I always think it is so funny when you see something for the first time how, it seems to appear everywhere in your sight from that moment on.
I am always on the lookout for new ways to incorporate my painting into a new project. I am lucky enough to be able to travel to different places and always try to get into either a gallery or local art store to see what other adventures in art that is out there.
A few years ago, I was taking a design class from JoSonja Jensen and discovered the “Os” style of rosemaling. When introduced to a style that is new to me, I always like to investigate the history of it, where and why it began, how it was used, functionally or decoratively and where it evolved from there. I then like to see how I might incorporate it into my own work, or how it might look in a current color trend or style.
When I returned to my studio, I was inspired and had enough ideas in my head to fill my sketchbook for a long time. I began sketching with a circle, creating petals and leaves with various shapes, filling them in with lines, triangles, highlights and shades. I changed the color scheme to match my own personal taste and created several new painting designs. However, I spent a lot of time looking over the sketches because I was so fond of the style that had become “new” again. I began teaching drawing classes that began with using a basic circle and other shapes, creating petals and flowers with leaves that mimicked the “Os” style but were now updated and fun. I did them in pencil, markers, with my fineline painting pen™, pastels, watercolor pencils and paint.
Fast track to a year later!
While I was surfing online, I found some pictures of doodle art that people were doing on sticky notes, styrafoam cups, and random pieces of paper. When I looked closely at the designs, I saw that they were using the same kinds of shapes that I was using to create my florals and leaves but were produced mostly in black and white. They incorporated swirls, curly cues, curved lines, straight lines and random patterns and fillers.
I began seeing these same design elements in rubber stamps, scrapbook paper, large canvas designs, textures, embellishments, stencils and other categories. Jewelry designs, shoes, textiles and even cooking gadgets were starting to become more beautiful and artful in ways that I had only begun to examine. After finding that there was an actual art of doodling, Zentangles, I discovered that I had only bitten off a small chunk of this cookie (sugar cookies, yes please)!
As an artist, I feel my work continues to grow as I expose myself to new techniques and always keep an open mind. I might refer to myself as a “Folk Artist,” but some of my work is considered contemporary and trendy because I have chosen to paint on a pair of shoes or a new type of canvas. These ideas come to me as I crossover into other crafting categories such as embroidery, clay, altered art, quilting or stamping. I see how the tools in these venues can make my life as an artist so much easier.
About 5 years back, I started adding clay embellishments to my metal pieces that I was selling at an open art market in our city. My art took on a new look. It gave me a new perspective towards the surface I was working with, which still inspires me daily. With this one project I discovered clay sculpting tools, how to use reinforcement dots (from an office supply store) and all kinds of trims and embellishments from the fabric store to create a whole new look.
I am so lucky that Loew Cornell selected me to be their advocate. As I venture through their line of products, I see how much I have limited my art in the past by not incorporating other tools and techniques into my designing. Loew Cornell was always my brush of choice and now I see that they have the same wonderful quality in their sculpting tools, colored pencils, journals and art lines. Each day, I try to crossover into other art categories that I might have overlooked in the past.
Make it your journey this month to try one new technique or product, crossover into another art category and add a little punch to your own designing. I hope you continue to add more ideas to the journal that we started in January and that you are filling the pages with inspiration
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!