|"Blend" experiment from Tammy Garcia's "Watercolor Playground" Class|
I've had some wonderful opportunities lately to learn art techniques from different teachers. I recently decided that I wanted to focus on art journaling. I am becoming fairly comfortable with acrylic paining, but my watercolor technique is fairly amateurish. Watercolor -- for those of you who have not played with it since art class in a K-12 environment -- is a very difficult medium. Just how much water to use or not use is always tricky. And you cannot truly control watercolor, so you have to practice to understand its limitations and benefits. This I know from my brief Intro to Art 101 in college where I got to experiment with new art media every two weeks. I really want to get to know watercolor at a whole new level, so I chose to enroll in Tammy Garcia's online course called Watercolor Playground.
My first project was Blend, or an experiment in blending pigments painted adjacent to each other in a whole page of lines. I am posting the most successful of my Blend painting so far. This one was done with my very first set of professional grade watercolors which I purchased for taking this class. It was amazing to me how vivid these paints are, after years of using a cheap set that can be bought at any craft store for under $10. You really get what you pay for when purchasing paints. While I can see that I still need more practice with blending, I'm definitely improving. I plan to cut up the practice pages for collages or backgrounds for other artwork.
I also had the good fortune to take a live class taught by Kass Hall, who is an amazing art journal guru hailing from Down Under. What a treat to take two workshops in a day from an artist who lives on the other side of the Globe at my favorite local paper-obsession store, The Queen's Ink. Truly a privilege. What I loved most about taking Kass' workshops is that she did not dictate what the final product should be. She gave us some very good layering techniques to build an effective art journal spread and taught us her secrets of making legible lettering.
|Desert Rose, left page, made in Kass Hall's "Lyrically Speaking" class|
|Desert Rose, right page, made in Kass Hall's "Lyrically Speaking" class|
So now I have an art journal that will travel with me throughout the next phase of my artistic journey. I hope that it becomes a more frequent practice. I am making plans to incorporate my journaling into my daily life, so stay tuned for more.
Even when I'm away from home, I am still thinking about art. My husband and I visited New York City last weekend to catch the fabulous exhibition on the Italian Futurists at the Guggenheim. I admired the brash and colorful Futurist paintings when I was taking art history classes, but I had never heard about women being involved in the Futurist movement. In fact the Futurist Manifesto of 1909 is decidedly anti-feminist. Apparently that did not deter Italian women artists from participating in the movement. Benedetta Cappa's work is featured in the Guggenheim's exhibit, and her massive mural scheme for a Post Office in Palermo, Sicily (1933-1934) was the capstone of the whole exhibit. There's a New York Times article interviewing the show's curator who talks about the work of this amazing artist.
|Studio of Andrew Wyeth, Chadd's Ford, PA, Brandywine River Museum|
His father's, N.C. Wyeth's studio was filled with props befitting a practitioner of swashbuckling illustration art: canoes, costumes, marble busts, weaponry and arms, helmets, etc. There is a copy of his final, unfinished illustration of George Washington on his easel, much has he must have left it on the day he died in 1945. I loved N.C. Wyeth's study for a mural of his whole family that the Museum is featuring in the Wyeths' large parlor. It must have been a small space for such a large family, but given how many creative people lived and were raised there it could not have been too distracting.
It is always so interesting to see how other artists work. Studios are a product of the individual who works in them.