Monday, December 15, 2014

Brown Drawing Paper, Part Two

About three years ago I posted about working on brown paper, and to this day that's the most-clicked post on my blog. It seems a LOT of people are looking for information about it.

I still like Rives BFK Tan (technically, it's printmaking paper) more than any other paper I use. But these days I use a lot more watercolor on my Rives paper. Also, in the time since I wrote that previous post, I've discovered Micron pens.

The fine black lines you see in these three pieces are all Micron pen. Lightfast, waterproof, great for mixed media work.

If you make art you may have found that, when you scan a thing you created in watercolor, your scanner kills the colors deader than a doornail. Your greens and yellows turn brown, your oranges get burnt, it all goes sideways, and there's not much your photo-editing program can do to fix any of it.

For reasons I do not understand, this problem is much less pronounced with watercolors on tan paper. You'll still have some shifting but for the most part your art will look like your art. And the shifts that do happen are things that you can at least somewhat improve in Photoshop.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

French Paper, Fine Watercolors, and ... Crayolas?

Last night I did Monster Drawing Rally with Midway Contemporary Art. The challenge is knowing I have only an hour to do whatever I'm doing. So if it's fast and loose, I'll give it a shot, and this year I added Crayolas to my supply kit. 

Sparrow in pastel pencil, watercolor, pen, white Crayola, and white acrylic. I did a quick loose sketch with pastel pencil (erasable); followed that with the pen; used white crayon on the areas I knew I wanted to be lightest/sunlit; added watercolor; then put white acrylic touches on the very brightest spots, because white crayon on tan paper = lighter tan, not actual white.

Yep, that wax-resist thing with crayons and watercolors is still just as much fun as it was when you were eight. I recommend it! The goldfish painting is the same technique as the sparrow, just with some orange crayon added for the smaller fish. Oh, and the paper is Rives BFK Tan, my favorite thing ever to draw and paint on. It's made of pure cotton fiber and is heavy, velvety and not prone to buckle much when wet.

If you couldn't make it to last night's event or weren't quite fast enough to snap up one of my four pieces (they went fast!), you can follow me on Facebook where I'll be posting several small works like this over the next week or two, at the $35 Monster prices.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

My Art featured on Twin Cities Live!

Nicole Kappus Solheid of NKS Artsource asked me for a few things she could use for this feature, and I was delighted. Here's the link to the show segment. My art that got featured is the Fox in the Henhouse set, which I made a poster out of as well. I have a lot of originals for under 200, many of which are at Art of the Holidays at Minnetonka Center for the Arts right now.

Click here to order a print on paper, canvas, or metal!
I really appreciate Nicole and the Twin Cities Live people for not only showcasing local artists, but pointing out that original art is well within reach for most people. I've bought many pieces of original art, and I mean good original art, between $20 and $100.

For the higher-value originals, artists even offer layaway, an option I plan to use when I have my own house -- and thus have a place to display a Josephine Geiger stained glass window.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Heeere, Chick Chick Chickiieee

Clarabelle, 8" x 10", original available, 295 unframed/350 framed. Click here for prints of her.

"Heeeere, chick chick chickiiieeee" was the dinner call, when I was a kid. We had a coop full of Rhode Island Reds, and it was my job to take care of them and collect the eggs. I've liked chickens pretty much all my life, and I've found Barred Plymouth Rocks very fun to draw and paint.

Matilda in the Forget-me-Nots, 10" x 8", sold. Click here for prints of her!

These three -- Clarabelle, at top; Matilda (sold), center; Proud Thomas, below -- are all 8 x 10" creations in watercolor and pen on pure cotton printmaking paper.

Proud Thomas, 10" x 8." Click here for prints of this piece.

As I write this post, the only one I know for certain is still available is Clarabelle. Thomas went to the Holiday Sale at Minnetonka Center for the Arts and I don't know his status at the moment.

If you're thinking it probably takes a Really Long Time to draw and paint all those stripey feathers, you are correct! The effect is really wonderful, though, so I do it anyway.

You know, I really ought to put together a class on Making Chicken. :-D

Monday, December 1, 2014

Happy Sparrows 6 & 7

Happy Sparrow 7, above, and 6, below. Both 10" x 8" mixed media on heavy, 100% cotton paper; available, 300 each unframed. These are the result of me putting a banquet out of the little rascals all summer -- pretty pitchers of water and dishes of seed. I'm aware they're an invasive species but since they're here anyway, I am enjoying them.

Thursday, November 27, 2014


Just got the Blogger app for my phone, so this is me, testing it out!
Say hi to Roberta the Hen, y'all.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Railroad Landscape Sketches

Railroad Landscape from the Kellogg Overpass, 7" x 5" watercolor and pen
Oh, the things railroads to to my little Southern artist heart. All that power and rhythm, all that gorgeous graphic design they create in the landscape, all those long miles to explore ... and of course the sound of those big diesel beasts that could squash you like a bug.

Never let it be said that Southern culture has no morbid streak. 

Two Trestles, 5" x 7" watercolor and pen
These are available at $45 (Kellogg Overpass landscape) and $75 (Two Trestles); if you'd like both, email me and get free shipping.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Dumpster Pony gets a New Home

I went to take my recycling out and noticed something odd in the big Dumpster. On close inspection, I found that this poor fellow was clean, dry, soft, and in perfectly good repair. He'd simply been tossed out.

My inner five-year-old was aghast. I could surely find someone who would love him, so I took him in, snapped a couple photos, and plunked him onto my Facebook page, where (to my surprise) he got more interest and comments than almost anything else I've ever posted. One friend re-named him the Velveteen Pony and another begged me to send him to her for her little granddaughters.

So Velveteen Pony will have a new life in Florida, after I draw his portrait. And I will continue dumpster-plucking without shame, because some things just shouldn't be landfill fodder.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Red Winged Blackbirds

Two of four are now finished. Both 10 x 8" and on the same heavy, cotton-fiber paper.  These are birds I've always loved to watch, bright and energetic as they are; they make me happy, and I hope to share some of that joy in these paintings.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Big Honking Sunflower

Drawn from life at my friend's studio, a giant sunflower taken from her garden. Its arched stem and wildly curved petals reminded me of Art Nouveau, so I used pen to emphasize those lines and echo that style a little.

I like to make floral art at approximately life-size, which in this case meant BIG. It's 11" x 15",  layers of pen, watercolor, and acrylic on heavy cotton-fiber paper from France. All the edges are deckled or torn, so it'll do great float-mounted in a standard 16 x 20" or 20 x 24" frame. Available, $250.

Next on the flower agenda: Peonies from another friend's garden! I'll be grabbing a vase full today, before they're gone for the year.