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Where Have You Been

Or should I say…

Where Have I Been?




Where have I been is a very good question?  I have been here, busily working.  Early this year I decided to change the focus of my website to reflect where my art venture has taken me.  I have come to realize that doing something well takes time, but I am still here and I am excited to give everyone a glimpse into what has been keeping me so busy.

It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words, so let’s start there.

…I love screen printing apparel, and creating unique designs. 

Along with creating beautiful designs and screen printing, I think it is very important to be aware of the impact that we are having on our environment, and be proactive in making changes that will have less of an impact.

Combining these two elements, screen printing and the environment,  took me down a long path of research, exploration, seeking industry advice, consulting with other artists, and lots of practice.  I have a box full of shirts that have become shop rags to prove it.

Using plastisol inks would have been easier.

  • Plastisol inks print well on all fibers, not just natural fibers.
  • Sourcing water based inks that I like, is a little tricky, especially here in Canada. 
  • Plastisol inks print well on dark shirts.
  • Plastisol inks won’t dry in the screen. 

Plastisol ink would have saved me many head aches and moments of frustration.


So, why even bother with water based inks?

  • Water based ink is better for our environment, and that is the number one reason for me.
  • No harsh chemicals are used in the cleanup.
  • The feel of the water based prints is softer than plastisol.
  • New advancements in water based ink are making them easiler to use allowing artists to create halftones, detailed work, and produce beautiful rich images.
  • Working with water based inks means I have to work with natural fibers, which can be harder to source and a little on the pricey side, but it is exactly the path I want to head down.  Products made with natural fibers are sustainable, biodegradable, better for our skin, and last longer than synthetic fibers.   I am still working on the best way to incorporate natural fibers into my art line, so stay tuned as I work through the progress.  I will post updates on my progress, sources, and any useful information that I find along the way.

…pulling ink is so much fun.


Our Home

Yes, I love our home, and that is why it is so important for me to do this right.  As I proceed forward I want to learn, grow, and educate for the better of our planet.  It would be a sad day for me (and our planet) if I no longer encountered beautiful creatures on my hikes with my family.

So that, in a nutshell is where I have been.

For more photos of the day-to-day activities join me on Instagram.


We – the current generation – have a moral responsibility to make the world better for future generations.

Priscilla Chan

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Canada’s Music Greatness – Michael Bublé

Exploration of Music Greatness

As I continue on my journey exploring Canada’s Music Greatness I am astonished as to how many amazing musicians have helped create the Canadian musical landscape.  I know we have an abundance of great musicians in Canada but was not mindful of the vast numbers until I starting exploring the Canadian music world.   Just when I thought I had compiled an extensive list, I would receive a message or email with a couple new names.  That is amazing, and I love it! 

Music Greatness – Michael Bublé
Music Greatness
Charcoal on Tan Paper – Sketchbook

 

At some point in an artist’s career, they are unknown. What is that pivotal moment when they move from just a singer to a household name?  Singer, songwriter, actor, and record producer, Michael Bublé had such a moment. 

 

Michael Bublé
Hand lettering – iPad

Michael Bublé was born in Burnaby, British Columbia in 1975.  As a child, he had a passion for singing.  His musical talent allowed him many performing opportunities and even talent show wins.  He recorded three independent albums.  The wheels of change were set in motion when Michael McSweeney, a former aide to Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, saw one of Michael Bublé’s live performances.  He played one of Mr. Bublé’s independent albums for Prime Minister Mulroney, who then decided to hire him to play at his daughter’s wedding.  As it just so happened, Grammy-winning producer David Foster was also in attendance at the Mulroney wedding.  Meeting David Foster set a new trajectory for Mr. Bublé’s career.  Many albums, hits, tours, television appearances, awards, and specials later,  Michael Bublé is a household name known worldwide. 

Michael Bublé has been a favorite singer of mine for years.  His soulful and classical jazz performances are mesmerizing, helping to reinvent and keep the classics alive. 

Thank you for joining me on my journey as I continue to celebrate Canadian Musicians.  Please feel to comment below who you would like to see next.

 

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Old Window Treasure – Portraits

For some time now I have wanted to draw portraits of my three children and  incorporate these portraits into a rustic window frame.  Well, I have the frame and have completed one portrait.  The challenge that I have is what style do I want these portraits to be?  Which look will satisfy my eye?  Soft?  …maybe heavy, or loose?  What style would complement both the window frame and the artwork? There is never any harm in doing multiple portraits.  In fact, the process of pairing portraits with the frame is a great exercise.  With endless combinations and many questions to be answered, the best way for me to learn is to jump right in and try a collection of different styles.

Softer Style Window Portrait

window frame portrait
Daydream

The use of graphite  in this sketch complements the dreamy nature of the pose, creating a gentle feel.    I also chose to keep the background (negative space) light to help create a balanced softness.

The Window Frame

Window Frame

This well-preserved old window frame will make a great addition to my decor.  Little needs to be done to this treasured piece, however, removing  a bit of the white paint will keep the frame and the artwork from competing for the viewer’s attention.  I am very excited to try a variety of styles to see what will unite the window and artwork into a beautiful composition.

As the summer progresses I will post updates with the different styles and pieces I create.   Feedback is always welcome and may be helpful in my decision-making process, so feel free to comment below.

Also check out:  Summer Days,

  … a deeper richer feel.

 

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Hand Lettering-Learning, Practicing, Growing

Hand lettering is a beautiful art form which is easy to fall in love with. Its power has great impact on society.  Yes, fonts and lettering are functional, helping us communicate words, but there is so much more. Fonts can evoke emotions, tell stories, influence our mood or choices, and even trigger memories.

Here are a few examples of my hand lettering adventures:

Hand lettering

Hand lettering

 

 

Gaining skill in any new art form takes practice; muscle memory must be created to allow for lines to flow.  Remember the numerous pages of practice loops in elementary school when learning cursive writing?  Consequently, all that practice made for quick, beautiful letters which required very little thought in creating.

 

 

Hand lettering

Adobe Illustrator and Hand Lettering

Along with learning letter forms and styles of hand lettering, I decided to explore adobe illustrator.  I’ll be honest, it was the source of many headaches for me.  Determination builds strength!  I persevered, and even though I still have tons of learning to do it is getting easier.    …the headaches are less frequent.  

In this practice piece I incorporated hand lettering with illustrator.  It was fun playing with the different tools that illustrator has to offer.  Some days I felt like a kid in a candy store – too many choices.  How would I ever decide?

Hand lettering

Portrait drawing is an art form that I can completely lose myself in – hours feel like minutes.  Sometimes however, I have an innate desire to learn more and try new techniques, that is the case with lettering.  Follow my weekly progress on Instagram @eisycindy to see where my hand lettering journey takes me.

 

Related post:

Hand Lettering
The Dancer

 

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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.

 

 

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Pen and Ink – The Dancer: Word Art Can Add to the Beauty of Art

Pen and Ink Dancer
The Dancer

The Dancer

A few weeks ago I did a quick morning sketch of a dancer and posted it on Instagram @eisycindy. After posting, I had numerous  inquires to purchase this piece.  The quick morning sketch was done on a cheap piece of tracing paper, not something I would sell.  The interest in this piece gave me a chance to play with Hahnemuhle Sumi – E fine art paper.  The paper has a beautiful, delicate texture that I feel suits this type of drawing well.

Utilizing open lines in both the hands and the skirt helps to create a feeling of movement.  Since I have been studying letter form lately, I wanted to include words in such a way that  would add to the feel of the dancer and not distract.  Softly incorporating color in the skirt helps to increase dimension, which adds to  the free-flowing feel of the overall piece.

 

 

…love learning, learn constantly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Charcoal Drawing – Beach Time

Charcoal Drawing
Beach Time Charcoal

 

   Sun, Fun, Sand, and a Quick   Charcoal Drawing.Lately it seems like all my art projects have been everything but drawing.  This week I really needed some draw time.  Flipping through old photographs I found a great reference picture of my little girl.  Okay, maybe she is not so little anymore, and maybe it is from fourteen years ago, but beach times were favorites of mine and I will always cherish them.

Many summers were spent sand covered, wet haired, and sun-kissed on a warm British Columbia beach.   Friends were always near.  Adventures were plentiful.  Life was simple. 

There is something pure and refreshing about working with a charcoal pencil and a blank sheet of paper.  Maybe it is the rhythm, or maybe it is the break from the focus of daily life. Whatever it is, it is good. 

For this drawing I used Meridian Drawing paper by Pentalic.  The paper is a beautiful soft white color which helps give the drawing a warm look.  It also has a great tooth which is perfect for charcoal work.  It is one of my favorite papers.

 


 Art Piece:

Beach Time  11 x 14 Charcoal Drawing

Who doesn’t like sun, fun, sand, and a little beach time?


 

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Pallet Art – Wire Art and Clocks

Pallets With Purpose

 

Moments are precious, especially at Christmas when more time is set aside to get together with family and friends.  This is by far my favorite time of year.  I love the change in focus, in pace, and in activities.  In our fast paced world time marches forward at an ever quickening pace making it even more important to be deliberate about setting aside time for family and friends.  For me this is a constant struggle, but relentlessly I will keep trying because I treasure those moments spent with family and friends.

 Enough about me, let’s talk about the wood projects.  I really enjoy taking old wood, that no longer serves a purpose and is usually unsightly, and transforming it into something meaningful and beautiful.  Sometimes the wood pieces that I find have great character due to weathering, age, and flaws; those pieces are the ones that become the most beautiful.  I am sure there is some philosophical connection that could be made to humanity — I won’t go there, but feel free to explore those thoughts and let me know.

 

By far, the clock is my favorite piece.  Although both pieces hold a certain charm, the character in the wood pieces from the clock really give it an old world almost antiquities feel.  Incorporating wire art in the pallet projects is fast becoming a favorite for me.  I like how the rustic look of the wire plays off the old recycled wood.

 

Approximate sizes:

Clock:  20 X 20  pallet wood

Faith Plaque: 13 x 16  pallet wood and wire

 


 

 

A couple quick notes on the process.

  • Make sure your pallets are safe to use and know where the they come from.
  • Barn wood also has a lot of character and works well for wooden art                                                                                             projects and has not been used to ship chemicals.
  • Pictured are the two pallets cleaned, cut, and glued together.  (Thank you to my husband and son.)
  • To avoid having the paint bleed when doing the lettering or numbering I covered the surface with a light coat of Mod Podge.
  • I warmed up the color of the boards with acrylic craft paints mixed with Blending Gel.  The blending gel allows me to control where and how much paint I work into the wood grain by slowing the dry time down.
  • With the surface prepared, the sky is the limit — create away.
  • When I was happy with the lettering I applied a thin coat of Acrylic Wax – Flat to help protect the artwork.

That is a quick rundown of the steps I used in creating the two pieces here.  For the next projects I will add a more step-by-step version including some tip and tricks when working with wire.

 


 

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Quick Study – Water Soluble Graphite Dancer


Quick Study

 

dancer

I continued to experiment with water soluble-graphite this week.  In this quick drawing I loosely sketched the dancer, then with a wet brush freely and quickly went over it.  After allowing the paper to dry a little, I went back and added more detail with my graphite pencil and a wet brush.  I also played with a dry brush.

Leaving the lines of the skirt open helped create movement in the dancer. Painterly motions of a wet brush also help add to this effect.  I have to admit though, I am terrible at just walking away from a drawing and saying it is done.  For me there is always something to tweak.  Therefore some of the free-flowing effects that I had, have become more detailed.  Next time I will walk away, maybe.

 

Paper:  Canson Mixed Media

Pencils:  ArtGraf 2B, 6B

 

Create On!

 

 

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More Water Soluble Graphite

_dsc2971

Water-soluble graphite has quickly become a new favorite medium for me.  I like the richness that the graphite creates along with the freedom to add more layers and not end up with a shiny end result.  The diversity of this medium allows for quick, tight sketches like the kitten seen here, or can be utilized for loose, free-flowing sketches with a more painterly effect.  (I will post a loose sketch next week.)

Drawing detail does take some practice and experimentation.  If too much water is added to an area the graphite will bleed; I almost lost the cat’s eye on this sketch because my brush was too wet.  Drawing can be done dry, using water, or both; it all depends on what effect you want to create.

I also added an element of color to this sketch utilizing a great new drawing tool by ArtGraf.  ArtGraf produces water-soluble graphite along with pigmented water-soluble drawing mediums, most art stores and Amazon now sell this new art product from Portugal.  Here I worked with a very light wash of the pigment, however the same pigment can be used to create deep intense colors. 

 

 

Paper used:  Canson Mixed Media