• Art,  WIP Fridays

    Following the muse…

    Making art has always been a retreat for me. It is not necessarily a place where I am producing or measuring up to something, though I’m always pleased when I cross a threshold of skill or understanding when it happens. It’s ever been, for me, about the process and the exploratory, playful aspect of it. I could take classes and level up my experience much faster, but I prefer the slow path of intuitiveness and figuring something out for myself. Art is one of those things that belongs solely to me, in the quiet of my days surrounded by the hubbub of being mama to six.

    For all that, it always surprises me where the muse ends up taking me. I told a friend recently that I felt like a new project was coming on, but couldn’t ‘see’ it yet. I’m still not quite sure what is bubbling to the surface. I had some ideas for new folk florals…but guess what I’ve been doing when I have a few minutes? Drawing portraits. In Procreate-digitally. And boy, does Procreate have a learning curve if you are used to working physically with traditional media! And yet, frustration has ebbed quickly and I’ve been enjoying the process each week. Who knew? Each week I’ve felt like my drawing skills have leveled up, and I’ve been so pleased to sit back from drawing and see more and more that what is in my head is coming out on the ‘paper’.

    These three pieces are the last three weeks’ work, usually posted to Insta on Fridays. I need to have a better posting groove for the blog. I keep forgetting to tuck in here. What have you been curious about and exploring lately?

  • WIP Fridays

    Pattern play

    This week has been all over the place, so I really didn’t play much this week. When I did, though, I’ve been interested in playing around with pattern ideas. I don’t think surface pattern design is anywhere in my future yet, but I like expanding my brain and my hand a completely different direction. I tell ya, if I was a the tattoo type, I’d legit have the pencil floral as a tattoo on my inside forearm. I haven’t finished up the sort of nordic pattern, either- just adding bits and pieces as I have a few minutes here and there.

  • WIP Fridays

    Artful adventures…

    I have a lot of sketches in the notebooks from the last few months, but it’s only been within recent days that I’ve been able to start painting them in. I love how there has been a trend of little flower fairies and gnomes lately. The three gnomes were a collaboration with my children last week: we were stuck waiting for something and they were bored and trying so hard to behave, so I showed them my “to paint” file. They picked out what to draw, and I drew as they watched. Later, they chose the colors. When we finished it, we realized it looked a lot like Ron, Harry, and Hermione, so the story goes that Ron cast a de-gnoming charm in the Weasley garden and it went a bit…sideways. Hence Harry’s look of shock. Hermione looks like she’s going to start giggling at the sight of them any second now…

    The last piece this week was inspired by a larger print from the ladies at Common Place Quarterly. I can’t recommend the publication enough. I only had a few pennies to spare for “fun money”, and I cancelled everything else I had so I could keep this. Anyways, each issue comes with some lovely goodies, and this latest issue had a print of Psalm 46 in it. Verse five really stood out to me, so I wanted to pull it out and make a larger watercolor print of it.

  • Art,  WIP Fridays

    Art Friday Returns!

    Well, technically it never left, exactly. It just wasn’t here.

    If you follow me on Instagram you know that I never stopped making art over the last year. There was a significant lull from August to December-ish. Part of that was due to illustrating a book for a dear friend, Vince Costa. I couldn’t manage any more brain space than that! Towards the fall it was sheer exhaustion and keeping one’s head above water, as Elliana steadily deteriorated and was just not sleeping well, which meant I wasn’t sleeping well.

    I kept drawing and painting as time allowed, but not in any significantly formal way. I picked up my 365 Handbook project again sometime mid-March, and finally filled in the second of the two Handbooks. If I had kept to the original intention, I would have filled up six of those little sketch books in one year, but that clearly didn’t happen. I’m happy with the two I have now. I don’t know that I’ll return to that project ever again, but it gave rise to such fertile ground for further explorations.

    I got a bit sidetracked after I finished the Handbook project on my watercolor work, because the sketch book I chose that was supposed to handle wet media profoundly did not. Oh the bleed! The muddiness! The wrinkling! It was awful. I had made my choice oh so carefully because of my limited finances and was so disappointed when it turned out so bad and wouldn’t be fit for watercolor or gouche at all. I resigned myself to having to use it for awhile.  Funny thing, though. It was perfect for charcoal and pencil work. And would you know it? All of the sudden, these little characters came pouring out on the page. These old-timey ladies and gents. They’ll come for a visit next week, but you can see them over on Instagram.  Somehow, I can’t help but think that the sketch book snafu was the best thing to happen to my art process lately. I had no idea these people lived in my head!

    Thanks to my brother’s kindness, I was able to purchase another sketchbook for watercolor, and I chose the Handbook Journal Co. Watercolor 8 x 8. I should have known after using the smaller 4 x 4 Drawing ones for my 365 project. They were meant for charcoal and pencil work, and they held up to all sorts of media throughout the project, even when they weren’t intended for it. The Watercolor is dreamy. It takes the media so beautifully. I am itching to get to work in it! I never thought I’d have two sketchbooks going at one time, or have a billion more ideas for both sketchbooks than I’ll ever get time to do in them, but Glory! What a wonderful ‘problem’ to have.

    I told you yesterday of my intense artist’s crush on Breezy Brookshire. I have been following her for ever so long, all the way back to the olden blog days. She is self-taught, and it was her illustrating style that I first fell in love with. There’s a direct line between my ever starting an art pursuit and Breezy’s work. She inspired me so much! Without her, I wouldn’t be here, three years into pursuing art and illustration. I still have such a long way to go, but the journey is so much fun.

    The other artist that I just discovered this week via Jeanne Oliver is Mish Wooderson. I am falling head-long down the rabbit hole of her IG feed and blog! I love the sense of rootedness and place you get from her work. It’s making me think. I love her decorating style too.

    I’d love to see what you’ve been up to lately! Share in the comments. It doesn’t have to be “art” either- poetry? Good bread? A delicious steak? A cozy corner? I wanna see!

  • link love,  WIP Fridays

    Art Friday: Coming Soon!

    plumfieldlaunch

    I’ve been receiving a lot of questions, and I am excited and a bit scared to announce that I will be selling prints of some of my recent artwork. The Plumfield Collection will launch next Friday, October 15th, and there will be a fun giveaway next week, so stay tuned!

    I am so pleased with this collection. Sketching and painting these brought me such happiness and peace, and I hope that you will enjoy them as much as I did making them. As I am working to prepare these for print, I am filled with wonder. I had no idea that these were all tucked away in my soul, waiting for a ray of sunshine. The path to this launch may seem very straightforward to the rest of you, but to me, I would not have imagined that I would be offering this. I had no idea! I am as pleased and excited as you are. The name, of course, is pulled from the delightful Little Men, which we were listening to on audio book during many of my painting sessions. It just seemed fitting to name the collection so. I think Aunt Jo would enjoy these small offerings.

    Speaking of wonder, Kort has a wonderful series going this month called The Wonder Project. I was so inspired by her fall leaf mandala the other day that I think I want to try something similar in paint, soon!