Monday, February 20, 2017

two steps forward...

there's my valentine! love & mercy raised $175 for a local AIDS awareness program. 


it's always a good way to start the year with a focused art project.

i've also been drawing and working in my journals, tho not as regularly as perhaps i should be. here's jack watching the super bowl


and a page remembering my trip to california in january-


i've been traveling a lot- for both fun and work- but it does cut into my art making time.


i am still trying to figure out how find time to make and sell my art this year. hopefully there will be less travel and more studio time, but if not i am going to work on doing small watercolor sketches while i travel and consistently carve out studio time when i don't. i do have a group first thursday show in may and a solo one planned for august, so there are deadlines to work toward.

additionally, i was asked to participate in a fundraiser for surel's place this year. fun out of the box project, using shrinky dinks to make a piece of art to be auctioned off. sounds like a fun thing to play around with and i'm looking forward to it.


still working on my totem series. this burrowing owl is being done with oil sticks and i'm having fun drawing with them. lots of possibilities.


i'm home for 2 weeks and looking forward to some studio time. still trying to figure out how to best set myself up to work on the road (beyond sketching), how to set myself a studio up in fairfield, as spring is coming and i will be spending a lot of time up there with my camera. there's a way to make this work, and it's coming together, just need to sit down and think about it.


Monday, January 9, 2017

process- anatomy of a valentine

i've been thinking about how to keep making art and where to go with it. i want to get back to consistently making bigger pieces and i want to have a place to show them. until my job situation is known, it's hard to say how much time i will have to devote to my art practice, beyond the daily drawing and studio sundays that kept me going in 2016.

one possibility is small works on paper when i travel- daily drawing outside the journal. another is to continue to work toward a show with bigger pieces. we are scheduled for a first thursday in march at sola salons which gives me a goal.

in the meantime, i looked at the calendar on saturday and realized that i will be in town a grand total of 9 days before the annual donation for valentine for aids is due on january 27. decided i'd better get it done this weekend. between shoveling and keeping the floods at bay.

below is the background on 16x12 board. map, mythical creatures, a love song and a warning- seems about right. but where to go from here? i didn't lay this out with thought as to what was going over it- i never do. that meant that i needed to find a vertical image that fit among the bigger elements. i also wanted the background to harmonize better, rather than seeing blocks of brown or white which are visible here.


i added layers of gesso, titanium buff, filled in with markers and used a stencil to bring the background together. then i rubbed it off with alcohol to knock it back some. dug through my photos looking for the right focal piece. googled symbols of love, animal symbols for love, birds symbolizing love. swans and doves. looked through my photos. found one mourning dove and several swans but nothing that worked.

decided that the raven, symbolizing mystery and creation works. plus, with limited time, it's good to be in familiar territory. searched for the original raven photo of the commission i completed a few weeks ago and finally found it. while searching symbols, i came upon apple in one of the lists, symbolizing temptation. perfect.

below, work in progress-


and with the raven added in. raven done using pitt markets, acrylic paint and a white gel pen. the apple is primarily bombay ink but also incorporates pitt makers, paint & stabilo pencils. the pitt markers are india ink, so they are workable when applied but dry permanent, which is great. as for the rest layers of spray varnish will keep things in place.


wanting more unification in the background and a warmer look, i added a later of quinacridone nickel azo gold. better.



after looking at that for a bit, i decided i wanted to bring some of the background elements up a bit and gave her a scrub with rubbing alcohol. and here we are: love and mercy, my 2017 valentine for aids.



last year's donation, all you need, generated $225 for snap. my goal each year has been to raise more money. here's hoping that love & mercy can do that-



Tuesday, January 3, 2017

mixing media- or i'm all over the place

as we enter 2017, i am, as usual, all over the place. i have a new camera and lens for wildlife photography and have been getting out with it in preparation for a trip to california in a few weeks. i'm going to love it. one goal for this year is to do something with the photos i take besides paint from them. not sure what that looks like- it may be checking into stock photo sites or looking for a way to sell them online.


i have had the luxury of studio time, as traveling was curtailed the last few weeks. finished this mixed media commission- acrylic paint, marker, pen on board.


another for the totem series- the pelican is also marker and acrylic paint, work in progress. i am using the same media as i did with the raven above. i'm finding that i like the control i get by drawing- using a marker, pen or oil bar.  


another raven, this is oil on an acrylic background. i was struggling with her until i got the oil bars back out, then she started coming together.


back to playing with oil bar. and doing a landscape, which i haven't done in quite a while. i love using these- it's like finger painting and i love the blendability. bought some larger canvasses so i can experiment with drawing with the bars instead of using a brush and painting with them. the burrowing owl is the first trial- and i did enjoy sketching her out so we'll see where this goes.


lastly, playing with watermedia on paper. don't love this, but learned a few things and maybe if i brighten the eyes it will be better. i'm wanting to do some works on paper to sell unframed as an affordable alternative. i would like this better had i done the outline in pencil, it's a learner.


looking at these together, i see that the thing that unites them (other than that they're bird images) is that i am actually enjoying the drawing aspect of the work. my daily drawing practice has paid off and i am much more confident in my ability- to the point where i'm having fun with it. i always drew with my paintbrush but used to grid or trace the image- except for landscapes, where i was freer. it's nice to have the confidence and ability to start with a drawing. 

lots rolling around in my brain. it will be interesting to see where 2017 takes me. i do plan to do more shows and get my work back out there, trying to figure out how to do that. should be a fun year :)

Sunday, December 11, 2016

daily drawings and traveling art kit

here's my daily drawing kit. i do have a few journals that i use- the swedish english dictionary in the upper left and 2 stillman & birn journals- one soft covered and one hard.


i love these watercolor pencils. bought them cuz i liked the tin- easier to bring along than a wide 12 by. soon found out that they're softer and blend better than the others i had used.



pens- i love pens. the staedtler pigment liners are the best. i also really love water soluble graphite- the derwent graphitone pencils and the art graf tailor blocks.



lastly- the watercolor kit. a gift from my sis & nephew. i would have never spent this much for a travel kit but i'm glad i have it- love the quality of the pigment. 



these are the tools that i use most often. i keep trying to reduce and refine, but this is where i end up. this and my camera (aka phone)

more daily drawings to follow, now you know how they're made

Sunday, December 4, 2016

dear universe- i hear you

 this is the art i have been making mostly for the past year- drawing in my journal. learning media and practicing my drawing.


this work has led to me wanting to work on paper, and to pieces like those below (both of which are sold)




 drawing has also led to my totem series, paintings of animals from photos i've taken over backgrounds incorporating their spiritual meaning. part of the reason i wanted to learn to draw is to be able to render animals without gridding or tracing. 

i'm pleased with the results- the top one was chosen for a boise weekly cover



these communicate what i want them to as well- i'm proud of them



so i've been following my path as best i can given that life happens. 

the universe has recently made it clear that it's time to make art. i sold two pieces at the beginning of our first thursday show in november (the raven & buffalo above); was commissioned to do a raven piece (below); had a friend ask about christmas cards & buy some and got an invite to participate in a holiday studio open house with a good friend and amazing artist.


 oh, and got sucked into cyber monday and bought nikon wildlife kit- great new camera and lens on the way. the other epiphany is that i do take damn good photos and should be able to generate income from those.







2017 looks like the year to apply everything i learned in 2016. it's been a year of movement, growth and learning and i can't wait to see what art comes out of it-





Wednesday, November 30, 2016

daily drawings 11.28 and 11.30.16


missed the 29th- i gave myself permission. we went to see "beautiful" the musical and it was great fun. home and tired, didn't draw.

lisa came to the studio tonight. always a treat to spend time with good friends in the studio, and i haven't seen her for a while. i had a hard time starting, so i drew my journals. feels good to be able to spend time out there, changing gears from sketching to painting didn't happen tonight, but will. good to just hang out.