Tag Archives: pen

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.

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Friday, 4/16/10: Amy Stoner

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

Watching an encaustic artist work is almost like viewing a performance; there are all sorts of layers and vignettes that keep the process moving in bite-sized episodes. A few minutes of drying here, some scraping there, and you’ve got great entertainment. Watching someone as talented and patient as Amy Stoner is no exception. It’s easy to spot her predilection for teaching, too. On her afternoon of working the wax, she had a nice steady stream of spectators both inside and out. Each one who ventured inside asked questions, many jotted notes, and Amy answered with enthusiastic and articulate explanations.

Amy began her encaustic adventure 4 years ago. A printmaker with plentiful woodblock printmaking experience, she became tired of the regimentation of the process and editions. One day she took one of her woodblock prints and covered it with a clear wax. She immediately liked the effects the wax had over her acrylic paintings and woodblocks and began using pigmented waxes. Today, encaustic is her favorite medium because she can still make use of her first love: drawing, painting and prints. “I love working with all the art supplies,” she says while scraping away shapes with her ceramic carving tools. “Plus there’s so much you can do with wax.”

Amy moved to Oregon with her family at the age of 12. Now with a small family of her own that includes a toddler, finding time to work with wax is a juggling act. Mid afternoon while her little one is napping is often her best time to make art. She finds it easiest to turn on the wax to let it melt, put her daughter down and then go paint. Evenings are also a good time to find Amy working. She spends anywhere from 2 to 3 hours working on her encaustic projects and is largely self-taught. She gained her BFA in art from U of O in 1998 and has since taken courses from artist such as Jef Gunn at PNCA. She also teaches introductory and advanced encaustic courses in textures, patterns, painting and collaging with beeswax.

Today’s artwork began with a 12 x 16 panel. The first layer was pen and ink drawing. Then a clear coat of wax, then blocks of colored wax. Then she adhered her woodblock print with a small bit of glue. Then clear wax, then watercolors and gouache. She fuses the layers together with a torch to remove brushstrokes and air bubbles. She then scrapes back the wax to expose the vibrant orange hues, blacks and greens.

Amy’s artwork is largely influenced by propaganda prints from the 1920’s and 30’s. Her favorite artists include Frida Kahlo and art nouveau painter Alphonse Mucha as well as art, architecture and design from the Bauhaus and Arts and Crafts Movements.

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.

Saturday, 4/3/10: Rachel Austin

Rachel Austin is a full-time artist whose work has become very popular in online stores, galleries, and retail stores around the country.  She has worked with many different types of media and has developed unique styles and techniques for different series of paintings.  The piece she made today was one of her “mixed media” series that incorporates maps, acrylic gel, pen drawing, and painting with oils.

Rachel had already created the background of her piece before she started today — a map of Monterrey Bay covered with a thick textured clear acrylic and a transparent pale yellow glaze of oil paint.  The visual effect of these layers resembles encaustic in its pale warm color and translucent texture.

Rachel began today with a pen sketch in a sketchbook which she recreated in larger size over her background.   Her theme of birds and flowers (lupines today) reflect her interest in simple shapes and images that convey a feeling of peaceful beauty.

Rachel added color to her pen drawing using oils.  Her light colors harmonized with the pale colors of her background and added brightness to her black pen drawing.  She finished her piece by going over the bird silhouettes again with pen to make the black more solid.

Many visitors to Muse today recognized Rachel’s style from seeing her work online and at regional art shows.  It was a treat to get a glimpse of the process she’s developed to create the special look in her art. Thanks Rachel!

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…