Saturday, August 15, 2015

Studio Textures

Thank goodness for infant Motrin, ceiling fans, bathtubs and cell phones. I'm still recovering from my household being sick for over a month and I'm so grateful for the simple things that got us through. Along with my family's health, I'm extremely grateful for modern cell phones because without them this post wouldn't be happening. My computer has took a turn for the worse, but here's hoping it's repairable.

Since the last month plus has been spent in survival mode I've been doing a lot more looking and thinking than doing and making. With a the whole family cooped up inside my extra time was spent cozying up our home a bit more with improvements, repairs and paint. Recently, I've been thinking a lot about textures whether in my home or in my art work. Textures turn drap into fab for me in all things. The other day, I came across an artist who talked about having to carry around a camera for a whole semester in college taking photos of patterns for an art class. Such a great idea. So I'm condensing a semester into a morning around my studio. Hehe.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Work With What You Got

I'm currently working on a micro show. All the pieces will be five inches or smaller and either watercolor or ink on various papers/wood. Where and when might this show take place? I have no idea. I'm doing this Field of Dreams style (wait, did that reference just show my age? Ugh). If I build it someone will display it. Right? For the sake of all this tiny art let's hope so.

The whole mirco show idea started at the suggestion of a friend. I had just finished a tiny watercolor painting and was lamenting about how hard it was to find the time to work on art and how was I ever going to get any paintings done. My friend with great wisdom and clarity asked me in return why didn't I just do a bunch of micro paintings for a show. Genius. I probably should have kissed her. So in the spirit of working-with-what-you-got I'm working really small because large chunks of time are not on the menu.

So far working small had proven to be quite tricky. Sketching small is fine and dandy, but cramming a whole finished piece onto a small piece of paper is more of a challenge than I had thought. I'm wrestling with fitting things in while still allowing for adequate breathing room, but not too much breathing room. The last couple weeks I've been working with inks which have required diligent work with studies. I've found inks to be less forgiving when working this small so studies are a must for me.

Currently, I'm shooting for around 20 finished micro paintings/drawings. I haven't even wrapped my head around how I'm going to display them all. Once again in the spirit of working-with-what-you-got I'll probably do a mix of framed behind glass pieces and mounted on wood board pieces. I've never mounted paper on board so I'm more than excited to try my hand at it. If it goes well I'll let you know (if it's crap...well I won't).

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

May Reminising

Instead of regularly blogging and keeping up with my inbox I've been scraping together every extra minute to use on art. With an increasingly mobile baby, time is become quite the hot commodity and I'm sure it's only going to get worse. I've kind of missed writing though. Writing has been such an interesting outlet and a wonderful mental exercise for me. So nap time blog writing is happening.

I spent May....

Traveling to visit family in WI and then hosting family at our house.

Trying to get my hands on a used iPhone 5s.

Painting, painting, painting.

Reading up on business related things like this post about shipping art, this post about writing an about page and this post about blog writing.

Starting to design my friend's wedding invites!! EEEE!

Monday, May 18, 2015

April Reminising

I spent April...

Decluttering the studio in a major spring cleaning fact majorly decluttering the whole house. This will continue through May and perhaps even June.

Daydreaming about buying a sketchy notebook cuz it's pure genius. As soon as I've filled my current pages this shall be mine!

Battling a teething mini monster. Why isn't there one safe cure all out there?!?

Cleaning up my website. Getting a new url to go with my rebranding. Getting business cards. Getting out there and meeting local makers!

Getting back into the swing of painting consistently and it feels soooo good.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

February + March Reminiscing

I spent February...

Building, building, building. Wall-to-wall desk, laundry counter, coat rack.

Planning. Spring coming so fast. House needs some major exterior/interior love.

Wrangling my favorite little butthole, who is also my son.

I spent March...

Going to the library and reading all kinds of books, but mostly baby related.

Messing up and burying my studio under piles of materials with no specific place to go.

Finding support as a new mom in a still-new-to-her city.

Trying to re-flatten my cutting mat and failing every. single. time.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Saying Yes Really Means Saying No

The other day I had to remind myself that in order to say yes to something I'm going to have to say no to a lot of other somethings. Historically I'm not one to get confused about what to say no to, but recently I caught myself not being true to me. I was shocked to realize that for far too long I had been saying yes to the wrong thing and no to all the right things in the name of pleasing others. All my life I have easily avoided trying to please others most of the time. I thought after years of not having to worry about something many people struggle with I was in the clear. Nope. I was wrong. Turns out if you let your guard down you can change without realizing it and not for the better not matter what age you are.

I usually find it pretty easy to determine what to say no to by asking myself: Will it make my soul feel like it's dying? Perhaps that sounds extreme, but the question really helps me to put things in perspective. Who wants to kill their soul? No one I tell you no one. Another good question to ask: By saying yes will you have to say no to something that feeds your soul? This last question is tricky and was where I ran into trouble. By saying yes to something that caused me to say no to something that was feeding my soul I was inadvertently killing my soul. I find if I'm not actively feeding my soul I'm killing it. Don't forget to feed your soul!

So in honor of last week's Valentine's day I quit the crap I shouldn't have been doing and started doing what I should have been doing. Happy V Day to me! I also treated myself to some new tools. Chocolate is great, but tools are forever.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

January Reminiscing

I spent January...

Using my sketchbook not for ideas, but to simply fart around in without any fore thought at all. No agenda. Just showing up and making mark after mark til the whole page was filled.

Trying to nail now a consistent go to style for my pen sketches that seems natural to me. So far I'm still searching. Searching is fun.

Dreaming of the perfect ball-point sketching pen. One that is simple, no grip, has a cap and doesn't blot.

Wrangling a cubby little cherub that I lovely call my son.

Bringing order to my studio bit by bit and little by little. Still a ways to go, but studio evolution is always a process.

Friday, February 6, 2015

My Favorites For Sketching

It takes years to figure out what works best and why. Everyone's different which makes everyone's preferences different and over time as you change so does what works best in some cases. Here is a list of my go to favorites that I've been using for years and why I love them.

Sketchbook. I've been using the same Cachet Select Spiral Bound Sketch Books for many years. I was in the market for a new sketchbook the other day and I sifted through the options at the art store and still landed on the same brand for the same reasons. I've always gotten rectangle shaped sketchbooks, but my next one is going to be an 8"x8" square and I'm excited for the change.
Requirements: hard cover, plain solid cover, lays flat when opened, has some sort of closure.
Reasons: I like sketching in graphite  but hate smudges. A hard cover keeps the sketchbook from flexing which reduces pencil smudges. Also a closure reduces smugging by keeping the pages from sliding side to side. I like a plain cover so I can embellish a bit and laying flat is a must so I can easily draw on the whole page.

Pocket Sketchbook. I've found one sketchbook is not enough for me. Sometimes I need room to stretch out and sometimes I need the convenience of something I can cram into my pocket and go. I've gone through a few Moleskine Classic Sketchbooks (Pocket) now and I'm hooked. I love the little pocket in the back, how flat they lay and how thick the pages are too help things from bleeding (although Sharpies still very much bleed).
Requirements: fits in pocket, lays flat, hard cover, has some sort of closure. Bonus has a pocket.
Reasons: Fitting in the pocket is a must because I don't carry around a purse. I love the flatness of this sketchbook because I can draw from one page to the next which allows for larger sketches. The hard cover and closure helps to reduce pencil smudging just like with my larger sketchbooks. I love the little pocket in the back which allows me to stuff little treasures away.

Pens. The past few years I've been sketching almost solely in pen to avoid smudges. For sketching I use simple black inked BIC ballpoint pens. Ballpoint pens give me better control when shading than other pen styles. I like simple, no frill pens with caps although I'm not sure why I like caps. I usually pick up a large pack of pens when I'm running low and they last me for a year or so depending on how fast I lose them. My one gripe with the simple BIC ballpoint pens is that they eek ink sometimes, but I haven't found a simple pen that doesn't yet. When lettering I use black Micron Pens because they are a solid pen and readily available. For a range of thicknesses I have a .005, .05 and recently I picked up a .08 and a brush style.

Pencils. When pencil sketching I'm all about the mechanical pencils. I love the precision of always having a sharp point that doesn't need sharpening. I always have a 0.5 and 0.7 and sometimes a 0.9 on hand. I tend to use a 0.7 for sketching and a 0.5 for lettering before inking. Trying out lead holders for both sketching and lettering is on my list of things to do, but who knows when that will happen.
Erasers. I have a skinny Paper Mate Eraser Stick for precision and a Staedtler Mars Plastic Eraser cut in half for bigger jobs. I try to avoid using the erasers on the mechanical pencils because they are a pain to change.
Pencil Case. I've had a Caran d'Ache Metal Tin case for years and I love it. I plan to order two more so I can have one for pencils, pens, and lettering.

Thursday, January 8, 2015


My nightly 5 minute sketches have turned out to be the perfect starting board for filling my sketchbook pages. Since 5 minutes doesn't get me very far I always itch to finish and expand on what I started. There isn't much rhyme or reason to what I've been sketching which is very freeing. It's refreshing to experiment with sketches that have no planned purpose. Let's take a peak inside the bowels of my recent sketchbook pages, shall we?

Friday, January 2, 2015

2015: A Year of Simple

Let's try to keep this short, sweet and simple, shall we?

2014 turned into another year of big things. Big expensive things as it turned out. Moved to the south, bought a house, and birthed a baby. Perhaps doing all those things in the span of 5 months wasn't the best idea, but I can't say I would change a thing. I really really like having a baby.

For 2015 I'm going to keep it simple...Work Hard. That's it. Work hard at life, work hard at art, work hard at being present in the moment, work hard at raising a kid, work hard at playing.

For the blog I fell short of achieving consistency with weekly blog posts last year, but I'm going to make that my sole goal for the blog this year. Again keeping it simple.

I'm very much looking forward to this coming year. I can't wait to see what this year has in store for me, my art and my family.