Saturday, February 27, 2010

Black on black

I think this is nearing completion.  Another session and it should be done.

Getting a scan or photograph of black paper is so difficult.  I will try a photo in daylight tomorrow, however this scan is fairly true to colour, but the values I just can't get quite right.

Once this is finished, I can get back to some projects waiting in the wings and finalize a grant application that is due soon.  The amount of administration and marketing work that butts up against the process of drawing is always amazing and always more time consuming than I anticipate.

Rhonda Carpenter in her blog Watercolor and Words has generously given me  a Sunshine Award.  What could be better than some sunshine in February?  Thank you Rhonda for your generosity.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Duckling tutorial in progress

While I finish off the last cat in the quartet, I still work on other pieces too that drop into my head and need translation onto paper before they disappear.

This is a preview of a tutorial in progress of the drawing of a newly hatched duckling.  Most of my tutorials are designed for beginners.  I enjoy sharing the concepts and techniques of basic drawing that are so essential to those starting out.

It is said that all drawing or painting tutorials must be done by artists and that those artists must have the ability to explain and put technique and theory into words as well as images.   I know I am not perfect but from the feedback that I get, people seem to enjoy creating the pieces based on the information that I provide in the tutorials that I have produced.  And as part of my goals this year was to produce 4 tutorials, this will be the second.  Where, when, and what subject is open to what feedback I receive and requests that people have around their interests.  So if you have a suggestion about what you would like to see drawn or painted as a tutorial, just let me know and I'll do my best to oblige.

The drawing is always the easy part and forcing myself to stop and scan images is a difficult task sometimes.  The little voice inside my head keeps saying 'keep on drawing, you don't want to write!'.  And the write up for the piece can be challenging, especially when switching back and forth between the two tasks.  I usually write in sections as I complete a piece of the drawing.  That way its fresh in my mind and easier to explain.  I spend an hour or two drawing, then work on the explanation of how and why fits in around the scans.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Artist's proofs

Koi Pool 
Artist's Proof   8 x 10

In the production of prints, the process varies as does the agreement between printer and artist, depending on production numbers, printing process used and terms of the contract.

Historically, artist's proofs were proofs pulled from production so the artist could check the quality of the print. Because they were pulled early in the production process, they often contained more vivid colors and lines and were considered more valuable.

Modern printing technology makes all prints equal in quality, so today's artists can be given 5 to 10 percent of the entire edition for their personal use, as part of their contract with the printer. Sometimes the printer is also allowed to keep some of the artist's proofs.

When I have prints created, I haven't negotiated any percentage of artist's proofs, but I usually have a few in each batch.  These vary in quality and quantity and in the instance of the Koi Pool prints I am creating some of my own artist's proofs to play around with intensity of colours, sharpness of the image, etc. before I bring the original to the printer.  Even though I know I will still have to proof colours at the printer before prints are produced, I like to have some options in my head and on paper before that.

I have used Epson Velvet Fine Art paper to print some options. This is a 100% cotton rag paper with an acid free base and bright white surface. My Artisan printer uses archival inks and the print quality is professional.   I will have about six or so of these artist's proofs available.  They will be marked with the letters AP for artist's proof, numbered and  signed by me.   The prints are on 8.5 x 11 sheets with a white border, the print size is 6 3/4 x 10 inches.  They may vary in size on the page, some may be cropped versions.

If anyone is interested in purchasing one of these unique artist's proofs, they are available for $40 plus $5 shipping worldwide  Please contact me at jeanette jobson at gmail dot com to confirm availability and to order. As numbers of artist proofs will be very limited, please act quickly to reserve your proof.

A limited edition of Koi Pool prints will be available within the next couple of weeks in 8 x 10 and 16 x 20 sizes.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Sometimes it takes awhile before your niche finds you or you find it.

Over many years, I've explored many mediums and subjects.  My comfort zone tends to be living things - portraits of people or animals, but beyond that the other comfort zone that has become apparent to me in the last year or so is fish.

There is something fascinating about these creatures that live under the water.  They are mysterious, elusive, colourful, streamlined, and multipurpose for both art and life.

In the last year I have dabbled (pardon the pun) in a lot of aquatic subject matter and gyotaku is one of the techniques that I enjoy.  I also enjoy creating the shapes and subtle colour variations and irridescence of fish in watercolour or oils.

While the rest of my week is tied up with finishing some cats, this next project is hot on its heels.  This is an initial sketch for the piece that may well change in terms of background and there may be something in the ring.  I'm still not sure of colourways for this piece yet, but it will reveal itself.  I see gold and silver in its future.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Common sense

Another update on cat three.  This is coming together now and another day or two it should be complete.  The fur on this cat is amazing, so thick.  I'm sure it doesn't feel any cold in winter, but summer may be another issue altogether!

I found this piece somewhere online ages ago, I forget the site, but it was too good not to share.  I did look again for the contributer, but there are many, as well as slightly varying content, but all with the same message.

Obituary - Common Sense

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend by the name of Common Sense who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape.

He will be remembered as having cultivated such value lessons as knowing when to come in out of the rain, why the early bird gets the worm and that life isn't always fair.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies. Don't spend more than you earn) and reliable parenting strategies (adults, not kids, are in charge).

His health began to rapidly deteriorate when well intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place.

Reports of a six-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer aspirin to a student; but, could not inform the parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

Finally, Common Sense lost the will to live as the Ten Commandments became contraband; churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims.

Common Sense finally gave up the ghost after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot, she spilled a bit in her lap, and was awarded a huge settlement.

Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents, Truth and Trust, his wife, Discretion; his daughter, Responsibility; and his son, Reason. He is survived by two step brothers; My Rights and Ima Whiner.

Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone. If you still know him please tell others about his passing, if not ,join the majority and do nothing.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Looking into the past

I have a pile of photographs from my mother's house that I sift through now and then and sometimes try my hand at drawing one.  They need to be scanned before I can do so as they're often small and quality isn't fabulous.

This was a sketch of one of the photos of my grandfather, quickly done on in a handmade, ink stained sketchbook.  I'd say that the photo was taken in the early 1960's or late 1950's. I seem to have made the hairstyle distinctly 'elvis-like' but is isn't that pronounced in the image.  I keep trying to draw him, but never succeed.  The likeness always eludes me.  Its the same with portraits of my father, I just haven't captured the essence.  But I will keep trying.

My grandparents lived in the same house as we did for as long as I have memory and I was so firmly attached to my grandfather its a wonder I didn't drive the poor man insane. He couldn't move, but I was with him.  When he ate, I sat on his lap and had some of his dinner, when he walked in the early evening, I walked with him.  When I went to the garden to play, he came too. 

Each morning he would get up early and my grandmother would stay in bed reading.  He would bring her breakfast in bed every day, then return to fetch the tray, clean up the dishes and amuse me.

He died in the early 60's when I was still under 10 years old, but even in that short time that we shared, he became firmly embedded in my memory.