Saturday, February 14, 2015

Black Swan and Australian Roses

What a wonderful name for a Noodler's ink. It makes me visualize a swan, dark and elegant floating with red roses on a shaded pond. It's a lovely, transparent, gem-like color. Shades nicely when written. I tried it out last night on this sketch in my Punjab watercolor sketchbook. A very rough paper that's difficult to draw on with a pen. Though it was a struggle to draw, I love the effect of this ink with watercolors. It bleeds a magenta. Usually I prefer warm reds like Noodler's Cayenne. That color has a hint of brown. But this is nice and think I'll stick with it for awhile. Unfortunately the formula for this ink was changed to a more purple color. Probably equally as lovely. This is the old formula.

Messy and spontaneous Valentine Flowers with wine...


Monday, February 9, 2015

Around the World Blog Hop

My thanks go out to Sue Pownall in the UK for nominating me to participate in the Around the World Blog Hop. Please visit her blog and website to check out her beautiful ink line art.

How it works: A blogger answers 4 questions then invites another 1-3 bloggers to answer the questions on their own blog the following Monday. Here goes...


What am I working on? 
A number of things such as planning watercolor classes and getting my studio and house ready to have them here. I’m starting with two this month, Beginning Watercolor and Watercolor Basics. Teaching forces me to examine my own and other artist's picture making processes and techniques. Also relearn all the basics, try to merge them with my own techniques and bring some clarity to them for lesson plans. It's incredibly rewarding to see people develop their skills and creativity. And I learn so much from my students.

A gouache experiment


Gouache and watercolor study for
a future painting.
 

On the art front, I’ve been playing around with watercolor, oils and doing more sketching. I really enjoy painting and drawing on location anywhere. Whidbey Island is the perfect place for it with it’s beautiful scenery and venues. Lately, I’ve been combining gouache and transparent watercolor.

An oil painting in progress.









In addition to watercolor and sketching I'm working on a series of landscape paintings in oils. It's a nice change of pace from watercolors. For me, it's a more difficult medium than watercolor because brush strokes are more deliberate and stay where you put them. Brush technique is important. It's a very sensuous medium that makes my mind churn with ideas. I'm excited to learn more about using it. The summer before last I spent a good amount of time plein air painting with oils and plan on getting out there this year, when the weather is better.

 


How does my work differ from others of my genre?
Making pictures is like handwriting. I guess it's the way I make my marks and apply the paint and print the block. All my works vary in style, techniques and mediums. They influence each other and dovetail together. Block printing, over the course of years, has influenced my watercolor and vise versa. I apply ink to the plate like I’m using a brush, dipping in different colors, and I apply watercolor washes in layers, blocking in like I’m cutting negative and positive areas out of a block.

Why do I create what I do? 
Because I'm inspired by what's around me and I want to share what I see. It's challenging. And the pleasures of picture making are endless. I'm in a constant state of learning and enjoy the in-the-moment creative process. I’m spellbound by the subject, the marks, the paint, the newness and the unique qualities of every picture. The result is a record of the event and the process of making it.


How does my creating process work? 
It starts with a subject I'm inspired by and I think has potential. That's often landscapes because I'm awed by it. People and animals too. I enjoy their forms. I consider all the elements of picture making; light and shadow, form, line, texture, composition, values, color, etc., and how to interpret the subject on a piece of paper. Do I want it graphic or volumetric? For me the subject suggests the medium and how to handle it. If it's a block print there's some planning involved such as deciding on color, then which color on which block and the order of printing. But I try not to labor over it because I enjoy spontaneity and all the surprises. I'm also motivated by the joy of playing around and learning the technical aspects of a medium. For instance with watercolor, understanding pigments and their behaviors such as granulation and trying to exploit those. They're all experiments to me. The End!
 

My nomination goes to Laura Frankstone, AKA laurelines, who’s work I’ve admired and followed for many years. Be sure to catch her Around the World Blog Hop post on Monday, February 16th. It’s sure to amaze! 

Thanks again, Sue! 

 













Sunday, February 8, 2015

Sketching at Good Cheer

I joined Whidbey Island Sketchers for sketching at Good Cheer 2, our local thrift shop. I thought, oh what fun it'd be to sketch some shoes. The boots were colorful and looked simple enough. Well, rain boots are not so easy. They're clunky but subtle in shape. I messed it up so brought it home and tried fixing the it with some gouache.  It's okay. But it's always fun sketching stuff at Good Cheer.