My brain and my hand are connected. Yours as well? Do you ever think about how remarkable that is? How often do you think about your hand and the automatic movements when you scratch your head, pick up your coffee, use a keyboard; all the while your brain is telling that hand what to do. For a deeper dive read The Hand as the Human Outer Brain. This artist blog is about how to use my hand and my thoughts to create artworks almost every day in my home art studio.
I must have had a connection with what my hand could do with a pencil, crayon, paintbrush at an early age. This carried me through becoming an art teacher for the better part of my career. As a retired person, it did not take me long to discover that I like watercolor. It did not take me long to discover that I like pen and ink with watercolor. And lately, I have discovered that pen, ink, and crayon are an absolute delight. Does it smack of a coloring book? hmm. So what!
October 2020 is when the revelation began: A change of pace and style. Architecture is not my suit and made me a bit nervous. Straight lines are not so easily "fixed." The flow of flowers and birds is forgiving. Why not try? The result? The Fredericksburg Collection at Heather Boutique has taken off and continues to be very popular.
Let's start with the pen in hand. For me, my hand and brain are connected most noticeably with a pen. With a paintbrush, I can let the paint take over and "let loose" as in this "Jazzy Flower".
Ah. The joy of a ruler. Ok. This takes care of the oops factor of a pen gone amuck. I also feel like I didn't lose the fluidity of my watercolor style because my pen is still at the control of my hand and brain and I'm not going for architectural accuracy. I can have just as much "fun" with my pen and color as I do with anything else that I have done with watercolors. That's a real joy...and an important one to me.
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It's important to note the I don't know what Hyperion Espresso looks like without standing in front of it. Yes. I could work from across the street with my pens, watercolors, easel, and a cup from the building famous for its delightful coffees. Like most artists, I work with an image in front of me, or what is referred to as en Plein air. Or we work from a reference photo. Here's where I put my teacher hat on and tell you "that doesn't mean I'm cheating; it also doesn't mean that I can just go ahead and copy any old picture that I find on the internet!!! I am a FIRM follower of the right and important status of Copyright laws.
As an artist, rest assured, I do NOT want to see my creations on the home page of a 22-yr-old TikTok post that talks about the craziness of last weekend's raucous all-nighter. And believe me, if I catch someone copying my work that person will feel the full force of my ire against him or her. The internet has blatantly increased copyright infringement and it's become a headache to track and find the perpetrators. Another good article on this is Artists Rights 101.
A quick story about copyright. A teacher friend asked me to paint life-size Disney figures on her young son's bedroom wall. In a private home, I knew not many people would be seeing the artwork, other than family. yet I decided to check with Disney because they already had a reputation for "going after" people who copied their characters. I received a VERY legal letter noting which characters that I could use, and which I could NOT use. Being the honest person that I am my choices were legal under the permissions given. Sadly, the young child grew up (not a 'Peter Pan') and the wall was more than likely painted over.
When my paintings/drawing/illustrations are finished the copyright belongs to me. It's one of the reasons that the reference photograph of Hyperion Espresso was taken by ME, with my camera. It further connects me to the subject. I am also cognizant of the fact that I can draw, paint, doodle anything I want about the image. It can be a style of Expressionism, Cubism, abstract, hyperrealism, or any ism I want.
*This post may be affiliate links which means that I am compensated for purchases that will be no extra cost to you. These small commissions help offset the expenses of maintaining a website. I only post products that I am familiar with either my owning the product or having used a similar item.
I'm not one to join groups but I recently came upon this site that lauds the energy of those who are working with their hands [and brains]. Yep. I joined in. The members receive discounts on art magazines, paint-together video tutorials (yes. we can still learn "new tricks"), Art History, and Podcasts. Feel free to check it out with a click of the logo.
Now, think about it. Pay attention to your hands today. It is time to pick up the flute that you have in your closet from too long ago? Do you love working in your garden? How about telling your brain that visiting a botanical garden might give you joy this week. (This is a garden near me). Tell your brain to work with your hands to build, play, cook, dance, clap, or do a cartwheel 🤸🏽♂️ 🤸🏽 🤸🏾♀️ (careful).