Art-A-Day Marches Along

March was a busy month and art-a-day did not happen daily, but who’s counting. I decided that staying up until midnight just to finish my entry was proving unworthy and it was taking a toll on me. I decided that some days it just wasn’t going to happen and that’s o.k. I still feel virtuous to keep at it as much as I can.

In March I experimented with digital media practicing with some software on my desktop Mac and a newly acquired iPad. The iPad is a very expensive sketchbook so I don’t recommend it unless you plan to use it for a lot of other things as well. On my Mac I’m working in Corel Painter, Photoshop and AutoDesk Sketchbook Pro. I am by far no expert but getting used to it. Most of what I tried is not worthy of publication so I have reserved it for the trash can. On the iPad I have tried Sketchbook Pro for iPad, Auryn Ink, and ArtStudio. I want to try more apps but figure I better master some of the ones I have before jumping to something else. I still like traditional drawing much better and I think that is unlikely to change.

I am quick to flutter around many methods and ideas and seldom settle down to one thing. This is one of my challenges. I do not stick with one subject, medium or style. I figure if I do enough art, I’ll land on something that will hold my attention longer.

I like taking an approach of working with what is present, the current tool, the current idea, the current surface, the current visual stimulus, and making something of it. I even will go as far as picking colors with my eyes closed and challenging myself to make unity out of the randomness of the choice. My favorite mediums for quick sketching are markers and colored pencils. They lay down quick bold color. Sometimes the medium itself directs the outcome of the drawing.

The art-a-day drawings are usually purely at the moment. In most cases, I do not premeditate what I might do. I simply sit down and draw what comes to mind at that moment. This might be inspired by shapes I see, a photo I collected, an event I am attending or recollecting, or an item sitting in front of me. In my ideal world, I work toward ideas for the artwork I pursue as printmaking in the studio. And some of the March entries were for this purpose.

Here are my art-a-day entries for March 2013. Click on any image to see a slide show.

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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!

Open studio this weekend in Northeast Minneapolis.

Next weekend – Art Attack! November 2-4. I will have my studio open during this annual event in the Northrup King Building. I’m in studio 447 at the top of the main entrance stairway. Here’s a link to info. I will have artwork, lamps, cards for sale. This image will be on display and many like it. Come see lots of artists in one building. Hope to see you there.
http://www.northrupkingbuilding.com/artattack