Friday, September 28, 2012

Paint Party Friday: Week 29, Year 2 Check In Featured Artist: Sadee Schilling


image courtesy of Sadee Schilling

Welcome to Week 29 of Paint Party Friday (Year 2) and to the next edition of our Featured Artist Series! (Would you like to be a PPF Featured Artist? Please click here for details!) This week's featured artist wows us with her watercolors, mystifies us with her mixed media, and pleases us with her picture book style each week.  Please welcome Sadee Schilling from A Picturebook Life!

Please tell us a bit about your personal history with painting. (When did you start painting? How has your painting evolved since you first started?) Drawing was always my favorite thing to do when I was growing up. I painted a little during my art studies in high school and college, but I didn't fall in love with it until the year after I finished graduate school. My first job was teaching English to high school students, which I both enjoyed and hated at the same time. The work-load of this specific position was more than I had bargained for, especially for a first-year teaching job. My husband and I had purchased a fixer-upper house the spring before I started teaching, so the thing we did to let off steam was to renovate the house. We had layers and layers of retro wallpaper to peel away, so we ended up needing to slather all the walls in the entire house in joint compound to cover all the scrapes and holes...it was like endlessly frosting a cake, or like impasto painting!

image courtesy of Sadee Schilling

I think it was slinging all that mud and paint around that began to awaken the artist within me. I was overwhelmed and exhausted by my job, but I was suddenly finding all of this creative energy fighting to get out! So I started making a few canvases for friends and to decorate our home. Then my husband and I did kind of a crazy thing and moved to Colorado--without jobs or a place to live (other than our friends' unfinished basement)! And together, we made the decision to live frugally so that I could be an artist and never work another full-time job because someday I would be painting for a living.

image courtesy of Sadee Schilling

When I first started, I painted exclusively with acrylic paints, usually on a pretty large scale. Really, I was just experimenting back then, trying to find my style. I liked flowers and landscapes; also did a few pet portraits. Eventually I started making these sculptural flowers and birds out of canvas that I would gesso, form and glue together, then paint and put on canvas. It was very tedious, delicate work and I thought this was my "special thing." But then we found out that our firstborn was on the way (yay!) and I realized that making art like this would not really jive with having little people around. So on a whim I went out a bought some watercolors and paper on a smaller scale, knowing that these would be easier to put away and keep safe when I needed to tend to my children. Really, finding the medium of my heart was almost a parenting choice. It was practical as this--the watercolors could be re-wetted later if I needed to stop in the middle of something, and I wouldn't ruin my brushes and waste paint! With my new goodies I began painting portraits and people--mamas and daughters, specifically, because I was inspired by the little baby girl I was carrying inside. :)

image courtesy of Sadee Schilling

What are your favorite techniques, media, and tools to use in creating your paintings? I love texture and mixing textures. So I started adding collage elements to my watercolor paintings, sort of as a commentary on how so often in life we balance the precious and delicate with the messy and rough. This second medium of my heart, like the first, was somewhat practical and inspired by parenting: I like to say that my daughters taught me the art of "loving a thing to pieces," that sometimes we need to just jump and splash in life's "puddles" because joy comes when we abandon ourselves to the mess.


images courtesy of Sadee Schilling

Sedimentary watercolors are my favorite, used with rough watercolor paper--so you get a nice, gritty feel when all the sediments settle into the paper's low-places. Lately I have also experimented with painting with coffee--this also creates that beautiful grunge, especially when you take something like a nail or craft knife and etch into the paper while the paint or coffee is still wet. And since I drew long before I painted, you still can't keep me away from adding to my paintings with Faber-Castell PITT pens, soft, smudgy sketching pencils and Prismacolor or Poloychromos colored pencils and watercolor pencils. I also like collecting decorative papers--scrapbook papers with sweet designs and also vintage papers with funky colors or deliciously stained and tattered edges.

images courtesy of Sadee Schilling

What is your favorite thing to paint? Why? Symbol and metaphor are important to me--I love storytelling. In the past two years since I have been living in rainy Hamburg, Germany, I've been at home with my two little girls, feeling homesick at times, learning how to express myself in a new language, trying to remember who I am, to rediscover my freedom, and to keep moving forward with gratitude in this new life. So new favorite imagery has emerged in my artwork to express all of these feelings: clouds and raindrops, little houses, hearts, typewriters, anything with wings.

image courtesy of Sadee Schilling

What is your proudest painting moment and/or greatest painting achievement so far? When I look back six years to that decision my husband and I made--that I would call myself artist and begin to work toward actually having a career as an artist, I think it's amazing that I have been consistently selling work--a little here, a little there--ever since. It's not, by any means, an actual career yet; I really don't make much (if any, sometimes!) profit yet. But God was always sending people to encourage me and to confirm that painting was my calling. I am so proud of the teeny, tiny baby steps I've been taking for the past six years, even though I knew all along "my time" was still a long way off. And now I feel it coming--I'm teetering on the edge of something, I just know it! A few months back, one of the photos/paintings from my Etsy shop was pictured on the front page for a few hours and included in the Etsy newsletter. It was just a little thing, but I had so many views and hearts that day, and even a few sales because of it! Even just a little bit of validation feels good--more confirmation that I'm on the right track!
 
image courtesy of Sadee Schilling

**A note from Kristin:  Before we find out what's next for Sadee, I just had to pop in to say that I am very lucky to have one of Sadee's amazing prints hanging on my living room wall.  Her artwork is beautiful on the computer screen, but it is even more stunning in person!  I just can't say enough about the quality of her work - the paper it is printed on makes me swoon, and makes her already wonderful work even more magnificent!

What's next in your painting future? What's next? I ask myself that too--I have lots of ideas. First off: a lot more painting!!! My little girls (almost-3 and almost-4) just started Kindergarten, so for the first time since I bought that set of watercolors when I was pregnant with my oldest I will be a painter who actually works regular studio hours! I want to keep developing a rich and expressive body of work, to flesh out some of the ideas and themes I've already started. Once I have a working portfolio I'm proud of, I might experiment with making my watercolors and collages into repeating patterns and try licensing my work and accepting design and illustration jobs. And the thing I'd most like to accomplish: challenge myself to write and illustrate a children's book!

image courtesy of Sadee Schilling

****

Thank you for your inspirational interview, Sadee - We look forward to seeing you follow your dreams and write and illustrate a children's book!

To learn even more about Sadee, please visit her at:
http://apicturebooklife.blogspot.de/
http://www.etsy.com/shop/PicturebookLife
NOW IT'S YOUR TURN...
WE WANT YOU TO SUBMIT YOUR STORY!

**Would you like to be a PPF Featured Artist? Click here for details!**
Another wonderful and creative party last week!
By the way, several of you have again mentioned how much they would like to reply directly to your comments on their blogs, but Blogger's default setting is "noreply-comment@blogger.com".  Jenn of "Just add Water, Silly" has a great explanation on getting replies so you are not a "no-reply blogger". (Dashboard - Edit Profile - check "show my email address" and enter it - SAVE profile.) We changed our settings when  we first realized the issue and it is great to hear back from someone who has appreciated your comment. If you are uncomfortable with sharing your personal email address then email us (link on sidebar) and we can send you an invitation to get a gmail account which you can forward to another address.
Now, here is our check-in for this week's party:
As always, please make sure to use your post URL address NOT your blog home page URL address as there are many late visitors who get confused as to which post is for PPF when they arrive (after Friday) at your website. If you are unfamiliar with Mr. Linky, an explanation of how this tool works can be found on Week 1 and Week 2 Check-Ins.

Have a fun painting filled week everyone!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Paint Party Friday: Week 28 Check In... Challenge Yourself!

created at photofacefun.com

Welcome to Week 28 (Year 2) of Paint Party Friday.  While we wait for more PPF Featured Artist Submissions (*HINT*HINT* SUBMIT YOUR INTERVIEW!!! *HINT*HINT*), we thought it would be fun to highlight some upcoming challenges that can help you reach your painting goals...

BWS tips button

Fellow PPFers, Jessica Sporn and Carolyn Dube are hosting a brand new challenge over at the Artists In Blogland Blog starting October 1st.  (Click here for details.)


Another PPFer, Aimee from artsyville, has brought back "List it Tuesday"... Turn the ordinary into extraordinary by combining an everyday list with paint!  (Click here for details.)


Blogtoberfest is a month long blogging event held by tinniegirl during the month of October... It would be a great way to post daily painting progress!  (Click here for details.)


November is Art Every Day Month at the Creative Everyday site.  If you're looking for added motivation, this is the perfect opportunity to paint daily! (Click here for details.)


And, just in case you're looking for even more inspiration, you might want to consider joining the 2012 Inspirational Card Deck Swap, coordinated by Jessica Brogan at "In Search of Dessert". (Click here for details.) 

Do you know of any upcoming challenges?  Please share them in the comments!

Oh, and just in case you were wondering...

We want YOUR story! 

We need YOUR story!

Don't wait!  Submit your PPF Featured Artist Interview!!!  (Click here for details.)

Now, on with the party... Enjoy!


Hope everyone has a fabulously creative week!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Paint Party Friday: Week 27, Year 2 Check In Featured Artist: Lynn Cohen


image courtesy of Lynn Cohen

Welcome to Week 27 of Paint Party Friday (Year 2) and to the next edition of our Featured Artist Series! (Would you like to be a PPF Featured Artist? Please click here for details!) This week's featured artist inspires us with her amazingly fearless and adventurous spirit that shines through in her drawings and paintings. Please welcome Lynn Cohen!

1. Please tell us a bit about your personal history with painting. (When did you start painting? How has your painting evolved since you first started?) I started drawing a few years ago after taking a one day class at the community college called: “For people who think they can’t draw” (or paint) actually the painting class came after the drawing class. But I was surprised and amazed that I liked some of what I did in those two all day classes. Then I later took a four hour workshop from a local artist here in town. In that class we did drawings outdoors of buildings in our downtown area. I remember being amazed at how good they looked, when after painting them back in the studio, the teacher framed them with a mat. Those were done using cheap acrylics from Michael’s, our local craft store.

2.What are your favorite techniques, media, and tools to use in creating your paintings? I like ink pens and watercolor paints. I use fine point Sharpies, Castell-Faber PITT Artist pens, and ZIGs. I like XS, S and M sized pen points. My watercolor kit is flat paints (Talens) I got at a garage sale for $2. My paint colors did not come with fancy names I could not pronounce. I looked them up on line and they retail for $40. They serve me just fine. I use Canson drawing art journals with 90 lb- 130 lb paper. Yes, it curls a bit when wet from paint. My latest art journal has thin brown paper. I like trying new things. I do not use pencil first and I do not erase. It’s just my personal preference.


"One Guy, Two Poses", image courtesy of Lynn Cohen

3. What is your favorite thing to paint? Why? I heard about a plein air art contest in a town about an hour’s drive from my house. I decided to enter the contest. Since I really had never done plein air painting before I had to get past a lot of fear first. I started practicing in our down town area. I bought a fold up camping chair with a fold out tray and took it, my sun hat, water-bottle and art supplies and sat outside and started painting. My two favorite paintings from that foray are two Victorian houses. I used a lot of mask to make the bricks of one of the houses. I went on to paint several other historic buildings in our downtown area.

"Red Brick Vic", image courtesy of Lynn Cohen
 
I really pushed through the fear by going to that other town and joining many accomplished artists in that contest. I did not win any ribbons, but I won self respect and new courage to draw in public.

Right now I am enjoying drawing/sketching people in restaurants when I go out to eat. I started doing this in November 2011. I particularly like a Mexican restaurant near my office where I go for lunch once or twice a week called Taco Jalisco’s. I have become friendly with the owner’s son, who happens to be an artist and who has his paintings hanging on the walls in this family run business. He saw me drawing there and told me about a guy who used to come in and draw. That guy self-published his book of drawings (nothing like mine), which gave me the idea to draw there for a year after which time I intend to self-publish a book of my drawings of the people who come and eat there. (Projected date is Dec. 2012.)


"The Couple", image courtesy of Lynn Cohen
 
I sit at the table. I take out my drawing journal and pen. I draw the people at the next table or two or three tables away from me. I try to capture the mood, body postures, expressions, but I don’t think much about what I am doing, I just do it. I am definitely “in the zone”. I have a finite amount of time to finish a drawing and they can be done in 20 minutes. If I stay a full hour I’ll usually have finished two pages in my art journal. I’m fast. I use pen directly and do not erase. I eat a few bites while drawing. Sometimes the food gets on the page. It adds to the texture, mood. I also write on my pages to tell the story of what I am seeing or at least to note where I am and when it is done.
 

"Salsa Dances", image courtesy of Lynn Cohen
 
I do the painting later at home. The more I do this the more comfortable I become doing it. Very few people have even noticed what I am doing. Fewer have come up to me to talk about it. I feel pretty invisible.

I also draw at the downtown bakery where I go for latt├ęs and cookies and sometimes lunch. The town square, other restaurants in town, the farmer’s market, the city park, waiting rooms, waiting in line for gas all have been spots I’ve chosen to draw. I take my art journal everywhere I go, as anywhere can be a drawing opportunity.

So for now people in these settings are my favorite thing to draw…and they are definitely sketches that may or may not actually resemble the people I am drawing. I think they have a cartoon quality to them.

The people are wonderful models because they sit fairly still while they are eating and talking. And I have the accoutrements on the tables down well too: basket of chips, salt and pepper shakers, napkin containers, glasses and straws.

"Class of 2011", image courtesy of Lynn Cohen

4. What is your proudest painting moment and/or greatest painting achievement so far? I really got excited when a watercolor and ink painting from a photo I took of four girls walking in front of me was accepted into a juried art show at our local art gallery. It won second place. The teacher who had taught that 4 hour workshop won first place! I was starting to think I could draw and paint. This has been my proudest painting moment to date. (It also won 2nd place at the Dixon May Fair 2011)


image courtesy of Lynn Cohen

5. What's next in your painting future? Like I said, my next painting venture will be the book(s) I produce from my weekly drawing/paintings at the various restaurants. In the meantime, I also draw nearly daily the things around my house, office and anywhere else I happen to be. It’s become a true passion!

I make trip journals when we travel. It’s a great way to save the memories of what I experience and a fun way to pass the time especially when we take long road trips across the country as we are want to do. Some of these can be seen on my blog. (July 12, 2012 post and a few before and after that one are from our most recent trip).

I have enjoyed seeing my progress over the past year or two and am excited to watch it grow as more time goes by. You can see what I drew in 2011 and some of what I have drawn in 2012 on slide shows on the sidebar of my blog.

I encourage people of all ages to pick up a pencil or pen and start to draw. Like I said in the beginning I did not know I could do it. I just knew I was getting old(er) (now at age 71) and wanted something more to fill my life and this was my venture. The more I do the better it gets and the opportunities are endless. I think of myself as a Grandma Moses, who also started her art career late in life. I am Grandma Lynn. And I am ARTIST! Hear me roar!

My blogs:
http://lynn-nonameblog.blogspot.com Getting My Feet Wet
http://artquiltsbylynn.blogspot.com

Thank you, "Grandma Lynn" - Wonderful what has developed from that initial class! We look forward to hearing more about your upcoming book!

***

NOW IT'S YOUR TURN...
WE WANT YOU TO SUBMIT YOUR STORY!

**Would you like to be a PPF Featured Artist? Click here for details!**

Another wonderful and creative party last week!

By the way, several of you have again mentioned how much they would like to reply directly to your comments on their blogs, but Blogger's default setting is "noreply-comment@blogger.com".  Jenn of "Just add Water, Silly" has a great explanation on getting replies so you are not a "no-reply blogger". (Dashboard - Edit Profile - check "show my email address" and enter it - SAVE profile.) We changed our settings when  we first realized the issue and it is great to hear back from someone who has appreciated your comment. If you are uncomfortable with sharing your personal email address then email us (link on sidebar) and we can send you an invitation to get a gmail account which you can forward to another address.

Now, here is our check-in for this week's party:

As always, please make sure to use your post URL address NOT your blog home page URL address as there are many late visitors who get confused as to which post is for PPF when they arrive (after Friday) at your website. If you are unfamiliar with Mr. Linky, an explanation of how this tool works can be found on Week 1 and Week 2 Check-Ins.

Have a fabulously creative week everyone!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Paint Party Friday: Week 26, Year 2 Check In Featured Artist: Martha from Ayala Art

image courtesy of Ayala Art

Welcome to Week 26 of Paint Party Friday (Year 2) and to the next edition of our Featured Artist Series! (Would you like to be a PPF Featured Artist? Please click here for details!) This week's featured artist creates fantastic faces and inspires, motivates, and invites us to join in the fun.  Please welcome Martha from Ayala Art!

Please tell us a bit about your personal history with painting. (When did you start painting? How has your painting evolved since you first started?) All my work is under AyalaArt, which is part of my name. Ever since I can remember, I have loved drawing. That was the only way they could keep me busy and sitting down. (Except when I was drawing on the walls, I had to do that standing!) As I grew up, my artistic inclinations went more towards the performing arts and sculpting. I had also a graphic design studio, which involved a lot of drawing but no painting.

Fast forward a bunch of years, I get married, move to a different city, have babies, and I could not do clay anymore, it was too messy and kind of impossible with young kids (one was throwing clay balls up the wall, and the other one was eating it!), so I turned my attention back to drawing and as the kids grew up, I went into painting. I've been through all the mediums, sizes and substrates.

I settled for a good long time on wood with acrylics. But then I would go to oils on canvas, then watercolors... In each medium or even size, my style would be different. That's when I discovered I suffered from "Quoque plures penicullus incompositus" which is fancy Latin for "Too many styles disorder". (I actually looked for an online translator to get it in Latin hahaha...)

image courtesy of Ayala Art

What are your favorite techniques, media, and tools to use in creating your paintings? At this point, acrylics on canvas. Tomorrow, who knows! I painted with water soluble oils for years. I even have posted about the pros and cons of both acrylic and oil paints. I use speed dry mediums for oils, and slow dry medium for acrylics. Just can't deal with their normal speed I guess! :o)

Tools, well, it depends of what I'm working on. Sometimes the best tool is an old brush, and some other times a rag. I do love my filbert brushes!

image courtesy of Ayala Art

What is your favorite thing to paint? Why? I absolutely love painting portraits. I started with realism, and slowly moved to a more abstracted style, and went into everything in between. For years I painted little girls. I still love painting and drawing them. Maybe the fun part of that is all the bows and frilly things I can paint on them, since my daughter never really let me put bows on her :o)

Figurative art is what calls me. Maybe because there's always a story that you can see in the face?

image courtesy of Ayala Art

What is your proudest painting moment and/or greatest painting achievement so far? My proudest moment was when I was able to catch a bottle of red paint before it hit the carpet. Man, that made me proud Xo)

Actually, almost every time I'm working on something new, is my proudest moment. Also when my doll was published in Art Doll Quarterly. It was so much fun!

image courtesy of Ayala Art

What's next in your painting future? Classes! Always learning, and now offering online workshops. Any one can learn how to make a face, I will see to that! :o)

Also: Taking commissions again. Not too many since I can't help stressing about each of them, but it is thrilling to work on somebody else's dreams. As well as Balance work, listings and promoting... is that possible? Sometimes I paint a lot and never list... some other times, I list a lot and never find time to promote it, or worse, get stuck online and forget to paint! :oP

Plus my 29 Faces Challenge in September! It's the 3rd time around and it is so much fun!


You can find Martha and Ayala Art at:
Blog: http://ilove2paint.blogspot.com
tumblr: http://ayala-art.tumblr.com
youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/AyalaArt?feature=guide
twitter: https://twitter.com/ayala_art
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AyalaArt
Etsy: http://www.etsy.com/shop/AyalaArt

Thank you so much Martha for the wonderful interview and providing us with the motivation to create faces daily!  (Kristin is having lots of fun & EVA enjoyed the very first one!)

***
NOW IT'S YOUR TURN...
WE WANT YOU TO SUBMIT YOUR STORY!

**Would you like to be a PPF Featured Artist? Click here for details!**
Wow! What a busy and creative party last week! What wonderful paintings!

By the way, several of you have again mentioned how much they would like to reply directly to your comments on their blogs, but Blogger's default setting is "noreply-comment@blogger.com".  Jenn of "Just add Water, Silly" has a great explanation on getting replies so you are not a "no-reply blogger". (Dashboard - Edit Profile - check "show my email address" and enter it - SAVE profile.) We changed our settings when  we first realized the issue and it is great to hear back from someone who has appreciated your comment. If you are uncomfortable with sharing your personal email address then email us (link on sidebar) and we can send you an invitation to get a gmail account which you can forward to another address.

Now, here is our check-in for this week's party:

As always, please make sure to use your post URL address NOT your blog home page URL address as there are many late visitors who get confused as to which post is for PPF when they arrive (after Friday) at your website. If you are unfamiliar with Mr. Linky, an explanation of how this tool works can be found on Week 1 and Week 2 Check-Ins.

Hope you have a wonderful creative paint-filled week!