacks of images that I want to paint or am inspired by. On the wall around me are color wheels and portraits of my husband and a few friends. A gigantic print of Winslow Homer's "The Fog Warning" is peering over the easel at me while I work. One day I will get around to framing it, but for now I love to have him looking over my shoulder.
Last but not least is the closet in my studio, full of past works and unfinished pieces that I keep telling myself I will work on again. I have an extremely organized shoe holder hanging on the back of the door. Whenever I decide to brave something new, the back of the door is where I go. In those deep shoe pockets there are watercolors and pastels that will help me get through a color funk I might be trying to work out in my painting. I have canvas making materials ready for me to convert back from panel to canvas..... which i may not do for many many years.
On another note, though this is not technically in my studio, my wood shop in the shed behind my house is another happy place where I can listen to loud rock music while using power tools to make frames and panels. Nothing makes you feel like more of a bad ass than when you use a router or table saw to make perfect edges on a panel. I love seeing all of the blank panels stacked against the wall, with all the wood grain fully exposed. Staring at those un-gessoed pieces actually helped inspire my current work. I could see the boats floating on the wood grain so easily. I would sprint into the studio to start painting. There was almost no time for an artist block to set in once I started painting my boats. They became my characters to convey so many different feelings, weather they were sinking, floating or pulling one another along.
I am currently moving studios though, and I cannot wait to set up my new space. I will post lots of pictures and share all of the highs and lows I experience in my artwork's new home.
Now, as promised, I also want to tell you about the giveaway we are doing in connection out studio tours, and how you can enter to win! Beverly, Christina, Margaret, Tram, and I have put together a selection of some of our favorite art supplies and gifts to give to one lucky winner, and it's valued over $250! To enter, follow the steps below!
1. Subscribe to my mailing list below! This is how we notify you if you're the winner! And you can be updated with any new works I complete.
2. For an extra entry, follow me on Instagram! @bethwelchart
3. Visit each Artists' studio tour stops linked above and repeat steps 1-3.
Entry will be closed Wednesday, August 22nd and the winner will be announced Friday August 24th!
Thank you all for reading and I hope you enjoyed the tour!