Thursday, July 29, 2010

Another Panoramic View of Wells - Pooley Street

Here's another almost 360 degree view of Wells, this time from just outside the Island Mountain Arts Gallery on historic Pooley Street.  These images all connect.  If you include one of the panels from my Wells sketchbook it'd make a continuous loop around the scene.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Writing an Artist's Statement

I've been working away on my Artist's Statement these past couple of days, and guess what, it's hard work!  I found a great online guide  that I thought I'd share with anyone going through the same pain at the same time.  Here's the link:

How To Write An Artist's Statement - Molly Gordon

Molly Gordon is a small business coach for 'reluctant entrepreneurs'.  She puts out an eZine called 'Authentic Promotion' that can have some good info in it for artists and other creative professionals.

Thanks Molly for the guide to writing an Artist's Statement.  Your questions are good; they get the brain rolling, and it was actually fun to follow the steps.  My statement isn't finished, but at least it's started now!  I've 'Filled the Pot', and now I'm 'Simmering the Stew' (it's in the guide).

Hope that helps.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Wells Sketchbook 2

The Wells Sketchbook:  I know I posted a few of these while I was en route, but the images were from snapshots and not that clear.  Here's the whole book scanned.  This is such an amazing place, I could have stayed and filled another three books if my real life weren't beckoning me back home.

Front Cover Wells 2010 Journal

back cover

Wells Community Garden Panorama

These ten images all link together to create one 7.5 inch by 112.5 inch scene.  I did two of these panoramic scenes during my stay here; one here at the Wells Community Gardens, and the other at the intersection of Sanders and Pooley Street.  They're each a full 360 degree view.  If you took the last panel and moved it over, it'd line up with the first.  It was a real challenge, dealing with changing light and perspective, dogs, kids, mosquitos and moving cars (although in Wells they really don't move that often).  I always seem to be a little bit invisible when I'm sketching on location, sitting there overhearing all the goings-on in the neighbourhood, children playing in the playground, people gardening, strolling, enjoying life on their street.  It was kind of funny how the locals had all been stepping around me for days, but when they came in to view our work at the end of the project they were surprised to see their homes and all their familiar buildings around town captured here.  Their delight at having their homes captured made me very happy!

I had a couple of real challenges while doing this piece.  The first was, after laying it all out and doing most of the initial sketching, I discovered the paper I though was watercolour friendly was not at all.  The first drop of water made it puff up like one of those compressed sponges getting it's first dose of moisture!  Normally I would have panicked, but here in Wells everything is so laid back I just sort of stared at it and thought, 'hmmm'.  Good thing I happened to grab a box of pencil crayons just before I left Penticton.  It was much slower than it would have been in watercolour, but I think it was a good exercise.  Next 'argh!' moment was after I discovered this cool sepia pen and ink on a side trip to historic Barkerville.  I was having great fun with it, had sketched maybe a house or two in this lovely ink, when I dropped the pen and bent the nib.  No more pen.  Again, I could have freaked, but instead decided to  head back to Barkerville to buy another one.  It meant packing up my camper in order to get mobile, something I hadn't banked on doing during my stay here.  On my way back to where I was parked, I popped in to one of the little galleries on Pooley Street.  I told my tale to the woman working there, an artist I met up here last year at a workshop.  She walked in the back of the gallery and came out with a fist full of pen nibs for me to use.  How nice is that!   I just seemed to meet so many generous people here.  I can see how people come here and decide to stay.


Friday, July 23, 2010

Wells Trip Part 1

I'm here in Wells, more than halfway through the artist's project.  I finally found internet, and I'm too tired to write anything, but here are a couple of pages from my sketchbook.  I'm working on a big series that I'm having fun with, but I'll save it and post once it's all finished.

I'm off to grab a bite and then go watch an arty movie with the rest of the group.  Hope I can keep my eyes open.

More to come soon.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Folding Hard Cover for Handmade Sketchbooks!

I recently switched from using hard-covered watercolour field sketchbooks to making my own flip sketchbooks out of watercolour paper (how-to video here).  I love the books, but the one drawback was that, without a hard cover, the books weren't protected and would get a little beat up with use.  The other challenge was that I no longer had a hard surface under my paper to work against.  So... I made this cool cover!  The folding sketchbooks just slide in under an elastic on the spine.

When I finish one, I can take it out of the cover and pop another one in.

Both sides have flip-out panels, so no matter which way the paper folds out, there's a panel underneath it.  There's a silver elastic down the centre spine to hold it in, and a white ribbon to hold the whole thing closed in my bag.

This fabric was a dress I bought (cheap) for a French themed dinner party.  I never really wore it in real life.  Looking at it now, it's kind of funny how much the sketches look like Yogi and me.  They are even the kind of outfits that I wear (when I'm not in paint covered sweats).  The dress looks much better on a sketchbook cover than on a person.
I learned a few things that I'd do differently next time, but overall I'm totally happy with it.

Tomorrow morning I leave for Wells!  The camper van is packed full of art supplies and fun toys (guitar, good books and music).  I've prepped a ton of canvi.  Ten days of sketching/painting/yogaing/camping.  Beam me up!

Monday, July 12, 2010

One New, One Updated

Fib's Open Mic

Did this from a sketch made during the Sketchcrawl last November (blogged here).  This place has such a cool feel.  There's always something going on; open mic, movie night, live music.  The painting over the table (which isn't really there) is of a carving I picked up at the JJ market in Bangkok.  I wanted to bring something home that carried a bit of the serenity I found tucked in between the chaos and the angry demonstrations in Thailand.  I love this little yogini.  I have another half-done painting that I think she may find herself in.  She sits beside my bed, and is one of the first things I see in the morning, reminding me to breath and relax into the day.

Speaking of yoga, I'm in a good yoga groove right now.  I signed up at and have been doing a different practice pretty much every day for about a month now.  It's great, because I don't have to leave Yogi at home, and there's no travel time, and at about $10 a month, it's pretty bargainous.   The videos are good quality, and there's a huge range to choose from.  If you're using streaming video you can use any of them for that $10.  You can download the ones you like for a fee, which I did with a few of them so I can practice outside when I'm camping.  The Jivamukti ones are my fave at the moment.

This other painting is one I did quite a while ago.  There were parts of it I liked, and parts that made me wince when I looked at it, so I just 'adjusted' a few things.  I'm much happier with it now.

Gun Barrel at Night

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Life: a l'Orange, and a Happier Puppy

Last Wednesday's life drawing session - it's all a little orange, but that was the mood of the evening. Her hair was fantastic to draw.  It's a wig.  I'd like to borrow it for date night.  Sassy.

And of course, a happier puppy at the bottom.   He has a fresh cast on, and the ice cream boys gave him a puppy cone to celebrate.  He much prefers them to the plastic ones you wear on your head.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

'Morning Honey' and 'Guitar Heads'

'Morning Honey'
Acrylic 12x12

I'm heading to Wells for the Toni Onley Artist's Project in 9 days!!  I'm so excited.  My plan for the project is to make a sketchbook, fill it with local scenes, and then rework them in the studio in acrylic.  I've been working on some at home in preparation.  I want to make some of the mistakes I'll make here in private - get them out of the way before I get there.

I'm never sure when these things are finished.  I just paint til I stop.  This is from this sketch I did on Sketchcrawl day in May.  I just realized that the scan cut off the big O on the tree in the upper left hand corner.  My 13x17" scanner, it turns out, is really an 11.5x15" scanner.  Those little rascals at Brother.  Oh well.

'Guitar Heads'
Acrylic 12x16

This one is from one of my 'Every Day In May' sketches.  Original here.  Border is cut off, but looks cool on the orig.