Monday, May 30, 2011

You decide!

Hey everyone! I want your input. Here's my latest piece, "Skittles". Trying to decide if I want to add the black outline like I did with "Menage a Trois" and "Ah Nuts".

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What do you think?
Ink It! Leave It!   


Saturday, May 28, 2011

Update ........ Mother Nature Everywhere!

We have babies!

Pain vs Pane.... I do know the difference ;)

"Window Pain" ~ Graphite
Someone recently pointed out to me that they thought this drawing was labeled incorrectly. The drawing is of a window pane and I used the the wrong spelling. Here's the background story.

Unfortunately this was one of my pieces destroyed. It photographed really well but you can see where it's torn on the right hand side. The tear starts on the right side of the window pane and cuts down across the pipe.

This is one of my favorite drawings. I love the angles, the contrast, the details of the pipe. I'll admit it's not the greatest but it's still my fav.

Until recently I never named my artwork. Once I started creating a website and blog I went through each piece trying to decide on names.

Since this was one of my favorite pieces it kills me each time I look at the artwork and see the tear. So that was why I decided to name the piece Window Pain. It's a play on words. ;)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Mother Nature everywhere!

Spring is here.... well, it's officially been here for several weeks but just recently it seems every time I turn around there's some animal sneaking up on me or flowers blooming. Very exciting! I have to remember to keep my camera with me at all times. Unfortunately some of these were taken with the camera on my phone and are a little fuzzy. :(

Mamas everywhere!

It's hard to see but there's a mama cardinal hiding in the bush. Her eyes and beak are barely visible. She has 3 little eggs. Being that this is St. Louis, it seemed only fitting to name the babies after our favorite Cardinals players: Molina, Holliday and Berkman. Go Cards!





Mama deer outside my office window. There are 3 or 4 of them living back there.











This mama bunny once again set up camp in the middle of my backyard, just like last fall. Sad story is I went out to cut the lawn not knowing they were there. Don't worry, I didn't get them with the lawnmower but I do think I stepped on one of them. He didn't make it. :( But there were 3 more running about and they all seem fine. I just hope they find their way back to their hole and their mama. I laid some carrots out yesterday for them as a treat. =)











I ignored my rose bush last fall and was a little worried about the results I would have this spring. But it seems very happy. Lots of roses in bloom!










I don't exactly have a green thumb and I'm terrible about remembering flower names. If you know what these are feel free to chime in. I just enjoy watching their blooms spiral out.














I love the water drop in the middle of the flower. Ummm.... maybe this will be a painting to add to my to-do list.










Found this guy on our back porch. I love the fact that the "eyes" (4 total) are actually holes. My S.O. stuck his foot in the photo so you could tell just how big this moth was... a good 5-6 inches.










Found this guy at Lowe's while we were looking at pavers for the patio. It seems like a oxymoron to say it was a beautiful moth. They're usually so blah and ugly. But it's a beautiful, bright green and while it's hard to see, the edges are all lined in pink.









A sunset at the ballpark after a day of storms. If April showers bring May flowers, what do May showers bring???

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Just a taste of "Skittles"

I'm looking forward to my newest watercolor so I thought I'd post a picture. I already named the piece 'Skittles'. I want it to be colorful and vibrant. I'm still debating if I want to add the ink outline like I did in 'Ah Nuts' and my 'Menage a Trois' triology. Thoughts?

Friday, May 13, 2011

Artwork for any Skill Level

The dilemma I’ve always had with selling my artwork stems somewhat from low self-confidence about my artistic ability but mainly because of the one thought that passes through my mind when I see artwork in a store. Why would I spend $50, $100, or more for a piece of artwork when “I could do that myself.”? Well, I’ve come to find that many people do not have that same thought. Either their self-confidence about their talent is lower than mine or they don’t have the time and the materials needed (paints, brushes, etc.) like I do. If you’re that person, this blog is for you. 
"Ah Nuts" ~ Watercolor & Ink
 
The first piece of artwork I sold was “Ah Nuts”. And along with the flowers from the “Ménage á Trois” trilogy I found this style could be completed easily and quickly. “Ah Nuts” was created for a friend and fellow artist to give to her but she insisted on purchasing the piece. I told her she was crazy to buy it, anyone could do this style… and now I’m going to prove it to her. ;)
Materials:
~ Paper – watercolor paper can be expensive, so for your first time you may not want to spend that kind of money at the art store. But you also don’t want to grab plain old copy paper, it’s too thin. Bristol board or if you have a sketch pad will work, even some card stock will do.
 ~ Watercolors –no need to go out and buy expensive watercolors. Borrow your kids Crayola watercolors for school.
~ Brushes – If you’re borrowing your kids Crayola watercolors, chances are there’s a brush included. If not buy something cheap, there’s no need for a $20 brush at this point. You can typically find a package of brushes for $4-$6 in craft stores.
~ Outline –there are all kinds of pens, markers, and paints out there that will give you the same effect. I prefer using Pilot’s Precise rolling ball pen (Extra fine) and found it works great.
~ Cup of water – for dipping. Make sure when working you keep your actual drinking glass separated from the dipping cup so you don’t drink it by accident. :/
~ And most importantly, some kind of design. If you don’t feel comfortable drawing your own design the internet can be a wonderful thing. I’m sure you can find a line drawing out there that you like. Or again, you can steal from your kids. Take a picture out of their coloring book if you want to practice. I found the butterfly below online. It may be a little detailed for a beginner but you can find something with a little less.
 
1.  Tracing: Trace the design to your watercolor paper. Now there are several methods for transferring. I have 2 ways which I find fast and easy. If it’s daytime and you can easily reach a window you’re comfortable standing at for a while, tape your design to the window. Grab your watercolor paper and lay it over the design, trace away. You may want to lightly tape your watercolor paper to the window too.

If you don’t have a window then flip over your design and with a pencil shade the backside of the page covering all of the design area. Next place your paper design side up (shaded side down) on top of your watercolor paper and trace on top of the design. When tracing on top of the design the graphite on the backside will transfer onto your watercolor paper.

2.  Retrace: The outline on your watercolor paper may be light so go back through and retrace the outline lightly in pencil.

3. Paint!: Get out those watercolors and start painting. Biggest tip I can give you about watercolors, if you want light, fluffy colors keep more water on your brush. For darker, vibrant colors use just enough water to keep your brush wet. The pigment won’t be as diluted and more will transfer to your paper. If you want a combination of the two; start with a lighter touch and more water. As your page dries go back and add more pigment to the areas you want. You can go back over and add layers. 
Half way there!
 
4.  Drying Time (aka Cocktail Time): When you feel like the colors are to your liking, let the painting sit at least a few hours to make sure the paper’s dry. The last thing you want to do is rip through your work because the papers still wet. (For all the mom's out there, check out this blog. She's hilarious! bringmommythevodka.com )

5.  Retrace… again: Depending on how much pigment you used or how light your original pencil marks were you may want to retrace the design on top of the watercolor. Very lightly though, you don’t want to see the pencil marks after the ink outline has been added.

6.  Ink Outline: Now grab your pen and retrace the design.

You’re done!
There are so many ways to stylize this and make it your own. Maybe you don’t want to be detailed, just throw some colors in the background and trace over it. 

Or you could offset the ink outline from the actual watercolors. 

Don’t limit your creativity to just the painting itself. For “Ah Nuts” and “Menage a Trois” I used my wood burning tools to burn the edge of the paper for a rougher, earthy element. With this butterfly painting you could easily add a colorful frame and mat board to tie it all together.  

Now get started and let me know how yours turns out!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The reason for your art

For anyone that knows me you know that I do not enjoy writing nor am I any good at it. Try reading through my diary and you’ll feel about as confused as I do most the time. My self-diagnosed ADD thoughts run randomly through my head and unfortunately that’s how it comes out on paper. So it’s no surprise that while writing my last blog about Solitude I found myself off topic about halfway through. Frustrated I started to cut out this section but realized it would actually be a good blog all on its own…

…Somewhere along the line I decided to name the piece ‘Solitude’ (the Thesaurus has become my best friend now). I love seeing a tree out in an open field all by itself. My painting was bringing me to that field. In college I had a teacher who told us there needs to be a reason for everything you do in art… a reason the piece of work was created… a reason why you used a certain color… a reason this line or that line was added, or in this case why a border was included. I disagree… strongly. I didn’t start Solitude with some deep, profound meaning. I had an idea in my head and wanted to put it on canvas. If you want, I can make-up some philosophical BS…. The tree is me, I’m alone, and I’m trying to break free from the walls I’ve built up. Make sense? Does that suddenly make my painting better?

That’s not what the piece really meant to me though. I just enjoyed sitting down and creating the vision I had in my mind. And that’s what every artist should do. Create your work because you like it, because of the vision in your head or maybe you DO have some deep meaning behind it. The most important thing is that you enjoy creating your work and once it’s complete (for the time being) you’ll love sitting and staring at it…. And hopefully if you’re selling it, someone else loves sitting and staring at it too. ;)
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