Abstract Elements

Making marks

Black Uniball pen and muted watercolors in my Hobonichi planner. Random explorations with color and line.

There is a sense of play that mark making provides. It frees up expectations and allows the hand and mind to wander together on a page.

Grey Toned Journals

Stillman & Birn Nova Series

I had a chance to try out the grey-toned Nova Series paper by Stillman & Birn this past weekend. I tried using various materials, including: water soluble oil pastels, grease pencils, regular graphite, colored pencil, gouache and acrylic paints.

I liked the way the paper handled all the materials, and the colors contrast nicely with the grey background. So far, nothing has bled through to the other side!

Friday in my art studio

Painting and staying warm

I know that I have nothing to really complain about when it comes to cold weather, but seriously, this cold snap in the south is getting old. The little space heater in my Florida home art studio is helping me cope. I just keep thinking about our brutal summer temps and 5K training in the heat last year, and I think I’d rather be sweating than freezing. Yes, I’ll take the heat. I’m no longer a New York winter girl. Waiting for the warm up–come on Florida!

Here are some photos of the things happening in the studio this week! I’ve finished submitting my paintings for a competition (more about that later), and I’ve started some small works (5×5 inch) mixed media studies on canvas paper. It’s so much fun to work in the square format–and working small allows me try new things and experiment for larger pieces.

Have a wonderful Friday everyone!

Contemporary Charcoal Drawing Video

The beginning of a contemporary abstract painting…

Yesterday I was reorganizing the studio, going out to look at art supplies, and generally not painting anything at all. Some days you just can’t force the process–even with a painting deadline on the horizon. An artist learns to trust that ideas will happen only when the time is right…

But this morning the muse “magic” that totally defies logic kicked in at 5:30 am. Yes, creativity demanded attention–before coffee–before I felt even half-way human; yet, who am I to argue the time of day that inspiration decides to appear?

I figured if I could get this charcoal drawing idea out of the brain and on to my paper, then I could happily stumble to the kitchen and fix myself a cup of morning coffee.

So it happened. And the coffee was good. And the day will be filled with painting.

 

Derwent Inktense pencils

Contemporary Sketches in my Leuchtturm sketchbook

I always forget about this Leuchtturm sketchbook. I have far too many notebooks here in the studio. But this particular sketchbook by Leuchtturm has nice smooth, thick pages. The surface works well with colored pencil and graphite art.

Derwent Inktense pencils and graphite in my Leuchtturm sketchbook
I love how vibrant these become when water is added!

Adding small details and floating images in transparent layers is one of my favorite approaches to contemporary art.

Month of Hobonichi fruits

Art journaling exotic and familiar fruits

For the month of May, I joined up with a group of Instagram artists to illustrate fruits for each day in our Hobonichi notebooks. Some of these fruits were very new to me, and so I was happy, that along with an artistic prompt benefit, there was an educational perk as well. Now I have several fruits that I am determined to find so I can sample all the delicious qualities that other people have been chatting about on my Instagram feed.

I chose to keep it fairly simple with watercolors, ink, and graphite. And so far, I am happy to say I have kept up with this project. Thirty-one days seems like a more manageable timeline for endurance as compared to the 100 day challenge that admittedly took more tenacity. So… here are my fruity offering so far…

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Speedball lino carving some new stamps

Speedball carving tools for mixed media projects…

Today it was rainy and quite dreary looking outside here in Central Florida, not to mention a few powerful thunderstorms rolled on through. I decided to stay inside for the day and play in the art studio. I had a small piece of Speedball pink carving rubber that I found in “the” closet, and I thought carving would be a great way to relax and listen to the rain while keeping myself busy.

There are a lot of wonderful YouTube videos on how to use lino cutting tools, so I won’t give a detailed account of technique. Just remember to keep your fingers out of the way. And when you want to make curved lines, turn the rubber underneath the cutting tool… things go a lot smoother that way. 😉

For this coffee stamp I must admit that I did not sketch on paper and then transfer onto the rubber, but you should. I figured it would be easy enough use a smooth ballpoint pen and just draw on the rubber directly. Luckily for me, my brain flipped the letters around correctly, and when I printed the stamp the word “coffee” was readable. This is no small miracle. But some days, art studio magic happens.

I also just used the direct “draw on the rubber” technique (do not judge my impatience!) LOL for the rest of these stamps. I was on a roll, finishing quite a few designs today. But I am almost out of tins–my tin stash is slowly being depleted. Sigh. I guess I will have to go tin shopping again soon! For those who know me, there aren’t enough tins in the universe. Tin obsession!!!!

Happy carving friends. Please keep all your fingers!