Wednesday, November 7, 2018

G is for Good Idea

Every so often I learn some new technique, in this case a blend of materials, that results in a great improvement, or solves a problem. I found a great idea in a lesson I found on Pinterest.

I learned that you can both oil and chalk pastels in the same work. Who knew?

 to use oil pastel to outline and soft pastel to fill, I knew I wanted to try this. What makes this such a good idea is that the oil pastel holds the chalk pastel in place somewhat. I like lines and clear delineation between spaces, so to draw this floral, I used black oil pastel to outline on black construction paper and soft pastel in the brightest colors to fill. I rubbed a soft layer of blue chalk  into the background.

I used this method time after time in my summer drawing and painting workshops at MAC, and the results were always excellent.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

F is for Fungus Five Ways

As the rainy season commences here, I've been noticing mushrooms popping up all around the park where we walk our dogs.

Between yesterday and today I could see that several of the clusters had grown in size, or changed in shape, appearing to bloom out. In an open field I could see an huge cluster shining yellow in the dry grass. There were also new groups clinging to rocks, and a variety I had not seen before growing in the bark mulch. So I asked them all politely to pose for pictures, and then grouped their portraits into a collage. Fun with fungus today.

Monday, November 5, 2018

E is for Exploration

Today's image is a drawing - typical of my style with drawing flowers - that I then worked on in Photoshop - exploring each of the available filters and combining some to create the eventual result - which I love.

Over the years, one of my favorite aspects of the everyday challenge is giving myself time to play with images to create something new. I have always loved my digital tools - and the freedom they allow me to create wild and beautiful new images from something I have created by hand.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

D is for Daylight Savings Time (DONE)

We turned back the clocks last night. ARRGH. I love the light - the longer the days the happier I am. To counteract the instantaneous urge to hibernate that comes upon me every year at this time, we (husband and dogs) took a long walk in a lovely park. We've never walked here before. I loved the wide open vista of the sky, the gold of the grass, and the light and the darks of the clouds … so beautiful.

 So, here is today's art. Mother Nature made it, I just captured it to share. It brightened my day. I hope it does yours too.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

C is for Charming, creative and colorful (AKA Children's Art)

No description of my work is complete without mention of my greatest inspiration and pleasure - the kids' classes that I teach. I've been doing this for years, and every year I am dazzled by the work that appears on our studio.

Yesterday, we had the privilege of hanging a display of art from the 6 to 9 year old class at a local library. The pride and pleasure of the young artists seeing their work matted and ready to hang for ALL THE WORLD to see is pure delight all around. To prepare for the display I focused this term's lessons on the season - apples, owls, and trees. Each project was done in a different medium to give the young artists a chance to discover how each works, and which they like the best.  As you can see, the results were wonderful.

Friday, November 2, 2018

B is for Blending Beautiful Blues

One of the challenges of working in colored pencil, which is what I am currently doing (because I am enrolled in the only class that fits my schedule), is working in my abstract style.

The other artists in my class, some of whom are world class impressive, work realistically. They are rendering skin tones in lovely portraits, creating incredibly detailed landscapes, and duplicating photos to perfection. I don't want to do that. I know how to copy, but at this time my interest is in creating work that has MY own look and feel.

I find that it is fairly easy in pastel or caran d'ache to create my imaginary worlds and abstract flowers, but color pencil is slow and detailed. So, I am trying to figure out what I can get from them that speaks to my style.

Which brings me to color. I must say that I am enjoying the process of layering colors and blending them together to create depth and dimension. The image on this page is actually copied from a photo of a Pacific Island seen from above. I spent hours just building the colors and finally arriving at something that feels both abstract and familiar. A map perhaps? I used numerous blues and several blenders to create the effect.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

A is for Another Year and an Assignment

I think this is either the eighth or ninth year in a row that I have taken part in this Challenge. I learn something every year, and always make a lot of art. I also enjoy looking at the other work that is produced.

Lately, to be honest, I've not been very creative, I have other things on my mind. So, I am hoping that the act of creating art every day will re-stimulate my art energy and get me back on track.

In an attempt to do this, I am currently taking a Color Pencil class at MAC. I took this class last year, and got a lot out of it. This year frankly, I am feeling bored and uninspired. As much a I love it, color pencil is slow and lacks the boldness I tend to like - nonetheless, I am finding little color pencil assignments for myself to build some skills that I hope will carry over to painting, when I finally get back to doing that.

One of the things I have been playing with is shading. So, this group of rocks seemed like a perfect way to practice creating the illusion of depth and light. And it was extremely relaxing to delicately layer the color pencil from dark to light. And, it reminds me of the beach.