Our weekend was mostly rainy, but it was much needed. I’m watching our grass green up and our front garden spring to life (along with weeds that need to be pulled) out of the drenched soil. I spent Sunday cleaning and making soup to get the week started off well. I did take some creative time when everyone else was occupied, though. I did prep for the next slipcovers I’ll be working on as well as some painting and drawing.
I also sent out some more happy mail!
I am taking another Jeanne Oliver class – The Working Art Journal with Pam Carriker and I’ve been making value scale charts with my pencils…
I love making little tools for art and Pam has all sorts of fun suggestions for getting to know your art supplies and making pretty and functional reference materials.
The bulk of the class is working on self-portraits in different styles. It’s hard, but there is a reason why artists have included self-portraits in their studies for centuries. First of all, you always have your face with you. Second, there is a kind of humility and honesty in it. If you can capture your own likeness, you’ll do much better at capturing the likeness of others.
I’m glad I’m doing this exercise because I am learning more about my tools (both of these portraits were done with one .5 mechanical pencil as opposed to a wide array of drawing pencils) and I’ve been able to see how much I have improved over the past couple of years. I did a self-portrait in 2017 and the difference between that one and these portraits is pretty remarkable. I still have a lot of growing to do, but progress is so encouraging in art. I don’t need to be the best. I just need to be better than I was yesterday.
I can even see improvement from the portrait above and the one below, which I did the next day. I softened the lips and paid a bit more attention to the details of my eyes. My boys told me I needed to fix my hair! I told them I was just working on my face for now and that curly hair is really hard to draw with a mechanical pencil.
Drawing self-portraits feels vulnerable and sharing them is even more so. Will people think I’m flattering myself too much? I’m being too generous or too harsh? You’re not only judging your drawing ability, but also your face.
In other art-related work, my board and my drying shelves are getting full, so I’ll be having an art sale soon. I typically post first on my Instagram Stories when new paintings are listed, but I realized many of my loyal subscribers who don’t follow me on Instagram are missing out. So, I’ll notify my subscribers of sales first before I announce them here on the blog or on Instagram.
So, if you’re interested in purchasing some originals from me…
- Make sure you’re subscribed to my blog
- Make sure my e-mails aren’t going to a spam or clutter folder
- Check your e-mail
In my next sale, I’ll be selling some mini landscapes, a few pieces from the #indexcardartproject, a few still life paintings from practice and my live art classes, a few landscapes on antique linen (I am loving those), and some color charts.
The linen has such a yummy texture and it forces me to do loose brush strokes and to be generous with my paint. I do prime the linen with clear gesso before painting with oils.
I’ve been collecting fabric samples lately for some upcoming projects. Some of them are swatches to test out before I place orders, but some of them are to use as props. I found a couple of great fabric swatch books on Etsy…
I am definitely a paint enthusiast, but I also love fabric and textiles. When I got the books, I immediately thumbed through them and started imagining them in rooms, on furniture, fashioned into curtains. Does anyone else love fabric samples as much as I do??
I have already been using some swatches in photo shoots to add color, pattern, and texture and I’ve placed some orders for upcoming sewing projects. I’m finally making some progress in the master bedroom and sewing room!
I’ve also been working on a new backdrop! I’ve been making this one with leftover paint on my palette. I find it so interesting that I keep ending up with variations of the same colors. This will be a fun backdrop to use for art supplies and paintings when it’s done.
This picture doesn’t have anything to do with anything, but this post is about this and that! This is just a picture I took a few weeks ago and didn’t have an excuse to share. The kitties love exploring my studio and hanging out in here, especially on a sunny day. I had to put my brushes behind closed doors, because Violet loves brushes as much as I do. She likes to grab them in her mouth and carry them all over the house, which is not how I prefer to use them.
Their curiosity with all of my art supplies has been problematic at times, though. This weekend, Esmé tried to jump up on my lap and her paw landed in a big pile of paint on my palette! Fortunately, I’ve gotten enough paint on myself to know how to clean it off, so we got her taken care of even though she wasn’t happy about it. She squirmed, but she never scratched me.
Violet later repeated the same trick when I left my palette sitting out for just a few minutes while I washed my hands and tended to my finger (which I slammed in the studio door!) I saw a path of a single white paw print along my hardware cabinet. Fortunately, the tracks didn’t lead out of the studio, so the paint was pretty minimal. I still had to track her down and wash the remnants off of her paw, which thrilled her to no end. She gave me the stink eye for a couple of hours.
Sometimes my son, Calvin, arranges the artist’s mannequins on the desk in my studio. Typically, they are doing the dab or some kind of karate move. This time, they were dancing and I love them. I asked him to leave them like that for a while, because they make me smile. They look joyful and free.
I bought this little one from the flea market in Lucca…
Lastly, why do the makers of this beautiful linen yarn wrap it around, what looks like, the top of a caution cone? Don’t they know that there are people who like to take pictures of their supplies and they don’t want a bright orange cone mixed in with their neutral cottons, linen, and wool? Apparently not.
I’ve thought about using my yarn winder to wind it into pretty balls and I may still do that one of these days when I have absolutely nothing else to do.
That sentence made me laugh.
And, there you have it… a round-up of this and that. I hope you found something you liked in that potpourri!