Weekend Wrap Up

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Between my day job and client work, there will be times that I disappear for a bit. The last couple weeks have been a whirlwind of commissions (thank you!), varying work schedules, making time for friends and carving out time to work on my own projects. This past weekend had it all.

Creative Mornings, a breakfast + lecture series in 120+ cities around the world, kicked off my weekend with some much needed motivation and the chance to catch up with other Indy creatives.

I work in a sun-lit arts, cultural and event venue, complete with a Saturday evening wedding. This was followed by “cake night” at a friend’s house with a goal of bringing a bit of cheer to friends after an especially trying week.

I then took Sunday as all mine in the studio. No client work, no commissions – nothing by my own passion projects and prep for my upcoming September show at Playful Soul in the Broad Ripple.

How was your weekend?

KO Playful Soul

Art Studio in a Bag

I carry a big purse, always have. Some people make fun of me for it. But every time I’ve tried to downsize, I miss my art supplies. I’ll explain.

If you’ve followed along with my blog for even a little while, then you know that I’m a sucker for sketchbooks. I carry one almost everywhere I go. I never know when I’m going to have five minutes of downtime and the urge to doodle or jot down an idea, or create a nearly finished work of art.

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Along with my sketchbook, I often have a zippered bag (pictured above – this one is from Blue Q via Silver in the City) full of a variety of pens, pencils, glue sticks, stickers, bits of scrap paper and more. So while I might need very little room for wallet, keys, phone and the like, having my sketchbook and something with which to draw is a must. It’s just how I roll.

So what’s inside? I love art supplies of any kind. Here’s a peek at what I usually have on me, hand drawn of course:

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What tools of the trade to you take along with you?

About Face

A lot of years ago I painted portraits and figures non-stop. You couldn’t make me draw or paint something abstract, now it seems that’s about all I do (and I love that too).

Recently, I started sketching some faces. They were a bit of an upgrade to the ones I did in high school and college (I’ll show you some of those in another post). The result is the start of a new series of small portraits, of no one in particular, on wood. I’m starting with 5 x7 inch ovals and 5 x 5 inch circles, but am already thinking of pieces a bit larger.

IMG_8182The first piece in this series, Blue Tattoo Girl, is complete and available in my Etsy shop. I’ll also have her and I hope others in my studio when I’m open for IDADA First Friday on August 7.

Here’s the evolution of Blue Tattoo Girl.

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Blue Tattoo Girl with watermark

And a sneak peek of the next one…

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Follow me on Instagram or Facebook for even more in progress images.

Throwback Thursday: Downpour

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It’s been raining A LOT here in Indianapolis. Not just a bit of drizzle – we’ve had tree toppling, roof crushing, basement flooding rain in recent weeks. All this makes this painting, Downpour, seem especially appropriate for this week’s Throwback Thursday.

Created in 2009, Downpour was recently exhibited as part of The Water Show at Gallery 924 at the Arts Council of Indianapolis. It’s back in the studio for the moment, but will hopefully be finding its way to a new home soon.

Throwback Thursday: Terrarium

Let’s take a look back at a piece I painted as part of an Instagram giveaway about two years ago. I had been given a terrarium (which lived a good long life and will be resurrected!) as a holiday gift and wanted to paint them in watercolor. This was the result.

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I’ve painted a few more since and have one deck now for a friend/client.

All in the details

My new favorite thing seems to be drawing with white ink over super saturated watercolor, specifically Prussian Blue and indigo in an effort to get deep contrast. I started experimenting with white gel ink on water color earlier this year while getting ready for my show, Dreams About Flying, at the Harrison Center for the Arts.

The detail I can get has me falling in love with drawing again. I’ve often incorporated it into paintings, but haven’t let it stand on its own for some time.

Here’s a progression of a drawing in this style and material completed over the weekend:

Starting with deep blue watercolor on heavy duty Arches paper with some salt thrown in to create the background. It’s important to note that the watercolor background needs to be completely dry before beginning to draw with ink. I’ve been painting full sheets of paper and letting them dry overnight before I begin drawing. The gel ink will re-wet the watercolor if it’s not allowed to dry fully.

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And the drawing begins!

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Getting into the details…

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And up close…

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The finished painting/drawing is 11×14 inches and will be available (framed) in my studio at the Harrison Center for the Arts next month (August).

Do you have a fun drawing or painting technique you’d like to share? I’d love to try it out!

Midwest is Best

I’ve been in watercolor and ink mode all weekend working on projects for clients. But, I found time to work on another illustration project in honor of my home state. Midwest is Best progress Look for postcards and prints of the finished painting very soon!

***UPDATE*** – Postcards of ‘Midwest is Best’ are now available in my Etsy Shop and at Silver in the City on Mass Ave in downtown Indianapolis.