out of the journal and onto the canvas

If you have been following my artist’s journal escapades, you’ll know that I’ve been drawing on my iPad during my commutes in and out of Milwaukee. What you don’t know is that I have been painting whenever I can at home. Painting often takes a back seat to work, commuting and other responsibilities. When I really want to paint, visual journaling must step aside for a time. I’d love to do it all, but I have to be realistic.

You might also think that I grabbed onto a visual image from my artist’s journal… and you would be, well, partially right. For this painting, I latched onto more of a concept, built out of many things… some recorded in my journal.

I recently found the work of Mandy Budan, an artist from near Toronto, and got inspired to use more landscape elements in my paintings, which have been historically non-objective for the most part. I have ventured toward using landscape as a resource on several occasions, but keep coming back to complete abstraction, which has not been very purposeful, or really very fulfiling, lately. Time for a shift.

I find the light and repetition and color of landscape a wonderful resource… so why not use it in my work? Also, I have been intrigued by pattern— or breaking things down into smaller, repetitive parts. So, I decided to work with small forms building into the larger whole.

So, here is my work in progress. I photographed a wall of trees outside my home in late October for a reference image, and began using small, flat shapes to describe the space. Very Budan-esque, you could say, though I think my process is more all-over (she works from area to area), as well as my motif, which is little squares and linear forms.

First, the photo, then the painting:

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digital sketchbook work in progress

I’ve been working on my Sketchbook Pro painting-drawing during my commutes in and out of Milwaukee. I ride a freeway bus, so I’m not drawing and driving! There have been a few curious onlookers among my fellow passengers, who find the app and the iPad equally amazing. It’s fun to share.

What most people tell me when they see me drawing anywhere is that they are NOT artists, and they can’t draw. They learn my stance quickly: if you have opposable thumbs and a human brain, you most decidedly CAN draw. It is not a matter of can or can’t, it is a question of practice… will you or won’t you?

Anyway, the progress is slow, but I’m finding some good challenges in getting the colors the way I want them. A tonal progression leads you through a work in color steps… a logical progression in hue, value and saturation.

Here it is today:
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