Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Black and White

I've been in awe of Mayako Nakamuro's black and white work for a couple of years now since discovering her on Flickr.  The rawness and energy of the mark making is breath taking.  See her work on Pinterest as well.

Using her as inspiration, I began a series of 12"x12" black and white pieces, using India ink, graphite, acrylic, and crayon:

1. I'm considering this and the two below provisionally finished.



A dozen or so pieces in various stages of the process
#2 above, in process

Another in process: a layer of marks, then a layer of paint

This is the first layer: India ink washes, graphite, pencil, and white Caran d'Ache crayon

Same materials as above, the first layer

This is the piece above, with a layer of paint.
I'm finding working in black and white very freeing.  It allows me to pay more attention to the quality of marks and the range of value.  When stuck in a rut, it can be extremely helpful to look at the work of another artist and use it as a springboard.  Some shy away from "copying" another artist, but I feel that even if you begin by copying, if you do enough pieces you inevitably make them your own.  For this group I really did have a couple of Nakamura's pieces up on my computer screen, and referred to them when I felt I was repeating my same old familiar marks.  But for the most part I feel I found a way to move forward with my own work.  THANK YOU Mayako Nakamura for the inspiration!!

Hope you all have a fabulous holiday!

Yesterday was my birthday, and I want to thank all of you who posted birthday on my FaceBook page.  It was, indeed, a very happy birthday!

Friday, December 19, 2014

September Workshop in Wisconsin

I am teaching a workshop at Dillman's Bay Resort in northern Wisconsin, September 13 - 18.  They've just opened it for registration, and made a really spectacular (I think) presentation page. Dillman's has an excellent website, with information on all kinds of activities: kayaking, swimming, yoga, etc.  It will be like summer camp (in the fall) plus art.  Looks like you could bring your whole family, and they would all be happily occupied while we make abstract paintings.

In the studio one thing I've been working on is linear pieces in black and white.  Full disclosure: part of this is in preparation for 100 Drawings on Cheap Paper, which starts January 7 (full) and September 9 (open for registration).  Still, it is fun and eye-opening to return to a vocabulary that does not include color.  Color is such a strong language that it is easy to lose sensitivity to other elements in the presence of it.

The following are 9"x12", acrylic, graphite, and ink on cheap drawing paper:

Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Wax Day

Yesterday I spent the day at Jeri McDonald's studio doing small encaustic paintings on paper. I haven't done encaustic in a while, and it was great to get back to it.
5"x5" (they are all 5"x5"), encaustic and oil paint on 300# paper

5"x5", encaustic and oil paint on 300# paper

This one is unresolved.

This one is barely started, but I love the line work.

This one is not done, but close.

Jeri's palette

My palette

Jeri's piece, which I bought last spring, 5"x5"

Another of Jeri's, 5"x5"

My favorite suppliers of encaustic materials and tools are R&F Paints and Enkaustikos.  Enkaustikos offers anodized aluminum plates that you can put on your pancake griddle and create a better heated palette (more even heat than the pancake griddle alone).  The light aluminum surface is nice if you are working with color.  Jeri works exclusively with the pancake griddle, as she works mostly in black, white, and neutrals.  I use R&F's heated palette

I LOVE working with another artist or small group of artists.  Somehow, chatting while working provides just enough distraction to not get too hung up on the frustrations of making art.  The obvious advantage is getting another pair of eyes on your work.  It was a really fun day, and I hope we can do it again soon. 

Monday, December 15, 2014

We Did It!

We raised just about $1000 for Heifer International!!  Thank you all for your contributions, and I hope you enjoy the greeting cards.

The donation has been made, so I won't be sending any more $ to Heifer.  However, if you would like the downloadable greeting cards, you can still get them by going to my post and clicking on the PayPal button.  I'll do another Heifer donation (or maybe another charity) next holiday season.

More studio notes soon.  Today I'm off to a friend's studio to do encaustic, which I haven't done in a while.  Wax Day!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

New Website Is Open!!

My new website Jane Davies Art Gallery is finally open.  You can now browse my work and purchase online in an easy to use format.  The work is organized into collections by size and material.  In the main menu there are links to my main website (click Workshops), and this blog.

This web site is for buying (or just browsing) original art.  Prints are still available through  Fine Art America.  I've added links in the horizontal menu bar of this blog for both.  I also put a link to the new gallery at the top of the right margin, with the logo.

I'm sure there will be bugs to work out, as I've never had an online store, an "e-commerce" site.  So please, as you are browsing, let me know if there is anything that is confusing or that I could make work better. 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Early December Studio Notes

Here are a few more in the series of cruciform studies I'm doing.  Once artist whose work I am using for inspiration (and there are many!) is Charlotte Foust.  As you can see from this Pinterest Page, Foust's work falls into a few different categories:  the energetic, expressive, painterly mark-making pieces; the grids; and the collages which often include bird imagery.  I saw some of her work at Hunter-Kirkland Gallery in Santa Fe last summer.

This series is all on 10"x10" paper, which will be mounted to wood panel:

This piece and the next I started on a dark ground.

Thanks for visiting.

Monday, December 1, 2014


Our little post office in Rupert is NO LONGER UNDER THREAT OF CLOSURE!!!  It is staying open for the foreseeable future.  Thank you to the thousands of you who sent postcards for my Postcard Project, which began in January of 2013.  We made a significant impact.

I've put a link in the right margin of the blog, right at the top, for donations to Heifer International.  It goes to the blog post I did a few weeks ago offering a downloadable set of greeting cards.  I will keep this offer open until December 15, at which point I will make the generous (thanks to all of you!) donation, which will provide farm animals, education, and other means of self-sufficiency to people around the world.  Thanks so much to those of you who have already donated.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Studio Notes in November

I've given myself a little assignment in the studio, which is to work on 10"x10" cruciform collage-paintings until I am sick of them, or bored, and then keep working on them to see what happens.  I so admire the work of artists who seem to go deep into an idea, really milk it over dozens and dozens of pieces.  I have a short attention span, and although I almost always work in series, my series tend to be short.  Unless they are defined simply by size and material - the 100 Drawings on 9"x12" paper, the 4"x4" ongoing series.

I've been working 22"x30" for a while, so I wanted to go back to a smaller size for a bit.  I'm working back and forth between the 22"x30" on the wall, and the 10"x10" on the work table. 

Here are just a couple of the pieces in process:

Grid-1, layer 1

Grid-1, layer 2 and 3

Grid-1, the next few layers

Grid-1, final

Grid-2, layer 1
Grid-2, with all the other layers, final

Monday, November 24, 2014

Winner of Extreme Composition Online Class

I wish I could take ALL of you in this class!  Such enthusiastic response.  Thank you for participating.  The winner is .... Lisa Ridolfi.  So, Lisa, it is your job to e-mail me with your info so I can sign you up.  Congratulations. The class is FULL to the brim now, so I am offering it again starting July 22.  Take a look here.

More on studio activities later in the week.  Hope those of you celebrating Thanksgiving on Thursday have a great holiday.  So much to be thankful for!  Thanks to all of YOU who come to my blog and create this great community.

Here is a video I did a little while ago, and just revised a teeny bit.  It's just for fun, nothing that you don't know already:

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.