I always start a new quarter by explaining to my students how important it is that we develop a practice of simplification and analysis before beginning a drawing or painting. I have them do an exercise to find large simple shapes based on value within a reference image. This helps tremendously!
I began a new painting today. The images inspiring this painting have been floating in my head for a couple of weeks, since I made a trip out to Dungeness Spit on the Olympic Peninsula. Standing on the shore facing the Strait
Put on a disk of Miles Davis or Weather Report, sit on the floor with a large sketchbook & markers and start drawing!
Immerse yourself in the abstract sounds of jazz. Feel the ups, downs and circular motions of the music. Notice the traveling quality of the beat. What color is the trumpet sound? Is the bass cool or
I'm working on a painting that has been sitting in my studio for months - waiting for me to come back to. Sometimes there is an initial inspiration that somehow
Today I took time to gesso a bunch of small canvases! Its exciting to have canvases prepped just the way I like - all ready to go!
I really don't like the course texture of most canvas so I apply three or four coats of good acrylic gesso. Using a nice house painting brush, I put a somewhat thick layer of gesso on the surface and sides of the canvas then pull the brush carefully across the surface keeping the strokes going evenly all the way across. I let that dry, sand, then apply another coat. This time the final strokes are perpendicular to the first ones, keeping a subtle "weave" texture. The process continues - drying, sanding and alternating direction for each layer. Plenty of tooth but not too course!
Just as I prepare to make this transition to self-employment my laptop sizzles - joy...
Since I am no longer tied to the old data I've collected over the years.... I'm looking for a number of inexpensive and agile solutions to get back on track.
Many artists use spreadsheets to document their work but I'm a database kind of gal. So in searching for a new solution, I found ArtworkArchive. This is a cloud-based database so you can access your info from any device - which I really like! And - it looks good! The reports it creates are clean and attractive - and very professional looking! The user interface is modern and, partly because it looks so good, I really enjoy working on it.
Over the past umpteen years, I had used WorkingArtist but grew wary of it as the company stopped showing signs of upgrading the software. WorkingArtist was great - it tracked everything quite well - it even assisted in pricing artwork - oh well....
Then I imported my info into GYST - honestly, that was way too cumbersome to work with. They really want to be an all encompassing resource for artists in all aspects of their business - but I spent way too much time lost in all the info and convoluted report-generation.
I looked at a number of other options that could work but when I tried ArtworkArchive I decided the convenience, simplicity and clean, good-looking reports out-weighed the yearly $99 subscription. If you are just starting out, they have a $49/yr version that offers a limited number of pieces and locations you can track.
I recommend you test it out for yourself - you can sign up for free and add (a very limited number of) records so you can see how it works before you buy it.
Interesting article on the brains of pianists