Tag Archives | Portrait

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Graphite, Watercolor and Colored Pencil Portrait: Once Upon a Time

Once Upon a Time 9.5 x 8.5 Mixed Media portrait in Graphite, Watercolor and Colored Pencil (available in my Etsy Shop here) For the Love of Words Have you ever staged a painting based on a series of images? I have a collection of inspiring art saved in a few categories on Pinterest, and one of them features readers. I love books (I’m listening to this one right now), and the escape to other places, with imagined people, with their loves, longings, humor, and fate is such a great pleasure for me. The magic of words and writers, and the worlds they paint …[Continue reading]

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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]

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Drawing: Vin (inspired to draw more)

I want to sketch & draw more this year. I’ve commanded this to my art-making brain in years past, but as weeks ticked by on the calendar, other priorities elbowed the notion into a dark cupboard.  Very frustrated – by my very own self.  I follow the Canadian artist Marc Taro Holmes. He features tips and tricks (& fantastic art) related to urban sketching. A few weeks ago, he did a live sketch event on facebook, using the app Sktchy. See below. On Sktchy, artists upload photos of themselves in a queue, and you have permission to draw or paint them, digitally or traditionally. Being artists, the selfie …[Continue reading]

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Printmaking Drypoint: Cat Cot (& a tutorial video on drypoint printmaking from mylar drafting film)

A  drypoint-from-drafting-film printmaking experiment resulting in the art above is posted on my youtube channel. You can make a drypoint engraving on matte finish mylar – or drafting film – and print an edition so you can paint each one in a different palette with watercolor, gouache, colored pencil or your media du jour. Try tracing a figure study from a sketchbook  (like I did below) onto a small sheet of matte finish Dura-Lar drafting film, and then scribe the line-work with an etching needle.  Ink the mylar, wipe & print… voila. 🙂 The resulting print in this experiment was terrifically sketchy. (My technical art terminology works best …[Continue reading]

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Woodcut: Communion (and 4 tips to crush distraction & get back to making art)

Are you wrestling with distraction? Do you have a pile of reference material and inspiration you’ve been saving for a decade, waiting to be used to ignite new work?  Here are four tips to get you back to making instead of procrastinating. 1. Read this article (4 minutes) about reigning in your focus and combatting distraction so you can be productive “Negative emotions are regarded as threats by our brain, inhibiting our ability to do other cognitive work.” ~Elle Kaplan That quote is from the article linked above, citing a University of Michigan study.  It speaks to a need for awareness and intention to captain our ships around …[Continue reading]

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

Artist’s Goals, 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 …[Continue reading]

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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]

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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]

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Watercolor: Novella (& an essay on the distraction of email)

I stayed in an old mill on a river, converted to a Bed & Breakfast Inn, while attending a friend’s wedding in Massachusetts a few years ago, and the background interior of this painting came from photos I took in my room that weekend. The figure was added to the scene from snapshots taken with a model about a decade ago. Do you ever mix and match your reference photos from different times, locations and figures to create new, imagined scenes? The books I listened to (and thoroughly enjoyed) while painting this watercolor:   If you’re struggling with time management, and checking & re-checking email plays a …[Continue reading]

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Watercolor: Laptop Nightlight (& encouragement to finish your art)

I love art featuring readers. I have a pinterest board of inspiring paintings of people and their books, and our descendants collecting imagery of this subject will likely include paintings and drawings of people curled around laptops, balancing nooks & ipads on their laps, and sitting contentedly under headphones. I finished listening to the audio book The Greater Journey by David McCullough while painting this little night time watercolor of a reader (above), and started The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George. I’m painting street scenes from Provence, so the book’s very french flavor fits the art in process. 🙂 For this week’s #linklove post, I’m featuring Mr …[Continue reading]

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Woodcut: Sunset Sail (& the Folly Cove Designers)

Do you and I share an interest in all things handmade? The net is rich with thought-provoking articles about WHY we love hand-made, so that tells you lots of other folks are thinking and talking about it too. I’m grateful for the flourish of community and friendships with like-minded artisans, crafters and DIY aficionados online, all accessible through our phones via ever-changing & rapidly advancing technology. 🙂 As both a consumer and a maker, I love the search for and adoration of other maker’s creations; it’s a whole forest of inspiration. Swells of interest in arts & crafts repeat through time in cycles, going back to Medieval days.  Creative communities are often regional, …[Continue reading]

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Watercolor: Drinks at the Reception (& Artists on Facebook)

There are so many artists sharing art on Facebook, the affirmation that beauty is a necessity scrolls down my feed in an avalanche of encouraged inspiration. Do you know about art Groups and Pages on Facebook?  In addition to individual artist’s Pages, like these by Frank Eber,  Mario Robinson,  Hollis Dunlap,  Nick Wroblewski,  Mary Whyte and mine, there are also people who put time and effort into harvesting (exclusively) other artists’ work to share on Pages. What a gift! Check out this teeny full color sketchbook devoted to Toulouse Lautrec! If you visit Gradimir’s  Facebook page, you’ll see others like it featuring Van Gogh and Bob Dylan.There are tons …[Continue reading]

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Woodcut with Watercolor & the Beverly Hills Art Show

The woodcut above can be found in my Etsy shop, and you’ll find a speedy little time lapse video showing the sequence when she gets painted with watercolor below. Fall art festival season is coming up here in southern California, and artists are waiting to hear if they made the cut in each show’s jurying process.  After several years of applying and not getting into the Beverly Hills Art Show, I just got my acceptance letter, and I’m thrilled! If you’re local to Los Angeles, mark your calendar for October 15 & 16, and come say hello at booth #108 between Rodeo Drive and Beverly Drive on Santa …[Continue reading]

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Watercolor Portrait: Something to Say (& a Ken Auster video)

I started this watercolor portrait over a year ago in my previous studio. Then I packed and moved, and forgot about it till I cleaned and purged the clutter in my current studio last week. (How many unfinished art projects do you have stuffed into cupboards and drawers and shelves?) Part of the clean up last week involved mounting a foam-insulation panel (leftover from my daughter’s quilt wall design project) on one of my studio walls to tack art-in-process up, so I can work while standing, and step back to squint & check values, etc. I have a beautiful easel for that, but the …[Continue reading]

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Watercolor: First Day in Italy (& #linklove on staying focused)

I’m still working on the nocturnal watercolor on yupo I mentioned in the last post, so stay tuned (or subscribe) for that coming soon…. In the meantime, I feel compelled to share a humorous, smart, thought-provoking essay on Why Procrastinators Procrastinate. Are you in the Staller Club too? Do you wait till the eleventh hour to complete tasks with deadlines? Do you put off painting – even when you relish every little part of the art-making process – until AFTER you’ve emptied the dishwasher, folded all the laundry and completed errands to the post office, grocery store and dry cleaner? And by the time …[Continue reading]

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Monotype: Window Seat (& praise for Video Art Tutorials)

This art blog began as an exercise in accountability in 2005. I planned to document my renewed commitment to get back into art-making after a decade-long hiatus. Almost immediately, it morphed into a platform to share process, and hopefully, encourage other out-of-business artists to get back to work. More recently, when I tip-toed into creating a youtube channel, I goaded myself forward with the warble that it was a “graduation” – finally advancing a decade of process stills up to the next level, to video tutorials. Here’s how un-brave I was/am; after creating the channel, it took me seven years to post the first video.  #riskaverse With video-function on cell phones & free editing software (Mac computers …[Continue reading]