Monday, August 29, 2011

Away From Home : The Sons of Turner Premiere Exhibition

This Saturday, September 3rd, at the Ontarioville Art Center the Sons of Turner will be exhibiting works from our annual trips that we take around the country. There will be pieces from Santa Fe, NM, Savannah GA, and the Midcoastal region of Maine. 

This is my first REAL art show, so I'm really excited! I'm also excited to see what everyone else has done. We have a lot of talent between us all as a group. 

I have one piece in the show, my Barn & Buoys piece that I painted from a photograph I took at North Creek Farm in Phippsburg, ME. I hope people can make it out and see what we, as the Sons of Turner are all about. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Books, Bunnies and Artist's Block

This week, I've been trying to break through my artist's block. It happens sometimes, every once in a while. I just can't think of anything I want to paint or draw. I have to basically force myself to do stuff--which isn't always the best thing. For some reason, I just haven't been able to find interesting things to work on or things that inspire me. So I turned to things that I know, just common objects.

So this summer, I've been trying to read most (if not all) of the remaining Jane Austen books that I haven't already read. I read Pride & Prejudice partially in High School and finished reading it afterwards, when I realized how great it was. Then last Autumn, I found Sense & Sensibility and Persuasion grouped together in a book at Borders (when it was still in business) for $4.99...and beautifully bound too. I read Sense & Sensibility and have yet to read Persuasion. Last month I polished off Emma and now I'm currently reading Mansfield Park. You might wonder where I am going with this...well, I decided to start doing more illustrations of just things that I like and are part of my life...along with the blind contour teapots.
You would be surprised how much people like these kinds of simple drawings. I put this up on tumblr and the last time I checked, it had nearly 100 notes. I try to make them simple. I want them to look like they were drawn, not like a photograph and not like a computer generated image. They're doodles. They're very whimsical and almost haphazard, which I think adds to their charm. If I wanted to draw a realistic representation of a book, I could, but, these sorts of things are so much more personal and I like that about them. And they are meant to be personal because they are my things, but also things that other people could appreciate. And no, I haven't forgotten Northhanger Abbey. I don't own that one yet.

I also experimented with something quite different yesterday. I was thinking about bunnies. I really love bunnies. I think lately, they have become my favorite animal. When I think about it, it makes sense. I was born in the Year of the Rabbit in Chinese Astrology--kind of a coincidence. So I wanted to draw some bunnies to use on items in my online shop. I haven't really drawn that many animals in the past, but an idea just kind of came to me out of the blue and I just went with it. But I wanted to work with it digitally instead of using paint, so it would be more changeable in the future. I started with a drawings of a  simple cute little bunny in a sweater (because what could be more adorable?)...

and added spots and accessories digitally...
I could change the color of the sweater, I could change the spots, and I could change whatever I wanted in Photoshop. Plus the texture of an actual knit sweater is fun. I can even make patterns.

This is really just the beginning. I do plan to do more bunnies, but I can also do other things. Right now, these bunnies are adorning baby clothes in my online shop, but I think that they would make great little trademarks for myself, considering how much I can change them. They could be put on Christmas cards and other holiday-related items (which I do plan on working on soon). I think if I changed the colors on them too, they could be a bit more sophisticated.

I still love watercolor, but this is a fun way to work as well and I like how versatile it is. Tell me what you all think.