hung my first show in over a year today- yay! this one is really fun because it's with the studio group. here's the story:
for several years, nancy panganiban, pam mcknight, sue rooke, jaki katz, lynn fraley, lisa cheney and myself have gotten together regularly
in my studio for art and discussion. the fellowship and creativity that flows
from these sessions enriches our art practices. We learn new techniques, try
out different media, solve problems and share ideas and opportunities.
nancy and i met when we took art lessons with kathy wren, who died of cancer in 2007. one of the last things she said to me was
“promise me that you’ll still get together and paint”. we found various places
to do that over the years. pam came to an open group we set up in the side room
at boise blue. i met jaki through the art source gallery and sue, lynn and lisa
through BOSCO (we all became members eventually).
once my studio was built, studio sundays began. the
group works in a variety of media (sculpture, assemblage, printmaking, oil and
acrylic painting, mixed media and mixed media collage, bookmaking, art
journaling) and styles and it’s been interesting to see how we
encourage/influence each other to branch out. we travel to studio m annex in fairfield annually for a weekend of art making and have art dates around town
on occasion as well.
here's a sample of what's on the walls- (missing nancy's work)
i am looking forward to sharing first thursday with these women. it's so much fun to see our art hanging together, just us as a group. these women have helped me figure out how to finish pieces, celebrated successes, commiserated over set backs, taught and encouraged me so much over the years. we drink wine and laugh and have political discussions, talk about music and books and life. it's a special group, and i feel so fortunate to have them.
in other news- jack is still sleeping through baseball (i must not yell as much as i do when watching football) but at least the cubbies won tonight!
dinner with friends tonight. pam & I went early to grab a table, catch up & draw. this is my loosen up drawing. one great piece of advice that I recently read was doodle, do a warm up sketch- anything that puts pen to paper- if you're having a hard time starting. makes sense to me this first sketch is the warm up. I still need to work on making tables, napkins, etc. lay down. the angle is way off on the left side. I seem to have drawing wine glasses down pretty well tho.
these were our cute little table decorations. be more interesting with something else in the photo for context no doubt- wine or water glass, salt & pepper shakers, anything. but that's ok. next time.
first drawing in the stillman & birn zeta journal purchased in san fran. I like this paper very much. it's thicker than the epsilon, which means it stands up to water media in layers better. it's still really smooth and nice for pen work. I think it will be fun to work in.
jack didn't watch the cubs tonight- which probably makes him just as happy. it would have made me happier.
hanging a show tomorrow- my first in a while- can't wait!
back to the world series..... and more jack drawing. there just isn't mush else in the basement of interest to draw. and halle is usually hanging out on the bed in the other room. he actually moved before i was very far along, but i finished from by looking at him and trying to figure out how it should look. actually pretty happy with how it turned out.
here's the spread that this image completed.
and one more, because it was a long game. the funky nose is due to the fact that he moved. tried winsor newton watercolor marker out for the blanket- there are distinct possibilities there......
hope to post a winning score the next couple of days.
no sports, not traveling- studio time! painting, watching ink master, sipping some wine- and - gotta draw something. a) it's OK if it's something i've drawn before. b) play with some new supplies. c) yeah- muddy icky colors out of proportion- this is why you are doing this- for practice and to learn. probably the hardest thing for me to do is believe that it's OK to fuck something up. make a mistake. we all do. life goes on. lots of people won't even know that i made whatever major error i see. some might even like the less than perfect end result..... i am always my own harshest critic. committing to drawing daily has been interesting. my skill level has improved. my willingness to try something has as well. i feel the need to draw each day- it's a commitment to myself, and posting on the blog helps with that. the biggest thing is that i am easier on myself- the point is to draw. get that done. put it out there. appreciate my improvement. there is so much wrong with this drawing- but it doesn't matter. it exists separately from my studio. accuracy doesn't matter. having enough skill to convey the idea does. composition, use of negative space and color make things interesting.
it's nice to have this way to record small moments in my life.
another what am I gonna draw drawing- the couch downstairs while watching football is the answer. in the stillman birn epsilon- the pen I used yesterday bled thru where I went heavy. note to self- figure out which one that was and take it out of the kit or only use on thicker paper. it wasn't the radiograph. which I used on this and still love.
also used artgraf water soluble graphite burnt sienna, derwent watercolor pencils, staedtler liner pen.
several vignettes completed today. so nice to have something constructive to do while waiting.....
first, airport/plane drawings on the trip home in the stillman & birn epsilon journal. love this one for ink. smooth, white paper thick enough to use light water media.
here's the 2 day, 2 page spread.
also a couple in the swedish english dictionary
i'm home all week, so it will be interesting finding things to draw but i'll keep at it and play with that pen i bought and maybe in the new stillman & birn hardcover zeta journal, which has thicker pages than the epsilon but equally smooth paper.
In San Francisco for a concert and checked out a few art supply stores of course. I've been looking for a refillable pen with waterproof ink. Picked up a Ko-hi-noor pen that I think will do nicely- love the way it works so far, on both the Stillman and Birn and on Stonehenge paper. Daily drawing, above, in our cute vintage hotel room done in my handmade journal on Stonehenge paper with my new pen, and water soluble graphite. There was someone a few rows ahead of us at the show drawing on a good sized block of paper. Made me smile. Rock on.
trip to lubbock, today's drawing on the right. these were done (mostly) with staedtler liner pens and daler rowney watercolor pencils, with a touch of watercolor paint. the blue is from a set of brush pens that i bought at albertsons- 5 colors with water soluble paint in them. thought they'd be fun to play with. did that part when i got home. i feel challenged with these sketches- don't like the coffee maker (lower left) or backpack (top right) too well- they're dark and hard to understand. but that's why practice, right? i did pop into my favorite art supply store in lubbock and found this little watercolor kit- i wanted better quality paints than i have in the kit that travels with me for work in a smaller set than the winsor newtons i carry otherwise. these are cotman- a step up from what i did have and the set was reasonable. i like them better than the daler rowney aquafine set that i was using. this is me working on the plane on the way home. nice to have a small, portable kit-
and one from sunday.....mixed media in the stillman & birn epsilon. the paint tube at the bottom looks better on the screen than in the book- i love getting that remove from something and looking at it with new eyes.
below is the 2 page spread. united by the background cross hatching, and i like the way that the cork & jack have colors that tie. might like better if there was more blue on the left or green on the right- just a hint to tie. may try that. having fun playing with different water soluble media- getting more comfortable with w/c pencils.
tomorrow, on the road again- more people sleeping on planes most likely-
been diligent about the daily drawing since October 5. they're not all great (or even good), but i am doing it. i can tell that i'm getting more confident and i'm playing with different media and looking for different subjects to practice on- all good stuff. even a quickly dashed off image is a daily drawing- and that's how i will get better at speed drawing.
today, an image from the studio in my handmade journal on sheet music. thin, non absorbent paper. didn't react at all well when i added water to the ink. so- dry media. it's all about experimenting.
this is my go to travel kit. winsor newton watercolor kit, art graf, derwent graphitone & pacific arc water soluble graphite. love love love these for shading and, in the case of the art graf, filling in backgrounds. next- brushpen with water reservoir in the handle. great travel option. white gel pen and white signo pen- signo for bolder lines, gel for softer. write on anything black pen, 2 staedtler liners, pentel brush pen, elegant writer calligraphy pen, which bleeds beautifully, silver signo & gold gel. straw for siphoning water to the w/c kit, eraser and thick paper napkin for blotting.
i keep trying to pare things down, but this is as small as i've gotten if i really want options. below is how it fits all put together- not too bad.
these are the books. stillman & birn epsilon series journal- such nice paper for pen & light water media. this is what i do the vignettes in. next, handmade journal- i have made several of these. the cover is painted & collaged manilla folder and the pages are generally stonehenge printmaking paper, tho i experiment with other papers. sometimes i make backgrounds with ink before binding the book, some pages are blank, some have prepped backgrounds. these books are about 7 x 6.5, lightweight and sturdy. lastly, the swedish english dictionary the my friend gave me- small, lightweight and the text adds an interesting background.
i decided to learn to draw because i wanted to be able to create larger pieces without having to grid out the image to make it look right. it works, as does using a projector, but i find the process tedious and when working from a photo there's a certain amount of alteration required. there's also less of my hand (or style) evident. it's been a little over a year since i really applied myself and i see the results. have a group show coming up next month that will feature my totem series paintings, and i am pleased to have been able to draw these- not trace, not grid, but draw. funny to realize that this is what i was working toward.
looking forward to getting these out in the world. started a pelican tonight, too. hope to get her completed before we hang on the 30th. so excited for my first show in over a year! it is possible to learn to draw- it's a skill, like anything else. the trick for me was becoming comfortable with my style and allowing imperfection. it's good to strive for correct proportion, perspective, etc., but not the end of the world (in a sketchbook) if i don't quite get it. because that's how i get better. can't wait to see what's next!
finished up one started yesterday and 2 done today. in the stillman & birn epsilon journal. staedtler liner, derwent watercolor pencils and graphitone pencils, elegant writer calligraphy pen, tim holtz distress water soluble crayons. a little perspective work on the second one. keep practicing! liking this book more and more as i use it- it's great for pen and takes water media nicely. not as well as the stonehenge paper in my handmade books, but for this sort of thing it's great.
staedtler liner in a moleskin journal. i've had this little journal in my purse since 2013- i used to use it on business trips, but haven't for a long time. as i have committed to a drawing a day, tho, it has returned. today was busy at work, as the first day back from a trip always is. then i met my friend for dinner & went to see jackson browne. great show. i started to draw him at the piano, but clueless guy next to me tried to use that to start a conversation, so i put the notebook away. so, lynn & i had to go have a post concert drink so i could get my drawing in. works for me! what i figured out today:
i'm in the habit of drawing now, i would have missed it had i not drawn something
i need to always carry a small notebook & a pen i like to draw with
i actually like to draw with pen, because even tho it's terrifying it keeps me from erasing 9 million times until something is "just right"
first up, I brought this book specifically because I knew that the backgrounds might be good for this hotel and that it might be a good place to use these backgrounds- which I've been struggling with a bit.
luckily, I had some time to sit at the pool and drew
back in my room, using watercolor paints and pencils. I had fun playing with layers of w/c (glazes maybe) to create darks and separation from the cabanas.
in the stillman & birn epsilon series book- a lighthouse (inland in texas) and the light in my hotel room.
love the staedtler pigment liner pens. love the way the stillman & birns journal paper takes pen & pencil, pleasantly surprised with how it takes light washes of water media.
I keep bringing too much stuff. I did draw in 2 books, but have another I haven't used, and too much stuff to draw with.
glad I brought and used my handmade journal
I like my winsor newton w/c kit better than the nice flat little aquafine I keep for my work kit. the colors just aren't as nice.
stop bringing markers! (see #2)
or- just bring markers and use them
let's see how tomorrow goes- more people sleeping on planes no doubt
on the road again- fort worth tonight, dallas tomorrow. small drawing in the stillman & birn today. staedtler liner, daler rowney watercolor pencils for the wine glass and traveling w/c kit and water soluble graphite for the mirror and lamp.
forgive the funky photos and post- working the kinks out of posting remotely.
moving to another hotel tomorrow. may go out and draw with the pen then come back to the room for color, just to shake up the pallete. we'll see.....
two small ones in the swedish english dictionary today- first, our annual block party table decorations
then live music with my friend lisa. we saw griffin house, a singer songwriter who i really enjoyed. she got us front row seats so we could draw. my efforts were not so successful as far as drawing the musicians, but luckily guitars stay still. i'll keep practicing on the people.....
staedtler liner pen, winsor newton watercolor kit, water soluble graphite.
fun art crawl today- pop up shows in various establishments downtown. it was a beautiful day & great hanging with friends. because i knew we'd be out & walking a bunch i opted for the lightest thing to bring- a book & a pen. and when we sat down, this is what i did. moleskin notebook & sharpie pen.
at home and inspired by the art, went into the studio. working with the pentel brush pen. this is a collaged background so it's more slick than absorbent due to the use of gel medium. did like the ability to pull highlights by using a paper towel to absorb the ink. the white pens are great for putting highlights back in as needed (see eye & beak)
raven from a photo of mine
on the spot drawing not great- but i drew. much happier with the raven-