The first day of the New Year is always a bit disorienting for me. I try to look ahead to all that needs to be done while trying not to carry forward too much from 2017. I update all my calendars to look over the upcoming year while trying not be overwhelmed. I always need to remember it is just one day at a time and to treat each day as its own unique experience. I hope to have lots to share with you in the upcoming weeks. The pictures on the post today are of my final projects of December. The first is my thoughts as I worked quietly away on Christmas Eve
Thursday, December 14, 2017
December days are flying by at an alarming speed. I am further behind on my tasks than I want to be, but I that seems to be how I work! I wanted to share some pink joywith you. My Christmas 2017 Festive Flourish is online on my youtube channel. Thank you for following the blog and taking time to email me. You have brightened my days for me this year and I amd grateful to you. I have met some friends through this blog. Some dear people have met me in my workshops and have told me that they appreciate the blog posts. Thank you for your kindness!!! I hope you can enjoy some December tranquil moments!
Thursday, November 30, 2017
November is just a blink now. It seems like the month barely started and now it is over. I have my Christmas envelopes addressed and ready to send so I am in good shape there. I have lots of work in front of me to do and I am determined to catch up on things. My online presence may be less than usual but I will do my best to keep my blog updated. If you are interested in my teaching schedule for 2018 please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send it out to you. 2018 is filled to capacity and I have bookings all the way into 2020 which seems so far off!
I spend less time in the house these days and more in the studio which is fully functional now. When I do come into the house, Oscar is always willing to help me take photos! I think he misses being by my side while I work, but I have to say, I am getting more work done with fewer distractions.
I completed my final module of a botanical art class that has been done through correspondence with a tutor in England. It has been a wonderful experience. The studies of botanical art have improved my observation skills. I still have so much to learn about watercolour, paper, drawing etc but I feel like I am equipped with more tools to get me to my end goal. Of all of the botanical studies I have been doing, I seem to prefer painting fruits and vegetables to actual flowers. Shopping for groceries takes so much longer as that whole produce section is brimming with potential future painting studies. I will continue to pursue these studies as time allows.
Hope you have had wonderful November. This last photo is my most recent commission. I will end up keeping this one for myself and redoing this on larger paper. I used a paper that I was not happy with. It is Strathmore Bristol Vellum paper and while good for ink work, it doesn't hold the depth that I want for the watercolour work. I always keep in mind that mistakes teach us something. Just learn the lesson and move on.
Thursday, November 2, 2017
I hope this doesn't seem like I am rushing the holiday season. Far from it...I want to slow it down. I love the sparkle, the joy and the time to work!
Friday, October 20, 2017
I get very reflective as I watch the seasons change.
The last photo for now is of my desk in place. The studio is still quite bare but it feels like home. I want to run out there every morning and enjoy the quiet space. I have so many projects to catch up on and it feels like an exciting new beginning.
Thursday, October 12, 2017
At my last workshop, I was given some samples of watercolour paper to test out. The first on my list was Fluid 100 Hot Press paper. This is very affordable paper and I wanted to try some out but had not yet placed an order. I am so grateful to Gretchen for sharing some of this lovely paper with me. I am currently testing it for gilding, inking, erasing, dry brush and wet on wet glazing technqiques. Across the board I would give it high marks. It gilds brilliantly. The shine of the gold is brilliant on this paper. I was able to erase lines easily and inking with McCaffery Brown was as expected on this paper. No surprises. I can build up lots of detail with dry brush techniques. Layer after layer went into the owl and the paper is wonderful for holding tiny details.
When I tried wet on wet techniques for the apple leaf, I did not stretch the paper. I applied washes liberally on the small surface. There was very slight buckling of the paper but as the glazes dried, the paper flattened. The washes soak into the paper and I think the paint dulled slightly more than I am used to. I tried lifting out the veins and the highlight of the leaf and had some success with that. I will continue to layer the leaf with more glazes and dry brush. I like what I see on this paper and think it is defintlely worth investing in. I will try a full engrossed project on this paper and report back. Thank you Gretchen! Love this paper!
Monday, September 18, 2017
It seems like I am in a relentless race with the clock. Days pass quickly into weeks and then months. We are in September and it seems like just a breath since I was planting my garden in Spring. I don't know where the time goes. I have so many projects that await completion. Sometimes it gets so frustrating to leave things undone to hit another deadline. But new classes are in the works for 2018. I will be releasing a border flourishing class called Line Dances and I will be including this new chapter in the flourishing book that I am still working on!
Thursday, August 24, 2017
I can't believe its been a month since my last post. Lots has happened! Working hard here at home as well as getting ready for my last few workshops of the year. My time in Hong Kong was a whirlwind. I met so many wonderful and eager students. I have memories to cherish of that wonderful trip.
Good to be home, unpacked and finally over jet lag! I am taking some time to go over my sagging bookshelves. Soon I will be moving my library into my new studio space. I need to go through all of my books and figure out what I need to keep and what I need to pass on. I have been studying botanical art for the past two years or so. I have so much to learn and I love where the botanical path is taking me. Mary Ann Scott's Botanical Sketchbook is so inspiring.
Tuesday, July 25, 2017
The journey of an artist takes a lifetime.
Sunday, July 16, 2017
Post IAMPETH convention is always tough. For an entire week we get to mingle with our own kind.
Friday, June 30, 2017
Legion Papers. It has withstood a lot of testing and even dry brush watercolour work is promising on this paper. That's it for now!!! Hoping to post more in July if I can win the battle of the clock.
Sunday, June 11, 2017
Just finished a private tutorial session with a student across the miles. It was a delight to meet her this way and answer her quesitons personally as well as let her shape the lessons we chose to explore. It was inspiring to see how many notes she had taken and her practice work! What a delight. This morning she wanted to learn more about applying colour to a flourish and flourishing around corners.
Tuesday, May 23, 2017
Back home after a teaching weekend with the Chicago Calligraphy Collective. It was a great weekend meeting new students and seeing familiar faces. The venue was moved to The Irish American Cultural Centre which was a fascinating backdrop for the class. I could hear Irish music being practiced, strolled through the huge library of Irish books and even peeked in on a dancing class!
I did not photograph all of the tutorial projects we worked on but did manage to get a shot of the Florentine inspired pink foliate spray. We work through all of the stages of design and then painting these small, decorative sprays.
Now I am in process of unpacking my tools and cleaning up the studio space. This is my longest stretch home before more travel begins in July. I am always feeling that my tools are familiar friends. I have those who travel with me and those who only come out to play while I am home. This is especially true of my palettes.