Tag Archives: illustration

In My Spare Moments: The Art of Harold F. Schmitz

23 Apr

I recently came across an announcement for a historical art show “In My Spare Moments: The Art of Harold F. Schmitz” at the Wisconsin Veterans Museum in Madison, Wisconsin.  The artist, Harold Schmitz, was working in advertising when he was drafted into WWII in 1942.  He became a map maker with the 955th Topographic Engineer Company for the next three years.  After the war he became an art director for Northwestern Publishing House.

Although I find many things relating to war extremely disturbing – particularly the horrors and suffering related to it, I do feel it’s valuable to keep an open mind to what can be gleaned.  It is also fitting to give honor to those who sacrificed and served our country.

The show features 40 drawings, photographs, letters and a recorded oral history by Schmitz.  The recordings, completed prior to his death in 2013 include Schmitz discussing his art.

“Viewers of this exhibit will witness the fascinating evolution of an artist influenced by an alien but beautiful environment and his work as a wartime Army cartographer,” said Michael Telzrow, Wisconsin Veterans Museum Director.

Without even viewing the show, I can see the importance of sketching, drawing, documenting the world around us.  As artists, we are the window to the past, present and future, providing our interpretation of the world and events around us.  How fortunate that Schmitz took the time to practice his craft, despite circumstance.  When I think of the artist-soldiers who found the drive to create like that, I am inspired to brush away any of my own lame excuses.  Documenting our lives through art is great artistic exercise.  The art is needed just as much as the photography.

If you are in Wisconsin and would like to visit this show check out the links below:  https://www.wisvetsmuseum.com/exhibition/the-art-of-harold-f-schmitz/

https://www.wisvetsmuseum.com/contact/

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Something is Better than Nothing

16 Oct
Purple Pole Beans

“Purple Pole Beans”, Watercolor on Yupo paper, Katie Turner

A fellow artist approached me recently bemoaning that his drawing wasn’t as he would have liked it.  When I asked him why he didn’t like his drawing he explained that it had been done using a photo reference rather than sketching it “en plein air”.

In my opinion, drawing from a photo is certainly better than not drawing at all.  But without the right approach it can be a sad experience with drawings and paintings that look flat, lifeless and soulless.

So how do you keep your drawing or painting from lacking soul? First, have a positive attitude and then an open mind. What are you feeling as you draw this?  What senses are affecting you during the drawing process?  What is it about this particular subject that you want to communicate to the viewer in your drawing?

Another thing to consider is what the photographer has already done in the photo.  How have they already edited the scene and what can you do to make it your scene rather than just a repeat of what the photographer created?  What else can you bring to this drawing that would make it fresh and spice it up?

Remember that your art tells your story and you get to choose what you want to say and how to say it.   Happy creating. ♦

Chromatic Interaction

29 Aug

There are many methods for organizing colors in the world of art and science.  Having a visual model can help an artist see the relationships colors have with each other. A color wheel, developed by Albert Munsell in 1905, assigned a numbering system to colors and became a useful and common tool artists and designers could use for planning color ideas.  Johannes Itten also developed a three-dimensional model, integrating the color wheel into a globe.

Using a sketchbook to study colors can help an artist examine the relationships between warmer and cooler colors as well as between analogous and complementary colors.  As a watercolorist, I can gain an understanding of how the various watercolors work together, but may find changes as I experiment with different brands.

Testing chromatic interaction doesn’t have to be boring at all – try this exercise for fun:

  1. Draw several free-hand circles in various sizes.  Allow them to overlap.  This first step is optional, since you could just create your circles with the brush.
  2. Start with the largest circle, painting one color into the circle.
  3. Clean the brush with water before adding a second color. Paint the new color into the adjoining circle on the first circle.  Watch the colors bleed, paying attention to how the colors are interacting.
  4. Continue painting circles with different colors.
  5. This is only one way to paint the circles. You could also wait for each circle to dry before painting the next, so there would be no “bleeding” of colors.

Have fun!

To read more about color theory, click here: https://watercolorpainting.com/color/

https://uxplanet.org/algorithm-for-automatic-harmonious-color-selection-for-the-image-fc26dde69ca1

The Munsell Color System: https://web.archive.org/web/20030813092028/http://www.adobe.com/support/techguides/color/colormodels/munsell.html

Itten Color: https://www.bauhaus100.de/en/past/teaching/classes/preliminary-course-by-johannes-itten/index.html

An art & design duo from Milan have chromatic interaction art:  https://www.carnovsky.com/RGB.htm

No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man

14 Jun
Flowers and Circles at 300 small with logo

“Flowers and Circles” Watercolor by Katie Turner

The Renwick Gallery in Washington, DC has a new exhibit of large-scale works that runs through January 2019.  “No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man” is a major exhibition curated by Norak Atkinson.  It’s an interactive installation filled with sight and sound.  Atkinson brought in various artists from The Burning Man Project to create special installations for this exhibition.  I find the art to be wonderfully strange and colorful.  To check out the art, click here: https://americanart.si.edu/exhibitions/burning-man  the video here: Renwick Gallery Burning Man Art Video

 

The Burning Man Project is an annual event held north of Nevada in the dessert.  The original event took place in 1986 and has since developed into an incredible experiment in community and art.  The event is all about exploring various forms of artistic self-expression and sharing one’s unique talents, not just being a spectator.  To see some of the experimental art at this event, click here:  https://burningman.org/event/brc/2018-art-installations/?yyyy=&artType=B  Here is a video from 2017 event: Burning Man 2017 Video

 

For the Joy of It: Watercolor Paintings by Katie Turner

1 Jun

Two or More

This Saturday I will be hanging a new show at the Maxwell Memorial Library.  I titled the show, “For the Joy of It: Watercolor Paintings by Katie Turner” because I specifically wanted to focus on the positive aspects of art.  I find art can fulfil many roles and joy is one of my favorites.  Art can be so much more than just pretty pictures, it brings healing and peace to a challenging situation or it refocuses our minds to a certain time or memory.   This show gives me an opportunity to share joyful paintings with other art lovers.  I hope local friends, family and art aficionados will join me for a reception on Monday, June 4, 2018 from 6-7:30 at the Maxwell Library, 14 Genesee St., Camillus, New York.

For more information go to: www.KTArtStudio.com or www.Maxwellmemoriallibrary.org

The show runs from June 2-30, 2018.

Transforming Reality

23 Mar
Confetti Mountain

“Confetti Mountain” Watercolor by Katie Turner

In allowing greater creativity to unfold in my paintings, I’ve worked hard to eliminate and simplify.  Without losing too many of my white areas, I built an abstract foundation with delicate calligraphic accents to evoke an illusion of reality.  Most of the time I like to use larger brushes because they force me to stay loose.  The reality of the scene in front of me may include many excellent details but the simplification and editing can help me to transform it into more of a feeling.  Transforming reality is my key to freedom.  ~ Katie

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: https://www.copicmarker.com/