Sunday, September 14, 2014

A Few More From Whidbey

This is a continuation of my previous post about my Big Fat Art workshop on Whidbey Isalnd.  Here are a few more pix:
Alyssa's work in progress

Alyssa's Stripes

Barb's piece in progress

Cher painting

Jarina's piece in progress

Jeanette with brayer

Lindsey's first layer, 22"x30"

Liz, Painting

Liz, painting more

Lucie's work in progress, 22"x30"

Lucie's Painting Starts (partial)

My work in progress, 22"x30"

My Stripes, in progress, 22"x30"

Paula's work in progress

Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Fabulous Post from Julie Fei-Fan Balzer

Look at THIS. Great list of things you should give up in order to be happy with your art.  Awesome post from Julie Fei-Fan Balzer!  There.  That's it. Short post.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Big Fat Art on Whidbey Island

Just a quick post to give you a little window into what we're doing in Big Fat Art at the Pacific Northwest Art School.  I a fabulous group of pretty experienced artists, including several very accomplished textile artists:  Liz Axford, Barbara Napom, Cher Cartwright, and Jarina Moss.  You may be familiar with them already, but if not, check out their sites.

The following are all works in progress from weird angles (my bad photography).




Love the pattern on the left overlapping the big tomato colored shape.



This is a pile of pieces.

There are two spaces left in my Big Fat Art workshop at Art and Soul in Virginia Beach.  And five spaces left in Art Therapy for your Inner Critic, which Cher suggested we call "Silent Retreat for Your Inner Critic".  The gist is similar to Big Fat Art, but the exercises are a bit different.  Same message, different medium.  All FUN! 

Sunday, August 31, 2014

An Additional Offering of Composition Class

Thanks to all of you for your enthusiastic response to my new online class, 100 Drawings on Cheap Paper.  FYI, the title comes from two sources: Dean Nimmer has done a class called 100 Drawings, and there is a book of Tina Bering's work called "100 Girls on Cheap Paper"

My online class "Keys to Dynamic Composition" starting in October is full full full.  Really full.  I keep getting inquiries about it, and hate saying "no", so I am offering it again starting in March.  Check it out and sign up early if you are interested.  This will run concurrent with Sketchbook Practice.  I don't advise taking both unless you have considerable time to dedicate to it.  Which you may have!

Here is a Fresh Paint video I am re-posting, just for a little eye candy:


And just because I mentioned  Dean Nimmer above, he has a new book coming out this fall called "Creating Abstract Art".  I'll be doing a giveaway of this book when it's available.


Friday, August 29, 2014

Studio Notes

I have been spending most of this week on a big reorganizing of my studio.  This seems to be necessary every couple of years as my work changes and evolves.  The current challenge is that I would like to continue working larger (up to 3'x3' so far), and I have very little vertical wall space (my studio is under a gable, think attic with knee walls).  I'll take pix when the project is done, or at least workable.  Meanwhile, I continue to work on "100 Drawings on Cheap Paper", which is just an idea, not a real goal.  I don't care how many of these things I do, it's just fun to work this way.
A dozen in process.  Some might be finished.  Each 9"x12"

Another shot of same.

#31, 9"x12", acrylic, crayon, graphite, ink on cheap drawing paper

#32, 9"x12", acrylic, crayon, graphite, ink on cheap drawing paper

#33, 9"x12", acrylic, crayon, graphite, ink on cheap drawing paper

#34, 9"x12", acrylic, crayon, graphite, ink on cheap drawing paper

#35, 9"x12", acrylic, crayon, graphite, ink on cheap drawing paper

Previous posts on this topic include An Attitude of Practice, Addressing Your Inner Critic (speed painting demo), More Stacks of Shapes, and more.  Each one of these links to a previous post on same topic.  For information on materials used in these pieces, see My Favorite Materials.

I will be offering a "100 Drawings" class online starting in January.  IT IS POSTED NOW.  Go to Online Workshops, and it is at the top.  Extreme Composition and Sketchbook Practice are scheduled and open for registration 100.  "100 Drawings" will run concurrent with Extreme Composition, but it will be a 10-week course, not the usual 6-week format.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Winner of Blick Studio Acrylics GIveaway Is....

 Sara Evans!  Congratulations.  I chose this entry at random from the pieces that met the criteria, NOT because the others are not as good.  All of the entries were quite beautiful and interesting. 

I got lots of great submissions for this project, and I am posting a representative sample.  Some readers seemed to have the impression that the instructions included actually cutting up the piece, but they don't.  You just make a piece in which the four quadrants are enough different from each other so that IF you cut it in four, the pieces would not look like they all came from the same piece.  It is a lot harder than it looks because our natural (or cultivated) tendency is to unify, to make things balanced and matchy matchy.  Variety, diversity, elements that contrast, combinations that produce tension or dissonance, THAT is hard.  But in doing so, we have an opportunity to observe the inner friction, and also to expand our mark-making vocabulary.  Here are a few samples of the entries:

Sara Evans, our WINNER!

Barbara Bytwerk

Jacqueline Quinn
Debbie, who blogged about this project here.
And now for a video of me doing this project:

Here are the two pieces that resulted:

This is the main one in the video; you can see I painted over that section on the left that was giving me trouble.  Lot of editing there.

This is the piece that I started at the end of the video.  I was more relaxed with this one.




THANK YOU to all who participated!  If you have any suggestions for other projects I might offer in this way (take submissions, offer a giveaway), please make suggestions.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

A Challenge for your Inner Critic - and a giveaway

I do this exercise as a warm-up in some of my longer workshops, and also in Art Therapy For Your Inner Critic.  It is fun, more challenging than you would think, and it engages your Inner Critic in a way that is actually helpful rather than discouraging. I use this approach in my Art of the Postcard class too, but it's a little different.

Here is how it goes:

Create a piece (or better yet, a series of pieces) in which each quadrant is distinctly different from the others.  Do not simply divide the substrate into four equal parts and make separate compositions.  It has to be one composition, but if you were to divide it in four, the pieces would NOT look like they were cut from the same piece.   Use paint, collage, drawing, stamping, or any other technique.

You can see two examples in the second half of this post.  And here are a few more:

Acrylic paint, watercolor crayon, graphite, collage on 10"x11" printmaking paper

Acrylic paint, Pitt pen, watercolor crayon, graphite on 10"x11" printmaking paper

Acrylic paint, graphite, watercolor crayon, collage on 10"x11" printmaking paper.  For links to my materials see "My Favorite Materials" in the right margin of this blog.

E-mail me your examples (scan or photograph, send jpgs) and I will post a selection.  Tell me what challenges you faced, if you made any discoveries, or if it was simply fun and easy.  I will choose a winner, who will receive a set of Blick Studio Acrylics.  These are good student-quality paints, much much better than craft paints, and much less expensive than professional quality paints. 

Have fun, and good luck!  I will post a winner on Friday, August 22, so don't hesitate.  Take out your art materials and get to work.

Friday, August 15, 2014

A Winner, and a Workshop in Progress

We have a winner for the giveaway in Monday's post:  It is Jo Murray from Australia.  I decided not to limit the giveaway to the US or to North America, so it is going to the other side of the world to Jo Murray.  Congratulations Jo!  E-mail me your mailing address, and I hope it doesn't break me to get this prize package to you.

On another topic, my Collage Journeys in Vermont Workshop is in progress, and so I'm going to share a few pictures of it with you.  This is works in progress:

Eva's Exuberance

Sharon's in progress

Sandy painting over marks with a brayer

Marilyn adding more collage

Nancy's First Layer

Lynn working

Peggy's First Layer of Collage

Stephanie's Teeny Tiny Art Series

Are we having fun yet??? 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Printmaking Unleashed - a Giveaway

Well, Traci Bautista has done it again, produced a book packed with inspiration, ideas, and techniques.  This time her focus is printmaking.  In the broad sense.  It includes techniques on making rubbing plates, stencils, stamps, and other tools for creative mark making, as well as inspiration for using them. 
Browse this book on Amazon.
One technique that was quick-and-easy, but totally caught my eye, was a method for stamping lines using rolled up cardboard.

Here is a rolled up piece of corrugated card that I used as a stamp in the piece below.

The black lines are made by stamping the corrugated card.  The white marks in the upper right are made using a piece of mat board.

This is just a strip of ordinary corrugated cardboard I used as a stamp in the following pieces.

More of my mark-making practice

Here I used both the corrugated card and the regular cardboard, in the lower section of this piece.  They make very different line qualities.

More cardboard lines, in black

And more, in the upper right, contrasting with the paint marker, crayon, and graphite marks.

Here is the giveaway package!
I am offering a giveaway that includes:
  • a copy of Traci's book
  • A kit of printmaking tools (provided by Traci, actually)
  • A pad of Strathmore Printmaking paper, 8"x10"
  • and a set of Koi brush pens (think: markers)
Just comment on this post with your thoughts on any of the above, and I will do a random drawing on Friday, August 15.  YOU MUST CHECK THE BLOG ON FRIDAY and contact me if you are the winner, or provide a contact e-mail in your comment.  Please make sure your name uniquely identifies you.  Not just "Mary", but "Mary K in Indiana", or something like that.

Take a look at this book even if you don't win the giveaway.  It is lots of fun to dip into for new technique ideas.  Traci uses EVERYTHING in service of mark making!