Category: Art

A Past Kept In Shoeboxes

I used to keep my snapshot photographs stored in albums. When I married and had children, my wife and I did the same for many years. Then, somewhere along the passage of time, we stopped storing our photos in albums and tossed them into empty shoeboxes instead. Now we have 30+ years of unlabeled shoeboxes

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Water Shots

I have always been attracted to water and the life and world within it; perhaps it’s because I’m an Aquarian. Water can be hypnotic with its reflections and refractions of light and color, and it draws me to capture its many expressions. Here then is a sampling of local reflections and the sites that lay atop

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My New Heroine Sketch

Yesterday I wrote about creating characters, putting them on the story stage, and watching them act. In that post, I included a watercolor sketch of my current main character, Vree Erickson. Today, I drew a different sketch of her with a pair of HB and 2B pencils. While I drew, I studied her facial features

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Painting with Knives

Another old art piece of mine. This article was first published in an art newsletter dated 1998. The photos of my artwork that I’ve shared for this post range from the same year to 2001. While oil painting this month, I’ve been having fun painting with knives. Frosting the cake is what I call it

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Using Canvas Stretcher Bars To Stretch Watercolor Paper

You may, like I do, have stretcher bars normally used for stretching canvas waiting to back your next canvas. But have you ever considered using those bars to stretch paper instead? Here’s an easy technique for stretching watercolor paper with those bars—a technique that has many advantages over other ways. One, it avoids the awkward

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The Day I Helped Create an Artists Guild

In 1997, when I was 40 and had been busy teaching art, as well as creating and selling artwork for nearly 15 years, I happened to re-read an essay from my college days, “From Art Student to Fine Artist,” written by Jacob W. Getzels. In it he rightfully claims that every year thousands of young

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Drawings

I like to draw. Figure drawing, cartooning, doodling … you name it. Graphite pencils, pen and ink, inked brushes, wax color pencils, crayons, charcoal, chalk, pastels, various kinds of erasers, markers, styluses. Line drawing, shading, hatching, cross-hatching, broken hatching, stippling, entopic graphomania (you make a dot at the location of each imperfection in the drawing

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Maintaining Creativity By Going Beyond Tradition

I wrote this one page article in 2001 and spent the morning today revising the syntax (proof that I’m a different writer now). I also added two books to my list of recommendations to get creative, be creative, and maintaining your creativity. If you know of any good books not on my list, please share.

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Painting Alla Prima, Part 2 of 2

Many years ago, I taught wildlife and landscape painting classes. This is a lesson plan from those classes. Understanding and controlling values should be one of your first goals as a painter. When I began painting landscapes from life, I realized that the objects in my finished paintings lacked convincing form. When I understood how

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Painting Alla Prima, Part 1 of 2

Many years ago, I taught wildlife and landscape painting classes. This is a lesson plan from those classes. Alla prima is an Italian expression that translates into “at the first try.” The technique of alla prima is a wet-on-wet direct method of painting that completes the painting in a single session, without previous preparation or

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Always Busy

Anyone following my blog would assume that I’m rarely busy writing or making art, simply because of the lengthy gaps between my posts. But that’s far from the truth. I’m busy every day working on my stories and art, from creating new chapters and editing old material, to sketching in my sketchbooks or actually composing

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Allow Mistakes

The three paintings shown below are from 1986 when I wanted to show a deer running through a winter landscape. They are painting sketches filled with mistakes I made while learning about deer and the art of painting. Each painting sketch gets better, but they all contain obvious errors that detract from each picture. Fortunately,

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A Brief Pause in an Apple Orchard

In small acreage on a hilly clearing, Sunny morning shines golden on chalky-pink blossoms; I pause and prolong my hike to watch sunbeams lick away dewdrops Soaking in shaded greenery of an apple orchard. Craggy, crabby branches nod jaggedly at a breeze dashing across the way; Wasps complain from gray papery hives swaying above me;

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Conroy’s Corner

Conroy’s Corner, a Comic Strip: I was 29 when I began majoring in art at college, and I was eleven years older than my classmates. The college’s administration labeled me an adult student because … well, because my 18-year-old nonequivalent classmates’ physical growth hadn’t stopped and they were intellectually shy—very shy—attaining maturity needed to be

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