So this little gem was drawn by my 6 year old granddaughter and pinned to my studio wall. These eyes have been staring at me for a few months as if to say ‘hey, why not use me in your paintings?’ or ‘you use so many fish how about giving us birds a chance?’ So I’ve been listening and adding a bit more wild life into my work–humans and birds and fish. Covering most bases with an occasional dog making a cameo. I’m learning to always consider new things in my work–careful not to throw myself offtrack–but to think of how an innocent little drawing can breath new life into my work. Thank you Gwendolyn. Love, Grannie.
Here are a few more birds that have made in onto my canvases lately.
Lesson learned: When developing new work, let something new in.
I’m happy to help friend and artist (and musician) in promoting her new ‘Field Artista’ compact portable watercolor sketching kit. I have been working with it and it is a fun little set—includes a small sponge, two short shaft soft hair paint brushes, and 12 colors. Two fold-out palettes are very handy and an additional small metal screw cap water holder can be clipped onto one of the palettes keeping a small amount of water right where you need it. Good range of 12 watercolors that rewet quickly provide broad mixing possibilities.
The biggest advantage of this set is its small size—able to be used in inconspicuous settings such as coffee shops, bars or restaurants—or from the seat of your car. Easily sketch with your favorite pen or pencil and then add bold or subtle color—or vice versa. Beginner or experienced artists will find this little set is just the right size to get you started on a fun pastime or provide a new approach for your serious work. Very reasonably priced as well and sold on Amazon at $29.99. Hope you’ll check it out! And please share with your artist friends, thank you.
So go sketch from life, or work out designs for larger artworks, or…
(photo shows a small plastic cup-not included in kit)
(Blue fountain pen is found at The Goulet Pen Company)
Opening reception tonight May 19th, 5:30-7:30 at Copley Society of Art, Newbury Street, Boston, MA. Meet and visit with six recent Copley Fellows who completed month-long residencies in either Cape Ann or Provincetown, MA. Stop in or visit the gallery, show is up through June. copleysociety.org
This piece in the show titled, “Sketched Around” 8×10 ink and watercolor, has a little history but nothing a redraw can’t fix. This is about a view from my studio that disappears in summer with the solidness of fully leafed out trees, and then appears again as the leaves fall in autumn. The tree structures stay while the colors change. This ink and stick sketch/drawing tries to give my impression the this movement of the seasons. If you look closely you’ll see a building/structure through the branches. It brings a bit of geometric contrast to the scratchy branching lines.
As artists we are always on the look out for things that capture our attention. We may not know what we are going to do with that little tidbit at the moment but we file it away for future use. And yes, we forget about them sometimes. But as an individual artist we tend to notice similar things, over and over. And therein lies the key.
Very coarsely-painted beginning
Not sure who said it but “notice what you notice” is such a great statement. Especially if you are an artist looking for direction. Randomness is not an asset when it comes to defining who you are as an artist. Maybe at a later more experienced point it will be, but not at the outset. Looking intensely at a series of photos you’ve taken, making notes of what interests you in the landscape or people-scapes around you. Look for the pattern created when you go out for a walk–are you looking at minute details of flowers, or rolling hillsides, or how the light shines through the woods. The sooner you find your personal pattern, the more directed you can be in your artistic development.
Using the rough sketch to develop painting design further
For me, the coastal waterfront and all its details have been at the very top of my list. Early on impressive sunrises and sunsets were at the very top. I loved them, but did not necessarily want to paint about them. So many people were already doing that. I wanted to paint about things differently and add something that gave the viewer more information about the things I find important.
A red-colored work boat in Provincetown harbor provided the needed intensity to dive into this subject in various ways and create some final paintings. Even after many years I am still intrigued by this working pier in Provincetown. The activity, the aged boats that still work every day, the people who go out on the sea day after day–I admire them for their bravery. I once thought I would like that life but have since come to my senses. Seasickness and I are companions unfortunately but I still love being on the water when I can. So even a landlubber can have great appreciation for things connected to the sea. I have plans to explore this motif and weave in some themes of connectedness, friendship and awe. To be continued…
Closeup look at detail of a 24×24 painting depicting the simple drama of red against blues.
Done as an exercise exploring how to use bold lines to replicate directional lines found in the landscape near my home. The curved line indicates mountains known as the Uncanoonucs. Really just large hills but are what we view from our front yard. Verticals are suggestive of very tall white pines and the foreground verticals are grasses. I am playing with these elements as I consider a series of works that incorporate this kind of abstract line quality. Pencil on paper. 5×7. This is part of the 30 paintings/30 days challenge presented by Leslie Saeta on her blog,http://www.lesliesaeta.blogspot.com
Working on a motif I had begun while at my artist residency in Provincetown, MA this past summer. The working waterfront area there is rich with image possibilities and this is a bit of an abstracted view of the piers. It may well become a larger painting with emphasis on the verticals of the piers in contrast to the boats. “Waiting for Tomorrow” was done on paper with ArtGraf carbon and colored pencils. Completed as part of the 30 paintings in 30 days project of the blog http://www.lesliesaeta.blogspot.com/
This small format painting is a warmup for a new floral series I am working on for 2015. Bold black lines in acrylic paint define the flower shapes on paper and color was added by layering Neocolor I by Caran D’Arche. 30 paintings in 30 days project presented by Leslie Saeta’s blog, http://www.lesliesaeta.blogspot.com/.
A bit pinched for time today. This happens at times when one of my regular working days needs to be reworked. I may have some studio time this weekend to keep up with this 30/30 project. Enjoying the “push” so far. This piece was made on a scrap of heavy watercolor paper from a commissioned painting last year. Had a cool color base of mixed dry media which I have added ink, color pencil, and Caran D’arche color layers. Another entry for the 30/30 challenge project on the http://lesliesaeta.blogspot.com/ art blog.