Wow...it's been more than 2 years since I last posted on this here blog. Where does the time go?
Well, it matters not at this point. What does matter is that I'm back and I hope you'll rejoin me in my artistic endeavors!
It's been quite some time since I last did an art challenge so I decided this would be a good month to do a 30 day one. Since late last year, I've found myself making patterns and really loving creating repeating patterns that I've had printed onto fabric via Spoonflower and then crafting them into tea towels and aprons. My Etsy shop is up and running now with a wide selection of towel patterns if you want to check them out! www.artistkierstan.etsy.com
Anyway, back to the challenge at hand...since I really enjoy making patterns (I've been learning how to use Photoshop to make them easier to create), I've been doing a bunch of ink drawings that I can scan, edit and paint in Photoshop. I've really gravitated toward food illustrations so it make sense that my first 30 day challenge would be a sushi one. So, 30 days of sushi coming at you! I'll draw a piece of sushi by hand with ink and then paint it using Photoshop. I'm posting on instagram (@artistkierstan) and I'll post them here, too. It'll be good to get back into blogging practice! I may try to make some videos or something along the way to show my painting in progress but no promises (I haven't totally figured out the software yet...).
Ok, so here's Day One: Amaebi Nigiri
Got started on this one earlier today so that I was sure I could get it finished and posted as early as possible. It still took many hours but these are so much fun to work on so the time just flies by and except for the fact that my hand is sore (maybe a bit too much drawing these days...and my iron grip doesn't really help either). I started this daily art practice with the desire to just get into the habit of making art daily...I mean, I can't really call myself an artist if I don't actually make art, right? I definitely think I'm in the groove now as far as consistency of art making but what I'm really gaining through this process is connection to my artistic intuition and to trust that little voice. I had several starts and stops with this piece. I already had the poem created but I just couldn't think of what to do with the art part. Truth is, though, so much of art making seems to be (for me at least) beyond thought. I scribbled a few lines on the page, thinking I'd go one direction but found other inspiration in those lines and went in a totally different direction. After I had the main items drawn in I started thinking about the background and again ended up in a different place than where I started. Finally, I had imagined that this would be all just black and white (or cream since that's the color of the paper), using just the black pen and graphite shading but as I was just getting ready to start that shading, I had a sense that I should use color instead. I'm so glad I listened to that small voice because I think the color helps those focal items pop more than pencil shading would have, especially since the background ended up being more prominent than I first thought it would. I like this piece. I love the poem and while the background is kind of busy, I love the dimension in it and in the focal items. This item is for sale for $80 plus S&H. Please email me if you'd like to buy it now...I'll likely have it posted on my Etsy shop shortly. Please consider supporting an independent artist :)
Here's the poem:
“Miracle” from Henry David Thoreau’s Walden
we commit ourselves to uncertainties
compelled to live,
reverencing our life,
All change is a miracle;
a miracle which is taking place every instant.
I frequently underestimate how long projects will take in real time. I'm trying to think of how many hours I worked on today's piece and I think I clocked at least 7 hours on it today and that was just the artwork as I had already isolated the quote. I started the day planning to work on my cityscape but I finally had an inspiration for the art around this quote. I love this quote, it's a pretty famous one by Thoreau and as someone currently advancing in the direction of my dreams, I'm looking forward to the success part! I'm not calling this found poetry since it's really just most of the paragraph that I've isolated and didn't construct something new from it. But that's ok, because my intent was to make this quote the focal point. This was a fun tangle to work with, again it's Tripoli from yesterday's piece, and I like the coloring, although it took so long to finish. I'll be putting this up on my Etsy shop soon. I like making work to sell. I just hope people start buying :)
Still working on the coloring of my work in progress. This is seriously slow work. The paper is 10" x 15" so it's pretty good sized and I'm carefully coloring each flower with layers of colors, 3 pencils are used for each color. I think the time spent is worth it, even though it feels like I'll never get this finished. But I shall forge ahead each day until it's done. I may need to do some other art in addition to this each day, though. It'll take longer to get it finished by diverting time and attention to other projects but I think that's necessary to be able to keep developing my skills in other techniques and to have art that I can get ready to show and/or sell.
Which reminds me...please check out my Etsy shop. I have a few things listed and would love if you like something you see, you'll support an up and coming artist by purchasing something! Thanks :)
Today marks 5 weeks done of my daily art project. It's kind of crazy! When the day began, I had plans to complete a couple of creations but the day had other plans for me. As I've mentioned on each previous Wednesday since we lost our dog, this day has been harder than any other day of the week. It's a stark reminder of how many weeks have passed (4 at this point). A friend emailed me to see how I'm holding up and I told her that I struggle with Wednesdays and she suggested that instead of letting this day get me down, I should use it as a day to celebrate Kagero instead. I'm not sure how I'll do this but I'm going to try this for next week. I was also feeling very overwhelmed and inadequate as an artist this morning. I feel like there's so much I don't know, so much I need to learn and I'll never make great art. I've been receiving some creativity coaching from Tara Leaver, who is an amazing artist herself, and she sent an email today checking in on my progress. I detailed to her how I was feeling and she really helped me to move through this funk. It'll probably come back again (this crap seems really common for artists) but she also reminded me that I'm grieving and that I have to practice self-care during this time and not beat myself up. When she said that, I realized that my "zest" to learn new things/feeling frustrated by a seeming lack of progress is me trying to push through and/or totally avoid my grief, neither of which help me much. So, I opted to just go with the flow today. After it being quite hot here yesterday, this morning was cool and overcast, perfect for a walk. I walked several blocks to a nearby elementary school and played on the swings for a bit. I watched a guy play ball with his dog and then I set out again for home. I didn't wear my earphones for music on this walk, just tried to be as present as possible, listening to the sounds around me, smelling the fragrance of nearby flowers, watching squirrels scamper about. It was very peaceful, pleasant. I hope the weather will cooperate more often in the mornings for more walks. When I got home, I thought about starting a new project but I just couldn't pry myself away from the computer. I got inspired, though to list some items in my Etsy shop, you can find me here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/kierstansart I hope to add more items soon. Then, with some time left in the afternoon, I opted to sketch out some ideas to finish my Joan Miro inspired painting (which is today's contribution to my daily art project). I started this way back at the beginning of my daily art project, day 3 was a Miro inspired sketch. It was time to finish this piece, so I came up with a design I liked and went for it. I had already prepped the background with diluted blue gouache. I penciled in my design and decided to draw it in with waterproof black ink and a dip pen with nib. I don't have much experience with these yet and, unfortunately, my lines are a bit off, too think in some places, too scratchy in others. Then I added in the colors. Once those were dry I reinforced some of the black lines and called it done. It's not as "precise" as I'd like it to be but that's ok. It's all about learning and I definitely learned that I need to practice with the dip pen to learn how to use it better. I do like Miro's style and may look for more inspiration from his work. I'm also including the week 5 compilation of each of this week's pieces.