Watercolor class project 1, a flower still life. Sketch and work in progress.
pen and ink portrait
My friend C protests she is not an artist but every year she takes a road trip on which she makes pen and ink landscapes. I am impressed. It takes me years before I am brave enough to abandon my pencil and eraser. Favorite pen #2, Platinum Fountain Pen, Preppy, Fine Nib, Black (PPQ-200-#1)
Natalie Cole, Unforgettable 2, pen and ink portrait. A few years ago I took a face drawing online video course from PencilKings. I had a sketchbook filled with eyes, noses, mouths, ears, heads. And a year ago I enrolled in their figure drawing challenge. A good way to go if you want a course where you can go at your own pace.
As I look over last year’s art, I see that I am all over the place, quilting, knitting, suncatchers, watercolors, fused glass, oils, acrylics, pen and ink… and more.
Sometimes I think, “if I could concentrate on one thing, I would improve my art so much faster”. But I have to accept that is not who I am.
That being said, we begin this year with pen and ink portraits.
A new year of art
My small Altoid tin houses a few pans of watercolors: hansa yellow, undersea green, burnt sienna, alizarin crimson, indigo, ultramarine blue, quinacrodon gold. Also included are few fine tipped markers and a pentel water brush, and a Strathmore watercolor journal. This is the first time for this kit with these tools and colors. This kit is setup for tropical climates on the coast. Artist Cathy Johnson has a wonderful YouTube video on all her travel kits, she has many. She keeps a kit in the glove compartment of her car. Such a good idea! It’s a good thing, as Martha would say ;o)
Fish are the birds of the undersea realm. Their behavior in schooling is similar to birds flocking. The way they move in groups is also similar to birds. To have a large school of fish swirling around you is an incredible sight.
I lead a dual life. By day I am a science researcher. But I am also an artist. My art friends want to know, when do I have the time to work? During lunch, after work, on the weekends, and when I have insomnia, I think about art, I dream about art.
Sometimes I am able to combine my research work and my art.
Currently I’m involved in a collaborative project to study marine biodiversity in Monterey Bay, California. Marine biodiversity is a key indicator of ocean health and can give us an integrated picture of what is happening in the ocean. These studies will provide marine resource managers and policymakers with tools to address threats ranging from invasive species to climate change.
One of the marine indicator species proposed is krill. Krill are near the bottom of the oceanic food chain and are therefore very important to marine life. Krill are very small crustaceans. They are the main food source for some species of whales, and also for fish, penguins, seals, and squid, among many other ocean wild life.
The krill population in the world’s ocean becomes critical not only for marine wild life but also for people, more than 3.5 billion people depend on the ocean for food
The ocean is life.
The Marine Series will soon be available for sale. Art prints with mats will be available from my web store. Also I’ll be working with a third party vendor to provide Fine Art Giclees. If you are interested please sign up for my newsletters or drop me an email.
Everybody’s Ocean, an art exhibit at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History. Wave II runs Feb 27 through Apr 19.
My submission, “Jellies”, an abstract mixed media art piece of the surreal and ghostly jellies as they drift through the upper ocean realm.
Scuba diving in Monterey Bay, we saw many jellies as they were a frequent visitor. As jellies float slowly through the water, it was easy to get close to examine them. Sometimes one could spot small crabs on the bell, or an unfortunate fish tangled in the tentacles. And sometimes swarms of jellies surrounded and flowed passed us.
For me, having lived along the coast all my life, the ocean is a circadian rhythm.
To be full immersed in the ocean, to give in to the power of the ocean, and to let oneself be gently rocked in the ocean’s embrace is an incredible feeling.
The ocean is life. The ocean provides food, water, and air. Without the ocean we cannot exist.
As I mentioned in a previous post I have a weakness for paints and paint brushes. These script brushes were recommended by the watercolor artist and teacher Steve Fleming. A script brush is narrow and has a long hair. Typically used for lettering, outlining, and it has a fantastic capacity to hold lots of paint and so makes a wonderful continuous line.
In art, making marks is an important part of any piece. The sepia marker I was using in my river series just didn’t seem strong enough, see figure on right. And so I’m experimenting with my new script brushes for improved marks. Stay tuned and let me know what you think of the results.