Thursday, June 30, 2011

My New Drawing Class

Drawing II is going to be amazing!! Very different from Drawing I, which I also loved, but that is good. I like to learn new things and I like to be challenged in different ways and this class is going to do it! 
My professor is John Rise (click here if you are interested in seeing his website). Daniel and I actually became friends with him and his wife when we all still lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  Never in a million years did I think I'd be taking a drawing class from him in Savannah!
The drawings you see on these Strathmore paper pads (and there are more) are all from his student from the same class I am taking. And this kind of quality is not the exception - impressive!!
We are going to be working on five projects: subtractive charcoal, additive charcoal, graphite, and two watercolor drawings. And we'll be working from the same huge still life John has constructed in the classroom. Some of you (I'm thinking of Anne and Elena particularly) would love it - it has all kinds of old, rusted, frayed things like lots of rope, old bicycle wheels, stools, old wooden trunks, window panes, fabric, wooden ladders, and much, much more!
For this first project, we had to do quite a few thumbnail sketches, decide on one, and then prep our paper with and soft pastel in an earth tone (I chose burnt sienna) and powdered charcoal to create a mid-tone value. To that we'll add the darker values and lift out the highlights.
I have a feeling that I'm going to be spending many hours in this classroom and I am looking forward to it all!!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Landlust - Or the Slow Days of Summer

A couple of days ago,
I received the July/August issue of my favorite German magazine, Landlust.
And I realized that the spring had been so busy for me that I put the two previous issues
in my magazine bin to read later ...
only I never did!
Ramses, my trusty assistant!
So, during these much slower days of summer, which we are both enjoying so much,
I got to read the last three issues of Landlust.
I was in seventh heaven!
And now, with permission by the publisher, I am sharing some of my favorite spreads with you.
As I am looking through the magazines and through my photos,
I realize that what I am drawn to most in that magazine are the photos.
There are recipes, interesting articles, craft how-tos, and so much more,
but it's the photos that really speak to the German in me.
And particularly those of flowers, nature and food.
Of my 25 plus years in the US, only three years did we live in a climate that was similar where I grew up in Germany,
with similar flowers, plants, and fruit and veggies.
Now, seeing photos of gooseberries, red currants and big baskets of strawberries,
give me such a feeling of nostalgia!
As do some of the landscapes that bring back so many memories for me!
So, I hope you'll enjoy these photos with me.
And if you are German-speaking ...
and can get your hands on a copy of Landlust, have a look!
You won't be disappointed!

And with that I wish you a Wednesday filled with what makes you happy!!

Monday, June 27, 2011

New Painting!

Charcoal and acrylic on 11 x 14 inch wrapped canvas
May I just say that I LOVE working this way! The initial drawing is so much fun to do and then adding color in layers somehow makes it all come to life.

Tomorrow my next drawing class starts and I cannot wait!

Wishing you a good night and a great Tuesday!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Charcoal Underdrawing

For quite a while now, Daniel has encouraged me to do an underdrawing in charcoal because he thought I'd really like it. I finally did it and it turns out he was right - I love working with charcoal. It is so rich and adds such depth to the drawing, not to mention being so wonderfully tactile as I smear the charcoal with my fingers over the very textured surface. LOVE IT!!

I've sprayed her with a few layers of workable fixative to that I can work over her with some color washes. Can't wait to see the end result. Of course, I'll share that with you...

In the meantime, I hope you are all having a beautiful and relaxing Sunday!

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Gallery Off Broadway! An Art Retreat and More...

Some of you may know that I have my art at the Gallery off Broadway in Excelsior Springs, MO. I heard about it from my good friend Kelly of Kelly Berkey Designs, who had been showing and selling her art there since they first opened.
I sent off some of my art in May and never expected that it and myself would land among the kinds of friends that feel like instant family. I joke with some of my good artist blog friends like Kelly or Cathy (Artsy Butterfly) or Anne (El Milagro Studio) that our art got to meet before we did.
And we are all in the capable hands of gallery owner, Kathleen Fenton, a fantastic artist in her own right. And here is where the surprise was for me me. Through Daniel I have known many galleries, but only a handful that felt like you had landed in the midst of friends, even family. This gallery is just like that!
Kelly Berkey at the Gallery after the sale of one of her pieces!
Now, there are some exciting things happening at the gallery that you can be a part of:

1. This fall and at least once a year, the Gallery and some of the artists are putting on a very fun, all inclusive art retreat at the incredible Elms Resort.
The price will include your stay at the Elms resort, classes every day, food, drink, massage (yes, you read this correctly) and, of course, chocolate! Plus - most exciting - it is offered at a special price right now for a limited time, so make sure you hop on over to the retreat blog and have a look. There you'll find all the information regarding dates (September this year), teachers (Kelly Berkey is one of them! Yeah!!!), cost, etc!

Also, make sure you follow the retreat blog for lots of upcoming information on future retreats (this will be an ongoing thing), classes, workshop, artists, and so much more! Oh, and visit Kelly's blog for a retreat-related giveaway! One of her great pieces of jewelry!!

2. If you live in the area around Kansas City, MO and are looking for something fun to do on July 9, Kelly is going to be teaching an all-day charm soldering workshop at the gallery. Here's a little tidbit from Kelly's blog:
"If you are interested in learning how to make soldered charms, my next workshop is at the gallery off broadway, in excelsior springs, mo on july 9th. it's an all day workshop with a catered lunch. we are going to let loose and create some pretty charms. i will also have the 'house' shaped glass available."

3. As the gallery is growing, they are looking for more artists to have their work shown AND sold! And Kathleen is looking for anything from paintings, to clothes, to accessories, etc. If you'd like your work in a great gallery under super affordable conditions, click here for the gallery's Facebook page, or here for their website and contact Kathleen directly. Or, if you want me to make the introduction, just e-mail me. You won't be sorry!!

Ok, that was a lot of information - I had been collecting it for awhile to put it all into one blog post! Thanks for reading to the end...

For now, I wish you a wonderful Friday!!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Graphite, acrylics & color pencil on 9 x 12 inch bristol board
Winslow approves!! 

Monday, June 20, 2011

My Own Emergence...

I feel like my art is coming out of its cocoon and is starting to become what I've envisioned it in my mind for a long time. The three pod-women were started while I was in my drawing class and now that they are complete (I think), I've been itching to draw. And then to paint over the drawing with thin acrylic washes.
Graphite and Acrylic on 9 x 12 inch bristol board
This gorgeous woman is my little sister. I hope she forgives me for using her for inspiration - and for not getting her beautiful face exactly right. I'll keep practicing. I promise!! But still, I love both, the drawing and the painting. And, of course, my sister! :-)

More and more I am growing in the direction I see myself in and it thrills me. It's an amazing journey and I am more than happy and grateful that you are sharing it with me!!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Emergence III

Remember this eye from an earlier post? Well - it totally changed from the one above to the one below.

It all happened when I added silver leaf to the painting below, a piece of art lovely in and of itself.
I looked at it with some of the silver leaf adhered and suddenly I had a very different image in my head that wanted to be expressed. 
So, the colors changed, I antiqued some of the silver, added layers of texture, added more silver leaf, had paint dripping and spattering, went over some areas with graphite to bring out the texture and totally got lost in the process of adding and subtracting and balancing. 

The resulting painting fills me with joy and feels totally connected to who I am. 

Emergence III
Mixed media painting on 11 x 14 inch wrapped canvas
During the process I was thinking about my art and how it is becoming more "me." I am realizing that the paintings I am most drawn to in others and in my own art are those that have a certain amount of power, that make a statement.

I have now painted over every canvas I own on which I had painted something cute. Cute isn't me. Too sweet isn't me (just ask Daniel...). Sentimental isn't me. Vintage isn't me. Frilly isn't me. Even as a child I was a tomboy. In my clothes, I prefer clean lines, timeless styles, no frills and definitely no tiny patterns. The same with how we decorate our home.

And now that I am truly starting to express myself in my art, more and more those paintings or drawings are reflections of the very unique blend that is me.

There is still a sweetness about her, she has a kind face ... and at the same she emerges with the unshakeable knowledge of who she is!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

An experiment...

Ever since my good friend Anne (El Milagro Studio) suggested silver leaf for a different painting, it's been on my mind and finally today, I got the materials out and tried. I wanted to try it on a painting that I didn't like very much, which was the one above. Something about just never agreed with me, so I decided to apply silver leaf to the heavily textured background to see how it would adhere.
... and after!
Well, after I did that (which worked like a charm, by the way!), I started tinkering with the woman and decided to rouse her from her meditation and have her be present with a lot more color all around. Suddenly I like her much more. Now somehow I can connect to her!

I still have to seal the silver leaf and we'll see how that works, but if everything goes smoothly, I'll start adding it to my three pod woman (click here to see the first two - although they've changed a bit).

Maybe I'll have more to show you tomorrow already!