Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Book Release!

Today is the official release date of my new book, Adventures in Mixed Media. Thanks to all of you who have pre-ordered it from Amazon, or otherwise bought a copy. I invite comments, questions, feedback of any sort via e-mail, Amazon (or other book seller) reviews, or comments on my blog.

Adventures in Mixed Media is a book of projects and techniques, with lots of side bars on creative process Here is a little teaser video on my "fusion fabric process, described in Chapter Four of Adventures.

I am grateful to the many artists who contributed their work to this book, including Sue Bleiweiss of Sketchbook Challenge fame, Elissa Campbell, Ingrid Dijkers, Pamela Hastings, Autumn Hathaway, Sherrill Kahn, Carol Owen, and Dawne Polis.

Enjoy the video, check out the contributors' web sites, and, as always, THANKS FOR VISITING!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Survey and Poll

THANKS to all of you who took my survey, and to the relatively few of you who took my poll on which online workshops you would like me to offer. I need MORE responses to the poll question. CLICK HERE to take the poll. THANKS!

The survey is producing REALLY interesting data. I'm getting a much better picture of who you are, what your goals and interests are, what you want in workshops, what kind of art you make, and what your challenges are. The more results the better, so CLICK HERE if you haven't taken my survey. Remember, there is a downloadable note card kit waiting for you at the end of it.

I'll post my results after the survey and poll have been up for a month or so.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Friday Drawing Practice

I am going to postpone the Drawing With Values exercise because I want to share an easy and fun doodle exercise that Sue Bleiweiss and I did in our Sketch-In at Ink About It. It begins with Diana Trout's Doodle Game, which is on the Sketchbook Challenge Tutorials page. I urge you to watch her video and try it! I took it in a slightly new direction in honor of this month's Sketchbook Challenge theme: Branching Out / Out On A Limb.

To see my results, click here.

I hope you have fun with this. Thanks for visiting! Take my survey about your art practices and preferences. THANKS! It will help me with my Friday Practice series.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

I Want Your Opinion

Hello all. I really appreciate all your comments and feedback on this blog. I would love to hear your thoughts and opinions on your own art practices and interests, and on art workshops and books generally. So... I created a survey that will help me understand more about you, and hopefully it will help me to see how I can refine and develop my workshop offerings to better serve your interests.


To thank you for this information, I am offering a Jane Davies Studios note card kit, which you can download and print out as you wish. Here is what it looks like:

This is one of eight card designs, laid out on 8.5" x 11" paper (the cards are in vertical orientation for easy printing).

And this is how the envelopes look on 8.5" x 11". There are eight coordinating envelopes included.

The kit includes step-by-step photos of how to cut, fold, and assemble the envelopes and cards.

You can print out as many as you like of any of the eight designs. I love doing these sorts of digital download kits, but right now I want YOUR OPINIONS, interests, observations, and general feedback on art practices, workshops, and books. THANKS!!!

You may have noticed, there is a new image at the top right of this blog, which says "VOTE, online workshops". This is a poll I am taking on what you want in future online workshop offerings. It is one multiple choice question. I'd love it if you could participate in the poll as well. THANKS AGAIN!!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Workshops in Westford

Just back from workshops at Ink About It in Westford, MA. What a blast! On Friday evening we made fanciful spring bird ornaments; Saturday was Unlocking the Secrets of Color, and on Sunday I co-taught a Sketch-In with Sue Bleiweiss, who blogged about it on the Sketchbook Challenge. Without further comment, here are some photos from my bird and color classes:

This is Raine's bird. Raine comes to all my workshops at Inky's, and serves as my personal laugh track.

This bird got great head gear as well as tail feathers:

This one got a glittery wing and sequin eye:

Two types of tail feathers adorn this one's behind:

Same with this one:

We got out the Angelina Fiber to add glitz to many of the wings. This one has imaginative feet:

The crown really MAKES this bird, as well as the skeleton leaves for a tail, sprinkled with Angelina Fiber.

This bird project is in my new book, Adventures in Mixed Media, which is available on April 26.

Now, for the Unlocking the Secrets of Color class. After painting color wheels, color gradations, and value scales, we put our skills into practice to make collage-paintings. We focused mostly on collage-paintings in one color (monochromatic) or closely related (analogous) colors.

Thanks for visiting! And thanks to Ink About It for hosting the workshops. Don't forget to go to the Sketchbook Challenge blog to see pictures from the Sketch-In.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Playing with Value

In today's Drawing Practice exercise we are going to see how we can get a range of values (light to dark) in a few different materials. Leave color out of it for now, and just see if you can create very light areas, very dark ones, and a range in between.

For now we are just experimenting with different materials; next week (yes, I know I said I would do six Drawing Practice posts, but I'm doing one more) we will use these values to make drawings.

Choose a drawing implement, such as pencil, and start scribbling. Make as many kinds of marks as you can by varying the speed, the pressure, and so forth. Then try to create a range of values from dark to light.

In this one I used pencil, cross-hatching to varying degrees creates the value range.

Same thing in black fine tip felt pen. Here I tried to create different qualities of value by making some areas with more or less straight lines intersecting, and others with loopy scribbles.

I found the black crayon (crayola) the least interesting of my materials. I was surprised, though, that I could actually get a very dark black.

In this final one I used charcoal as well as white pastel. I used a kneaded eraser to smudge and make lines through the charcoal areas. Charcoal and pastel are so dusty, I really don't enjoy working with them. But they do offer such cool possibilities.

Hope you enjoy playing with values this week. We'll see what we can do with them next week. Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Out on a limb some more

I've just done a few more pages in my sketchbook where I'm out on a limb. "Branching Out - Out on a Limb" is this month's theme for the Sketchbook Challenge. I was experimenting with layers and cut outs, not aiming for anything in particular, but just pushing these elements around. None of these is a "piece", but rather a page, a question, a "what if?" I discover so much when I work in my sketchbook with no expectation of a "finished" page or piece. It's quite freeing.

On this page I used a cut out of a bottle over a cut out of a modified circle; layers of acrylic paint in varying degrees of opacity, applied with a brayer and brush; some painted tissue paper; a scrap from my work table paper (the paper I lay down under my work). Oh, and charcoal.

On this page I first layered some collage: scraps of book pages, handwriting, a few things like that. Then paint over cut outs; the bottle form as a silhouette; I removed some of the collage, added more. Just a playful back and forth to see what happens if...

This one is the more "composition" - like. I was experimenting with layers, and also playing with this compositional format - the abstract landscape, turned almost cruciform.

That's it. Just showing a few of my recent experimental pages. Thanks for visiting!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

My New Online Workshop

OK, I know, I've blabbed about this before, but now I have a little video to show you what we will be doing in Unlocking The Secrets of Color, and online workshop starting May 4. Six sessions of color color color with paint and collage! This is the first in a series of online workshops I'll be offering over the next several months.

Got to my web site to read the official description. Don't forget to read the online workshop policies. Here are a few examples of the projects from Unlocking the Secrets of Color.

A color grid using only pure colors from the color wheel:

A "color collage" exploring red:

A collage-painting in a complimentary color scheme:

And a collage-paint study exploring the gradations between two complimentary colors:

  • Six lessons in pdf format, e-mailed once a week, which you can keep for future reference
  • Seven demonstration videos
  • An online forum for participants to share their work, ask and respond to questions, and get individual instruction from me
  • A whole new understanding of color!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Hand Drawings

For this Friday Drawing Practice I wanted to find a way to combine contour and gesture drawing techniques. I was going to set up a still life and draw it in various styles, but couldn't find objects that inspired me, just the same old jars of brushes and paint bottles that fill every available surface... So we're drawing hands this week. This is a real branching out for me, as I have never drawn my own hands before.

Here is my first attempt:

I am left-handed, mostly, so I drew my right hand.

I thought the hand might be more interesting if it were holding something, so I gave that a try:

For someone who was starting to feel somewhat competent drawing, I sure was feeling out on a limb with this exercise!

So why not take it a bit further and try drawing with my non-drawing hand?

Not a whole lot different from the one done in my drawing hand. But I was having fun now, and decided to do it again, this time bringing in a bit of gesture drawing from the last drawing practice session.

Here I'm holding the brayer in my right hand, drawing with my left:

And holding it with my left, at a different angle, drawing with my right:

This week's drawing practice became less about combining contour and gesture, and more about switching hands and drawing something new. This is one I definitely want to practice! Thanks for visiting.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Branching Out - Out on a Limb

Here is my post for the Sketchbook Challenge this month:

Since the Sketchbook Challenge began I have been using it as way to stretch my abilities, challenge my perceived boundaries, and expand my vocabulary of artistic expression. It is evident from the hundreds of entries on the flickr site that many of you are doing the same. You can usually tell from looking at a drawing/painting/sketch whether the artist is playing it safe or taking risks. I love seeing the entries on flickr that teeter on the edge of the artist's comfort zone!

This month's theme is Branching Out, which means expanding your skills, sprouting new ideas, discovering unknown territory. The flip side of that is Out on a Limb, which means taking risks, facing fear of failure, getting into your discomfort zone, facing your Inner Critic, and taking the plunge with courage.

Getting out of your comfort zone, pushing your boundaries, sounds all well and good, but being uncomfortable does not. Sometimes being uncomfortable leads (me, anyway) to art tantrums, or worse, running back to the safe zone. However, if you practice allowing that discomfort and continuing on with courage (and without judgment), you will find that, more often than not, you will branch out. You will learn to recognize that queasy feeling as an indication that you are about to discover something new. It is like the City Limits sign on the edge of your comfort zone.

I am suggesting to you that this month try at least one page in your sketchbook (and I know you'll do more once you experience the freedom that Branching Out inspires) devoted to trying something new, something that really challenges you, even something that inspires fear of failure. Do something that your Inner Critic knows you can't do! There is no failure or "can't do" in branching out; when you are honestly challenging yourself you will always be treated by a surprise. Remember, only you can know if you are truly branching out. One person's safe zone is another's unknown territory. Oh, and don't forget to have fun!!!

Here are two sketchbook entries in which I am branching out and out on a limb. I'm searching for some way to use these circles, some layering, maybe masks and stencils.... I don't know what I want the pieces to look like, but I am deliberately throwing myself off balance. I LOVE that about the skektchbook: I don't feel any need to "resolve" a piece or find an answer. Just sending out the question is enough.