The Sketchbook blog is my opportunity to pass on some of the information that I have found useful over the years. I am inspired to write about different techniques, products, artists, and about things that make me want to paint. Painting is something that I have found to be a natural inclination. Something that I am compelled to do as much as possible. As I meet other artists of all different levels, areas, and mediums, I find this relentless desire is very common among us.
I just want to paint!
Sometimes I don’t know what to paint. Sometimes I want to paint too many things or have too many ideas floating around in my head. Sometimes, I visit a gallery, art show, or just scan a magazine or the internet and stumble onto something or someone intriguing. I am always wanting to try something new, to experiment, to discover. I am sure a lot of you reading this post have the same ideas and desires.
We just want to paint!
For those of you who are curious about painting, but have not yet had the courage to start, I say, “What are you waiting for!” I hear it a lot, “I love that! I wish I could do that, I would like to paint, but I am not sure I can”. Well, you can! You can if you are just willing to try. Just take the first step. You might be a self starter, then read books, watch dvds and videos, or just explore on your own. Then, when you are ready and confident, Go for it! If you feel more comfortable learning with others, join an art society, or art group in your area, take a class, recruit a painting buddy, but get out there and try. You’ll never know until you do.
Over the past 12 months, I have posted several articles of various subjects. As I look back, I find that I have written several posts on step by step projects. I like these, probably, the best. I love sharing something new that I have just learned, introducing a new product that has just came out, or featuring a new technique from an artist that I admire. So you see, I am no different from the many of you out there who just want to paint.
I reviewed all of the posts for 2013 and came up with the most popular and the most enjoyable of the year.
So here you go!
February 18, 2013
Lian Zhen visited Cheap Joe’s and taught a workshop. He is an artist of an amazing and challenging past. Lian is doing what he loves to do by teaching others what he knows. This DVD is jam packed with projects and techniques and I really enjoyed trying my hand at his work. Love, love, love this instructional video!
March 4, 2013
Suzanna Winton is a long time friend of Cheap Joe’s and has been teaching here for many years. Suzanna has produced two DVDs including this one called Step by Step Children’s Portraits. Well, before watching this dvd, I had never attempted a child’s portrait. I always felt I was not capable. I guess, I was afraid of what I would end up with. Portraits are difficult to paint and you have to be accurate and capture the subject,s personality. After watching the dvd, I went through the steps of Suzanna’s teaching and found her process very easy to follow. I have to admit, I was quite surprised at the level of success I had after watching the material. A sign of a great teacher indeed! This will definitely not be the last!
April 22, 2013
Bear, is a very special neighbor who lives on a farm. I pass by everyday and Bear is always out to greet me when I drive by. He’s quite the “Ham”, as he loves attention. He was the perfect subject for this watercolor painted on Aquaboard. I really like the surface as it is very easy to move the paint around.
May 20, 2013
Diana Garrett, a representative from Prismacolor, visited Cheap Joe’s to educate us on their Premier alcohol markers. She showed us a great technique using masking fluid to preserve the whites. Then by filling in the areas with the marker and removing the masking, you end up with what looks like batik. So, I like to call the technique, Marker Batik. This project lends itself to small works and is very portable for taking on vacation or long trips. Just pack up your markers and away you go!
June 10, 2013
Gerald Brommer has been in the art business for a long time. He is an old school painter with many years of experience to pass on to today’s artists. Gerald is a wonderful watercolorist, however, what he is teaching most days is collage. He has a creative technique of tinting or staining his own papers into a colorful palette to use in his paintings. He, then, assembles the papers and paints over them to finish the work. I reviewed his DVD entitled, Stained Paper and Collage” and created a beautiful collage painting of my own!
July 8, 2013
The Joe head has been our main logo for many years now. But it was only recently that someone inquired as to its history and background. Well, I certainly learned a lot by gathering information to write this blog. Jan Kunz, who is an incredible artist and teacher, is the creator of this larger than life like painting of Joe. We will be forever admirer’s of Jan for her wonderful contribution to Cheap Joe’s!
August 26, 2013
This blog is a list of interesting items that are reused or repurposed to create art or from art materials. Like making art from magazine pages with Citrasolv Cleaner. There is something for everyone in this informational and creative post!
September 3, 2013
Sometimes it is difficult to come up with creative subjects to paint. I like to do commissions because the customer usually has a clear idea of what they want painted. It might be a pet portrait, or watercolor, or even a full room mural, but the clients usually have something in mind. When I am working on something for myself, it is usually something experimental or new and sometimes I just spend time looking around for inspirations. This blog has a long list of great ways to reconnect yourself with your art. It might be going to a museum, taking a workshop, or as simple as sharing your art with another. This is a good place to start especially if you are a beginner.
October 15, 2013
I think this was the most popular post of the year! And for a very good reason. Pinata’ Alcohol Inks are pretty new and unfamiliar, but they are fun, easy and inexpensive. You can apply them to any non-porous surface and they are extremely durable. I demonstrated the simple technique of dropping the inks on discarded back splash tiles and created beautiful pendants wrapped in scrap copper wire. You could easily use glassware, larger tiles, Yupo, or even empty Coke cans to paint on. The inks do all of the work and the possibilities are endless! A perfect project for all ages!
November 27, 2013
Now, I have to admit, I am a gadget hound. I just love anything that will make my life more simple and easy to manage and especially if it is an art gadget. I have them all, I think. Well, maybe not all of them, but I have a lot! Things like Funny Brushes, Paint Pushers, Brush Tubz, and more! Most are not expensive but can be life savers when it comes to storing, toting, saving, fixing, and creating anything that has to do with art. This is a list of some of my favorites. You probably have some, too!
December 3, 2013
If anyone knows me, they know I love to learn. I love books. I love videos. I love magazines. I love the internet .But, I especially love workshops. The one on one experience that is an art workshop, has to be one of the most exciting sources of learning there is. A hands on workshop is more than just a class, it is a holiday, vacation, sabbatical from all of the everyday worries and duties. It is 8 hours of non stop demos, painting, creating, socializing, inspirations, critiques, new friendships, and a lot of great information and guidance as well. Cheap Joe’s has one of the best workshop programs in the nation as well as, the best workshop studio. We host over 25 workshops a year from week to week, featuring the nation’s best instructors. Everything you need or could want is right here.
So, with the 2014 New Year underway, a clean slate is before me with lots of great experiences awaiting me. New products, new techniques, new workshops with many great instructors. There will always be so much more to learn every day!
Do you have a question or idea that can be explained in a blog? I am always looking for new material to research and write about. Like I said at the beginning, I love to learn!
So check out all of the 2013 articles and be on the look out for more in 2014!
Happy “Love To Learn” Day!
Keep your pencils sharpened, your brushes in hand,
and your minds on making something beautiful and interesting!