Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Review of MultiMedia ArtBoard With Colored Pencils

Here is the latest ATC I have done. It's on a new support for me: black MultiMedia ArtBoard.

According to the MultiMedia ArtBoard website, the ArtBoard is an innovative combination of paper and epoxy resin provides an exceptionally durable product that has few limitations. I find that it is very rough on the surface, rougher than it appears to the eye. You don't realize just how rough it can be until you put a pencil to it. Here is what pencil marks look like on it. The marks on the far left are burnishing on the board with sky blue light. The marks to the left are single pencils strokes. You can see how you really cannot get detail on this surface due too its roughness. The final marks on the bottom are cross hatching. As you can probably see, this support is a real pencil eater!

I was expecting a solid board like a heavyweight illustration board or Pastelbord. Surprisingly, it appears to be very thin and fragile, and yet it is somewhat strong. I tested its strength on a small piece. I tried bending it to see just how much it would take and what the resulting effect would be. It gave quite a bit before breaking. Well, it did not exactly break. It was more of a snap which usually left behind messy edges. When it snaps, a whole piece of is broken right off, completely. The ArtBoard can also be torn, surprisingly easy, and that does lave a mess behind! In the photo below you can see the results of my experiment. On the left is the result of when I snapped the board in half. The piece on the right is what happened when I tore the ArtBoard. You can see that is a mess! You can also get a glimpse of the texture of the ArtBoard.

It was very difficult for me to get any detail on this support or to even attempt to fill the tooth. I don't think I will be using this support with pencils anymore as it simply is not appropriate for this surface. I will be experimenting with pastels though, as I think it will work much better than pencils. In the photo below is a close-up of the puppy ATC. You can see the trouble I had trying to get the type of detail I like to have in my artwork.

I'm a bit disappointed. I was hoping for another support I could use in the heat and humidity of the summer here in Eastern NC. Worse yet, I could only find MultiMedia ArtBoard in packages of five, so I purchased a 5-piece package of 11" x 14" of black and a 5-piece package of 18" x 24" tan colored MultiMedia Artboard. The ArtBoard also comes in white. Guess it's back to the Pastelbord for the summers, except for pastel work. I'm now wondering how well pastels will adhere to this surface. That will have to be my next experiment.

If you interested in purchasing the MultiMedia ArtBoard, it is available from the websites listed below. Not all of the websites have all of the colors or the sizes. You will simply have to explore each site to find one that meets your needs. I can say, however, that Daniel Smith was the only website that had the ArtBoard in tan.

Dick Blick
Jerry's Artarama
Cheap Joe's
Daniel Smith

Friday, September 11, 2009

Art Shows & Festivals

Well, two down, one to go. I turned in my two entries for the Landmark Art Show & Competition yesterday. They called me this morning to say they couldn't find them and asked me to describe them. One half hour later they found them.

Show two is the NC State Fair. I have two paintings for that, and they are now packed up and awaiting transport.

Show three is the Chowan County Fair. I have four so far for that competition. Still getting those ready, have to finish two of them!

I always plan to enter the big national art shows, but end up never having anything finished in time for them. I decided it was time I got something in a show, even if it is a small local one or two..... or three. At least I will have at least seven paintings out there, all at the same time!

I have also started two additional paintings. Another shelter cat and a portrait of a very special person to be revealed later. I got in about ten hours on paintings this week and about six hours in preparation time for the shows. That's a total of 16 hours in the studio. BAD!!!!! Need to get much better for next week!!!

The weather is gorgeous here. Raining off and on, makes it difficult for doing yard work, but the temps are soooooo nice!!!! Tonight I trimmed tree branches from the trees lining the driveway. Spent about one hour straight doing that and my arms were a bit tired, but after an hour's rest, I was fine.

Tomorrow, I'll be going to a horse show and to the Edenton Indian Summer Festival, and Sunday is the Currituck Wildlife Festival. That's what I love about Fall - all the fairs and festivals!!!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

How Did I Do In This Week's Challenge?

Considering I didn't start the challenge until Wednesday of this week, I did okay, but should have been better. I got in 6 hours, and completed 95% of a painting, but I need to pout in more hours next week. However, I have a bit of a jump start on next week's challenge. I just out in three hours in my studio and finished a complete underpainting of a new shelter animal piece! I will be putting in more hours later on, but not too many. I have to be at my step-daughter's house later tonight to help her prepare for her son's b-day party which will be held on Sunday.

I have my two paintings for one show all prepared and packed up, ready to go. I just need a frame and I'll be all packed up for another show. The third show for this month is still in the works. I have two paintings for it completed and two more I'm trying to finish up. Busy show month it is!!

So, how did all of you do in the studio this week??? Did you accomplish a lot? Finish any paintings? Let me know how you did and all the problems you ran into that prevented you from putting in more hours in the studio. I want to hear your stories!!

Finally, I've done quite a bit of work on Treat, but still have a lot to do to finish this one. Here is an update. She looks a little funny over on the left side, but that's because it's still not completed there. More hours yet to go!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Food for thought and laughter

Tonight I read two very different blogs that made me both think and laugh.

The first was a blog by Jack Speight called Knuckleball. His writing will keep you laughing and wondering how you never thought reading about toilet troubles in room #16 could be such good reading, or how you never knew the "Freedom Leak" was so popular among men (this one had me crying it was so funny). I realize this is not an art blog, but we all need a good laugh now and then, and this guy can write!

The second blog was the 20 Hour Studio Challenge Blog. The challenge is for artists to make a contract with themselves to spend at least 20 hours per week in their studio. Since I have been extremely lazy toward my artwork lately, I thought about it for awhile. I can do 20 hours a week ....... I think. I used to all the time, but my passion for art seems to have been waning of late, much to my dismay. It gets a good kick start every now and then and I get inspired and fairly quickly whip out a painting or two and call it a success. If I were honest, I would realize that what I am doing is simply not cutting it. I'm getting no where fast.

Thus, I have realized that I am at a cross roads of sorts. If I want to continue being an artist, and I do believe that this is what God wants me to do, then I need to discipline myself better so I can accomplish more. Yes, I said the dreaded "D" word. I didn't need to worry about disciplining myself for the first three years I was a professional artist. I was obsessed with creating artwork. I couldn't seem to stop, no matter what. If I could have I would have been drawing while doing my business in the bathroom. From the moment I woke up until I reluctantly closed my eyes at 2:00 AM, I would eat, sleep, and drink art. Thank God my husband was very supportive and understanding, or who knows where we'd be right now. I learned more than you can imagine during those three years, but now I seem to always be struggling. I think it's time for the dreaded "D" word. Yes, I need to discipline myself.

I have come to the conclusion that the best way to initiate this discipline is to join the 20 hour studio challenge. If I can spend at least 20 hours in the studio - doing artwork not on the computer or reading, or organizing art supplies, or going through ref pics, but actually working on art - then I can get get an amazing amount of art done in a short period of time!!! Since I have three quite large pieces I'm working on, that is a good thing. I will need all the time I can find to complete them.

So, I invite all of you to do one of two things, or possibly both:
One - follow me on my journey and make sure I spend 20 hours per week in the studio and then you can be the first to see the results of those hours of labor; or
Two - join me in the challenge! Sign up at 20hoursstudiochallenge Web Site and begin your journey as a "D"isciplined artist and see how much artwork you can create in your 20 hours in your studio every week!!