Monday, February 4, 2019

B is for Books

January blew by as I opened an art book, 
and another and then another.
Our library allows for limitless withdrawals, 
so caution here or I'll wake up in the middle of summer.



Lots of artists wrote about art goals in January.
I set a few goals, but the main goal is to shake things up a bit.

So aside from the usual inking,

India ink on watercolor paper


and painting,

Crow / Acrylic on canvas board / 5X7

I've been experimenting with color.




I learned how to make these mini-abstracted color squares 
while watching a Shirley Trevena watercolor video
 (sorry, can't remember which one as they are in a storage unit).

These samples are great for discovering new color combinations,
for using as small paintings with large mats, 
for use in homemade cards,
as inspiration for making larger abstract paintings,
for use in collages,
and for turning off the left side of your brain, in general.

I plan on making more,
 and will photo doing them in progress.
Then I'll use one in a painting, I hope.


47 comments:

  1. Wow, Chris, you study well! In my few art books, I enjoyed Shirley Trevena's book. ...I have lots of children picture books and study them, hahaha! Cheers, wink, wink, Sadami

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    1. Thanks, Sadami. I am in love with illustrations in children's books; one of the reasons I love your artwork so much.
      The artwork is not only technically good, but very imaginative as well...

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  2. Good collection of books, I like the drawing of the sparrow, the acrylic and the practice of color, the activity in different techniques is noticeable.
    Greetings.

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    1. Thank you, Jose. It's such a nice thing to do in the chilly winter months.

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  3. Wonderful art dear Chris and I love your super collection of art books!
    Happy week!
    Susi

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  4. Hello Chris,
    Wonderful paints. So fantastic.

    Greetings, Marco

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  5. What a fantastic start to the year! Lots and lots of inspiration here. I am familiar with a couple of the books you have shown and I think there are at least four I must check out so thank you for that. Your paintings are gorgeous it looks like 2019 is going to be your year! Best wishes.

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    1. Thank you so much, Lisa. You are off to a very good start yourself :)
      Hope 2019 is so far YOUR best year.

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  6. The best to spend time is reading those artbooks, I enjoy it the same way!
    Your ink bird and acrylic raven are fantastic, and your playing with color to create these mini-abstracted color squares surely was relaxing while turning off the left side of the brain.
    Warmly, Rike

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    1. Thank you, Rike. Yes, it is the best time to read. There are no distractions in the garden since it is chilly outside.

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  7. Wonderful talent on display here. Well done. I particularly like the robin.

    God bless.

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  8. Oh, Chris, I love the birds. The little bird is so sweet and cheerful. I like crows and ravens. I love the way they stand and I love the way they sound. Thank you for introducing me to Shirley Trevena. Have a wonderful day! Spring is on the way!

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    1. Thanks, Candy!
      Shirley Trevena paints with riots of color - so refreshing in these gray months. There are a couple of YouTube videos that feature her. I love her relaxed attitude.

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  9. The crow makes me think Nevermore.... said with a creepy voice! :)

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    1. Ah, you brought back a memory from junior high school. Our English teacher darkened the room and read that spooky raven poem in his creepiest voice. Lots of fun for us.

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  10. The crow is outstanding Chris! I saw so many when we visited the Grand Canyon. It was as if they were placed on top of the rocks for everyone to see. They had an iridescent sheen to them as well. Beautiful work!!!!!

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    1. Thank you, Hilda. Grand Canyon - have never been there, but flew low over it in a commercial plane many years ago when pilots were allowed to do that. I could only think, "How could anyone not believe in God?" What an experience it must have been to have seen those magnificent birds :)

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  11. Your birds are beautiful. I also love the color work you're doing-it is fun to sort of just play and not think too much. It's amazing what you can learn doing that.

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    1. Thank you, Debra. Your blog post from the end of December really got me thinking about what I wanted to do versus what I thought I should do. Thank you for that:) I love your blog.

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  12. Unos dibujos extraordinarios, me han encantado. Enhorabuena por este trabajo, saludos desde España.

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    1. Muchas gracias, German. Salté a tu blog y me encantó tu maravillosa fotografía. Estoy deseando ver más. Encantado de conocerte.

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  13. "Shaking things up" is a necessary way of advancing in whatever we do. Your color combinations are so pleasing. I am looking forward to seeing how you use these wonderful colors in a painting.

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    1. Thanks, Chip Butter. You are right that it is necessary and it is so nice to keep learning.

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  14. such a cute little ink bird :)
    and a lot of good books to go through

    I didn't make any new years resolutions, i'm too busy to stick to them lol

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    1. Thanks. Those books are nothing compared to how many you read, Jennifer. And I can understand why there were no resolutions for you (except to get more sleep maybe).

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  15. I love those abstracts... what a great way to discover colors and shapes!

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    1. Thanks, Carol. They are just fun. I never thought of taking a cropping mat to them until Shirley Trevena recommended it.

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  16. The color experiments look beautiful...I have to watch the video too, because I like to play with colors without a certain motive. It is always relaxing!
    Oh, I love the painted crow! How wonderful you have painted the shimmering blue-black feathers! The winter bird is also very sweet - and thank you very much for your nice words in my blog.
    Best regards - Ulrike

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    1. Thank you, Ulrike. Your blog always keeps me inspired :) ( Love your new book!)
      Warmly, Chris

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  17. Oh these birds, they are painted things of wonder and such a contrast. I totally love them (would choose the first if I had to as it is more "comfortable"! but the crow is so dramatic).
    I recognise some of these books, they are so seductive, aren't they.
    The coloured squares! If any were enlarged and printed they would make outstanding wall pieces, they are delightful abstracts. I want to go and play at this right now.
    What a great post, full of colour and creativity.

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    1. Thank you, Sheila. Yes, the books have become an addiction, but a healthy addiction.
      The little abstracts were more fun than I thought they would be. Hope you feel as inspired by Shirley Trevena as I do :)

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  18. Change is good and I love your small abstracts , now I would love to see some bigger ones ! I will go and check out the video, always something new to learn.

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    1. Thanks, Jane. Love all this new color. The gray days have probably created the yearning for more color :)

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  19. Chris you are a lady after my own heart...I take advantage of the library here too and order lots of art books to keep me inspired. I love your ink drawing of the bird...adorable. What a great painting of the crow. Love your small abstracts...definitely going to put that on my list to try. In the meantime have a wonderful day. Hugs!

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    1. Thank you, Debbie. Boy, the library is dangerous when it allows you to take out so many books at once. Sometimes I'm embarrassed, but I can't resist :) Hope you have some fun with them, too :)
      Trusting you are having a great week!

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  20. Gorgeous birds! Your small abstract experiments are beautiful, very inspiring. Love to see what you'll do with them!

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  21. Love all the work you are doing and the new directions!! It seems so many artists are challenging themselves into doing a series exploring color, value, shape, lines, etc. = always a good thing when we explore and find something very interesting at the end so Happy Exploring to you!!! Love the color swatches and so many ways to use them (Shirley Trevena is a fave of mine, too.)

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    1. Thank you, Rhonda. I know you like Shirley Trevena; I loved your series that was inspired by her work. And we are both fans of her crazy hair, too :)

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  22. Fabulous art and experiments Chris. I have been thinking about colour combinations especially in the last week since AJJ theme is about the colour yellow which I am not keen on - but thinking that may be lack of knowledge on how to use it with other colours.

    I zoomed in as best as poss to look at all the fab books - great to get them from library ;)
    I have the 52 drawing lab book and its looks like I can see a Danielle Donaldson book also - which is great for ideas. Art books have become a weakness of mine in the last 5 years - I must have around a hundred of them :)
    Happy Friday - have a wonderful weekend.. Gill x

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  23. That looks a great selection of books.
    I always enjoy seeing your art :)

    All the best Jan

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  24. ah books are such a lovely shelter to hide from snowy winters outside i can understand that !

    you chose some cool books here :)

    your experiments with abstract use of colors looks vibrantly beautiful !
    best of luck for each you thought about my friend!

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