Saturday, September 27, 2014

A display of work testing the Artist Survival Book 

As an artist, I sometimes have multiple projects bouncing around in my head at once.  Most of those projects are at different levels of progress and details can get lost in the mix.  A working journal like the Artist Survival Book is very helpful for keeping the various elements of many projects all in one tidy place.   You will find them at Jerry's Artarama.

 The Artist Survival Book has a lovely leather cover that feels nice in your hand.  For me, even the cover helps to create the ambiance of a creative moment.   There is an elastic band that helps to keep the book closed as it grows with your use.  The elastic is strong but narrow which is nice because it doesn't get in the way.  The papers turn easily and comfortably on the spiral binding allowing for a completely flat display.  And the journal is a nice size that is easy enough to bring along wherever you go so you can work on those ideas when the thought comes.

The front portion of the book has plain pages ready for you to test drawings and other ideas you might have.   The middle portion has lines for note taking or lists of necessary supplies or even thoughts about future projects.  And the last section of the book is made up of pages with guide-dots to help you with precision drawing.   All of the pages are perforated, making it easy to remove them when necessary for reference.

And between each section there is a leather divider that has pockets.  How fun these pockets are!  You can keep extra small papers or reference photos or even a few pencils if you like.  The papers are suitable for dry media like graphite, colored pencils, pen, or conte' crayons.

Here is a short video demonstration of my Artist Survival Book.

Wind and Honey Creations
Creative Pencils - Online Drawing Lessons

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

On My Worktable Today
Kate, Micah, & our duck Gretchen
My daughter has a gift for color.   She has done unusual things with color her whole life.   When she was 7 she used to wear 2 pairs of socks - every day.   If she had on an outfit that was red and black, she would wear a pair of red socks and a pair of black socks.  On one foot, she wore the red sock under the black sock with the red one turned up and the black one folded down.  On the other foot, she would do the opposite. 

I wish I had a photograph to show you.  But in those pre digital days, we didn't take as many photos as we do today.   You'll have to imagine it.  She made this look up herself.   And the funny thing was that after a while all the other little girls started doing it too.  The mothers would tell me they wouldn't wear their socks any other way now.  I was never sure if they were ok with it or if they were frustrated with me for letting Kate do it.

As she grew older she would see colors in objects that I didn't really see.  We had an old, old, think older than that, door from a family home that had been torn down.   As I looked at the door, I saw a dirty yellow door. Kate saw yellow and white and green and even purple in it.  And when she painted anything, those colors would come out and it was beautiful.   She painted some images from the old house.   Here is a photo of the house and one of the paintings.   See the difference?   It isn't that she imagines the colors.  She sees them!

I have often longed for that gift.   But, alas, it is not in my head.  But recently I have been determined to grow in that area.  I cannot create the gift Kate has, but perhaps I can foster the skill.  So, with that in mind, I've been piddling with art in unusual colors.  I have just finished this elephant.   Ellie is tiny - 2.5 x 3.5. Artist Trading Card size.  She was done during a collection of moments when I was caught in a lobby or in the car with nothing to do but wait.   Ellie was created with Derwent Inktense, Prismacolor, & Derwent Sketching pencils on Strathmore mixed media paper.  Working in unusual colors was a challenge for me and definitely stretched my thinking processes.  But I enjoyed it and I am pleased with her.


Wind and Honey Creations
Creative Pencils - Online Drawing Lessons

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

A Review of Matisse Structured Artists Acrylic Color

The Matisse Structured Artists Acrylic Colors are fun!  Plain and simple, that's the first thing that comes to my mind.  They are a heavy bodied paint formulated to naturally lay down on the canvas with some bulk.  I purposely chose a project that could be enhanced with some texture.  And I really enjoyed watching that texture appear with very little effort using the Matisse Structured Paint.   It felt like the paint was working with me rather than my needing to manipulate it. 

The tubes have wonderful flip tops making it so much easier on my hands to get to the paint.  And I believe those tops will also create a better seal over time, thereby allowing a longer shelf life for my paints.

The colors are vivid and scrumptious.  There is a wide range to choose from - 96 colors in all.  They mix nicely.  And the colors lay down clearly and beautifully on the canvas.  You will be tempted to try all the colors, as I am.

The Matisse Acrylics have a longer open working time than other acrylic paints I've worked with, allowing me to leave more colors out on my palette.  And also giving more freedom to play with my mixed colors as the painting developed.  The Matisse Structured Acrylics would be perfect for mixed media painting and for mixed media collage work.  The heavy body lends itself easily to the various techniques used in these popular art forms. 

These are the supplies I used for this example.  I got all my supplies at Jerry's Artarama:

Matisse Structured Acrylic Colors
          Raw Sienna
          Magenta Light
          Antique White
          Transparent Venetian Red
          Burnt Sienna
          Naples Yellow Light
          Transparent Yellow Oxide
          Unbleached Titanium
          Phthalo Blue
          Burnt Umber
          Titanium White
Colour Shaper Painting Tool
Jewel Bristle Brushes
Ampersand Artist Panel

Wind and Honey Creations
Creative Pencils - Online Drawing Lessons

Sunday, August 10, 2014

World Lion Day

It is World Lion Day.  And in honor of my most favorite of creatures, I am sharing this beautiful and captivating painting - Una and Lion by Briton Riviére.  The painting is an illustration of the the English epic poem The Faerie Queene.  There are several interpretations to the meaning of this poem.  None of which apply to what I, personally, love in this piece of art.  

If you've read this blog for its duration, you are aware of my love for lions and possibly even of the story of the little lion I cared for whose name was Daniel.  If you are new and unfamiliar with my little Daniel's story, you may read it here.  

Caring for Daniel was extraordinary and life changing for me in many ways.  As I bottle fed him and did his daily therapies, I grew in unexpected ways.  I am currently working on a project to tell Daniel's story more fully.  I am very excited about it.   I'm not sure how long it will take to accomplish.  But I am enjoying the process.   I want to wait for it to be revealed in its completion but I will share some sneak peaks with you along the way.

When Daniel was 13 months old, he passed away due to the injuries he had endured where he had previously lived.  I have always believed that I will see Daniel again one day and we will rejoice and laugh together at how miraculously God used him in my life.   The first time I saw Riviére's painting it took my breath away as the image was nearly exactly what I've always pictured of Daniel and I one day.  The little dancing lamb is the perfect addition to set the mood of joy, peace, and serenity.  
I am very sad to say that lions are in great decline in the wild due to poaching and loss of habit.  Their numbers have declined in the last 50 years to a level that is frighteningly low.  Unless the current trends change, there are predictions that there will be no more lions 10 years from now.  Surely this must not happen.  

Wind and Honey Creations
Creative Pencils - Online Drawing Lessons

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Rain and Life's Rhythms

Its raining today. Everything in me wants to sit with a nice cup of tea and draw while listening to the raindrops tap dancing outside. I am not unique with this thought. I've heard it so many times from others. The rain calls us to be still, to slow down, to be calm.  The birds outside are tucked away somewhere under large tree leaves or the eaves of a house.  Even the dogs and cats inside are more sleepy today.  

Of course slowing down isn't what we do.  We curse the rain or we choose to ignore it as we bustle around trying to get 36 hours squeezed out of 24.  I've been thinking a lot lately about the rhythms of life and how we press so hard against them.  It would seem to me that paying better attention to the patterns set by the Creator might be the wiser route to go.  That isn't an easy task in our culture.  

Our lists for "to do" are longer than our arms, and then just a few moments spent on popular social media is enough to remind you that whatever you might have gotten done today, surely you are behind what everyone else is accomplishing.   

I propose that we proclaim a respite from those dreaded lists and try, at least a little bit, to listen more to the rhythms of nature.  I propose at least one hour of each day be set aside to live life rather than run the list.  I imagine this will be life altering and life giving.  I'm going to try it.  I dare you to join me.

Wind and Honey Creations
Creative Pencils - Online Drawing Lessons

Thursday, July 10, 2014

A Review of the Sanford Tuff Stuff Stick Eraser

It might seem odd to be so excited about an eraser.  But as a pencil artist committed to a particular level of precision in my art, I can't get along without my Tuff Stuff Stick Eraser Stick by Sanford Paper Mate.   The Tuff Stuff Eraser is a quality white plastic eraser.

The eraser stick in the Tuff Stuff is only 3.8 mm wide.  This is narrow enough to be able to erase in the tiniest of spots.  And yet wide enough to not compromise on the ability of the eraser to accomplish its task.

The fact that you can return the eraser stick back into the plastic barrel makes it easy to keep the eraser clean.  You can purchase refills for your Tuff Stuff Eraser making it ecologically friendly.  I use mine all the time but have never actually had to use my refills yet. 

http://windandhoneycreations.comI often use my Tuff Stuff Stick Eraser as a white pencil on my graphite drawings.  And I always encourage my students to own at least one.  They are always as excited about their Tuff Stuff Erasers as I am.  Their comment when first using it is usually, "Wow!"  We just can't get along without it.  I own several, keeping one in every pencil pack and drawing station I have.

 I always keep a small journal and a tiny drawing kit with me wherever I go.  My Tuff Stuff Eraser is an essential part of that drawing kit.  I love my Tuff Stuff Eraser!

Below is a video demonstration I did for Jerry's Artarama using the Tuff Stuff Eraser.

Supplies used in the video:

Conte' Crayons
Derwent Tinted Charcoal
Soho Urban Artist Colored Pencils
Derwent Graphic Pencil
Creative Mark Blending Stump
Tuff Stuff Eraser Stick
Big Triple Sharpener
Reflexions Pocket Journal
Artist Survival Book
Strathmore Bristol Board

I purchase all of my artist's pencils from Jerry's Artarama.  And I'm not telling you that because they asked me to do this review.  It is the truth.  They package those delicate pencils like they are shipping to the moon.  I've not found this to be true of all online art supply companies.   I grew weary of getting packages of broken pencil leads and that is when I discovered Jerry's.

Wind and Honey Creations
Creative Pencils - Online Drawing Lessons

Monday, July 7, 2014

Ketchup Day!
When I was teaching local children's classes, we would occasionally get behind and would have several unfinished projects stacked up.  When that happened we would have a Catch Up class day.  The cute thing was that the kids always thought I was saying Ketchup Day and they thought that was the funniest thing they'd ever heard.  I have been absent for many weeks from this blog and am behind on several posts. And for that, I apologize.  I guess that makes this a Ketchup Day!

 My weeks have been full, my moments have been full, my 'to do' list has been full, my desk has been full. But in the midst of all this fullness, I have been without many words for sharing. Do you find that sometimes when life is just full all around you, that you become quiet in self defense of it all?
I do.
But I am back today with a renewed resolve to be faithful here as blogging is much more fun and a much more positive experience than other social media, in my humble opinion.
Blogging feels more like having someone to tea and then visiting their house to do the same. Much more pleasant than everyone chattering at once.
In spite of my quietness, I have been busy. I've been working on promoting the workshops for The Graceful Artist. I've started a big project of my own art blended with art journaling. I've recorded some new workshops. I am thinking of creating a new Wind and Honey website as the original is designed in iweb. Apple no longer offers this software. When this computer dies I will no longer be able to edit my current website. And my computer is getting pretty old.

I've been doing some review work for Jerry's Artarama. I'll be sharing those with you. I do receive the products I review from Jerry's. But, as I am a terribly honest person, I only tell the truth in my reviews. So, perhaps they will help you with some new products. 
And on top of it all, I am helping my daughter Kate plan her Fall wedding. 

The orange door
Poet has been off work for a week and we chose to stay home this year.  We are working on some projects that we want done but never seem to have time for.  When we moved into this house a year ago, the shutters were orange.   Now, my fellow OSU Cowboy fans, please don't send me letters on this.  But, as much as I love our beloved Cowboys, I really am not fond of orange.  So, finally we've painted those shutters and I imagine the neighbors are breathing a sigh of relief. 

The orange shutters

The new shutters

The new blue door!!

Another project Poet is working on is the antique ice box given to me by his father, my father-in-law.  It was promised about 20 years ago but only received recently.  It has sat in a workshop for a long time waiting for its place of honor in my breakfast room.  I should have taken before photos but I forgot.  It had a lot of missing paint and what paint it had was chipped and rusty.  I promise to post photos when its finished.  You will love it.

And so, for now, I am just popping in to say hello again and to let you know I will be more faithful to join you here.  A review for an art supply will be coming soon.

Wind and Honey Creations
Creative Pencils - Online Drawing Lessons
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