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Blog archives: 2011

Featured on Prismacolor Website

Prismacolor Website

I'm so excited to have been chosen as one of the artists featured on the PRISMACOLOR website's "Meet the Artist" section.

I'm sure you'll recognize some of the names, like Vera Curnow, the Founder of the Colored Pencil Society of America, or Abdi Farah, the winner of Bravo's Work Of Art, Season 1. Hopefully you'll browse through all the talented artist profiles.

If you'd like to read my interview, this link will bring you directly to my page. There you need to scroll down and click the tab "interview".

 

“Eucalyptus”

Eucalyptus

 

This is not what I usually draw or paint. It's quite small (6" x 4"), it has lots of fine details, it's very photographic, it doesn't have water, reflections, distortion, flowers or pebbles, and it's not made with the Icarus Drawing Board.

So, why did I do it and what have I learned from this experience?

Well, I did it as my contribution to the Los Angeles Colored Pencil Society Chapter project. We are putting together a compilation of small drawings of common California trees for the CPSA Convention in Dallas, Texas. I chose the eucalyptus tree because it grows everywhere in my area and it has a very attractive, colorful bark.

The drawing is so small and detailed that I really couldn't use the Icarus board nor any other wax-based media besides colored pencil. What I learned from this experience is that it's good for an artist every once in a while to do something out of the norm.

  • Doing this small drawing reminded me how I really enjoy working big.
  • The Icarus board would have allowed me to accomplish a much larger version in the same amount of time, especially with the addition of artist crayon or oil pastel.
  • Photorealism is not my cup of tea.
  • I missed pushing the colors as far as I usually do.
  • I truly missed the magic of water.

I just can't wait to go back to my technique and artistic direction.

See you all in Texas in 10 days. Stop by the CPSA TRADE SHOW where I will demonstrate the Icarus Drawing Board.

Saturday, July 16, 2011 -  9:00 am - 2:00 pm
Renaissance Hotel, Richardson, Texas 75082

 

D. L. Friedman

I had the pleasure to spend some time with artist Deborah L. Friedman who traveled to Southern California from her home in Wellesley, Massachusetts, for a short family vacation. I've personally known Debbi for about a year but have admired her artwork for much longer.

It was her colorful stones drawings that attracted my attention, an example of which can be seen in this post. As a stones and pebbles aficionado, I'm always on the lookout for unique interpretations of this popular subject.

As soon as I discovered Debbi's stones, I saw them popping up everywhere, from The Artist's Magazine's All Media Competition, where she placed first in her category, to the Derwent graphite pencils tin box, where her artwork adorns the top.

After spending some time in my studio, where Debbi posed for the obligatory "swing portrait", we went walking along the shores of Corona Del Mar until we reached Pelican Point, a beautiful bluff south of Newport Beach. There's nothing like sharing a passion with a friend! During our walk we were both equally mesmerized by the little beach treasures found along the way, like seashells, sea glass, and last but not least, pebbles and rocks.

Debbi is accomplished in many different media, including colored pencil, graphite, pastel, oil, and printmaking. Her website is a showcase of her versatility in subjects and techniques and her love of nature is the unifying force. "Whether it's finding the wings of a luna moth in my garden, watching corn grow with my son, or quietly observing catbirds and great blue herons at the pond near my house," says Debbi, "I am constantly amazed by the natural world and strive to pass on some of this beauty and joy in my artwork."

To see more of Debbi's stones drawings and other artworks, please take a moment to visit her website.

To watch Debbi's TV interview, click the following link: Art Beat interview. It's available online until the end of May.

Debbi on my Studio SwingCounterpoint in Green

 

 

CPSA 19th Annual Exhibition

The list of invited artists to the Colored Pencil Society of America 19th Annual Exhibition is finally out! I'm thrilled that my piece "Social Network" has been juried into the show by juror Bob Malenfant, director of South West Gallery in Dallas. The exhibition will be at the Charles W. Eisemann Center in Richardson, Texas, from June 29 to July 31.

On Saturday, July 16, from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm, I will have a booth at the Convention Trade Show, where representatives from many companies will be showing off new products and old favorites. I will be working with the Icarus Drawing Board to demonstrate how to use it and be available to answer all your questions. Please stop by to say hi and to play with the Icarus board.

Social Network

 

“Mussel Shell” Project on YouTube

I just posted a new playlist of 17 video clips on our Icarus Art YouTube Channel. It's a condensed, sixty-minute video library of  a project called "Mussel Shell" from my 2010 CPSA workshop "Wax and Heat, a Match Made in Heaven".

For my workshop attendees this is a great opportunity to review the techniques learned last summer. For everybody else it's like taking a workshop for free. All voiced-over video clips are available in high definition and come with a downloadable supply list, an outline of the project, and an image of the finished mussel shell.

I hope you all enjoy practicing and/or learning the Icarus technique. You are always welcome to post comments and ask questions either on this blog or on YouTube.

View this playlist on Youtube.

 

“Pencil Paintings” Exhibition

The 2011 Pencil Painting Exhibition, presented by the Los Angeles Colored Pencil Society Chapter 214, is in full swing at the Cypress Community Gallery, 5700 Orange Avenue, Cypress, California. This is an outstanding exhibition of colored pencil paintings and drawings that represent the diversity of techniques that can be obtained by using colored pencils as a fine art medium. The gallery will be open until April 14 - Monday through Friday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

My artwork "River Odyssey" received an Honorable Mention.

Jane Shibata, Me, Barbara Rogers, Betzi Stein, Jeff George, and Betsy HolsterElaine Lapidus, Barbara Rogers, Elizabeth Patterson, and Betzi SteinBarbara Rogers and Me with Our Respective Honorable Mention Winners

 

Linda RahlRuth AnismanJeff George

 

Lupe Backe - First Place WinnerStanding byBetzi Stein and Me

 

 

“Social Network”

Social Network

22" x 28" - Wax-based Media (Colored Pencil and Artist Crayon)
Created with the Icarus Drawing Board.

I finished this piece just in time to enter it into the 19th Annual CPSA Juried Exhibition. There's something about this group of pebbles, linked together by water, that reminded me how we are all connected, socially and otherwise.

This year the Colored Pencil Society Convention will be in Dallas, Texas. I will be demonstrating the Icarus board at the CPSA trade show Saturday, July 16, from 9:00 to 2:00.

I have a short demonstration coming up on Saturday, April 30th, in conjunction with the Los Angeles CPSA district chapter meeting. Click this link for directions.

 

Media Organizer Step-by-Step

I promised to some of you to put together the step-by-step directions for building a media organizer like mine. Please refer to my previous post for images and description of the unit. Following are detailed instructions on how to build it.

Materials:

  • 6 sheets of  foam board 30" x 40" x 3/16" thick
  • 1 piece of plexiglass (clear acrylic) 12" x 24" x 1/8" thick (0.125")
  • glue gun, acrylic cutting knife
  • white artist tape
  • non-slip liner (optional)

Steps:

  1. Cut the foam board
  2. Build the main structure
  3. Build the trays
  4. Cut and glue the plexiglass
  5. Cut non-slip liners to size (optional)

1. CUT THE FOAM BOARD

Use the four drawings below as guidelines. The white areas represent all the foam board pieces that you'll need for this project, while the gray areas are the left-overs. Remember that if you use smaller foam boards (20" x 30") you will have a lot more waste. Be very precise when you measure, draw, and cut your pieces.

Each drawing is a scaled representation of a 30" x 40" foam board. Drawing A needs to be repeated on three separate foam boards. Drawings B, C, and D are only used one time each (six boards total).

The media organizer is composed of two parts:

  • the main structure, made of 15 shelves, two sides, and one back
  • 14 removable trays, each one made of one bottom, one back, two sides, and a plexiglass front

Main structure dimensions:

  • 15 shelves: 22 3/4" wide x 7 3/4" each
  • 2 sides: 15 3/4" high x 7 3/4" each
  • 1 back: 15 3/4" high x 23 1/8"

Trays dimensions:

  • 14 bottoms: 22 1/4" x 7 1/2" each
  • 14 backs: 22 1/4" x 11/16" each
  • 28 sides: 7 1/2" x 1/2" each

Drawing ADrawing B

 

Drawing CDrawing D

 

2. BUILD THE MAIN STRUCTURE

This is the most challenging part of the project. I hope that by explaining how I did it, I can make it a little easier for you.

First you need to draw on both sides and on the back of the main structure the guidelines for the shelves.

Please note that the 15 shelves are a little less than one inch apart from each other. Sorry, I don't have the measurements for this step; you'll have to do the math.

When you have all your guidelines drawn, you can start gluing.

Gluing technique:

  • place a strand of glue at the seam where the two surfaces meet
  • do not place the glue directly on the foam of the board - the heat will melt the foam
  • hold the foam board pieces in place until the glue cools down and feels solid

Begin by gluing together the two sides onto the back of the main structure. Then move on to the shelves.

Proceed by gluing one shelf at a time. Make sure the shelf is in the right position. Place your glue strands on the three seams. Wait for the glue to cool down and move on to the next shelf until you are finished. Remember to place the glue only on the top side of the shelves, not the bottom (see picture #1 and #2).

Picture #1: Main Structure Close-upPicture #2: Main Structure

 

3. BUILD THE TRAYS

Glue the back of each tray to the bottom. Then glue the two sides over the bottom. See pictures #3 and #4.

Picture #3: Tray Side ViewPicture #4: Tray Top View

 

4. CUT AND GLUE THE PLEXIGLASS

Do not remove the protective film from the plexiglass. You need 14 strips, each measuring 22 1/4" x 11/16". Draw your guidelines directly on the film.

If you have never cut plexiglass before, please practice a little before cutting the strips. I use the "score and snap method" with this type of knife.

When you glue a plexiglass strip to a tray, it will look as in picture #5 where the glue is completely visible. I hid the glue with white artist tape for aesthetic reasons (picture #6).

Picture #5: Tray Front Showing the GluePicture #6: Tray Front with Tape

 

5. CUT NON-SLIP LINERS TO SIZE

This is an optional step but I highly recommend it. I purchased the non-slip liner from my local home improvement store. It keeps pencils and other media from rolling even if the tray is on a slant (see pictures #7 and #8). The measurements of each liner are: 21 3/4'' x 7 1/4''.

Picture #7: Tray with LinerPicture #8: Close-up

 

Last but not least, turn your main structure upside-down so that the glue strands of the shelves are on the top, not on the bottom of the slots. This way there's no interference with the sliding of the trays.

After filling your trays with colorful media, from pencils to crayons and pastels, you can place them inside their slots (picture #9 and #10). Now you can finally enjoy your creation.

Let me know if this was helpful. Feel free to ask any questions along the way.

Picture #9: Media OrganizerPicture #10: Trays Pulled Out