Artist Quote – Paul Strand

QuotesCover-pic56editThis week’s artist quote comes from American modernist photographer Paul Strand.

I feel this quote is so true. Once someone learns to see the art in things, they can find it anywhere. You don’t have to travel far and wide to find something inspiring and beautiful. You can take a photo of a normal person on the street, paint a still life of some objects in your kitchen, or travel to a distant land to find what moves you. That’s the really great thing about art: it is all around you and whatever you decide is “worthy” of being art suddenly becomes art.

What do you think of this quote? Have you found ordinary things in your life to be inspiring? Do you believe that art is all around you, or do you feel the need to seek it out?




Artist Quote – James McNeill Whistler


This week’s artist quote is from American-born James McNeill Whistler.

One may think that an artist is simply paid to paint a picture, take a photograph, or create a sculpture, but if that were the case, couldn’t we program a computer to do these things? The magic part about what makes an artist an artist is that they create something inherently “them,” something that can only be their view of the world, their “vision.” If all you wanted was to simply capture something in time, you could have that computer photograph it, but what you want from art is the human aspect, that intangible thing that makes us see the object in a new way.

Do you think art is about vision? Do you think what makes art special is the different view from the artist him/herself?


Continuing with Flower Drawing

flower 029Here is an update on the flower drawing. Drawing flowers, for me, starts by slowly building petal-by-petal. Here, you can see as I expanded upon the petals, from the center out.

Basically, I started each new petal by outlining it in white. Then, I would bring in the basic color of the petal, either pink or purple. I would add any additional medium tones to create depth and three dimensionality. Finally, I would place the darkest darks and highlights on each petal and in the shadows created by the petals overlapping.

flower 038I will have better photos as the flower continues, but hopefully this gives you an idea on how the process came along.


Beginning of New Drawing


Here is the beginning of a new colored pencil drawing I’m working on. This one took a long time but was very fun. I am very nearly finished.

The quality of the photos is not the best, but I will update with better photos of the finished product.

This is a drawing of a spider chrysanthemum done with Prismacolor colored pencils on Canson Mi-Teintes black paper. I had a lot of fun doing this drawing because it’s the first time for me working with colored pencils on a colored paper. I was really excited about the resulting contrast of the bright, light colors and the dark background.


There are some differences when working on dark paper. For one, you have to transfer or sketch with a light color instead of graphite. I did so by making my own transfer paper with a white colored pencil. I did this simply by coloring on a piece of paper with the white pencil, then turning it over and tracing the sketch like you would a traditional transfer paper.
Another difference with colored paper is you have to really be conscious of the colors you use and the coverage you get with the colors or you might see a lot of the paper coming through. The up-close shot below shows this pretty well. I had to go back and fill in those spots afterward.


I will go into more detail on my process for this drawing in my next post. Thanks for taking a look!

P.S. I am in no way affiliated with or sponsored by Prismacolor or Canson, although I wish I were! They make great products!


Artist Quote – Michelangelo


This week’s artist quote is from Italian artist Michelangelo.

This is a very interesting quote; I’m sure many of you would agree. Not that I’m anywhere near a master or near Michelangelo’s talent, but I can relate to what he is saying. I can’t help but sometimes feel like a fraud when someone comments on my work.

When someone compliments a drawing I’ve done I can’t help but think, “they have no clue how many horrible drawings I’ve thrown in the garbage over the years.” Or how many hours it took me to figure out how to draw a convincing eye. If someone says I’m talented I think, “that’s awfully nice, but they may not think that if they knew that took ten hours to draw.” I feel like saying, “it’s not talent as much as hard work. Anyone can do this if they put the effort in.”

Art isn’t always easy. If it is for you then that is wonderful. Sometimes art can be freeflowing and fun, but I know that with any form of art, from painting, to music, to dancing, the artist only got where they are from hours upon hours of gruelling practice in some capacity. You have to really put in the time to get where you want to go. And so, there is always that sneaking feeling that when someone says I’m talented I have to think, “if I’m talented it’s not at art, it’s at working hard and not giving up.”

How do you feel about this quote? Do you feel like your abilities are natural or that they took years to cultivate? Do you think anyone could become a “talented” artist with the right amount of practice?


Artist Quote – Pablo Picasso


This week’s artists quote is from Spanish artist and founder of Cubism, Pablo Picasso. This quote seems valid to me because it seems like every child is born with a curiosity and optimism that is unmatched in adulthood.  When you are a child, you see the world with all its possibilities and you are not afraid; you do not censor yourself. If only we could retain that childlike innocence and wonderment as we age. It seems almost inevitable that, as we go through life, we will be hardened by experience,  we will become aware of criticism, and we will hold back on expressing some things for fear of ridicule or embarrassment.

I also feel that, as we age, we can sometimes start to take ourselves too seriously and we lose that joy for life and excitement over the little things, that children have. When you’re young, you’re not labeled as something. Bobby isn’t a chemist, Timmy isn’t a businessman, and Sally isn’t an artist. You all start off on a level playing field and nobody knows who is “good at” this or that. I think this quote is powerful because it reminds us that there was a time before we put up barriers and limitations on ourselves when we all could be anything we wanted. When everyone played with crayons and paper, and not just the ones deemed “good enough.” So please, pick up a pencil and paper and doodle. We all can do it.

What do you think of this quote? Do you believe everyone is born an artist? If so, how can we remain one throughout life?


Artist Quote – Vincent van Gogh


This week’s artist quote comes from the Dutch post-impressionist artist Vincent van Gogh. In this quote, Van Gogh points out that each drawing, each painting, each and every artistic step you take is one toward growth and improvement. This is a great reminder when you have a really challenging, or just downright bad, piece you’re working on and you feel like throwing it away.

Just remember, every drawing, good or bad, is a lesson in how to be better. So, take that balled-up piece of paper you just threw in the trash can and look at it, not for proof of your incompetence, but for inspiration.  It doesn’t matter if you’re good or not, as long as you keep plugging away you will by definition be getting better.

I would love to know your thoughts on this quote. Does practice make perfect? Have you ever felt frustrated by a piece that just “isn’t going right?” Is every piece a learning experience? I think so. So, keep up the good work!


Artist Quote – Andy Warhol



This is another quote from pop artist Andy Warhol.

Sometimes, I feel, we all get stuck in a rut of self-consciousness. We worry what others will say. We have a fear of rejection. I really love this quote because it gives you liberty to just create whatever you want and not think about what others are going to say. When you adhere to this idea, you can really open the doors to creativity. In order to do your best work, you really have to just create without boundaries. Don’t worry what others think, because whether they love it or hate it, you’ll still be the one who is creating, and that feels really good.

Have you ever felt the crippling effects of other’s criticisms? Have you ever felt unable to create for the fear of judgement? Or, do you agree with Warhol in that you should just create freely while others look on?


Two of my favorite things combined beautifully!


I just had to reblog this. Thank you to http://sarahanncampbelldesign.wordpress.com/ for the original post. I love colored pencils so this made me smile. I love the whimsical combination of colored pencils and their subjects. How fun. The dachshund is my favorite, but I think I’m just partial to dogs.

Originally posted on Sarah Ann Campbell:

I may be biased because I love the product so much, but this ad campaign is one of my favorites right now (even though it’s from 2010). This reminds me of when I was little and went through the whole box of crayons holding each one up to an object to compare their colors and find just the right one for my artwork. It just doesn’t get better than a quality Faber-Castell pencil combined with a clean, beautiful ad design.

Faber Castell EggplantFaber-CastellKudos to ad agency Serviceplan for making me (if no one else) smile!

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