Inspiration Comes In All Forms

Posted on July 14, 2017 by Ann Kullberg | 8 Comments

by Jennifer Carpenter

Inspiration seems to ebb and flow, presenting itself on a whim. Encouragement and motivation can be equally illusive. Many of us search for it when we feel creative juices have evaporated into thin air. In this instance, inspiration found me when it was the last thing I was looking for one warm October afternoon, and continues to send encouragement whenever the windows are open. 

Not many people know the story behind my colored pencil drawing entitled, End of Time Flies, so I have to share that in order for this story to make any sense. It was October 10, 2012. My brother, my dad's companion and I were all gathered around dad's bed in the nursing home. It was the day we knew he was going to die. Always too hot in the rooms, we opened the window to let in the breeze. With it, came a fly. One of those big obnoxious ones, common in farm country where I grew up. It kept landing on dad's knee and we all took turns shooing it away. It just seemed wrong, right? In an effort to lighten the mood of the impending event, we decided that fly was Mom, as she would have liked to have been a fly on the wall; she hated missing anything of any relevance where family was concerned. After that no one had the nerve to kill it! She was persistent and resisted our attempts to get her to leave the same way she had entered. We were all present in the moment when dad breathed his final breath. 

Days later at Dad's funeral as I walked across the cemetery parking area towards the grave site, a fly landed on my chest and it made me giggle inside....hi Mom. As the small, brief service went on and tears were about to commence, I looked at Dad's closed casket and there on the far end away from the opening of the mausoleum...sat a fly, perched on the lid. I could imagine it being Mom, pushing Dad with all her might into his awaiting spot where they will spend eternity parallel parked. I turned to my left and looked one row back until my brother's eyes met mine and I mouthed the words, “There's a FLY! ON DAD'S CASKET!!!” It took every ounce of our being to hold it together and keep from laughing. We are a unique family. Laughter would have been encouraged in this intimate gathering, but those who had given us our warped sense of humor had earned their wings...literally? 

Afterwards, I returned to my quiet house two hours away where very few knew of my loss or my return. There were no hugs, no flowers, no ham biscuits...only silence and an emptiness the steady stream of memories could never fill. I went to my studio, wanting to be alone in my loneliness. I made my rounds, flipping on lights, checking the plants, lighting some candles, filling the cat food bowl...and there it was...a dead fly, belly up. It made me laugh. We often joked how mom was surely enjoying her time in Heaven while dad continued to try our nerves here on Earth. Unbeknownst at the time, each of us three kids had visited the cemetery before dad passed to secretly let mom know dad was on his way, he'd be there soon. I felt like that was my sign he had made it. Sorry if that offends anyone, but you would have had to have known my mom. She had an enormous sense of humor and truly believed she would come back and visit us from time to time in one form or another. We found comfort in that. It would be like her to pick something like a fly. A photo shoot of the dead fly on a mirror and that drawing were the result of this crazy shade of grief. 

That brings me to today...I spent the day working my shift at the gallery in Floyd and there was a FLY the size of a small plane! This fly had from 11-5 to come and go as it pleased, but it never left. Multiple times it got in my hair. I feared when I spoke to customers it would swoop into my mouth! While washing windows on the door, I saw something out of the corner of my eye on my shoulder, thought it was a stink bug, then realized...it was that FLY, ON my shoulder, IN the hallway leading into the gallery. Again, I giggled. Hi Mom. So finally I settled into my drawing at the register with a sense that my parents were pleased, proud, and still encouraging, and the rest is, well....hi Mom. 

About Jennifer:

Jennifer Carpenter received her BA from Bridgewater College in 1987. She is a charter member of the Colored Pencil Society of America. Her colored pencil work has appeared in multiple books and magazines., and can be seen on her Facebook Art Page: JPCarpenterArt, or follow her on Instagram @jpcarpenter_coloredpencil.

 

Posted in colored pencil art, colored pencil artists, inspiration

June 2017 Showcase - Colored Pencil Artwork

Posted on May 31, 2017 by Ann Kullberg | 0 Comments

The three artists featured in the June 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.

Unity In Diversity
by Ranjini Venkatachari
11" x 20"
Own photo reference
Water soluble pencils and Colored pencils on pastel board

I was born in a country characterized by fascinating social, religious and cultural variations. I wanted to echo my feelings from childhood of how the society always stays interconnected with all these diversities. We all have our differences, which is what makes us unique. This piece is a celebration of such differences coming together, creating a unity in diversity.

About Ranjini

Ranjini was born in Chennai, India and currently lives in San Ramon, California. Her works have been juried into several National, International shows and publications across the US & UK. Ranjini is a 5-year merit signature member and the board member of Colored Pencil Society of America (CPSA).

See more at  http://www.vividpencils.com.

 


Spring
by Jelly Massee
8" x 10"
Photo reference from pixabay
Prismacolor on Bristol smooth paper

I live in Quebec and this time of year we are edging into Spring. One of the first signs of Spring in this area is the sighting of a robin. Although this is an English Robin and not native to Canada, I just loved this little fellow and knew I had to draw him. I drew him on March 24th and looked outside to see the snow falling, yet again. This fellow inspired dreams of Spring!
.

About Jelly

Jelly is a self-taught artist primarily using acrylics as her medium. About a year ago she needed another challenge and start dabbling in color pencils. She feels lucky that she is able to spend her retirement learning new mediums and taking on new challenges.

See more from Jelly at http://www.jellymassee.com.

 


Eve's Elixir
by Peter Nelson
11" x 15"
Own Reference Photo
Derwent Inktense and Coloursoft; FaberCastell Polychromos; Prismacolor; liner pens, Fabriano 5.

I came across these bottles whilst visiting the Somerset Cider Brandy Company and was intrigued to know how the apples had got into the bottles; I later found out that the bottle are fixed to the tree, with the apple grown inside. What attracted me to this composition was its simplicity and shape, with the bottles standing in a neat row on a simple concrete wall. As I had never created such depths of background against glass work, the challenge was in capturing the simplicity with the contrasting sheen from the bottle, the depth of colors between the bright corks, dusty bottles and clear sparkling brandy standing out against the dark background, and foreground textured surface.

About Peter

Peter initially a watercolor artist, until finding colored pencils in 2012, has always loved artistic realism. His passion, although mainly weathered textures, varies in compositions, due to technical challenges that the variety of subjects gives him. He loves watching personality and story develop as he progresses through his work.

See more from Peter at http://facebook.com/petenelsonsart/.

 





These artworks were published in the June 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, showcase

The Pencil Box - Featured Artists - May 2017

Posted on April 30, 2017 by Ann Kullberg | 0 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!

Honi Soit by Lis Zadravec
17.5" x 13"
Prismacolors on Canford Imperial Card

My daughter and favorite muse, wearing her make-up to look as if she had been crying. It's all in the drama, Honi soit qui mal y pense. Shame on him who thinks evil of it. Shame on him! I loved that for how dark everything is, I found so many colors. The green-greys in the background, the blues and purples in her headpiece. Some pieces are just as much a challenge as a pleasure to draw.

About Lis

Portraits in colored pencil have always been my passion. But most of the work you will see of mine is from the last 3 years as other colored pencil artists online have given me courage to pursue my personal goal of making my work equal in quality to oil paintings.

See more at:
http://www.lisarts.com/

 



Barbara's Bouquet by Toni Hertzler
11" x 14"
Strathmore 500 series Bristol plate.


This is a tribute piece that I did for my mother who passed from cancer at the early age of 46. Mom always supported my work but never got to see how far I would progress. She loved flowers, so when I saw this photo on Unsplash it spoke to me of her and I knew I had to try to draw it.

About Toni

I stopped all artwork to raise my family and only got back to it about 7 years ago. Since then I have worked in oils, graphite and now colored pencils. My experience with colored pencils was very limited before completing this piece but I know I will be doing more.

See more at:
https://www.facebook.com/ToniDFineArt/ 



Preening by Jodi Harsch
11" x 17"
on Bristol cover paper with Prismacolor pencils

Along with drawing every chance I get, I teach senior citizens how to draw. One student in particular is in her 80s and is an awesome photographer. She drives her car to local ponds and lakes, takes her walker out of the car and sits and waits for hours on end for the perfect shot. She showed me this picture one day, and when I asked her if I could draw it she was so excited that someone thought it was worthy she cried! Most of my art is of nature. I loved this heron from the beginning, the way the plumage is still wet and drapes across his back, the elegant way his neck curves is beautiful. The huge smile on the face of one of my senior citizens has made this particular drawing one of my absolute favorites!

About Jodi

Originally from Colorado, life-long artist Jodi Harsch has taught drawing to people all ages for over thirty years. She has exhibited her art in Kansas City and surrounding areas in art competitions and gallery shows. Jodi is a member of the Sedalia Visual Arts Assoc. and Mid-Missouri Artists.


See more at:
jodi-harsch.fineartamerica.com

 


Silas by Vicki Swords
16" x 20"
Polychromos on Fabriano hot press 140lb.

This is a drawing I my grandson Silas as he was going through a door in Santa Fe, NM. I have done another drawing of his older brother, Henry, at a different door so I guess doors have a sense of wonder for me.

About Vicki

Smith County artist working personally and professionally in various mediums, including acrylic and oil paints, water color, pencil, charcoal, and graphite.

See more at:
http://www.facebook.com/vickivangogh

 

 


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

FEATURED ARTWORKS FROM OUR FACEBOOK PARTNER GROUPS

Posted in colored pencil art, colored pencil artists, The Pencil Box

May 2017 Showcase - Colored Pencil Artwork

Posted on April 30, 2017 by Ann Kullberg | 0 Comments

This month, three artists who were featured in the May 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.


Lantern Painter
by Rudy Liskop
14" x 23"
Own photo reference
Paper: Crescent #110 Illustration board
Pencils: Prismacolors, Verithins, Aquarelles, W&N Watercolors, and Airbrush.

While exploring Samphanthawong Bangkok's old Chinatown, I had been walking through a dimly lit passage past small shops when I came upon the lantern painter who was lit by a single diffuse overhead light source and was unaware of my presence. I focused my camera and captured the ideal moment. The click of the shutter broke his concentration and he got up and disappeared into the back of the shop.

About Rudy

Rudy is a 69 year old self taught artist and craftsman who divides his time between a large workshop and the studio in a self built home on acreage in Whonnock, B.C. When not travelling with his camera he shoots the local wildlife with a 600mm lens. 

 


Treasured Times
by Charlotte Hastings
20" x 21"
Own photo reference
Prismacolor on Stonehenge paper

Treasured Times is just that! I spend every Tuesday with my Mom. At 95 she loves and still can do puzzles of all kinds - word puzzles, jigsaw puzzles. her favorite word puzzle is crypto-quote, she keeps trying to teach me to do them, but that has not happened as yet. We trade jigsaw puzzles with many people. The ladies with Home Instead, the caretakers who help us in order for her to stay in her home, bring puzzles all the time. The reference photo for this piece is just one of the many snapshots I take on our Tuesdays together.

About Charlotte

I'm a semi-retired artist living in Lawrence Kansas. I have experimented with and mastered many mediums such as oils, acrylics, and sculpture. About 15 years ago I discovered color pencils and have never looked back. My inspiration comes from snapshots of my family.

See more from Charlotte at www.incharlottesweb.com.

 


Forest Queen - Eurasian Lynx
by Esther van Hulsen
16.5" x 11.7"
Colored pencil and Copic markers on Fabriano paper

Lynxes are so graceful. In Northern and Western Europe these are the biggest cats today. I wanted to show the elegance of this female in a sort of regal, quiet portrait.

About Esther

Esther van Hulsen has been working as a professional wildlife and paleo artists since she finished art school in 2004. She finds all animals interesting, also extinct ones, and has been drawing since being a toddler. Esther has illustrated several prize winning books, which have been published in many countries.

See more from Esther at https://www.facebook.com/esther.vanhulsen.

 





These artworks were published in the May 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, showcase

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 http://www.buenaartist.com 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.

 



Acceptance
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 http://carolyngmc.wix.com/carolyncfinearts.

 




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

What makes it a Treasure, anyway?

Posted on May 22, 2013 by Ann Kullberg | 0 Comments

I never tire of looking through these pages, or showing it to others not familiar with colored pencil...just to watch their jaws drop!  With my iPad I have shown the book to countless folks seated next to me on a flight...just for the sheer pleasure of watching their eyes widen and their sounds of disbelief.  Oh, I do love seeing folks instantly change their minds about the "lowly" colored pencil!

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Posted in art books, colored pencil art, colored pencil artists, colored pencil books, colored pencil techniques, gemma gylling, karen hull, linda lucas hardy

 

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