Friday, March 23, 2012

watercolors and gouache in stillman and birn 'gamma' sketchbook

i've got a gorgeous 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" stillman and birn 'gamma' sketchbook and i'm determined to get used to the bigger page size! i've been a 4" x 6" sketchbook person for years, but i think that working on a bigger page has things to teach me, and i want to learn...

collage, watercolors, gouache, casein paint, pencil & colored pencil

basically i've done a lot of covering up (and even some tearing out). when all else fails you can always fall back on that. the left page initially had a face on it, and on the right page there was a sort of deer creature with a bird on its back. they did not make my eyes smile!

then i thought i'd turn the book sideways and more or less divide each page in half - i thought i might be able to handle that, and i thought it looked great in kim's book here, but i didn't like that i had to turn the book sideways to look through it!

more of a sort of 'gridness'...

'violet' ~ watercolors, pencil & colored pencil

as i sat there wringing my hands over my dilemma, my dh suggested drawing a 4" x 6" rectangle on the page and working in that. jeez! did i have to stoop to that to fool my mind or eye or whatever it was that was struggling with this?! ha! i guess so!

'gentle people' ~ watercolors & pencil

so i did, and it was alright... but just so... linear.

watercolors, .25 rapidosketch pen, colored pencil & pencil

it's been a few days since the 'gentle people' and i guess you might say that i just surrendered to the whole thing; it's not seeming like such a big deal any more. i've done some writing and doodling and i enjoyed the fact that there was more room on the page...

the page above is the one i'm working on today. i feel comfortable with it so far. i have no idea where it's going but it's not freaking me out that the page is so big and that i don't have a visual idea of where to go next. i'm beginning (i think) to feel the potential of a larger surface.

i've also been painting some faces on cardboard... tina lorene (right) is done, but not evelyn...

* * *

At the beginning of a new notebook I copy a quote from Simone Weil, which captures me completely: “Don’t insist on understanding new things, but try with your whole self, with patience, effort and method, to comprehend obvious truths.”

This quote conducts a polemic with the ceaseless, barbaric pursuit of novelty and disdain for obvious, primary truths.

And so all my notes, all these snail’s traces, are the realization of Simone’s one thought. I won’t and can’t discover anything, I want only with my whole self to reach the heart of obvious truths.

Anna Kamienska, from her Notebooks via tumblr

Sunday, March 18, 2012

it's my pleasure to support seth as he celebrates the release of his book, The Pulse of Mixed Media: Secrets and Passions of 100 Artists Revealed. to say that seth has been supportive of my art and this blog would be a vast understatement - he commented on my first post in 2008, and his support has not stopped since. and the thing is, he's done this for lots of artists!

in case you're not familiar with seth's art, here's an example... how on earth he finds the time to make art and network like crazy is beyond me...

seth apter, click here to learn more about this piece

you can find his art at his blog, the altered page; you can also find out more about the book, as well as links to the artists from the book who've been featured - one each day - in the month of march.

for the book each of the 'featured artists' had to answer twelve questions, and we thought that these posts would be a good opportunity to get revenge, uh, i mean get to know him better...

my questions (and his answers) were:

me: of all the places you've lived or visited, which place do you feel you resonate with most?

seth: I have 2 answers to this question. In terms of places I have lived, it would be NYC hands down. To me this is home. I connect with the energy, the vibe, the creativity, the food, the art, the opportunities, the pace, the people, the architecture... really with it all. In terms of places I have visited, it would be Italy hands down. I have been there twice and every single moment was magical. Breathtaking art, gorgeous people, sensational food, stunning landscapes, endless history... how could i not resonate?

me: the person who has had the most impact on your creative life is...?

seth: Right now, the person who is having the most impact on my creative life would have to be my editor Tonia Davenport. Working with her on this book has really changed the way I think when it comes to all things creative. Throughout the whole process of writing this book she has challenged me to push myself and to think outside the box. She has shown me how important it is to take an idea further than I might have in the past. And she never settles for something when it can be better. A good philosophy for art but also for life.

wait, what, seth?! you answered those "with a twist"! you mean i could've done that?!! well in that case i'm officially (ha ha) changing my answer to the question: "If you had your choice of fame versus income as an artist, which would you chose and why?" my new answer is:

neither! the only reason i paint and draw is that it makes me happy.

'devil, angel, me' ~ oil pastels, watercolors and acrylic paint on plaster cloth

this is part of my self portrait for the book, titled 'devil, angel, me'... it only seems right that i show you the 'devil me' part since she's contributed quite a bit to this post... ; )

seth's put out an open call for art that will be shared on his blog and possibly travel with him to become part of artist panels, book signings, and exhibitions. if you're interested in more info, click here.

i'm wishing you wild success with your book and all endeavors, seth! maybe we'll finally meet when your book tour gets to the west coast!


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

it's borderline surreal to not only have gotten so many responses to the last post, but also to have so many people say that they'd like to have a painting that i've done. thank you everyone! i appreciate your kind words and support...

sandy mastroni, i drew your name from the hat! i think that most of you probably know sandy and her awesome art, but in case you don't, pop over to her place and check it out... she's a mighty sweet - and talented - woman.

'the magicians daughter' ~ watercolors, gouache & colored pencil in stillman and birn journal

i'm finished with the 4" x 6" stillman and birn 'gamma' journal that i started in early january, but before i move on i thought i'd share my thoughts about it with you. as i said in the last post, i *loved this book*! not only is the paper gorgeous and able to withstand way more water than i initially thought,

it laid flat when open until the very end. there are a lot of pogo prints in it, but the book handled the increased bulk beautifully. i only took the centerfold out of one signature; i loved the paper so much i couldn't bring myself to take out any more, and i really didn't need to.

initially i did a lot of faces like these where i used watercolors but was very sparing with the water.

i was a little heavier with the water here,

and by the time i got to these pages, i could see that i could paint in a 'normal' way with watercolors. the pages did buckle a tiny bit, but not much. most of the buckling went away when the paper dried. 'evangeline' (on the left) is on the only page that i put matte gel medium on first. there's a whole bunch of paint (gouache, casein, and watercolors) on her, so it was probably a good idea, but it wasn't absolutely necessary.

the flower on the right page is another example of the paper holding up to a lot of paint and water... if you click on these you can get a pretty good idea of how flat the paper stays with varying amounts of water.

another example of a watercolor page... i used colored pencils and gouache as 'accents' once i realized that i could paint freely with watercolors...

i'm showing you these pages because of the pogo print of the bowl. i cut the bowl out and then peeled the back off. i really like to do this. : )

one of the last faces in the book, and it brings me back to lips... i thought i'd try drawing the lips first to see how that went - no outline, nose, eyes, anything, just lips to start with. lol! it was complicated! it showed me how much the lips determine about a face. i never figured out her neck completely, hence the hair hanging down on one side. ; )

i highly recommend the stillman and birn 'gamma' sketchbook... now i'm working in a 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" 'gamma'.

* * *

'Thought and Pleasure #2" ~ Squeak Carnwath

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

'the tree tender' ~ watercolors, gouache, oil pastels, casein paint and beeswax on old book page - approx. 4" x 6"

well, that was certainly a nice break! i've been reading and painting and walking and savoring these winter days, and now it's march! truly, it doesn't seem possible - nor does it seem possible that daylight savings time starts this weekend...

i'd like to give 'the tree tender' (she tends trees) away,

as well as a new pocket moleskine sketchbook, a caran d'ache 'luminance' buff titanium colored pencil (for faces, and also you might want to see what these 'luminance' pencils are like), and an 8B derwent drawing pencil. i've gotten a lot of new art supplies recently, so it feels very good to give some things away. if you'd like to have your name in the hat, all you have to do is say so in your comment; otherwise i'll assume you're just popping in to say hi...

watercolors in stillman and birn 'gamma' sketchbook - 4" x 6"

i'm almost finished with the stillman and birn journal that i started in january. i have loved this book! long story short is that it's a gem; great with watercolors - the paper can take a lot more water than i initially thought, and 4 pages from the end it's still laying open flat with no 'gutter' in the middle.

as you can see i'm on a lip thing. i decided that i needed to understand them better, so that's what i'm trying to do. otherwise i'm still drawing mostly faces...

i'll leave you with this video of a young robert rauschenberg.

not only do i resonate with his words, i don't think i could ever tire of listening to his voice...

please note: if you don't receive a response to your comment it's because i can't reach you via e-mail or by leaving a comment on your blog, but i've put your name in the hat. also thank you for your kind and supportive words... xoxo

* * *