One Month In

One month ago, 24 February 2022, Vladimir Putin directed the Russian forces to invade democratic Ukraine.

Zelenskyy may be Ukraine’s public face and champion of his country but all the citizens of Ukraine are heroic as they face unprecedented strife. Glory to Ukraine!

(Watercolor on Strathmore 500 Mixed Media paper in a handmade 7.5 in. square journal.)

I’ve found the ONE!

After trying one and then another, at long last I’ve found the perfect corner rounder for me! I hope you’re not disappointed because you were hoping I was going to dish on something much more juicy.

I present the Sun-Star Kadomaru Pro Corner Cutter. At the time of writing you can find it on Amazon for $12.67 USD

This little beauty can be used to round three different sizes depending on what’s needed. There’s a 3mm, a 5mm, and an 8mm. Does it measure radius? I think so but I’m not sure. I cut a sample card.

5mm is the same as the rounded corner on a self-healing cutting mat and the 8mm is the same as the corner on one of the Hahnemühle watercolor postcards.

Nice smooth corners with no leftover notches or tags like those left by my other rounders. I’ll be reaching for this one from now on!

Handbound Christmas Ornaments Book – Part Two

Project on Projects: Do It Anyway December

Or in my case… Do It Anyway 2021.

If the video above doesn’t play you can watch it on YouTube here.

In my previous post I detailed the year-long project that culminates in this nearly six minute long video. Yes, I’m pleased with the book… actually, I’m thrilled. But most importantly, I’m pleased that I could see this project through to completion, COVID-19 pandemic and other stressors be damned!

And now that I’ve finally finished the video and uploaded it here I’ll take a few minutes to reflect and get over my post-project letdown before picking up my paintbrush again because you see… I already have another project going!

Handbound Christmas Ornaments Book – Part One

It comes as no surprise to those of you who follow here that I’m a huge fan of Roz Stendahl and have been a long time reader of her blog, Roz Wound Up, and more recently, Roz Interim on Patreon.

Way back in November, 2020 Roz discussed how to select personal projects that are both meaningful and enjoyable that would encourage long-term exploration. She feels it’s important to develop the independence to organize a project that will be meaningful and not dictated by prompts or an instructor’s guidance.

Enter the Project on Projects: Do It Anyway December.

Roz pushed us to select a simple project based on accessible subjects that would continue through the month of December. We would build our project around three crucial items: skill, medium, and subject matter we loved.

I had been thinking of cataloging my collection of Christmas Ornaments and it seemed to fit this framework perfectly. I love serendipity!

I would paint my ornaments on watercolor paper signatures and then bind them into a book when I finished. But I have a lot… a LOT… of ornaments! I knew immediately that “Do It Anyway December” was going to turn into “Do It Anyway 2021.”

Skill – watercolor on 140lb/300gsm cold press watercolor paper signatures using standard brushes (no waterbrushes).
Medium – watercolor, ink if desired.
Subject – Christmas ornaments

I worked diligently through December but then my interest waned only to be invigorated a week or so later when I’d resume my mission. And so went the whole of 2021. I had other drawing and painting projects going on simultaneously so I was still keeping up my daily art practice without ever losing sight of my goal. I wanted my ornaments painted and scanned by early November and the book case made and bound by Thanksgiving.

I did it!

The book is approximately 8 inches square and contains four signatures with throwouts. It’s bound into a Sewn on the Spine structure using Keith Smith’s Dash & Bars stitch pattern twice on the spine. The case is covered with Asahi Scarlett book cloth and inset with a watercolor and ink splattered label.

Looks tantalizing doesn’t it. The full video will be in the next post!

Another Gouache Class with Gayle & Jennifer

I’ve been working very hard to finish a year long project that I’m planning to share in late December but in my down-time I’m enjoying short and fun online classes and workshops. The latest was Inspired by Pattern, another paint-along workshop by Gayle Kabaker and Jennifer Orkin Lewis.

I’ve always leaned toward the “less is more” end of the design spectrum so this was a real stretch for me. You can see when I painted along with Gayle my pattern making only extended to the flowers in my model’s hair. I’m still pleased since I’m trying to use more warm hues, especially yellows, in my work.

If you’re interested in joining another one of these workshops, Gayle and Jennifer are going to do another on Monday, December 6th. This one will be a holiday card themed class and you can find out more HERE.

#paintwithGJ

Jack-o’-Lanterns Galore

Over the years our extended family has gone camping over Columbus Day / Indigenous People’s Weekend. 2012 marks the start of the family pumpkin carving ritual and my ritual of documenting the artwork in my journal.

The more members of the family, the more come camping, the more pumpkins to carve, and the more pumpkins to draw and paint.

And we love every minute of our Pre-Halloween festivities!

2012 – Lake Champagne Campground
2013 – Pine Hollow Campground
2014 – Seven Maples Campground
2015 – Getaway Mountain Campground
2016 – Shir-Roy Campground

2017 – Sorry, no sketchbook page… we were unable to join the group this year.

2018 – Woodmore Campground
2019 – Woodmore Campground
2020 (1 of 2) – Woodmore Campground
2020 (2 of 2) – Woodmore Campground
2021 (1 of 3) – Woodmore Campground
2021 (2 of 3) – Woodmore Campground
2021 (3 of 3) – Woodmore Campground

EDM Returns to my Art Practice

It has been four and a half years… yes YEARS… since I painted my last EDM challenge item.

EDM stands for Every Day Matters and is a list of 328 items to draw or paint. It was created by Karen Winters to help artists create a daily practice without mulling over the eternal question, What should I draw today? I’ve been oh so sloooowly working my way though the list but never have I gone this long since my last entry. I painted number 122- draw something where shade is a prominent part of the subject, back in March 2017. Ouch.

EDM 123 – Draw a bell.

Yes, it’s a bell… a Christmas ornament bell. I had to dig around in the closet to find it and now that it’s out early I guess I’ll have to find a safe spot for it to rest until it can take it’s rightful spot of honor on our holiday tree!