I am honored to have been invited by my friend, Barbara Benedetti Newton, to participate in Around the World Blog Hop. I enjoy Barbara's work and the avenues it has taken—fashion illustration, then award-winning colored pencil and pastel works, and on to oil paintings. I am sharing two of her pieces below, a fashion illustration from long ago and a new landscape.
And now for the Blog Hop questions . . . 1. What am I working on?
I have spent the last year revising Books, Boxes & Wraps: Binding & Building Step-by-Step. More projects and illustrations, more working tips, tools and sources, long days at the computer, and at last, the second edition is available from my website, linked to the title above. The book is also available on Amazon in the UK and Europe, and will soon be on Amazon in the USA. I have just started to paint again and am absorbed in the wonders of color. Far Away, my first painting since the book, is now in the National Association of Women Artists 125th Annual Exhibition in NYC.
2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
My work differs from others of its genre because of how I sense my environment. 3. Why do I create what I do?
My creative work has changed several times over the years due to life circumstances. Soon after I graduated from college, I was offered two jobs the same week, one as an illustrator with a downtown Seattle ad agency, the other—an offer from the editors of Vogue magazine to be one of their models in the Vogue Fashion Pavilion the Seattle Worlds' Fair Century 21. I set artwork aside and took Vogue's offer and continued modeling in Seattle for six years.
During that time I had children. Oil painting had been my favored medium. However, with young children, I no longer had large blocks of uninterrupted time. Nor did I have racks where wet panels could dry out of reach of little hands. So my oil tubes and brushes went in a box in the garage for 16 years. I sketched in ink and watercolor and I took up calligraphy.
By the mid 1980's the children were older, my oil paints came back inside and I fell in love with color and light at a much deeper level. I strive to capture the beauty and joy in my surroundings through color patterns, values and temperature.
Century 21 in evening light
Hair watercolor on paper
Sally's Roses oil on canvas 22 x 28
Far Away oil on panel 14 x 14
4. How does my creating process work?
It begins with heart-touching moments, the way colors change as light falls across objects, people, a landscape. In Far Away it was the shapes formed by the way she was sitting that first caught my attention. I also loved the color combinations and the negative space created behind her. She was so absorbed in the story, she was unaware I was watching her.
I shoot my own reference photos and also paint from life. I usually sketch the composition in thin paint directly on the panel or canvas. Sometimes I work out several compositions in rough sketches on paper first. I like painting wet in wet and just keep going. Sometimes I work on a piece for several days to a week. Then there are those times when a painting takes weeks or months to finish. I get to a point and know there is hope, but not quite sure what needs to happen next. At those times the best move is to set the work aside for a while. After I haven't seen it for a several weeks (or months) it is often instantly clear what needs to happen. That is when I continue.
And now, here are the artists I have invited to blog next Monday, November 11th.
1.Sue Gill Rose is an acrylic and watercolor painter and a dear friend. We met through Women Painters of Washington. I love the patterns she creates in her work. Each month we get together with several other artists, to critique each others' paintings, have lunch and share lots of laughs.
The Green Man
2.Faye Castleis a friend I met years ago at the Puget Sound Art League. We have spent many hours painting and drawing together from life: nude and costumed models, still life and landscapes. We have also sketched together in Seattle's famous Pike Place Market and coffee shops.
I took a year off painting to work full time—overtime on the second edition of my book, Books, Boxes & Wraps: Binding & Building Step-by-Step. When the manuscript went out for the second set of proofs, I returned to the studio to paint again. I put a new panel on the easel and wondered if I would even remember how to paint.
The experience was one of great joy! I felt alive and free . . . and this is what happened. Far Away will be in the National Association of Women Artists' 125th Anniversary Exhibition in New York City next month.
I am happy to announce the Second Edition of Books, Boxes and Wraps: Binding
& Building Step-by-Step is now available, but you should be
forewarned—opening this book can easily lead you to create many, many more!
This second edition is an expansion and refinement of
the first—more projects, more information, more instruction.
The clear, step-by-step instructions
and graphic (yet beautiful!) line drawings offer easy-to-follow guidance for both
the novice and the seasoned artist. All projects can be made with the simple
tools listed in the first chapter—which also describes how to use these tools,
where to find them, and, in some cases, how to make them. Information on
choosing papers, inks, adhesives, cloth, ribbons, and threads is given in the
final chapter, and an up-to-date list of resources is one of the appendixes.
Described as “a workshop in a book,” Books, Boxes &
Wraps is an invaluable aid to teachers. It’s been assigned as a college
textbook and is often employed as a creative resource for classroom projects.
For crafters and calligraphers, bookbinders and
writers, artists and homeschoolers—this is the guidebook for you! It’s a
concise yet comprehensive workbook on creating all different kinds of books and
boxes—from traditional to contemporary, from rustic to elegant, from large to
To see finished samples made from directions in the book, click here.
The "Japanese screen" and all the "vase and jars" were painted for pervious productions. The screen is 18 x 32'. Each panel is 4' wide. It was painted flat on shop floor. I outlined the hills and village in chalk, then climbed a tall ladder to see how it actually looked before I started painting.
New this year are 16 fans I decorated with painted flowers, vines, butterflies and leaves. They are used by all the ladies in the cast.
Almost from the time Books, Boxes & Wraps: Binding & Building Step-by-Step first appeared in print, requests began coming in for a "second book." Both printings sold out long ago. Requests kept coming.
The first week of August 2013, I set painting aside to give full time to putting the book in digital format. Since every page had to be reformatted and all images scanned, I decided to add a few more projects, expand notes on others, and update the sections on materials and supply sources.
Now, 11 months later, the first set of proofs has arrived, the master is being updated and will soon be ready to upload for the second, and hopefully, last set of proofs.