Ok so maybe the mermaid doesn't walk. But they each have a vodka tonic and exchange advice on world domination.
This is a special trio of women that I created for a giveaway on Instagram, the likes of which you should not miss! I worked very long hours to bring out the best of each. I'll be doing these regularly until I'm satisfied that my work has circulated! If you want to be in on the next giveaway, subscribe here. Chances are I will draw my next winner from my email list. But more on that later...
In this post I'm gonna show you some progress pictures of these works. I'll tell you what I used and creative problems I had along the way. I call this a "Process Lab" and you can find more posts like this, some with video, here. Let's get started with my first giveaway prize, Mermaid!
Mexico was amazing! The beauty of the city was breathtaking! There's so much color and history to explore, I didn't even get to see it all. I took about a million pictures, a few of which I'll share below. I'll be going over my reference photos to inspire some beautiful paintings of urban life and landscapes.
I picked up a word or two on my trip, and became a little better at following Spanish in conversation. I learned how different my perspective and reality were of the country in general. I got to see a real Dia de Muertos celebration in the cemetery. It's not the painted faces, and parades we often see here. There were countless rows of beautiful white tombstones covered in flowers and statues, with the mountains as a backdrop. I saw gorgeous altars all over the city, colorful murals, artsy cafes, and so much great architecture! Here are just a few of the photos I took...
I walked outside and was brushed with cool wind and cloudy skies overhead. I love autumn. When I was a kid, Halloween was my most favorite time of year! I grew up being scared most of the time, and to this day I can't sleep without a night light, but it was fun! At least thinking back on it now it seems so. I can confess some spooky tales of childhood trauma and my creative older sister if you hang with me a moment.
Firstly, Inktober is a fun time in October where artists of every level and location, post a work each day of month. Thirty-one drawings for Halloween usually. Last year I participated it was quite fun to see all the participants using the #inktober hashtag. Its a fun way to discover other artists' work and practice your skills. Its also a great way to get new fans of your work, since a lot more people follow the hashtag and look at it everyday to see the new stuff!
If you're an artist, you like drawing, or you're just curious then you should definitely take a look at this collective building event! You don't have to do scary, most people just do what they like, and even paint or add their own flourish. I use it as a time to practice drawing in brush ink, quill, pen, and marker. You can check out my last year's work in the "Related Articles" at the end of the post. Here is what I have so far, take a look and then I'll take you back to my haunted house in 1992.
Mature Content Ahead!
Halloween is fast approaching and its my favorite time of the year so I have no problem starting early! First off, I love reading graphic novels! There are so many to read that I can't hardly keep up, and I have so many on my wishlist I'll be broke forever! Luckily I'm now a card-carrying member of the Geek Literati, that is, I finally got my library card! Amazingly they have some stock of popular titles I've been waiting to read. Below I've reviewed some witchy ones, just in time for the season. Let me tell you what I love, and maybe you'll be just as inspired as I am.
The first I'll mention is The Unwritten: Volume 2, that I picked up at the library. I had to start with Volume 2 first because the first volume wasn't there. The story is very easy to pick up, and is loosely, or very obviously, tied to Harry Potter! I love Harry Potter, which is what intrigued me about this book. Mind you, its a blatant rip-off, as many ideas start in comic books, but it takes the reader on a different kind of journey. In this series, Tom Taylor is the son of a writer who has written a popular childrens book about a boy wizard named Tommy Taylor! The world is obsessed with Tommy Taylor much to the chagrin of his namesake. Tom is a nobody aside from his name, and purposeful likeness to the fictional character. Things begin to take a turn in Book One when Tom is kidnapped by a deranged fan at a comic convention who looks exactly like the book's villain Ambrosio, an immortal vampire.
The fictitious book serves as a parody of sorts of the Harry Potter stories, but also it stylistically comments on the very real events affecting "real-life" Tom. And soon, the book world and reality begin to merge. The magic begins when Tom Taylor is not just a mirror of Tommy Taylor, but their worlds are colliding. It becomes as if the collected love and belief of the fans of Tommy Taylor are bringing the book to life! I know its the dream of any Harry Potter fan! The use of this narrative device is genius to comment on celebrity/hero worship, and the confines of what we know as reality.
Now a word of caution, these graphic novels are labeled for young adults, and if you haven't read comic books in a while, you may be surprised at how adult is "young adult" because there is graphic violence involved. The story is very much for an older audience while still maintaining a hint of irreverent innocence for comedic value or to further define the boundaries of innocence vs. depravity. In this particular volume, Tom Taylor is arrested for the deaths of a number of prominent writers, and is sent to a prison to await trial in France. The children of the prison warden are kept sheltered from the news of Tom's imprisonment as they are big fans of Tommy and the magical book series. And one of the fun moments, shows a man that is trapped in a storybook much like Winnie the Pooh inside the body of a rabbit, and begins to go mad trying to escape it, all the while cussing and belittling the other inhabitants of his whimsical prison. Even the artwork of the novel changes to reflect the different worlds.
"You can't help it. An artist's duty, as far as I'm concerned, is to reflect the times."
I'm not a political artist. I'm just an artist. I consider myself proficient in the ability to create using many different mediums. I don't do politics because its messy, and opinionated and sometimes rude. I make things that I find beautiful. I make fantasy worlds, people, and things. Things that reflect the beauty I see in the world. Maybe you are the same. In politics there are one too many arguments and it all ends up as noise, and nothing changes. Might as well not even bother. What do fairies, mermaids, and unicorns have to to do with modern politics anyway? I ask myself this many times when I'm confronted with conflict of the real world. Maybe I can just make something pretty that will distract from the cruel world, and offer an escape. Escape would be nice. But that is harder and harder to find in these times.
While the magazines are urging the masses to get in shape for summer, artists are luckily preoccupied with getting their palettes ready for summer. At least they should be! Don't get trapped in your studio while everyone else enjoys some sun. The outdoors, the fresh breeze, the great light are just as important to your art as it is your body. I know creatives have a tendency to want to stay behind closed doors not bothered, and sometimes unkempt! But consider what a room with a view can do. Consider how much you might fight to have your desk next to a window. Even better, how much you might love a desk with no walls, and a lake view! Lets not overlook the value of parks! Of cute bistros, and coffee shops, bustling with activity, or benches overlooking a great street or skyline. This is urban sketching. This is plein-air painting. This is you outside the entrapment of four walls! Introverts can still find somewhere quiet like the picture above. Me and my studio partner shared this picnic table next to the lake and painted hills, trees, and birds. It was great! It's not my usual subject matter, but that's not the point!
Have you been putting off your creativity? Have you always wanted to draw or paint, but thought that you're not "a real artist" so why bother? Do you want to learn a tip or two and express the ideas you've been longing to get out of you? This should be fun. Art is for everyone. Even small children know that they don't need a degree to color their world and express themselves. Now you can find "adults only" classes where you can have fun while having a few drinks and making art! I want to empower you to draw and paint like you've always wanted. For fun as a hobbyist, or if you're looking to sharpen some skills that have been long neglected, I think this series will help get the ball rolling. I have simple demonstrations, and will later add more detailed tutorials if you happen to like it, and want to see more! Welcome to the Quick & Dirty Artist Series! Video demos on the basics: eyes, lips, hands, and whatever else you might need, all in a quick format that encourages messiness. In my opinion, getting messy encourages quick decisions that lead to happy accidents, expressiveness, and inventiveness. This is your invitation to make art with me and be free. So lets get to it.
This book is an invaluable resource to the budding artist. It starts with the artist's mind. It doesn't teach you techniques, and it doesn't promise you success, but it does open up mental blocks that artists get from frustration and insecurity. This book is about making ordinary art, and dispelling the fears that come with not being good enough or talented enough.
New year is bringing a new studio, so I am on the move! Please stay tuned for updates on the new location, I'll be posting regularly to Instagram.
I hope everyone is having a great start to the year. I'll be staying creative while on the move. I have some projects in the works for upcoming shows. I will also be taking some sneak photos of my sketchbooks, while I'm updating that section of my website.
There is a lot to look forward to this year!
got the Buddha Board Mini in hopes of getting some practice in with my ink brushing skills. I have to say its the coolest thing since the Etch-A-Sketch. And its for adults! Not only is it a perfect practice for mark making, its also a zen tool. Much like the tabletop zen garden, with sand, rocks, and a rake, this is also designed to enhance calm, and practice "the art of letting go." Creating and watching each mark fade is very meditative, and each time you become closer to becoming a monk. Just kidding. If you find meditation hard, maybe you can give this a go. The video below will quickly show you some of the things that came and went as I draw across the magic surface.
nktober is an annual challenge an artist takes on every October to draw in ink at least once a day. It has grown into a worldwide endeavor with thousands of artists taking on the challenge every year, in order to improve inking skills and develop positive drawing habits. Typically it's easier said than done, but the last couple of years I've managed to create some cool work out of it. This year I've incorporated some new tools with Le Pen in various colors and Gelly Roll gel pens. I'll post some for you here, and hopefully you can become inspired to take on the challenge yourself!
If you love making art, as much as I do, then you know what a struggle it can be. It is revealing, and frightening. Sitting in your
studio you may wonder why fight or flight is kicking in when there's nothing but a blank sheet of paper in front of you! Maybe you feel your art isn't good enough? Maybe you think
you're not good enough? And what is good anyway?
Even though I've sold works and exhibited in galleries, I get page fright. How does this happen?! In this series of posts I'll call "Process Lab" I'll
show you how I get started and step by step my process for you. It is my hope that you will see what I go through each step of the way and see that starting is the hardest part. Then
actually continuing is the next hardest. Your talent is not a big factor, and it certainly isn't what makes you "worthy" to create art. Look at what I've outlined for you here, and
then I'll tell you what I've learned about worthiness.
Teaching others can be key to continued education and bringing fresh perspective to your work. When you find yourself at a standstill, you can always find someone who needs your expertise. Even if it’s not in a teaching capacity, there is a wealth of knowledge inside us that we take for granted, and can be useful to others around us. We also find the time to truly contemplate our direction and methods by giving in to the [potential] peace that impatience can force upon us.
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