Friday, September 25, 2015

Trying Something New

The past few weeks I have been creating something a little different in my studio.  I finished a commission piece for a friend and ever since then I have just had a real urge to break away from painting on a canvas and have been turning my attention to using a combination of watercolor, pen and ink and colored pencils.  I love the richness that the colored pencils give some of the areas when I go over it using the watercolor as a base. The end result is a  combination of looseness and yet rich details that neither the watercolor or the pencil has on its own.

I am also stuck on the look of outlining in pen all of the randomness of color and designs that are created by using watercolors for my backgrounds or on the fur.  It creates an abstract effect that I like in the background.  I have no idea if anyone else will actually like this technique, but I'm having a BLAST!

All these pieces will be hanging by Preview Thursday (October 1, 2015) at City of the World Gallery.

Watercolor pieces getting matted and framed

Fun piece to paint of a lions eye

Almost finished with the details on this Red Eyed Tree Frog

Coloring Isn't Just for Kids Anymore

I know that the newest rage I hear these days are adult coloring books.  Who would have thought that there would actually be a market for advanced coloring books geared towards adults but I can say that I it completely understand the benefits that they offer.

I have been doing a great deal of sketching myself and often grab these blank cards to draw on it. This practice has lately become an evening activity that I really look forward to.  I find it relaxing spending a few hours just having fun playing with colors and lines.  Getting wild with my watercolors, colored pencils and my new set of Tombow brush pens.  

I have no idea if I will actually sell many of them, but besides it being excellent practice for me as artist, I sure won't have to buy any cards myself for quite sometime. 

3-D card that I made by attaching the poppy flower sketch to the card

A pile of completed cards that I have made in the past few weeks.

A couple more colorful examples

Thursday, September 24, 2015

What....You Want Me To Talk About My ART?

I had no idea that the month of August is considered American Artist Appreciation Month but I do now.
This week, at the invite of artist Patience Brewster I decided to participate in a fun self interview.  Her goal is to get as many artists bloggers as she can involved and answer questions about their own work and motivations.  I thought about it for a few minutes and I came to the conclusion that  I love to Blog, I love Art and I love to Blog about MY ART, so I'M IN!

Of course the first thing I did was research Ms. Brewster and found a well organized website full of beautiful artwork on cards and ornaments.   Her work is whimsical and fun and I was immediately a fan.  Check out the ornaments of Patience Brewster yourself.

Here are the questions she asked of me:

1. As a child, do you recall a significant moment when you felt truly affected or inspired by any particular artwork or artist?

I can't recall a specific moment but rather my earliest memories are of me spending hours sewing, drawing and coloring.  I grew up rather poor in the hills of the Missouri Ozarks.  As a matter of fact, most of my childhood we lived in a 12' x 50' single wide mobile home that barely fit the 5 of us crammed like sardines in a can.  Barely one square inch of free wall space could be found to expose the shabby wood paneling behind all the piles.   I think my parents were more concerned about keeping food on the table then making sure we had exposure to art and culture.  That was pretty much non-existent until I got into high school. 

 I think it was this lack of beauty that drove me to my solace in art because even as a young child I tried to fill my world with color.  Since we couldn't afford all the the pretty room decorations and fancy school supplies I took to making my own.  I painted my school folders with acrylic paints, created my own stationary using watercolors and cut out giant flowers to decorate my little corner of the bedroom I shared with my younger brother and sister.  

2. As an artist, what do you hope to convey with your work?

 When I returned to painting a few years ago my goal was just to improve my skills and learn as much as I could about color and composition.  I certainly don't have some social agenda or a hidden message that I'm trying to convey with my work but rather just create beautiful images that others love to look at as much as I loved creating them.  I get confirmation of that each time I make a sale.  

3. What memorable responses have you had to your work?  

Some art highlights that stand out in my mind would be being featured in an article in "Gold Prospector" magazine.  I remember the week that the article came out and I had actually forgotten about it, but I had a complete stranger come up to me as I was displaying my artwork in front of Wholefoods in Henderson, Nevada and asked if I was that artist that was in his magazine.  He wished he had his copy with him so that he could get my autograph!  That made my day for sure.  

Also winning "Visitors Choice Award" is always a great honor.  It is sometimes difficult to understand the criteria that some judges use when placing awards at art shows but to have the majority if visitors at a show or that come through a gallery prefer your piece of all others is very much and honor.  I would love to hang a Best of Show ribbon among my awards someday but until then my visitor choice ribbons are very special to me.  

4. What is your dream project?

I would probably answer this question more correctly by changing the word project to goals because my focus isn't on one specific project as it is on long-term art goals.  Some of my dream goals I have would include designing artwork for  a company like "Leaning Tree" cards or to have my artwork hanging in a gallery in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.  Both of these goals would be confirmation to me that my art has reached a level in a venue that I have always greatly admired.  

5. What artists, of any medium, do you admire? (Famous or not!)

I have always admired the work of Robert Duncan and I had the great pleasure of visiting his gallery last summer when his original paintings were on display.  The colors were more vibrant that I could have imagined and his ability to capture the joy of simple country life reminds me of my own simple childhood growing up in the Ozark hills.  His art moves me!

Tim Gagnon is really who I credit as the influence that got me to pick up my brushes 4 years ago and now a couple hundred paintings later I'm still going strong.  His 12 week basic landscape course helped give me the confidence I needed to start painting after a 30 year life break.

My husband's cousin is a successful artist from Powell, Wyoming.  Mike Kopriva is a nice guy and a great artist. That is a winning combination and what a perk that we are actually related!

From the first time I saw the work of local Las Vegas artist, Lily Adamczyk I knew I wanted to get to know her better.   Her landscaping paintings are amazing and I felt that I could learn a great deal from her about art and the business of art from her.   I'm so blessed to call her my friend.  Her critique of my work has probably been the single greatest factor in my skill improvement over the past several years as an artist.  She doesn't hesitate to point out what I could do to improve my technique or composition.  I've learned so much from her as an artist and a friend.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

More Red Dots to Report

This past month I have the pleasure of seeing several of my pieces find new homes.  Getting to post an article about how much I love talking about RED DOTS is right up there with winning ribbons.  Selling a piece is the ultimate confirmation in my mind that your art is headed in the right direction.

"13 Pickers in my Pan" sold to a young man that came into City of the World on August First Friday event.

"Always Tea Time" was a commissioned piece for a special friend. 
Special Order cowbells finished and ready to ship off to Columbia Falls, Montana this week