Sunday, December 02, 2007
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
I think you can always tell that the holiday's are right around the corner because the Christmas bazaars start. This last Saturday I participated in my first ever holiday bazaar. While I was a little frazzled trying to get ready for this it wasn't bad at all once I had enough prints, cards and originals complete and ready for the public. The only thing was that not a lot of public showed up.
With my first bazaar behind me I am now concentrating on a commission I agreed to do as a surprise gift.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Friday, October 19, 2007
Sketch of Allen
Monday, October 15, 2007
Sunday, October 14, 2007
When I think of the blogs that I enjoy reading (and there are some great ones out there), I wonder how did they learn about widgets, rss feeds, alt tags, etc? How do they keep their posts full of enthusiasm and keep us coming back for more?
Although I am a watercolor artist, one of my favorite blogs to read is that of ceramic artist Cynthia Guajardo. I find her posts to be both informative about her work and her personal life – just enough, yet not too much – she even shares some of the technology side of blogging! Recently I stepped out of my usual field of watercolor and became a reporter... asking Cynthia numerous question's. Because she is such an inspiration to so many of us “blogging artists”, I’d like to share with you these queston's and answers with you.
An interview with Cynthia Guajardo
Nancy: First of all, thank you, Cynthia, for taking the time to answer these questions and allowing me to share them with others. I know you as a ceramic artist. Has your medium of choice changed over the years or have you always known ceramics to be the medium for you?
Cynthia: I always knew that I would love working with clay even before I touched it, however, I am absolutely seduced by other mediums. Every so often, I flirt with painting and I took 2 print making classes in college which I adored. In the end, the mediums converge and I have been exploring image transfer to clay since last summer.Nancy: What is the allure of clay?
It's a plastic material and able to be used to make virtually anything from functional pottery, sculpture and even jewelry.
Nancy: Did you receive formal education in the ceramic field?
Cynthia: Yes, I have a BFA from the University of Southern Maine with a concentration in ceramics. I graduated later than most - I was 38 years old when I finally received my diploma. To tell you the truth, my real education continues today as I work on my own with no benefit of an established, fully equipped studio.
Nancy: What part of the ceramic process do you enjoy the most?
Cynthia: I definitely enjoy the creating and making part of working with clay. Working with clay is physical; yet at the same time when I am in the zone, it's very meditative. I am pushing myself to concentrate on the glazing and decorating aspect of working with clay now that my forms are pretty solid. Glazing is often an after thought for many ceramic artists, but it is what makes the work spectacular in the end.Nancy: Where do your draw your inspiration from?
I draw my inspiration from so many places and people. I love architecture, nature, color and art history. I see patterns everywhere and am also inspired by the handmade movement happening right now. It's fantastic to make something knowing that a little piece of my energy is transferred to the recipient. When I see or touch an artist made object or art piece, I wonder about the maker which is a lot more meaningful than a mass production piece out of a factory.
Nancy: Are you inspired by other artists, if so, who?
Cynthia: I'm inspired by so many other artists including a painter that I did my internship with in college, Richard Lethem http://www.richardlethem.com./ At 70+ years old, he still paints everyday, teaches at the university and is vigorously pursuing show opportunities. I have also met a lot of really talented artists in cyberspace who I might never have met otherwise, including yourself.
Nancy: I admire how you have kept your blog looking new and fresh. Have you always been a "techy"?
Cynthia: Oh, God no! Just 6 years ago, I had to learn how to use a PC for the art history classes I was taking. I didn't even know how to use Microsoft Word to write a paper. That being said, I'm not afraid of technology and am able to figure programs out. What's the worst that can happen? Major computer Crash - oh wait that happened to me last year and I was so proud of myself bringing the old gal back to life.
Nancy: Can you tell those of us that are "technology challenged" how we might learn to take better care of our blog?
Cynthia: Well, that's the hundred thousand dollar question and I'm still trying to figure that out myself. I try to post at least 3 times a week with fresh material. I also try to keep up with new social networking sites that I think might be beneficial and interesting to me. I read a few other blogs and have learned a lot by looking at how other bloggers make it fresh and exciting for their readers. If they have a new widget, I check out the site to see if it's worth implementing. Most important of all, I respond to all the comments left on my blog and I reciprocate with a visit to the commenter's blog if they have one. My goal is to make it very easy to navigate my blog so that people aren't lost and frustrated.
I might add that I am never at a loss for words and I actually enjoy writing. I have a blog post in draft mode where I write ideas and add links for future posts. I have also added a tracking counter on my blog to see how people end up on my blog. It's important to add relevant tags to your posts so that people can find the information for which they're looking.I might add that many new opportunities have come my way since I started blogging 1.5 years ago that wouldn't have happened otherwise. It's in my interest to keep my blog alive since it receives so many more hits a day than my website does. Blogs are inherently dynamic whereas, websites are more static - both are, however, necessary in my opinion for an artist today.
Nancy: You keep your posts enjoyable and fun to read. How do you decide what to share about your work and life and is there a strategy to this?
Cynthia: I don't have any hard and fast rules about what to share. I am an open book at this point, though I do keep my husband, daughter and other family and friend's identities a secret for safety reasons - unless they have a public Internet presence. I also try to keep my blog PG-13 because my daughter sometimes reads what I'm writing over my shoulder and my mom reads daily. Sometimes, I wish that I did a better job at censoring my posts, because I'll write about almost anything. I will occasionally edit a post that I wrote the night before if it feels offensive. I don't know that there is a strategy per se, but I do think familiarity breeds recognition. And, that goes back to the initial impetus for starting my blog - to market my work to a broader audience.
Nancy: Thank you so much Cynthia, for taking the time to answer these questions. I know you keep a full schedule with your own creative work, family and now returning back into the work field. I know that myself and many others will be better artists because of the insight you have shared.
Cynthia: Thank you, Nancy for the opportunity. I enjoyed "talking" with you and reading your blog the past year.
Please if you haven't been to Cynthia's blog, you can see it here http://cmguajardo.blogspot.com/
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Friday, October 05, 2007
Thursday, October 04, 2007
For once I felt that I knew when to stop. I could have kept working on it by adding more color here or there, but I didn't ... and I'm so glad I stopped when I did. The colors are bright and vibrant just as I had wanted. Then, when I was happy with my colors, I added some water soluble metallic splatters and I think it adds to how I wanted to depict fall.
Monday, October 01, 2007
Friday, September 28, 2007
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Some time ago I decided to go thought all my tubes of watercolors and make swatches of them all, all together on one piece of paper. I labeled them as to what the color was on the tube and the manufacture, such as transparent yellow- winsor newton. I also painted over a 1/2" line of black ink in to tell if it was transparent or not. I placed all the yellows together, earth colors together, reds, etc. I was so happy with this when I it was completed. I could look at one glance and tell what color would best suit my needs. Not to mention that all those colors just look great all lined up together ... neat and tidy.
I then decided that all those colors were too confusing to me. I did a little research and decided to concentrate on just a few colors. I chose the Michael Wilcox colors he suggests. I now have 8 colors in a small watercolor palette that I travel with: Cad Red Light, Quinacridone violet, Cad yellow light, Hansa yellow light, Cerulean Blue and Ultramarine blue, Burnt Sienna, and I added indigo- just because I like it, and in the 12 wells of the Eldajon palette I also have Yellow ochre, Raw Sienna, Blue, Phthalocyanne, green and some white.
I occasionally, when in a hurry, grab another tube of paint because I "know" what it will look like when on a fresh piece of white paper. But other than that I and trying hard to just learn these colors.
Don't you think this art stuff to be a fun journey?
Monday, September 24, 2007
Friday, September 21, 2007
Fishing Flies have always been appealing to me. Since I was a young girl when my brother and I would go fishing with my grandfather. Then, after a day of fishing, grandpa would fry up our catch of the day. Ummm the thought brings back memory's of smells and tastes I haven't been able to reproduce in all my cooking years. Those evenings, my brother and I would then entertain ourselves for hours tying fishing flies and talking about which fly would catch the biggest fish.
Now, I prefer to paint the fishing flies.
Almost always when people (especially men) see my fishing fly watercolors they seem to be surprised and want to know how I came to paint them. They are always a conversation starter. I started painting the flies after I'd done a series of 6 different trout. I had matted and framed the six trout all in one frame ....
I had a few fishing flies to use as a reference but after water coloring them I wanted to find more to add to the series. I stopped by a very large sporting good store to
I found a few to purchase, left the store to continue on with the rest of my shopping list. All was going well until a young girl, in a loud voice said, "Momma, look, that lady has bugs on her arm". Sure enough, there on my right arm were some fishing flies that had attached them selves to my sweater sleeve as I reached across the multitude of fishing flies on display at the sporting goods store. I was so embarrassed ... not only that I had frightened the little girl, and had to explain to the child and mother what the "bugs" were doing on my arm, but that I had blatantly stolen the fishing flies.
And yet, to this day I still love to see and paint them.
Watercolor fishing flies from top to bottom: Royal Wulff, Sofa Pillow, Golden Stone, Muddler Minnow
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
I know this isn't a very good sketch ... it's suppose to show the river rushing over and around the rocks that were in the center of the river in front of our camp. I had trouble showing moving - rushing- water. Also the colors just do not show up in this scan.
The above sketch, while is does show up better, just doesn't do the colors justice. This was an alder tree along the river bed at our camp. The colors were pretty with the sunlight on some of the leaves. I tried to capture the color of a fallen leaf that came down by where I was sketching.
Now that I'm home my list of art projects is long. There are still two more Saturdays that the Farmers Market is open, shows to enter, prints to frame for month long hanging period at the local hospital, plus a commission.
It's fun to go .... but so nice to be home.
Friday, August 31, 2007
There is only four more Saturdays that our local Farmers Market will be open and since we are planning on being away most of them, tomorrow seems like a good day to introduce the newest addition to my note card line, Autumn Scarecrow just in time for fall. Last September the original sold at auction on e-bay, fortunately I saved a copy for cards and prints so others will be able to enjoy this warm and friendly scarecrow also.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Last Saturday, for those of us that were selling at our local Farmers Market, the weather co-operated and we even had a little sun. There were less vendors than usual, with some of the vendors attending a large event, in a near by town. I was worried that with fewer vendors there would be little sales. But, to my surprise there seemed to be just as many customers as usual. I sold numerous cards and one original watercolor. The painting was about 22" x 11" titled Along for the Ride. Matted in white with a blue inset boarder, and a blue frame.
Monday, August 20, 2007
E.D.M Challenge # 3 Draw a wallet or purse.
Monday, August 06, 2007
Now that I've completed it, I'm not sure that its better, but I do know that I'm done and won't add another drop of oil to this painting.
- Think about shape... forget about all the detail
- get your drawing right the first time around
- I need to paint more and do alla prima ... (A style of painting where, instead of building colours up with layers, the painting is done in one session while the paint is still wet. From the Italian word which literally means at once.)
- Decide right away if you want a high key or low key painting
I thoroughly enjoyed the two landscape oil paintings I have done. I don't think either one is an award winners, but they have been so enjoyable to paint ... and isn't that really why I did them?
Thursday, August 02, 2007
Sunday, July 29, 2007
Recently, friend and fellow artist Maeona, posted on her blog a short paragraph about palette knives, which made me realize that although I have been doing a little oil painting, I have very little in the way of oil painting supplies. So to help remedy that I purchased one small palette knife and three 5" x 7" canvas boards the last time I was in town (its a small start). I have no idea what kind of knife I purchased, but it was so different from the other palette knife that I own (inherited from my mothers art supplies) that I had to purchase it. After reading her blog I realize that each knife is used for a different purpose. Maybe someone will share with me what purpose each are are used for. My new one is the small cute one in the photo ... short and pointy.
Recently I found instructions on on Wet Canvas! for making a small pochade out of a cigar box. I've been wanting one to use when out with my plein air group, and thought it may be fun to work on, plus be a lot less expensive than purchasing one. This photo is the cigar box that I bought on e-bay. Next time we are in town I'll purchase the other materials to complete this project.
Once again I really enjoyed being at the Saturday Farmers Market this last Saturday. I was able to visit with with numerous customers. Some just visiting, others asking for certain prints, some sharing why they like this one or that. This is what is so great about being at the market .... getting to know and enjoy your customers. I think I'm hooked.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Sunday, July 15, 2007
Last Saturday, yesterday, I once again attended the Harstine Island Farmers Market. I'm finding it to be a fun endeavour. I'm enjoying meeting and talking to the people who come by to look/buy my work or just to visit. Because of the success I've had at the Farmers Market, I've decided to have a booth at the Harstine Island Lavender Festival next Saturday and Sunday. It should be a fun time ... with a lot of entertainment both days. Food, Drinks both prepared with lavender, live music, art and crafts, massage ... and plants.
If you are in the area please stop by and say hello.
Monday, July 09, 2007
It is suppose to be hotter this week and I'm glad to be home where it will be cool. I've cleaned my studio a little and will try to work on a large painting I've been started some time ago ... maybe the time is right.....FINALLY.
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Sunday, June 24, 2007
I'd be interested in knowing if any of you can guess what this photo is of .... well, any of the photo's I'm posting for that matter.
As you know, I'm new to oil painting. I know very little about oil painting and as of yet purchased very few supplies for painting in oil . The palette I have is one that came in a small acrylic package I had from years ago. Its a small white plastic palette, approximately 9"x 6". The brushes I have are some odd brushes I thought may work ... some are from the same acrylic package as the palette. So, to continue with my story .... Last Tuesday was another Plein Air day with the new group I've been fortunate enough to join. I found a spot along a creek, that was running into Hood Canal. It has a small foot bridge and I thought I may be able to capture it in oil, but if not I had also brought my watercolors, some brushes and even a gallon jug of water. And just incase I couldn't finish my painting while out for the day, I brought my camera.
Well, although I wasn't able to finish my painting in oil, I did find I was pretty satisfied with getting the basic idea down on my
pre-primed, pre-gessoed cardboard canvas. When it was time to pack up and head home I placed these large clips (see first photo) in each corner of the painted canvas board. Then I set the painting down over the top of my palette, paint side up, in a cardboard shoe box lid. (I thought I was so smart to even think this far in advance when I packed it) This worked great because the clips kept the painting up off of the palette full of paint ... both set in the shoe box lid... for a safe journey home. Yeah right ! Remember me telling you I'd brought all my watercolor supplies... even a jug of water? Well, during my travels going home, the water jug fell over landed on top of the oil painting (still in the shoe box lid remember). The weight of the gallon of water bent the cardboard canvas down on top of my palette and rode there for the duration of the trip. When I arrived home some of the water had leaked out of the jug -even with a lid screwed on- there was oil paint all over the jug and the beginnings of my painting has paint smeared from the jug, the back of the cardboard - the first photo - had oil paint and water soaked into it, and most of my paint on my palette was now on the back of the canvas.
So, next time, I'll take some plastic wrap to cover my palette, and something else to place my painting in for a safe trip while traveling. As time goes by I hope to pick up a few more supplies for oil painting and won't have to worry about how to travel with my oils.
One of the women in the plein air group is always saying, "I wonder if I can salvage this painting". I asked myself this very question after this experience and I think I'm going to try.
More photo's to come as I work on this painting... maybe then you'll be able to tell just what it was that I was trying to capture on canvas.
Photo #1. Back of canvas ...now covered with water and oil paint. #2 My palette NOW covered with plastic wrap ... after the damage. #3 My oil painting with smeared oil paint, and nothing that is recognizable.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Here is the last of the remaining tables, along the same row as mine that were yet to be taken down on Saturday. This time I was fortunate to be using a borrowed white canopy. Some of the two hours were bright sunshine, then other times, dark clouds. Sales were about the same as my first Saturday at the Farmers Market. Very good, considering most of my friends had dropped by that first Saturday. This Saturdays sales were mostly from strangers. I enjoyed visiting with my customers and feel I made some new friends by being able to spend some time with a few.
I thought I'd mention a novel I've been reading and am just about to finish. The title is CHASING CE'ZANNE by Peter Mayle. Its about a stolen painting by Cez'anne and a forgery put in its place by the owner ... It is a fast read and one easy to get into. For some reason, this is the time of year that I can really get into reading novels and other books about artists. CHASING CE'ZANNE is my first book to kick off the season.
I wonder, what should I choose to read next ......
Saturday, June 09, 2007
#1 Pencil in Sketchbook
I decided today that I'd do a study with my one lone lemon. The first photo is done in pencil
Ode to the Lemon
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
- Learn what brushes to use where. I seemed to want to use only one brush and had to force my self to try one that would work better.
- Remember that I can use either the thinner or linseed oil to mix with my paints to aid in painting. I think I used way too much paint, when I could have used a thinner application.
- Learn not to mess up my whole pile of paint to mix a color.
- Figure out what to do now with the paint left on my palette that isn't used.