Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Keeping the ball rolling

I've been keeping busy with my holiday project. I've had many positive reviews with requests for their own. It's time consuming, tedious, and a real challenge to just complete one and I LOVE it! I'm happiest when in the middle of a project. Although, I'm beginning to think my husband isn't as thrilled by just how involved I get into one project. I tend to become swallowed up by the process and a bit huffy when things don't go my way or get in my way.

One of my greatest challenges to my new hobby (aside from the constant interruptions), is my lack of space. There is absolutely no room for me to work or keep my materials within reach. My supplies are scattered around the house, in closets, under the bed, in the bookcase, etc. I wish I could just have everything in one place! Then I would know exactly what I have and wont feel like I need to buy any more supplies (a real weakness). Alas, due to the confines of our living space I must rummage and stash my work where I can.

I've been able to squeeze in another pen and ink line drawing. Quite proud of it acutually. It's very satisfying to be able to sit down with an idea and complete it in one sitting. I enjoyed this piece as it evolved as I went along. I love that sensation, the constant working and reworking to make sure it comes out just right. Currently, happy as a clam. I should be able to complete more of my holiday projects and other pieces during this holiday week. I'm desperate to keep up the pace, just need to make sure I don't overwhlem myself. Another constant challenge...

Monday, November 15, 2010


So apparently I'm on a hot streak...as far as motivation is concerned. I ventured out to the local art supply store, Creative Art & Frame, in search of a giant drawing pad. I have this urge to work bigger! The one they had in stock had too much of a tooth (texture) for what I wanted. They do sell vellum sheets individually, so I purchased one 22'' x 30'' Srathmore 400 Series Bristol Vellum. The sales person mentioned that I could special request a bound version since they are working on inventory at the moment. May have to take him up on it if the piece is successful. I did however, visit a chain store (Michael's) and picked up a Strathmore Drawing 400 Green Series 14 x 17 pad and materials for my next project.

I'm going to work more with the ink and graphite camouflage drawings by taking my inspiration from more hair care magazine advertisements. In the meantime, I've decided to switch focus to a holiday craft project I wanted to try out. I'm about 25% completed, so I hope to finish it up by the weekend. I also plan to have the lobsters and a second ink and graphite completed by the weekend as well.

There is so much I want to do, however since I can only work at night it puts a cramp into the uninterrupted time I can commit to my work. I hope I'm not jumping into too many things too fast. I threw in the holiday project since the holidays are literally weeks away! Just have to see what happens. I'll keep updating this with my progress as I go along.

Thanks for reading :)

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Sometimes you just have to MAKE yourself do it. I've fussed all day about what my next project should be. The lobsters are almost done, just waiting on a critique from a friend. I've googled and I've googled, not finding anything inspiring. I revisited some familiar and favoritie artists. Like previously mentioned, Emily Carr is my latest muse. I would LOVE to learn how to paint like her. Granted I have to learn how to paint first. That will have to wait though. The local art center, The Dahl, in Rapid City offers classes. Of course, the painting class is pretty much over, so I'll have to wait until after the holidays.

In the meantime...

I've determined what I need to do to help me refine and refresh my skills. I'm going to have to do some reproductions of works that I admire. Maybe through them I will be able to try different techniques. However, there is one medium I am pretty good at. Graphite. So why push myself into the unfamiliar when I'm getting back in the swing of things?

While taking a break from looking for inspiration I found it. In high school, we had an art assignment where we took a photograph and camoflauged it using multiple patterns virtually obscuring the image. The piece I completed acutally won an award. I was flipping though the pages of "O" Oprah's magazine when I found a really intersting hair advertisement. It's from this ad that I used to begin and complete my latest work.

This piece was completed on Strathmore 80lb drawing paper. Derwent Drawing Pencils (F, H, 3B) were used to complete the body of the figure. Sharpie fine point marker was used for the patterned hair.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Short Bursts


There is always the underlying feeling and drive to paint/draw/create. However, the time to act on it really only happens in short bursts. Sometimes it's something I see, like a photograph or even advertisment, or something I read. This recent burst came after something I read.

The book is called "The Forest Lover", by Susan Vreeland. Vreeland also wrote "The Girl in Hyacinth Blue" and "The Passion of Artimesia". I have yet to read "The Passion of Artimesia", while I have read the other two. Both are fantastic page turners that really get into the art and passion of the artist. This isn't a book review, but rather identifying the source of my inspiration. "The Forest Lover" is based on the life of Canadian artist Emily Carr. I had never heard of Ms. Carr until this book. He subject matter was based on the First Nation's art of the northwest Canada, as well as the surrounding wilderness. I started and finished the book during my trip to Boston for a conference. Once I returned home, I busted out the paints again.

My current work in progress is a watercolor my first lobster dinner during my first trip to Maine. I've posted the orginal photograph, as well as my current progress. I want it to be a little on the 2 dimensional side. My main objective is to continue to work with the colors and re-learn basic painting techniques. I'm quite happy with it at this point, and I can't wait to see it finished!

Monday 11/15/10: I've made some progress. I want to call it finished, but I think something is missing. I'm tempted to go back and add violet washes to the lobsters to give them more depth. However, I don't want to "over work it". I had a friend give me a brief critique and she suggested ultafine tip ink to add details with hatch, cross-hatch, and stippling. Keep in mind variations to color due to these images being taken at difference times of the day.