Another sketchbook tour

Here is another quick sketchbook tour of a small Moleskine watercolor book I kept last year and took with me on several small trips. I hope you enjoy a little walk through of my life in sketches!

A New Video Post on My YouTube Channel

Well, it’s been several years folks, but that does not mean the art-making has stopped! I have graduated from Texas Tech with my Masters of Fine Arts in painting and drawing media and have been working in education for several years. Over this time a few art habits have made themselves more prominent than others. It seems no matter how busy the year has been, whenever I travel or have a bit of time off, I return to drawing and painting studies in small sketchbooks.

Today I just needed to get back onto social media, so I posted a non-edited little video of me completing the last few pages of a small pocket sketchbook with some mixed media mark-making. For the moment, due to an ancient laptop, I cannot edit anything. However, I decided that shouldn’t keep me from sharing some small videos in the meantime.

So, please enjoy this tiny video of me finishing up the tail end of a cute little watercolor sketchbook. I will be filming a flip-through of this sketchbook soon so you can see every page. I don’t begin speaking until about halfway through this video, and then I just describe what I’m doing in the moment. As I said before, un-edited video!

Lubbock Studio Tour 2020 has gone virtual!

An exciting, popular annual Lubbock art event – the Lubbock Artist Studio Tour – is going virtual! I am pleased to have been selected to share my art with the city (and now that it’s virtual, the wider arts community!) So instead of visiting my actual studio this weekend you can go to lubbockstudiotour.org. The website will be active this Saturday 10 AM – 6PM and Sunday 12 – 5PM.
@lubbockarts #studiotour #keepitlocal

I am sorry to not be able to meet all of you art connoisseurs in person this year but I do hope you will check out this unique studio tour. Just go to the website lubbockstudiotour.org to enjoy a video, look at some beautiful artwork, and learn more about the participating artists and their creative spaces. You will get to see 19 artists in 19 studios! As we could only share a few of our paintings on this platform, it is my hope that you can browse some of our artwork and then go visit the artists’ personal websites to see more work and all the art they have available for purchase. Artists will be standing by to message and chat and answer any questions you might have. This is your chance to get to meet us so don’t be shy. I look forward to seeing you virtually this weekend!

Participating artists for the 2020 “Virtual Artist Studio Tour” are:
Jessie Dodington – Painting
Benna Ellis – Glass
Melinda Green Harvey – Photography
Roxi Hardegree – Photography
Valerie Hill – Painting & Fiber
Tif Holmes – Photography
Linda Jackson – Jewelry
Lahib Jaddo – Mixed Media
Carol Koenig – Mixed Media & Pottery/Ceramics
Mike Maines – Pottery/Ceramics
Pat Maines – Mixed Media
Sally McCoy – Mixed Media

Deborah Milosevich – Painting
Whitney Morman – Painting
Dyan Newton – Painting
Judy Robertson – Mixed Media
Robert Rogers – Mixed Media
Lyn Stoll – Jewelry
Rick Vanderpool – Photography

New Workshop open for registration:

In a few short weeks I am teaching two online workshops in acrylic painting. The first is for teens ages 14 – 18 and runs from June 29 – July 3, 2020. The second is for adults and runs from July 6 – 10, 2020.

Since this is the first time the workshop has moved online, rather than being run in-person at Idyllwild Arts Academy in California, I could use help spreading the word. Please forward this to anyone you think may be interested. The class includes pre-recorded demo videos to watch at your own pace, printable instructional PDFs with visual examples of every exercise and assignment, as well as live zoom painting sessions and Q&A meetings to discuss and critique each daily project.

Anyone can take these classes, they are suitable for complete beginners. Below is the advertisement for the adult workshop, and you can follow these links to register:

Adult workshop: https://www.idyllwildarts.org/summer/adultarts/painting/#1590186961223-8a85b296-0c0d

Teen workshop: https://www.idyllwildarts.org/summer/teens-kids/visual-arts/#1510077988209-5baf2861-ce09

Thank you so much for your interest in this new exciting learning opportunity! And thank you for spreading the word.

The Courthouse Cafe Mural

I have yet another recent mural experience to share with y’all. The recent Picoso’s Mexican Kitchen mural project caught the attention of an old friend Julie Rooney (now owner of the most adorable shop in Portales, New Mexico: The Happy Place) who recommended me for a mural. The Courthouse Cafe, named for the town’s courthouse that across the street and makes up the “main square”, needed their logo painted on a large scale on the back of the building, making it visible to the road coming into town. I made some adjustments to their logo design: enlarging the word “Cafe” to be more visible and let people know that it is indeed a place of food and drink and not of law. I also made a rectangle around it and fashioned it to look like an old sign. I treated the overall logo to look a bit aged as if the sign had been their a while, to match their business’ nod to the history of Portales and its courthouse.

I learned a lot on this project: most importantly that scaffolding is heavy and one should really order a railing. I rented two scaffolding sets which I built one on top of the other to reach the 10-17 foot high mural space. What I did not anticipate was that standing on a 2-foot wide wooden beam ten feet in the air with no railing gets old really quick. Especially when you’re trying to hold a paint container and brush. I was also informed that scaffolding is often stolen for the aluminum and that I really shouldn’t leave it in an alleyway three nights in a row. Oh. Thankfully I had friends, and the lovely owner Mary with her whole family, to helped me build it and take it down each morning and night. I very much appreciate the practicality of a scissor lift now (though currently a piece of machinery out of my budget).

As ever, I’m grateful to the wonderful people who continue to hire me and spread the word about my little art business. I am so so lucky to do this work.

view of the back of the Courthouse Cafe in Portales, New Mexico
The Courthouse Cafe Mural: an edited version of their logo.
A distant view of the Courthouse Cafe Mural. The high contrast helps legibility from a distance.
Close up of the Courthouse Cafe Mural with overall treatment to age it and make it appear more worn.

Picoso’s Mexican Kitchen Mural

It’s been a busy season since graduating in May. I had the honor of being hired by a friend, Kelly Reyna, to help her on an enormous exterior mural. Kelly had the mural sketched out in black by the time I showed up on the scene. She had me paint in all the rocks, the background fabric (and add some folds), as well as my favorite part: paint a trompe l’oeil golden frame around the restaurant’s take-out window. After that I shaded and added highlights to the striped fabric to make it look as if it was undulating and she even, very generously, had me sign the mural with her. One of my favorite parts of this mural is the taco-wing selfie section. This part was painted so that people could stand in front of it, giving themselves taco-wings, and take a selfie. The calming mantra: “Inhale Tacos, Exhale Negativity” just about sums up the awesomeness of this project. Pop over to the mural section on my website to see more pictures of this mural and others I’ve done.

My First Skillshare Class

I have published my first Skillshare class: https://skl.sh/2TAiHLY on painting landscapes in watercolor and ink. This is something I do daily, and it is a practice I think so many artists and creatives would benefit from. This class and the project we complete within it is easy and loose, meant to diminish our desire for perfection. (Do you know how many artists are perfectionists to the detriment of their creativity, productivity and overall joy?… I don’t. Probably too many though.) In addition to the final watercolor and ink landscape sketch, I also go over how to make thumbnail sketches, what are the main compositional rules that will help you better compose your sketches, and how to hatch and cross-hatch for your value studies. After a value study in monochromatic watercolor we dive into the full-color sketch. The entire class from start to finish is 46 minutes. You can always find a link to the class on the right side-bar of my website, you don’t need to find this blog post again. Here is a peek of the project:

This is our class project! Very simple, messy and quick.

Skillshare is an excellent platform for learning (I’ve been taking classes for a few months now) and costs about $15/month. If you sign up for a Premium Membership with my personal link (different from the one that links to my class): https://www.skillshare.com/r/profile/Jessie-Dodington/875696 you can receive two free months. (You might have to sign up for a whole year to get those two free months – when I signed up I chose to pay month-to-month and only received one free month. Just FYI.) There are classes on graphic design, fine art, business, web design, marketing etc. Currently I’m learning how to better digitize my watercolor paintings to make prints and greeting cards in this class by Ana Victoria Calderón: https://www.skillshare.com/classes/Easy-Way-to-Digitize-your-Watercolor-Paintings-in-Photoshop/876209798/projects

If you use my link to sign up I receive a small payout. Every little bit helping me to build my art business. More importantly, even if you yourself are not interested in taking the class, consider sharing this blog post or the links with someone you know who might be interested. I’m really trying to expand my reach online and every single person who begins to follow me on youtube or takes my class in Skillshare is a great help to me in the long run.

Finally, for those who would love to take my class but do not wish to sign up for Skillshare, I will be posting paint-alongs (of other landscapes etc.) on my youtube channel periodically. Some of these will have explanations along the way as guidance or just to keep you company while you paint.

Thanks for reading! I hope to paint with you soon.

I filmed my class out of my home studio.

New Sketchbook Tour on my Youtube channel

Hi All,
Just a note to say I’ve graduated with my three year MFA and am finally taking the time to share more online. You can expect more sketchbook tours soon (where I chat and explain what I was drawing) or flip-throughs (where I just flip on through the drawings and you don’t have to listen to me ramble). Thanks for watching! And if you like it please like and subscribe so you’ll catch all the upcoming videos (which will increase in quality I promise). Happy Friday all!

Wendover Art-making

While in Wendover I ran a bit, hiked a mountain, researched and worked on my thesis. I did some studies of the mountain I climbed to use as reference for my long scroll-like painting (pictures of that coming soon)…

In addition to the Field Notes book I am keeping, there is also a Field Journal I made. It is a hodgepodge of  papers, layers of ephemera collected on the trip, drawings and writing:

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