Friday, October 10, 2014

Changing As You Go - The Tale of a Star Shaped Birdhouse

Raw Star Shaped Birdhouse
After weeks of not really doing much in the way of creating, I just didn't know how to proceed with this birdhouse. I probably should have put it away and chosen another design from all that I have!

There was the art gallery show, I was busily finishing a clients projects and I have been battling some kind of an unrelenting cough!  Once the client's project was done, the gallery show mounted it was time to catch a breather. However, after two weekends with a few friends visiting, not all that many patrons visiting us, with nothing in the way of sales, I went in a funk. Two months of no Etsy sales will do that to you. I got some redemption on the final day of the Wild West Days several weeks later when I sold two of the small birdhouses.

My inspiration for this star birdhouse was a restored art decor theater where we had gone to a concert in West Los Angeles. I had time to look around and was intrigued by the involved designs all around me. Many theaters built in Los Angeles during the 20's and 30's were literally movie palaces. By the 60's Many were torn down for something more "modern" until Disney restored one of the grandest in Hollywood, the El Capitan! This theatre was more geometric and color wise boring while the Pantage's in Hollywood has geometric and soft curves and colors that combined combined for a more different effect.

For me, the challenge was to use some designs and when I realized how complicated they were tried to figure out how to have intricate detail and open spaces.

Adding more stars, front and back added additional depth and I felt interest to the design itself. However, thinking that I was done (see photo right), something still wasn't quite right. While the bottom front was detailed the upper part was plain. The struggle was then, do you leave it alone? I do know that this morning the white star I had painted on the star round the bird hole distracted me immensely. Cream wasn't used anywhere else and so, I realized it had to go.

The photos don't do a good job of showing this but I used an orange wash to tone down the cream points in the star. The balance is better and it also holds all the other colors together well.

If there is any point to be made here it is for artists to think out of the box. I did get a kick at the gallery show as people looked at my birdhouses astounded by what I had come up with. A "Rocket Cactus?" How about an outhouse birdhouse painted as a desert scene on all sides? A rocket becomes a space ship roaring into space. What we need to do is to stretch our minds beyond that we think we see and run with it. However, and sadly at that, while it did provoke many discussions it didn't cause any sales. Yet, as friends and family have said this is something you enjoy so yes, run with it. Maybe I am ahead of the curve!

While I can't figure out how to do it in Etsy, I am running a 10% off everything on my KrugsStudio Etsy store until Nov. 4th. If you have admired something, this is a great time to buy! Christmas is coming and hand created gifts are for many more precious than anything they could buy that was mass produced.

Please visit my craft store at and my fine art store at Thank you for stopping by and reading!

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