Tag Archives: process

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

 

Advertisements

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.

http://www.KTArtStudio.com

Traveling Watercolor Kits

14 Jun

sketchboxes

 

When I prepare my travel art bag, I’m always struggling with the desire to bring every art supply from my studio.  By trial and error I’ve figured out what my bare necessities are.  The picture above shows my two favorite traveling watercolor kits.  The white one is made by Sakura Color Products Corporation and it’s called a “Koi Watercolors Pocket Field Sketch Box”.  It has a removable mixing tray, 24 colors, a nice space for brushes or pens and it even has a pop-out thumb hole on the bottom making it very easy to hold.  My second traveling watercolor set is by Lukas and originally came with tubes of watercolor paint.  Those tubes of paint have been used and now I use the plastic tray to squeeze my own favorite colors into.  Underneath the tray there is room for more brushes or a few paper towels or a small tube of paint.  I have a small blue handle brush on the side of the plastic tray, as you can see in the photo.  The lid makes a great spot for mixing colors.

My favorite sketchbooks have heavier watercolor paper inside but sometimes I just use regular light weight sketchbooks to paint or sketch.  It’s nice if the sketchbook has a heavy cover and a rubber-band to hold it closed.  It will be less likely to fall apart from wear and tear if it’s bound.  I usually throw a pencil and pen into my bag for sketching and a Sakura Aqua-brush.  I also use Pentel Arts brand Aquash water brushes.  The water brushes have a refillable water chamber which makes it possible for me to pull out the brush and immediately start painting.

Making art every day is important for me and bringing supplies along makes it possible.  Travel doesn’t mean I have to give up painting – I can just bring the studio with me.   Painting while traveling is a great way to remember the event and it always makes me smile.

 

Photography Gives Direction to Painting

12 Jan
daguerreotype

Sample of an early daguerreotype.

 

The first daguerreotype appeared in 1839 and ostensibly people thought the introduction of the camera would be the end of painting.  Remarkably, over 170 years later we can see painting is alive and well.  We find events like paint and sip parties are extremely popular.

Photography has influenced painting in many ways.  Is it possible that photography has pushed painting towards abstraction?

Photography has steadily stood as an authority in representation and has increased the need for articulation of the importance of painting.  So, the question of which medium produces the greatest representational work has been settled.  Now the goal in painting can focus on how to go beyond representation rather than to supplant photography.

The rejection of conventional technique is one of the ways painters avoid this camera-competition.

I’ve been reading about Fairfield Porter (a painter from 1960s) and how his paintings are an unfinished style of representationalism.  Many of the contemporary paintings today are similar in that they are both straight forward and almost unfinished, the color moves in and out of naturalism and the compositions are usually casual.

You can read more about Porter’s work here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fairfield_Porter  and http://www.theartstory.org/artist-porter-fairfield.htm

Painting on the Edge

29 Dec

836px-three_dancers_in_yellow_skirts_edgar_degas

“Three Dancers in Yellow Skirts” by Edgar Degas c. 1891

Degas is one artist that is widely recognized to be among the first to break from traditional composition with his arbitrary edges.  Similar to how a photograph has edges which cut the broader landscape, Degas makes a sharp cut in his painting, “Three Dancers in Yellow Skirts” above.  Of course edges in a painting are far less arbitrary due to control by the painter, but I see this as a fun challenge and a great opportunity for experimentation and creativity.

It’s Not All in Your Head

3 Oct
A sketch painting in Katie Turner's art journal.

A couple of pages out of one of my art journals.

Concept is a key part of the creative process.  A lot of times I come up with the concept in my head.   Inspiration can be fleeting sometimes though … and that’s why I keep many of my concepts in my art journals.