Monday, July 20, 2015

This Is Not Another Blog Post

Just a referral to Nicholas Wilton's blog post about art practice.  Read my comment on the post as well.  I should post an image, but I'll post a quote instead:
"Saying it sometimes makes it so. This is one of the most interesting, compelling reasons to spend time in dialogue with other artists. Most of the time our ideas and thoughts about our work stay quietly within us. Once we verbalize, actually say it out loud in conversation, it releases it somewhat beyond ourselves. From what I have seen, this simple act then allows your ideas or thoughts about what you are trying to do within your art to occur." Nicholas Wilton
This blog has provided a rich source of dialogue with other artists.  Thanks for your participation!  This dialogue, and my one-on-one conversations with artists, contribute immensely to my creative momentum.  Still on "break" here.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

This Is Not A Blog Post

I'm on a little break, remember?  But I came across this quote, and I just had to share it:
"If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it's not your path.  Your own path you make with every step you take.  That's why it's your path."  Joseph Campbell
 I suggest you print it out and hang it on the wall in your work space.  In fact, you can download it here.

This is quoted by Cat Bennett in her book "Making Art a Practice".  I have long recommended her earlier book, "The Confident Creative", and this one is just as good, and not redundant.  I highly recommend this one as well.  Check it out on Amazon, but do support your local independent book store if you are lucky enough to have one.


Sunday, July 12, 2015

Taking a Break

I am taking a little break from posting on this blog, just until August 5.  I have some new technology to sort out, and some behind-the-scenes re-organization and up-dating to do.  So, please enjoy the posts that are already on the blog, or go to my YouTube channel for video tutorials.  Go to the Tutorials page for the posts that give instruction (one of the candidates for updating), or to the Artists and Inspiration page on my web site.  Make some art!  I'll post again that first week of August.  Cheers!
Make Some Marks!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Working Larger

I am having a lot of fun with these crayon pieces, and they work (for me) at this small scale, 10"x10".  I would LOVE, though, to see them really BIG:


Obviously, the crayons I'm using would not scale up like this.  So what?  Oil stick?  Paint on a brush?  I know I (and some of you perhaps) often see a piece that I'd like to do at a larger scale.  I'd like to feel myself in a different relationship, physically, to the painting.  Instead of Me the Artist at the table or standing at the wall/easel, separate from the Painting, I'd love to almost walk into the painting, feel it more like an environment, and then have to walk ten feet back to actually see it.  Two very different relationships to it in space. 

When working on small pieces, I can be the artist and the viewer at the same time, and I think those are very different roles.  As the artist, I need to be in the process, obsessed with the marks I'm making as they relate to one another and to the painting.  As a viewer, I see the final visual content, separate from process.  The piece becomes its own entity, no matter what my process or intentions. Part of the process of making art is going back and forth between these roles.  I wonder how scale would affect my ability to do so, or my perception of this back and forth dance.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Crayons, Again

So I'm still on this crayon kick, and wanted to try various crayons on a pastel ground.  Pastel Ground is a product that Golden makes, which transforms your paper into a toothy pastel paper.

This was my "beginner's luck" piece.  10"x10" on gessoed paper



This is the piece I did in the demo.  I used the materials mentioned in the video, plus various brands of oil pastel.

In this one I'm trying to copy the first piece, at top.
Here is a link to the Cretacolor Monolith pencils.  I think everything else is in my previous post.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Julie Fei-Fan Balzer's Podcast

I am featured on Julie Fei-Fan Balzer's current podcast.  Take a look! And listen.  So fun to talk to her.

Take a good long tour of her blog; she posts a LOT of instructional material, plus she is just FUN.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Crayons and Oil Pastels

Today I worked with lines and scribbles, inspired by a few of my students who were in the 100 Drawings class.  My goal was just to see what I can do with crayons, oil pastels, and other line-making tools, on their own, without point.  I did venture into paint, though, as you'll see in the video, but the focus is on drawing media.  These are not meant to be "pieces", or even studies.  They are just byproducts of my playing around.  Which is how I like to think of all my work.

Crayola, various oil pastels, water soluble crayon

Crayola, various oil pastels, water soluble crayon
Crayola, various oil pastels, water soluble crayon

This one started on a piece of "scrap" paper, one I'd used to lift paint.  So it has a ground of acrylic paint.  I scratched through the oil pastel with a razor into the dark green at bottom right.

This one is soft pastel (the really dusty kind), conte crayon (the black), a few oil pastels, and Crayola crayons.  Maybe some graphite in there too.

Graphite of various sorts, oil pastels, water soluble crayon

Graphie, ink, Crayola crayon, and water soluble crayon

Soft pastel, graphite crayon, Crayola crayon, ink, water soluble crayon

Various oil pastels and crayons, acrylic paint

Various crayons and oil pastels, graphite, ink, and acrylic paint

This one started on a piece of "scrap" paper on which I had off-loaded excess paint.  On top of the paint is graphite, oil pastel, and various crayons.

Also done on top of paint off-loads: mostly oil pastel, acrylic paint.
The crayons and oil pastels I reference in the video are:
  • Crayola Crayons, which you can get anywhere, so a link is unnecessary.
  • Cheap Oil Pastels: I used ProArt, but Cray Pas are comparable; Van Gogh are good inexpensive oil pastels.
  • Sennelier Oil Pastels:  these are buttery and pigment-rich.
  • Holbein Oil Pastels:  I love these; they are a bit harder than the Sennelier, and just as smooth and pigment-rich.  They come in a H U G E range of colors, with tints and shades of many colors as well.  These are a bit larger than Sennelier, and comparably more expensive per piece.
  • Caran d'Ache Neopastel: yummy, not as soft as Sennelier, good pigment load.  These are a little smaller than the Sennelier, and very slightly cheaper.  Probably the same price per unit of weight or volume.
  • Caran d'Ache Neocolor II:  these are the water soluble crayons I use all the time. 
In some of the above pieces I've used graphite crayon, graphite pencils, and pitt pens as well. Fun FUN!! 

Sunday, June 21, 2015

A Few More Grids

Here are some of the grid pieces I did while at Pacific Northwest Art School a couple of weeks ago:







I was having fun playing with contrasting scales of pattern, as well as varying the colors, and the shapes and sizes of elements.  I did a few more on Friday:

Love this lipstick bright pink/red



I'm enjoying getting a bit more minimal.

These are small - all 8"x8" and will be mounted on wood panel.  Fun!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Sketchbook Practice Available as Download

My Sketchbook Practice online workshop is now available as a download.  You download the lessons and get access to the videos on a web page.  Do the lessons all at your own pace.  Check it out on my Online Workshops Page.
An example of student work from Lesson 6

Another example of student work on Lesson 6

Three versions of re-assembled grids

Having fun with circles!

Exploration of wet-in-wet with line

Another exploration of wet media and line.  I love the way the broken line here looks like stitching.

An example of Doing Something with a black and white piece.
All of these images are work that students did in my class, posted anonymously.  Please don't re-post them.  Thanks!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Black and White and Shades of Gray

I am now working on a new online class (thanks for your suggestions and enthusiasm!) in which we will work in black and white, and shades of gray.  I've shown you some of my black and white work, here and here, which involves a lot of line and mark-making.  Recently I'm interested in finding my way with black and white in collage.  See posts here and here. It turns out to be surprisingly challenging to make a strong statement in black and white, though it is freeing not to consider color.  When color is out of the picture, I find I pay a lot more attention to value, scale, quality of line, edge, and so forth.

In the online class we'll be working with collage, with washes of paint (getting varying values from just black paint and water), mark making, and pattern.  I hope we will all become more articulate in our visual languages, even once we get back to working in color.  Here are a couple of samples in cut-paper collage:

In these 8"x8" studies, I am simply exploring black on white, with very simple shapes.

In the top two, I'm using only black and one shade of gray on the white ground.  In the bottom two I'm using multiple shades of gray in addition to the black. 
In all of the above, I'm using painted papers that are meant to be flat color.  No brush strokes, no shading, no nuance.  Interesting exercise. 

I'll have the new class open for registration within a few weeks, and it will be scheduled for 2016. 

Friday, June 12, 2015

Hey, Looka THIS!

Just a quick post to show you THIS post.

Monday, June 8, 2015

More Eye Candy from the Pacific Northwest

More student work, this time from the Monoprint Collage class at Pacific Northwest Art School:
















I took a little different approach to this class than previously - focusing more on collage - and the student work blew me away!  Please don't re-post these images, as they are student work.

I will be offering Gelatin Print Collage at Pacific Northwest Art School next year, May 21 and 22.  We will be making our own gelatin plates as well as using the gelliarts plate.  Just prior to that I'm offering "100 Drawings, Paintings, and Explorations", May 16 - 20.