This has been a week of little painting and much preparation for an upcoming art exhibit and workshop at the Art School of Columbia County, located near the New York/ Massachusetts border. I’m thrilled to report that I’ve recently been invited to join the faculty of the Art School, which will give me a “home base” for offering workshops throughout the year. Though the school is small, it casts a wide net, and is situated in a place that is steeped with art, artists, and plenty of rural beauty and inspiration. If you live nearby, drop in or sign up!
It’s not every day an editor needs illustrations of barnacles. It’s not every artist who could say, “Yes, I’ve drawn lots of barnacles.” So when an editor from PassageMaker Magazine contacted me so see if I might like to illustrate an article on barnacles and boats, how could I refuse? All those days I spent poking in low tide pools at the edge of the sea and sketching its inhabitants prepared me well for just such an assignment. It’s not every day that natural history, art, exploration, and financial reward come together for me in such a satisfying way. I’m really pleased that this turned out so well.
Tips and Techniques– “Day after day, never fail to draw something which, however little it may be, will yet in the end be much,” advised Italian painter Cennino Cennini in 1390. Don’t wait for a grand subject for sketching practice. Look at the things around you and jump in. Even a lowly barnacle — small, ordinary, and ubiquitous — may prove more fascinating and beautiful than you realized.
When I started this blog in the spring of 2014, my goal was simply to share my artwork more widely. Nearly four years and 238 posts later, I’m thrilled that more than 3,000 people are now following. Keeping a blog is journey unto itself– I’ve met people I would never know otherwise, swapped stories and art tips, shared everyday experiences, and received much kindness from strangers around the world. Drawn In has also honed and focused my artwork, and motivated me to keep seeking, recording, and sharing the ordinary beauty around me. Many thanks to you for your interest in receiving my art in your inbox and for taking the time to offer your thoughts, praise, questions, and stories! Here’s to another spin around the sun and to a productive 2019!
I didn’t follow many blogs until I became a blogger myself, but over the last few years I’ve come to really appreciate the artwork and wisdom that arrives from bloggers to my inbox. Some of my favorites are artists who produce things that I couldn’t or wouldn’t do, but who, nonetheless, push me to think or see things in fresh ways. Because I found many of them through the network of fellow bloggers, I thought I’d share a few favorites with you.
A Certain Line– Michael Richard’s blog is a quirky mix of his artwork and informed musings about art. He frequently paints quince and other fruit in experimental and thought-provoking ways, which helps me to think about pushing the bounds of my own artwork.
The Sketchbook– Shari Blaukoph shares jaw-dropping watercolor sketches and paintings mostly of her home city of Montreal, but also of other places she travels. She takes watercolor sketching to the highest level in every way.
BlueBrightly– Lynn Wohlers appreciates the incredible world we live in and shares its beautiful details through her remarkable photographs and observations. It’s a treat to glimpse the world through Lynn’s lens.
Christopher Gallego– Realist painter and teacher Chris Gallego’s oil paintings are simple, direct, and stunning. I am equally inspired by his words of advice for artists (including topics such as “7 Tips to jolt you right out of your artistic rut” and “How to paint when it’s the last thing in the world you feel like doing”).
Annerose Georgeson mainly paints changes in the forest near her home in British Columbia, including logging, fires, farming and the pine beetles. I love the intensity of her acrylic paintings, her dedication to a single subject, and her daily drawings, which remind me of the value small sketches.
If you, too, feel inspired by blogs you follow, I encourage you to tell a friend or two– a bit of art always makes a nice gift.