Friday, February 29, 2008
With that in mind, I am just leaving you with an image from one of my sketchbooks. Clearly it was just one of those doodles, but that is also just fine. This has been a very good and a very exciting week for me in other areas, and you all have played a very important part of that. Now, I head to the studio to work on something to share with you next week!
I thought this was the cutest mushroom. I found it in a forest in western Germany. Don't you think it looks like something from a fairy tale? Well, that makes sense, doesn't it? Fairy Tales...Germany! I am slow, but I often make the connections!
Have a Beautiful and Creative Weekend. Do you have special plans? Will you be in your studio?
Thursday, February 28, 2008
This is the first painting of a new series for me. The series is titled Music and this painting is Music 1 . It is 30" x 40" Mixed Media on deep (2.5") gallery wrapped canvas.
With this series I am listening to a CD a lot - even if I know it very well. Then, I paint while also listening to the CD. Each painting in the series will have a gestural mark which is made while listening to a particular song on the CD. While I don't have permission to share with you the name of the song, I will share here on this blog the name of the CD. Music 1 was painted while listening to Josh Groban's Awake CD. If you are into contemporary classical music and do not know of this singer...you need to find one of his CD's to listen to. He has the most amazing voice for such a young man.
I have started the next in the music series and hopefully I can share that with you next week! At least I am focusing on that! In the meantime, you can contemplate on who I have chosen next. Anyone out there who already knows...shhhh!
So today I leave you with these questions. Do you work in a series? Do you think it is important? If you work this way, how do you come up with what the series might be?
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Andrea, you have a lot of creative interests and your background is quite interesting, too. You have some exciting projects before you and are a very busy artist. I am so excited you have chosen to share your work and life here in this interview.
K: You are fluent in 4 languages, is that right?
A: „Yes, almost, my mothertongue is german, and I’m fluent in french and english and speak spanish quite well.
K: You understand as an American that is quite remarkable.
K: Do you have a web presence in each language or publish any trilingual blogs or web sites?
A: „I have french website at http://www.cestandrea.book.fr but no trilingual blog or website. Maybe in the future, for now this takes too much time from my already restricted studio-time.
K: I understand that. I have read an artist needs to spend 50% on art making and 50% on marketing. Then just today I read where someone said 20% on art making and 80% on marketing. Can you imagine? Time, if we could only have more.
K: Would you consider a multilingual web presence?
A: “If I were to put up a website, yes, sure.
K: Will you give us a brief history of your creativity?
A: “I have been drawing and painting my whole life, but decided to follow my second passion and study languages, when I was young. I then worked international as a translator and trilingual assistant for almost twenty years. I painted and created in my spare time, taking evening courses in oil painting, etching, drawing, watercolour, and nude painting and was part of a woman’s artist group in Germany. In 1995 I moved to Strasbourg, France and in 2001 to Paris, where I decided to go “back” to studies. Thanks to a scholarship I took evening courses in Photoshop and Illustrator design for a year and in 2003 enrolled in a full-time private artschool in Paris where I got my diploma as a textile designer two years later. Since then I have been working my way through many different creative activities, mostly related to textile design, in order to make a living with my art. I have worked in the fashion-fabric industry as a pattern designer, have hand-painted T-shirts and crocheted fun-bags.
At the moment I have a parttime job at a non profit art-photography association where I work from Monday to Friday in the afternoon. The mornings and weekends are dedicated to the creation of a collection of designs for the textile industry and to my sacred idea-sketchbook.”
K: What a fascinating journey. I have always felt as though the journey is so much a part of the art I create now. It sounds as though that is also true for you. Actually, I can see that in your work.
K: What inspires you to create?
A: “Everything. Nature, thoughts, people, colours. I commute a lot and I’m taking in everything that is happening around me. I sketch a lot while “metroing”. I’m also very much inspired by all the friends, artists themselve[s], I found through blogging in Internet.”
K: I can see that in your sketchbook work. Yes, you are very much a people person and a huge doer.
K: You have a new and exciting project before you. Will you share that here?
A: “I became very fond of playing around with a little creature I invented recently and which I’d like to publish in a magazine and later in a book. At the moment I spend every free minute illustrating because I just feel well with it. It is one of the media which I need right now to fully express the feelings I’m experiencing when I look at the world around me. “
K: I think it is wonderful to go with what feels right for you. As you have been told by many people, there is a great future in your new project. I am so eager to watch your journey. I am sure you have also sparked the interest of others who will be eager to watch how this progresses.
K: You have a very strong sense of the joy life and that shows in your work. How do you maintain that each day? Do you have a secret?
A:“I think that I have no secret, I only try to enjoy what I do, to bring joy and love to myself and such to the others. Also to have fun with what I’m doing, if I must do it anywayJ or else try to change the things I have to do and which bother me.
K: Yes, the secret is living an authentic life! I think that means everything! Good for you.
K: You are a very generous person and that shows on your blog and with your work. Have you always been accused of being generous in the other parts of your life?
A: Generous with love and colour yes, but not in a material way cause I’m known to have a very careless relationship with money:) But as I have lots of love, I may as well be generous with it!
K: Well that is the most important generosity - Love!…because, as is said, that is what makes the world go around and it is no good unless you give it away. And you are so very generous with your colors! So very true! As far as a careless money relationship, I think that probably comes from generosity, too, although it is something we all must be careful about.
K: What materials and mediums do you enjoy working with the most?
A: “Acrylic paints on fabric and canvas and paper, watercolour, ink and brush and pen, pencil, fiber, thread, coloured pencil, photography.”
K: What do your days look like? You seem to manage your time well.
A: “I get up at 8 (in winter, at 6.30 in summer). Then I exercise, sometimes inside sometimes outside for half an hour, have breakfast with the cat, then work on the computer or in the studio before taking off to parttime job. I have to leave home around 12.15 and get home at 6 in the evening. When I come home, I paint or draw a little hour, prepare dinner and watch TV movie with my husband. Or read, when there is no interesting movie. But when I read, I sleep”
K: You are very busy! And such a good woman to be getting your exercise in daily. You do work your studio/drawing time in any moment you can. When you read you sleep because you have been so busy.
K: How do you think you were able to find your creative voice?
A:“By getting rid of all the other voices, this took time and age!”
K: Oh, how I can understand that! A beautiful answer.
K: What other artist inspire you (living or not)?
A: The great and famous: I simply adore Picasso, Oskar Kokoschka, Paul Klee, Rothko, Pollock yess, Paula Modersohn Becker, Käthe Kollwitz, Wilhelm Busch and I could go on for hours, the living ones: the artists that I meet via Internet!”
K: You are right, there are so many wonderful artists, both long past and alive.
K: What is the most difficult creative project you have faced?
A: “The present one, find a way to bring my creativity to the people”
K: True! That is a HUGE challenge.
K: What are you looking forward to now?
A: “I’m looking forward to a publication of my Miss Doodle’s Day drawings, and to my next meeting with a canvas, the easel and my acrylic paints, I miss them.”
K: It is difficult to miss old friends and to be making news ones, too. Give yourself a gift soon of your time with the easel and paints. You deserve that. Miss Doodle is a wonderful character, and I am sure she is going to make as big a sensation in the print world as she has in the blog world! It is a very exciting thing for an artist to have their work published and Miss Doodles is clearly heading in that direction.
K: What other things would you like people to know about you, your art, Miss Doodle, etc.?
A:“I’m happy about the comments I get from people about my art, they keep me going and help me to focus on what I’m good at.”
This picture perfectly illustrates my personal and spiritual development as a typical aries:
From age 19 to 33 I road the motorbike, from 33 to 43 the bycicle. Since 2001 I walk:)
K: And you are so good at the things you do! I love this sketch so very much. It is just wonderful how you reflect on your own life on a daily basis as well as a life basis and can so successfully share that with others. It is like the novelist who writes about everyday things which is so appealing to others because they can identify with it immediately. I want everyone to see all the lovely things you have said about them and about your work, Andrea. You are an inspiration to so many artists and non-artist, alike. I appreciate the time you have given to this interview and the time, inspiration and love you have given to so many artist…myself included.
Andreas work can be found at: http://www.cestandrea.blogspot.com/ and you can find Miss Doodle’s Day at: http://www.missdoodlesday.blogspot.com/
[note: Tomorrow's post will be a little more on this project]
So today I wanted to also share something else with you. A few weeks ago, Chewy who writes the blog, The Back of My Headboard: A Place to Stick It recommended a book called "Spirit of Drawing" by Connie Smith Siegel. Something made me order this book, and it arrived yesterday. Now I am not much of a drawer, but this book is awesome! I HIGHLY recommend it for anyone interested in expressive art! The title will fool you as it is so much more than drawing. For me, I can see where it is going to help my sketchbook take on a whole new meaning and when I travel...oh that will be completely changed!
Do you have any books you would like to recommend?
Now, don't forget to visit me tomorrow! I think it will be an exciting and inspiring day!
Monday, February 25, 2008
From the door, this is what the room looks like...yes, it is also my library! :) That may change sooner, rather than later. Do you see the drying line? I mainly dry my brushes here, but lately I have been working with rice paper and also wipe off brushes on tissue (which can make for some really interesting painted papers for collage) and find drying those on that line works great.
This area sits to my right when I am at my work table and just behind me when I am at my easel. I know it looks very messy, but I know just where everything is located...and no one else can find a thing (you know I love that).
This tambour sits to the right of my easel and holds a lot of things for me. The nice thing about a lot of the items I use is they can be easily broken down and moved where I need to go next.
And this is my work table...it is actually an old drafting board...there is a parallel bar at the top...which sits on another table. Can you see my paper storage on the table under the board?
This is not an ideal studio, but it works for me for now. If you could see what I have to do when we live in locations where we do not purchase a house you would probably be shocked! The good news about this spot is it is just across the hall from both a bathroom and a laundry room, so I have good access to sinks! I don't have to hang plastic from the walls here and I have a room!
Here are today's questions. Do you have a separate room for your studio? Do you have special needs for your studio? Do you have any ideas which will be helpful when you have to relocate a studio with regularly?
Do not forget to keep checking here, because once everything is ready, you will be the first to know The Secret.
Friday, February 22, 2008
Do you ever have times when you want to do something in your studio, but you really are not feeling all that creative? I have a little project for you to try. I think many people have already done this one, but it is one of those worth repeating. This is fun, a little time consuming, but a lot of fun. Here is what you will need to gather together:
1. watercolors or acrylics in colors you like
2. distilled water
3. heavy watercolor paper or rice paper
4. tissue paper
5. acrylic medium
6. a spray bottle
7. a mop brush or other way to apply watercolors to paper
I like to use watercolor paper in blocks, but use what you have or what is right for you. Spray the paper to moisten it with distilled water. Apply the watercolors or wet acrylics to the paper and allow the paper to absorb the colors and let them run together. I found tilting the block worked great while I was painting it. You might need to use the spray bottle to coax the paint down on the paper. Make several paintings like this. The key is to just play around with this to get the colors to bleed together and down the paper. Just have fun with it. Make several of these paintings, although you will only be using 2 for this project. Allow the paintings to dry thoroughly...and this usually will not take long.
Once the paintings are dry, use some acrylic medium to cover one of the paintings you want to use with tissue paper. You do not have to use this step, but it adds a bit of depth to this simple project. Once the medium is dry begin to cut the paintings into strips. The narrower the strips, the more exciting the final result. In this piece, the strips are about 1.5 cm wide. If the edges of the strips are smooth, it is easier to work with. Keep the strips in order. Now begin to weave the strips together in order. It will look like this, if you use a simple weave:
Of course you can use more complicated weaves to get even more exciting pieces. Once you get the piece going it will hold together easily. When you are finished with the weaving, carefully turn it over (easier if you work on a larger piece of paper and use the paper to help you turn it) and use some of the acrylic medium to glue the pieces together. You can then mount this and frame it if you like. The one I did some years ago turned out this way:
My son is very fond of this pieces, so it belongs to him. Give this a try, it is fun and easy to get results. Once you have done one or two of these, you will be very ready to get back to your own creative work.
Let me know how you get along. Enjoy the weekend and do not forget to check back here next week to see when I will be able to share my exciting news with you!
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Now these are just fun little toys for me. I can imagine they would be great for people who work with detailed small paintings. As you can see they are small plastic bottles (rather soft plastic). There are stainless steel tips of various opening sizes which fit over the top you can see on the one filled with red paint. That tip slips out of the little bottle for filling. They can be a little fiddly and I have just gotten them, so can't address the clean up. What I can address is how much fun they are to play with! Very freeing...
So another day I will share what my tiny bedroom studio looks like. I have written the Chelsea College of Art in London asking about that easel I had asked about here. I am just waiting to hear back from them...fingers crossed. I will let you know what they say.
Todays questions??? What are your favorite studio tools? Do you use them in a different way than how they were designed to be used? I can't wait to hear from you.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Today, I feel very eager to get into the studio. Several things have kept me doing other things this week, so today is my day! Yippee!
What are you up to today? Feeling creative?
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Monday, February 18, 2008
Now I have a question for you. As many of you know I have to keep my studio portable since we move about with some regularity. I have been searching for an easel I can use when painting on the deep canvases so I can get at all edges at any time. Something in the back of my mind says I saw one in use in a studio in England, but for the life of me I cannot find any such animal. The one I think I saw had a feature where you could attach the canvas frame to the easel and this allowed all the edges to be free of touching a surface. And I think it even was made so you could "spin" the canvas to get to all edges easily. Why didn't I ask when I was at the studio? Well, that studio was on TV. Has anyone out there seen anything like this? Do you know the type of easel it is called? Do you know where I can purchase one? Hanging on the walls to work, right now, is just not an option for me. If you have other ideas, I am listening....
So I begin with lots of questions this week! But I believe it is going to be exciting around here, so come back to see what is up!
Here is to a beautiful, CREATIVE week!
Friday, February 15, 2008
And I do play with color, too! This is in a moleskine watercolor sketchbook.
And some days I just want to color...sorry about this image. These are metallic watercolor crayons. It is brutally difficult to get a clearer image quickly with this medium. I didn't think you would mind, though.
The most important thing is to just have fun!
Do you sketch nonrepresentational work? What kind of sketchbooks do you like? Would you share your sketchbook with other people?
Have a Wonderful and Creative Weekend! And Let Me Know What You Are Thinking and Doing.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
I am not sure what to do with these. When I purchased the canvases, which are small 6x6 gallery wrapped, my thought was to use them together as a triptych. You can see they are stepped in depth - 3/4", 1.5" and 3" deep. They have not turned out well for me, though. This is about the fourth time I have painted them and still do not feel happy. I wanted to do something along one edge, so they could be configured in a variety of ways. At least this was my initial thought.
So let me tell you what you see right now. There is a layer of coarse paste covering the canvas and this has been painted with fluid acrylic (purple, of course). Then there is a faint line running along one side in white. Then another layer of liquid acrylic in a deep red/purple over that. I then mixed some of the wine color you see with gloss self leveling gel and put that in a little squeezy bottle...more about that in a later post. And placed some pearl with the same self leveling gel in another squeezy bottle. Then I dropped the paint in little drops along the side of all of these, as you can see. Nothing special to be sure.
Here is today's question. Do you think I should just push these away and maybe stumble on them some years down the road to see if anything else comes to mind? You know send them to my "corner of shame" as Jess (http://jess-messyjessie.blogspot.com/) says she has. I don't feel bad about this as it is what it is, but has the time come to put them away? What is your advice?
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
So do you test out your paintings like this? Or do you have a different method. This is not the only thing I do, but more on that later on.
Do you keep older things around your studio which doesn't relate to what you are currently working on?
Monday, February 11, 2008
This glass vessel was done at Wimberly Glass Works (http://www.wgw.com/) in Wimberly, Texas. I am sorry I cannot remember the series name. I love the way the colors meld with glass.
As you can probably tell, this one also is from Wimberly Glass Works. It is from their Bamboo Series.
Now I not only have paintings of my own, but paintings done by friends, too. This whimsy was created by Silke Brenker of Itzehoe, Germany. Isn't he wonderful? Silke is in the middle of a move at the moment, but I can let you know information about how to see some of her other works as soon as she can get settled. She has some wonderful pieces.
Okay, so I confess...I also love fibers! There! I said it! I spent many years with the sewing machine and have even played around with looms and all kinds of things. My friends know this and often find special gifts for me. My best friend also knows of my love of vessels (my theory is it is a woman thing, since we are vessels ourselves), so she found this very special felted bag for me. I wish I could have gotten a better photograph of it, but I just didn't have the right spot this morning. Can you see those special pieces of silk ribbon couched into the felt? I am sorry I do not know the artist of this piece.
And okay! I also love pottery. This piece my daughter gave me for Christmas this past year. She purchased it at the student art show at her University. I can't make out the artist's mark on this one. My apologies to the student who produced it. If you see this, please let me know who you are. It is beautiful. I have played with pottery a bit, but it is really not my medium. I think there is too much precision for me or I just cannot gain the control I want. The thing I absolutely love about pottery (and I have a lot of it about as my daugher enjoys throwing pots) is you know and can actually feel the artist's hand on each piece. Isn't that a fabulous thing?
Friday, February 8, 2008
Now, on to today. I would like to maintain the focus throughout this weekend on yesterday's topic. I am only interested in staying on this subject through this weekend then want to move forward with other thoughts. Todd Camplin (http://www.camplinart.blogspot.com/) posted a nice, detailed response to yesterday's post on his blog. I am inline with his thinking and appreciate him taking this on there, as well. Hopefully there will be some additional comments here, too. Yesterday Andrea (http://cestandrea.blogspot.com/) and Julianne (http://www.colorspeaker.com/) posted some good comments, of which I also agree. Please read over those and visit each of these blog sites. After reading these responses, please let me know your thoughts, concerns, etc. about this subject. On Monday, there will be a totally different subject on this blog and I will move forward with other thinking.
Until then, have a very lovely weekend!
Thursday, February 7, 2008
But on to the topic of today -
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
So here is a treat for today. Rather than look at some of my art, I thought I would share some photos from the water gardens at the Center Pompidou, Paris! These sculptures are so much fun.
And so colorful!
Isn't she a love?
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
So as you all can see, I am not good with internet kinds of things. I don't know how to do things like write HTML or make a link with my writing by saying click "here" and things like that. I don't claim to be good with these things and thank all of you who have helped me get to this place. I kicked and screamed about the blog, but now I am glad I have done it. I have to say I am not getting as much painting done, but I am getting a lot more from the wonderful people I have met so far. So what I would like to ask you now is what kind of things would you like to find when you click in here? I have a few ideas, but I would really like to hear from you what interest you have. Are you interested in what people are reading? Are you interested in mediums? Are you interested in what is going on in art news? Do you want to know about other artists (yes, living ones)? I know there are lots and lots of blogs out there. Some are really, really into the web and the computer. I am not. I am also not good with giving business information. I think you know the kinds of things I can handle.
So tell me, what do you want to know? What do you want me to try to find out for you?
Also, I don't think spell check is working on blogger, so forgive any errors I have here...I am the first to admit I can't spell.
Monday, February 4, 2008
This will also go into my Contemplation Series as Contemplation 7. It is a 12 x 24 deep, gallery wrapped canvas and obviously Mixed Media. With this one, the rice paper really stuck well...I was too generous I suppose. Anyway, I dry brushed several layers over the rice paper, then highlighted specific areas of the rice paper scrunches. It didn't seem complete to me, so I lived with it a couple of weeks. It kept calling me back, then I realized I needed something strong and more severe to balance out the softness of the background. So on went the black squares. It was just what the painting needed, I think.
As usual, I will not sign the front so it can be hung the way it best works in a variety of settings. But I thought it would be interesting to ask you how you best like seeing it? Vertically, it is much stronger and like windows, but horizontally, it is more restful like benches.
Who knows, though, someone might want to hang it obliquely! :)
I hope you have had a lovely weekend and are looking forward to a wonderful week. I can't wait to hear from you.