Happy New Year everyone. I hope the holiday season has been treating you well. While doing the studio purge, I came upon some sketches from a couple of years back from a project I worked on at the Japanese Gardens here in Philadelphia. You can read about that visit here. *Video below*
The place enchants me but this visit in the cold and snow when it's usually closed was especially magical.
Materials I used were
Stillman & Birn large white watercolor sketchbook Pam Carriker's new inks: Barely Black and White Watercolors in earthy brown and indigo White oil pastel, paint marker Silver Sharpee Lately, I have been using artist tape to cover the spine area of the book. If the spread is one page only, I can then remove the tape easily.
If I was going to a desert island and could only take one piece of artwork with me, this is the one.
I fell in love with this guy when I was a teenager at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The whites in his dress: cool and warm, crisp and soft. The hand resting on his bent knee. His weight so convincingly resting on his foreshortened foot.
Every millimeter of his face and figure seems to ooze a dangerous power. My one and only bad boy.
The details in this painting are so rich and seemingly endless. I could look forever.
Austrian painter Eduard Charlemont painted this in 1878. It first hung in Paris. There is a rich history behind this painting and if you google it, you can find out more.
Notice the power in The Chief's dark skin and whites of his robe. The placement of his belt and the ornamentation around that area (ahem) that lead our eye down to that perfectly placed foot. He's loosely holding a knife in his right hand.
So, yes, I have a crush on him. With good reason. I have a print hanging in full view of my desk. A wonderful sight when I look up. A high standard of creativity and artistic mastery to spur me on and inspire me.
Playing with lettering is fun and easier than you think! It's like drawing and doodling with forms you are very familiar with. Jenny Doh's book Creative Lettering (link below) was my source of inspiration.
Use words and thoughts that are meaningful to you. I worked on Strathmore Bristol. Use a pencil to sketch out the words then go over them with pen. You can erase any mess ups, just draw lightly! I used Pitt Pen markers and Tombow's for color - any markers would do.
Here's the link for Jenny's book which is great for beginners. Like Zentangle, Lettering is something you can easily begin with a minimum of fuss. Brainstorm some words and phrases and keep that list handy while you lay out your page. It's really easy to make a spelling error (*ahem).
Making a little bit of art everyday is good for your head and your heart.
I'm having a great time making ATCs while busily prepping kits for my CREATE NJ classes. I decided to treat all of my students to some bases so they can get started during our classes on their own ATCs. Here's a system that allows me to make these tiny canvases anywhere, anytime.
For such little bits, there sure is a big variety of materials. This can be overwhelming! I've been working in stages on them. The first layer is usually a background stencil or stamp to break up the white. After a bunch of bases are done, I'll pull out the collage bits.
I have one cigar box filled with interesting scraps and another filled with ATC and Tag Art bases. All I need is my scissors and glue stick. Words seem to work well on ATCs so keep a dictionary handy too. Sometimes the focal point is collaged or stamped.
Markers are usually next for me just to color in some small areas or add a shadow. I like to use either stamp pads or pastels to do a bit of vignette. That adds a really nice touch. It's amazing what inking the edge of a card can do.
And finally (but sometimes in between ;) it's always washi tape. I've been enjoying 1/4" black drafting tape lately, too. It's such fun when a batch of little bits of art come together. Do you make ATCs or Tag Art? What are your favorite supplies? Here's my Tag Art board over on Pinterest if you want to follow it.
PS: CREATE NJ is next week (holy mackeral)
I'm teaching Beyond the Background on July 11. Blogpost here.
Pattern Crazy is a 3 hour class on Sat. evening July 12. Blogpost here.
What is that lurking in the bottomest slot of the blue bookcase?
Evidence of a zine addiction.
Capacity by Theo Ellsworth was wonderful. More of a well-illustrated story than a zine. I treasure mine. My other #1 favorite was Pisces Rising by TL Getz.
and a bit further down in the pile
Academic Excellence. Have an excellent weekend, my dear friends. I am busily shooting and editing videos for Watercolor Wildflowers. I've finally cracked the code to my new video app and the new iMovie app. App AAAACK! (Oh Goodie! This posts goes into the Unruly Posts category. I love putting things there. Much betterr than Etc. or Miscellaneous. Unruly is a very good thing to be. Except for hair. Especially in the summer. But other than that, unruly RULES :) That was a run on sentence in my mind. I just threw in some periods out of a sense of respect for you.
Need a quick art fix? Tag art: small bits of fun and a great surface to experiment upon. I buy tags by the box at the office supply store.
I used white gouache (gwash) as a resist. It's not really a resist, it changes the surface of the tag so that the paint (or ink) absorbs differently. You could use gouache, gesso, white paint. I applied it through a stencil and then let it dry.
After the gouache was dry, I sprayed a couple of different colors of ink onto the craft sheet and just ran the cards through the puddle. Keep warm and cool colors separate so they don't get muddy. Leave some open space.
After everything was dry (the next day), add some collage. I cut some birds and flowers out of previously beautified paper and added some pen work. How about stamping and coloring in on separate papers and then collaging them onto the tags? The flower on the left was done that way.
I'm thinking that birds and flowers deserve a written language. :) Have a Monday. They are never great but we soldier on.