Monday, March 31, 2014

Learning new techniques for painting silk

I am having a blast (and a bit of frustration) learning new techniques for painting on silk!

At the retreat (see previous post), I learned more about the MS (Magic Sizing) method created by master-silk-painter Karen Sistek (A WONDERFUL TEACHER - I highly recommend taking a class or two or three from her if you decide you want to learn to paint silk!).  And after much discussion with my retreat-mates, I am also going to experiment with Pro Print Paste as a resist (for the Serti method which I already am using).

My latest paintings (also can be seen in my gallery) include a landscape and a magnolia painting done with the Serti method (using Resistad), and a poppy using the MS technique.  My next project is going to be an Iris using the MS method and a friend's adorable dog.  I'll post the pictures when I'm done.  Thanks for looking, and if you're interested in purchasing any of the paintings in my gallery, please send me an email!

A View From The Ferry V2

The Tulip Tree

Delicate Poppy

Monday, March 24, 2014

Silk Painting Retreat with Sharon Shankland, Karen Sistek, and other fabulous artists!

The Lovely Ladies of the Spring 2014 Silk Painting Retreat

I just got back from a 4 day Silk Painting Retreat held at Fort Worden State Park by Sharon Shankland and Karen Sistek.  

We had a WONDERFUL time and highly recommend attending a future retreat if you get the chance!!  Fort Worden is just outside of Port Townsend which is just a short drive and a ferry-ride away from Seattle. 

Yup, that's me - painting my poppy

I spent the majority of my time working on my painting - but I also spent some time exploring and finding inspirations for future art pieces (or for sketching in my art journal).  

My poppy (unfinished)

I painted a pink poppy using Karen's MS technique.  Thanks also to Suzy for her advice and encouragement to try new techniques including using dyeset while still working on the painting. 

Puget Sound & Foothills (unfinished)

This scene was painted using traditional resist methods

Hood Canal & Bridge
My sketch of Hood Canal & Bridge

The Hood Canal Bridge - a really pretty area - and fun to sketch!

And a few other photo inspiration pictures for future sketches (right now I'm just loving the gnarled shapes of trees!).  These were all taken in and around Fort Worden - LOTS of inspiration there!  My next retreat is in Port Orchard and a lovely retreat center... I can't wait!

Oldest building in Fort Worden

Monday, March 10, 2014

Derwent Academy Online Classes - a fun (and rewarding!) opportunity!

I don't know if you've had a chance to look at Derwent Academy's website - but it is chock-a-block full of information! is a company located in the United Kingdom (Great Britain to exact!).  They make WONDERFUL fine-art pencils including: sketching pencils, sketch-wash pencils, colored pencils, watercolor pencils, Inktense pencils (which are a special kind of watercolor pencil), and a variety of other items. recently found out that Derwent has an online academy - and that they have a rather fabulous offer
for anyone who's interested in learning more about drawing/art skills.  They currently offer a 6-lesson class to anyone who is interested.  If you complete all 6 lessons successfully, they will send you a 18-piece set of their wonderful pencils!  GOTTA LOVE THAT!!

All that is required is that you follow the general directions given (and they usually give you a choice of what or how to draw).  And that you submit a photo or scanned-image of your work to them for review.  The tools/supplies you will need are: drawing pencils, paper (I'm just using a cheap art journal I already had in my cabinet), colored pencils, pastels, and watercolors.

 And before you ask - NO, they are not giving me (or paying me) anything to promote their site - I just think it's a fun way to practice your art (or learn new skills) and get a nifty present for doing so!  Two of my pals and I, are going through the lessons right now!.

Colored Pencil on Black paper
Here's a couple of the things I drew for some of the classes:

Perspective Lesson

Inspired by a lesson on shading

I've been enjoying it - a good refresher and fun too!   I can't wait to get my pencils (assuming I pass the class!).     :)