Munch Created His Own Style

6 Mar

The Scream, 1893 by Edvard Munch

Edvard Munch (1863-1944), the Norwegian artist whose art covered themes of love, death, isolation and pain had developed his own style.

Although he had health issues, particularly in his younger years, he painted almost every day.  His last thirty years he spent mostly in isolation, producing a phenomenal amount of work (around 1,100 paintings).

His paintings were constantly changing and he often would repeat paintings, changing subtle things each time.  Munch is considered a unique artist due to his fluidity, meaning his style was changing from day to day and period to period.

Not all of his paintings were masterpieces and some of his most famously renowned paintings had critics who loved them and also critics who hated them.

Although he was accused of copying the styles of Cezanne, Van Gogh and Renoir he denied it saying that yes, some of his techniques may be similar but his painting was unique and with these other artists, he was only related in time.

Munch was both criticized and praised for his innovative “turpentine paintings” which allowed the canvas to be visible.  He spent years developing his “turpentine paintings” techniques.  Although he was aware of the influence of his contemporaries, Munch always remained faithful to his own style.

To view some of his paintings click here:


Developing Tenacity

21 Feb
The Starry Night by Van Gogh

The Starry Night by Van Gogh

Van Gogh must have felt a lot of satisfaction staring at a completed piece he had just finished.  Maybe he felt sad that he wasn’t a financial success but I bet he felt the excitement of completing a good painting.

Van Gogh sold only one painting while he was alive yet he produced 900 paintings and over 1000 amazing drawings that we enjoy today.  It doesn’t seem like he was discouraged enough to give up on the art.  It seems Van Gogh created with drive and passion.

As creative people, we will face difficulty and discouragement.  Will we keep creating our art?  Van Gogh sets a good example for those who might be discouraged.  To read more about Van Gogh’s and his art, visit  To see more of my art, visit  or my website

red flowers with abstract design

Red Flowers, Mixed Media Painting by Katie Turner

Color Grid for Copic

24 Jan

Distant Blue smallest with logo

Most of us have heard of Copic markers which are a favorite brand among many artists.  I have a few of these (as well as many less expensive brand markers) that I use for illustrations.  I was interested to read that Copic has reworked their website with various improvements.  Their “Collect” and “Feed” sections have a large concise color grid and there is also a section of how to use these markers, best papers, airbrushing, shading, how to refill and store, and more.  Detailed instructions help the artist to understand how to use these coded markers for projects.  You can view the new website here:

Cadmium-Free Paint

18 Dec

Today I received a sample of paint from Liquitex.  They have a new Cadmium-Free acrylic paint out and are encouraging artists to test their paint and see if you can really tell the difference between the Cadmium-Free and the regular paint.  Some artists say that the Cadmium paints are more vibrant with better opacity but there is a health risk with Cadmium.  Here are my test samples below.   I don’t know which tube, A or B has the cadmium but will have to visit to learn the results of their artist challenge.  I really couldn’t tell the difference.   They both seem to function the same with the same coverage.   If you would like read more about it, go to


liquitex tubes

a testb test

Web-Brutalism: Rebel Web Design

4 Dec

Design has always been an interest of mine, so when I read about web-brutalism design in my favorite graphics magazine, I knew I had to find out what it was.

Web-brutalists are digital designers that create raw, irreverent, ugly websites.  They are more concerned with simplicity and truth than comfort and frivolity.  The younger generation is designing this way as a reaction to the busy, lavish, opulent websites that are out there now.   Some designers claim the old design rules are causing the death of creativity and that Web-brutalism with its noncompliance encourages creativity and diversity.  Of course a good designer will know which rules to break and which to keep.

In the past two decades, we have moved from an information age to an innovation age.  Both need to work synchronously as technology becomes increasingly mobile.  Technology needs to be wearable, fashionable and fit seamlessly into our lives.  Standardization is a major factor for everyone.  New ideas need to coordinate with existing services to work.  Today we see that with some design, for example, a charging cable can be used by several electronic devices.  On the web you will see templates as another example, with users on WordPress blogs, etsy shops and eBay sellers using standardized designs.  Web-Brutalists are designing as a response to these templates and standardizations by using original designs that break out of the mold.  These brutalist websites tend to be more flat, text-heavy and simple sites (see examples below).

Pascal Deville, a Creative Director from Zurich wrote about the web-brutalism movement in 2014.    Deville had noticed some designers were using odd-looking work and wrote about it.  He started a website where designers could submit their websites.  With this movement growing, is receiving over 100 submissions a day from many different countries and industries.  This design style is growing in popularity today and is a new authentic voice reaching target audiences.

Check out some of the unique websites:

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Breaking Away From The Brush (Just for a little bit)

22 Nov

Holiday Pocket ATCs - my first SMALL


I’m pretty comfortable around my brush and palette, so when an opportunity to try something new recently came up, I dove right in.  I had to say yes to trying a Pocket Letter swap.  It’s something I have never tried before so I figured it would be a great exercise.  I am familiar with ATCs (Artist Trading Cards) and have been swapping with other artists for years, but what is a Pocket Letter?

A Pocket Letter is an interesting way to communicate with a pen pal or friend.  You fill up a 9 pocket trading card sleeve with ATCs of a theme, then inside the pockets you tuck in little goodies.  These goodies might be washi tape samples, homemade papers, ribbon, stickers, buttons, embellishments, tea bags, sequins, etc.  One of the pockets holds a letter from you to the recipient.  To keep from paying too much in postage make sure you keep the items relatively flat so the sleeve can be folded in thirds and mailed in a business sized envelope.

I found it interesting to design the pocket as a whole larger piece that was still able to break down into individual ATCs.  I was able to use a favorite vintage photo in my piece and it fit the composition well.  It was a fun exercise and I may try it again sometime.

Here are just a few links with various info on the Pocket letter movement and how it’s done.

What Are Pocket Letters Janette Lane

Jane Lane Shows Pocket Letter Sample

Another video of sample Pocket Letter


Inspired Mandalas

31 Oct
fruit and logo

Simple Shapes to Inspire Mandala Drawing

madala flower with logo

Mandala Drawing

Mandala Fruit with logo

Fruit Inspired Mandals Drawing, Ink & Watercolor

Mandala flower with logo

Mandala Drawing using stencils

Mandala means “circle” in Sanskrit.  It signifies wholeness and usually begins with a central point with patterns that radiate outward.  Louise Gale (Mandala For the Inspired Artist by Walter Foster Publishing) explains that we are “to think of a mandala as a sacred space.”

Mandalas can occur in nature and are seen in flowers, the moon, the sun, and more.  Although Mandalas are specifically associated with Hindu, Buddhist and Tibetan artwork the geometric patterns can be seen in other cultures.  Often you will see them on buildings, in various art forms, and in religious text and religious items around the world.

I photographed some fruit I had in my home.  The kiwi, clementine and tomato were sliced in half and have some very interesting shapes within.  They gave me a creative starting point for my drawings.  I found the process very relaxing, giving me time to reflect on the intricate beauty of simple things.  Take a look around your home or office and see if you can find simple items to inspire your own Mandala drawing.