work in progress

An Artist's Quandary. When is it finished?

 Hi there. How are you?

I've been back in the studio, making work for the fast approaching art fair season. I've been starting lots of work.....but not finishing it. Let me explain.

I'm always good at starting a piece. Ideas and compositions come to me quickly. I like to work intuitively and spontaneously. I like to work fast. The finishing is where I get stuck. How do you know when a piece is finished? I have a tendency to overwork things, so I get nervous at the end.

This abstract piece was based on a drawing from my sketchbook. I finished the drawing part of it, but it seemed to need something, but what? I was pondering another collaged paper element somewhere on the right side of the composition. Or maybe it needs nothing at all?

Same thing happened with my newest bird piece. I finished up the bird and branch, but this piece still needs something. I usually add a little cut paper embellishment at this point.  I experimented with that for a time, but nothing felt right.

Instead of rushing things at this point, I've learned it's best to just leave them for a spell. I'll come back in a day or a week and something will come to me. And sometimes the answer is just to do nothing....It was already done.

Fellow artists, makers, creators, do you ever struggle with this? When do you decide that a piece is complete? How do you know? Do share!

Thank you friends for tuning in. Ta-Ta for now!

A Visitor in the Studio

Well hi there! Happy Saturday to you.
Our house was a little fuller this week, as we had Jack in town for his spring break. 

 I can't ever get him to pose for a picture, so this is the best I got of him all week! 

We spent Wednesday working together in the "capsule" (my tiny studio.)

 Jack worked on a Flash animation.

  I worked on a Dala horse for Matt. 
He's been asking me for a year to make him one. Sorry it took so long Matty! 

We peacefully coexisted in these tight quarters all afternoon. 
Here are the end results. Enjoy! 

The Commish

Hi there. How are you?

It's been a great week in southern Illinois. Sunny, mild weather and lots of productive art time!

I have been commissioned to create 10 original works for Tinker Swiss Cottage , an amazing house museum in Rockford. I was able to knock out my first piece this week.  I often have questions about my creative process and materials, so while I worked on this one I took pictures.  I thought it would be fun to share my process here.

I started off with a photo that I took in the house on a bright December day. This particular chair was found in the office.

Next I chose my papers and did some simple drawings on top of those papers. I chose 2 different shades of gray for the floor and door, a piece of ledger paper for the wall and cabinet and a honey tone for the chair.

I lined the back of each piece with a 2 sided sticker paper, cut each piece out individually, removed the paper backing on the sticker and adhered it to the hardboard panel.

Here's what it looks like when all of the paper pieces were in place. Next it's time for my trusty black Bic ball point pen.

I used the pen to add in the details, lay in the shadows, giving life and form to the room. This is by far my favorite part! It took me one whole day of working to get all of the ink details laid down, maybe 8 hours total.  I put a few finishing details in this morning, and voila!

I'm very pleased with out this turned out and I'm excited to start another! These pieces will become part of the permanent collection at the museum. I feel so honored to be chosen for this project!

If you'd like me to draw/illustrate a special chair or room in your home, please give me a shout. I'd love to do some more commissions.

Have a great weekend friends. Any big plans?

Ta-Ta for now!

Pin It