Black bear eating from my apple tree, August night, 2012

Thursday, January 31, 2013

New Year, New Art, New Challenges

For the new year, I've decided to branch out and explore new media and new projects at the studio. In late 2012, I returned to my cartoon roots (I used to illustrate greeting cards decades ago) and played with animal portraits I called "Animals with Attitude" (above examples). These pen and ink and watercolor designs have proved popular with my personal circle of friends, so I've decided to offer high-quality repros of them in my Etsy shop.

Additionally, Canyon Wren's Nest (me!) invested in a new top-end professional printer. This machine produces gallery quality images and accepts many different paper types, sizes, and thicknesses, so I'm excited to try out new media (in addition to the archival watercolor stock I already favor). And in my experimentation with the new technology, I've discovered the museum quality photographs I've been printing are gorgeous, so I'm also offering select photo prints at the Etsy shop as well.

Because of the enhanced capabilities of the new printer, I'm finally able to run larger versions of some of my pieces on watercolor stock. I get many requests for this "African Lion" image larger than the 8-1/2" x 11" size, so it's thrilling to be able to offer a bigger version on 13" x 19" stock.

Click on any of the images above to be directed to more information on my Etsy shop.

I look forward to expanding my artistic horizons and experimenting with new paint, paper, and techniques in the upcoming months. As always, thanks to everyone for the continued support.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Winter Evening at the Studio

Anyone who has attempted watercolor painting knows that quality natural light is essential to the process. You need soft but  intense natural light to illuminate the paper as you work, and to assist you in mixing just the right colors on your palette.

For me, the best natural light in my studio begins in March, due to my western facing window and the position of the sun at that time of year. So for now, while I do get a few "good" hours to paint on a sunny winter day, if the skies are dark, and of course, at night, I have to busy myself with other studio-related tasks, like promotion, organizing, fulfilling orders, etc.

Well, last night I realized the studio was a bit untidy and I attempted to clean and straighten out the room. I tend to work with a bit of disarray, but after the holiday rush to fill gift orders, the place looked like a tornado had come through. After a well-spent hour, things looked better, and in the light of day this morning, look better still. Thought some of you might enjoy a peek at nighttime in my art studio. As you can see, I surround myself with things that aren't art supplies, but that do make me smile and add a touch of whimsy.

My betta, Bert

I love wooden toys

Wooden alligator puzzle and coaster from Paris

I have an extensive English Bulldog collection, most of which is on a shelf in the kitchen

Wooden pig marionette

1960's light fixture draped with fabric

This cheap inflatable globe is frighteningly accurate

I use a 1930's vanity to hold supplies

Toys, etc.

A New York Times crossword puzzle is handy to have around while waiting for paint to dry. The transistor radio that I still use is at least 20 years old and was purchased on a camping trip to the Tetons.