Monday, March 28, 2011

Geranium in Sun and Shadow #2

I've made a bit more progress on this piece.  What's going thru my head right now is wondering how i will deal with the background.  Do i leave it white?  Or perhaps use a light amber dot...spaced not too close together?  Any opinions/ideas?
 (we have just had our 5th day of sunny skies!!)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

A Couple Minis

I'm finding that while i'm working on more 'serious' pieces it works well to have a 'doodle' going on the side.  It allows for a break from the need to be really mindful and attentive, as a 'real' piece requires.

These are done on 2.5" x 3.5 (63mm x 89mm) illustration board....using my .13mm Rapidograph.  I start with a light pencil drawing (automatic drawing style) and then work over it with my pen. So fun! :)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Geranium in Sun and Shadow #1

I started a new stippled piece yesterday...and i thought i'd show its progress 'til it's done.  Unlike my first piece,  The Glass Snail, where i used a .13mm Rapidograph...this piece is being created with a couple fountain pens.  I have a whole bunch of different fountain pen inks to choose from, and i decided to go with colors that will enhance an 'abstract feel' rather than 'realism' when its finished.

The pen that's laying down the darker dots is my Pelikan XXXXF nib pen (custom ground)...and the lighter dots are from the way-more-cost-friendly Pilot Penmanship with XF nib. There's not a whole lot of difference in dot size.  With fountain pens you can get a thicker line (or heavier dot) by pushing harder, as that spreads the tines of the nib and allows more ink to come out.  So, i try to keep a light hand.

More's 3" x 5.5" (8cm x 14cm) and the paper is a rather stiff, smooth watercolor paper.  There's a bit more 'bounce' when working on it compared to illustration board, but not bad.  Yes, this is a small piece.  As an artist, i generally work in's just my thing.  Will be interesting to see if i allow myself to go bigger with this medium.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Free Play

I've read a few books over the years on creativity and the creative process.  I'm especially liking the one i'm currently reading so i'm going to give it a little 'plug'.  It's called, Free Play: Improvisation in Life and Art by Stephen Nachmanovitch.
 I'm currently reading the chapter on 'practice' and i love this thought...

" Technique can bridge this gap. (he had just been talking about the gap between what we feel and what we can express)  It also can widen it.  When we see technique or skill as a 'something' to be attained, we again fall into the dichotomy between 'practice' and 'perfect', which leads us into any number of vicious circles.  If we improvise with an instrument, tool, or idea that we know well, we have the solid technique for expressing ourselves.  But the technique can get too solid - we can become so used to knowing how it should be done that we become distanced from the freshness of today's situation.  This is the danger that inheres in the very competence that we acquire in practice.  Competence that loses a sense of its roots in the playful spirit becomes ensconced in rigid forms of professionalism."

 Hmmm...let me read that again...

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


I mentioned that i do micrography in my last post. For those unfamiliar with this artform, micrography uses tiny writing to create an image, or to perhaps compliment an image.

This first piece, called "Hold Me In Your Hand" is my son's hand in mine, when he was younger.  I created it with an XXXXF nib fountain pen, and the original is about 5" (13cm) in diameter.

This next piece...The Whole World...was also done with the XXXXF fountain pen and is 4" (10cm).  The phrase 'whole world in a single flower' came from some book on Buddhism...i love the phrase.

And last summer i really got into devotional chanting music, and decided to use some of the phrases i was listening to/singing in micrography pendants.  These are original pieces sealed into 1.25" (30mm) silver bezel cups.  I used the .13mm or the .18mm Rapidograph to do these (on matte mylar) with colored pencil on the reverse side.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Glass Snail

Interesting....i always assumed it would be rather difficult to get a blog up and running...but not these days!  This has been relatively easy.
The fact that i'm even here is due, in large part, to Niall Young and his blog 'Dancing for Beginners', and to Christine Farmer, who told me about Niall's blog and suggested that i start my own.  After spending time on Niall's blog i decided that i, too, wanted a place to share my thoughts and artwork with other artists and people in general.  So, thanks to you both.

I always seem to be going in new directions with my artwork. About a month ago i started thinking of ways to use my super fine point Rapidograph pen.  For awhile i've been using the .13mm pen for micrography (tiny writing in art)  - more on that in a future post - and when i found examples of stippling, or as some people call it, hyperpointillism, i knew that was a direction for me!

I don't find the .13mm Rapidograph to be very good at 'drawing', but it is perfect for making dots!!  This is the first piece i've made using this technique...the original is about 3.5" x 5".  The image is of the glass snail that my husband gave me for Valentine's now sits on the windowsill above the kitchen sink where the light plays with the blue glass beautifully.

While working on this piece i was struck by, and fell in love with, the meditative quality of the process!  And yes, it's slow going...but of course, i like that.  It didn't occur to me until i finished that the process and the image speak of the same thing.  Made me smile.