art

Live a Nourished Life

Behind the Artwork

The inspiration for many of my art creations comes from the time I spend reflecting on the world around me. There is no question this year has been filled with adjustments, changes, and much to reflect on. In many ways, the pandemic crippled lifestyles and turned the world upside down, making us stop and reevaluate life and how we live it.

Some of the Questions I Asked Myself

Over the last couple of years, I asked myself many questions. As I move to a different stage in my life, I find these questions surface more often. Why are certain things so important to me? What is important in life? Why? What is important to me right now/ten years from now? Am I safe and healthy? What are the best ways I can nourish all aspects of my life? There are many more questions, but I think you get the gist.

My Take Away

Slowing down, creating a spiritual rhythm, and nourishing my body and mind help me look at life in a much clearer light. With all the busy activity-based distractions stripped from my life (thanks to the pandemic), I can think and breathe. I find myself being more intentional in many areas.

A few years ago, I started on a journey of moving back to food basics (growing my food, eating whole foods, fermenting foods, growing microgreens), balanced exercise (okay, this one is a little harder – I’m trying), and taking care of all parts of my life. I guess you could say my mantra would be “live a nourished life – take care of yourself physically, mentally, spiritually, and socially.”

Change can be amazing, though not always easy. Most days, I am intentional about the choices I make, knowing they will be healthy, strong habits one day. I like these new changes; they feel wholesome. I know I am not there yet, wherever there may be, but I continue to move forward in my efforts to live a nourishing life.

Moving Forward

As fall approaches, I am excited to start crushing the goals I have set – small steps make these big goals attainable. I hope you join me on my adventure as I continue to grow as an artist. I will share my struggles along with my successes.

Till next time…

Be kind to yourself and stay safe.

Pen and Ink, Stippling

Watching – Stippling, Using Pen and Ink

Snow Leopard

Stippling with Pen and Ink

Stippling
Stippling, Snow Leopard – Pen and Ink

Many, many, many tiny dots later the leopard piece is complete.  Stippling uses tiny dots to create solid and shaded areas.  Sections that contain large concentrations of dots close together, as seen in the eyes, create depth.  Fewer dots with greater spacing are used to form the leaves producing a soft presence of the leaves. 

For this particular piece I used tinted paper.

Size: 15 X 12 completed in 2012

 

The technique of pointillism which incorporates colored dots was developed in late 1880 by George Seurat, a French  painter. http://www.georgesseurat.org/

Also check out Artsy which features 16 artworks by George Seurat, exclusive articles, related artists, and exhibit listings of Seurat works

 

Other Pen and Ink pieces on my site: 

Click on thumbnails below.

 

 

Charcoal

Little B

Even though the food and presents are always good, it is the time spent with family and friends that I look forward to every Christmas.  I love watching the emerging personalities of my nieces’ children.  Each personality is very unique and strong, it makes for an entertaining evening.   This sketch of Little B is from a photo my husband took on Christmas Eve.  I am not sure what she was doing or thinking, but boy is she cute.

Little B12 x 15 Charcoal Sketch on tinted paper

For this sketch I experiment with different methods of applying and blending charcoal – a definite learning experience.  I found the hair more difficult with this type of paper. Once the charcoal is worked deep into the tooth it is not easily removed to create highlights.  Mental note made for next time :).

Pen and Ink, Stippling

Almost there…Pen and Ink

For this weeks sketch I decided I would try another Pen and Ink.    The technique used is called stippling.  Both pointillism and stippling use tiny dots to create an image.  Pointillism uses primary colors and relies on the eye and the mind to blend them when viewed from a distance.  Stippling uses dots to produce solid and shaded areas.  I am finding this piece a lot of fun, but it is more time-consuming than a sketch.  I have only posted a picture of the eye for the simple reason that the rest of the sketch has not yet been completed.   😉  Hoping to have the completed piece posted in the next couple days.

In the meantime, enjoy these pointillism pieces by Henri-Edmond Cross and Paul Signac.  Make sure you stand back from the picture when you view it to get the full effect as the eye and the mind blend the colors.

 

Charcoal

The Incomplete Story

I enjoy people’s life stories.  Seeing this elderly woman made me wonder what her story might be. Drawn to her hand, I thought that it might make an interesting sketch.  Looking back I think it was the entire look and demeanor of the woman that intrigued me (or maybe an over active imagination).  I don’t think I got the complete story with this sketch.

As an exercise this sketch was valuable, and I guess that is part of the learning and growing process.  …now, time to move on. 🙂

The Photo

Charcoal Sketch  11 x 14

Charcoal

White and Black

This time, instead of a black and white, I thought I would give white and black a try…I know, it’s the same thing, kind of. 🙂

Martini - 17 x 11.5 Charcoal on black paper
Martini – 17 x 11.5 Charcoal on black paper

12×18

White Charcoal On Black Paper

  • Simple, Fun, and Therapeutic 

             “Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.”

              Thomas Merton

Charcoal

The Cooler Side

Banff, Alberta, Canada

…one of my favorite places to visit for many reasons:  beautiful breathtaking scenery for myself and my husband, quaint little gift shops for my girls, and an awesome candy store for my son.

12 x 18 Charcoal Sketch on blue-tinted paper

I am always amazed at the beauty that surrounds us, whether prairie or mountain, sky or earth, old or new – all you have to do is stop and look (or maybe I should say see). 🙂 Inspired after a trip to Banff I decided it was time to try sketch a landscape.   I have to say that it was an experiment and I never intended to finish it.  I wanted to know what effect black and white charcoal would have on blue-tinted paper. When I started the sketch I struggled with the cold feeling.  I really wanted to add brown tones to warm up the sketch, but refrained and I’m glad I did.  I enjoy the cool feel it created.  It fits with our week in Alberta – cold and snow! 🙂

Charcoal

Paper Probe

Is there a right or wrong paper to use for a graphite or charcoal sketch?  Lately I have come across charcoal art pieces done on a variety of surfaces (newspaper, paper bag, MDF, canvas…)  Each has a unique look and I am sure, and new set of challenges. Time for me to try!  Thought I would start small – see where it goes.

Niska

12×18 Charcoal Sketch

I did this sketch on textured, colored paper.  The challenge was the deep tooth of the paper.

I had to include this quote this week.

“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life. ”
Pablo Picasso

There was a lot of “dust” this week – the sketch was a great escape!

Historic Art, Mosaic, Oil Paintings

Art in Dresden, Germany

Baroque architecture, frescos, sculptures, old master paintings, and breathtaking scenery make Dresden a fascinating city to visit.  Everywhere you look, or turn, there is art.  In some ways it is almost overwhelming and difficult to take it all in.   I don’t know what it is, but there is something to the Renaissance (and Baroque) periods of art that “draw” me in…hmmm, I’ll have to think about that.

I have many favorites when it comes to Dresden, too many to blog about. 🙂 The top two for me would be the Procession of Dukes, and the Old Masters Museum.

Procession of Dukes

This amazing wall mosaic is 102 meters long and has 25,000 porcelain tiles – making it the largest porcelain mosaic in the world. There are 93 figures in the mural including 35 rulers from the house of Wettin.  The original mural created by Wilhelm Walther used sgraffito technique, but because of weathering damage it was then transferred to Meissen porcelain tiles.

Alte Meister Gallery (Old Masters)

Located in the Zwinger Palace is the Old Masters Gallery.  I could spend days, possibly weeks/months, in this gallery.  Loaded with art from Rembrandt, Rubens, Van Delft and two of my favorites Titian and Raphael, can you blame me? 🙂

Raphael’s Sistine Madonna

This masterful oil painting is a lot of fun to study.  In the middle, of course, Madonna holding the Christ Child.  On either side of Madonna are two saints, Saint Sixtus and Saint Barbara.   Painted in the clouds are dozens of cherubs.  I have to admit it took me a while to notice them.  Have a closer look – Cloud Cherubs.  The winged cherubs at the bottom of the painting are probably the most recognizable.  Take a close look at the expression on Mary’s face – I wonder what she was thinking? …and the feel of the clouds…   🙂

Education

Canadian Rockies and Art

Yesterday I had the privilege of observing and talking with a local Canadian Artist in her home town of Banff, Alberta.   Canadian born, Christine Ford has spent most of her life in the breath-taking Canadian Rockies.  Passion for her home, the beautiful Rockies; and painting, is very clear when talking with Christine.  Her passion also comes through in her paintings.  This very personable young artist was more than happy to talk about her beginnings, art techniques, struggles in art, and much more.

There is a recurring theme when I talk with artists or read art related articles (beside practice 😉 ) and that is to find ways to surround yourself with art (and artists).  This will keep you drawing, painting, and creating.  Unless art is your livelihood, where you must paint to pay the bills, it needs nurturing daily to grow.  It gives you a reason and purpose to do art.  What does this look like?  I think for me it means taking a course, setting some goals, entering competitions, being active in an art society, and  even doing some commission work.

If you haven’t visited the Canadian Rockies, plan a trip – it will be well worth it.  I have been to the majestic Canadian mountains many times, and each time I go,  it is like I am seeing them again for the very first time.

Photographs taken by Martin Eisbrenner.  Check out his website…some really cool photos!!!

If you want to learn more about Christine Ford check out her website at www.christineford.ca