Holy crap it's awesome to sell my art! I decided that my koi drawing was done without adding anything more. I really like how it turned out. Well, so did lots of my friends on Facebook, one of whom decided she had to have it. It's so exciting to move people with my work. What's interesting about this piece is that it came so easily. I've been wanting to do something with koi fish (I have other works in mind) and it just seemed to make sense to use the patterns of the ink stained paper to form the koi's skin. I drew the fish and painted around it. Just these two actions drew rave reviews. So much so that it just seemed too easy...like I hadn't actually done anything to this piece but other pieces that I spend hours upon hours working on draw crickets. It feels like I just simply don't know what people will like. I can't remember if I've talked about it previously here but I know I've discussed this with my husband...that the pieces I seem to like the least, other people like the best and the ones I'm particularly proud of seem to draw little to no reaction. I think I'm going to start taking note of what reactions come to see if there's a pattern...maybe there's not but I still wonder.
A couple weeks ago, I discovered a blog by another artist doing a daily creative project. Crystal Moody is doing a year-long project and started it in January so she's much farther in. You can find her blog here. I've spent the last couple of days reading most of her posts and I feel like she is a kindred spirit. So many of the things she's written about, I too have either written about, thought about or discussed with others. Her fears, resistance, discoveries, etc resonate with me so completely. Please check her blog out. Her work, both written and visual, inspires me!
Now for today's work. I've decided to keep up with the drawings on the ink stained paper. I've opted to let the ones I made yesterday dry a little longer so I used the last piece of one of the very busy inky/painted pages that I cut up last week. The other drawings have had more representational elements (flowers and the fish). This one was calling for something more abstract. As I looked at the page, I could see areas of the ink drawing that were prominent and wanted to stand out. Then I thought about scribbly ovals to isolate them and then obscure the rest of the background with the white acrylic ink. I like the simplicity of this composition juxtaposed with the complexity of the underlying patterns. I think I'm going to keep working with this style. These last 4 pieces have been smaller, 5.5" x 7" but I think I'm ready to go bigger. I can't wait to see what comes next! Oh yeah, and I've completed 12 weeks of this daily art project! So crazy!
I have several pieces of those inky drawings I did last week that just didn't work and that I decided to cut into pieces. When I started painting again last year, it was really thanks to the work of Flora Bowley. She is one of my favorite artists and I just love her style...vibrant colors, organic imagery, they are so lovely (and so is she...I had the pleasure of meeting her twice since she also lives in Portland!). Having fallen in love with her work, I of course just had to learn how to make art like hers. I bought her book and made a very lovely painting (that actually looks nothing like her work, the second image below). Then I took her online course and made another lovely painting (again nothing like hers, the third image below). I just really struggled with the imagery part. Her process is amazing and there are definitely many aspects that I continue to employ but I have come to realize (and have posted about before) that her style is simply not mine and I can't force myself into that hole. But I decided to try again with imposing imagery on top of the abstract work but not worrying about laying color over color...just focus on the images and making them stand out.
I picked out one of the leftover drawing pieces and just started drawing in flower shapes on top of the dried ink/paint with pencil. Then I added in the stems and vase. With a brush, I painted white acrylic ink around the pencil marks. I used the ink because I wanted to keep it fairly transparent so you can still see something of the abstract patterns underneath it. Once the shapes took form, I used green acrylic ink for the vines and to outline and shade the stems, and pink acrylic ink to give the petals more definition. I also used some diluted acrylic inks in a couple of colors to make the vase form more cohesive. Finally, I added in the white details/highlights on the flowers and vase. I'm pretty pleased with how this turned out. Like most of my projects, I had to employ a lot of trust, perseverance and persistence. It's so easy to let that critical voice win and to just stop/give up but once again, I prevailed and the result is pretty much how I imagined after I had drawn in the objects. I think I'll have to make more of these...maybe with different colors to cover the background..
Ok, not really but I can't help but think about "Finding Nemo" and that line when I use inks. I loved yesterday's inky drawing/painting so much I decided I had to give it another go today. I'll admit that I don't have a ton of inks on hand so there's not much variation in my color choices, but then again, I love these colors so who cares if I don't have many. I did do a little color mixing but I think those colors ended up in the first layer so you can't really see them anymore :(. Anyway, despite my inner critic chiming in and making me question my choices in these, I am liking this process of play and experimentation. I am also liking the results. This one, though, isn't done yet. There are a few places that are just a little too dark that I want to brighten up to create a bit more contrast. Stay tuned for the final piece tomorrow!
I also got a fun delivery today. My mom sent me some money to buy some art supplies and I decided to get more colored pencils...since I'm loving this medium right now. So, here are all 5 sets of Spectrum Noir's Blendable Colored Pencils. I've rearranged them by number rather than how they come in the set. I think I'll do a review of them in the near future after I've played with them a bit. I'm going to work on a color chart tonight to be able to see how they look on paper. I'll actually have two color charts for these. One chart will have each pencil in order 1-120 but the other chart will organize the colors as they came in each tin. I'll post pics of those when done, probably tomorrow.
See you tomorrow!
OMG!!! I've mentioned Craftsy on here before. I took that colored pencil class that I didn't like so much and they graciously refunded. I saw that they were running a contest last month for cityscapes and since I was in the midst of drawing those myself I thought it apropos timing. I entered my Kagero's (worm's) eye view drawing (posted again below) just for kicks. I thought it'd be great just to have more eyes on my drawing but really had no expectations of winning. Then last weekend "The Drawing Club" Facebook page (which is run by Craftsy) posted my picture in marketing the contest and I was so excited to see that! That post got more than 1.7K likes! The contest ended on the 26th, when a committee at Craftsy would evaluate the submissions and declare a winner. Earlier today I wondered if they had decided yet. Then this afternoon I got an email from them saying that I had won and that they loved my drawing!!!! I won! I won, I won, I won!! OMG! This was the first contest I've entered and I won!!! So crazy exciting!! This is such a huge boost to my confidence! I'm now an award-winning artist :) You can read their lovely blog post here
Since finding out about this, I've just been too excited to do anything. I'm planning to expand my Zentangle workshop offerings to include classes in shading and color. I spent today working on lesson plans and samples for a color class using colored pencils (I'm planning separate workshops for watercolor, acrylic ink, marker techniques, etc) and I got started thinking about teaching shading. I started some samples using the Kunstler pattern (named for artist Juliana Kunstler). So, not so much art was made today but I really want to start offering more advanced classes so I gotta start somewhere!!
Day 60...officially 2 months into my daily art practice. I guess I would be at 63 days had it not been for that bad week at the beginning of June when we lost our sweet dog but I'm really proud of myself that I didn't let that become an obstacle for me. I've learned a lot over the last 2 months, as I hope I've adequately relayed. What's been great about this is feeling like I'm connecting to my true self everyday. I guess there have been days when I haven't really felt like making art but when I've felt like that I'm usually tired, maybe a bit cranky, sometimes having a pity party, but once I sit down to work on something, even if it's just sketching some ideas, I start to feel better about those other things. I've been trying to do sitting meditation for years and I'm sure I just give up too easily but I typically find myself just dozing off or full on falling asleep, even with guided meditations. I get frustrated and just stop. But I'm finding more and more that when I'm drawing, especially stuff like my cityscapes which use such intricate linework, that I'm able to focus on that so much that I can mentally sit back and observe my thoughts, much like they say to do in sitting meditation...watch them come and go like clouds. The activity of making art really does help to ground me in the present moment, which I think is why it helps me feel better, when I'm feeling upset or angsty....those things that I'm agonizing about or catasrophizing in my mind haven't happened, everything is perfectly ok right here, right now in this very moment. Then I can't help but feel grateful for this moment, for the ability to make art in this moment, for all the abundance (material and immaterial) that surrounds me in this moment. How amazing is my life? Very...very.
I worked more on the Zentangle inspired drawing today, but I was a little tired of the green so I opted to shift to the pinks on the Purk pods. I thought I'd get them all done today in just a couple of hours, but not so much. I've never really clocked how much time I spend working on my drawings but today I just happened to notice the clock when I sat down to work. I spent 2 hours, pretty much straight through, on that one pod and putting down the base layer on the other two. That may not seem like a long time, but I really did think I'd get all 3 of them done today in that couple of hours. Imagine my surprise when I saw how much time had passed and only one was done. It's interesting because I know that hours pass when I work, but once I'm in the flow, I don't really notice how much time really goes by. So, more hours are ahead for me as I continue to color.
I'm giving a Zentangle lesson tomorrow and was thinking about what I want to teach tomorrow and decided to create a Bunzo (that's the pattern name on the tile below) monotangle in a spiral formation. Bunzo is one of my very favorite tangles/patterns but it's one that I just have to remind myself to trust along the way. I always feel really funky about it while I'm working on it because my inner critic likes to chime in on how ugly it looks and how I should just give up. But I know once the spaces are colored in, shaded and highlighted, it will look cool, so I keep at it. I just love this one!
I'm so excited to have this one finished! It turned out so much better than I thought it would/could. There were so many hours invested in this piece but so very worth it. I love the cartoony/illustrative effect. I love the colors and the shading, oh I just love this one. I love all the choices I made and that I kept with it. I loved doing all the tiny little details and I loved the coloring. Wow...it's so exciting to have something I made look so cool! This is also the end of week 8 of my daily art project. I'm so thrilled at my persistence and my commitment. I'm so proud of myself. I can't wait to see what I come up with next!
I really thought I'd get this one done today and I guess if I kept working on it tonight, I'd probably get it done but I have to prep for a Zentangle lesson tomorrow so I need to shift gears. I spent much of the day working on the little details in the cityscape I'm calling Angel Kagero's Eye View. I drew in all the small details first with pencil and once I was satisfied with their placement, I inked them. Once the ink had set I had to erase the pencil lines beneath the ink. I really wish I could could get a better sense of how long these things will really take as I spent most of the day working on this...many hours. I will have it done tomorrow, though, and I just can't wait to see it finished. It was hard for me to keep plugging away on this one because it just seemed so boring, especially compared to my last cityscape that had such dramatic perspective. But I had in my mind's eye how I wanted this one to look and it's really starting to emerge, so I'm happy I stuck with it. But I will be happy when it's done!
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 decided today was a good day to take a break from my current cityscape. It's hard on the eyes to look at all those tiny lines and squares! I ended up doing a couple of things for today's contribution to my daily art project. The first thing was the tangle in one of my (many) sketchbooks. This pattern/tangelation is from Zentangle and is called Tripoli. I'm not sure why I've never worked with it before because it's been around for a few years now but I just never had. I had lunch with a new Certified Zentangle Teacher (CZT) who lives in the area last week and we were talking about tangles we like and I mentioned this one. She showed me the trick to making it work and then showed me that it can use wavy/scribbley lines, too. So, thanks, Heidi, I love it now! I think this design calls for color so maybe that'll be something to work on tomorrow :).
The second thing I did today is the color wheel. I hate to admit this but I think this is really the first color wheel I've ever made.. As much doubt as I encounter in my art making, my ego is a bit overblown when it comes to completing basic and foundational tasks like color mixing on a color wheel. Essentially, I usually feel "better" than this basic task and eschew it altogether. Ridiculous! I really wanted to play with my new inktense pencils and I wanted to see how well they blend together so it made sense to do a color wheel. I love how they work with water and how vibrant and vivid the colors are. I did have a little problem with the blending in some of the hues but I think part of the problem was the texture on the page and that despite this being mixed media paper that can tolerate water, there was too much water and it started to break down a bit and made some of the color streaky. But still, this was a great experiment and I really love a couple of the colors I came up with. This was true color mixing as I used only the primary colors to create the secondary and tertiary colors. I think I'm going to play more with these to see what other color combinations I can come up with using just these three colors. It really is so much fun to approach art making, even when it's just basic techniques, with an attitude of play and experimentation. It's these moments when I wish I could just keep making art in every minute of every day...but, my bed beckons so sweet dreams!
Week 7 is in the books...crazy! I'm still working away at my current cityscape. I finished all the line inking on one half and have started drawing the pencil lines on the other half. I'll be continuing on it tomorrow but I'm thinking I might work on something else, too. Variety is the spice of life, right?
In other awesome news, I received my free tin of pencils from the Derwent Art Academy. I was just wondering this morning how long it would take for them to get here...they came from the UK and then there they were this morning, delivered by the mail carrier! I'm so excited to play with them!
I still can't believe that 7 weeks have passed since I started this daily art project. Like I said in an earlier post, I plan to keep doing this project until it makes sense to stop. I keep seeing posts on Facebook from inspirational pages/people that say something to the effect of stop putting off your dreams or stop waiting to get started because the time will pass anyway so if you start now, you're already that much farther along. That's how I'm feeling right now...but sometimes wishing I had started earlier than just 7 weeks ago. But I can't change the past, all I can do is be happy that I now have all of these pieces of art created (or in progress...) and they likely wouldn't have been created if I hadn't decided to just make it happen. I've also been inspired to make series of some of the things I've created. As I learn new techniques and as I get better and better at executing them, I know I'll discover what my artistic style and voice are...I'll just know what it is that needs to be expressed. If there is a dream you've been waiting to chase until it's "just the right time", please the right time is right now...this moment is the only thing that's guaranteed. Don't squander it, don't wait, don't worry, don't die with the regret that you never chased that dream!!