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!

Monday after school

This evening, to beat the back-to-school blues I prioritized painting. This is NOT to say I am not enjoying the chaos and excitement of being back in my library with all the new students and returning students… just that I need this part of my day to keep me sane and to recharge.

Dragon was enjoying her favorite window ledge snoozing spot and I enjoyed listening to the rain coming down as I painted. My best friend from high school entrusted me with her precious yellow tea cup years ago and it is my watercolor painting vessel.

Dragon yawns
Dragon yawns

Palette and watercolor tea cup
Palette and watercolor tea cup

How far I got today
How far I got today, second session with this piece

Close up working
Close up working

Fancy angle close up
Fancy angle close up

Evening tea to finish the experience while I blog
Evening tea to finish the experience while I blog

A little study and a big new job…

My new studio space has proven to be a wonderful spot for watercolor. Here’s a hint of a study I did last week.

I’m also happy to report my new position as an elementary school librarian and computer teacher which, since school started Aug. 14th, has been a bit hectic. My love of libraries has been life-long, and I’m so excited to get to spend time with all the young people as they develop their interests, skills and character. I’m sure this will influence my art life as well, although my posts here may be even more sparse. You’ve been warned.

Desert plant study, watercolor on paper, 5 x 7"
Desert plant study, watercolor on paper, 5 x 7″

38th Annual Juried Exhibition: Opening tomorrow!

I’m happy to share that two of my paintings are included in the 38th Annual Juried Exhibition at the Barbara Conrad Art Gallery in Durango, Colorado, opening tomorrow:

July 11 – August 9
Opening reception: Friday, July 11 from 5-7 p.m.

Durango Arts Center: Barbara Conrad Art Gallery
802 East Second Avenue
970-259-2606

I’m excited that I’ll be able to attend the opening reception and spend a few days in this beautiful town. In addition to getting to meet new people and experience the art and culture of Durango, my mini-trip will include camping, hiking and lots of new scenery for sketching and painting.

Information on this year’s juror, (more on the Durango Arts Center website) durangoarts.org:
Lisa Tamiris Becker has been active as a curator and arts administrator for over 18 years and has curated and organized over 50 major exhibitions with a primary focus on hybrid interpretations of modern and contemporary art. She serves as the Director of the University of New Mexico Art Museum in Albuquerque, NM, where she has curated and organized major recent exhibitions such as From Raymond Jonson to Kiki Smith: The UNM Art Museum at Fifty Years; Melanie Yazzie: Geographies of Memory; and The Blinding Light of History: Genia Chef, Ilya Kabakov, and Oleg Vassiliev. Her exhibitions have been reviewed or featured in Art in America, Time Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, and The BBC, amongst other publications.

Flat Rock Falls, Oil/Canvas, 18 x 18"
Flat Rock Falls, oil/canvas, 18 x 18″

Window Bed, oil on canvas, 16 x 20"
Window Bed, oil/canvas, 16 x 20″

Three finished paintings

Today I finished up the my latest piece for the Quilted Landscape series:

Against Pillows, oil/canvas, 18 x 18"
Against Pillows, oil/canvas, 18 x 18″, $200

I also touched up two new pieces for the Southwest series. These were done 90% en plein air (outdoors) around Portales, New Mexico this spring.

Southwest House, oil/canvas, 8 x 10"
Southwest House, oil/canvas, 8 x 10″, $150

Backyard Fence, oil/canvas, 8 x 10"
Backyard Fence, oil/canvas, 8 x 10″, $150

First Quilt… and its very adorable “tester”

I finished my first quilt yesterday night!

I took the free “Block of the Month” quilting class on Craftsy.com and loved it. The video-tutorial style class teaches you how to piece more than 12 different quilt blocks, how to do basic machine quilting techniques and how to finish your quilt. For free. wowza.

I decided after making 10 or 11 blocks that I should stop there and make a small quilt to start. As my first quilting project ever (not counting the tiny bit of hand-stitching I used to do with my mom back in the day) it was far less intimidating than a full-sized quilt.

The result is a colorful, kinda sloppy and kinda lovely lap quilt. Was it a success? The ultimate test was giving Dragon access to it…

Hm… then I suppose I just got side-tracked and obsessed with her cuteness because there are more pictures of the kitty than the quilt! oops.

Well, you’ll likely see more of this quilt pop up in future paintings, but I will also try to post a picture of the entire quilt in the near future.

Yup, she loves it. Check out my free-motion stipple stitch action in the border!
Yup, she loves it… 

Cuteness #2
… and I love her…

Check out my free-motion stipple stitch action in the border!
Check out my free-motion stipple stitch action in the border.

Quilts double as caves... in case you didn't know.
Quilts double as caves… in case you didn’t know.

 

A Log Cabin Quilt and a Butterfly

Hello everyone,

I just have a simple post for you today. I’m spending most of this week working on illustrations for the biology text book but realized I had a few more paintings to show you as well.

Here is  a simple but bold painting of a log cabin quilt one of my dearest friends made for me (and hubby) as a wedding gift. Now I can enjoy its aesthetic in different forms around my house!

Log Cabin Quilt, oil/canvas, 20 x 20"
Log Cabin Quilt, oil/canvas, 20 x 20″

Next up we have a butterfly! Everyone likes butterflies.

Blue Butterfly
Blue Butterfly