Which Paper Will It Be?

24 Apr Canson Bristol Test

The only way to develop your art is to do it. Lots of it. As I look ahead to what that could mean for the canvas (actually it would be cradled board, but that is another post) piling up in my studio I decided that I needed to choose a substrate that wouldn’t take up a ton of space. That of course had to be paper. Small space needed and it can be any size, perfect.

Now the big question was what type of paper. I LOVE the Fabriano Artistico hot press watercolor paper. Hands down that is a fantastic surface to work on and I will use it in the future, but I needed to find something that was less expensive while I explore and discover the art that I want to make moving forward. I went to the art store and found four paper option to test out. They were all similar types of paper, Bristol Vellum. (I do not like texture of any kind on my substrates so hot press or vellum paper is the perfect choice for me.) The difference in the papers was brand and price.

Below are the results of an afternoon creating four similar pieces on a sheet of the papers under test.

Blick Bristol Paper Test

The Blick Bristol paper surprised me. This was the least expensive pack and I expected it to act like a cheap paper. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it held up fairly well to the wet media. It did curl initially but flattened out after the first layer dried and the paper did not fall apart under the layers of paint. While it wasn’t my favorite of the bunch, it is definitely a paper I will use again.

Blick Bristol Paper Test

 

Strathmore 300 Series Bristol Test

I used the Strathmore 300 series bristol paper extensively last year. Both art journals that I work in are designed with this paper. It stands up to wet media well and I like how the paint works on the surface of the paper. It is a great medium priced paper that will always have a place in my studio.

Strathmore 300 Series Bristol Test

 

Strathmore 400 Series Bristol Test

Once again I was surprised by a paper. The Strathmore 400 Series paper is rated higher than the 300 series with a price tag to reflect that. Since I spent so much time with the 300 series I figured that this 400 series paper would be fantastic. Far from it. This was the worst paper in the bunch and yet it was the one that had cost the most. The paper curled, it wasn’t easy to move paint around, and it was hard to get smooth lines with the pencil marks. This is one paper that will never be in my studio again.

Strathmore 400 Series Bristol Test

 

Canson Bristol Test

I just have to say, “I LOVE THIS PAPER”. From the first swipe of paint to the last pencil mark the Canson Bristol paper was fantastic. Very little curl, which was amazing considering how many wet layers I added. The surface was easy to move paint around and draw on. The Canson has become my “cheap” paper of choice.

Canson Bristol Test

What’s Going On?

17 Apr

I had big art plans for 2015. I had grandiose ideas of all that I would accomplish by April. I had sticky note after sticky note of details and goals. I thought I had it all figured out. Then one by one those plans unraveled. Life kept getting in the way and pulling me away from the studio. I fought it, got angry over it, then doubted I could make it all happen.

As I fought and got angry I also began to realize that all of the pressure I was feeling was my own. No one else put these expectations on me. I did that all by myself. Why did I have to cram so much in every week?

I stepped back and let the expectations go. I discovered that while I can be very productive under pressure, I can NOT be creative. Giving myself the space to breathe allowed the creativity back in. I am now creating something everyday. Don’t get me wrong I still have lists (type A personality here), but I am allowing for huge blocks of time for the studio. Time to experiment and discover.

MyArt

I am having so much fun!

All those big plans are still going to happen, I just am not going to rush them. Right now I am going to make art. Later the new website and blog will come online. Later I will get a shop setup. Later I will research and get prints made. Later I will apply for galleries. For now I am going to continue creating everyday. I am going to build up a body of work and discover the style I will move forward with.

You can follow along on my creative journey here on the blog or follow me on social media (links in the sidebar). Time to get back into the studio.

Mix it up

3 Feb

As I dive into full time studio work, I have realized that creative breaks are vital to the process. These breaks can take on many forms, but for me they still involve the studio and getting messy. I like to pull out one of my art books or find a video on youtube showing a technique or style I haven’t tried before. Something to mix it up.

I love color and tend to use a variety in the pieces I create, so when I saw this video by Jane Davies I knew that a black and white approach would really mix things up.
IMG_6767
It was a bit rough going in the beginning. The process didn’t gel with me and I found myself fighting and not loving what was happening on the table in front of me. Before I covered the whole thing with gesso (my favorite “undo button” in the studio), I took a step back, turned the paper 180 degrees, and got out of my head. The goal wasn’t to create a piece or get locked into a composition it was to experiment with black and white.

IMG_6771
Once I let go, the whole process came together. I quickly worked on five pieces, jumping from one to the next as the layers dried. I had fun working quickly and using a variety of mark making tools from a paintbrush to an applicator bottle to a charcoal pencil to a white gel pen.

IMG_0837
In the end, I have five black and white pieces that have a wee bit of Jackie splashed through them. What will I do with them? I have no idea, that wasn’t the point of the play. They may get cut up and collaged into other pieces or they may get painted over or they may get framed as a reminder to let go and try something completely different. I just enjoyed mixing it up one studio afternoon.

Art Rework

27 Jan

As I shared in this post, 2014 was a time of learning and discovery. I spent the year working with paint and playing with mediums. The result of my time in the studio was a renewed passion for creating art and the desire to turn it into a full time gig. With 2015 in full swing, I am creating and planning, scheming and painting. I have big goals for the year including an online shop, making over 100 pieces of art, and a studio move.

As I began this new journey I realized that I had to make a few changes to feel like the path was all my own. This may not make sense (my crazy head rarely does), but with the memory loss there are times when it can feel as if I am two people. The old Jackie and the new.

We had many pieces in our home that old Jackie had painted and I didn’t really care for them now. They simply didn’t make me giddy happy and ready to dance when I saw them (That is my gauge on whether or not to put art in my home, if it makes me want to dance with joy I find a space to treasure it.). I thought about giving them away or just throwing them out, but luckily the pieces were never sealed, so I decided to paint over them.

A before look (old Jackie art)
IMG_02935editrose-city

And now
IMG_0831editIMG_0830

The colors, the textures, the scribbles, the numbers all make me giddy happy. Best of all, it feels like me.

These pieces were just the beginning, I have reworked 10 pieces in our home and the new versions are exactly what I need to give me the courage to jump into being a full time mixed media artist.

Shop Time No. 2

13 Jan

After our first successful and super fun shop time I made a board on Pinterest called Dad Project Ideas. Now I have a collection of projects to choose from when we have shop time. I got a half smile and a bit of an eye roll when I shared with my Dad that I have so many ideas waiting for us. Oh yes, run now Dad, because I could have us booked through the end of the year by the time I am done.

IMG_0780
Our first Pinterest to Project shop time was inspired by this image. A wooden U-shape to fit over an arm of a couch for an instant table.

IMG_0778editIMG_0779edit
Now this was a simple build, right? Well it should have been, but my lack of wood working skills and over zealous ideas made us go down a path that took forever to put these three little pieces of wood together. Dad was great, he went along with my idea and let me explore my way. He let me discover that my way was a crazy, take-too-long approach. When we reached a point where they just weren’t coming together he suggested a new approach and within a matter of minutes (yes, MINUTES) we were done and they were ready to be sanded and stained. So many lessons learned, thanks Dad for letting me figure it out and for knowing the right way to pull this altogether.

I love the end result. Plus it is a visual reminder that I can learn from my mistakes and keep on going.

IMG_0827

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 609 other followers