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Small watercolor sketches
Chateau Landscape Study – moleskine watercolor sketch

Summertime Pace of Art-Making

I traveled to France to work as crew twice with a wonderful company called The bank of travel photos and watercolor sketches made on each trip is a dip into time travel, and a mine of inspiration. When I scroll through the photos, or flip through sketches, I want to make more art from scenes rich with Provence-flavored atmosphere. While perusing a watercolor sketchbook this weekend, I realized that many of the subjects I rendered are not my usual painting or printmaking fare. My studio work is primarily figurative and still life, but I’m realizing that travel compels me to make more landscapes.

Hmmm. ?

watercolor sketching while on the go
Painting watercolor studies at the dinner table when it’s not being used for dining, because why not?

Artistic Stretching

I’m going to be traveling again soon (domestic, not international), and I packed art supplies for watercolor sketches of figures relaxing around picnic tables strewn with beverages and barbecues. After my landscape sketches observation this weekend, I’ve altered my travel art supplies to include earthier watercolor pigments, extra greens and blues, and a little ruler to set horizon lines. Since landscapes are not my comfort zone, wish me luck in stretching a little. That’s one of the things travel does to us, right? Onward, to less familiar territory, artistically and geographically.

Château De Gadagne
Swimming pool at dusk with the village lights just coming on in the distance
Mary Oliver Quotes

Art Links for You

  • Have you heard about the tendency to Drift? Author and podcast host Gretchen Rubin describes drift as a reaction to facing difficult or mindful decisions for yourself, but instead of digging to find what you’d like to do, you detour to go along with other people’s wishes for you. Or when you take the path of least resistance, or you choose the choice that feels like the lowest expenditure of personal commitment. I think this is very common for artists, putting other things ahead of the craving for time to make art. Take Gretchen’s drift quiz and read more on the subject here.
  • Check out these beautiful, narrative stitched drawings on cloth by Michelle Holmes, featured in Textile Artist this month. Wooded scenes, planetary surfaces, saints, birds and dwellings – stitched in thread on repurposed cloth. Don’t you love creative people who share their studio wonders online, so we can see it and infuse our own creative process with the encouragement of Diverging Ideas? ?
  • Have you seen the hyper realistic paintings of Chinese artist Leng Jun? You can read about his extraordinary detail paintings, his intentions with the work, and see close ups of the art, as well as video portrait demos in this article.
drawing with embroidery
A Winter’s Walk – Linen, Cotton, Free Machine Embroidery & Hand Stitching in Metallic Thread by Michelle Holmes

Taking Advantage of Prime Day

Are you familiar with Amazon Prime Day? There are deep discounts from all sorts of items on Amazon July 15 & 16th for Prime subscribers (If you shop on Amazon a lot like I do, Prime is an annual subscription for free 2-day delivery on all Prime eligible orders, free streaming video, tv and music, etc.)

I take advantage of Prime Day by searching for discounted supplies I’d like to test, or to restock items I use often in my studio, like this $37 pencil/charcoal drawing set for $18 that I keep in my travel tote bag. I’ve also ordered an empty 24 pan watercolor palette that’s on sale to fill with tube gouache. I haven’t painted with gouache while traveling, and I’d like to give that a try on black mixed media paper. I’m wagging my eyebrows, because it sounds like so much fun, don’t you think?

Get those Ducks in a Row

I’m eyebrow deep with filming segments for new video courses on monotype printmaking, using the grid system for more accurate drawing and watercolor painting basics. There are three watercolor still life paintings underway, and two collagraph prints in process, and an almost finished linocut is begging to be proof printed. Maybe I should make another pot of coffee? ? How is the pace of artmaking in your world? Are you sketching this season, or carving, or painting? Gluing things into compelling collages, or snapping photos for your next series? Tell me what’s happening.

Thanks for stopping by today, and I’ll see you in the next post!


P.S. The wonderful Bob Burridge posted a great video over the weekend about loosening up your paintings with one simple solution: a longer brush.

P.P.S. You can get each new post via email as soon as it’s published by subscribing here.

online course for painters
Click the kitty to visit this free online mini course – Six Tips to Paint More

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