Posts Tagged ‘Stillman and Birn journal’

PAINTING OTHERS TO FIND YOURSELF

July 16, 2015
CROPPED, full figure. MAN WITH AN OLIVE WALL. . copyright 2015 ELLEN WARD. All Rights Reserved. Do Not Reproduce or PIN on PINTERST. Caran D'ACHE Neocolor 2 on STILLMAN AND BIRN ZETA PAPER.

CROPPED, full figure. MAN WITH AN OLIVE WALL. . copyright 2015 ELLEN WARD. All Rights Reserved. Do Not Reproduce or PIN on PINTEREST. Caran D’ACHE Neocolor 2 on STILLMAN AND BIRN ZETA PAPER.

Painting is self-discovery. Every good artist paints what he is.

JACKSON POLLOCK

I have been attending open session figure drawing classes this summer. It is the best meditation. Trying to truly see another person takes complete concentration, complete surrender on a certain level. Once the drawing process begins to take form, it is impossible to consciously THINK about anything else: one is fully invested in the present experience.

This sketch has been cropped for posting from a full figure pose.
I am using Caran D’Ache NEOCOLOR 2 watersoluble pastel crayons on STILLMAN AND BIRN ZETA multimedia paper. Strong fine lines are made with Conte pencil or DERWENT DRAWING pencil crayon. Zeta paper is able to withstand layers of wash and drawing without pills or abrasion.
Working over the course of about 2 hours, the slight adjustments of the model make me realize that nothing in life is still. Nothing. Charting movement, light, and singular moments of clear color become the activity. The wordy thinking-mind is silent. The eye is open. When the model takes a breath, so do I.
The end result is a surprise. The journey is everything.
Advertisements

PAINTING WITH CRAYONS: Caran D’ Ache NEOCOLOR 2 + Stillman & Birn Zeta

June 19, 2015
BETTER PART OF SHADOW. copyright 2015 ELLEN WARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. DO NOT REPRODUCE or Pin on Pinterest.

BETTER PART OF SHADOW. copyright 2015 ELLEN WARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. DO NOT REPRODUCE or Pin on Pinterest.

Painting is an illusion, a piece of magic,
so what you see is not what you see.

PHILIP GUSTON
I really want to paint. In oil. In pastel.
But, it is sensible for me to avoid solvents and toxicity issues for health reasons and because there is not a dedicated ” work sink”. EXCUSES EXCUSES…CRY ME A RIVER….
So I have been muttering about exploring casein but slow to pull the pin on that grenade, when there are plenty of art supplies in studio. * {I still have a set of egg tempera in a drawer because at some point I realized I would have a better time dropping beans in a bottle with my nose rather than pick away stroke by stroke like a monk in the Middle Ages}.
Can I reinvent my process with existing materials, to get a painterly experience without fumes, pigment dust, or cruddy brushes? MAYBE. Let’s not give in to a failure of imagination before July.
The pastel yearning can be answered with Caran D’Ache NEOCOLOR 2 watersoluble wax pastels.
The painterly yearning can be addressed by starting with a toned ground which will allow me to manipulate surface paint into smudges and smears. I used Daniel Smith’s watercolor ground with a touch of M. Graham gouache for tint, based on a recommendation from my friend Janis ( a superior watercolorist and pigment poobah of the highest order ).
The need for a versatile surface can be answered by STILLMAN + BIRN’S ZETA mixed media paper.
Working alternately wet and dry with these crayons has opened up some new possibilities in life drawing sessions.  Just beginning to apply some ‘know- how’ to interpreting some other ideas to this method.
Just might be a painter’s summer yet!

STUDIES: TONAL APPROACHES 2

August 11, 2014
DOORWAY. © 2014 ELLEN WARD. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce. TOMBOW Pens in STILLMAN AND BIRN ALPHA journal.

DOORWAY. © 2014 ELLEN WARD. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce. DO NOT PIN: YOU WILL BE IN VIOLATION OF COPYRIGHT. TOMBOW Pens in STILLMAN AND BIRN ALPHA journal.

I am interested right now in light appearing through rectangles.
Um…That’s about it.

 

URBAN SKETCHING: SPLASH PADS

July 27, 2014
SPLASHPAD: Huntersville, NC. © 2014 ELLEN WARD. All rights reserved.

SPLASHPAD: Huntersville, NC. © 2014 ELLEN WARD. All rights reserved.

It’s a moment that I’m after, a fleeting moment,
but not a frozen moment.
ANDREW WYETH

Splash Pads are a great place to practice gesture drawing, because the activity is so frenetic there is no time to get fussy about perfect contour drawing. The human drama is also compelling: seeing people engage in a group activity even though most are strangers at first.

SPLASH PAD: Kannapolis City Park, NC. © 2014 ELLEN WARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

SPLASH PAD: Kannapolis City Park, NC. © 2014 ELLEN WARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Tentative splashers hang back and observe. Those with brio go berserk roaring like monsters. There is the silent spoiler, who jams the jet with a bucket or foot. The malcontent screams to get wet and then screams to get dry.

July in the South is HOT.

Splash Pad: Kannapolis City Park. © 2014 ELLEN WARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Splash Pad: Kannapolis City Park. © 2014 ELLEN WARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Sitting in the shade near a splash pad will guarantee a cooler location for an urban sketcher! You can find one in the local park or in the middle of an upscale shopping mall, just a step away from STARBUCKS.

SNIPPET TIPS: TOOLS & APPROACHES ON THE GO

July 22, 2014
BAR STUDY. © 2014 ELLEN WARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. HYBRID TECHNICA PEN

BAR STUDY. © 2014 ELLEN WARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. HYBRID TECHNICA PEN

Brevity is the soul of wit.
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE

Using ten or twenty minutes to draw has really taught me a lot in the last two years. The amount of time it takes to wait for my entrée is often enough to quickly describe the moment. Now I have a greater appreciation of what can be accomplished in small increments. These snippets add up on the page and in positive experiences at the end of a week, month or year. Whether drawing from observation or illustrating an idea, sprints of practice can show progress rather rapidly. IMPORTANT NOTE: In general I wait a bit to let ANY INK dry into the paper, if the paper is sized.

Below are some tools I like to use for snippets. Sometimes I combine all 3 tools in the same sketch.

AFTERNOON LIGHT. © 2014 ELLEN WARD. All rights reserved. HYBRID TECHNICA PEN.

AFTERNOON LIGHT. © 2014 ELLEN WARD. All rights reserved. HYBRID TECHNICA PEN.

PENTEL HYBRID TECHNICA GEL PENS
These pens have a roller ball and are water resistant once dry. They come in several point widths. I like them particularly for really fast, scribbled sketches. A ballpoint pen is a really humble tool and is capable of great variety. I like to use pigment ink for longevity, so I prefer to use these pens rather than the kind used in most office supply. The gel ink gives a really smooth line and rarely develops the dreaded BLOB-ITIS I remember from high school. BLOB-ITIS creates greasy wads of ink on the edges of the rollerball, landing unpredictably on a sketch in defiance.

A scribbled sketch generally takes only a few minutes. I try to create a condition of light and emphasize the overall shape of objects or figures.

KANNAPOLIS CITY PARK. © 2014 ELLEN WARD. All rights reserved. LAMY SAFARI with Noodlers ink

KANNAPOLIS CITY PARK. © 2014 ELLEN WARD. All rights reserved. LAMY SAFARI with Noodlers ink

LAMY SAFARI FOUNTAIN PENS
These fountain pens are great because they are rugged, easy to use, and are relatively inexpensive. The marks have an expressive quality that is difficult to mimic with a technical pen, and the mess of carrying a dip pen is not a factor. I use Noodler’s BULLETPROOF INK for permanence or completely compromise and use a LAMY cartridge. The NOODLER’s ink is waterproof so I often prefer to use it if I want to place wash on top.

KANNAPOLIS STUDY. © 2014 ELLEN WARD. All rights reserved. LAMY SAFARI PEN with NOODLER's INK

KANNAPOLIS STUDY. © 2014 ELLEN WARD. All rights reserved. LAMY SAFARI PEN with NOODLER’s INK

A fountain pen sketch really makes me conscious of the types of lines I am creating and reinforces the idea that all drawing is abstract.

DOWNTOWN CONCORD, NC. © 2014 ELLEN WARD. All rights reserved. PITT ARTIST PENS & HYBRID TECHNICA PEN.

DOWNTOWN CONCORD, NC. © 2014 ELLEN WARD. All rights reserved. PITT ARTIST PENS & HYBRID TECHNICA PEN.

FABER-CASTELL PITT ARTIST PENS
These pens are available in a full complement of gray tones, which are excellent for developing drawings on the go. I usually buy the BIG BRUSH pens because I like to cover a big area fast. The fine-line markers are really nice to render detail. I always have a large black BIG BRUSH pen to fill in large areas rather than crosshatch into madness.

CABARRUS PARK. © 2014 ELLEN WARD. All rights reserved. HYBRID TECHNICA PENS WITH WASH

CABARRUS PARK. © 2014 ELLEN WARD. All rights reserved. HYBRID TECHNICA PENS WITH PITT ARTIST PENS

Gray toned drawings can really conjure a sense of place and light quickly.

WILMINGTON NC SNIPPET. © 2014 ELLEN WARD. All rights reserved. DEAD BRUSH WITH INK.

WILMINGTON NC SNIPPET. © 2014 ELLEN WARD. All rights reserved. DEAD BRUSH WITH INK.

THE DEAD BRUSH
When you have a brush that has died you have nothing left to lose: bring a small bottle of ink and work with the dried old crusty hairs. You can throw it away if you choose when you are done!

 

 

WILMINGTON LIGHT

July 18, 2014
detail, WALKING AWAY. © 2014 ELLEN WARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. watercolor on STILLMAN & BIRN DELA paper

detail, WALKING AWAY. © 2014 ELLEN WARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. watercolor on STILLMAN & BIRN DELTA paper

 WALKING AWAY. © 2014 ELLEN WARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. watercolor on STILLMAN & BIRN, DELTA paper

WALKING AWAY. © 2014 ELLEN WARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. watercolor on STILLMAN & BIRN, DELTA paper

 

A little color injection in a summer of B/W sketching.  A view of WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, just under Mercer pier as the sun nears noon.

Urban Sketching: Kannapolis ‘ Brew’ pub

July 18, 2014

I was always a sucker for the theme to CHEERS:

” WHERE EVERYBODY KNOWS YOUR NAME…”

BREW PUB: KANNAPOLIS , NC. © 2014 ELLEN WARD. All rights reserved. Pitt artist pens and Micron pens in a STILLMAN & BIRN ALPHA journal.

BREW PUB: KANNAPOLIS , NC. © 2014 ELLEN WARD. All rights reserved. Pitt artist pens and Micron pens in a STILLMAN & BIRN ALPHA journal.

A brew pub has been established in town and with good dinner specials it seems that a local crowd is gathering on a regular basis. So it is nice to revisit a setting  that reminds me a  bit of the local pub in my hometown.

Coming from a place that had SERIOUS IRISH, the pub atmosphere was a part of life.

SERIOUS IRISH means that:

• There is a brogue in your immediate family.

• Green beer on ST. PATRICK’S DAY is not a possibility.

• You know what the word ‘egit’ means because you were dubbed so more than once for good cause. The time you dropped your brother down the laundry shoot would be one such time, for example.
• TRIFLE is not a small thing but a gelatinous- love it- or- hate it blob.

• When you landed in really hot water, the entire HOLY FAMILY is invoked by name…ending with JOSEPH. Dad’s are always the last to know.

• Your mother has made her own BAILEY’s, with more strange ingredients than a witch’s brew.

• Irish soda bread is a fiercely guarded recipe, committed to heart and rarely written for posterity.

• Stew is a lifestyle.

• Ham is as important as air.

TR’s ALL AMERICAN is the hometown pub in NY. If I showed up there today I would find classmates from grammar and high school. Stories at the bar chase a person from first grade well into middle-age. Nobody ever forgets anything in these places: the room is dark and the memory is long.
The decor has changed little over time. It reminds me of a  funeral parlor with forest green wallpaper, lots of wood, and TEDDY ROOSEVELT memorabilia. There will be  SERIOUS IRISH there, despite the numerous changes in management and menu.

There is no SERIOUS IRISH here and now in KANNAPOLIS, but I expect by this point I take it as a ‘ TRAVELER’ and bring it along on my own. At least there is a local place than can conjure the ambiance if I squint.

 

 

 

 

Urban Sketching: Listening to Mr. Turner

July 18, 2014

If I could find anything blacker than black, I’d use it.
J.M.W.TURNER

BAR- B- Que Truck @HERBFEST, KANNAPOLIS NC. © 2014 ELLEN WARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

BAR- B- Que Truck @HERBFEST, KANNAPOLIS NC. © 2014 ELLEN WARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

 

STILLMAN & BIRN ALPHA AND EPSILON : INKLINGS

July 6, 2014

No pen, no ink, no table, no room, no time, no quiet, no inclination.
JAMES JOYCE

IMAGINARY WARREN. © 2014 ELLEN WARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. STILLMAN AND BIRN ALPHA SKETCHBOOK: pen and ink.

IMAGINARY WARREN. © 2014 ELLEN WARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. STILLMAN AND BIRN ALPHA SKETCHBOOK: pen and ink.

 NC EXTENSION GARDEN: WILMINGTON, NC. © 2014 ELLEN WARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. STILLMAN & BIRN EPSILON SKETCHBOOK WITH INK.

NC EXTENSION GARDEN: WILMINGTON, NC. © 2014 ELLEN WARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. STILLMAN & BIRN EPSILON SKETCHBOOK WITH INK.

Ink is a catalyst for seeing. It is definite and for the most part indelible. By drawing consistently with ink one learns to make clear decisions and develop better aim. I generally do not use a pencil underlay because it hobbles my responses and makes me lazy.

These drawings are done with ink but on 2 different papers by STILLMAN & BIRN.

ALPHA has a slight texture, which works very well when crosshatching. The paper helps to break up lines, and slow the movement of the pen. There are rabbits in the yard, so this piece was drawn in bits over time. Sometimes I will start one of these sketches and use it to focus, warm-up, or just meditate. It may be developed over weeks, with 5 or 10 minutes visits to build the image each time. Imagination comes into play combining different bits of landscape to develop a sense of space.

EPSILON has a smooth texture which I like a lot because it fosters a speedy line. The garden sketch combines marks made by both the PENTEL BRUSH PEN and a LAMY fountain pen. This is observational drawing. Navigating the chaos is the challenge when sketching. Challenging one’s skill level is the point!

 

BAMBOO AND BECKETT

June 30, 2014

WPbamboo_beach1