Thursday, October 27, 2016

Edisto series

Edisto I
mixed water media on paper
10 x 10 inches
©Ann Thompson Nemcosky

Since my last post I have been busy creating works based on Edisto Island, South Carolina. The painting above is inspired by the many marsh views there, this one comes from Botany Bay on Edisto.
After my sketchbook explorations, I made a suite of small images wothout working directly from a photo reference. Instead, with my photos nearby purely for inspiration, I relied more on memory and pulled some of the graphic elements to create imagined compositions based on my feeling for Edisto. These were done on 1/8 sized watercolor paper. I used some watercolor washes along with watercolor crayons, water soluble graphite, Inktense blocks and gesso.
I am finding that I do like using gesso with watercolor. I discovered this gesso and similar to a watercolor ground, it can be applied thin or thick. I like using it not only to reclaim white areas but also to push the intensity of color back a bit when applied more thinly. It also provides an absorbant surface to then layer with a wash or accept watercolor pencil.
And here is a detail showing the watercolor pencil marks on top of a thin layer of watercolor gesso. Even though I had intended to keep these strictly watercolor paintings, I am so enjoying responding to the image with mark making and the added element of layering the surface. And all of this is causing me to reconsider those acrylics that I tried a while back.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

sketchbook :: Edisto series

Ever since Hurricane Matthew cruised up the East Coast a couple of weeks ago, my mind has been on our beloved Edisto Island in South Carolina. Edisto took a direct hit from the hurricane and has sustained a lot of damage. Keeping up with the news reports and seeing photos of the destruction was, and is, heartbreaking.

I began pouring through my photo inventory from Edisto with the idea of creating a new series of paintings based on that island that we love so much. This top sketch is inspired by the walking path that takes you out to Botany Bay on Edisto Island. Sorry about the wrinkles but this big Seawhite sketchbook is a bit unwieldy for my scanner.
And this one comes from the view out to St. Helena Sound.
Another St. Helena Sound view. I love those tall sea grasses.
I am using a variety of water media with these sketches, watercolor pencils and crayons, Inktense pencils and blocks, a water soluble graphite pencil, charcoal, and a little gesso sometimes here and there. I am exploring imagery from Edisto that is something other than my usual seascapes. You know how I love painting water and waves! But for this series I am looking for a different perspective on that beautiful island, so I plan to explore ideas through lots of sketches and studies.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Raven Rocks

Raven Rocks
10.25 x 14 inches
©Ann Thompson Nemcosky

Here is one more painting in my Raven Rocks series. With this series I have challenged myself to limit my palette in order to use color that is more expressive and interpretive as well as explore a more expressive painting style.  Although I will not post every painting in this series, overall I am satisfied with my results and I am now excited to carry this over into a new theme for paintings. Below are the other three paintings making a suite of four Raven Rocks paintings.
The View From Here
From Where We Stand

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

all things creative

For a long time I have kept this place, BlueBird Hill, solely about my art. Paintings, sketchbooks, and drawings have been the theme. Now I have decided that BlueBird Hill should be a home for all the parts of this creative life, not just paintings. In my last post I introduced my fabric design adventures. And something else that I love to do is crochet.
So now, on occasion, I will be posting a crochet creation. I have added a few of these to my Etsy shop and will be adding more in the near future, simply because I crochet all the time and my closets are full! All of the hours spent waiting while Kiddo is in classes, or when watching our favorite tv series, I crochet. I find crocheting to be a very meditative activity and I love putting together new color and stitch combinations to make something new.

Baby blankets and market bags are two of my favorite things to crochet. Next I will be working on scarves, cowls and maybe a shawl or two.

I'd love for you to stop by my Etsy shop and check out my new section dedicated to crochet!

*the patterns for the baby blankets and the market bags are inspired by patterns from the wonderful knitter/crocheter and artist, Jennifer Edwards. Thank you Jennifer for your inspirations!

Friday, October 7, 2016

sketchbook :: my other sketchbook

This past summer I began a sketchbook dedicated solely to playing with shape and color. I initially began these exercises because I hated to waste the paint left on my palette after I had completed a painting. I do like to start with fresh color when I begin a new painting but oh, those colors left on my palette called me to make something creative before washing them away.
These "palette exercises" soon became a meditative experience that I look forward to doing before the start of a new painting. By using my beginners mind in this way, what I paint is only inspired by the colors I see there, with no preconceived notion of where it is going or what it will become.
Then the "what would happen if" thoughts started to surface. I put one of my sketches into my very basic photoshop program and played with turning it every which way. Well, that looked interesting!
Which led me to explore Spoonflower, the place where you can upload designs and play with various repeats and scale. This was becoming too much fun!
A new adventure has begun!
I am calling these my "Zen Palette" designs. And my "other" sketchbook is continuing to be filled as I find this routine of creating these little meditative color studies a very satisfying studio practice. By making these I create a space where nothing is forced. Sometimes it's good to just follow along where the ideas lead you.

You can see my Zen Palette collection here.


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