My latest YouTube video goes into what and how I pack for making art on-the-go. You don’t want your supplies and art-kit to weigh you down and become cumbersome, or you will be less likely to take it with you. And the more we take the art bag with us, the more likely we are to MAKE MORE ART – which is always the goal, right? I’ve spent years awkwardly stashing supplies in my backpack or purse and constantly moving them from bag to bag, only to discover that I don’t have what I need when inspiration really strikes. Instead, I now keep a small bag packed with exactly the supplies I need to create en plein air. I do so much more urban sketching and nature sketching from life, now that I keep a bag ready-to-go like this. I sometimes leave it in my car so it’s there to grab. That way you can more easily attach a drawing session to the end of your work day or at lunch.
I hope you go take a look at the video, and if you haven’t yet, please subscribe and hit the notifications button to catch all my future art-related videos. I’m grateful to every one of you that shares this with someone you might think will enjoy it!
I have just released my latest Skillshare class. It was recorded in 2020 and I was only now able to finish editing and publishing it. In it, students will learn drawing and painting techniques to illustrate various beverages. These are valuable still-life skills that will be applicable to rendering many different subject matter.
If you’re interested in watching the introductions to my other Skillshare classes, head over to my YouTube channel and click on the Skillshare playlist. I wholeheartedly enjoy taking classes on Skillshare. I have been a member for a few years now and I have taken classes on video editing, how-to make a Skillshare class, marketing, building a YouTube channel, business, visual art, and more. If you sign up for Skillshare using my dedicated LINK I will get a portion of your first payment. (The first month is free so you can see if you like the platform and find out all it has to offer.) While this link takes you to my teacher profile, from there you can explore various subjects like watercolor and see how many other amazing classes there are as well.
Thank you for your interest and support in my painting and teaching! I appreciate every one of you. Please share this with whoever you think might be interested!
My new job has been keeping me very busy but this Labor Day holiday gave me some time in the studio.
I’m going to make an effort to draw this week, whether it’s on my lunch break or just after school. This statement here will hopefully hold me to it despite the fatigue I will undoubtedly feel. Don’t get me wrong, I’m LOVING the job… it’s just that hanging out with ten year olds all day tuckers me out, as I’m sure you can imagine. hee hee. I’m hoping I’ll get more used to this energy demand as time goes on. I’m feeling very inspired from this new change in my life and I know it will show through in my artwork this autumn.
Has it really been four months since I opened the virtual door to my studio and shared what was going within it? Wowzahs.
Let me tell you, I knew this year would be busy but I really miss sharing my day to day – or at least week to week – progress with you. I don’t think there is an easy way to catch you up on all my work but I will try my best to give you a taste. I apologize for the poor quality of the photographs : I’m using my phone camera to maximize efficiency!
1. Illustration for the biology textbook has been an ongoing project since the Christmas/holiday season. This consists of researching, traditional sketching and working with digital illustration programs. I usually spend my mornings on this project. Below is a drawing in progress from the past week.
2. Next, I give you three 8 x 10″ oil paintings in progress that are being worked en plein air in my town, Portales, New Mexico. (They’re just sitting on my easel to dry between painting sessions… it’s the only place my cats don’t seem to mess with them!) They belong to a series of paintings of the Southwest I have been developing sporadically for the last few years . Working on them has been a nice complement to my “Portraits of Portales” project which I focussed on all autumn, and have tried to make a bit of time for in 2014.
I believe I have mentioned the “Portraits of Portales” project before and will certainly mention it again. My intention is to publish them in book form, rather than display them in a gallery. This will heighten the intimacy of the pieces and embrace my intention of creating a “keepsake” of this small town. But I will share more on that project at a later date. This week it has not been worked on so no progress pics here for you!
3. Also still in the works is my Crafty Coloring Book. I only decided this week that it needed to be pulled to the top of my priority list after the biology textbook illustrations. It’s delightfully fun to work on and provides a break from the technical illustration while still keeping me “in shape” drawing-wise.
4. Lastly, I have been spending my evenings finalizing three new knitted shawl designs. Two are in the test-knitting phase and the third is close behind. The motivation behind this project? A fast-approaching deadline!
On April 1st the Multicraftual Podcast Ravelry group will be casting on any of my knitted designs. For two months participants will post their progress and finished object pictures in the corresponding group discussion threads to win prizes. There will be coupon codes for discounted pattern prices and other random goodness distributed via the video podcast I host with my long-distance bestie Liby Ball. If you are interested in watching our podcast while sitting down with your own knitting or crocheting, go check out the Multicraftual blog or subscribe on iTunes!
As you can see, if you’ve read this far… I’m keeping busy! In fact… a little too busy. I’m the kind of person who can sprout in every direction and need intense pruning to look at all respectable. I’m currently reading “Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity” by David Allen. Perhaps I will give a review on that when I finish it… hahahahahaha… first I will have to learn how to reign in my many projects, harness my creativity and GET THINGS DONE.
Wish me luck!!
If you’d like, tell me about what projects you’re working on and what creative activities you’re most excited about in the comments section below. Are you a see-one-project-through-to-the-finish-line kind of person, or a wildly-sprouting-crazy-face like myself? It’s time I get to know YOU more and try to enhance the online creative community.
It’s been a few filled-to-the-brim art weeks… so much so that I haven’t had the energy or will to post about my progress on the blog by the time evening rolls around. Sorry!
The activity responsible for all the successful art-making? Morning sketching.
I’ve been spending every weekday morning after Spanish class driving around town and sketching from the comfort of the car. Drawing from life brings me such a feeling of safety and contentment. And, I believe I need those feelings before I can feel inspired. Sooo… naturally, all these mornings drawing have led to many afternoons in the real studio oil painting. Hopefully I will share my oil painting progress with you soon!
Here’s a fun pic of my morning studio – the precious Mazda – complete with audiobook cds and a pear for a snack! Also note that my water dish for making watercolors is a tennis ball canister. Nice and tall to hold lots of water and yet narrow enough to fit the cup-holder well.
While making a concerted effort last week to work more in my sketchbooks – they are invaluable tools for artists: they help one learn to see, think, play, practice and hone… I could go on but it could turn into an inarticulate ramble so I will move on to my point.
I discovered that I have been really wanting to make a “Portrait of Portales”. A collection of drawings or paintings that describe the personality and character of my town.
This is a project I sort-of began over a year ago with small, “en plein air” oil paintings done from my car, of scenes around town. Let me jog your memory with a photo-collage:
Grated, the above could really be paintings of anywhere in New Mexico, so common are the scenes of yellowed grasses, cows and crumbling adobe structures. Many of my new works will be specifically Portales, its stores, real estate, lawns, animals, abandoned buildings and neglected alleys. And as the title of this post suggests, they are being worked in my sketchbooks.
So now I’m back to venturing around town in my little mazda, and at the risk of looking like a creep-o or a cop on a stake-out, parking and sketching from the car. It really does make me feel like a cop… or okay, more like Stephanie Plum…
It is SO MUCH FUN and really IS showing me more about where I live. Nothing makes me appreciate a place more than painting it. Here are some examples of my work so far. I will share more detailed/close-up pictures of them in the future. For now you just get a taste: