Friday, February 26, 2010


This time - a person reading a book. Are you sensing a theme here? :) These drawings are all about me (but not of me, exactly) and I love reading. Also I just picked up knitting recently - hence the hat and scarf. Is that too boring? I feel like if I explain too much about what I was thinking when I decide what I want to draw it's not interesting anymore. I hope even if I'm doing something literal that it also reads as more narrative and ambiguous (why are these people going outside, for example) but I worry.

I like thinking about creating things - even if it's just a hat - and then using them for something. I thought as long as I'm overcoming my fears and using the figure that they should be doing something and definitely not nude. I'm so over the "figure drawings that are nude just because that's what everyone does" type of drawings. Not that some of them aren't beautiful, but I don't think most of them have anything personal to say. But maybe it's too tediously personal to draw a knitted hat, so I don't know :)

Oh, same as last time, 11x14" on Fab hot press, graphite and gouache.

Thursday, February 25, 2010


I was working on two of these at once, so it's been a little longer to finish one than usual. I have really mixed feelings about this piece. Sometimes I like it, and sometimes there's something I don't like about it, but I'm not sure what :) I usually just toss things that I'm not sure about in a drawer, but I think there's something here that's interesting. And also I'm trying to be more brave and show things online even if I'm not totally sure about them.

Anyway, it's another 11x14" on Fabriano hot press in graphite and gouache. I liked the photo I drew it from but somehow I don't think it's reading as "person putting on a hat" with some details left out. But I also think I've been staring at it for too long and I can't really tell anymore. I'm getting a few more things finished up for a show in Seattle in March and unfortunately that means I couldn't just draw this up and set it aside for a couple weeks until I figured out if there was something I didn't like (which is what I would normally do). It's good for me to not look at a piece and then sneak up on it and get a fresh look at it again - does that make sense? It sounds nutty :)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Little oil paintings to go along with the gouache

Here's two oil paintings that I did a couple of days ago and had to wait for them to dry a little bit before I moved them. I worked on them both at the same time - one advantage of working small is that I can fit two canvases on the easel at once. I wanted to try the same kind of lines with color blocks like in the gouache pieces but with more blended areas and less plain white.

I'm getting better at stopping myself before I blend away all the rougher areas like I used to. I feel like if I go back and take away all the unblended edges it loses some of the liveliness. Which is ok too, but I did those last year and I wanted to change things up :) And I'm learning to love when the geometry starts to go wobbly because I'm using oil paint and brushes and not pencils and rulers. I try to keep going back to what it is that I love about oil painting which is taking a solid line and blending out parts of it, and putting brushy scrubby texture all over. There's no way to do all that and maintain a perfect right angle...well, I can't, anyway.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Fey Handmade

I got an email a couple of weeks ago about participating in Fey Handmade's online shop and I thought it sounded like a good opportunity so I decided to go for it. It's free to participate with a commission taken from sales so there's not really any risk from my end of things.

I was checking to see when my pieces would show up and lo and behold, Leah's work is on there too! And today when my work was uploaded, I found Brittni's and Letha's gorgeous pieces as well! I feel very lucky seeing my artwork among all this work that I admire :)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Another figure-related piece

Yikes, I finally have some more art to show you. Last week was a blur of head-cold blah but I can feel that the weather is starting to change so that usually means I can stop getting sick and actually have some energy again. I love watching all my plants starting to wake up and bud out in the spring and feel like I'm not in hibernation anymore :)

This is 11x14" on Fabriano hot press again. I like this paper mostly - it doesn't erase as cleanly as I would like and I've had two sheets that had a few little specks embedded in the paper. Not that it's a huge problem, but it's not the cheapest paper so I hate when it has flaws before I've even started. I'm really having fun playing with the opacity or watery-ness of the gouache in these. It has such an interesting flatness and texture.

I was trying to incorporate scissors in this without it looking too violent :) Something about those sharp objects make me think of knives which isn't really where I was trying to go here. I tried to take some photos actually cutting fabric and paper but they didn't really work out, so I thought I would try this slightly more abstract approach.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Little gouache studies

Here's a few little paintings with railroad-y diagrams in them. These three are 6x6" on Fabriano hot press (again). I'm intrigued by how much the gouache changes color and opacity as it dries, so I'm doing these small painting to sort of practice with it some more.

I hate practicing in my sketchbook - I'd rather just get started on a nice piece of paper so that if it turns out how I want, I actually have a finished piece rather than having to redo it on a better paper. I waste some nice paper that way, but I used to be afraid to touch my nice paper and would leave it to sit in the drawer and do way too much preliminary sketching. So I think it's good that I'm not so precious about paper (and canvas, etc.) anymore.

Something I like in these pieces is the tension between the precise ruler lines and the (intentionally) wobbly edge of the color. I like the effect in printmaking when two colors are out of registration and they overlap in some places and leave white gaps in others. I think these would be really flat if they were actually perfect or if I did them digitally to eliminate all the color changes and wobbles.