Sunday, November 23, 2014

Interview on The Elusive Muse

Here is an interview with me, published on The Elusive Muse recently.  Check out some of the other artists interviewed too - they represent a broad spectrum of work.

I am going to copy the last question and answer here.  It seems to have resonated with a few who commented, so you might want to skip the interview and see if this little pep talk is of any interest:

8. Do you have any tips or advice for aspiring artists?
Yes. Make a lot of art. Make really a lot, and give art making a higher priority, by a long shot, than even taking classes or reading books about art making. It is important to get instruction and to learn techniques, but it takes time, and LOTS of art making, to absorb whatever you learn and make it your own. In the same way, it is important to look at other art, get inspiration from other artists, but it is only in the making of art that you gain from the inspiration.

I think really good and authentic art comes from being on your edge, pushing yourself just a bit beyond what feels comfortable, from NOT-knowing. If you feel out on a limb, sometimes frustrated, not sure what to do next, then you are probably doing it RIGHT. Often I find that aspiring artists have the idea that they SHOULD know what they are doing, plan out each piece of art knowing exactly where they are going, and feel competent the whole way. I say, change your expectations: let yourself get uncomfortable and out-in-the-middle-of-nowhere, and practice that state of uncertainty.

Do not worry about developing your own “style”. Just make art, and your voice will emerge. If you try to force it, you will only limit yourself. Just my two cents.

There.  Enough of my ranting. Tomorrow I will post the winner for the Extreme Composition online workshop giveaway.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Another Giveaway: Extreme Composition, January 7

I can't believe it!  We have another anonymous giveaway for a spot in Extreme Composition, which is almost full, just a few spots left.  Starts January 7. So, IF you are interested and available for the class comment on this post and you will be in the drawing.

If you HAVE already signed up for Extreme Composition, and would like to win something, you can choose a spot in Keys to Dynamic Composition or Sketchbook Practice, both starting March 25.  Please let me know if your comment which class you want.

I will do the drawing on Monday, November 24, and it is the winner's responsibility to contact me with an e-mail address.  Good luck!  Here are a few images of student work from Extreme Composition last spring:


The images, of course, are responses to specific assignments, but I want to let you enjoy them on their own merit.  Just for fun, here is one of me working in my studio:

Monday, November 17, 2014

100 Drawings Workshop Winner

Wow!  What a lot of great response we got from this generous giveaway by a reader.  Thanks to Anonymous Reader.  LOVE all the "unique names".  All I meant was to put a first and last name, or something that would identify you uniquely.  Good ones all. I wish I could let ALL of you into this class in January, but then I would not be able to give everyone individual feedback.  That is the limiting factor  - my time. 

Yadda yadda...  Terrie Purkey is our winner.  Terrie, it's your job to e-mail me and I'll get you all set for the course.  have you taken online courses before?  Just in case you need it (or if anyone else is interested), here is my Blogger Tutorial, which covers basic posting and commenting.

The second offering of 100 Drawings on Cheap Paper is beginning in September.  So if you are interested, click here.  I'll do more giveaways of online classes, since this was so popular.

On another subject...  I am working on a new web site that will be my online art gallery.  Here is a little sneak preview of the Home page:

Top part of the Home page, which has a little slide show

Scroll down and you get links to my "collections", which are organized by size and material.

 I will, of course, be keeping my current web site, where all my workshops and information are.  This new one is simply a gallery, and there are links back and forth so you can find the content you are looking for.

Thanks to all of you who participated in this giveaway drawing!  Stay tuned.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

100 Drawings Giveaway

One very generous, but anonymous, artist is giving up her place in 100 Drawings on Cheap Paper, an online class that starts January 7, and donating it to a lucky winner!  The class if full full full, so I am only taking new sign-ups for its reiteration in September, but this is for a spot in the January class.  To enter the drawing, all you have to do is comment on this post, with a unique name, and check in on Monday, November 17 to see if you won.  The winner will be announced on this blog on Monday, and it will be her/his responsibility to contact me with an e-mail address.

Here area a couple images of my 100 Drawings pieces in process;  they are 9"x12" on Cheap Drawing Paper.

You can find my finished pieces on Fine Art America, available as prints. 

Friday, November 7, 2014

Raising Money for Heifer International

Heifer International's mission is to work with communities to end world hunger and poverty and to care for the Earth.  They do this by providing livestock animals; empowering women; providing basic needs such as clean water, shelter, cook stoves, etc.; supporting sustainable farming efforts, all in their unique Heifer way...  See how it works here.

I am offering a downloadable set of twelve greeting cards, with images of my work on them, for a $15 donation to Heifer.  ALL proceeds from the sale of this card kit go to Heifer.  You will download a zip file with the twelve images and an envelope template, sized to be printed on 8.5"x11" paper.  Last year we were able to donate about $800 for livestock and other resources to Heifer International.

Here are the images on your cards.  Print only the ones you like, and print as many as you want.  You can also use them as prints rather than greeting cards.

Twelve images on greeting cards, downloadable, for a $15 donation to Heifer:

Wednesday, November 5, 2014


I am fascinated by artists who can do stripes - simple stripes! - that are compelling.  Taking a simple idea, one of the simplest of patterns, and making it rich with subtlety.  Here are a few examples from artists I admire.

Take a look at Kathleen Waterloo on Pinterest.  Here are a couple of her stripe pieces:
Kathleen Waterloo

Kathleen Waterloo
I am particularly in love with the way Jylian Gustlin works stripes into her vessel pieces:
Jylian Gustlin

Jylian Gustlin

Jylian Gustlin
Daniella Woolf does beautiful stripes in encaustic; and Leonard Ragouzeos in his teeny tiny gouache pieces:
Daniella Woolf (this is a screen shot, thus the word "next" in the upper left).

Leonard Ragouzeos

Here is one of my first attempts to do a large (large for me, 22"x30") piece in stripes:
"Stripes, Yellow", my work, 22"x30"
This piece, "Stripes, Yellow", is now available as a print on Fine Art America, along with forty more pieces of this scale.  Take a look at the new uploads!

Friday, October 31, 2014

A Peek at Process

I am in studio mode again, having finished most of my teaching for the year.  Without any particular direction right now, I am just painting painting painting, putting one brush stroke in front of the other, as it were.  Working on about ten 22"x30" pieces at once (I say "working", but it's really playing, exploring, getting back into a groove).  Here are process shots on just one of the pieces:
The Blank Page on one of my new moveable walls in the studio

I rarely start with collage on pieces this size, so I thought I'd give it a try.

The first layers of paint

More paint

I began adding some drawing and dripping

More collage, more paint, more drawing, finding possible shapes

Trying out some big black lines

And a bit more graphite drawing

...uh...maybe not; let's see what happens when I cover over more of the bright stuff

And then reveal some of it

Now I have no idea where I am or where I'm going, but I sure do have a lot of possibilities, a lot to play with.

Materials and Tools:
  • 300 pound watercolor paper substrate
  • Collage papers, both hand-painted and found
  • Acrylic paints (see Favorite Materials)
  • Graphite, Pitt Pens, and watercolor crayons (ditto)
  • Brushes, palette knives, etc. (ditto)
  • A whole lot of letting go of: attachment to outcome, worrying about "wasting" materials, or any desire to be efficient with my time.
  • Curiosity, a lot of "what if?"
  • Absence of desire to "finish" or to "make it work" or "resolve"; just the question: what next?
This is like a meditation: repeatedly bringing your focus back to the process at hand, and letting go of the kinds of thoughts that get us stuck (see above).  If this one "makes it", I'll post later.  Meanwhile I can keep going, keep painting, keep lots of them in process.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Winner of Stencil Giveaway

And the winner is.....   Helene from Long Island!  Congratulations.  E-mail me with your mailing address so I can get these stencils to you.  Hope you enjoy them!

Here are a few images (can't do a blog post without eye candy) of student work from a workshop I did last week at AVA Gallery in Lebanon, NH.  It was Balancing Opposites: the Yin and Yang of Abstract Composition.
In this and the next two pieces, we're working with pairs of opposite, or complimentary, colors.

In this and the next two images we're working with busy/active areas contrasting with quiet areas.

We put some of our work up on the wall so everyone could see everyone else's work.  And everyone could take pictures.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Fun with Stencils and a GIVEAWAY

Who doesn't have fun with stencils?  Here is a technique that I learned somewhere from someone that I can't remember now.  Suffice to say I did not come up with it on my own.  I do use it a lot, though.
You will need:
  • Rubbing alcohol or alcohol wipes
  • Stencils
  • A painting with more than one layer of paint.

Stencil Girl is a great source of artist-designed stencils. Cecilia Swatton was in my workshop at the Book Arts Roundtable, and gave me some of her stencils to offer as a giveaway.  

Look at the Shop By Artist page for a who's who in the stencil design world.

Artistcellar is another excellent source of stencils, stamps, and other art-making tools and materials.

Both Artistcellar and Stencilgirl have provided me with the stencils I share with my workshop participants, as has Julie Fei Fan Balzer.    THANKS!  I love 'em; my students love 'em.

The first demo in the video

The second demo in the video

To enter the drawing for the stencils, just comment on this post, identify yourself uniquely, and be prepared to e-mail me if you are a winner.  You must check back on Wednesday, October 29 to see if you are the winner.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Buy Prints!

As you may know, I offer my work for sale as prints through Fine Art America, on which you can choose from a variety of materials and framing options to get an affordable reproduction of a drawing, painting, or collage.

This is what my "profile" page looks like, though it changes as I add images.

You can scroll through lots and lots of images.

Click on an image and you get this.

Choose from a variety of options, including greeting cards and phone cases!

I've just added over seventy of my 9"x12" paintings from the "100 Drawings" series.  You can read posts about them here, here, here, here, and elsewhere.  I encourage you to try some yourself.