Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Inked Monster #2

Another monster ink drawing. I have started adding watercolor to a few in this series, and I'll share more later. But in the meantime I wanted to offer a resource. Someone on Facebook had suggested that these guys would make for a great coloring book, and hey, if you want to print them out and color them, then be my guest. BUT, what if you made your own monster? That's even more creative and meaningful. So, I'm sharing a link to my Monster Maker PDF. This is a simple resource that I put together for my students to use. Feel free to download it, and use it to make your own monster, and go on over to Facebook, and share! Happy monster making!

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Monster Obsession

I must say that my fascination with monsters has turned into a full-blown obsession. I've made a few more polymer clay sculptures (that I still need to bake), and I've been sketching and drawing even more. I started on a series of 6"x9" drawings on Strathmore 400 Mixed Media Paper. I began with a quick sketch in pencil, and then inked it with my Faber Castell Pitt Pens. My plan is to add watercolor paint to them, but I don't know if I'll be deliberate with the color or a bit more free. Since the Pitt Pens are india ink and waterproof, I'm hoping that I can paint over the lines without any bleeding and smearing. Above is one of the first monsters in this series. I'll share more later.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Journal Time

It's been a while since I spent a significant time working in my journal, so last night I pulled out the Inktense pencils and began layering on these two pages.

After the pencil dried, I drew a slew of monsters. I did a few other things in the journal as well, and it felt good to work in it for a bit.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Monster Invasion

Well my first attempts at polymer clay monsters this weekend weren't as successful as I would have liked. Although I've done a lot with ceramic clay and Model Magic over the years, I have never used polymer clay, and it does have a bit of a learning curve. First of all, it took a while to get use to the clay. I first tried Sculpey III, but I felt like it was a little too soft, so I tried Premo Sculpey, and Fimo. Each of these has their own issues, but after a while I began to catch onto the clay, and feel like my later attempts were more successful as I figured out how to best use the clay.

Then there's my attempt at baking the clay. My first attempt at baking ended in three of the four pieces cracking - one had only a slight crack, but the other two had significant cracks. Only the purple guy above survived. But after following some advice someone gave me on Facebook (Thanks, Glaucia), I was more successful. I ended up with six that survived out of ten. I'm thinking that my success rate will go up as I make more. Depending on how many more I make, I might have to put some for sale on the website. I'll share more of the monsters over the next few days.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Little Monsters

Over the past week or so, I've been using Model Magic with my elementary students. I couldn't resist making a few things myself including the three monsters and elephant above (yes, the elephant is wearing a fez). I had kind of forgotten how much I love working in 3D. Although I work primarily with drawing and painting materials, I do find a lot of satisfaction working in three-dimensions. My foray with my students made me want to create some things in a bit more durable material. So, I went out and bought some polymer clay, and made the four monsters below. I've never worked with polymer clay, so there's bit of learning curve, but I'm pretty happy with the results. I'm looking forward to making more.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

New Radiating Design

I've spent quite a bit of time over the last few days working on this piece that I videoed a couple of weeks ago. There's a lot of detail, so it has taken me a while. I'm not sure if it's finished, so I'll live with it for a few days, and decide if I want to work more on it.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Western Loudoun Artists Studio Tour

Mark your calendars!

The 11th annual Western Loudoun Artists Studio Tour is just over a month away. Come out on June 18th and 19th and spend some time checking out over 60 awesome Northern Virginia Artists. I'll once again be on the tour, and I'll have my garage studio open to the public from 10am to 5pm both days. I'm stop number 17 in Purcellville, VA, and I hope to see you there. It's a great way to kick of the summer.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

New Work and a Short Video

A change of plans yesterday meant that I was able to spend some time in the studio working on a 24"x24" painting. I had started the background a while ago, and I had planned to create one of my radiating line designs on it. Yesterday was a perfect time to dive in.

It was daunting to draw on such a big surface. All of my previous radiating designs were on much smaller paper, but once I got into it, things began to roll. I didn't finish it, but I got a good start on it. I was even able to take some video of myself working.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Big Face Revisited

I've been working on this 18x24 inch painting in the studio over the last few days, and it's close to being finished. I am quite pleased with how it's turning out.

I used my Golden High Flow Acrylics to build up the background texture, and then I drew the face with my paint markers. I'll share when I finish it up. I'm looking forward to doing more paintings like this.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

It's Official

Well, it's official. I'm taking the leap!

With a little trepidation and nervousness, I put in my formal resignation yesterday, so at the end of my contract, I will no longer be a teacher for Loudoun County Public Schools in Northern Virginia. I'll be a full time artist.

Up until this point, I have only declared my intention of stepping away from teaching, but now I have begun the actual stepping away process. Although I have six weeks left in the school year, my contract is officially up in mid August, which means that I'll have a couple of months over the summer to get adjusted to the idea of being a full time artist. It hasn't really sunk in yet. It's such a monumental decision for me, but I don't think it will really hit me until the fall when the new school year begins, and I won't be going back.

I just have to figure out a way to make a living at it.

Dave and I already have a number of things lined up for the summer and the fall, including teaching workshops at Art Unraveled in Phoenix at the beginning of August and Art and Soul in Virginia Beach at the end of September. We'll also be keynote speakers at a couple of different state art education conferences.

I've also got ideas for some local workshops and events, and I have some notions for more online workshops. I would love to travel and teach at other venues, so I definitely need some help in finding studios and art stores where I can teach workshops, so if you know of a place, let me know.

I guess there's no turning back now, and I would't want to even if I could. Here's to taking the leap and taking flight.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Swirls and Patterns

Tonight I decided to add more to a drawing a started about a month ago, so I added more swirls and patterns in ink.