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.