Tuesday, May 31

Stunning over at Once Wed

A few weeks ago, I sent some paintings over to the intrepid females at Once Wed who used them in a photo shoot. I have not seen the images yet, so I thought I would pop over and see if they had put up yet. This little teaser just happened to be posted! Oh goody, can't wait to see how it turned out. Stay tuned to Once Wed for more...
Thank you Fossil blog for writing about me (and editing me, I sometimes cuss too much).
Also, I sent a newsletter today to let all my favorite people know that I have some new things in the shop. If you want to be in the know, sign up on the left over there, it is easy.

Lets meet some of our new players shall we?

This is Lacy Panties, I just call em like I see em ya'll.

 The Last Drop, 18x18 inches, 200 usd.

Newest biggie, Dr. Riversong. Anyone know where I got that name? hmmmmm? No googling.

Tuesday, May 24

Kitchen DONE!

...well almost. Went with a fireclay farmhouse sink, as you can see (my folks are re-doing their kitchen so they bought the double bowl apron stainless number from us, I am kinda jealous.) Faucet is now discontinued, it is surprisingly hard to buy a bridge faucet that doesn't have a goose neck, and doesn't cost more than the whole kitchen. Still looking for receptacle covers that don't suck, and still need to paint under the cabinet where the lights are. Note: This is the one place I wish I had paid more attention when my contractor was working on cutting out the sink area. I wanted the counter to be flush with the edge of the sink, when I saw that he made it wider, my heart kind of sunk. I still wish I had been more clear, but after it was done, there was no point in making a big fuss. I still love it.

Tile is from waterworks, grout is called oyster grey, counter tops got three coats of satin Waterlox (go with the best man, the best.) I sealed this baby with one hand, as we put in the counter tops about two hours before I stabbed myself, and I was so impatient to have my kitchen back, that I spent hours doing it with one hand. Walls and cabinet are Grant Beige by Benjamin Moore, as you can see we still have some touching up to do, whew, will do that later dude. Shout out to Katie at H2 Design and Build! She is a client turned buddy, and she recommended the Grove Tile, and helped me get them. I love them Katie, you are the best! 

Here you can see how my contractor did the corner, I especially like how it turned out. I wish I would have thought to ask the tile guy to use white grout in the corner. Learn from my mistakes. I still have to change those black plug covers.

This view is what sustained me for those three long months. I knew I would lay back on my sofa with a view of the sweet new kitchen...aahhhhh. You can see we are using bed pillows on the sofa. Covers from Les Indiennes and John Robshaw. You also get a great view of the pendant in the kitchen here, I love how it looks. Note: The cabinets and walls are the same color, but the cabinets are covered in oil paint (thinned with penetrol). The color is very different due to the way the pigments bond with the oil. Coooool.

Here is a close-er up. There are already dead flies in it though, hmmm, didn't think of that. Note: You can also see the open cabinet, boy is there a story there. We bought cabinets that were supposed to be the same as the ones we have, they arrived, but they were the wrong ones. Back they went. A few weeks later the new ones came, but the doors were different! They covered up the whole front instead of having a two inch space like my original doors. Hmmmm, what to do. Make it an open cabinet, contractor put in bead board on the back to make it look intentional, and built in a permanent shelf out of wood so it could be painted. I love the final result, although again, I have not styled it at all, that is exactly how it has looked since the painting was finished.

Moved a bunch of stuff around in the dining room, so we could have a lounging nook with books, and let the server breath a little, I love my server, it needs some accessories. 

Painting on the wall is a commission that is drying, sofa is great...why didn't I take better photos of it? Sorry. Sofa is the Cynthia from MGBW.

Chairs are temporary, I just wanted to see what it was going to be like space wise when I do add chairs there...something kooky, can't wait to start looking for them. Nothing is styled, (we have king sized pillows on the sofa for something to lay on) and everything is changing, naturally. However, big FAT sigh. Done! Fuck Yeah! I need to just rest for a while before I start taking this room to the next level.

Painter: William Greer, 678.886.3267
Contractor: Scott Waldrop, 404.831.4778
Tile: Shawn Coleman 404.429.5396

Next: Exterior reno of the gable, images to come later this week.

Monday, May 23

Update on Samantha's painting

Remember Samantha? How could you forget. Well she wanted her painting to have more coral in it, so this is the final product. It is on the way to her as I type, I hope she sends me an image of her painting in her beautiful bedroom! Can't wait to see it!

Monday, May 16

So you want to Commission a Painting....

Cue peppy 50's era music and narrator...

Here it is, demystified and laid plain; how commissioning a painting works. Lets use my client Samantha as a case study shall we? She contacted me a few weeks ago about a "large coral piece" FUN!

Samantha sent me a few photos of her bedroom, where she intends to hang her piece. Her accent color is coral! That stunning chandelier is our inspiration point, as well as that dusty blue bamboo chair off in the corner there.

Look at her space, pretty nice huh? This little vignette lets me see more of her style. (how dope are those lamps!) I can see she likes a bit of glamour, symmetry and texture! Since I know that her painting will lay over this wallpaper, I am already thinking of composition ideas; I think there should be big shapes, lots of layering but chunky and scribbly to balance the linear-ness all over the place.

 Step one: graphite "grid guides." I guess b/c I did graphic design in another life, this is how I always start. You can kind of see how the canvas is divided into three parts long wise.

She totally agrees, in fact two of her favorite pieces of mine are Float Away and Astragal. She tells me that she likes the drama of Antonia and Caspia, but wants her coral colors to not be so red, oh and also pops of black. Oh yes, no yellow! We determine that she has a loose time line, so I can take my time. I usually need between two to four weeks to complete any commission, but sometimes I can do it right away. It totally depends on my work load.

 Step two: I decide that light gray and blue with a bit of brown should be the base layer. Lots of texture here, but not too much dripping.

 Step three: I like to use scribbles in the beginning stages in this case b/c I want the overall painting to feel layered, but not be too busy, and I want some larger shapes to layer over the scribbles. Start playing with corals and pinks.

 Step four: Go sit in my chair and put my feet up to ponder....hmmm the left side is too dark, make a mental note to layer over that orange...needs more movement and blue on top....

Step five: Some more drips. I throw some liquid white paint and some army green in there...looking good, do some other stuff and let it sit there for a bit...

Finished! I am so happy with it, I secretly hopes she hates it so I can keep it! Just kidding...not really. I send her an email with this photo attached and explain my motivations for composing this piece and wait.

"I am so excited," she writes me two days later. Uh oh, I think, she might not like it. I am not worried though, I think this whole process is so much fun! Its a collaboration and my gut feeling is there might need to be more coral here...She gives me a call and we have a nice little chat. Her husband loves as is, but she says we need more coral! MORE! Yummy. No problem, I will add some, without sacrificing the dusty blue she loves on the bottom and top right of the piece. That will happen later this week after I get back from New York!! I will send her photos and then go from there, promise I will show you the final result.

Shipping: "Samantha" is 48x48 inches, a pretty large piece so we must go with Craters and Freighters to get it across the country to it's new home. This photo is not of her painting, but it is an example of the kind of custom crate that will be built to contain it and safely transport it! I can't tell you how much I love this company, they are the most professional shippers I have ever worked with, and the only shipper I use for large paintings. It ain't cheep, a painting this size will ship for around 400 usd. I will need your full mailing address, and phone number.

What if my painting is small, 36x36 and under? I will pack it up and ship it myself, via USPS. Usually around 150 usd.

Shipping to far away places: I can paint your piece on an un-stretched canvas, and ship it to you in a tube! Super cheep shipping, and you can have your local art shop stretch your painting for you (I leave you plenty of extra canvas for stretching and wrapping), and it does not alter the painting at all. Plenty of clients have taken this option with great success! Bravo. 

Price: Ahah! Price is per size. Samantha is 48x48, that is 1600 usd, see below for a list of prices.

Mystical shit: If you want something, buy it because if you don't, and you call me and say hmmm, I like this then someone else in the universe will hear you, and buy it before you do. I don't understand how the universe works, but I do know this happens, it is for reals yall.

Commission fee: I have agonized over this decision, but I really feel good about it; there is a fee to order a custom painting, otherwise known as a commission. Please contact me for pricing. It simply takes so much more time to paint a custom order. Not to mention thought, I really to my hardest to deliver exactly what you want when I paint for you. Sometimes I have to go back several times to make changes before you see your painting. Most of the time they are minor changes, and I am happy to do that, because like I said, I want it to be perfect. This brings me to my next change.

contact me personally for pricing: armas.design@gmail.com

Other considerations about pricing: If you want a custom canvas size order, Yippee! I am super happy to do that, it costs 275 extra b/c I have to (naturally) order special parts, and pay someone to put it all together to make sure the frame is square, and sturdy, you know, all the usual crap. I am not making a profit on this, it is what I am charged by my framer. Always better to go in even numbers when sizing, by the way.
Two alterations allowed: Yup, two times I will go back and make changes to your painting after I show it to you and you consider for a while. Now, let me be clear, if you specify you want lots of blue, and I don't put any blue in your painting, do not despair, I will obviously not count my error as one of your alterations! Also, of course I will allow wiggle room. This policy has to be in place for people who ask me to make change after change b/c they don't actually really know what they want. It also forces both of us, you and me, to be very clear about what you expect from your painting, instead of waiting to see what I do, and then asking for a different look. Not that you guys do that as a rule! I am just noticing a trend of people who are not really paying attention, and this is very disrespectful of my time and efforts, and I think this is the best way of addressing this issue.
Cancellation Policy: This has not happened before, but I expect it will at some point in the future. If we can't find a happy place with your painting, I will offer a refund, and re-sell your painting. Now, I don't charge anything for the effort, but if this becomes an issue, I will come back and start charging a cancellation fee of 25% of the cost of the painting, or something like that. Good Lawrd I hope this doesn't have to happen.
Turn Around Time: I am running about 2 weeks, and I won't let this time frame grow any more. Its just  too hard to keep track of everyone in that kind of time frame. Most of the time is spent by me painting the commissions of everyone else who contacted me before you. It doesn't really take too long to paint a canvas, but there are so many others, not to mention the gallery, and the shop to paint for. Plus, ya'll know I like to layer, and I need a few days to stare at your painting to be sure I covered all the bases. Not to mention, ship happens! I get painter's block, or a cold, or my wrist starts acting up, or my insomnia...no more bitching, ok, I'm done.
Paintings in the Shop: Sign up to my newsletter if you want to be one of the first people to know when new paintings are up in the shop. I know they tend to sell out fast, I do try to keep it all updated and neat and fresh. Starting October 1st, there will be many more paintings in the shop to choose from, I am hoping that by charging the commission fee, more people will want to buy something from my shop instead. I am hoping this means I will have more time to paint for the shop. This really is the best way for you to get new ideas, and techniques and the coolest color combos I can think of. I can't make new cool things if I spend all my time painting custom orders. I will offer all sizes, and as the months go on, more and more paintings will be available! I have high hopes for this new arrangement.
Retail and wholesale: Contact me if you are interested in selling my paintings in your store. I offer two levels of discounted pricing, and you can order right from the store. I only choose about three or four places in the US to sell via retail, and this year I have met my quota already. Also, I like to be sure that the shops that sell my paintings are places that I love, and would shop at myself. In other words, I like to control how my paintings are perceived, that is basic brand maintenance, so I reserve the right to decline to sell paintings to stores on a case by case basis. Unfortunately I don't do retail offers for international sellers. I would have to paint on an un-rolled canvas, and this means I would have to essential paint on commission, and this is too much to deal with when I am accepting a lot less for the painting than I would on a regular commission. I hope you all understand! This reminds me, my turn around time is higher for retail orders (of course, unless you buy something directly from the store), because I make my commissions my priority.

Wednesday, May 11

Le Sigh

Maryam Nassir Zedeh via Shinny Squirrel, always my go to blog for the best shoes and jewlery, always, bags, scarves....art...she is super cool (and very beautiful.)

Rachel Comey On sale! 190 usd (but I feel like maybe hard to walk in)

Ericksson Beamon brass cuff, booootifull

Faux/Real sooo badass!

Tuesday, May 10


Back at it today. Ahh, feels good to be doing something normal again. Also, anyone wear this cuff? Is it super heavy? I prefer it in rose gold...but it seems like a real clunker.

Sunday, May 8

From offspring number one

Holly shit this has been a shitty week. Ya'll it has been epic. You know I stabbed my left hand right? Well it didn't heal too well, and in the process of doing everything with my right hand, I somehow sprang my wrist...and I got a major cold (you know, fever, chills, the persisting pooping problems) and I got my woman troubles all at once. Lets just say I spent Friday evening toilet weeping, a phenomenon where by you sit on the toilet and weep and get sick. Yup. Awesome.

I called my mom and she comforted me. My mom is from Argentina, so she is very opinionated and dramatic (that must be where I get it from) and quite funny, even if she doesn't always mean to be. I have some very priceless memories of her from when I was growing up that make me laugh every time I think about them. In honour of Mother's day...

I have that exact same hair cut right now.

On the occasion of my wanting to subscribe to YM magazine (young and modern, btw.)
"What? YOUNG MALE! No way, you can not subscribe to Young Male Magazine, you are too young."

On the occasion of thinking I had a stray tampon floating around in my lady parts when I was quite young and laying on a table in stirrups in the emergency room while a very cute and young doctor plumbs my insides (plus my best friend Lindsey knew this girl who's cousin had a sister who totally died from tampon poisoning...oh youth)

Well, she didn't really say anything, how could she? She was snickering and giggling too much. If I am ever in her shoes I hope I am cool enough to do the same.

Yup, probably wearing a pad here. I remember being sooo jealous that my friend Lauren couldn't swim that day on account of just having her hair permed! My mother wouldn't let me perm my hair (damn straight! look at that girl, she is waaayyy too young for hair damage.)

Lets see, she made me wear a pad to swim practice when I started my lady troubles (she assumed correctly that I was too scatter brained to handle tampons).

"You are totally pulling that off, no one can tell you have a giant pad in your bathing suit full of water."

Not true mother! You gave yourself away snickering when I turned around, and waddled away to sit somewhere and sulk.

She totally let me buy and wear a white jumpsuit with giant palm trees printed on it against her better judgment.

Some high school dance bull honkey

She waited a whole year of me wearing only my grandfather's old cardigans, men's shirts and khaki pants to school to ask me if I was a Lesbian. Nope, just really really ahead of the curve on the menswear trend. Like Duh mother.

On the occasion of me talking back to her one time.
"Thats it MICHELLE! This is the monkey that broke the camel's back!" I got a lot of extra grounding b/c I busted out laughing, it still makes me laugh...monkey...teehee

 Christmastime! (ahem, man's shirt) We look so much alike!!!

It always cracked me up that I was not allowed to say "fart," "crazy," "crap," or "boogers" because I was not to "talk like a truck driver." The thought of a truck driver saying boogers really tickles me pink, I must say. I guess it didn't work b/c I shared my toilet crying story with you guys, do truckers toilet cry? They must, they drive trucks all day...

Awww, my cute mommy

Oh mom, you are the best. Happy You Day! I was not an easy one to rear up, but you did a great job and love me so very much even though I talk like a trucker and voted Democrat. I love you too, thank you for making growing up such an adventure, and I am looking forward to sharing all the crazy malarkey my daughter does with you when she is driving me crazy, and posting random stuff about me on the interwebs. I lovelovelovelovelove you!!

-offspring number one

Thursday, May 5

Commissions are cool!!

I painted this commission for a client in St. Louis named katie, and I love how it looks over her sofa. She also decided to go with a floating frame from Franken Frames, my favorite source for very affordable, great quality wooden floating frames for paintings. She chose model number 2008 btw.

Wednesday, May 4

My Morrocan RUG!

Whew, this has been a killer couple of weeks. I stabbed my left hand, needed stitches, finished the kitchen, had my birthday, got a rug... (and new bed linens, things are happening in the bedroom, but that is a tale for another post) So many, I am not sure where to start. Well, thats not true, lets start with the rug...

I contacted Maryam from My Marrakesh, I started reading her blog in 2007 when I first learned about blogs. Anyway, I was like hi, um, you wanna do a trade? Well she said yes, I painted three pieces for her, in exchange for some of the price of the rug. In short, I got a killer deal, it shipped in about a week and it arrived all fluffy and purdy. 'member when ya'll voted? Well I chose the one that won, as you can see.

For my bday I decided to buy a ton of flowers, since I had not had any in the house for three months, why bother when the house is such a disaster? These tulips went ape shit. Boy do I have a lot of catching up to do!

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