Art in a Time of X

I did some sketching on my tablet–it’s been a while. Apparently, i’m better at it than i remember. This looks way better than I remember art on the tablet looking. I’ll have to mess around some more!

The CEO of Tee Public had a great reminder for artists, so I thought I’d share it here:

“Today, you don’t need to be Pablo Picasso and you don’t need to have something poignant to say. But you are an artist. You do have a sword to wield. Can you push through anxiety and find the space to be creative? Can you find your voice and whisper to us, a joke, an idea, or a memory of some better time? “

Adam Schwartz, CEO Tee Public

Read a book, look at art, make art…get out those coloring books, the beads you were going to do something with…If you can’t get outside, you can find solace in art or escape in stories. We’ll do our best to keep you supplied!

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gouache, coasters, and summers on the porch

Paint is funny. Colors come from mostly the same selection of sources, what changes is the binder. And that binder makes SO MUCH difference. Gouache is more opaque than watercolor, but shares some of my favorite features in that you can wet and reuse after its dried. This piece, the rearing rose gray, is me trying to get a better grasp on layering and start to mess with mixing wet paint again. With my watercolors, I have gotten so absorbed in my many little trays that I forget to mix the colors while they are wet. (Can you tell the horse is free-hand with no reference picture? I can :-P). I appreciate the way white gouache behaves. Makes dapples easy.

And yes, that circle was done with a coaster.

This particular coaster set belonged to my grandparents. It’s woven wicker inside wood. It was the outdoor coaster set which we used on the screened porch. After we made our sandwiches with deli meat and filled our plates with chips (a treat!) we’d take our soda (also a treat) out to the porch and eat on the blue stained furniture while we talked and watched the birds at the feeders. They had a lot of bird feeders. Thistle, sunflower, peanut butter, suet, and of course sugar water for the humming birds. My grandfather had built an elaborate baffle (or three) to keep the squirrels off. He also had a heated birdbath for the winter and every year asked for birdseed for Christmas. We’d easily spend hours watching the local wildlife–and there was plenty–besides a bazillion song birds there were the rabbits, squirrels, doves and fox.

Every time I use one of those coasters to draw a circle–or keep a drink from leaving stains–I think of those lazy summer days. A lot of my early fiction writing was on that porch, too, thanks to the advent of laptop computers. I cherished that time. Soaked it up like a sponge, and look at the memories with gentle fondness. I try not to wish to return to the past…but I would go back there.

Someday, I want a screened porch in the shade of my own. While I have invited quite a lot of wildlife onto my deck by attempting to maintain a container garden, it’s not quite the same. My kitchen, sadly, is not arranged for me to sit and watch the bird feeder.

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tall ship tattoo design

I have been playing with coasters recently. Yes, that’s the big secret behind most of the circles you will ever see on this blog. It’s probably a coaster or a plate.

I actually own a couple compass tools, but they both live (sensibly) in my studio, and (insensibly) I’m almost never actually creating art in my studio. Sometimes I do. But often I paint at the end of the day, in the evening, sometimes while watching a show or listening to a book, and the light in my studio is not great at night. It takes a special mood.

Or it takes the mood for acrylics. Because those aren’t portable. Not nearly so portable as watercolors.

Anyway. I was messing with circles, and more graphic design-like images because it is stretching for me. I greatly admire those who can make that type of art.

I feel like this piece is really close to how I wanted it to look, but it doesn’t actually look how I wanted. Things got skrewy with the flourishes. Flourishes are hard , you guys.

This makes me think of tattoos, but I think you’d have to be quite clever about placement, given the circle and flourish–or make it smaller. I don’t think I would get it as a tattoo, though.

Maybe if I were a sailor.

For all my appreciation of tall ships, I am not a sailor. I’ve only been out on teeny tiny boats on ponds, and never on a tall ships when it was, you know, actually moving. Though exploring the ships in harbor has always been a lot of fun to me.

I haven’t put this piece on Redbubble, frankly I’m a bit daunted by the thought of the digital clean up process on it 😛 Maybe someday. But you could get an art print if you wanted one, just message me.

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clothes

I really love clothes.

They are SO HARD TO DRAW.

The eyes of an owl? Easy. The drape of…well…anything? Not so much.

Pinterest is my friend and tutor. I scroll through pictures and collect images and cobble together outfts off a selection of reference photos. Most of them aren’t really practical, but I like to imagine the one above is actually quite feasible and also flattering. Imagine linen, a thick elastic fabric, and leather.

I’m finding that often less is more, when putting paint on paper. Which is sort of disappointing sometimes because the very act of putting paint on paper is fun.

This is Zare, the heroine of the stories I write over on ZareCaspian.com. I paint her often. Sometimes it comes out great. Other times it REALLY doesn’t. But it’s all educational.

I used to fashion blog a little, part of me misses it. But not really enough to get back into it. Taking pictures is time consuming. And not looking like a doofus–regardless of what you’re wearing–is also an art form. I am out of practice 😛 But I still like clothes. I like to play around with make up some days–I refer to it as war paint. Because that’s what it is, in many ways.

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Adventurers

If you don’t know what you’re looking at, this is probably a weird picture. I was commissioned to paint an adventuring party portrait for a friend–it is VERY difficult to fit 7 people in a single portrait! There is a fighter/barbarian, a wizard, a sorcerer, a druid, a ranger, a paladin and a bard. So, basically everything 😉 if you’re familiar with tabletop roleplaying games.

I made this with inktense, brushpens, watercolors, and masking fluid. Oh, paint pen and metallic pens by kuretake, also. Layer upon layer upon layer. It easily took me 8 hours.

I don’t know why wordpress isn’t letting me rotate these pictures, so, sorry you’ll have to crane your head. But you can get a feel for the layers of detail easily enough.

Also raspberry pie.

This was done in August, but it was a Christmas gift so I couldn’t say anything about it till now 😛

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