30
Nov

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Watercolor: Amber Candle, Kitchen Counter (& Should you Start an Art Blog?

If you’ve wondered about starting an art blog, and backed away from the idea frantically waving the bold lettered banner “I have nothing to say” or “I hate to write” – consider this: I used to hate writing, until I started to write about ART. And I used to think I had nothing to say, but my friends reminded me that – in person – I talk all-the-time. (Hand rubbing chin, thinking…  Hmmm, Oh yeahhh… I’m talky!) I had only focused on the knocking-knees and chattering-teeth fear associated with the obligation of writing regularly, and the intimidation of posting my work online in front of a global audience. Here …[Continue reading]

27
Nov

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Monotype: Ophelia (& a survey of Printmaking inks)

I love the pre-raphaelite painters Millais, Hunt, Rosetti and Waterhouse. Their incredibly imaginative visual interpretations of Arthurian & Greek legends inspire scrutiny of narrative in paintings. Compositions are arranged like theatrical stage sets, with carefully placed evidence of the storyline rendered here and there, so you’re invited to lean close and look at details. What must it be like as a writer to see your words transformed by talented artists into faces, carriage and gestures on canvas? This monotype (above) from Hamlet’s Ophelia was pulled from the ink quickly, so it has a sketchy, painterly feel to it. I’ve added a light wash of watercolor, and …[Continue reading]

22
Nov

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Collagraph: Three Amigos – & 11 online video art & craft classes

You’ve probably heard that *everything* online is moving towards video. You can read articles with statistics on trends, and look at popular social media live-video add-ons like Instagram Stories, Facebook Live video and YouTube Livestreaming video.  Tossed into the salad of the everything-video-mix, online video art & craft classes are sprouting up all over the net.  You can buy any flavor of boosted artistic intelligence you’d like, and then watch and study the footage at your leisure, in your jammies, with a cup of tea & a cat in your lap. Video course subjects vary from salsa dancing to urban sketching to building a wood, french cleat, power …[Continue reading]

17
Nov

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Watercolor: Adventurous Heart (& inspired by Clausen’s portraits)

I had a conversation with a friend about looking at other artists’ work – especially artists who are farther along on the path, and much better we are. Some painters are crippled by those sorts of self-induced comparisons.  I’ve never felt stymied from looking at another artist’s amazingly realized creations. Great art fuels my creative engine. My studio art library is full of gifts; courage, inspiration, ideas and reminders to be patient – every book on the artists of history is full of instruction. I love to read about other artist’s stories, and the obstacles they climbed over. You rarely hear of an artist in history …[Continue reading]

15
Nov

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Monotype: Purple Barn (& organizing your studio)

There’s a lot of Fall harvesting going on here in California. The farms near my house are full of cage-box trucks heavy with green and yellow citrus, and the scent of fresh-cut produce is strong on the roads I frequent; onions, peppers, cabbage and herbs are all abundant and fragrant. As we approach the end of the year, this is a good time to take stock of your art-making habits, the state of your promotional activities, and where and how you’re making your work available. Is your studio organized and ready for you to get to work? Did you make the volume and the …[Continue reading]

11
Nov

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Watercolor: Rose & Dahlia (& lessons from selling art online)

Back in the day… 10-12 years ago, I sold my art on Ebay. I don’t sell there any more, but it was a rewarding experience at the time. I hadn’t sold art on a regular basis, so making money from doing something I loved was a revelation. Along with the “excuse” to paint frequently, there was also a king’s pantry of practices that were totally new to me. As sales ka-chinged via email, they also carried a fly-by-seat-of-the-pants crash course filled with Do’s & Dont’s of online marketing & promotion, relationships with collectors via correspondence, photographing & listing art, writing html code, packaging & shipping art, resisting the …[Continue reading]

9
Nov

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Etching: Lilacs in an Amber Vase (& an inking and wiping video)

This etching is from an artist’s proof in an unprinted edition. (An Artists’ Proof is a test print, and they’re used as a reference to make adjustments to the plate, so that subsequent proofs will be printed, till the final print matches what the artist had in mind for the etching.)  The zinc plate for this etching (see the photo below) needs a few more dips in an acid bath to darken areas on the print. I don’t use acid in my studio, so the remaining work will require borrowed time in a fully equipped print studio. Etching can be a process-intensive rotation of successions, particularly if you …[Continue reading]

4
Nov

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Watercolor: First Sip (& seasonal cycles in creativity)

Its tea-drinking season, even over here in sunny coastal California.  Fall is a nostalgic time bracket for me – loaded with reflection of the-year-so-far, anniversaries of still-heart-prickley loss & grief (read this poignant and thought-compelling essay about letting go of objects connected to lost loved-ones), and acutely visual reminders of time passing.  Nightfall comes sooner, but time slows in winter, despite the shorter days, and the sunlight is particularly crisp & so bright, you can’t help but squint.  My urge to paint is always strong in the Fall. (Read this short essay by Austin Kleon about the seasons of creativity.) Certain plants flower here only in November, and …[Continue reading]

2
Nov

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Watercolor: Spearmint Float (& steps towards showing your art)

In the last post, I talked about back to back art shows in my Fall exhibit season, and one of the topics I heard over and over again from visitors at art events this year is related to identity and fear of showing their own art. Lots of artists visit festivals and exhibits to get inspired, stay up to date on the art scene and meet other artists. I’m no Sherlock Holmes, but I can *usually* sense an artist is in my booth when they’re nose-to-glass, furrowed brow, studying watercolor application and paper, etc.  So, I ask: “Are you an artist?” People almost always say “No, …[Continue reading]

27
Oct

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Watercolor: Opuntia (& art show photos from last weekend)

I went scouting for painting references at the Los Angeles Arboretum a few weeks ago, with an upcoming fund raising exhibit at the Arboretum in mind.  This watercolor of a prickly pear cactus in the sun (Opuntia) was one of the results of my wanderings in the garden. The gala event was this past Sunday, and even though it rained on an outdoor gourmet dinner & art exhibit, everyone in attendance remained enthused, engaged and complimentary of the evening’s festivities. When it rains on an art exhibit outdoors, and your work doesn’t have a canopy for cover, it’s wise to carry plastic tarps in your …[Continue reading]

11
Oct

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Watercolor: Capistrano (& a show at Flower Pepper Gallery)

Today, I’m sprinkling your eyes with images, because writing time is limited. There’s framing to do, and promotions to distribute, and labels to make, and art festival preparations to assemble & load. I’ll be in two shows this weekend: Beverly Hills Art Show, and the opening of I Wish I Had Friends Like That! at Flower Pepper Gallery (see the details below). Are you showing your work anywhere this weekend? Please share location and times in the comments. This is a larger (for me) landscape watercolor for the Beverly Hills Art Show. The first year I left my job to paint full time, …[Continue reading]

3
Oct

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Watercolor: Love Kitchen (& Social Media as your Front Porch)

There are good and bad things about social media. If you’d like to hear why I love social media – as it relates to connecting with my global community, personally & professionally, read on… This post applies to sharing, but I’m writing about it from a broad, aerial view. If you’re looking for verbiage specific to art making, stay tuned for the next post. 🙂 Back in the day, before social media, many homes in America were built with deep, wrap-around front porches adorned with all manner of chairs, love seats and rugs. Families spent summer evenings sprawled with books & beverages in cushioned wicker chairs, or dozing on squeaky bench gliders. Neighbors strolling the ‘hood stopped to sit on the …[Continue reading]

28
Sep

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Watercolor: Belladonna (& the magic of Gustav Klimt’s drawings)

I’ll be participating in a one-evening fund raising dinner and exhibit honoring Peggy Dark at the Los Angeles Arboretum on October 23rd. Five artists will exhibit paintings inspired by the garden, on site, tucked into little alcoves on the grounds around the arboretum, which will benefit the Children’s Learning Patio. I love supporting local venues in my own city, especially when they have a steadfast charter to introduce the tranquility of gardens, and whole food growing via hands-on learning to urban kids.  It’s very rewarding to jump in, and ‘make a difference’. Do you look for regional shows to participate in with your art? This week’s #linklove post is about …[Continue reading]

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