I’ve been working on training Gunnar as my service dog for almost 2 years now. (It’s a long story.) I thought I could use my experience to raise awareness and hopefully, acceptance of owner trained service dogs and what the laws are. If you want to know more about service dogs check out this link.
I don’t know how long it has been since I attempted 30 paintings in 30 days. I haven’t even had the energy to consider trying. I was very excited to give it a go this year.
The rules of 30 paintings in 30 days is that you just do more than you have been doing and you have fun. Prioritize art and do what you can.
I did 8 paintings/sketches! I even sold one. Just being able to focus this much on art again was amazing.
I actually used several different versions of the Bernie and bird paintings on products on Redbubble. Check it out, if you feel so inclined.
This is what I want from my artist dates! First, let’s get the business out of the way. I received a two free trial for Skillshare and if you would like 2 free weeks instead of the typical one week, here is my link. I’m not affiliated with them, it is just a “share with your friends” link that has a longer trial period than if you just go to their site.
I’ve done stuff like this before and they are usually nice sites with a lot of information, but sometimes it feels like I don’t really learn anything useful. Like people just want to make videos for passive income, but they don’t add substance. I’m sure that has more to do with the individual than the group and I just happened to get lucky with my first class today.
I took this class on how to make videos with a one person crew. It is only 13 minutes so I did not expect much, but I have so many ideas from what she said. She didn’t waste my time or add superfluous information. That is another thing I need to learn from her… I wonder if she has a class on that?
Anyway, now I’m bouncing off the walls with ideas and wanting to make my next youtube video. I wish every artist date had me feeling like this and it is hard to care about the dates when they don’t fill up my creative energy. I know they still make a difference and not every date can be this good, but this is what my artist needs to be wooed.
I’ll probably watch another class on videos later and then get started on my own.
What did you do for yourself today?
My artist date this week was very meta. I spent an hour researching artist dates.
I used pinterest and made this Artist Dates Idea board.
I also made a few blog post drafts with the artist date ideas included so I can just pick one and go.
I signed up for Skillshare for next week’s (and maybe the week after) date. Here’s my link if you’d like to sign up for 2 free weeks instead of the normal 1 week. (I get 2 more free weeks if you use this link.)
It was a simple date, but it also inspired me to schedule a much needed massage for Sunday so it was clearly effective.
I’m also going to start a post listing all the artist dates I have/will have done in a year. Hopefully, it will not include going for a walk or thrift store like every single other list has.
These are the people who inspire me and make me want to paint.
If you could chose 5 people from any time frame to be in your “squad” or inner circle, who would it be? They say you are a combination of the five people with whom you spend the most time, so choose carefully.
While you think about it, here’ s my art squad:
From his wiki:
John Singer Sargent was an Italian-American expatriate artist, considered the “leading portrait painter of his generation” for his evocations of Edwardian-era luxury. He created roughly 900 oil paintings and more than 2,000 watercolors, as well as countless sketches and charcoal drawings.
Why I love him:
He does it all. Oil painting, drawing, watercolor. He travelled the world. What’s not to love? I could stand in front of his work at the Art Institute of Chicago all day. The way he does fabric in oil is mesmerizing. The line quality in his drawings is crisp and fresh. His watercolors are not my favorite, truth be told, but sometimes, they are fantastic. I’d love to have more of his watercolor and line technique in my sketchbooks. He was also very prolific. I want to travel and fill up sketchbooks with work like he did.
Cultivate an ever continuous power of observation. Wherever you are, be always ready to make slight notes of postures, groups and incidents. Store up in the mind… a continuous stream of observations from which to make selections later. Above all things get abroad, see the sunlight and everything that is to be seen.
An artist painting a picture should have at his side a man with a club to hit him over the head when the picture is finished.
I do not judge, I only chronicle.
From her wiki:
Artemisia Lomi or Artemisia Gentileschi was an Italian Baroque painter, now considered one of the most accomplished seventeenth-century artists, initially working in the style of Caravaggio. She was producing professional work by the age of fifteen.
Why I Love Her:
She’s the OG feminist. She was raped and when the rapist was put on trial they put her in thumbscrews. Then she painted about rape and the male gaze. Holofernes in her “Judith Slaying Holofernes” has the face of her rapist and both women are her. She was just damn good. She’s resilient and she does not tolerate fools.
I have told the truth and I always will, because it is true and I am here to confirm it wherever necessary.
…with me Your Illustrious Lordship will not lose and you will find the spirit of Caesar in the soul of a woman.
As long as I live I will have control over my being”
Oscar-Claude Monet was a French painter, a founder of French Impressionist painting and the most consistent and prolific practitioner of the movement’s philosophy of expressing one’s perceptions before nature, especially as applied to plein air landscape painting.
Why I Love Him:
His colors. Duh. His light. His inventiveness. His obsessiveness. It’s all wonderful. I love that he was so prolific while struggling with depression. He was my first artistic love. I had so many prints on my bedroom wall. I miss those prints.
Color is my day-long obsession, joy and torment.
Try to forget what objects you have before you – a tree, a house, a field, or whatever. Merely think, ‘Here is a little square of blue, here an oblong of pink, here a streak of yellow,’ and paint it just as it looks to you, the exact color and shape, until it gives you your own impression of the scene before you.
Etretat is becoming more and more amazing. Now is the real moment: the beach with all its fine boats; it is superb, and I am enraged not to be more skillful in rendering all this. I would need two hands and hundreds of canvases.
I was definitely born under an evil star. I have just been thrown out of the inn where I was staying, naked as a worm.
My life has been nothing but a failure.
Now it is your turn. Tell me in the comments who would make up your squad. I will give you the rest of mine tomorrow.
I heard about a British art show called Portrait Artist of the Year 2020. I’m on the fence about it, but over all, it’s worth a watch. I had the first several episodes on in the back ground as I did other things. I like that it isn’t like American reality tv shows that rely on manufactured drama, but I will admit it is a bit boring.
I don’t want to listen to the judges the whole time. I want to learn about the artist’s more and their process. Why are they making those decisions? I don’t mind the commentary at the end, but during, I just don’t care.
Today, for my artist’s date I watched the semi-finals and made myself do it almost without doing anything else.
I think there’s a lovely range of artists and styles. They don’t stick with just the stereotypical artists and styles.
I would also love to see several episodes of the same artists and doing other challenges. If they could mix this show’s artists and the set up of Work of Art: America’s Next Great Artist, I would be thrilled.
I wouldn’t mind a little more tension. Especially for a 4 hour portrait. That’s stressful and they make it way too calm. They don’t need to make up drama or use stereotypes for drama.
Last week I finally made a video critique of my friend Beth’s painting. I’ve been meaning to do this for at least a month. She’s almost finished by now and it just gets better and better.
I am still working on the artist date project from this week. I went to the Goodwill with my Uncle on Monday and bought a few pieces of art to transform. Nothing crazy. Just practicing hand lettering. It’s just not finished yet.
Today, I found out I can download my old youtube videos and edit them so I spent several hours doing one from several years ago on measuring. I was able to cut the time almost in half, add some text to clear up the ambiguous parts, then add my logo to the front and back.
I will probably do another video for this topic because I realized I could be more thorough. I had fun editing, though.
Check it out and let me know what you think and if you have any questions I can answer in the next version:
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/i9Qz04xGUoM" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>
I think I’m on 5.
Yesterday started out as one of “those days.” I over slept by 2 hours so I missed my walk with my cousin, I couldn’t find the zoom info for an important class so I missed it, too, plus Gunnar begged to go out 3 times before 10am while I was frantically looking everywhere for the zoom info. I was afraid he may have a bladder infection, but no, he just wanted to go out and look around. He’s fine. He had also needed to go out at 4:30 am so that was fun. Much stress, such anxiety.
I did manage to do a quick sketch and make a video. Then I went back to bed for a few hours and woke up just in time for my next class/group. Then I went back to sleep off and on while chatting with friends. I’m still recovering. lol, but seriously.
Anyway, here’s the video. I’m saving the sketch for my sketchbook post this week.
Here are some sketches from last week. I’m trying to get back into the daily habit of sketching. Mainly because I just love having these masonry galleries on my blog.[foogallery id=”6067″]
I like them, but I’m not in love with them. They are surprisingly opaque and since it was my first time mixing them, it just didn’t feel right. I have a couple of ideas for them, though. They are really vibrant and fun. I think using them in my sketchbooks will be awesome. It did make some interesting, unexpected bits.
I decided to use a split complimentary color scheme. I used orange, yellow orange, and red orange with blue. Using a template from this book (Affiliate Links) I took turns using the three analogous colors. I dropped pennies on the paper before I started to have a more random pattern for the blue.
I do have a plan for all of these random color mixing studies.
I had a video for it, but even though I tried to stabilize the shaking, it was bad enough to make me a little motion sick. Next time, I’m going to try hanging my phone from a shelf above my desk.
Want to see more of my artist dates?
Artist’s Date 4! I’m impressed with myself.
This week, my inner artist was cranky. She did not want to do anything. Normally, I would feel overwhelmed and think, forget it. I have no idea what to do.
This time I sat down and thought, okay, clearly I don’t want to do more from The New Color Mixing Companion (Affiliate Link). What do I want to do?
My inner artist:
She finally said: “Composition practice.”
I said, “Cool, but I’m pretty sure that book is in the garage and we will both have to go get it.”
I realized that one of the best things in life is when someone let’s me be cranky without taking it personally, so I thought, “You can pout and I’ll look through the art books that are in the house. If anything seems fun, speak up.
My inner artist:
Looking at my Making Color Sing book (Affiliate Link), she perked up a little. I’ve wanted to make a painting with mousy grays and bright compliments for years, but never got around to it. I didn’t have anything to paint today so I decided to grab another template from The New Color Mixing Companion and fill in some diamonds.
I accidentally printed on the back side of the paper and while the color mixing was fun, the paints did not seem to work well together. I am not very invested in the final piece, but it wasn’t supposed to be great. It was just practice. I’m tempted to do something else today, though. I don’t know what.
I also used it to practice more video making. I added a transition at the beginning and end this time. I’m also hoping to add an end screen. I tried last time, but it didn’t work. At least I’m having fun with the videos.
Here are the first pages of my Shabbat binder. I am definitely not an illustrator, but these were fun.
I printed everything on Arches 140lb paper and used this book (affiliate link) for ideas on the illustrations. I combined a few of her ideas and just drew them on.
Then I remembered I have different color TomBows (affiliate link) and I always get excited about TomBows. It’s only after I use them that I remember I am only good with the black ones. I went back and added watercolor to the pages. I love the moon and clouds. I actually used some sparkly watercolor a friend gave me.
The one with all the leaves, I drew it with the writing upside down and didn’t realize it until I was finished that all the leaves’ shadows are on the wrong side.
It was really fun, though, and they are pretty enough for their purpose. I’ll have more chances to try different things as I add in prayers. I’m definitely sticking to watercolor from now on, though.
I still have to add the vowels, but there’s a really good chance I’m going to mess that up (or discover where I’ve missed a word or made a typo) so I wanted to scan the illustrations first. At least, if I have to fix some typos, I’ll have had practice with the illustrations.
My third artist’s date. I’m on a roll. I used a template from this book (affiliate link). Actually, I combined two to add the Magen David in the center. I’m making myself a Shabbat book to add prayers in as I learn them and thought I would make a cover.
I’ve traded art lessons for Hebrew lessons over the last few months and my art student assigned art homework for me! I’m printing everything on watercolor paper and illustrating each page.
I may go back into this and make the blues a bit darker, but for now I’m pleased with it. I may also add shalom at the bottom. I was going to, but since it is for the cover of my Shabbat binder instead of just a painting for Shabbat, I didn’t. It’s just really hard to not add shalom after. I also thought I could change the colors and sell them as prints if I clean up the edges.
I also made a video to practice more voice over and making intro/outros. I’m pretty happy with the results, although I tried making a speed video and accidentally made a slo-mo video. I was able to speed it up in editing, but it could have been about half the length it is now.
Artist’s Date Week 2 (6/14/2020)
I did more color mixing. Dots this time. I even recorded the process and learned how to do voice overs in iMovie. I’m pretty proud of myself for not only doing the artist’s date, but also thinking ahead enough to record it.
I tried to take out all the bits where I was mixing off camera, but I missed a few. If you knew how long it took me to figure out my lap top doesn’t have a built in microphone, even though I was already aware of that fact, you’d be proud of me for accomplishing this, too.
My date was to try another assignment from The New Color Mixing Companion (the link is an affiliate link) that I used last week, too. I wanted to practice a new layout for my color theory sketchbooks and I wanted to play with my travel palette.
I like the book a lot and it is lovely to look at, but I wish there was a bit more to it. Maybe it’s because this is only my second exercise and I didn’t read the whole thing right off the bat…and I’m also skipping around…and not really new to color theory, but I just want more. I’m also starting with the projects that I want to do and not necessarily the ones I “need” to do so it’s probably me and not the book.
I was thinking, maybe combining the lessons in this book and Color Harmony For Artists, might be a nice idea. (That link is also an affiliate link.)
Anyway, here’s the video. I will warn you, it’s over 20 minutes, but if you need to relax and want to zone out to me mixing some paint and making dots, it’s literally your only option. Check out that voice over work. Amiright?!
(The Amazon links below are affiliate links. I get paid if you buy the books from the links, but I haven’t been paid to discuss the books.)
Last week I decided it was time to revisit The Artist’s Way.
The first time I was focused on the prompts and morning pages. I failed miserably at the artist dates so I thought this time, that would be my focus.
I definitely make them harder than they need to be so it’s all about keeping them simple and fun.
Last week I ventured to the art store for the first time since the pandemic started. I found a new color mixing book The New Color Mixing Companion by Josie Lewis.
When I sat down to think about my goals and what I need for the next 12 weeks, I wrote down fun ideas for artist dates so I wouldn’t have to come up with them on the fly. I asked my inner artist what she wanted to do and here are a few ideas we came up with:
- experiment from an art book
- read color theory books
- go for a walk to find something to sketch
- look at art on instagram
- do a creativity boosting yoga sequence
- watch a youtube video on art
- play in a stream (I used to do this as a kid and it popped in my head, so I thought I’d go with it.)
I’ve thought about randomly picking these things, but today I just sat down, closed my eyes and asked my inner artist what she wanted. I picked up my new color mixing book and flipped through the pages. I found one called Q*bert. I loved Q*bert as a kid so off we went to play.
I am terrible at drawing diamonds free hand. Or die-uh-muhnds as my uncle calls them.
I told myself they would better once I painted them, but spoiler alert, that didn’t happen. I’m okay with it though. It was just meant for fun and it was definitely that.
I think, next time I will go about it a different way. Starting with the vertical lines instead of going across. This would be a fun way to do my other color theory pages, instead of just boxes. I’ll need to make a template.
Another part of this week’s Artist Way lessons is to pick 5 other lives to lead. Mine are:
- international spy
- mini-animal farm owner
- travel blogger
Then you pick one and do it for the week. I’m going to pick travel blogger and try to make my tiny town of less than 70 people seem interesting. It would be kind of fun to go on a day trip, though. Aw, now I want to meet my friends between here and Chicago and spend the day with them.
I found a couple of half used sketch books so I thought I would share one.
It’s kind of silly. It’s from a class I took so we were trying a few different styles. The nightmare may have been from The Artist’s Way.
I tried to add the quotes and list in the image caption, but it was repeated and I couldn’t figure out how to remove the double text so here they are:
Quotes from the first page:
The perfect is the enemy of the good .Ansel Adams
Imperfections are your guides – valuable, reliable, objective, non-judgmental guides – to matters you need to reconsider or develop further.Art & Fear
List from the back page:
- Drawing dreams or silly experiments w/ ink blots are a good way to start a sketchbook – lowers pressure, but also adds fun and a deeper level of who I am.
- Cutting & pasting is a good idea, too. No more loose drawings. They all deserve homes.
- If only one sketch is good, the rest are all worth it. (I really need to remember this.)
- I really like adding water to this paper.
- It is better to make a mistake in a sketchbook than on a painting <– Truth bomb.
Apparently some people believe red, yellow, and blue are not the primary colors and if you believe they are, you’re no better than people who believe the world is flat.
I need to explain why CMY and RYB are both correct, but RYB is the most correct.
The primary red, yellow, and blue we all think of are the versions of those colors without any of the other two primary colors. It’s the easiest one for kids and most people to understand. These are the most basic, pure colors, but that does not mean there are no other reds, yellows, or blues or that they are even the best three tube colors for mixing every single color ever.
We can all see that a red delicious apple and a red fire truck aren’t really the same color red, but we still call them both red. Why do we do that?
The answer is hue families.
Most red, yellow, blue combinations can make all the colors, but not ALL the colors. They can make a violet, an orange, a green, but they are a limited range. That part of the CMY argument is absolutely true.
So why, as artists, don’t we just use magenta, cyan, and yellow to mix all the colors? Why do we bother with hue families at all? Why do we need to say red, yellow, blue as a general statement versus the more specific magenta, cyan, yellow?
Color theory is complicated. Most people don’t need to know the names of every color and I’ve learned even a large number of artists don’t want to learn more than what they need.
If you’re mixing your own paints, I’m sure you’ve learned that not all paints mix well together.
There are entire books dedicated to recipes for color mixing.
You may be thinking that using just magenta, cyan, and yellow would limit the need for all that, but what you’re essentially doing it handing three pigments to someone and saying go make every color under the sun yourself.
If you want an earth tone painting, do you really want to start with magenta, cyan, and yellow, three very bright colors, to mix each earth tone or would you rather start with colors like brown madder, yellow ochre, and prussian blue? You absolutely could start with tubes of CMY and I would even agree that mixing your own would probably have much better results, but to say brown madder, yellow ochre, and prussian blue wouldn’t give you all the colors you need for that painting is wrong. They will make a violet, they will make an orange, they will make a green and most importantly, they will all work well together.
Color mixing and planning are hard. You have to know transparent vs opaque. You have to know cool vs warm, vibrant vs earth tones, etc. Even if you have the time to mix, you also need the time to learn.
This is why you will see portrait kits vs landscape kits at stores. Because people just want the work done for them. Not that that’s a bad thing. You have to be a special kind of nerd to get this worked up over three colors. It is easy to feel defeated and overwhelmed before you even begin a painting. That’s no fun and it stops people from trying.
If your kit comes with a red, a blue, and a yellow, it is still in your best interest to know that you can mix those to get a violet, a green, and an orange even if they are not all the violets, all the oranges, and all the greens
I haven’t tried mixing CMY to earth tones, but I’m assuming that’s one place black would need to be involved at some point. I’ve read CMY can make a dark gray, but that’s it. Google said. “CMY will be able to cover most lighter color ranges quite easily, compared to using RGB. However, while CMY by itself will not be able to create very deep dark colors or a “true black,” so black (designated “K” for “key color”) is added to CMY so a much wider range of colors can be achieved compared to just RGB.”
To summarize the video below, they use acrylic magenta and cyan paints to mix primary blue. Then they try to mix magenta using primary red, primary blue, and white paint. It doesn’t work.. Therefore, they claim blue can’t be a primary because it can be mixed and since blue and red can’t make magenta, magenta and cyan must be the true primaries.
First, you can make cyan and magenta, so by their account, yellow is literally the only primary color and we are both wrong.
Second, if you’re mixing a lighter green blue and a lighter violet red, (cyan and magenta) the complimentary colors would naturally make a darker version of the most used primary color. Cyan would be (y+b)+b and magenta is (b+r)+r. There’s more blue than red so it won’t be red. The green would neutralize the red and you’d be left with b+b.
Each letter in that equation equals one part paint so you have two parts red and technically, two parts green because the yellow and blue are equal so it doubles, and two parts blue. (They won’t be exactly equal amounts of paint because blue is more powerful so you need less to get the same effect than you do of yellow and red. It is equal to visual effect, not amount of pigment.)
The red and green make a gray. Gray darkens the light blue into a primary blue. That’s not trickery. That’s literal color theory using red and blue and yellow as the primary colors. It also does it without effecting the quality of the pigments like adding tube black or tube white would. You still have the same amount you started with. If you add black or white, you’re changing the composition of the mixture.
Now to their second theory. You can’t mix magenta from blue and red.
They add white and don’t get magenta. Of course they don’t. This is supposed to be an ah-ha moment, I believe, but it’s completely expected. White pigment will never give you a vibrant light color.
Here’s a link to a discussion with pictures where I want to quote this bit:
“This makes me wonder if magenta pigments have to be transparent to be magenta. I don’t know a single pigment which is both opaque and magenta.” Yes! You need to know transparent vs opaque if you’re going to mix. Adding white paint will make a transparent color opaque and cloudy.
Printers 100% use the white of the paper so the inks must be transparent.
What this means is magenta is in fact a mixture of blue and red with transparency to let the white of the paper reflect back, lightening the visual effect of the pigment without clouding or dulling it with added white pigment. This is why you cannot get it by adding white paint. It’s not the fault of primary blue and red. The artist is trying to get an effect solely with pigment that you can only get with light bouncing through pigment
Third, the artist claims you can not get a dark neutral from RYB, only brown. I don’t typically use true primaries, but here is what I was able to do:
I wasn’t even sure how this would turn out since the red and yellow are both more opaque than I normally use, but that looks like a pretty solid gray to me.
If it is a mixture of two colors it can not be a primary, by definition. Blue and red must exist before you can have a tint of red violet. Even adding white means it isn’t a primary because you’re adding something to change it from its original state.
The primaries are still red, blue, and yellow.
I grabbed one of my first finished sketchbooks and pulled out a few of the better ones. I would have shared all the pages, but it’s large and won’t fit on the scanner. I hate editing photos. I hate editing photos I took with a camera instead of scanning the most.
These were all done between 2009-2010, I believe.
I know, it’s Monday, but here’s my sketchbook from Paris. My niece met me there after my week in the Netherlands and we spent our time walking around and taking in everything we could. Also eating. Lots of eating.
If you want to see the Netherlands sketchbook, it’s here.
As with all the galleries, if you click on the image when it’s enlarged, the caption will disappear/reappear as you like.[foogallery id=”5043″]
It was better than I could have imagined. Margo made me feel so welcomed. I didn’t have to think about anything other than teaching. I felt like a rock star, tbh.
First, the bed and breakfast was next door to the class location and so charming. Paul, the owner, is a lovely person and the breakfasts were delicious. I think about them all the time.
Second, Margo is generous with her time and knowledge. She patiently answered all my questions and held my hand every step of the way. She and Wilco go out of their way to make her students and teachers feel comfortable and well taken care of.
Third, she surrounds herself with kind, welcoming, and eager to learn students. Margo sets her teachers up for success in every way imaginable which, in turn, sets her students up for success.
Let me describe a day* in the life of Margo’s teachers:
9am: I’d wake up and get ready before heading down to breakfast. The fruit was the most delicious I’ve ever tasted and the bread was like little clouds of heaven. America, why don’t we have bread like this?
10am: I’d meet Margo at the class building where we would have coffee and chat about the plan for the day.
10:30am: Class would start with a quick critique of the work done the day before and a 10-15 minute demo. Then we would both walk around helping students with their paintings.
Sometime around 12pm: We’d stop for coffee/tea and some cookies/chocolate. We’d gather in the lunch area and chat. Then we’d go back for another short demo. (I need more of this in my life.)
2pm: We’d stop for a huge, delicious lunch. I have a sensitivity to black pepper and Margo always made sure the lunch had options for me. She was better at remembering it than I am myself. Then I had the opportunity to go for a walk or back to my room if I needed a break.
3pm: Another quick demo before more painting.
4:30pm: We’d stop for another coffee/tea and chat.
5:30pm: We’d say goodnight to the students and clean up. I tried to help with this, but they would usually shoo me off after a bit. They were insistent on wanting me to relax and enjoy my time, but it was almost more arduous to let them work so tirelessly while I did nothing. The jet lag had their back though. Once they were ready to go, we would grab some dinner and discuss the day. They fed me like I haven’t been fed since my Grandma passed away and it was all delicious.
By 8 or 9pm I was back at the B&B getting ready for bed.
Throughout the day Wilco, was constantly checking on everyone and working diligently to keep everything running while Margo and I did our thing. At one point he told the student they could come cry on his shoulder if they needed to and when they were done, they had go back to work. That guy’s married to an artist.
Margo and Wilco:
*Times may not reflect the actual time of day.
Check out some of these paintings the students did on the last day:[foogallery id=”5015″]