In getting ready to begin a new series of work for next year, I've been trying to pay attention to what I can do that helps me keep doing the next thing. Starting a new series is exciting, but can also be intimidating. So I've found that starting with a drawing really helps. We've all heard that working out the composition using just line and areas of tone is important, but sometimes it takes a long time of practice before really understanding that idea. And maybe for you too, but for me, I had a lot of frustration with drawing for a very long time. I'd encourage you to study the sketchbooks and drawings of artists that you love.
We don't have to be excellent at something in order to benefit from the practice. After looking at the drawings of Pierre Bonnard and other post-impressionist painters, I notice the different styles of drawing and the evidence that they really are using their drawing as a part of the process of working out the many puzzles involved in painting. So it really is ok if my drawing doesn't look anything like DaVinci. I've embraced my own scribbly style of drawing and am enjoying the process so much more now; not to mention getting a lot more paintings completed satisfactorily.
I'll be sharing the new work with you as it gets completed, and come back to visit for more information on spring shows. The first will be during the Tulip Festival the first Friday of April 2018. Scott Milo gallery will be featuring my work as well as Tulip Festival merchandise. Thanks for visiting and have a delightful Holiday Season!
Working in a Series
I've been busy working on this series for the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival. After having spent so many hours over many years in the tulips, I can combine my drawings from life with photos and come up with some unique compositions and color moods. I am thinking that it would be fun to do a tulip series each year, in honor of the Festival. But that's part of my challenge...I love to have big ideas, and dreaming is great for that. The brainstorming phase of, "How far could I take this idea?" is a fun exercise. But I have to be careful. The next thing I know, there are all of these expectations and lots of pressure. I think a good thing is to go ahead and dream, but let it be for gathering possibilities. Wait for the ideas to simmer and see which ones are worth doing, and fit with my long term goals. So there we go. For now this is a series of tulip paintings for 2018, with the option to do another next year.
By the way, if you haven't been up to the Tulip Festival in awhile, pack a lunch or snacks and spend a few hours next April in the glorious fields. It changes your whole outlook. And you will get some amazing photos. Or paintings, if you're a painter.
Painting On The Road
It's really great to see the days getting longer, feel the warm sun breaks, and smell the early blooming flowers. Time to start planning for road trips and figuring out ways to get in some art when you're on the road. A fun challenge is to see how pared-down you can get with supplies and still create art. My goal is to always have supplies with me, and yet, I don't like to carry a huge bag everywhere. It's time for a secret-Ninja art kit. And this one has been kitty-approved.
The idea to use empty containers for paints came from Pinterest. Can you believe how cute this thing is, a mini Altoid tin filled with gouache (opaque watercolor)? What could be better? And a great discovery is the travel-size Koi water brush. I got mine at Dots N Doodles in Astoria, OR last year. They're great because you can bring a bit of water with you and can refill it later. For the airlines, I make sure to empty the brush before flying. Watercolor and gouache are safe to bring on the plane because there are no solvents. The tiny walls are made of scraps of plastic, anchored with hot glue. Just fill the wells and let dry, then it's ready to take on the road. Can't wait to try it out!