Monday, February 27, 2012

You Are My Sunshine

It's true. We've been spoiled in Minnesota this winter. However, I'm still starving for sunshine. One of the blessings of being an artist is that whatever you want in your life, you can just CREATE painting it. This week, in our Tuesday class, we'll be painting sunshine, using lots of warm, sunny yellows. To me at least, using Naples, New Gamboge, Winsor or Aureolin yellow just screams "Sunshine."

My latest addiction is COPIC MARKERS. I shamelessly stole the idea from my friend and artist, Karen Knutson. (Sorry, Karen but you inspire us all.) I'm so excited to share the fun of layering with these beautful markers. I invested in a small square watercolor sketchbook and markers of every brand (except the Xylene based ones.....Ick. VERY toxic smelling). My second favorite brands (and more affordable than COPIC) are the Sharpie fine point markers. Their colors are more of the bright variety, no beautiful shades and tones like the COPIC ones. I also am liking Dick Blick's brand which does have those beautiful grayed down, muted colors.

The markers are wonderful for preliminary sketches for your larger paintings. Also, their smaller scale and easy transportability (is there such a word?) make them fantastic for travel and they even have that incredible transparency that we layerists find so intriguing, so that we can build layer upon layer of pure transparent color to create colors never before seen by mankind!

"Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy. Sunshine in my eyes can make me cry. Sunshine on the water looks so lovely. Sunshine almost always makes me high.........If I had a wish that I could wish for you, I'd make a wish for sunshine all the while."

Thanks, John Denver.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

This Little Light of Mine

Happy 2012!

It's back to the Studio

Isn't a fresh start wonderful?  After several weeks of focusing on family and Christmas travel, I'm dieing to get back into the studio and start my new paintings for the year.  I have several deadlines approaching and that's such a great motivator.  Every year, I like to choose an underlying theme for the year.  For 2012, I've chosen..THIS LITTLE LIGHT OF MINE.  I'm inspired every time I hear that little childrens' song and it reminds me just how essential LIGHT is to an artist.  Everything I love - crystal bowls full of glass marbles, brilliant bonfires on a dark night, the sun setting over a Gunflint Trail lake, and the ENLIGHTENMENT I experience when reading scripture or a new book, are all made brilliant by the effects of light.   

January is also a time for list making and I spent the afternoon making my "2012 inspiration list" by paging through piles of my old sketchbooks and journals.  Now, if I can just make it into the studio to paint all (well maybe, some of) those ideas on my list, 2012 will prove to be my most prolific year yet.  Can't wait to get the brushes wet!  I hope you'll be able to sign up for one of my workshops or ongoing classes this year.  I already have 3 scheduled, with more to be added soon.  I'm also working on an Etsy site for my jewelry line.     

"I'm gonna let it shine."