2015

30 Days of Pattern

Hi there. How are you?

I've always liked to follow the rules. Just ask my parents! I'd flip on my Dad if he drove over the speed limit. When I was 12, I called my parents to pick me up from a sleepover because they were watching an "R" rated movie. There's no way you'd catch my 11 year old self ordering off of the 10 and under kid's menu. Same with movies. I would not let my parents buy me a ticket at the children's price if I was too old. I could go on and on...As an adult, I still like rules, but I know when it's OK to break them.

Drawing patterns makes perfect sense for my rule-following sensibility. To make a pattern, you come up with a line or shape and then create rules on how you will arrange them in a space. In pattern-making, there are limits. There is repeat. I like that. I usually find pattern drawing very relaxing and I often work on these at night when we're watching TV.

Sketchbook Pattern Drawings: Day 1-6

Sketchbook Pattern Drawings: Day 1-6

30 Days of Pattern

I didn't set out to draw a pattern a day. I just sort of fell into the "pattern". (Ha!) I didn't want to come out and make it a "thing" either....What if I didn't stick with it? Just earlier this year I challenged myself to do an Every Other Day Sketch, and lost steam after day 45. I just decided to draw in my sketchbook every day, and post it online. I'm excited about all the things I've made.

You'll notice that some of the earliest daily drawings are really more just doodles than patterns. (Maybe I should I allow myself to do that again when I have no-idea days or when patterns just aren't flowing for me?) I was just interested in the process and it was less about the finished product. And as I keep realizing, my drawing/making/creating flows best when I am relaxed and don't put too much pressure on myself.

Sketchbook Pattern Drawings - Day 7-18

Sketchbook Pattern Drawings - Day 7-18

Positive Feedback

After posting the first few drawings of this series on Instagram and Facebook, I got lots of positive feedback. Those kind words encouraged me to keep going. I quickly blew through a sketchbook and the Pilot pens I had on hand and had to buy more.

Sketchbook Pattern Drawings Day 19-24

Sketchbook Pattern Drawings Day 19-24

Coloring Book in the Works

I've had so many people request that I turn these drawings into a coloring book. Well friends, you spoke and I finally listened! I am in the process of vectorizing the most "colorable" of these pattern drawings right now. I hope to have a coloring book out by October at the latest. I'm going to produce a limited quantity of these, so do join my mailing list if you want one! Coloring books will be available to mailing list members first, before the general public.  You'll also get a free downloadable coloring page when you join! 

Sketchbook Pattern Drawings Day 25-30

Sketchbook Pattern Drawings Day 25-30

What do You Want to Color?

Well friends, that's all for now. Is there one of these drawings I've posted that you'd particularly like to see in my coloring book? Leave a comment and let me know! Ta-Ta for now.

Get Out and See Some Art this Weekend!

Hi there. How are you?

I was asked to exhibit my work at the Carbondale Public Library this month. (Did I mention that I now work at the Library?) Yep, I'm the new Teen and Youth Program Coordinator there. I spend each morning at home in my studio and then spend the afternoons at the Library. Love it!

So back to my exhibition.... A collection of my my current mixed-media works are on display in the Library. All pieces are for sale and a portion of the proceeds go to the Library. If you're local, hope you can stop by and take a look! If you can't, well here's a little look into the show.

johansson-library-exhibition.jpg

Paducah + Bricolage = Fab Day Trip

Bricolage Art Collective is a fabulous art gallery/shoppe, in the heart of downtown Paducah. I'm happy to report that you will now find a collection of my original work, embroidery hoop prints, pillows, and cards there.

Though Bricolage has been open for some time now, they are having their official grand opening on Saturday. Let me tell you, Bricolage is beautiful! They have curated a lovely collection of local and regional artist's work, Paducah centric gift items, and vinyl records in a gorgeous space.

Friends, if you have never been to Paducah, it's worth checking out. The downtown/Lower Town Arts District has a great mix of shops and restaurants, an art house cinema, and galleries. There is also a fab new brewery about 10 minutes from downtown. Paducah makes a great day trip from Southern Illinois! (Can you tell I love Paducah?)


Well, that's it for now.

But do expect to hear more from me soon! Ta-ta. Oh, and one last thing, if you'd like to be the first to hear about what's going on in the world, do join my mailing list!

Is it Time to Quit?

Hi there. How are you? 

It's been almost nine years since I entered my current "Mixed Media Period." It was the summer of 2006, and I spent part of it living in Portland, Oregon. I had a lot of time on my hands and I was itching to make. I brought my watercolors, but never used them. Instead, I started cutting up the Domino magazines I was reading.

Here are some of the first pieces I made:

After that summer, I was hooked. It was a flurry of magazines, glue and Micron pens. And it was all about flowers. All fast, loose and gestural. I loved what I was doing and was making every chance I got.  

Then I made this chair.

It was a one-of piece I did for a friend. The image ended up in a brochure for a local gallery walk. People called the gallery wanting more chairs. So one chair turned in to years of chairs.

 

Enter the ball point pen.

My technique changed, but my primary subject did not. I still enjoyed illustrating chairs, and people were buying. So, I kept making. 

Then it was birds.

Matt (my husband) is a bird lover and encouraged me to try illustrating his feathered friends. Despite the fact that I didn't particularly care for birds HATED birds, I drew some. People loved them, so I continued. (After drawing birds for 2 years now, I will admit that I have more of an affection for birds than I used to. I think they're pretty darn cute now. I just don't want to touch them.)

There were abstracts too.

Throughout the whole 9-year creative phase, I've always made abstract work and drawn abstractly in my sketchbook.  I've made abstract collages, all about shape and color.

I've made abstract line drawings, all about form and movement. 

9 years is a long time to work without a plan.

I've flitted from one subject to the next, one show/event/fair/project to the next without much forethought. I've delved into wholesale, Etsy, a new website, new products, more art fairs, less art fairs. I never took the time to make a solid plan. There was never time. I wanted to make art, I wanted people to buy it, and I wanted art to be my main gig. I've had some successes, lots of failure, and I've learned a lot. But right now, I'm feeling burnt out and uninspired. I'm not confident about my current work and feel like I'm just going through the motions.

It's time for a break.

I'm not quitting art. I promise! I just need time to regroup, think, and plan. I won't be making any more mixed-media pieces for a time. Instead, I'm going to polish up that new website I started working 6 months ago, continue to blog, and do a lot of thinking. You'll still be able find and purchase my existing work on Etsy, at Dayshift and Bricolage, or directly from me. (If you've been wanting to purchase an original piece from me, now is the time! Get in touch!)

But I will be back. 

When I reemerge from this break, I'll have new, exciting, and most likely, very different work to show you. I promise to keep in touch and share my insight along the way.

Now it's your turn to talk. 

How did you know it was time to quit or take a break? In your work? In your life? In your education? I'd love to hear from you! 

Until next time. Ta-ta.