Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Hurricane Sandy

I hope you, dear reader, are safe and comfortable where you are now. I just got to my studio for the first time since the hurricane and luckily I have power and internet here in Peekskill, NY. Unfortunately, my house is still without power, hot water, etc., but we did not sustain any damage beyond a blown-off house shingle.

The streets here in Westchester County are full of downed trees and power lines making it difficult to get around. No one knows when life will get back to normal here. I especially feel for those in New York City and New Jersey which are both dealing with flooding and damage that is unprecedented.

I look forward to when some kind of normalcy will return to life and I can post more about my creative journeys without the distraction of the devastation around me. But for now, stay safe everyone.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Expressive Watercolor

Watercolor Sketch by Kiah Kiean
I frequently check out the Urban Sketchers Blog for inspiration since I find the work to be so fresh and unassuming. In doing so, I came across the work of artist, Kiah Kiean, whose work has qualities that are so luscious, they inspire me to sketch more, myself.

In my watercolor monotype class, I encourage my students to experiment with the natural properties of watercolor: the way the pigments in the paint interact, the way the water acts on the work surface (in my class it's plexiglass), and effects that can be achieved only with water-based media.

The work above is not a monotype, rather it's an example of one of the most expressive street sketches that I've seen, full of energy, movement, vibrancy and texture. I find this work to be very inspiring as I'm drawn to the contrasts in color and tone while being engaged by the intensity of energy and willingness to use unexpected color splashes for excitement which adds even more to the scene.

In my class, we are experimenting with powdered natural pigments mixed with gum arabic in addition to watercolor paint applications to the monotypes. Some of the effects seen in the sketch above are achieved with the "pigment washes" that we create. If interest is indicated, I can discuss the pigment experiments more fully in a future post.

UPDATE: If you're interested in splatter illustration art, you should check out the work of Ralph Steadman who is a pioneer of this technique.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Halloween's coming

I love some of the innovative things people do with paper.
The artist is Peter Callesen.

from Juxtapose Magazine