Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Back to Work

Ahh, it's been over two months since I've posted anything!
I've been busy working on multiple projects and was able to leave town for a relaxing vacation. I finished illustrations for one of my upcoming books right before my 30th birthday, photographed and emailed them to the publisher for review, then escaped to New England for a while to breathe some different air...

One thing I haven't done on recent vacations is sit down and draw or paint. I recently bought a block of watercolor paper and dug out my watercolor set. I've been experimenting with freeing myself from creating images that are overly thought-out before even touching the paper with paint or ink.

I think too much!

On a beach in Rhode Island, I decided to sit down and just play...

It's so freeing to just sit on a beach and listen to crashing waves and whirling wind. After flying a kite and doing some reading (well really laying in the sun and listening to Kevin read out loud), I created four little watercolor paintings inspired by my surroundings.

You can't tell from the picture, but I swear there are tiny little bugs sunbathing on the painting.. weird.
I guess bugs love art too!
I sprinkled some sand onto the wet paint to add a frosty texture.

... This one looks more like a beachy landscape ...

... Grassy sand dunes ...

... Kevin's feet on the beach, in pen, marker and watercolor ...

I think I'm going to use this combination of watercolor, pen and marker in my next book (which I'm working out sketches for these days).
I've got to take a break from working with oil paints... too much getting lightheaded and having to stop painting before I think I'm done for the day. I know that oil paints are somewhat toxic, but a recent trip to my local art supply store to get a new tube of Flake White paint was a sort of scary reminder: the saleswoman said that the company had discontinued that particular color because of the high amounts of lead in it (oh geez, and I've been leaning over my paintings, literally breathing in the stuff for years. Is that why I'm so stuffy in the mornings and my sniffles sound like an old rusty lawnmower? I'm going to try very hard to not self-diagnose here...).

So as soon as I'm done with the very last changes for the illustrations in Poems in the Attic (due out May 2015), I'm swearing off oil paints for a while! It will be hard, since that's my favorite medium and I've gotten so used to it, but an artist's gotta do what an artist's gotta do to stay healthy, right?

Plus, I've officially entered my third decade of life and it's time to experiment! I spent a little too much money on fancy decorative papers in Boston and Providence, and I'm looking forward to painting, cutting them up, and using them in my next book :)

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