Saturday, June 30, 2007

Outdoor Sketching

Quick posting. I am getting ready for going to the Dylan concert and am heading to NYC at 7 am to play for a few days. Got new batteries for the camera (and a spare set), bought a laptop so that hopefully I will be able to write and pick up some one's wireless signal, and I already have my sketching items all packed from yesterday. I pack as lightly as I can, and manage to bring a fair amount of things that don't weigh too much. I think I am getting this traveling thing down. You do it enough you eventually get good at it!

I bring one backpack, a very small gym bag, and the laptop. I can travel for 3-4 days with that and it includes paints, sketchbooks, camera, all my little electronic devices, several changes of clothes and personal care items. I am in touch with the world, even if I have to wear some things a few days in a row!

The sketch posted here was done yesterday afternoon hiking in the Mohonk Preserve. View is of the Shawungunk Mountain Range.

My back pack in the field carries the following: a large gallon baggy that carries all brushes,paints,towels etc. and a few small sketch pads. I have a plastic container for water, a few paper towels, a small camera bag that holds the digital camera, the Ipod and accessories, and my cell phone. I carry patchouli oil as insect repellent, sunscreen, sunglasses, a bikini in case of a swim attack, tissues. This all fits nicely with room to spare in the pack. The side pocket carries 1-2 bottles of water.

It is fairly light and manageable to carry for several hours. I should get a knife or leatherman. That would be a very cool tool to have.

If I were traveling alone, I would carry pepper spray, or something like that. I should get something anyway as there are indeed bears in thar hills as well as all other kinds of wildlife. Then there are those smelly boys, LOL. Kidding.

Off to get ready, I am looking forward to be even MORE inspired! patti o adventure!!

Friday, June 29, 2007

Hudson River Painting

Here is the painting that arrived out of the inspiration of my photography and my playing with Art Rage.

When I paint a landscape, I paint it a variety of ways: plein air, where I take my acrylic/oils out into the field, I make watercolor sketches for documentation, I take digital pics. Sometimes I manipulate my images in photoshop, and print them out, and use THEM as reference.

Though I sometimes paint from photos, they NEVER end up being a copy of the photo. It is a reference for form, shape, color, and a springboard for inspiration. What comes out often bears no resemblance to the original piece.

I think that the two dark clouds in the foreground look like the hands of God and Adam in Michelangelo's "The Creation" in the Sistine Chapel. As the forms took shape I went with that image.

What was lovely is that someone saw the painting on my blog and is interested in buy it, or another piece of my work. I will offer her a choice at the end of the summer as I have a few months to come up with hopefully a bunch of paintings to show/sell.

This piece is 8 x 10", done on canvas with acrylics. It was a joy to paint. The gratification that I get from painting is indescribable..sort of a spiritual transformation.

Till tomorrow, Patti!

Thursday, June 28, 2007


I downloaded/bought a new painting/art program the other day called ART RAGE. What a powerful fun little program this is for a mere 19.99! It may be hard to see here because the files are so small, but I took a digitial photo, and using the paint tool, as well as different techniques, experimented and made my photo into a painting! The cool thing is that you can save the files as PSD or JPEGs and can further work with them in other programs!!!!

There are many tools such as pencils, markers, pastels, crayons, and more. I still have not figured out how to use all the features, but it has on online manual, (wish I had one in my hand however) and it appears to be simple enough. Heck, it even has LAYERS!!!!

So for any of you who love to play with new technology, this is a FAB program! I have great plans for this program as I do a lot of digital photography for reference, and this program provides even more possibilities along with photoshop!

Makes me want to get out into the studio and PAINT, which I will...I started a mixed media piece yesterday and it just felt so good to dive right in and JUST DO IT.

Off to do some listing on etsy/ebay, I have many sweet cards which I have been pumping out, along with working on my order from Jennifer at Earth Angel Toys.

I also need to find a laptop. Maybe I will do some research and come up with one by the end of the week. Thank God for Best Buy/Staples/Office Depot Credit cards.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

My Studio

Been a busy day. Had an artist friend come by for lunch with his girlfriend who is visiting from Bali, and had to do some cleaning and cooking before they arrived. It is awfully hot here, and quite humid. I just filled up the kiddie pool again, and I will take a dip after I get back from the doctors (that lovely exam time!)

I pop in and out of my studio as it is under the trees and very cool. I have to run a dehumidifier, but it all seems to work ok. My studio was built out of 1/2 of my 2-car garage. We only had it filled with junk anyway, and it cost about 7,000 to do, but after doing the Artist's Way one day I took the plunge and decided I needed my own space. I ended up rolling it into my mortgage anyway, so I did not feel the crunch too badly.

It is the best thing I could have ever done. It is a lovely space with a picture window that looks out onto my yard, and has nice light, high ceilings. The only thing that could have made it better would have been skylights, but that can be done in the future.

I have a stereo, refrigerator, a two gallon jug of water. I wish it were big enough to put a loft in, but if I did that I might never leave it. It does not have running water though, and no bathroom.

The first pic is a watercolor I did of the side of it before I painted my house and put the studio in. Instead of two small windows, there is a huge picture window, and the house and studio is now barn red, sage, gold with spicy orange doors. It is very cozy and cottage like, much like the cottages of my youth.

Back out to the studio as it is storming pretty steadily here and I should get off the computer.

Till tomorrow! Patti

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Floral Greeting Cards

I was able to spend a few hours in the studio in between doing some gardening and inside work which I try to do before it gets too hot. I was fired up and produced several sets of cards. Imagine what I could do if I worked all day!!! I think those days will be only when it rains though as there is tons of work to do on my house, and the only way I will get it done is if I work a few hours a day on it. And I make sure I take at least an hour a day to myself in quietude or with friends.

Today's two sets of cards are made with old prints from the 1880's. They were little chomolithographs which I sewed onto art paper and then the cardstock with metallic threads. Chromolithography is a printing method which is no longer done, and if so, it is probably done as fine art, rather than a method of mass production of prints. It was very time consuming and tedius, but the prints are rich with color. You can see if an old print is a "chromo" by examining it closely with either the naked eye, or with a magnifying glass. The print is made up of a series of dots, but they are not evenly spaced as with more modern methods.

I happen to collect these kinds of prints and love them for their brilliance of color. Slick magazine printing just does not do it for me like these cards do.

More on printing methods and on paper over time. I don't want to overwhelm you with too much info! These cards are available on Etsy, the link is provided here.

I also do custom work, and sometimes incorporate these prints into my fine art.

Till tomorrow! Patti

Monday, June 25, 2007


I have my template roughed out for my blog here at Catskill Paper. I am sure over time I will be tweaking it here and there, but it is up and ready to go. My original blog, Eat Man Drink Water, was intended to show my work, but as time went by I found myself wanting to tell stories, talk about issues that concern mankind, as well as talk about art. I have been writing for a year now, and have found it to be the balm of my soul in addition to the time I get in the studio.

I am off for the summer, and am lucky that I have the next two months to work on my art. I have given a lot up this year in dealing with my 23 year old daughter and her rare form of cancer, and helping out with her toddler as well as teaching art full time.

This blog is all about art. About my love for paper which I will share, about the art that I make every single day in some form, as well as books, movies, and events that center around art.

Please feel free to share your thoughts here. At some point I would love to do some exchanges/trades with fellow artists or collectors.

This card is available on etsy. All my work is either sold privately (contact me via blog or email) or through Etsy or Ebay. I am reworking my website for some of my other work, and will keep you all updated on that. I use art and antique papers in my cards and each is one of a kind save for my printed ones, and this fits into a 5 x 7" frame. The print is from an antique nursery rhyme book that I have hand watercolored and sewn onto art paper. I have always had an obsession with stationery as a child, and collected boxes of it. Now, I just make it! Patti