This is part of a series of watercolor drawings I made on gorgeous Twin Rocker handmade paper. (It took me several months to do anything on the paper because it was so beautiful as-is and I was afraid my artwork would mess it up. Twin Rocker paper is frame-able all by itself.)
These started as a larger series on smaller paper. I experimented with loading a centered circle with clear water, then dropping some beautiful Holbein indigo watercolor into the circle. As the circle dried overnight, it would make random formations. It was exciting to wake up and go see what the paint had done all on its own.
Then I chose a color and a geometric shape to interact with the random pattern in the circle. I liked working with the contrasting processes—the random drying and the deliberate geometric shape. Both the circle and the geometric shapes are hard edged which contrasts with the roughness of the handmade paper.
These are 14 x 14 inches and can be purchased here at my Etsy shop.
Stumbled upon the work of Martha Clippinger today while browsing some of my favorite blogs which led to other blogs and other blogs…..
I love her use of bright color and the awkward sculptural chunkiness of her work. They’re like painting and sculpture at one time.
I also like her creative style of hanging her exhibitions, which is an art unto itself and another layer of composition that can be added to any body of work.
See more of her work at Elizabeth Harris Gallery , and here’s an interview with Martha.
Another image of one of my artworks in use—I love to get these from collectors. This is one of my plant drawing postcard prints used as a gift card. I think it looks great! I never would have thought of using them this way.
You can purchase them here on my Etsy shop.
I just received some pictures of 6 of my artworks that found a home in Manhattan as part of a 25-foot long hallway gallery. I love seeing the framing choices and the other art that surrounds them!
Spotted two of my pieces at a friend’s home. I love seeing my minimalist modern works surrounded by antiques, photos, and other types of art! On the left, my tiny collage of origami paper. On the right a triangular black-bar painting.
Here’s a sample of a series of drawings about color and texture. I painted a shape of color in gouache on 11 x 14 white Stonehenge paper. Then I chose a colored pencil that played well with the gouache color, and colored every inch of the painted shape with concentric marks. It was an addictive and mind-freeing exercise.
I stumbled upon the simplicity of this process after wondering for an entire year what to do with my custom-made set of 70 Prismacolor pencils. I loved the range of colors that I had, but every time I made a drawing with them, the composition and color choices seemed arbitrary and decorative-only. Finally I came up with this two-color solution, and a shape based on a response to the 11 x 14 paper. The texture of the meditatively-made marks and the gouache peeping through the colored pencil was finally the right combination. In my work, I have to look for the perameters to arise out of the sketching process before I can be happy with the work. It’s a fun game to play, looking for the limitations. Once found, I was able to make a large series of drawings in various experimental color combinations.
These are now available for purchase for $25.00 each in my Etsy shop.
This little collection is headed to New York, New York tomorrow!
Purchased from my Etsy shop, Must Keep Making.
Trying new ways to color paper using dip-dying. I recently bought some handmade paper and decided to make some hole-punch drawings with it, inspired by the tantric paintings of India. I wanted to add a complimentary random pattern to the geometric line drawing and so am trying this technique of coloring for the first time. I’m anxious to see the outcome!
Messing around with my geometric templates. Might add some colored pencil or watercolor to these but not sure yet. These are sumi ink on Stonehenge paper, 5x7 inches.
I really love this collage work by Leigh Wells. I ran across her work on the In The Make studio-visit blog where you can see an interview with Leigh and view her studio.
I’m always looking for new collage artists. If you ever have any suggestions for me, let me know!
Yesterday I had an impromptu interview with Steven Milsap, the art instructor at Athens Georgia’s Cedar Shoals High School. He’s a big inspiration to his students at a crucial time in a young artist’s life. He had posted a photo of my collages, so I began by responding to those.
This is transcribed from The Art League’s Facebook page, which he developed to connect his students to real artists. I was eager to reply because of how important art was to me in high school despite living in a not-so artist-friendly community.
I love your use of shapes and color and you use of space. Could you make a statement about your approach to making art? Many of the people in this group are young artists at the beginning of their experimentation with art and different ways of creating work .
Sure! I have two approaches: the collages represent one, which is more of an aesthetic action/reaction to what’s going on in the composition. The other is to set rules which I work within—these are my grid drawings.
I’m always thinking and looking and making little idea-sketches in my sketchbook, then I work out whichever ideas seem most interesting to me on better paper. With these collages, I try to think sculpturally and to think of building rather than composing. With cut paper you can move things around until you like them, then paste them down. I try to do as little as possible—use as few elements as possible—to make something visually interesting. It’s like a game to see how little I can do and still effect a nice composition. It’s harder than it looks! When things are so simple, each decision takes on monumental importance because there’s nothing to distract from it.
I never have an idea behind the work other than being completely engaged in the process. Sure, there are aesthetics involved, but the actual process of thinking and building is the most interesting part for me as an artist, behind the scenes. I think it’s possible for viewers to empathize with this process too and get a little satisfaction out of thinking of how it was made.
I work in series rather than in single works. I find this allows me to fully explore the possibilities of the work and push it as far as it can go. The real work is the whole series, each informing the others. I learned from Ellsworth Kelly that anything is game for inspiration—not just art or other higher forms of culture. Anything that excites you is valid and food for art, whether it’s a shadow, a piece of trash, something someone said, or something you read, etc.
Thank you that is really insightful look into your process. Is it possible to describe the studio space you are currently working in and the objects that you have in that space?
Yes! I work in my apartment at a small desk. Most of my work is small these days. I keep my space clear so it’s always ready to work when inspiration strikes. No excuses not to sit down and start something! I have all my supplies (which I intentionally keep few—again, limitations are interesting to me) nearby and organized so I can find whatever I need easily. I have a GREAT lamp which moves just where I need it to. I like to work at home so that I can work anytime for however long I’m able. Middle of the night? No problem!
I have lots of original artworks that I’ve collected that inspire me. I have my art books, textiles collection, ceramics, natural objects—-everything that inspires me. And right out my front door I can visit a nature park where I get most of my inspiration. Having everything at my fingertips is crucial to allowing me to work well.
I love your work in so many ways . One of the things that really interests me about it is that it seems that it could work at any scale . You seem to have this amazing sense of space. Could you talk about what got you started creating art? Do you think your education has been important to what your creating now? and last question has there ever been a person or teacher that has changed the direction of your work or life?
Thank you! I really love composition. I also love abstraction which allows the ability for something to be any scale—there are no signifiers of scale as in realism. I prefer to work two-dimensionally because the space can be anything, whereas with three-dimensions the scale is fixed in reference to whatever’s around it. I
've been making art since I was a kid and always loved the art day in school. I took art classes in my public school from junior high on but was leaning towards a science path until 11th grade when I had an art teacher who took me under her wing (with all my angst and outcastness!) and coached me through a portfolio to apply for the SC Governor's School for the Arts. I was accepted there the summer before my senior year and that's what changed my life. It wasn't just the art, although that was part of it, it was the community of like-minded people whom I hadn't been able to find in my small town. My parents were always pushing me to follow my bliss so I went to art school in college with the intention of teaching in a university. The rest is history.
As regards my education, it taught me discipline and lent a seriousness to art that I craved. I’ve never been into hobby art, but art as a serious philosophical way of living. It was great to be around hard instructors and to work with my peers in art school. But real world education is also valuable, because you learn that not everything is an ideal like it can be in a school. Working hard and being self-reliant is the only way to be successful as an artist, and my art school times reinforced that. Art school is perceived as being easy but it’s one of the hardest majors in my opinion!
Thanks so much for spending time with me today and letting us see into your world of making. Im totally honored.
It was my pleasure Steven! Thanks for being interested! I love to share about this stuff with people who are in the initial stages of delving into art seriously, like I was in high school.
I really enjoyed this with you today and I hope people feel free to post here and get feed back . This is a perfect venue to talk with like minded people and think about new ways of seeing and communicating ideas.
Viewing my Batch #5 scans in quick succession you can almost imagine the way the pulp moves around the vat during the paper making process. It’s as if viewing them this way you can track the visual information as it circulates, sinks, dissolves and reappears.