The three artists featured in the January 2018 issue of COLOR Magazine Showcase submitted stories about their artwork for our blog. Read below about their inspiration for each of these interesting animal subjects.
Before the Tear Drops by Cecelia Wong
15" x 22"
Own photo reference
Faber-Castell Polychromos on Arches hot pressed 300gsm Aquarelle paper
A basket full of onions and garlic sits on one corner of my kitchen. They form the basic ingredients in most cooking in my home country Malaysia. That gives me the inspiration to do this piece.
The challenge to paint this piece is in the texture shown on the garlic and onions and the weaved basket. I just know that I had to capture the contrasts of the white garlic against the the reddish orange tone and sheen of the onions. Having handled onions and garlic in my cooking, I have often felt the papery feel of both the garlic and the onions. The exception to the onions is that it feels papery yet soft. This is the texture that I very much wanted to show in my art for this basket full of garlic and onions. Just as much, the elaborate weave of the bamboo strips with its texture and the roughness of the basket adds another contrasts to an interesting piece to be shown here.
About Cecelia Wong
Cecelia is a self-taught artist and started painting only 8 years ago doing acrylic paintings. About 3 years ago, she found colored pencils as a medium and was intrigued by how much realism and details she can put onto a piece. Colored pencils is now her favorite medium.
See more on her Facebook page >>
Squashed Dice by Robert William Strange
16" x 24"
Drawn from life
Prismacolor on 300gms hot-pressed watercolor paper.
I draw things that are colorful and ordinary but are also forgotten, lost, discarded or just unwanted. Squashed Dice came about after looking for dice one Christmas and finding them not in the game box but under and down the side of the sofa. I then went to charity shops and hunted down all the rejected dice I could find, and there were plenty. the thing is, one die on it's own is boring but 450 are fascinating. When common things join together they can make an impact and their raison d'etre rejuvenated; the ordinary made special.
This could be an analogy of life, however, whatever the hidden meaning to this work it remains a vibrant and kinetic drawing.
The dice were collected and placed inside a glass-fronted box to enable direct drawing to take place. However, they kept falling out of position so had to be glued, each one, in place (and there are 450 of them). The original drawing was exhibited in the Pastel Society Open Exhibition at the Mall Galleries in London in 2017 demonstrating that color pencils are being taken seriously as a dry media (it even won an award).
After 20 years of teaching Art in a secondary school Robert now works full-time as an artist from his studio near Oxford. He has a BA in Fine Art and MA in Art Education. Robert exhibits regularly and is a member of the Oxford Art Society and the UKCPS.
Prints and more available at http://www.robert-strange.co.uk
The Highlander by Lisa Bliss Rush
22" x 17.5"
Own photo reference
Canson Mi-Tientes Touch black paper using primarily Prismacolor pencils along with a few Faber-Castell Polychromos and Caran d'Ache Pablos pencils.
I used my husband as the model for this drawing. I had drawn everyone else in my family except him and was looking for inspiration when I saw photos of bagpipers. He and I both enjoy the pipes and Scottish/Irish culture and history so I used the bagpipes as inspiration for his portrait.
I work almost exclusively on black paper and prefer to work on a heavy sanded paper when possible. The texture that comes through the pencil creates a unique, velvety appearance that people want to touch. At shows, I often have people ask me how I get all of those little black dots on the drawing. They assume I am starting with white paper and add the texture to the drawing. It's fun to explain that I start with the black paper and just let that texture emerge from the background on its own.
Drawing the plaid was a bit mind boggling, especially since I decided to go "off script" and create my own rather than follow a pattern in the reference photos. I wanted more variety of color than what I could find in a reference photo. At one point in the drawing process I vowed to never draw plaid again, but I was so pleased with the finished product that I look forward to the challenge again some day.
Lisa Bliss Rush creates artwork in a variety of mediums, but specializes in colored specifically on black paper. She lives with her husband, son, dog and a variety of cats, chickens, and sheep on a small hobby farm in rural Indiana.
See more at http://www.lisablissrush.com
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