Four of my pieces recently went to a new home, an unexpected surprise! Here they are:
Two from last November’s daily plein air gouache studies at the Dallas Arboretum:
One of the recent little oil landscapes:
And a watercolor botanical study of Turk’s Cap.
I hope they are enjoyed for a long time.
A brand-spanking-new sketchbook can be as intimidating as a pristine fresh piece of paper or canvas. There’s always a resistance to making the first marks when it’s so nice and perfect and virginal. With canvas or paper, I usually start by making a mess, just to get something going. There! No more lovely snow-white surface! Then I try to develop the mess into something.
To get something going with the sketchbook, I just grabbed some detrius from out in the yard: some acorn debris and an oak leaf. Plopped them on the table and told myself to make something of that. All I made was a matter-of-fact little sketch, but now the book has been opened.
I always feel that autumn is really the time of beginning. Is that a holdover from school days and the start of the academic year? It’s certainly also the beginning for all those acorns out there. Their struggle to oakhood starts now.
There are heaps of videos on Youtube showing art techniques. Some are more helpful than others, but I watch them in the hopes of picking up some ideas. This one by Susan Avis Murphy made me want to try a variation on her technique at my regular Friday night figure session. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4rWb6IUB3c
Starting with a prepared paper (easy-lifting pigments on Fabriano soft press paper) as the middle value, I can scrub out highlights and paint in shadows – the method of working is more like oil painting. Here are a few examples of the results.
I’ve been doing a series of cairns in watercolor. This one was accepted into the Southwest Watercolor Society’s 2014 show….the delivery date for the artwork is tomorrow, so naturally the framing date was today. Nothing like a little procrastination. Framing makes such a difference!
Fealing Lin was the juror for this show, and I am very happy to have been accepted! Come and see all the exciting work from September 4 through September 28 at The Eisemann Center, 2351 Performance Drive, Richardson, TX 75082.
This piece is titled “Will Was Here”. The artwork measures 14.5″ high, 10″ wide. Watercolor on 300 lb. archival paper. $220 framed, plus shipping. Contact me if you’re interested.
Welcome to this wandering tour of blogs by artists, writers, musicians, painters, photographers, and more.
Thanks to Bobbie Dacus for inviting me to the hop! If you don’t already know her, check out her blog, Artsyteapot, to see some fun and colorful illustration work! Bobbie Dacus is the illustrator of Saving Emma, which is a charming historical fictional tale set in Alexandria, VA in the 1700’s. Designing and illustrating fashion comic books for teenage girls was Bobbie’s favorite pastime at age 12. Her love of drawing led her to study graphic design at University of Southern Mississippi and Mississippi University for Women and she received her BFA at Arizona State University. Bobbie has worked in the field of Visual Merchandising utilizing her creativity in window display and winning numerous awards. She also worked in advertising corporate graphic design, freelance design, medical graphics and art instruction. It was after Bobbie’s children, were born that she was drawn to children’s book illustration. With bright colors dominating her palette, she creates her illustrations in acrylics, oil pastels, oil alkyds and frequently combines digital painting with traditional.
This blog hop poses the same questions to all participants…so here goes!
What am I currently working on? Watercolors! Watercolor is my latest obsession and I seem to be working all the time to develop greater facility with this mercurial medium. I’ve always used watercolor for backgrounds or as a base for pastels or colored pencils, but had never attempted making work that was watercolor from start to finish. I’m finally beginning to make some pieces that I’m happy with, and am excited to see what develops from here.
In my illustration work, I’ve discovered a way that digital can work for me – it’s a digi drawing/watercolor/collage mashup. This piece with Pete the sheep is a good example.
How does my work differ from others in its genre? With the illustration work, I think it’s the lack of the slick finish that is very popular. My work features an obvious hand-drawn quality and often textures play a big part in establishing the mood. The watercolor backgrounds are instrumental in creating that texture – no wonder I’m excited about working with them more.
Why do I create what I do? Because of chance, to be honest. I have often said that “MAKE SOMETHING” is my prime directive, and that SOMETHING could really have been anything. A garden, a ceramic bowl, a stained glass window, a piece of furniture…any of those would result in an actual physical outcome and would be satisfying to make. It’s really only because of the options available to me when growing up that I ended up as an artist. Had shop class been offered to girls when I was in school, I might have decided that woodworking or welding was the thing for me.
How does my creative process work? There are two different flows here, and this is what really separates my illustration work from what is called fine art. When producing illustrations, my role is to further and enhance the story. That starts with getting into the right mood, one that matches the story, and developing characters that are at home in that mood. Then comes m
aking rough layouts of compositions that express the feelings of the character in the different parts of the story. Finally, the characters are called onstage into the compositions, and actual rendering of the artwork can begin.
In my paintings, there’s no story. Sometimes a human presence or action is suggested, or there may be an identifiable light source or atmosphere, but the artwork is meant to be contemplative, both for me as the maker and for the viewer, too. Stillness is a feeling that is a part of my artwork, no matter the form or medium.
And now to introduce the next generation for the blog hop. I’ve invited a writer and a photographer.
Candace Williams lives with her husband and beloved rescued Iggys (Italian Greyhounds) in Texas. Her first novel, The Earthquake Doll, was inspired by her early experiences in post-war Japan while her father was serving in the Korean Conflict. She is hard at work on her next book, a contemporary mystery.
You can learn more about her fascinating debut novel on her website.