13
Jan

wintersunlight5.5x7.5.72

Monotype: Winter Sunlight (Artist Goals – Art Studio Planning – Part II)

This is part II of plotting your artist goals for the new year. In the last post, we reviewed what we did (and didn’t) do in 2016 to inspire adjustments for 2017. Did you crave more art-making last year?  Creative output happens if  you 1) reserve time & 2) give art your full, uncluttered focus. Art doesn’t usually chase you down. It’s up to each of us to pursue art. We’re more apt to prioritize emptying the dishwasher over sketching, or surfing social media instead of finishing that still life painting.  Those activities are fine, but if you didn’t get enough art-making in 2016, you might fare better to reserve time …[Continue reading]

11
Jan

Dozing3.10.5x7.72

Linocut: Dozing (Artist Goals; Looking Back to Go Forward – Part 1)

What are your artist goals for 2017? How did they work for you in 2016? A review of what’s behind us is helpful for planning what’s in front of us, especially if we want to steer towards new and improved pathways, right? You could cross the length of the pool in front of you by just swimming, but it’s more efficient (& fun) to kick off the wall behind you for a decisive start. If you’re inclined to mutter about what you didn’t finish into an end-of-the-year tea cup of disappointment, perhaps a review of last year while drafting a plan for this year would be a perfectly swell …[Continue reading]

20
Dec

eggtimer5x8-72

Watercolor: Egg Timer (& traveling with watercolors)

I mentioned in the last post that I recently returned from a week of travel, and I took watercolors on the trip. The little study above was painted on the plane on the way home. Five hours goes by much faster when you’re painting & listening to an audio book (I’m listening to and *loving* this one – I don’t want it to end). And after making art on airplanes for a few years now (see this post, this one and this one) I can confirm that knowing you’re stuck in that seat for the duration of the flight forces your art-making mind to S.L.O.W. down and …[Continue reading]

12
Dec

chocolatewithaloha5x8-72

Watercolor: Chocolate with Aloha ( & moleskine travel sketching)

I’m back in the studio after a week-long vacation with family. The moleskine watercolor above was inspired by the decadent dessert my husband and I shared towards the end of the trip. Taking a small slice of time to relax with people I love in the middle of a tightly packed holiday season might be my new Tradition. Sitting in the sun near children laughing in the pool, sketching in my moleskine and sipping iced tea – while listening to Christmas music – was a bit surreal, but it gave time to ponder the impact of staying in the moment, not thinking about upcoming To-Do’s, and slowing the holiday pace enough to fully enjoy …[Continue reading]

30
Nov

AmberCandleKitchen72

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

ophelia72

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

threeamigosAP72

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

adventurousheart2.75x2.572

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

purplebarn72

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

RoseDahlia721

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

lilacambervaseap172

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

firstsip72

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

spearmintfloat12x11-25-72

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]

Site by Spunmonkey