Archive for Artist Inspiration
Though I’ve had one or two of these kneadable erasers (aka: putty rubbers) lying around for what seems like forever, it’s only recently that I’ve begun to fall in love with them. Slightly reminiscent of the Silly Putty of our childhood, this slightly sticky, moldable eraser works by absorbing graphite, charcoal, pastel, etc., and does not leave crumbly bits when used.
Have you ever tried one of these?
These erasers are often used in subtractive drawing techniques- a brief tutorial can be found here:
If I may, if like to share a little something with you about art that might make it more accessible to you. Children are able to create art without fear. Put any variety of art supplies in front of the average child and they will have a blast. Put those same supplies in front of the average adult and your likely to hear something like, “No thank you, I don’t draw because I’m not an artist.”
Here’s a few things that might help you warm up to the idea of making art. Continue Readering »
As a long time doodler, I’ve mostly preferred the use of pens and markers but more recently, I’ve started to enjoy working with pencils for both writing and drawing. I like smooth, dark leads and working with grades B, 2B and 4B. I haven’t chosen a favorite brand, so my pencil case includes Rhodia, Staedtler, California Palomino, and the Palomino Blackwing. I also have mechanical pencils filled with .07 2B leads and recently purchased a drafting pencil from our friends at JetPens. Some day I’d like to try the Tombow Mono 100 and the Blackwing 602 but I can’t find anyone who sells them individually.
What are your favorite pencils? Do you use them for writing, drawing, or both?
59-year-old Andrew Silton spent 30 years working in asset management, picking stocks and managing an investment strategy for a state pension system. That’s pretty stressful work. Mr. Silton has doodled through many of his meetings, filling at least 75 spiral bound notebooks with 600 drawings.
“I look at the eyes in some of my pictures and they look frightened and troubled,” said Mr. Silton. Looking back on his career, he realized that doodling was a form of solace in meetings. Doodling is often considered a by-product of boredom, but research shows that doodling can help the doodler retain information.
Mr. Silton’s doodles give him instant recall of who was in the room and what they were talking about, even though he avoided drawing anything with even a slight resemblance to someone there. “If I realized that a drawing started to resemble someone in a meeting, I’d quickly put long hair or sunglasses on him or turn him into a fish or something.”
Do you doodle? Does it help you focus or relax? What do your doodles look like?
Are you familiar with the concept of “Morning Pages” from Julia Cameron’s popular book The Artist’s Way?
From Julia’s website: “Morning Pages are three pages of longhand, stream of consciousness writing, done first thing in the morning. *There is no wrong way to do Morning Pages*– they are not high art. They are not even “writing.” They are about anything and everything that crosses your mind Continue Readering »
Antique ink bottles such as this one belonging to Ryan Roossinck are simply beautiful. Take a look at the many different colors, styles and designs of vintage ink bottles at the various links below.
Augusten Burroughs (Best selling author of Running With Scissors) motivates me to write without fear. Life coach Tony Robbins motivates me to make changes in my life so I can continue to grow and achieve my goals. People like Oprah Winfrey that exhibit an infectious energy in connection with their passion help me to believe that anything is possible. Books that focus on the law of attraction such as “The Secret” have opened me to infinite possibility, and self -help books like “The War of Art” have taught me to recognize and successfully battle resistance.
Who or what motivates and inspires you? Continue Readering »
Virginia Abbott is a nationally recognized sculptor whose current work addresses variety of environmental issues. She is a member of the prestigious National Sculpture Society and she is a fellow resident artist at The Banana Factory, an arts and education center located in Bethlehem, PA.
I’ve watched her clay sculptures come to life as she adds a bit of clay here, and a bit of clay there, and then I stand in awe at seeing the final result cast in bronze. I’ve seen her create amazing miniature brass and silver statues via the lost wax method – carving the detail into a hard block of wax with the end of an old dental tool that has been heated with an alcohol lamp. Her most whimsical sculptural creations are created with cast paper made entirely from post consumer pulp, which is pressed into molds from her original designs.
I gave Virginia some of our Decopatch paper to play with. (Exaclair distributes Decopatch in the US) Decopatch decorative papers are made in France and are especially created for the art of decoupage – a form of collage which covers an object with colorful torn papers. Continue Readering »
Two fun news items for Rhodia fans this morning.
For any of you traveling on American Airlines this month, please have a look at the article on designer Derek Lam on page 14 in American Way magazine. “A Rhodia notepad, for sketching and jotting down idea” is one of his travel essentials.
Our friends over at The European Paper Company let us know they are offering Rhodia gift sets with the popular No. 16 R by Rhodia pads and pad holders. A good gift for Moms, Dads, Grads and other special people.
I finally bit the bullet and bought myself an electric pencil sharpener. I didn’t really “need” one, but when you have piles of colored pencils to sharpen, it can sure come in handy. I’d been working with a battery operated unit that even when loaded with fresh batteries always sounded like it was about to up and die.
I like that this one can sharpen pencils of varying thicknesses as I’ve always struggled to get a good point on my favorite Albrecht Durer watercolor pencils which are slightly thicker than a regular pencil.
This beast will live in my studio, while the 5 miscellaneous pocket sharpeners I know I own will remain at large.
How do you keep your pencils sharp? Do you have a preferred sharpener?
Last week I had the absolute delight to speak with Earnest Ward, an artist, writer, calligrapher, educator and adventurer. He is headed off to Crater Lake National Park this May to serve as Artist-in-Residence. Earnest will be taking some of our notebooks with him for notes and sketches.
Talking with him made me homesick for Alaska, and the wide awesome expanses of the western part of the US. I hope Earnest and his family have a great time at Crater Lake. We had a wonderful family trip there many years ago, hiking around and getting out on the lake. I remember the island in the middle of the lake was called “Shaman’s Hat.”
During his residency he will be “observing and reflecting upon the natural and cultural history of the Park’s unique ecosystem” through my onsite journaling, and sharing experiences with his readers through regularly posted blog articles.
I plan to follow along in his footsteps and hope that some Rhodia Drive readers will join in his explorations and adventures.
I was talking with Karen Doherty last week when she asked if I’d post a 360 degree view of my studio to the blog and I said, “Sure, why not.”
I’m guessing that many of you know that aside from Rhodia Drive, I’m also the author of Spiritual Evolution of the Bean – a blog that started with me writing review after review of various art and writing supplies. A lot of people (especially those in the fountain pen realm) on the web know me by Biffybeans rather than by Stephanie Smith, but I am one in the same. Continue Readering »
We need your input!
Exaclair, (The US distributors of Clairefontaine, Quo Vadis, Rhodia, etc.) is contemplating the creation of an American made sketchbook. A book that would lend itself more towards artistic creation than writing – though I’m certain such a book could be used for either form of expression. The book would contain paper from Clairefontaine’s Schut Mill, (located in the Netherlands) and would be assembled at the Hamburg, NY plant where the Habana notebooks and other Quo Vadis products are currently being made. This sketchbook would be a bound book, (as opposed to a spiral) and we would love your input on how this book should be created.
(See how to submit your feedback at the end of this post.)
In the meantime, Karen sent me a batch of paper samples to test and I chose 4:
If I am going to work in a bound book, it’s got to lay flat. For me, there are no exceptions to that rule. I’d like the book to be about the same size as a large Webbie – 5×8″ish with a firm cover so if I was working with the book propped on my knee, there would still be a good amount of support.
To me, the most important feature of the paper in any sketchbook Continue Readering »
Greg Minuskin offers nib retipping services to the pen collector, investor, or restorer. His years as a watchmaker for a prestigious watch brand in Beverly Hills along with his training at the Harvard equivalent of watch making schools, The WOSTEP School in Neuchatel, Switzerland, have honed his intricate skills to branch off into other areas of craftsmanship.
Our pen of the week is the TWSBI Diamond Mini- a piston filler type fountain pen that comes in EF, F, M, B, stub1.1, stub1.5 nib sizes and retails for around $55. TWSBI is a company whose mission is to inspire and recapture the romanticism of art and literature… starting with the pen.
Check out the following reviews to learn more about the Diamond Mini: Continue Readering »