24
Jul

morninggrazing12x9.72

Review of Hahnemühle Watercolor Paper and a Giveaway!

Hahnemühle sent a few pads of watercolor and mixed media paper to test and review in my studio. I’ve heard about Hahnemühle fine art papers, but never tried them. I’ve been happily enlightened. 🙂 Bamboo Mixed Media Paper I used graphite, ink, watercolor and colored pencils on Hahnemühle’s bamboo & cotton blend mixed media paper, and I loved it! The surface is natural white, very sturdy (125 lb) paper, and it has just enough tooth to catch colored pencil beautifully. The paper handled micron pens without any bleed, erased pencil with no pilling, and held passages of watercolor up on the surface brilliantly. …[Continue reading]

16
Jul

clementinecaboose8.5x21300

Watercolor Still Life & Artist Tools for help with Painting Values

Good morning! Did you know Winsor and Newton publishes a series of mini painting-tip videos? (You can subscribe to W&N here.) This week’s tip (watch it here) is about same-value color fields to create depth, add interest, and suggest atmosphere in broad passages where you might otherwise use a single, flat color. Very useful, I think. Do you already do this in your work? What is Value? Value is a challenging concept for many new artists. The directive to “squint” to find them, looking back and forth to compare source material and the painting in process can be frustrating if you don’t know what …[Continue reading]

27
Jun

OpenMorning8x11.72

Watercolor – Open Morning (& mixing greens in watercolor)

Now that I’m finished with Spring art festivals and overseas travels, it’s time to sort the studio and plan summer paintings.  I’m almost finished with two citrus watercolors similar to this one. While mixing yellows and greens for grapefruit, oranges, and citrus leaves, I refer to Jeanne Dobie’s Making Color Sing. I like what she has to say about mixing green in watercolor: What are the best pigments to mix with green? Begin by selecting aureolin yellow, the most transparent yellow pigment. Many students reach for yellow ochre to mix in their greens, believing it is a natural landscape or earth-tone yellow. While …[Continue reading]

19
Jun

lamaisonrouge12.25x16.25.af

Watercolor – La Maison Rouge (and busting through Creative Block)

When is it hard to paint? Not because of squeezed schedules, demanding jobs or illness; I’m talking about when you have time set aside to be creative, and you don’t jump in because of distraction, creative block, self doubt/fear, or not knowing where to start. Yeah, THAT list of obstacles. We’ve all been there.  I’ve missed my watercolors more times than I can count. The interesting thing – to me – is that creative block is purely an adult issue. (Give a child you know some paper and crayons, and watch the magic.) This implies that being artistically stuck is wholly and deeply …[Continue reading]

14
Jun

RoussillionStudy16x5

Watercolor: Study for Roussillon (& Ochre pigments)

There’s an incredible ochre mine in the Vaucluse region of Provence. On a recent trip, fellow workshop attendees and I walked around Roussillon and marveled at the color of the soil. The earthen cliffs in late afternoon sun are a solar flare of orange against foliage and sky. Many of the buildings in the village are burnt orange or red, instead of the usual Provence beige or gray stucco. At a distance, the color of the architecture looks as though Roussillon sprouted from the soil. It’s a lovely nod towards their ochre mining history. Shops sell linen table cloths, printed in bold patterns …[Continue reading]

9
Jun

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Micron Pen & Watercolor: Cypress at L’Arcade (& frustrations at art workshops)

A few weeks ago, I worked as crew with WorkshopsinFrance.com, during a fantastic Carol Marine workshop at a chateau in Provence. I used ink & watercolor on the cypress trees and hedges above, feeling appreciation & breathing in the French air on the lawn where we stayed.  The workshop had all the magical scenery (queue the location shots from A Good Year), food & wine and culture you might imagine from that region of the world. *And* ART, everyday, all day long. One of my favorite things about art workshops is days-upon-days of discussing art making, art supplies, art marketing, and artist experiences …[Continue reading]

5
Jun

whatrewedoingtoday

Watercolor: What’re we doing Today (& Digital vs Paper Books)

If you visit here often, you might know I’m an Audiobook fan.  I recently finished listening to News of the World, Born a Crime and The Demon Under the Microscope, and I loved all of them. I’m challenging myself to read (listen to) 25 books in 2017, which is lofty – for me – but aim for the stars, right? If you’ve never listened to an audiobook while painting and drawing, you can give it a twirl for free with this link. Download your first book for free, and if you don’t like it, cancel out of Audible, but keep the book. 🙂 Not a bad test, …[Continue reading]

30
May

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Watercolor: Isle sur la Sorgue Cafe & Back from France

I’m home from France, fresh over jet-lag and loaded head to toe with inspiring photos, ideas & new friends. I’m particularly marinating in game-changing tips and tricks from watching Carol Marine teach attendees of her workshop. Carol Marine is a seasoned and generous instructor. She casually sprinkles workshop attendees with her hard-earned painting, drawing and seeing knowledge, and she doesn’t hold anything back. She’s earnestly helpful, potently encouraging, and incredibly articulate about process. Her painting method is something to behold, but what made me swoon was her work ethic. Carol’s conviction to practice her art is a non-negotiable priority. The rest of us juggle other priorities, which leads to …[Continue reading]

6
May

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Watercolor: Early Bird Breakfast

We haven’t lived in the home that inspired the watercolor still life above for over a decade,  but during the years while raising kids there, I took thousands of photos, and started painting full time, which buoyed my conviction towards being a better “noticer”. White tile counters are reflective. The shiny ceramic surface broadcasts the color and shape of everything on and above them, so my kitchen counter at dawn became a new painting opportunity every day. We filled bowls with bird seed on the ledge outside, and happy hour gathered at dawn with feathered, chirping and squeaking over a hearty breakfast most mornings. My bird buddies didn’t stick …[Continue reading]

24
Apr

Swallowtail  29 x 21 watercolor on paper

Watercolor: Swallowtail (And thoughts on Artists & Loneliness)

I’ve been working in shorter fits and starts this year, because, you know, life is full.  I’m relatively efficient at the transition between calamity of boisterous family time & social events, and the submarine dive into alone art-making in the studio, even if only for an hour. With family, a social life, new-projects and the business side of being an artist, studio time can get pretty squeezed if I’m not careful to prioritize it, and press it like quick-drying grout between the tiles of space on my calendar. I’m sure many of you reading this are experts at this shuffling. When I first considered art full time, I worked …[Continue reading]

18
Apr

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Drypoint Engraving: Asleep in Rome (& You’re absolutely a Creative)

You’re a Creative Person too I just had a chat with my neighbor about creativity. I talk about being creative a lot at art festivals and social mixers.  When someone asks what I do, and I say “I’m an artist.”, my new acquaintance usually turns wistful, and replies: “Oh, it must be so wonderful to be creative. I wish I was a creative person, but I can barely draw a stick figure.”  Why does art get the pinnacle position under the heading Creative? Isn’t it creative to be a gardener, or a cook, or a quilter? Isn’t it creative to raise a family? What about people with …[Continue reading]

13
Apr

keyholetospringtime20x18.72

Monotype: Keyhole to Springtime (& finishing what you started)

I started this monotype in my previous studio about three years ago.  Yep, that’s a thousand days, people. I’m predictable in my art-making process; I get *so* excited to start! The early stages of making put me in a fevered flow state.  While happily playing with color and shape, I don’t feel hunger, fatigue, or distraction. I’m a comic book superhero art-making machine. And then, I stall. After all the excited beginnings, I eventually get to a place where I have to make big decisions that will either kill or strengthen the art. I’ve written about the trouble with Pride and Ego in art making, and I think about …[Continue reading]

10
Apr

mat-board-collagraph

Mat Board Collagraph Printmaking: Mama’s Day

This mat board collagraph started as a doodle (see photos of the process, with links to supplies below). I’m surrounded by young women with babies, meandering different chapters of motherhood. It’s fascinating & nostalgic & heart-warming to watch these little families grow and transform with the addition of wiggly beings.  We make art from the happenings around us, and it documents our lives in a beautiful way. What’s in your life this season that informs and enhances your art-making? If you’re interested in learning more about making a collagraph print from mat board, here’s a link to a playlist of youtube videos on my channel. You’ll find …[Continue reading]

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