Category Archives: Studio

Summer Sewing


Black knit with appliqué (front)

With summer weather alternating between extreme heat and thunderstorms this week, it seemed like a good time to stay at home and work in my studio. I finished the black cotton knit top that I was working on last week using Vogue V9254, a knit dress with an asymmetrical design. The neckline is offset at the center front, and the hem is left unfinished to allow the knit to roll to the front. I’m not sure if I like these details that are less precise than the way I learned to finish garments, but I wanted to follow the pattern the first time.

Black knit with appliqué (back)

I added an applique over the shoulder using a technique and stencil from Alabama Chanin. I cut the leaf shapes from white cotton knit and outlined the edges with a parallel whipstitch. I did the hand stitching before putting in the ¾ length sleeves.

Appliqué detail

I’ve also ordered some fabrics and pre-washed them to prepare for sewing fall garments. I have found many black and white fabrics available, but I’m having trouble finding bold colors. Even so, thinking about shapes, organizing a color story, and searching for materials are all invigorating parts of the creative process whether I’m sewing or painting.

How about you? What creative projects are keeping you busy these days?

Fabric stash

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Sewing Resources

Last week I showed you my studio set up for sewing.  I’m making a black cotton knit top using Vogue pattern #V9254 by Marcy Tilton.  Now that I’ve adjusted the fit, I wanted to add some embellishments before sewing the center front seam and sleeves. I made samples of several appliqué techniques and a stencil from Alabama Chanin. 

I decided to go with the simple white-on-white appliqué and rearranged the stencil pieces a little to fit over the left shoulder.  I used a fusible web (Steam-a-seam2) to secure the pieces temporarily while I stitch so I don’t have to work around pins. 

I’m stitching around the appliqué pieces with a basic parallel whipstitch.  

In the process of starting to sew again, I’ve found some resources for patterns and fabrics. Here are links to a few things I’m investigating.  Are you familiar with any of these?  Do you have suggestions for other places I should look?  


Vogue, Butterick, and McCalls  Patterns are expensive these days, but you can find them on sale for $4.99 occasionally. Look for Sandra Bettina, Marcy Tilton, and Katherine Tilton.  


Mood Fabrics in New York City as seen on Project Runway.  All kinds of basic and unusual fabrics, designer leftovers, new arrivals every day.

Marcy Tilton Fabrics Beautiful selection of cottons, linens, and knits that work with her patterns.  


Alabama Chanin Collection of cotton knit garments hand stitched (!) in Alabama.  They also sell 100% organic cotton knit fabric, books, stencils, and patterns for DIY.  

Read the story of Alabama Chanin here.


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I Digress

Sewing Studio

Sewing Studio


Over the years, I’ve experimented with many types of hobbies that involve making things with my hands… crafts, sewing, crocheting, gardening, cooking, drawing, and painting.

Painting is my favorite activity, and the one I most like to share on my blog. However, sometimes I go off on a tangent and focus on other creative ventures for a while. During the 27 years that my husband and I have lived in our house, my hobbies have expanded to fill up all available work and storage space, overflowed into galleries, an external studio, and a storage unit.

At the beginning of this year, I decided to do some clearing of my creative clutter in order to clear space for new interests and projects. My word for 2017 is spaciousness. I’ve cleared out a storage unit, and consolidated and downsized some art supplies. There is more do to as I explore what is “enough”. It’s a day-to-day process to see how that will play out in terms of mental and physical clearing.

Recently I’ve signed up for a Master Gardener class, and I’ve felt the urge to get back into sewing clothes. When I got out my sewing 43-year-old sewing machine and second-hand serger and started sewing in the basement, I needed more light and wanted to be able to use my light-filled studio at the back of the house. So I put away some of my painting supplies and set up my sewing in the studio. There’s not enough room to do both at once.

For the foreseeable future, I’ll be learning about gardening and sewing, and doing a little less painting, and trying to find my preferred level of spaciousness. Please bear with me while I figure out what comes next.

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New Studio Tour

Thanks to everyone who bought art supplies and paintings at the sale yesterday to help me downsize for my move.  And thanks to my husband and cousin, the old studio is all cleared out.  Now I’m in the process of organizing and stowing everything.

For my new studio space, we have renovated a seldom-used 12×12′ Florida room on the back of our house. We replaced the windows, added insulation, connected to the house HVAC, and painted.

I’m storing art supplies and finished paintings in another part of the house, but I have enough room for a desk, a 36″ high work table, and some shelves for books and supplies.  The room faces south and there are windows all around, so I’ll have great light.   Maybe too much light!  I will have to work out some kind of light control to avoid glare, but for now, I’m enjoying the view of the garden and golf course.

View from the kitchen door… 48″ square table in center of room is 36″ high so I can work standing up. Desk in the corner serves as drawing and computing space.  ©2013 Lucinda Howe

West side of studio
©2013 Lucinda Howe

I’m close enough to the kitchen to stop and stir a pot of soup, although I do tend to forget the cooking when I am in the flow of painting.
© 2013 Lucinda Howe

Bringle, The Art Fairy, says “Enough with the moving already! It’s time to start painting!”
©2013 Lucinda Howe



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Less than an hour until the moving sale

Don’t miss the moving sale today at Lucinda Howe Art Studio


Sunday, February 17, 2013   
1:00 − 3:00 p.m.
Lucinda Howe Art Studio
10203 Two Notch Road, Suite F
Columbia, SC 29229
Across from the Target shopping center
I don’t have room to move these things to my new location.  Let’s make a deal on art supplies and art.   Most painting are price under $100.   See you soon.


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Great Deals on Studio Furnishings and Art

My studio moving sale is this Sunday.  I’m offering some great deals on studio furnishings, recycled art supplies, and homeless paintings.

Sunday, February 17, 2013   
1:00 − 3:00 p.m.
Lucinda Howe Art Studio
10203 Two Notch Road, Suite F
Columbia, SC 29229
Across from the Target shopping center

Books $3 each, magazines $1 each, paints $0.50 – $2.00

Dorm-size refrigerator $30

World Market Bamboo blinds: Two 36″x72″ $10 each, two 72×72″ $15 each, two 96×72″ $20 each

Microwave $30, big desk 29″x71″x30″ $40

Unframed landscape and floral paintings $20-95

Hampton Bay track lights: two 8 foot tracks with 4 lamps $75 each

Palettes and art supplies less than $10

Floating shelf, file boxes, wine rack, curtain panels $5 each


See last week’s post for additional items.

Prices are negotiable.

Please forward this email to your friends and art guild members in the Columbia, SC area.  Come see me on Sunday afternoon 1-3 p.m.


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Moving Sale – Feb. 17th only!

Moving Sale at Lucinda Howe Art Studio will be February 17, 2013. Watch for more blog posts in the next few days showing items for sale.

In the process of cleaning out and preparing to move my studio back to my home, I’ve realized I don’t have room for all of my equipment and supplies, so I’m having a moving sale.  Would you like to get some great bargains on things for your studio?  Most items will be at yard sale prices.  Come see me on Sunday afternoon, February 17th and let’s make a deal!

Sunday, February 17, 2013   
1:00 − 3:00 p.m.
Lucinda Howe Art Studio
10203 Two Notch Road, Suite F
Columbia, SC 29229
Across from the Target shopping center

Here are some of the items that will be for sale:

  • Card tables
  • Metal frames
  • Recycled (possibly damaged) frames
  • Recycled canvas and boards
  • 2 sets of track lights (8’ track and 4 lamps each)
  • Big desk
  • 6 blue/green curtain panels
  • 3 large pieces of plexiglas
  • Dorm size refrigerator (good condition)
  • Microwave oven (excellent condition, barely used)
  • Bamboo blinds
  • Art magazines and books
  • Easels
  • Watercolor and acrylic palettes
  • Miscellaneous art supplies
  • Storage containers
  • 3 file boxes
  • 2 photographer’s monopods
  • Bulletin board
  • Select group of paintings up to 75% off original price

Check back on my blog or Facebook page over the next few days for pictures and prices of items for sale.

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Keep on Truckin’

Keep on Truckin’
Pastel on paper
©2013 Lucinda Howe

As I was sorting out and packing my studio, I ran across some pastels paintings I had not seen lately.  After a weekend of decluttering the Florida room, my current studio, and the gardening storage under the Florida room, I identified with this old truck…worn but not defeated.  I’m holding on to my dream of a bright new workspace as I keep on truckin’.


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Back to Basics

Journal Page 2004: Painting and Gardening
Watercolor on paper
©2012 Lucinda Howe


Happy New Year!

As the new year approaches, I have been taking stock of my life and art.

For years I wanted a large studio with plenty of storage and work space.  In 2010 I found and moved into a space on Two Notch Road.   It has been great to have the extra workspace, but it is expensive and a bit inconvenient.  What I didn’t consider was how much I have missed my garden.

I have always been a gardener and have drawn inspiration from plants and flowers for my art, so I’ve have decided to move my studio back home.  We are going to renovate a room on the back of the house to give me more space and a view of the garden.  It feels a bit like giving up on a long-term dream to move out of my large studio, but I’m also excited about returning to my roots.

Now I am doing some cleanup, renovating my square foot vegetable garden, and studying seed catalogues.  You can expect me to be writing and painting more about my garden in the coming weeks.

How about you?  Have you neglected some part of your life that inspires your art?  How are you returning to your authentic self in the New Year?



Also posted in Basics, Garden, Uncategorized

Is This Painting Finished?

Secluded Gardens, Lexington, SC

This past Saturday the plein air group painted in a private garden in Lexington, South Carolina.  The garden features extensive flower beds and grass paths, an old barn, and whimsical sculptures.  Surrounding trees create a feeling of seclusion.  Day lilies and other perennials were in full bloom.  It was all beautiful and quite overwhelming.

After a stroll around the property with my camera,  I found a place in the shade and selected a support.  I decided to use a 14×11” piece of watercolor paper with a purple underpainting to contrast with the yellow green that was the dominant color in the landscape.  To simplify the  details in the plants, I planned to use value layers to separate the dark shady foreground from the light flower beds in the middle ground with a middle value representing the tall trees in the background.  I painted two hours until critique time at noon.

Design Concept

Design concept using value layers

One of the best things about painting with this group is the critique.  The discussion is informal and everyone participates (sometimes all talking at once), and I always learn a lot.  Comments from the group were that the dark foreground looks like water.  The s-curve of the path was working as a design element leading to the focal point in the upper right.  Unfortunately that wasn’t where I intended the focal point to be.   I could see I had some more work to do.


Original on location painting, 14x11", Acrylic on paper, Lucinda Howe

Back in the studio the next day, I considered revisions.  The acrylic paint was dry, so I could paint over it. Too much of the space was occupied by the dark and middle values top and bottom and the middle value was too dark and solid, so I decided to crop the painting to 12×9” with a utility knife.

I intended for the dark sculpture in the lower right to be the focal point, so I eliminated the red flowers in the upper right.  I also made the dark area look like stepping stones instead of water, and strengthened the s-curve without losing the value structure.  I added some lighter value and texture to the background and made some minor adjustments in the flowers to establish the direction of the light from the right.

At this point, I feel it’s closer to my original intention, but I’ll let it rest a few days before I decide if it’s ready to sign.  What do you think?  Is it finished?

Secluded Gardens

Secluded Gardens, 12x9", Acrylic on watercolor paper, ©2012 Lucinda Howe

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