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Thursday, 31 January 2013

Preparing For Art on the Go

I love to travel and I love to bring back some sketches to remind me of the places I visit. The challenge is to pack supplies lightly. Obviously, I can't take all my tubes of paint and canvases due to safety regulations and size and weight restrictions when flying so I have to pick and choose what I will take. This means having to decide what type of art I will do. Will I paint, draw, sew, journal?

I'm planning a trip into the Yukon and at this time of year it's snowy and cold so there won't be much work done en plein air (in the outdoors). But I will have a two hour layover in Vancouver airport and I hate wasting time so I think I'll have supplies available for sketching. I will also have plenty of time on the plane to do something so I've started some fabric cards and all I have left to do is the handstitching and the sewing on of embellishments which can easily be done in my seat. I've packaged each card and it's embellishments as well as thread, needle, and nail clipper (I don't think I'll get through security with scissors) separately in sandwich bags so all I have to do is pull a bag out and I'll have everything I need to finish the card off.

Sandwich bags with unfinished fabric cards, embellishment, needle, thread, nail clippers.

My sketching kit with sketch book, pencils, micron pens and watercolour pencils placed in a large freezer bag.
I have also packed a small watercolour pallet with watercolour paint and short paintbrushes and some watercolour paper cut to the same size as the pallet which will also go into a large freezer bag. I'll use these items to do quick watercolour studies of scenes I will later reproduce in my home studio. Along with the studies, I'll use photos I've taken with  my camera.

I am hoping I can keep up my blog while I'm away so check in next Thursday for a blog on the inspiration I find in the Yukon.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

The Wonder of the Webinar

I just think technology is amazing. I was able to attend an art workshop.......from my studio. I used my I-pad to link into a live webinar today. That is so cool. And they even planned it for my art day! I guess this doesn't count as a real workshop such that I have on my goals for 2013 list because it doesn't really get me out among other artists but I did take notes and I could also type in questions that I had. Apparently they will be doing this once per month this year and I plan to fully take advantage of it since it's free.

Today I also continued working on my Algonquin Park painting and I really think it is coming along well. I tackled the foreground and went back into the trees. I also made some minor changes to the water. I do however, have a dilemma. Do I put some wildlife in it or not. When I look at it the only evidence of life is the canoes and although the area was very quiet with no wildlife to be seen, I'm wondering whether to put in some Loons floating on the calm water. I drew some on little bits of tracing paper and taped them to the painting to see what it would look like. Perhaps my readers could give me their opinions on it.

I have also been busy working on a quilt with a friend of mine. We do these quilts and donate them to our local Christian School's silent auction. Quilting with someone else is a really nice way to complete large quilts and also gives us some social time together. Below are all the squares we made. They still have to be sewn together, then it will be placed on batting and a backing, and then a border will be sewn around it. When that's all done, we will machine quilt it. It is quite a traditional design but it was made with mostly batik fabrics which are some of my favourite textiles.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

2013 Art Goals

Ok, I sat down and wrote out a list of my goals for 2013. It's a good thing to do to ensure that quality finished artwork will be accomplished. Otherwise I might just be satisfied with "playing" and experimenting in my studio and end up not producing any finished works.

At the top of my list I wrote, "Do a sketch at least once per week". I have wanted to better my sketching and drawing skills yet I never take the time to draw unless I am planning a painting. This way I will increase my skills of observation and putting down value.

The first sketches of the year. It will be interesting to see how my skills increase and how the subject matter changes over the year.

Secondly, I will continue to make fabric cards for my friends and family.

I haven't taken an art course in a long time and I think I need to do that this year just to get out and be with other artists. Perhaps I can pick up some new skills and ideas.

I have one more wall quilt to do in my Seasons Series and that is a summer one so another goal is to start a Summer Art Quilt.

Last year I entered an art Project online that had me creating a piece of artwork I had to install in a public place and photograph there. I thoroughly enjoyed the project and it was cool seeing my art hanging from a bridge in the middle of Toronto. I would like to enter another project or challenge this year.

On the bottom of my list is, "Clean out my studio". It is something that will take some time which is why it is the last thing on my list, however, it is the first thing I did. I'm not completely finished because as any artist knows, once you uncover things that you didn't remember you had, you get all kinds of inspiration and you want to use it right away. It is hard then to get rid of stuff but I do have a large garbage bag full.

My list is fairly fluid in that what I've written so far I will work hard to complete, however, I will probably add some things. I already have two projects that I need to complete this year for other people. The ideas for one of them are bouncing around my head and I haven't yet nailed down what I'm going to do. The other is a commissioned piece that I am awaiting instructions on.

I believe I will be busy and productive this year!

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Collage Card

I've been experimenting with Collage a little bit and also was interested in recycling things to make art.
I found an old Agatha Christie novel that I had two of in my book case and used the pages as the base of my Collage card.

I tore the pages from the book and using acrylic matt medium I glued four pages together and then painted gesso on the front and back lightly to seal them so they would be able to take painting and gluing. You can still see some of the print through the gesso.
Then I put a light layer of paint on the front and the back using an old credit card instead of a brush to apply it. The paint has taken on the texture of the gesso layer.
Now I begin to collage using ribbon fabric stencils and anything I can find. I even tried used tea bags which I emptied and rinsed and dried and then painted with watercolour inks.

tea bags
 This is a fun activity and enables you to use those scraps you've been saving because you might need them some day.

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Blessed New Year and Back in the Studio

Wishing all my blog followers a Blessed New Year and a positive start to 2013 with many resolutions that are realistic but will also help you to grow and be a positive influence to those around you.

December as it turned out became a busy, busy month for me. As I finished off Christmas gifts, hosted two family Christmas Dinners and spent time with out-of-town family, I neglected the blog.......and the studio. Well, today was spent back among my fabric, paints, papers, paint brushes and studio clutter. I enjoyed it immensely.

 I was able to spend some time on my Algonquin Park painting adding more colour and detail to the foreground, giving weight and substance to the rocks, giving the canoes some form. Slowly it is developing into a true likeness although I am taking some artistic license and adding some rocks and such for a better balanced composition. The canoes were actually white but I plan to change their colour to make them more interesting. I also still plan to darken the water and do some work on the sky.

I have not made resolutions but perhaps I will sit down and make a list of what I wish to complete art-wise in this year. I do know that I will continue to make art that I will give away and use to brighten someone's day. Perhaps I will post that list on my blog in the future.