Oh boy, the usual summer diversion has left my drawing table to collect dust and my drawing pens to dry up. My creative energy has flourished with my flower garden and a variety of projects to make our outdoor living space as enjoyable as possible. I built a 10 x 10 foot pergola and covered it with a clear PVC roof. The rainy season has begun (which is why I’m writing my first blog in 5 months!) and we can now sit comfortably in the great outdoors.
It has been pouring rain all weekend and my drawing table is slowly coming back into focus as a need for my creativity. I love the outdoors as I am always seeing things in nature that amaze me. Last week I saw something for the first time in my life! A flock of hummingbirds!! There was 8 or 10 of them flitting about at some rose hops playing with each other, dive bombing and cavorting crazily. It was absolutely amazing!! The energy I garnered from witnessing that spectacle needs to translate itself back into the studio.
I have been steadily working towards the publishing of THE COLORIST BOOK and am providing a sneak peek at some of the images in this months FINE ART GALLERY along with my colored interpretation of them. The entire ALDER series is based on my fascination with the shape and interactions with the leaves of an Alderberry tree. I have found that one image morphs into the next by simply focusing on a portion of the original work and let the visual stimulation lead me in whatever direction seems pleasing. The titles I assign to the images is intended to reflect the progressions from one to the next.
When THE COLORIST BOOK launches the format will show the pen and ink drawing for coloring and my interpretation of it side by side. The new work entitled Fo Lo is very exciting for me in that it is a complete shift from the Alderberry theme. The abstract motif allowed me to visualize something completely different from the original intent and the prospect of seeing other people’s interpretation will further stimulate my creativity. Enjoy my progress.
Happy New Year to you all! 2018 promises to be an exciting and eye opening year for me. I am very pleased with the response to my Christmas Gallery as well as the chronological restructuring of the website. My Pen and Ink Gallery remains incomplete but will be finished shortly. I have been focusing my energy on the Colorist Book which I anticipate launching in February. At the moment I have 12 images prepared and am hopeful that number will rise to 20 when I launch. I have a lot of work to do prior to the kickoff but I am very excited to see how others will interpret my abstract images.
The two works on my drawing table remain in progress but I have been experimenting with the abstract coloring as witnessed by the three new entries in thee Fine Art Gallery this month. It is exciting but almost frustrating at the same time as it seems the possibilities are endless. What satisfies my eye one minute leads to questions and further exploration the next.
It is with great pleasure that I am unveiling the first of two new galleries to the website. The Christmas Gallery is a collection of the 31 years of producing a Christmas card for family and friends. I have been revamping the website to display all my works in a chronological order to better represent my growth as an artist. I am also beginning to present the various stages of development of a work rather than just the finished product. My 2017 Christmas card is the first time I have displayed the birth of the concept from my sketchbook.
2018 promises to be a very exciting year with the inclusion of the Colorist Book and my venture into social media. I am clueless when it comes to that stuff but it has been recommended that I start with Instagram. I have done zero research into what vehicles might better promote my product but I guess it’s important that I start somewhere. Not much point offering a product if no one can access the information. I have heard of several options and my take is the more exposure I can get the better. I’m also rather curious regarding the feedback from Colorist Book customers and how that may affect my creativity. My stimulation is always visual so I will be curious how an individual will interpret my pen and ink drawings. Happy holidays to all of you and may the new year bring you good health, peace and happiness.
Alas the two works in progress remain just that, however, I have finished the 31st edition of my Christmas card and will introduce it as I launch the Christmas Gallery in December. The website revision is nearing completion with the remaining element being the Colorist Book. I am excited about it but fearful as well as I understand the importance of venturing into the world of social media. It is terrific to have a substantial and interesting website but rather pointless if nobody knows it exists. December is only a few weeks away…..stay tuned as the adventure grows quickly! Of note; the foolish grin on my face has resurfaced.
At precisely 1301 PDT on September 22nd the sun indicated the beginning of the fall solstice. I have been thinking about that moment for some time. The itch is returning and I have been asking myself the question why do I always lose it in the summer….? My mother provided me with the answer years ago when she described me as a hedonist. A hedonist is obsessed with pleasure and self gratification and as it turns out she was absolutely correct as I have learned that as soon as the weather turns my studio creativity morphs into garden creativity. The rest of the summer is spent on the “do-nuttin deck” simply absorbing the great outdoor vibe. Here we are at the change of season and the inevitable itch has returned. I am in the process of shifting my pleasure and self gratification from enjoying the outdoor space that I have created and returning my energy to the studio.
I have two pieces on the go that have sat idle since April and the evolution of my website to include the new galleries plus “The Colorist Book” are all priorities. It is pouring rain outside as I write this…..the perfect scenario for returning to the cozy comfort of the studio. I relish the return of artistic creativity to pen and pencil. The outdoor creativity that flourishes in my flower garden is fulfilling and satisfies my hedonistic tendencies but lacks a tangible productivity. Productivity re-emerges as October begins tomorrow. I have a wide and foolish grin on my face as I glance at the two works in progress.
My apologies if you are looking at my website. March has been a month of excitement, angst and frustration. I am in the process of revamping the website to reflect the images in chronological order. It makes sense to me that my work is represented in a fashion that allows you to see an evolution of more than forty years work. I have almost completed the Fine Art Gallery but have much more work to do. I am also adding two additional galleries to further categorize my work, one specifically for the colorist book and one solely to showcase my Christmas cards. It has been frustrating as I had to throw into the mix swapping out my desk top. My 2003 PC was making some alarming noises so in fear of loosing everything I decided it was best to make the upgrade. Now I’m frustrated with the adaption from Windows XP to Windows 10. Navigation and reinstalling my hardware has been a challenge for someone as “tech inept” as myself. I managed to survive no email for two weeks amongst other issues such as scanning an image that translated to 22 MB. I’m learning but painfully slowly……. I hope to have it all in place for the first of May.
Please bear with me as I get closure (Freudian slip) to completing the transition. This exercise has been beneficial as I see an evolution of my style (yet remaining remarkably consistent) and I am recognizing the importance of allowing the viewer a more comprehensive view of my work by inviting them into the process rather than simply showcasing the completed work.
Aside from lamenting my technical ineptitude my work in the studio has continued to dominate my time and consciousness. In the middle of color studies for Alderberry 3 I have begun work on a new piece simply entitled Spring. After six months of absolutely decrepit weather I am beginning to actually experience some emotions that generally relate to spring. The weather is turning and life is beginning to emerge from the underground. As nature is my primary inspiration I find myself drooling over the prospect of sun induced life!
February turned out to be a very interesting month for me. After 20 days I completed the work on Alderberry 2. This piece has provided me with several revelations. What I wanted to introduce this time was to use the leaf pattern as a color void. I was able to accomplish that but was dissatisfied with the overall result. It strikes me as calculated yet chaotic at the same time. The eye doesn’t have any flow to follow. Alderberry 3 addresses that issue. There is a sneak peak at the piece I am working on now in the Graphic Design and Pen and Ink Galleries.
Once again I discovered that a detailed segment of the completed work was much more interesting to my eye than the whole image. I have put three such segments in the Fine Art Gallery. I don’t consider that to be an issue as these segments often lead to new ideas. The whole Alder series was born from a segment of Alderberry 1.
The other news (or lack thereof) that presented itself in February has allowed the old self doubt bug to creep back into my consciousness. I submitted a sample of my portfolio to a Gallery early in the month and have had no response. It is a blow to ones ego and self confidence and makes you ask yourself questions. The one that was most prevelant in my mind was “Am I an artist or a craftsman?” It’s curious for me because I consider a craftsman to be someone who has honed their skills at a particular craft. My style and choice of medium lends itself to that definition. Pen and ink with colored pencil has been my preference for almost 20 years. Is the definition of an artist one who is willing to step outside their comfort zone and try something different or does it really matter? I have reached the conclusion that as long as there is intellectual growth and evolution I consider that to be artistic. The creative gene needs to be stimulated to the point where as you are producing an image you are already anticipating the next one.
Long story short I consider myself to be an artist.
I mentioned last month that I was demonstrating my concept of the adult coloring book but it is slightly premature. The presentation of the exact same pen and ink drawing with six coloring options is appearing this month in the Graphic Design and Fine Art Galleries. I have begun my research into what is out there in terms of adult coloring opportunities and was quite surprised at the volume of options. The pen and ink drawings are often very elaborate but the subject matter options are somewhat limited in my opinion. When trying to understand the market created by an adult coloring book I would assume it provides a form of stress release, relaxation and a creative outlet whether one is convalescing from an illness or simply a distraction from the pressures of everyday life.
I have not yet come across a book that offers an opportunity to color abstract subject matter. During this exploration phase I have found the process to be very stimulating for my creativity as one study leads to another and another and another. The abstract option provides an avenue for any participant to explore the idea of color combinations and complimentary schemes that will alter the pen and ink starting point significantly without presenting a perceived sense of what the outcome should look like. I am excited about the prospect of carving a small niche in the market.
The observation of the Alderberry leaf pattern blowing in the wind one day while I was working grabbed my attention and has resulted in a series of images that continues to evolve from piece to piece. It has been very stimulating and exciting to witness how this evolution evokes an emotional response. I’m a little confused though as I was approaching my abstract studies as a means to record an emotional response rather than a visual reality. I am finding that the experimentation that this series is pushing me to is actually creating the emotional response. Sort of like the age old chicken/egg discussion.
My BIO page has been updated for the first time since the inception of my website. The content of the last paragraph is of such significance to me that I felt it belonged in my biography. It is a clear and deliberate message that defines the emotional and creative spirit that has driven me to produce art for the last forty years.
A new year!! ……. always bursting with optimism and dreams. I wish you all an opportunity for those dreams to be realized. 2017 will be a very important year for me. It is time to emerge from the shadows and comfort of my studio and make a concerted effort to expose my work to the world. A Gallery exhibition and social media are the avenues that will be a priority for me. Aside from the marketing and exposure side of things I am excited about what stimulation my brain is finding from prolonged activity in the studio. As a work progresses I keep asking myself what if this and what if that. It’s frustrating and exalting at the same time.
The appeal of an adult coloring book continues to grow. You will see an example of this with the Alderberry images presented this month. I took the exact same pen and ink drawing and examined multiple possibilities of applying a color strategy. Interesting results and I would be very curious to see how others interpret the possibilities. The image alters dramatically with the simple deletion or change of a color. The pen and ink drawing offers multitudes of spaces to be either colored or not. I have also found that when I stop a piece and look at a portion of the perceived end result it also opens the possibility of something completely different. The appeal of abstract and its unlimited possibilities continues to bubble enthusiasm for me.