The images here are from Yosemite National Park.
Yosemite Falls – Yosemite National Park
Mirror Lake – Yosemite National Park
Mirror Lake Tessellation
The images here are from Yosemite National Park.
Yosemite Falls – Yosemite National Park
Mirror Lake – Yosemite National Park
Mirror Lake Tessellation
One of the components of my active art practice is reading. I have been a voracious reader from grade school. Many of the books I read now are about ideas to grow my practice. I find when I read for fun or art I am more creative. My mind chills out for the read and all sorts of ideas flow. This sparks my imagination and creativity.
Alway curious about the what if’s that come up around working on my art, I constantly study and peruse new ideas. If any of you work with the Adobe Products like Photoshop, Illustrator, Premier Pro etc—you know they continually update their software. As this goes on it’s good to find out what is new in case you can benefit from one of the changes or you can’t figure out the changes that happened to one of the tools. One part of my practice is to explore digital imaging in all sorts or forms. Below are four of the publications I get monthly for two reasons – one eye candy- (the artists are amazing and I love to look at the pictures) and two there are wonderful how to’s as artists share their process. For one hour a day I work my way toward learning whatever draws me in. Sometimes it is just for fun of trying something not thought of before.
It’s like this—if you do an art related activity for one hour a day—at the end of a month you will have over 30 hours of playing with or practicing something that will add to your art practice. This means that when I invest time in learning more about say one of my digital programs—the hour a day can take me to a higher level of understanding. And this always sparks my curiosity and creativity.
Below are a few of my keeper books on my shelf.
Writing Down the Bones- Natalie Goldberg
This book is an old stand by. No matter how many times I read it there seems to be something I am hearing for the first time. Natalie brings everything into her writing practice and has been at it a long time. She has many books on the writing process and shares her experiences over the years. She is a talented writer and teacher.
Accidental Genius: Using Writing To Generate Your Best Ideas, Insight, and Content
I first listened to this book on Audible riding my bike or rollerblading. He has some amazing ideas on writing to get our of your way and get your ideas down on paper. I find myself pulling this off the shelf from time to time to get myself going when I have proposals or other writing to do for a deadline. It has also helped me create a writing practice.
The Creative Habit- Learn it and use it for Life
I have always admired Ms. Tharp for her success and what she has produced with her art. It’s interesting to me to read how a successful artist mapped her career and shares her experiences. She is one of the prolific leaders in dance with her choreography and has created a triumphant portfolio over the years. Her research for all her projects starts with an idea and then a box. As she puts her project together her ideas can grow into several boxes. For any artist this is an interesting read.
Cynthia Wenslow’s artwork is in public and private collections across the globe. She has been active in art organizations over the years all the while creating art, jurying art exhibits and writing about art. Cynthia is also an avid photographer. For this months enews she talks about working in a series and shares her thought process.…
“I started working in series nearly 10 years ago, although I didn’t realize it at the time. It wasn’t a conscious decision; I simply made a piece and it led to another that was a variation on the theme. Before I knew it, I had created five of them and I had to acknowledge that it was indeed a series.
Since that first experience, most of my creative output has been in series. It was a revelation to me that working in this way could be simultaneously satisfying and creatively educational, and not at all the boring and repetitive pursuit I had previously imagined.
My most recent textile series began with a longing. I had relocated to the Upper Midwest and found myself pining for my former home in beautiful Santa Fe, New Mexico. Feeling that I wasn’t giving my new home county a fair chance, I set out to notice and record the many facets of the area. On July 9, I wrote in my journal about the many commuter and freight trains that rumbled past the nature preserve adjacent to my backyard.
Trying to represent this visually in my “essentialist” style proved difficult. The resulting piece – July 9th (Lake County Series) – has been traveling in a multi-state exhibition, even garnering a spot on a museum’s exhibition signage; yet, it felt “overdone” to me.
Examining what bothered me about the first artwork – too small, too many variations in stitching, too many colors – I imposed several rules for the series while designing the next two pieces.
1 Size limitation of 36″ x 30″, portrait orientation
2 Palette limited to no more than three colors
3 Straight stitching
The rules definitely helped me stick closer to my essentialist leanings. August 8th (Lake County Series) was a little closer to my vision and is currently on exhibit at New Visions Gallery as part of a traveling exhibition. However, it was still not quite there.
After creating a small study to explore the next idea, April 22nd (Lake County Series) was “just right.” This piece hit exactly what I was going for, and was juried into Tranquility, a touring exhibition by Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA), and was featured in Quilting Arts magazine on the front page of an article about the exhibition.
By the time they come home again, all three of these first pieces in this series will have been exhibited in museums, galleries, and art quilt venues across many states.”
Mark Vincent LaPolla is an entrepreneur, chef, artist, and owner of two art schools. Before that, he happily worked in Silicon Valley as a researcher, software engineer, VP, COO, CEO, and entrepreneur. Then one day his wife, Kim, woke up and turned to him and said, “We’re going to have an inn, two art schools and a chocolate factory, and you’re the chef.”
How to Draw Figures and Other Difficult Details
After thirteen years of owning Hudson River Valley Art Workshops and Fiber Art Workshops I decided to start painting and drawing.
Chose a subject-this isn’t as easy as it sounds. You need either a live model and scene, or a really great picture. What makes a great picture or reference photo?
Most people will tell you that strong contrast, uncluttered scenes, dynamic colors and good composition, makes good reference material. Personally, I think a picture you love makes the best reference material. Find something that turns you on, stirs your heart, makes you say, “Wow. I love that.”
For a photo I recommend printing it out on 8” x 11” high quality photo paper. I always print my reference photos in black and white and also in color. Much of the time, I use the image on my computer as a reference check as well.
If you are using a live model, know the type of lighting and the direction of the light source. Plein air drawing and painting makes this tricky because the light quickly changes. Because of this I do either value studies or quick, painted sketches to capture the light and the figures as well as the landscape. I often take photographs to augment my studies.
Next I decide which approach to use for a particular subject and scene. I use two different approaches: one – direct draw or some variant of it and two – guided draw or some variant of it. I haven’t completed many contour drawings. I find them rather tricky. Too much detail and everyone looks like the Michelin Man along with too little and cartoon like.
To start a drawing I determine what the gesture is and the feeling that is expressed as part of that gesture. Not just the gesture of the figure, but also how the figure relates to the environment he, she or they are in. I make sure that the gesture of the figure is reflected in the surroundings, whether landscape or interior. Once I completely understand the feelings and mood the model and environment are communicating—I capture that essence (via the model’s gesture) and exaggerated it. Mind you, I am setting a mood and not just drawing what I see in front of me. I’m drawing the feeling of the scene.
A great way to capture the mood of a scene is by means of direct draw. A direct draw of a scene can be complex. Starting with the model—I don’t often start with the nose or some other feature on the face. My first inclination is to start with a promising curve, the leg or foot. Once I’ve drawn the model(s) to my satisfaction, I add in the surrounding scenery. Whether using direct drawing or direct painting, I like to completely finish the models before moving outward and onward from them. Direct draw or paint can be very satisfying and freeing. It allows you to put the most energy into your drawings or paintings. However, if the background is extremely complex, I sketch it in using vine charcoal to give me a framework in which to place the figures. I realize this is starting to look like a guided draw, perhaps it’s a hybrid.
For me, guided drawing allows the best results. I have used two types of guided drawing, one where I put in vine charcoal guidelines purely by eye and the other where I measure the contours of my subject then put in measure marks and lines for the subject and background. This step takes a long time. I always measure the portrait in as much detail as I can and mark exact areas where the rest of the body and the items in a scene go. I use a ruler to mark the exact lengths and angles needed to create my drawing or painting. After I finish drawing guidelines, I block out the figure and scene using vine charcoal. I like vine charcoal for this — it is dark and can easily be erased. I capture the gesture, correcting my measured layout if necessary and exaggerating the gesture. And through the gesture, I capture the feeling, the mood of the figure and the whole scene.
If I am painting, I draw first with vine charcoal directly on the canvas, linen or board. I do not have a light touch with charcoal and like to incorporate the charcoal into my paintings, giving them an added, dark dimension.
My next step, if painting, is to use a mixture of sepia to outline my drawing’s contours. Then I block in the larger shapes and finally use a smaller brush to paint in any and all details.
If I am drawing, I like to gradually fill in the detail. I start with soft compressed charcoal for massing, a hard compressed charcoal for shadows, both body and cast. If needed, I add in contours with a soft 4B charcoal pencil, and put in finer details with a 2B. I erase as needed.
I then add specular reflections and defused reflections. I often use white or yellow pastel for this. It depends on the reflection. Specular reflections, such as reflections in a mirror or a piece of glass, do not need the pastel, because you are simply reflecting the image, but specular reflections where the light source itself is directly reflected, such as a lamp or the sun, can be nicely rendered using pastel. Lately, I’ve been using white charcoal for soft highlights.
Defused reflection, where the light is not directly reflected back but is partially absorbed, is difficult to render because this reflection is what gives objects their color. In the case of charcoal, everything is either the color of the paper or black or grey. A lot can be done with the proper shading. Sometimes, I add in a touch of color to highlight a part of the drawing for dramatic effect, yellow pastel (or white charcoal) in the hair, white pastel for specular reflections of light sources or to show folds in fabrics. Folds in fabric create reflective surfaces and valleys of cast shadow. A great use of white pastel is to delineate folds.
Finally, I add in the small details, parts of the eye, individual strands of hair, and other small objects and shadows in the scene. I then sign and spray my drawing.
I’ve known Holly Knott for awhile and worked with her in the past. Someone recommended her to me for some work on a simple site I was blogging on. She helped me get the site where I could work with it and coded some things for the site to be easier for me to use. Fast forward many years later and lucky for me Holly came back into my life. I had a serious problem on a site and it started to fall apart. I remembered Holly and contacted her. Holly remembered me, saw what was going on with the site and dove right in to put it all back together. I have to say she literally saved my web life. There was something else though that Holly did for me. She gave me so many more possibilities for me to be creative and more artistic with how I wanted to use my site. She installed ways for me to customize what I do with my work. I am still working on the site, but it is wonderful to work on and I love what Holly did for me. My KathyAnneWhite.com site also benefitted from Holly’s working with me. There were things I wanted to change and she jumped right in a straightened it out. She is incredible.
Holly creates art with her website designs and with her artwork. I’ll let her tell you what she has done and where she is now. And then I will say if you ever are looking for someone to work with on a current or new site – she’s the one.
I’m an artist who could never call just one medium my own. I love photography, painting (watercolors and acrylics, and soft pastels), creating contemporary art quilts, gardening, sketching, graphic design, you name it!
In 2004, I left behind the corporate world of a 17-year career as an interactive systems designer and usability testing specialist in Princeton, NJ, to focus on my own artwork and small business fulltime.
At that time, we moved from gorgeous, hilly and historic Bucks County, PA, to upstate NY, and I became a member/owner of 2 new artisan’s galleries startups, where I sold my own fine art (art quilts and associated greeting cards and fiber art products such as handbags, tote bags, scarves and more). I also continued exhibiting my art quilts across the country for a few years and co-authored “Quilted Garden Delights” (C&T Publishing – February, 2008) with my mother, the watercolor painter Diane Knott. Many of my quilts have won awards and have sold to collectors worldwide. There’s nothing like choosing fabrics like the amazing hand-dyes and batiks to represent a painting in quilt form.
Inspiration for my work comes from my surroundings, including my love of local colonial and Victorian architecture, modern cityscapes, rural landscapes, historical sites, cottage gardens, nature, and the enchantment of nearby riverside and lakeside towns.
While my main focus now is my website/graphic design business located in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts (though my customer base is worldwide), I spend my free time working in a wide variety of media, including contemporary art quilts (landscape and pictorial quilts are my favorites), photography, watercolors, pastel paintings, hand-painted furniture, gardening, and various home remodeling projects. I love creating logos for artist customers and and my website design business has been amazingly word of mouth as folks across the locations know me and what I’ve done for other creative types – love it! As a fellow fine artist, my website design/graphic design customers love that I “get” their field. I’m not just another techy geek <grin> who can write code but doesn’t understand their field. I do both. My specialty now is designing websites for other fine artists, crafters, whatever you want to call yourself. Whether you work in fabric, film, metal, or even are a small business like a restaurant, I am a no-nonsense designer who charges fairly for my time and can help you with your online presence.
You can find Holly at HollyKnott.com
Line of Bras
34″ x 39″
by Lindsay Caster
“While deciding on my next project I wanted to do something other women could relate to. If there is one thing women can relate it is wearing bras. Each of the textures made me remember how a variety of bras felt to me. On this project, I assembled the bras with a mission of visually explaining how your bra can make you feel. I used everything including aluminum cans, burlap, medium with gauze, and even a man’s handkerchief. Parts of the image I printed and other parts I used ink transfers. Trying to achieve a variety of textures proved to be very difficult but with every failure I learned how to reach my goal on another try.”
Thanks to Lindsay for letting me publish her work. Lindsay envisions intriguing concepts. Her next piece is in the works even as we speak. A 17″ wide Epson printer is one of Ms. Caster’s main tools and serves her with wonderful results. Digital printing alternative surfaces opens up lots of possibilities for artists and Lindsay is taking full advantage.
Enjoy the textures in these details!
The image above was unsuccessful and with practice could have been great. Here are a couple quick suggestions to master using Transferiez – Image Transfer Media from inkAID.
The surface above is a fairly rigid piece of watercolor paper and needs enough solution to saturate the paper to create a successful transfer. It’s important to test a surface in a smaller size, get it right and then go larger. Visit kathyanneart.com/view-online-videos/ Browse various videos on using Transferiez and then give it a try. The photograph above shows an unsuccessful image transfer. I love this product and use it all the time with my art. Transferiez is one of my must have products in my studio.
Transferiez – Image Transfer Medium from inkAID is a great way to work with digital images especially when you don’t have a printer that will print alternative surfaces. Here is something everyone should know when working with image transfers. Each surface you use is different and you should alter your process slightly as you change surfaces.
The type of surface you transfer to will create different results depending on it’s porous quality. For metal type surfaces (nonporous) you will use a little less transferiez than you would for a more porous surface such as papers and fabrics.
Practice-if you do the exact same thing you will continue to get the exact same results. If you don’t like the results see what you can to to make it better. Take the time to get to know your surface. When you started to walk you didn’t get up and run across the room the first time. Any process you work with could take time to get familiar with and the more you do it the better you get.
There are free tutorials on this site for many printing or transferring processes for images.
Two pdfs have videos posted on this site. The 2 noted below are about the entire Transferiez process including supplies. The videos that go with the tutorials are also linked below. If you browse the tutorial section of the site you will see many videos on my work process.
Download the pdf’s and watch the videos – these will get you up to speed with Transferiez.
More Exploration with Transferiez PDF on this site-click here
Sensational Surfaces with Transferiez PDF on this site-click here
Plus Transferiez Video Tutorials
Welcome to my world of digital printing on alternative surfaces!
The processes I have included in this book have been worked on for a multitude of years with thousands of experimental prints.. Trial and error are a factor in my process as well as some lucky mistakes. What ifs are present daily in my studio and my solutions to that are here for you. I encourage you to take the processes that draw you in and work with them enough to develop your own artwork.
My focus has been to relay as much information as possible to make your work with alternative surfaces easier. I’ve done the groundwork—now you can realize the benefits. These pages read similar to a studio journal as I walk you through my methods. My purpose here was to do the best job possible for your enjoyment, imagination, and finally your successful outcome.
“KathyAnne White has been digital printing alternative surfaces for over ten years. Her fearless exploring and consistent asking “what if”—has led her to an amazing treasure trove of ideas for creating and printing alternative surfaces. White’s new book “Digital Printing Alternative Surfaces: THE DEFINITIVE SOURCE” is a culmination of her thorough process.”
“White’s Digital Printing Alternative Surfaces book is akin to being in her studio as KathyAnne walks you through her information. Over 260 images pave the way through the instsructios throughout the chapters. From —Starting Out & Some of the Basics—through—The Print Process—Paper—Fabric—Recycleds—Metals—Amate Paper Process and more: the journey is incredible.”
Navigating the digital version of Digital Printing Alternative Surfaces
How you navigate around this digital book will depend on the device you are viewing it on. If you are using Adobe Reader on a Mac or PC computer, navigate as you normally would, using the Up and Down Arrow keys, or the onscreen keys in the application’s toolbar. Alternatively, you can use the built-in navigation, described below.
This digital version of the book includes an interactive Table of Contents. Clicking or tapping on the desired topic—or the page number—will bring you directly to that page. In addition, pages following the Table of Contents have navigation buttons along the bottom center. The arrow keys will move you backwards and forwards through the book. The three horizontal lines in the center will bring you back to the Table of Contents page.
Keep in mind, if you are viewing this book on a tablet, smartphone, or other touch device, some interactive features won’t work with specific apps. In those cases, swiping left and right through the pages will still allow you to navigate through the book. Some apps have a built-in Table of Contents feature, which will allow you to navigate that way. The GoodReader app honors all of the interactivity included, while the Adobe Reader mobile app does not.
Lastly, please note that this digital version is presented in spreads, meaning you will view two pages side-by-side. If you manually enter a page number to jump to, keep in mind that each of these spreads represents two pages, so enter the number accordingly.
Many of us look for new ways to express ourselves when it comes to writing cards and other types of visual
material. For Thanksgiving this year, I created an image for my email along with this tutorial for my
members. The tutorial — a 15 minute video gives you an idea how the image was composed in Photoshop
This is just a glimpse of what can be designed. Text can be used in many ways in images and will be
looked at in future tutorials, but for now you will be introduced as a door is opened for your creative experimenting.
Photoshop Touch by Adobe is available on Apple and Android Devices along with Kindle Fire and Samsung
Galaxy Note for Phone. Check your device with Adobe if you have questions about compatibility.