Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Class Time Again!

I'm taking a third woodcut class. I love the atmosphere at the Fleisher Art Memorial. It's more serious than the suburban art places I've gone to and yet is affordable.

I miss the company of fellow woodcut artists, for $20 a night, I get studio time, free crits and a lot of motivation and fun!

And it improves my work. Another step.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Getting my ducks in order

Dear Art Friends,

I'm not a list maker, unless it's for things I HAVE to get done by a certain time. Not one to make and cross off things I can see in front of me having to be done. But I am thinking that relaunching my art effort is going to require a loooong list.

Number 1 of course is: Do the art. I've been fairly good about that. And Number 2 is: Improve the art. With classes and every day drawing and doing art as often as I can, I think that's happening too.

The rest of the list is more vague and less firmly in place. Before I relaunch, I need to update my website. I want decent human portrait samples and enough woodcut prints to make it look like I'm serious, which I am. I am thinking of a "subname" too, maybe: Portraits, Pets and Prints.

I need an art show set up. I need to find shows. I need to enter competitions. I need professionally done cards. Lots of needs!

And I want to have more energy which I know is eating better and exercising more. I'm trying to cram all these things into my limited "free" time without losing quality of work or quality of time with those I love. I also know that there's no perfect time, but I know it's not yet.

So...if I were in Candyland, I'd be pretty much a few spaces off of the starting point...and lots of spaces ahead. Where are you? Do you have some suggestions for me that I'm missing? I'd love to hear from you. Robin

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Sometimes you just have to walk away..

Yesterday I posted about my frustration fighting support and pencils to do something pretty new. That old "give up" hits...

You know, sometimes you just have to walk away for a while. I think it helps that I have 2 art things I'm doing...the colored pencil/painting work and the woodcut printing.

Yesterday I printed a life sized cat I cut and proofed it and printed an edition of 9 before I ran out of paper! I loved how it turned out and will post a picture on my other blog after I get out today.

It just totally energized me. Now I feel I can tackle the portrait again, which I really want to do for my niece in law who gave me the photo. And it's not the photo, it's me who failed with it.

However, as much as I want to do art today, I think I won't be doing much. It's a real happy week in our house, our son who's a painter and has been getting a show together in Berlin for the last 9 months, is coming home to paint some commissions he has waiting for him here. And he's going to crash here for a bit til he gets resettled, so I'm moving my studio to the diningroom/kitchen. (will be printing in the kitchen, NOT over my rugs!!)

I can't tell you how much we can't wait to see him!! It's also a beautiful mornign out there, Otto is already nagging me for his walk, and I might do a little garden cleanup!

I hate to squander weekend days for house chores, but not only am I happy to for this occasion, I think it's good to walk away and take a break from art sometimes...as long as you come back soon!

Saturday, February 7, 2009


I have worked hours on a portrait of two toddler girls, on 2 different sanded support. I think I'm barking up the wrong tree here. I'm trying to do too many new things at once, and the sanded paper is going to go!!

I'm redoing a third time and this time I'm going to use the Mi Teintes that I am so familiar with. I know exactly how it will behave, so that's one thing conquered!

Wish me luck!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

First Practice Piece - toddler on Colorfix with Colored Pencil

Here's my first practice piece. I used a goldenish colorfix paper, which has a sanded finish. It eats the pencils but I like how you can go light over dark/dark over light fairly easily.

I'm also experimenting with pastelboard undercoated with acrylics. I did a practice piece with that as well, but I was afraid to go too dark with the arcylics so went an did another coat of it OVER colored pencil, and then really overworked the thing. It looked okay from a distance but the texture was pretty ugly. So today I've got a reddish black and a sienna brown pastelboard waiting to be tackled.

Anyway, I do like the colorfix a lot. I think I'll try a darker shade to start with next time. I didn't do a real background on this because it really is practice. The ref is from the wetcanvas copyright free library, and I'm pretty happy with the likeness.

What is on my mind, though, is if I can really get away from copying photos...or trying to. I think more practice and a lot of it..will answer me.

So what are you, my midlife artist visitors, up to on this gorgeous winter day? Tell, tell!