Tag Archives: ink

Thursday, 4/14/11: Terry Street

Thanks to guest writer Sera Stanton for today’s post.

Terry Street is experienced in both traditional  Japanese and Western watercolor painting. Today, she was working in the spontaneous style of Japanese masters. She trained under a master in California and explained how the paintings are “copied” from masters until you perfect the image and can add your own nuances to it. When I spoke to her, Terry was working on an iris.

Terry showed me how she works on both normal drawing paper and on rice paper. “It is all in the energy of the brush,” she said, “the brush does the work for you… and less is more.” There is no going back in traditional Japanese painting. You must think very clearly about where to place your lines and work spontaneously. Like many artists, Terry believes anyone can learn to paint – it’s just a matter of practice, especially in this style.

In order to get a lot of variation, Terry had a large set of brushes. Although she usually only works with one brush at a time, she explained the varying uses of each kind of brush. They were also made out of different hairs, such as horse, otter or badger. To start working, Terry wet her brushes and mixed a few colors of Chinese watercolor. She said that Chinese watercolors are the best for this kind of painting because they have more clay in them, so they don’t run as much when mounted. Using an ink stick, Terry mixed some of her own ink to help mix some darker colors.

Terry’s palette today was “not textbook,” as she put it. She used violet and red and yellow and green to paint beautiful irises and poppies, as well as black to quickly paint a horse  before I left. She mixed the smallest amount of each color together to make sure that they were analogous.

When she isn’t painting on her own, Terry teaches classes. She says that she loves children and her students. Terry says that she has been painting her whole life, partially due to the fact that her grandfather collected oriental art. Truly, Terry knows the patience, practice and play that traditional Japanese watercolor requires.

Click on thumbnails to see larger pictures.

Saturday, 4/9/11: Dustin Gluvna

Thanks to guest writer Cameron Hawkey for today’s post.

Dustin Gluvna is a recent Portland transplant, favoring the artistic community here over the bustle of Santa Fe. He used to work on movies in Santa Fe, but he wanted to start drawing again.

I arrive early, and catch Dustin at the beginning of his piece. He takes a break to talk to me about his art. It looks as if he is using a .05 Micron pen, with the larger areas filled in with larger sizes, all drawn on a sturdy sheet of Cold Press Crescent Illustration board. It’s clean and crisp.

He flexes his hands as we talk. “My hand is cramping up,” he admits. “I haven’t been drawing as much as I’d like to. I’m glad for the lack of distraction here, though.” I decide to take an early lunch, and let him work up to a good pace.

When I get back, his initial scallops and swirls have turned into a big black teetering tower. It’s meticulous, with patterns running & flowing into each other that spontaneously turn into architecture.

“I like thinking about how heavy things are, and why someone would build something like this,” he says as he dutifully fills in the support beams of a platform board by board. A catapult or possibly a winch rests on the platform. “I really like architecture, how buildings are designed,” he explains. “I also like how things grow.” He points to where he started, at the east side of the tower, halfway down. “I start with a couple of shoots, and then it grows into a tower with cities on top of a mountain, with a sun and clouds, and birds in the distance.”

As a final question, I ask Dustin what art is. “Art is bringing something out from inside your mind, and letting people feed off of it,” he says. If that’s the case, then the city that he is drawing may very well be of his own mind: full of distractions and asides, but machines that are working away everywhere throughout.

The third picture below is a composite of three different stages in the progress of Dustin’s drawing. The final picture shows Dustin’s drawing at the end of the day Saturday, he’ll give his hand a rest and continue adding details.  We’ll post an update with a picture of the finished drawing.

Click on thumbnails for larger pictures.

5/2/10 update: new art daily!

Several of our daily artists are still working on their pieces and will be bringing them to Muse as they finish.  This weekend, two more finished pieces have joined the exhibit.  A detail pen-and-ink drawing by Jillian Doughty, and an acrylic painting/collage by Stephen Welch.  Check out pictures of their finished work in the updates their blog postings. (click on names in the previous sentence.)  Or visit the “exhibit” page at AnArtistADay.com to see all the works so far.

The texture, depth and detail in these two pieces, like all the rest, cannot be truly captured in small webpage photos, so be sure to come see the exhibit in person now through May 13 at Muse Art and Design, 4224 SE Hawthorne (11am-6pm M-Sat, noon-5pm Sun)

Wednesday, 4/28/10: Jillian Doughty

Jillian Doughty is a quick-witted NW original who’s a mom as well as an artist and commercial photographer. She lives in NE Portland with her husband and two kids and was raised in a third generation SW Washington fruit farm in Orondo. A fine art photographer, she began to dabble in real estate photography over the past year and was surprised to find how well she liked it. As well as assisting people to sell their homes, making extra money for her family, and using her art and design background, she also gets to put her photography skills to good, practical use.

One theme that comes through when speaking with Jillian is her entrepreneurial spirit merging with her resourceful nature. Although she has had no formal art training (she studied fruit tree science in college), her need to create is evident in the many projects she describes. She says that at one point in her youth, her parents were out of staples, and rather than wait for a refill, she began to fashion her own homemade staples. She used a similar resourcefulness when she needed an applicator for ink, and rather than order one, she tinkered with a pen nib and some tubing and created her own ink applicator.

Jillian loves searching through bargain bins, especially to find teapots, saucers and porcelain containers to draw on and sell. This repurposing and upcycling formed the basis for her Etsy shop which sells her illustrated glass and metal designs at http://www.etsy.com/shop/22pages Upon establishing it, the Etsy shop took off so rapidly she had to pare back a bit during the holidays so it didn’t take over her life. The Etsy shop also served as a conduit for commissioned work like that of the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston. She especially loves the flawed pieces she finds, even in her own artwork.

Today’s work harkens back to her childhood of growing up on a fruit farm. The apple blossoms, she says, that grow for commercial purposes are much more robust and clustered than the ones we see in the urban environment. She brought in a photo of an apple blossom from her family’s farm that she is sketching. A few new things she is excited to try out: textured Strathmore illustration board that erases her pencil drawings well (better than the smoother variety, she says) and a Copic Multiliner pigmented ink pen from Muse Art and Design.

Monday, 4/19/10: Acey Thompson

Thanks to guest writer Sally Murdoch King for today’s post

Pasadena native Acey Thompson is a PNCA student who’s quick to recognize teachers, jobs, friends and family members who have helped shape her emerging career as an artist. She remembers aspects about her childhood too that helped her grow; She spent an entire hazy LA summer copying every Sir John Tenniel illustration in Alice in Wonderland she stumbled upon at age 7. She remembers the art teacher who showed her how to add salt to a watercolor wash at age 10 and the eye-opening effect of “starry patches” left behind. She resisted taking a Japanese brushstroke and calligraphy course in 10th grade and then gave in only to not want to take any other classes but brushstroke ones. And she remembers one time as a 4 year old where she spent an afternoon laying out plastic spoons in an artful pattern on her living room floor. When she was done, she collapsed in exhaustion, and her mother later told her that the energy her daughter put into her project showed she was destined to be an artist.

Acey’s medium of choice is watercolor, although some teachers, such as Anne Johnson, her Intermedia Painting professor at PNCA, try to steer her to other mediums out of her comfort zone. Acey says Johnson helps her explore her subjects’ environment and pushes her to explore the atmosphere while taking the time to capture the room, the windows and the light as well as her subjects. Acey began painting with watercolors as a 10 year old and since her dad was an amateur calligrapher, “there were lots of ink bottles laying around the house” to dabble in. She likes the spontaneity to watercolors, the lack of drying time and of course the price, pointing out that you can get a good set for a few dollars that can last forever.

Acey has a passion that is inescapable when you view her portfolio and the painting she was creating today: dogs. As a youth she had a family dog and friends would raise funds for the Humane Society. However it wasn’t until she was 17 that her canine appreciation kicked into high gear while working at Three Dog Bakery in LA, a bakery chain that specializes in edible treats for pups. Her interaction with animals over three years of working here expanded her love for dogs, and at 21 she moved to Portland with her pitbull Maggie. Acey’s work has been commissioned for album covers for bands such as New York’s For Every Story Untold, and up and comers Matt Taylor and his Laurels. She has also done commissioned pet portraits and works part time at Lazy Dog Crazy Dog in Montavilla.

Today’s painting began with a vintage photo Acey says has been popping up in various places over the past three years. She first saw it on Flickr, then Facebook, then Tumblr, among other spots. She decided to print it out, not knowing the name of the photographer or the subject, only that it is a vintage image of a woman with a retriever/Great Pyrennees wrapped around her neck like a stole. She began with watercolors, and then to achieve the blacker blacks used a bottle of Chroma brand India ink from Muse Art and Design.

Tuesday, 4/13/10: Linda Womack

Today our guest was encaustic artist, author, and teacher, Linda Womack.  Linda uses a variety of fascinating techniques in her multi-layered art and can effortlessly communicate about everything she is doing while she works.   Her skills as an artist and as a teacher always draw a crowd of people who are curious about the art of painting with beeswax.  Those who came to watch Linda work were treated to a full-afternoon demonstration packed with information.

Before she arrived today, Linda had prepared her wooden panel with a thick layer of joint compound which she had inscribed into and tinted with inks and watercolors.  She explained that the many layers of encaustic painting are difficult to build up in one afternoon, so the joint compound gave her a head start of color and texture that is also absorbent enough and tough enough to serve as a good foundation to hold the wax.

As she built up layers of colored wax paint and clear wax medium, Linda included some drawings in her layers that she had made using tissue paper and walnut ink.  The tissue paper disappeared into the wax, leaving the lines and colors of her drawings to blend into the layers.

In addition to adding colors with encaustic paint made of beeswax, damar resin, and pigment, Linda used india ink to heighten the contrast in certain parts of her painting.  Although water-based ink will not cover the wax solidly and evenly, the ink works almost as a stain when allowed to dry a bit and rubbed into the wax.

Linda’s finished piece is full of texture and translucent depth, qualities that really show off the unique properties of encaustic painting.

Monday, 4/5/10: Michael Fields

Thanks to guest writer Cameron Hawkey for today’s post

When it comes to art, Michael Fields is a quiet man. He believes that art should speak for itself, rather than be introduced by rhetoric. It’s refreshing to hear this as an art school undergraduate, where one often gets the feeling that talking about art is prized more than the art itself. Based in Portland, Oregon, Michael is a self-taught artist and web designer. He explores his responses to the world around him by following the same process on his paintings- by exploring his responses to the shapes and spaces created by the ink and paint he lays down. “It’s an interactive Rorschach Test,” He tells me. For him, the process is the key to the finished product- finding the different threads seen in chaos and stringing them together to cohesion.

It’s the core of his creative process: don’t waste your time trying to transfer a complete image in your head onto the painting, or compiling references of what certain parts should look like. Get your references from the universe, and let the paint do what it wants to do.

When I say that Michael is quiet, it’s a bit of an understatement. Perhaps he was deeply absorbed in his work, perhaps he articulates his art in writing better than he does in conversation, but the handling of his dip pen and paintbrush are proof that he knows what he’s doing.

Today, he’s painting a butterfly. Or rather, a silhouette of a butterfly: the inside is a sprawling galaxy of ribbon-like strips, drips, ink blots, stripes and blobs ranging from thin emerald greens to a bright cotton candy pink. He confesses to me early on that butterflies aren’t usually what he paints. After inking a section of a wing into a thick powder blue, he pauses and tells me he wishes it were a bat instead. He seems to consider this for a moment, and then switches back to his .005 Micron to pattern a radial fan over a patch of yellow ochre. “When do you know it’s finished?” I ask him. He responds immediately. “When it’s due for a show.”

The last pictures is Michael’s work at the end of the day Monday.  An update will be posted with a picture of the finished piece.

Friday, 4/2/10: Cate Anevsky

Today’s artist, Cate Anevsky, created a piece in pen and watercolor titled “Inner Demons.”  Cate likes her pieces to tell a visual story  Her works start with an idea for a narrative, which she illustrates in a style that is both simple and intricate.  One of her influences for her visual storytelling is ideas she gets when reading, often from books for children and young adults.

Cate is a versatile artist.  Her father is a woodworker and her mother sews and does a variety of crafts, so she learned a lot of DYI skills growing up.   The house she grew up in was a Victorian fixer-upper, so she also remembers helping her parents with tiling and painting projects at an early age.   In addition to painting, Cate works with fiber arts (she owns a spinning wheel!), embroidery, digital art, and many other media.

Originally from St. Louis, Cate is a relative newcomer to the Portland area.  She has found Portland to be a great place to get involved in the art scene and has stayed quite busy with art and DYI events in the year and a half she’s been here.  She’s been impressed with how much appreciation people have in this region for creative handmade work.

Cate’s piece today started with a pencil drawing on watercolor paper.  She went over her pencil line with a waterproof fine-tip pen, adding detail and varying the line style.  She added colors with watercolor washes, mixing most of her own colors from a limited selection of paints, and testing her mixed colors in swatches to develop the right shades for her painting.  When she does digital work, Cate often starts with pen drawings, then adds color on the computer, sometimes layer photography in with her illustrations.

Cate created an interesting crystal-like effect in the blue background of her piece by putting salt onto the wet paint, then letting the salt dry before removing it.  This technique pulls the water and paint away from the paper, resulting in an irregular lighter-colored pattern.

Wednesday, April 22: Ryan Bubnis

Ryan worked with ink and liquid acrylics today on a paper surface.  The absorbent paper allowed him to work with thin washes of color and to work into wet areas so the inks would spread out, making soft, blurred edges.  He took advantage of these effects by gradually covering his surface with patches of different colors and patterns, sometimes spreading colors with a brush and sometimes using an eye dropper to create small dots and spatters.  Once Ryan’s surface was filled with interlocking shapes of muted colors and soft patterns, he used a fine brush and black ink to add intricate details that contrast against his background.  Each section of these details has a different pattern: stripes, circles, scallops, checkers, and even a few faces creating additional personality and expression.  Ryan will continue to add details before we get to see the final result.  Check back soon for a picture of the finished work . . .

Update, 4/30:  With a lot more detailed pen-and-ink work and brush work in black and white, Ryan’s finished piece (last picture below) is covered with intricate detail over his original background.

Thursday, April 16: Jordan Domont

Jordan has developed a singular style of painting with brightly colored inks on matte-surface mylar.  He creates his images with a limited number of transparent colors, building layers of ink  to create a wider range of blended colors.  He draws his images on paper first, then lays the translucent mylar over his paper and uses his drawing as a guide for painting.
Although he often creates portraits, Jordan chose a jellyfish as his subject today.  He had already created a composite image on his computer with the shape and composition he wanted to use as a reference. The transparent, flowing, luminous shapes of this particular subject seem especially well suited to Jordan’s style and technique.  He worked with his surface flat on a table for most of the day, then place his work vertically on an easel toward the end to allow some of the ink to flow down the page for extra visual interest.
The medium of ink on mylar leaves almost no room for changing one’s mind or doing things over.  Transparent inks won’t cover up mistakes, and once the ink is on the mylar, the color cannot be removed.  Given the challenges of his medium, we’re especially glad that Jordan was willing to work in a public setting with so many potential distractions!

Wednesday, April 8: Michael Fields

Michael quickly went from a white surface to a dense mix of lines and brushstrokes in ink and acrylic paint.  Although very complex in visual texture, the piece remained quite simple in use of color, using mainly white, black, and variations of red, yellow, and blue.  Michael alternated between applying ink and paint, usually with brushes, and adding intricated details with pens.  As he added detail and complexity, he also simplified his surface by going back over some areas with opaque white paint.
Michael stood back from his piece frequently to get some distance from the details and look at the overall effect.  At a certain point, he stopped, put the work on an easel, stood back, turned the panel in several directions, and looked for a shape or subject.  A polar bear?  A seahorse?  A rabbit?   More white paint, and suddenly an elephant had emerged.
Michael will add more lines and details to enhance the character and definition of the shape he’s created before his work goes up on the wall.  Check back in a couple days for the final image…