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Wednesday, January 6, 2016

John Muir Laws' Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling

The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling by John Muir Laws is a don't-miss-it book for your studio

I am so delighted to have had the chance to preview this book--thick as a city phone book (312 pages!), covering every nature-drawing subject you can imagine in John Muir Laws' inimitable clear, encouraging, and inspiring fashion, this one will stay in my collection of essential art books forever.

John covers using pencil, colored pencil, watercolor, gouache and more, and the variety of subject matter is a nature-artist's delight.  

But it's not simply a book on technique.  It includes chapters on Observation and Intentional Curiosity, Projects that Focus Awareness, Methods of Deepening Inquiry, Visual Thinking and Displaying Information, as well as materials and supplies, notes, and exhaustive references.

 Take a peek at these pages: 









If you've been fortunate enough to have seen John's previous book, The Laws Guide to Drawing Birds, you KNOW how good this one is.  It covers birds and much, much more.

Pre-order John Muir Laws' amazing new book directly from John HERE (and get a signed copy and personal attention!)

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Back to Art Discardia here...




And continuing with my Discardia efforts...my beloved little shed studio is bursting at the seams!  The book case is FULL and there are stacks all over the floor, so beginning to thin the herd again.  

There are some of the best recent sketching and drawing books (urban sketching and otherwise) along with some of my OWN--our inventory closet could use some clearing out, too. 

Some of the other wonderful books include those by James Hobbs, Thomas Thorspecken and Katherine Tyrrell, and believe me I HATE to part with books!  Ouch, ouch, ouch...




So please check out my eBay store and see if you can find something you like!  I'll be adding more as I get photos shot, so bookmark my site, please.

http://www.ebay.com/usr/katestreasures

(And sorry if you saw this on my other blog, I REALLY need to make some space on my shelves and in my life!)

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

News from Roz Stendahl: What I'm Looking Forward to in 2016

Left: 15 minute sketch at life drawing—costumed model at the co-op. Color pencil. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

Each year brings new challenges and currently I am excited about the new online classes I’m going to be bringing out in 2016.

But as the new year starts I’m most looking forward to a new offering of my "Drawing Practice: Drawing Live Subjects in Public" class.

Each day from January 31 through March 5, 2016, I’ll be in the class looking at student work, answering questions, and helping the students build a durable daily sketching habit. 

We will begin with a strong foundation and lots of skill building demonstrations and assignments. These include sketching demonstrations made at Como Zoo and the 2014 Minnesota State Fair. (It doesn't get more public than the Fair!) New lessons come every Monday and Thursday throughout the month.

We will add sketch out dates to build a tolerance for working in public with moving subjects. And through it all I’ll be helping students silence their internal critics, make friends with their editing eye, and learn a new way to talk about their artwork that is positive, honest, and supportive. My month-long involvement with the class wraps up with strategies for goal setting. The class includes two live webinars during the first month. Students have access to all the videos and the classroom for a full year. And there are quarterly live webinar check-ins throughout the year so that they keep their daily drawing practice going.

I’ve been teaching a version of this class live for about 15 years. In 2015 I went online with this class. I was overjoyed with the response. Students from around the world joined with me to work on their sketching and observational skills. They dug deep and worked on longstanding issues of resistance and procrastination that were holding them back. They created amazing work and supported themselves and their fellow students in their creative journey.

In over 25 years of teaching, I’ve heard every excuse and seen every type of resistance there is. Nothing is more gratifying to me as a teacher than helping students break through the barriers that hold their drawing practice stagnant.

While this is an immensely rewarding class to teach, the intense teaching involvement and feedback I provide means I can only offer this class once a year. I believe that by offering it at the beginning of the year I will be able to help students start out strongly.

And by offering the class at this time of the year I won’t have it run right up to the Minnesota State Fair like it did last year! (I wanted students to finish lessons before the Fair, but by running the class in February they will also be able to practice for several months, should they elect to go the Fair. And you all know I believe everyone should come to the Minnesota State Fair.)

This means that I’ll also be able to focus on the new classes I’m filming and still get to the Fair myself. The new classes cover bookbinding methods, art journaling techniques, and a design class.

Left: Finch sketches made at the nursing home Aviary. Sakura Pigma Sensei Pen on Rives Lightweight. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

I appreciate the interest this blog’s community has taken in my move to online teaching. I’m grateful for the hard work that Kate Johnson has done to create this community and encourage people to share their work. She makes it look easy.

I will still be blogging here and on Roz Wound Up. And I hope also to post additional videos on YouTube about my art adventures. I live in a beautiful city where the possibilities for sketching in public are many and varied. And I’m blessed to have artist friends who love talking about their work. I look forward to sharing their work with you in 2016.
If you would like my help to improve your drawing skills and build a durable drawing habit you can read about  “Drawing Practice” here.
You can register here.
If you’re interested in learning about future classes as they are made available you can use the Class sign up form on my blog to get on a mailing list.
I hope that you have already had a moment to sit down with yourself and think about your goals for 2016. If you haven’t, I suggest you take a moment now, before the year slips away to have a little chat with yourself.

I believe it is important that we clearly state our intention for the new year. And I also believe that we have to nurture our creative lives through planning. I hope that this new year brings you opportunities to sketch and fill your journal and sketchbook pages with the details of your life.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Sketching with Bent Nib Calligraphy Pens

As noted the other day in my pen conversion posts--this is FUN, with a huge range of line widths possible!

Sketching our friends in the Copper Creek Band, with a bit of gray wash added...

Molly Hammer and Joe Cartwright at Chaz on the Plaza...

See all the line widths that are possible with just one pen?

I added a wee bit of color today...this is my new softcover Stillman & Birn Beta sketchbook, LOVE it.

Quick sketches of details...

Showing this again to show how the nib can be held to get different effects.



"Urban Removal" works...

Fun for nature subjects too...

I've got several Hero and Sailor calligraphy pens, almost like drawing with a brush.  The pens are generally quite inexpensive...give them a try!

Friday, December 18, 2015

Kate's "Frankenpen," Part TWO

My converted Noodler's to a bent nib is FUN...





Here's the pen and  nibs together...

 I used to feed from the original Noodler's Creaper pen...you just gently work it out of the pen.  (While I was at it I deepened the feed groove slightly to make it feed better.)

The nib is from an M-86 Hero pen, a perfect fit.  (The feed did not, though, so voila, Frankenpen!)
A good cleaning with Goulet's pen flush put everything in the mood to work well...



Here, you can see the lines of the feed, and the approximate position...you hold the nib and feed firmly in one hand and push it into the pen.  Don't force it, but seat it well.


You can see the position and the bent nib well below...



And the pen in action!

Hero pens are available online (though the M-86 is hard to find, perhaps on eBay last time I checked); it looks as if an 8-Horses Hero might fit too, but I have yet to try one.  (And ya know, they work just fine in the pen body they come in, they're just a bit heavy for me!)

A review of the M-86 is here--you can see photos here too.  It's a bit awkward to use and the cap doesn't fit well when posted--it unbalances the pen but it has a LOVELY nib, hence my conversion!

I usually pick up my Noodler's Creapers from Gouletpens.com--they've got a huge selection of colors, too!  (No, I don't work for Goulet or get a cut from them--they're just terrific people to work with, so I like to spread the word!)

Alas, I don't know about converting any of the other pens out there--I'm so happy with this one!

Again, these two posts are in answer to correspondent Liz Steel's question about my pen hack in her wonderful series on Fountain Pens for Sketching--don't miss it!

Kate's "Frankenpen!" Part ONE

Our dear friend and book contributor Liz Steel has been doing a wonderfully helpful series on her blog on Fountain Pens for Sketching, on Tuesdays and Thursdays--don't miss it! 

She asked me about my Noodler's Creaper conversion to a bent-nib calligraphy pen, and though I've mentioned it in passing, here, I really didn't say much about it...so here's Part One, how I did it, and why!  I love that pen...lightweight, versatile, handy and fun!

The bent-nib pens are great fun , once you learn how to hold them...this is from my YouTube video that shows a number of ways to use them.

Actually, it's Chinese, in this case, but oh well...
Our community center after a fire, with my Hero pen...
NICE variation for the trees...

And oops, sorry, Blogger's being weird, so I'm having to do this in two parts...
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