The Art-A-Day Project

I don’t usually make new years’ resolutions but this year I was inspired. My resolution is to make art every day, and then post these on Facebook. Posting daily here on the blog is too much so I will post occasionally as the dailies accumulate.

How I got inspired? Well, there are a few reasons. And to me, when there are a few reasons that amount to a force then I must pay attention. My first inspiration was my cousin Suzie who was posting a photo a day last year. They were not simply snapshots but beautiful works of art.  This daily activity seemed so fulfilling, I wanted to go out and do my own right away. But I didn’t because, well, I didn’t want to be a copy-cat. So I thought I could wait until this year and find another theme, another angle.  My next inspiration came in a thought that I want to spend time on meaningful things. Less TV, less online solitaire, less online anything, more art, more looking at the real world, more sharing with others. I was looking at some of my old sketchbooks and knew I wanted to renew a habit I broke some time ago—my daily doodle. Also, I need to draw to work out some art ideas I have brewing that have not materialized. How can I do that without making marks? Just do it. And finally, I love to draw, make pictures of most anything. I like to experiment with media and subjects, hone the skills and share that.

And so hatched my Art-A-Day project. Make art every day. Join me, you’ll like it.

I made a few ‘rules’. They aren’t strict, only guidelines. The most ruley rule is I have to post every day. I decided to make my daily entries into sketchbooks I’ve had lying around. I actually have six about the same size (5.5×8.5) and this is just enough to get through the year. I like the idea of using up stuff I already have. I am not limiting myself to inside the books, but will use this as a collection place so to speak. In fact, already I have made two digital images using Corel Painter. I also will count doodles in my notebook as well as larger work (when I get to it). I’m not required to complete a work each day. I can include incomplete work, documenting stages. That way I can get into a big thing one day and not worry I have to finish something for my art-a-day post.

Unless it is digital, I made these in a Stillman & Birn Epsilon Series for heavyweight paper for pen and ink. Here’s what I’ve done so far.

01JAN13

01JAN13 Birdwatching Awaits – graphite

02JAN2013

02JAN13 Blue Gray Gnatcatcher – Digital, Corel Painter 12

03JAN13

03JAN13 Starfish – ZIG marker and colored pencil

04JAN13

04JAN13 Flamingos – Collage and paint markers

05JAN13

05JAN13 Pattern Internationale – Paint marker and ZIG Millenium fineline

06JAN13

06JAN13 Tamarula Astromeria – ZIG brush marker, colored pencil and Helix drafting pen

07JAN13

07JAN13 Blue Kitty – Digital, Corel Painter

08JAN13

08JAN13 Swirls – Pentel Stylo pen

09JAN13

09JAN13 Illumination – Watercolor, paint marker, ZIG Millenium fineliner

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Wrapping up 2012

My last post of 2012 will recap the past few months of artistic adventures.

The Art Attack studio opening went well. Here’s a sketch from the view at the studio while there was a lull in attendance. My favorite part is the rolled up wool blankets and towels we use for the press that are stored under the work table. I used a Pentel Pocket Brush Pen for this sketch.

studio sketch

Metro Sketchers visited the American Swedish Institute in November.  I loved the architecture and green tiled roof. Here I used a Helix drafting pen and some watercolor.

ASI

In December Metro Sketchers went to the Bell Museum of Natural History. The Bell has wonderful exhibits of preserved specimens. I painted these pieces in gouache with some ink additions. I have been working with gouache to try to master it. A great help to me has been Roz Stendahl. You can learn a lot about gouache from her on her blog http://rozwoundup.typepad.com And specifically the gouache compendium she compiled. http://rozwoundup.typepad.com/roz_wound_up/gouache-compendium-notes-from-roz-wound-up-posts-to-accompany-my-gouache-demo.html

ruddy ducks

Owl at Bell

Early December I took a 3-day watercolor workshop with Andy Evansen. Andy’s  method is new to me and I enjoyed experimenting with it in these few paintings I made in the workshop. I love one of his sayings “get in and get out”. It really embodies the spirit of watercolor as a fresh and direct medium.

Fairgrounds nocturn

Bela on the porch

At Visual Journal Collective we had a drawing scavenger hunt. One of the items to find and draw was a holiday decoration. So I drew this owl ornament on a tree there. Turns out about four other people drew this same little owl.

Owl ornament at MCBA

And finally, I completed my annual Christmas card. This one is block printed with watercolor hand coloring. I made 100 cards so this was some time investment but I am pleased with the results. The red breasted nuthatch overwinters in Minnesota. A cheerful nasal “ang-ang” call will let you know they are nearby.

nuthatch card

Cheers!