Thursday, December 15, 2016

Fundraiser Auction

I was accepted as one of the artists providing artwork for The Changeling Artist Collective’s Operation Gaia, a fundraiser auction for the National Audubon Society.  I was fascinated with John James Audubon when I was younger.   He was the subject of my biography in 6th grade.  I loved reading about all the birds he documented and loved his drawings.  Although the theme for this fundraiser auction is open, artists are encouraged to create work that have an emphasis on nature, fantasy and folklore.  I think I can do this.  This is the first time I feel like I’ve been accepted as part of something because of my art.  I’m very excited to start working on a piece for the fundraiser.  

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Pen and Inktober

It’s been a while since I’ve posted here on my blog, not that anyone really misses me.  I’m still trying to level up my drawing and also trying to find my niche in art.  There are so many techniques I love from pencil to ink to painting.  I feel like I’m all over the place.  I see a lot of the established artists becoming very consistent in their style and technique.  I still feel like a student finding her way in the art world.

The month of October offered a great opportunity to refine a specific skill: pen and ink.  For the entire month of October, most artists participated in Inktober, where an artist creates an ink drawing once a day and posts it on a social media.  I enjoy working with ballpoint pen and have done so in the past to include sketching, doodling and creating an entire artwork in ballpoint pen.  This month I created some small drawings in ballpoint pen, micron pens and brush and ink.  I also wanted to practice using pen and ink the way comic and manga artists use them.  I’m sure this is a common art technique but it is new to me.  JetPens blog offers a lot of articles about pen and ink.

I did not create an ink drawing each day but I did enjoy creating one every 2 or 3 days, which is more than I did before.  Next year I will try to do better.  Here are my 10 Inktober creations.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016


“   Afloat, yet I still drowned
    Illuminated, yet I am in darkness
      I am 
   Spoken, I cannot be heard
   Crowded, I cannot be seen
      I am
   The wind lifted me
   The spirits carried me
   The trees heard me
   The angels guided me
       No more    ”

I usually take a long time to develop a piece.  I made a sketch for this piece around the fall of 2014 from an image that just popped into my head.  

I drew the angel first, then came the tree and the moon some months later.  

The image was going to end up much larger than I was used to working up to at this time.  I scanned the piece and shrunk it down a bit to fit in a 12 x 16.  After transferring it to Strathmore drawing paper, I thought it was missing something.  A year later, the phantoms appeared.

This is the second piece where I didn’t worry about how the image would turn out.  I just let go and drew what I was feeling as I went along.  I had a lot of fun with drawing and developing all the details.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Painting Study

I wanted to finish writing about my painting study.  After the painting swatches, I continued by attempting to paint a print of one of my pencil artwork.  There are artists who love to draw but hate having to redraw the detailed drawing for the painting.  How they overcome this hurdle is by - painting on a scanned and printed version of their drawings.  Now I have a couple of more steps to get right before the painting begins, scanning and printing.

Recently I bought a Canon Pixma Pro 100 but unfortunately I did not read the specs carefully.  It turns out that the Pixma Pro uses dye based ink instead of pigment based ink.  I learned that the difference is the dye based ink is water soluble and is washed away with water.  The pigment based ink is not water soluble.  Thus the minute I lay down a light wash on the print, the ink is washed away, and the resulting wash is muddied from the ink.  I can spray the print with workable fixative to seal in the printed ink.  The problem with this solution is the paper is also sealed and the acrylic/ink/watercolor wash will not soak into the sealed paper as quickly as non-sealed paper.  I was able to make the painting work but I did not enjoy the process too much.

I did end up selling this picture at Otakon.  I’m excited but at the same time a bit apprehensive because it proves that art appreciators like artwork with color or paint, rather than black and white pencil art.  I still love working with pencil so I have to figure out how to make this work.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Otakon Art Show 2016

  I entered my first convention and sold my art to the general public for the first time.  I’m so excited but also be mindful this could be beginner’s luck.  The convention is Otakon, a popular anime convention in Baltimore, Maryland.  I entered 6 pieces of art in the Art Show and sold 3.  The Otakon Art show is a separate event than the Artist Alley, which is full of anime artists.  The artwork in the art show is showcased on panels with bid cards.  Bidders bid anonymously on the artwork.  If the bid card is completely filled with bids then  the artwork is advanced to the art auction held on the last day of the convention.  None of my artwork advanced to the auction but 3 of them were sold to bidders.  Here are the three pieces that were sold.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Paint Swatches

I work mostly in pencil.  A month and a half ago I decided to take the Illustration Master Class (IMC) and tried to learn how to paint.  Everyone said I did pretty well for my first painting in acrylic washes.  I don’t know.  I did not like it very much.  I did not like the result.  It was too blotchy, too unclean, not tight enough for my taste.  Not the kind of things I was used to doing with my pencil.  I wasn’t as comfortable with painting as much as I am with my pencil work.  But I wanted to learn how to paint and I wanted to paint.  It looks like so much fun, and I did have lots of fun painting at IMC.  I painted from 8 am until midnight, stopping only to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner.  I did not even socialize or go drinking.  I was bent on learning how to paint in the 6.5 days I had in class.  

I returned from the class, still on a high from meeting and talking to various artists, from the very famous to just plain me with every artistic level in between.  I decided the one thing the artists who had art degrees had over me is they know their medium well, the same way I know my pencil.  I know how each pencil feels, from different brands to different hardness of the pencils, how they make their strokes and how I can push them to get what I want out of them.  I don’t know anything about paint or brushes, other than you use one to lay down the other on paper or canvas.  So I decided I needed to know my paint and how to use it.  This is where I should start.

Starting with the paint I already owned,  I paint swatches from the soft body to acrylic ink to acrylic calligraphy ink from Germany.  I wanted to see what each color looked like on watercolor paper from pure pigment to very diluted. This would also show me how the paint felt at the various stages of dilution.  Since I interested more in layering or glazing methods, I also wanted to know how the paint reacted when applied wet on dry and wet on wet.

This painting experiment took a couple of weeks, mainly because I stopped in between to do other things, but I learned so much about the paint color and how it feels.  I already have this knowledge with pencils and I wanted to gain the same familiarity with acrylic paint.   I learned that I do not like the soft body paint so much.  I love the feel of the acrylic inks but the acrylic calligraphy inks are more vibrant in color.  This was a good learning start.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Start of a Journey

     A couple of years ago, I was standing and talking amongst a group of rather famous artists and in the moment of silence, I started out with, “I started drawing when I was about 8 years old … “ and was immediately cut off by one very hugely famous artist (I will not name names) who said, “We all did, Honey.” I started off on the wrong foot. What I wanted to say was that even though I started like every other artist, I never pursued a degree in art and I stopped drawing for about 15 years while pursuing a degree and working in a different career path. I was OK doing that, but never quite happy on the inside. The art in me kept wanting to burst out. I finally recognized it, but I have a late start. Here I am at the point where my fellow artists of the same age are reaping in artistic glory and I am just starting out much as emerging artists 20 years my junior.
     It does not matter. I am determined to take this journey through life, through art, through heart and soul. If you would like to join me, continue reading. I hope to take you through a wondrous journey through my expression in my art. This is my Journey Into a Dream.