March 2017 Showcase - Colored Pencil Artwork

Posted on March 14, 2017 by Ann Kullberg | 0 Comments

This month, three artists who were featured in the March 2017 issue of COLOR Magazine Showcase submitted stories about their artwork for our blog. Read below about their inspiration for each of these interesting subjects.

I AM, Soup For The Soul
by Buena Johnson
22" x 27"
Own photo reference

In my inspired artwork, I like to present the viewer with positive messages to empower, uplift & inspire. ‘I AM, Soup For The Soul,’ influenced by Andy Warhol’s Campbell Soup Cans, my aim was to recreate & relabel a mass produced product with a brand & label of Positive Affirmations for the everyday audience. Imagine the local supermarket shelves or your kitchen cabinet being stocked with canned lunch choices that empower you to feel stronger & more confident plus fill the body; Every word on each can & every bite generating a sense of self worth. The Powerful word LOVE is spelled out with noodles in one open can of ‘I AM’ soup. LOVE for oneself & others is the greatest gift. Positive, Empowering Affirmations- "I AM, Soup For The Soul," A gratifying way to start any day, all day & great at all times! This artwork of positive affirmations is the first in an ongoing series.

About Buena:
BUENA, fine artist, teacher & photographer, conducts workshops & has exhibited in galleries & museums locally & internationally, including the Smithsonian & the Getty. She has received numerous awards & is widely published. BUENA’s favorite tool is the pencil.

"I am grateful for the gift of Art."

See more at or on her Facebook page.


Living the Big Easy
by Cheryl Caro
23" x 16"
Own photo reference

Basset Hounds were the beginning of my colored pencil journey. After three years that journey has come to a crossroad. It is time to leave my precious basset hounds. I yearn to draw complex compositions and develop my own unique style. This desire had me purchasing a high resolution camera in order to capture interesting subject matter. The quest to find something worth drawing had me taking a day trip to New Orleans, aka The Big Easy. I specifically targeted the French Quarter. The streets were lined with all types of people, from artists, musicians, street performers, and panhandlers. Each and every one making a daily living in the Big Easy. I took many photos, but this particular man seemed to stand out the most in my thoughts during my drive home.

What attracted me to this man was all the beads around his neck, and then the look he gave me when he thought I wasn’t going to put any money into his bucket. His stare was penetrating. Later that night, as I looked through all my pictures, I knew without a doubt which picture I was going to use for my first complex drawing. It was only fitting to title this piece “Living the Big Easy”.

“Living the Big Easy” was going to be my first photo realism drawing. Well, so I hoped. After laying the drawing out on paper, I realized what a daunting task this was going to be. Last year I took a four day workshop with artist Wendy Layne, a very photo realistic artist. I expressed my desire to draw photo realistic. Her words kept repeating in my head the entire time I worked on this drawing. Draw what you see. Look at the flesh and pull colors that you see. I tried very hard to stick to those words. Previous to this drawing I had only attempted four drawings with people. This was pretty much a first for me in many ways. It may not be the photo realism I would like to have achieved, but I guess it is my style. I suppose I must have a style because another artist told me she could pick out my work before she even looked at the artist’s name. I never realized I had my very own style.

When I started drawing my basset hounds I tried different colored pencils and different type papers. I really like and tend to stay with the materials used for this drawing. Fabriano Water Colored Paper, hot pressed. I use Faber-Castell Polychromos, Caran D’Ache Pablo Colored Pencils, Caran D Ache Luminance Colored Pencils, and Derwent Drawing Pencils. I also learned to layer quite a bit to achieve the desired colors instead of blending.

About Cheryl:

My childhood passion was put on the back-burner for over thirty years until three years ago, when the love of my basset hounds had me buying my first set of colored pencils and a drawing pad. Since my first basset drawing, I have been like a sponge, absorbing everything about colored pencils, papers, and techniques. After two years of drawing bassets and other dogs, I am spreading my wings, so to speak, and focusing on people and everyday living. I am at the beginning of an endless colored pencil journey. It’s never too late to fulfill your childhood passion.

See more from Cheryl on her facebook page.


by Carolyn Chua
14" x 19"
Own photo reference

Acceptance is one of the completed colored pencil paintings that I'm planning to develop into a series of bread in a plastic/cellophane bag - it's an exploration of the relationship between bread (basic food) and human, and its impact on one's outlook in life.

Before starting this artwork, I took many photo references of different types of bread loaves, slices, etc. that I had trouble selecting a picture that would speak profoundly through visual means. In fact, even though I knew the photo (that I ended up using) was the right one, I just couldn't bring myself to draw it. I think I was very afraid of not being able to rise above the occasion to deliver the realism of the subject matter. I finally resolved in putting myself to the test, skill-wise, but not expecting the mental and emotional test that come with it.

There were many personal conflicts that affected me during the process of this artwork, plus the fact that the US elections had the entire world raging against the candidates for the next US President. With so much turmoil raging externally and internally, it sure made an intense influence on the development of my artwork. However, I let all this dictate my feelings and direction while feeling very pressured to succeed to even complete it. What made it worse was the fact that I had used a substrate which I had no experience in handling (Fabriano cold pressed watercolor paper) and found it extremely difficult to conquer it; it instead made me changed my entire art process and had to customize it specifically for this artwork!

In the end, I instinctively knew what this painting is all about; it's coming to terms about many things that I don't have control over. Even if I could change it, there'll be a bigger consequence to face. So, I took all my influences, emotions, mental state of being, and wrote it on the cellophane bag to reflect the situation that I was in, and the bluish brown slices of bread (charcoal bread slices) were symbolization of parts of me which had undergone transformation from the situation and now ready to emerge as someone unique. Maybe not everyone is accepting of the final results, but I am... It's acceptance on my part, of who I am and what I'm capable of... Skill-wise, I feel I have broken my own boundaries and created new learning experiences.

About Carolyn:

Carolyn started drawing at a very young age and excelled in arts throughout her schooling days, and pursued her passion at Malaysian Institute of Art where she graduated in Graphic Design. She's an award-winning creative with experience in both art and writing in the advertising and media industries. A multi-disciplinary artist with a focus on colored pencil art, her fine arts style is best described as contemporary realism. Her artworks have been featured in notable art publications, and her works have been exhibited both locally and overseas. She's currently a member of the Color Pencil Society of America.

See more from her at


These artworks were published in the March 2017 issue of COLOR Magazine.

Download the 40 page digital version of the magazine for just $3.89, or subscribe and save 15%. Each issue is packed with step by step projects, critiques, colored pencil tips, artist profiles and much more.

Posted in colored pencil art, colored pencil artists, colored pencils, showcase

“Drawn to the Wild”– A Solo Exhibition of Drawings

Posted on February 27, 2017 by Ann Kullberg | 1 Comment

by Kate Jenvey

In my hometown of Benalla,  north-east of the state of Victoria, Australia, I am fortunate to have a wonderful regional art gallery that is located on the banks of a picturesque lake. It is home to a wonderful, permanent collection of fine art. The Benalla Art Gallery (pictured above) comes under the directive of the local council and provides a selection of well-lit, roomy spaces to host a variety of visiting exhibitions throughout the year.

In January last year I was granted an exhibition at the gallery and a few weeks later the director made an appointment to visit my studio and discuss the finer details. After perusing my artwork, we decided to make up the exhibition including both color pencil and graphite for a nice cohesive display of at least 24-30 works. This became a very exciting milestone for me as I had not, as yet, had a solo with only drawings, they have always included my paintings. The date was set for early February 2017 and I immediately got to work on planning and developing the concept and structure for the exhibition.

Kate pictured with her artworks titled Vanishing, He Watches Over,
Stride of the Leopard and As the Sun Sets.

Since my childhood, most of which was spent in East Africa, I have been inspired by nature and have always enjoyed being out in the wild, soaking up the sights and sounds of the bush. I find the diversity of birds and animals fascinating and enjoy watching and studying all forms of wildlife. From this background sprung the name for my show, “Drawn to the Wild.”

With the use of my photos, notes and sketches, I developed the concept of each piece, aiming to capture the spirit of each bird and animal as they go about their daily routine. My style is realistic and that is why I enjoy using pencil so much as it slows the creative process down and I can relish each little detail of these gorgeous creatures with my pencil.

I managed to garner a few pieces that I had completed late in the previous year but the bulk of the exhibition was created last year, in 2016. I find I work best if I have numerous pieces on the go at one time. That way if I reach a stale point throughout the day, I can put that one away and start afresh on another piece with renewed energy and insight. After a few days I will pull out the original piece and reassess it with fresh eyes and make adjustments if needed. I worked consistently throughout the year and also had to be mindful to work with my framer and not swamp her with work at the last minute. It became a very full and busy year but I loved working towards my end goal. As the new year of 2017 approached I was on track and had 32 drawings ready for display.

Gold 'n' Sunlight and Gold 'n' Sunset

I have always felt that Mother Nature is the most awesome designer and so I aim to pay homage to her incredible handiwork with my realistic interpretations of her creatures and deviate only with a little artistic expression. The exhibition became a collection of wonderful moments I have witnessed traveling across the globe and I love to share these moments with others. I feel very privileged to have my work hanging in such a gorgeous place and am delighted so many have been to visit the exhibition to enjoy our beautiful wildlife from around the world.

Gold 'n' Sunlight was featured in the Step by Step from the October 2016 issue of COLOR Magazine. Learn more about Kate's process for adding gold leaf to colored pencil art for simply stunning results.

About Kate:

Kate Jenvey SAA, AFC is an artist originally from Kenya, now living in rural Victoria, Australia. A childhood love of drawing has led her now to a full time art career. A lifelong fascination with nature has been her artistic inspiration that she incorporates into her realistic detailed drawings.

See more from Kate at


February Showcase - Colored Pencil Artwork

Posted on February 22, 2017 by Ann Kullberg | 0 Comments

I'm always so thrilled by the talent we come across in the colored pencil community. Two artists featured in the February 2017 issue of COLOR Magazine Showcase were kind enough to share a little bit more about the pieces we published this month. Enjoy reading! - Ann

Gone Fishin'
by Vickie Lawrence
12" x 18"
Own photo reference

Still life is a relatively new subject for me and lately I find myself in a sentimental frame of mind. I inherited this rod and knew it would be a drawing one day! But how to incorporate it into a still life? I was browsing at a flea market and found these worn, beat up, rusty lures and thought of the rod and the art possibilities!

I used a piece of Kraft Brown Stonehenge paper and Prismacolor pencils. Working the random bits, pieces and crumbs of cork was liberating! It didn't have to be precise, and the paper color did most of the work.

My favorite part of this piece are the eyes on the right lure. One eye is deliberately higher than the other and lends it a comical air! Originally the rod was standing on an old book but I changed it out for a barn board, with more lovely texture!

I learned a lot from this drawing. I use photos because they are convenient, and the light never changes. But in this case, I was able to pick up the pieces for closer inspection and was surprised at how much detail and color my camera was missing, compared to the actual object!

About Vickie:

Vickie is a self taught artist who's career started in 1986 with graphite drawings. She discovered colored pencils in 1994 and it's been her favorite medium ever since. Vickie's subject material includes still life, animals, landscape and florals. She has won awards for her work and exhibits it internationally.

See more from Vickie on her facebook page or by visiting


Rock Smorgasbord
by Richard Chester Klekociuk
12" x 17"
Own photo reference
Luminance pencils on Mi-Teintes paper

The second in my current series featuring Australian rocks, this drawing is as much about the colors and patterns to be found on rocks as the variety of three-dimensional shapes of the rocks themselves.

The rocks featured in this drawing come from the shoreline along the NW Tasmanian coast. The variety of rock shapes and patterns in this area is truly amazing, having offered me much "grist for my creative mill" for many years. I have collected, photographed and cataloged a substantial variety for future reference. It’s important to know, understand and appreciate your subject if you want to do it justice on the drawing board.

I often use a variety of pencil brands, but on this occasion I had just completed a series of drawings featuring objects above, on and below the surface of tropical creeks from Far North Queensland, and I was keen to see how the Luminance pencils performed with a different color palette. I wasn’t disappointed. They are such wonderful pencils to work with.

For me, the greatest satisfaction in this drawing has been the opportunity to work with abstract-like patterns. Abstract art has been a passion of mine since my art school days. It’s not often seen in CP art, but I believe that it should be. Nature offers many wonderful examples of abstraction, rocks being one of them.

I write a blog where I discuss a variety of subjects including what I’m currently working on. I invite you to visit it and in particular, my article ‘CORCD’, which I wrote last month.

About Richard:

Richard Klekociuk graduated from the Tasmanian School of Art in 1971 and has been a practicing artist, teacher and art judge for over 40 years. Richard’s art is inspired by the Australian landscape. Mark making, weathering, landscape memory, decay, pattern, color and shape are of particular interest to him.

See more from Richard at


These artworks were published in the February 2017 issue of COLOR Magazine.

Download the 40 page digital version of the magazine for just $3.89, or subscribe and save 15%. Each issue is packed with step by step projects, critiques, colored pencil tips, artist profiles and much more.

Posted in showcase

A Learning (and Teaching) Pleasure - Super Workshops

Posted on February 10, 2017 by Ann Kullberg | 0 Comments

For twenty years, I’ve taught my 2-day Portraits in Colored Pencil Workshop and I get excited and anxious before every single one. I love teaching. Love, love, love everything about it! But a few years back, I got a yearning to go a little deeper. I came up with the idea of a 5-day super intense workshop with a small number of students. I call them Super Workshops.

I’ve now held Super Workshops all over the country from coast to coast. The concept is to have just 4 or 5 students for 30 hours of instruction, with each student getting their own personalized workshop. How do I do that? Before class starts, I ask them to think about and let me know what they want to work on when it comes to their colored pencil art. It could be anything: skin tones, fur, reflective surfaces, or landscapes. Or maybe they want to go in a totally different direction and experiment with style, new drawing surfaces or creating a commission business. I’m there to have my brain picked in whatever way they want!

I enjoy all my super workshops so much. By the end of five days drawing together, we all feel like family! But recently, I was truly touched by some feedback from former Super Workshop students. It’s not always easy to assess my impact on students, and even harder to toot my own horn…so hearing these words leave me both elated and humbled.

"What I most love about Ann's Super Workshops is the close camaraderie of the artists and Ann and their love of CP’s and all the different styles, as we learn from one another, and the one on one attention Ann gives."
– Charlotte Hastings

"Maybe the best part of a Super Workshop is learning new mad skills. Or maybe it’s the gift to myself of being on art retreat. Maybe the best part is the new friends I made and the fun we all had together. Or maybe it’s the way Ann completely and totally supercharged my colored pencil skills. I really don’t think there is one best part. ALL of it is the best part. Without taking a Super Workshop from Ann, I might not have ever done portraits! Now I can’t wait to start each new portrait… and I totally enjoy the process. In fact, I even gave a portrait as a Christmas gift this year… my friends love it, and say it is the most heartfelt gift they ever received!"
– Rhonda Dicksion

"I am so happy I took 2 Super workshops from Ann because these workshops always rekindle my love for color pencils, and they hone my skills to not only identify the colors that are demanded by the reference photo but also inspire me to get the project done in a timely fashion. What I most love about Ann's super workshops is they are held in a very friendly, low stress, relaxing  environment where you can ask questions without reservation. Ann makes everyone present feel so at home and regardless of drawing ability.

Without taking a Super Workshop from Ann, I would not have attempted to draw a portrait of my son, and a separate portrait of my niece. Each portrait was challenging in its own way and yet Ann guided me through the thought process efficiently and skillfully. I admire Ann for the way she can see a piece of work at its inception and develop a  plan to conquer its obstacles and explain those obstacles easily to anyone. I also feel we learn a lot from the other members in the Super workshop which is an added value you take away from this course. Everyone has something to contribute. Ann is a wonderful, patient, instructor and I respect her talent and her ability to run an amazing business.  My time with her has been invaluable."
– Susan Grimm

Upcoming Super Workshops:

 March 27-31, 2017
Blanco, Texas (near Austin)
*Now Full*
September 19-23, 2017
Lexington, SC (near Columbia)
*Now Full*



The Pencil Box - Featured Artists - February 2017

Posted on January 31, 2017 by Ann Kullberg | 4 Comments

Corresponding with the art gallery that is featured each month in Ann Kullberg's COLOR MagazineThe Pencil Box blog series will give artists a bit more space to share insight and inspiration about their colored pencil art. Make sure to check out links at the bottom of this post for our Facebook group partners - join in the fun and your artwork could be featured, too!

Big Red by Bev Lewis
16" x 12"
Prismacolour and dark indigo Faber Castell polychromos pencils on drafting film.

This beautiful chap is a red ruffed lemur who lives at Bristol Zoo North Somerset in the
UK. The inspiration for this picture was the magnificent rust red of the Lemur's coat and the contrast with his black face which, in the sunlight appeared to be almost blue.The reference photo is my own and was taken on a Birthday visit to the zoo a few years ago. He was very obliging and posed very nicely for me in the autumn sun. I have exhibited this picture at the UKCPS annual exhibition where it got a Highly Commended award which I was very pleased with.

I enjoy working on drafting film and I was able to get the extra depths of detail in the fur quite easily. The prismascolour pencils work well on film and I found that layering was not an issue here as it can be on this support, this is the reason I love to use it for
animals and birds as layering for fur is a very different technique to the technique used in layering for other subjects. As I was using drafting film I was also able to scratch out the highlights on the tips of the fur and his whiskers, giving a wonderful highlight to the backlit animal. I used Faber Castell polychromos dark indigo pencil for the black areas, his face, paws and tail because as I very, very rarely use black (a dead colour in my opinion) I will frequently use this indigo colour when I need to render a black animal, in preference to any other brand of indigo, as it is a very dark blue, all of the indigos are too bright. To render his wonderful red coat I used many different colours from yellows, oranges, reds, browns and even purples to achieve the depth and thickness of his fur. This picture took many hours to complete and I was very pleased with the finished image.

About Bev Lewis
I am a professional artist and illustrator with a passion for drawing animals. I am a Signature member of the UK Coloured Pencil Society (UKCPS Gold), regularly exhibiting at their annual exhibitions and winning a number of awards along the way. I love using coloured pencils because of the increased control they allow me. The results have an amazing detail and realness, which I strive for in each of my pictures. I take commissions for pet portraits.



Sunhat by Helen Green

This piece is based upon a photograph kindly submitted for use by Jacki Edmonds (FB page Photo's for Artists). It is drawn using Faber-Castell Polychromo's and Caran
d'Ache Luminance on Daler-Rowney smooth bristol board - blended with Zest-it -
approximately A3 size. I was drawn to the lovely pose of the child and the complexity
of the knitted sunhat. This is the first time I have attempted to draw anything knitted and the complexity of the stitches took some time but I enjoyed the challenge.

About Helen Green

I am an artist based in Lincolnshire, England, specializing in detailed family and pet portraiture. I have been drawing all my life but also dabble in oils and pastels. Pencil is my preferred medium and am delighted that coloured pencil work is getting the recognition it deserves in the art world. I have a successful Facebook page and have won several awards for my work in the local area. I am also featured in the publication '1 Man 100 Faces' by Simon O'Corra. See more from Helen here.



Three Lanterns by Teddi Bandt

When I saw the reference photo I used for this, I instantly knew I had to render it and
make it mine. It is me. It is where I am from. It is so familiar that it could have been the
barn on the farm I grew up on in Wisconsin. During every moment at my drawing table I was present in this barn. Lost in my past, each element of the drawing became real to me.

The textures of the weathered wood with peeling paint, the rusting cans with the labels a mystery, the worn out work boot and the dusty, yet shiny lanterns are so familiar and comfort food for my pencils. Achieving the rich tones required many layers and was quite time consuming, but a wonderful journey. The suede matboard surface allows me to portray items with highly saturated tones. I listed which colors I used in each area to allow me to maintain continuity of the tone. This was a remendous help as I tried working from left to right, but soon found myself moving to what ever area interested me at the time.

I was particularly attracted to this photo I used with permission from Joan McDaniel
(Photos for Artists group on facebook) not only because of the subject, but also
because of the assortment of colors and surface textures throughout the composition.
With a purposeful reference photo I am able to translate the subject with feeling and
present it the way I see it. I often liken it to reading a book. The author gives us the
information they feel is important and it's up to the reader to transpose it in their own
minds. It is the same with art.

Although I am more than willing to try tackle different subjects, choosing those that are expressive and relevant to me result in a piece I can't help but be proud of. What is a success in my eyes, may not impress some, but my hope is that my paintings tell a story to the viewer even if the subject isn't interesting to them. My greatest satisfaction, still, is having the opportunity myself to revisit my past, live in the present, or go places I have never been through my art.

I am always happiest in my little studio. My art is so much a part of who I am that I feel it defines me. I'm sure all artists feel the same. And of course there are days I wonder if it is a blessing or a curse. The drive to include studio time in every day is tremendous.

About Teddi Bandt

At a very young age I knew that art would always define me. My Midwest upbringing is reflected in much of my art. Primarily self-taught, I enjoy learning new mediums and absorbing all I can from books, other artists, and experimenting. While working with my husband at our business and raising 3 children, I wasn't able to paint or draw for 20 years. The past 10 years have afforded me more time to paint and draw again. I don't know how I survived without it. I am determined to grow as an artist. This is just the beginning.



Oriental Beauty by Leanne Moss

Earlier this year I set myself the challenge of drawing portraits of people having
previously only worked on animals, it is a daunting trying to capture the essence of the a person in a drawing.

This work is the second in a series I have decided to do based on beauty and our different perceptions of what is beautiful in a world that can be so ugly.

The Geisha is an icon in Japanese culture a symbol of beauty and grace and I am
fascinated by the place they hold in society. My drawing hopes to capture a snapshot of a life that revolves around beauty, art and culture drawing us into her world and showing us her inner beauty.

About Leanne Moss

I am rediscovering my love and passion for drawing after a long absence. I hold a degree in Fine Arts and enjoy capturing special moments and memories through my art.


These artworks were published in the February 2017 issue of COLOR Magazine.


Posted in The Pencil Box

The Treasure Map of Life by Karina Griffiths

Posted on January 19, 2017 by Ann Kullberg | 2 Comments

Karina is among 29 artists featured in DRAW Portraits in Colored Pencil - the best selling bible of step by step CP portraits, edited by Ann Kullberg. We are delighted to share her story about inspiration and art below.

My mum used to say “charity begins at home.” My old art teacher used to say “inspiration begins within.” What does all of this have to do with my art? Life’s little messages - the treasure map of motivation and inspiration. Follow the clues and find your buried gold. My art has become a documentation of my relationship with things around me and each work has a story.

My son wanted an "Angel". We love Angels. You know, the Biblical fluffy winged type? Inspired by a professional photo of a beautiful little girl, I searched for a few good duck photos and started to create her, but the real inspiration came from within. I had a vision of a connection with an Angel of wonder and her desire to be young and immortal, but endowed with the wisdom and purpose that only an Angel could possess. The whole process required some creativity and some thought; earthly but still divine, innocent but enlightened. A worthless blank sheet of paper became a messenger for a messenger. She won ‘Best Drawing’ at the Chelsea Art Show - it’s so rewarding to see something as unbelievable to some as an Angel be given wings!

"Illegal Artist" is also a combination of external and internal inspiration. Melbourne has a wonderful sub culture of art- graffiti art. You can go down particular laneways in the city and be drenched in walls sprayed with vibrant colours and images wildly creative. Never have any of my drawings received the controversial feedback that this drawing did. I was accused of ‘glorifying the destruction of private property’ and ‘disrespecting true artists’. That was the day that I knew that my relationship with art was from an artist’s point of view, and not societies. The drawing went straight on to win the ‘Avant-garde’ section of its very first show- and sold! The avant-garde (from French, "advance guard" or "vanguard", literally "fore-guard") are people or works that are experimental, radical, or unorthodox, with respect to art, culture, and society. And so, I must have become radical, and it was a shock to me that something as abundant and generic as graffiti could cause such acrimonious debate.

Inspired by my own life, the graffiti artist provided the perfect vehicle for expression. When someone energetically drains you, spiritually we cut cords by drawing the figure ‘8’, over and over. He is spraying it over and over. I couldn’t juggle everything, I wasn’t focused at the time, I had dropped the ball. There was the ‘good voice and the bad voice’ in my head, depicted by the good and bad Angels that you can see in the graffiti. There is a sense of looking over my shoulder. The man in the drawing conveys this, his hood pulled over his head- anonymously, illegally spraying an abandoned warehouse. But the real focus is the relief he feels to just express himself with colour and line. I titled the work ‘Illegal Artist’ to endorse the union of art and graffiti, but to also ensure expectations of society were acknowledged. Sadly, just because it is illegal does not mean it cannot be art. The hooded man was saved by his art that day. I am saved every day.

Finally, another work that received tremendous feedback was "The Brave". My little one again inspired me, he wanted a Firefighter- what little boy doesn’t love everything about Firefighters! In Australia, we are ravaged by fires in summer, and we all fear Mother Nature and her blazing fury. I decided to contact the local MFB station and ask for a model, and Leading Firefighter Russell Fox warmly obliged. With support from so many others, my vision became a reality. After two hours and 200 plus shots, we both agreed we had the money shot. 103 hours later, the drawing was finished. Not only did the artwork move many, but I accompanied the drawing with a powerful artist’s statement, demonstrating that images and words can combine to deliver a message of appreciation, hope and gratitude. The work and the words touched people far and wide. But the most unforgettable memory for me is not the artwork itself, but the look of awe on my little one’s face as his ‘hero’ Russell took him on a thank you tour of the station and trucks.

Art is a language. For some of us, it’s how we banter with the world. It’s how we document our imagination and give extraordinary power to the ordinary. It’s our medicine and our addiction. There is no cure but to get it all out. I wish you better luck getting this song out of your head, for it sums it all up perfectly… In the famous words of Madonna “Express yourself, Respect yourself, hey, hey." 

Karina is a coloured pencil artist from Australia.  She has enjoyed enormous support from the wider community, winning many local and international awards, and writing for publications.  Karina also conducts workshops.  She is currently working on some exciting initiatives and is President of the Australian Society of Coloured Pencil Artists.

See more from Karina at



And So, I Keep Drawing.

Posted on January 11, 2017 by Ann Kullberg | 6 Comments

by Jesse Lane
"Gravity" by Jesse Lane. One of the five pieces lost in a fire last month.

From time to time, I think we all wonder what it would be like to lose a piece of art. Last month, I lost five pieces, which combined took a total of over 1,000 hours to create.

My first solo show had endeat RJD Gallery, my new gallery in Sag Harbor, New York.  A fire broke out around 6 o'clock the next morning, with my art still hanging on the walls.  The gallery, along with seven other businesses, was destroyed.  I first heard about it on Facebook, and it was painful watching the video of firefighters fighting trying to put out the blaze, thinking about my art being consumed.  

Thankfully, no one was injured and I'm extremely grateful that two of my portraits, "After the Storm" and “Riptide," were sold and shipped before the fire. Even so, this all has been hard to accept.  So much has been lost.  Fortunately, the artwork was insured and high-quality scans exist.

My work has always been about expressing emotion, but I was pulling emotions from my past.  There was a sense of distance between the emotions and the artwork. Now I must create new work while in the middle of an emotional storm, and it's a unique challenge.  My emotions and energy are drastically polarized.  On one hand, I feel inspired and want to rise from the ashes, but sometimes there is a great sense of depression. I try to remember that some of the greatest works of art have been created during times of personal or social struggle,  and so I'm hopeful.  But grieving is a challenging and dynamic process.  I hope it brings me drive and even more inspiration.

I am so grateful to all the people supporting me in this tough time — my colored pencil peers, my family, my social network and my gallery family.  The gallery's owner, Richard Demato, witnessed the fire and has worked tirelessly with insurance companies, media and the artists throughout this ordeal. What’s more, the gallery plans to reopen a new brick and mortar space in Bridgehampton, New York, on March 1st.  Thankfully, I have five pieces from my studio to share. They’re also busy updating websites like Artsy, Artnet and 1st Dibs to reflect the available works.

After a year filled with numerous awards, unprecedented recognition and inclusion in a wonderful gallery alongside artists I respect and admire, it’s difficult to move forward with all these conflicting emotions... but I know it is art that will get me through this. 

And so, I keep drawing.



Jesse Lane offered detailed insight into his process for the award-winning portrait "Manifest" in the August 2016 issue of COLOR magazine.

See more from Jesse

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