The three artists featured in the January 2024 issue of COLOR Magazine Showcase share the stories behind their beautiful artwork here in our blog.
Green Frog by Laura Steels Hitchcock
14 x 16 inches
Faber-Castell Polychromos, Caran d’Ache Pablos and Luminance, Derwent Lightfast and Holbein colored pencils on Stonehenge. Photo by John Hitchcock. Used with permission.
I live on a 100-acre farm north of Toronto on Georgian Bay in Ontario. A portion of our land is farmed for hay and grazing cattle. We want to return the unfarmed sections back to their original state. Through reseeding with native wildflowers and native trees we are slowly making progress. We have a one-acre manmade pond that we are naturalizing. I love watching the pond evolve from a source of water for cows to a full-fledged ecosystem. Small native fish were added which has slowly brought up our frog populations. We have spring peepers, green frogs and leopard frogs. Our frog populations are exploding as evidenced by their loud singing in the evenings. Snapping turtles have moved in as well as muskrats, ducks, and geese. This year we have started seeing green and great blue herons regularly. Our property now houses fox, racoons, deer, hares, rabbits, chipmunks, bald eagles and red squirrels.
have found as the property evolves so has my art. I get many of my reference photos right outside my back door. It is very difficult to sneak up and photograph the frogs at home in the pond. When I try, I get pictures of the spot where they were sitting. But my son, John Hitchcock, has mastered the skill and supplies me with many photos to work from.
My goal in any piece I do is to recreate the moment when I interacted with the animal. Meeting animals always evokes an emotion in me. I try to recreate the feeling in my pieces. Life around our pond is slow and lazy on a summer day. The frogs love to sit in the reeds and warm up. With this piece I tried to capture the calm of the pond. On a sunny summer day, the pond sparkles with the sun’s reflections. Capturing the wet skin and reflective sparkle was the challenge I set out for myself.
I always start with a light touch. I layer different colors to combine for the final shade I am looking for
About Laura Steels Hitchcock:
Laura grew up on the south shore of Montreal in Mont St Hilaire. She attended McGill University for science and nursing. Growing up she spent hours drawing but never had any formal training. Her mother is an artist so there were always paints and other art supplies around.
See more at: www.laurasteelshitchcock.ca.
Lighthouse at Macquarie Harbour, West Coast of Tasmania by Kevin Rogers
24 x 15 inches
Faber-Castell Polychromos, Caran d'Ache Luminance, and Derwent Lightfast colored pencils on Graphix .005" double-sided matte drafting film. Image from iStock (Bruce Wilson, photographer), used with permission.
The lighthouse in this artwork stands proudly at the entrance to Macquarie Heads at Strahan on the rugged southwest coast of Tasmania. The blue ocean waters flow through the heads of this region until they mix with the tea tree-stained pristine waters at the town of Strahan. This is a very remote part of the world with only Antarctica to the South and the vast expanse of oceans to the West.
I decided to draw this image as it reminded me of my time in Tasmania and the totally different aura this part of the world held. It is a mystical place, as if time stands still there.
I want to thank Bruce Wilson Photography and iStock for providing the image for me.
About Kevin Rogers:
Kevin lives in a small town in Queensland, Australia and has been interested in art from a very early age. Kevin is self-taught and has been working with colored pencils for six years. During that time Kevin has won many international awards. Kevin retired at the age of 52 to pursue his art.
See more at: www.facebook.com/AHistoricalArtist/.
Besties by Pam Kromenacker
16 x 20 inches
Derwent, Faber-Castell Polychromos, and Caran d’Ache Pablo colored pencils on Clairfontaine Pastelmat. Artist’s photo.
Lillian and Charlie, my youngest grandchildren, were born just three weeks apart and have been best friends ever since. There is hardly a family photo in which they aren’t together. This photo was taken at the beach on Hilton Head Island while they were collecting shells. I just felt this had to be turned into a drawing. I needed to capture these two happy kids enjoying a hot summer day on vacation. They both say “Best Day Ever” when they are having fun. That is why this is titled Besties. As I look at them, I can just feel their joy in being with each other. I know they are going to break out into giggles at any moment.
I was afraid that the details in their clothing, the soggy sweatshirt, their warm skin, the sandy beach, and lapping water were going to be above my skill level. I was rather new to colored pencils at the time. Yet the challenge of pushing out of my comfort zone attracted me to draw this photo. I knew I couldn’t this draw small. It had to be big for me to get in all those tiny details. So much of doing Besties was experimenting with pencils. For one, I had never used colored pencils to draw people or water. I learned which pencils worked well together and which didn’t and the importance of values. I introduced myself to PanPastel for the first time. I used them for the water and put colored pencils over the top. Doing this drawing helped me grow as a colored pencil artist. Every time I pass this on the wall, I smile and think Besties.
About Pam Kromenacker:
Pam is a self-taught portrait artist who lives in northwest Ohio. She has used oils, pastels, watercolor, and charcoal for her art. But in 2020, she discovered colored pencils and has never looked back.
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