Here’s a video of me painting a whimsical blue haired girl in my art journal. This journal is an altered book – an old textbook to be precise. For this portrait, I used a few different mediums – Inktense pencils, chalk pastel, and a wash of acrylic paint for the background at the very end. I hope you enjoy watching this, and please subscribe to my channel if you’d like to see more.
First of all, Happy New Year! I think lots of us were ready for a fresh start, or at least something that feels like one. Here’s my little family this morning celebrating 2017:
I’m starting a brand new journal for the new year. I usually just keep on trucking through whatever book I’m using but it just so happens that my current book only has a handful of pages left anyway. Since it’s a spiral bound book, I’ll just yank the blank pages out and move to another book. But what book?? I had a couple of things in mind to use that I thought I might get as gifts but I didn’t, and I didn’t really have a back up plan. So now it’s January 1st and I’m in a full on panic! More on that later. For now, here’s my current (well as of yesterday?) journal – #17 in this never ending series. I started this book on August 1st, 2016, so it’s been with me for a solid 6 months.
NOW WHAT??? I’m starting to hyperventilate because I don’t have a plan! I have some options. First, I’ve been toying with the idea of doing a loose leaf journal for literally YEARS. Basically, I’d have my choice of paper every day – I could use any size, color, weight, etc, and then use a 3 hole punch to bind the pages into a regular old binder. I have everything I need right this second to make this happen. This feels exciting because I can use whatever suits me – a take out menu from the place I had lunch could be the day’s canvas. On a particularly boring day I could use a small piece of paper so I don’t have the pressure of filling a large page with literally nothing. I’d probably only do single sided pages for this which would also give me more flexibility in the materials and techniques I use – I’d never have to worry about markers or paints bleeding through to the back side and I could use staples or brads whenever I like. The downside here is that as exciting as this feels, it’s TERRIFYING for some reason. It seems crazy and scary to go along willy nilly with no idea what paper I’ll use and to not have an actual “book” with pre-determined pages. Part of me thinks that being scared is all the more reason to DO IT. I’ll never grow as an artist if I just keep doing what feels easy and comfortable, right?? So much easier said than done, though. I may still do this, and if I do, I’ll commit to at least 3 months so I can say that I’ve properly tried it. I think that’s enough time to experiment and either get comfortable or realize that it just isn’t for me.
I also have a spiral bound book I got at a thrift store. It’s brand new, and exactly the same size as the book I’m using now. It’s got a creamy, very toothy paper that’s pretty heavy – almost card stock. I did some media tests on the very last page and it’s nice. Very little bleeding and nice texture. But fairly boring and safe.
So as of writing this, I’m undecided and super stressed. What do you think?? Any suggestions or advice?
Inktober does have a list of prompts, but I decided to go it alone and just draw whatever I felt like drawing. That has turned out to be mostly animals so far! Here are my next 3. Mostly drawn with my Lamy Joy fountain pen and Noodler’s Heart of Darkness black ink. I added a bit of colored pencil as well. I hope you like them!
I’m participating in Inktober this year! It’s a challenge to create an ink drawing every day during the month of October. I probably won’t post the drawings here every day, but I’ll update once a week or so. Here’s my first, a bunny I drew with my Lamy Joy and Noodler’s Heart of Darkness ink. Cheers!
A good friend of mine plays guitar and drums & invited me to record vocals for one of his songs. So here’s our cover of Gigantic by the Pixies. I’ve always loved Kim Deal, and I’m not too sure I did her justice, but it sure was a blast! Enjoy!
I’m taking an art class to learn how to write and draw comics. The first assignment was to draw a 2 page autobiographical comic. TWO. PAGES. That seems like so much. I looked through some of the other students early submissions and they were REALLY great. I’ve been so stressed out and nervous about this and I wasn’t sure what to do or what to write about and I don’t know how to draw comics and I’m not a good enough artist and what am I doing in this class in the first place and WHEEEEW. So much inner critic monkey on my back. I finally shoved a banana in his pie hole to shut him up and got to work. This is not the greatest comic in history, but I’m very proud of it. I thought it was going to take forever, but once I had my ideas together and actually got to work on it, it flowed. I definitely need some work to get my narrative to be more compelling and cohesive, and I need to practice using space more effectively, but overall, I’m happy with how this turned out. I hope you like it, too. You can click each page to see the larger version.
Last night my husband & I went to a pottery class at a local art school. It was a one night session, and it was broken into 2 parts. First, we learned about Raku pottery – it’s a very interesting Japanese style of pottery that dates back to the 15th century. We glazed premade clay pots with Raku glaze and then they were fired in a kiln. Once fired, the red hot pots were dropped into metal buckets with organic material – paper and sawdust. After a few minutes, they were cooled in the snow, then scrubbed clean and dried. The results were incredible! We had a blast glazing the pots and the colors and patterns that come out of this unpredictable firing technique are so beautiful. For my pot I chose base colors of blue, green and yellow with thick splashes of metallic copper. I am really just so impressed with the results. Here’s what my finished pot looks like – and trust me, the photo doesn’t even do it justice:
The glazing process is interesting because the glazes look nothing like the colors will after firing. You sort of have to go on instinct. Plus, all of the beautiful crackle texture and color blending is impossible to predict because the glaze literally melts in the kiln. In fact, if you get glaze on the bottom of your pot, it sticks to the brick kiln and acts like melted cheese. Here’s a before firing picture of my husband’s and my pot to give you an idea of what I mean about how the fire brings out the color and texture. Mine is the smaller pot on the right – hard to believe it’s the same pot in the picture above!
The second part of the class was using the pottery wheel to throw and pull clay. It was REALLY fun, but also frustrating. It’s not the sort of skill that you can pick up in an evening because it takes lots of practice and skill, but it’s really cool to try to sculpt a lump of wet clay into something as it spins between your hands. I love to get my paws dirty creating something so I enjoyed every second of it anyway. Our instructor had many many years of pottery experience, and his demo made it look very easy, but I can assure you it’s not. He made this in literally 5 minutes, and after 2 hours I had only succeeded in making several shapeless, spinning lumps. 🙂
This was such a fun experience. We try to get to these evening workshops at the art school whenever we can, and this one was probably my favorite so far. It was a very enjoyable experience, and as a bonus, we got to bring home 2 beautiful pieces of pottery. 🙂