Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Calendars! Journals! Phone Cases!

I've licensed artwork to WalkingDots for calendars, journals, phone cases (any iPhone model) and tablet cases (again, choice of models).  They are FUN!  Nice thing about the calendars is that you can start on any month of the year.  You get all twelve months, but since they are print-on-demand, they can format them to suit. Now, of course, it's a good time to get a calendar for the year of 2017.  There is a horizontal format calendar with twelve images, and a vertical one.

This is the goofy cover of the horizontal calendar. The twelve images inside are of my work, not of me! 
This is the month of June.

Cover of the vertical format calendar. All of the images in this calendar are from my series "100 Drawings on Cheap Paper", which are all 9"x12".

This is July.



The journals are 5"x8", lined.


Phone cases are available for six different phone models.

Tablet cases for iPad and iPad Mini
You can always buy prints of my work, sized and framed to suit, at Fine Art America.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Working in Series - a Perennial Topic

Many of us tend to work in series, whether intentionally or not.  What I mean by 'series' is really just a group of piece that hang together in some way, be it thematically, or in terms of visual vocabulary or technique.  Here is a video I did a couple of years ago about beginning a series:

I am offering my Series As Process workshop at Madeline Island School of the Arts in July.  MISA is a new venue for me, and I am excited about it!  Northern Wisconsin in July, studios open 24 hours, and housing and meals on campus.  Sounds like the perfect retreat!  
This is the one I worked on in the video. The next three are subsequent pieces in the same series.





  • Working in series allows you to explore ideas more thoroughly, give them some breathing room.
  • Working in series gives you the opportunity to try out different solutions to visual “problems”, and explore multiple possibilities.
  • Working in series gives your art practice focus and momentum.  Rather than face the blank canvas with too many possibilities to choose from, the parameters of your series create clarity of intention.
  • By considering the series the basic unit of art making, you lose the preciousness of the individual piece, the fear of “ruining” it, which can keep you stuck.  Get un-stuck by working in multiples.
  • Committing to a quantity of pieces allows you to push through blocks and discover new solutions.


Below are three more series:
This is an ongoing series of 4"x4" pieces which can be mounted in different configurations.

This is part of a series about edges, each is 12"x12"

A subset of the 4"x4" series I did a few years ago. 

In this workshop we emphasize the series as a way to format your art practice, rather than a method of creating a group of finished pieces.   Get un-stuck, and give your work new focus and momentum.  It's FUN!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Drip Paintings

I've been fooling around with dripping paint onto my pieces, with various tools and from various distances.  I am using Golden's High Flow paint, which is the consistency of ink, so you can really fling it around.  I am also experimenting with fluid acrylics mixed with Flow Release and other Golden mediums.  I haven't come up with specific formulas or recipes yet, but if I do, I will certainly share.  Another interesting variable is to drip the paint into a coat of wet medium.  For example, I brush a coat of Tar Gel mixed with a little water onto the panel, and drip paint into it.  GAC 500 is another good option. 
This is the upper left portion of a 20"x20" panel.  After experimenting with dripping, as describe above, I did a little squeeze-bottle drawing in white. 

This started with the bright colors and dripped High Flow paint, and water. The white area with green drips is the new experiment.

Then, of course, I covered up most of the painting.

And more...

This is where it is now; I added more of the white with drips and spatters.  I think I'll have to start with another bright-colors-with-drips, and see what else I can do with that kind of beginning.

This is a portion of an 18"x24" canvas, in process.

More experiments, this one on paper, done over a work-in-process or demo piece.

Ditto the above.
 Thanks for visiting!  When I figure out some specifics on this I will do a little video and share.  In the meantime, I'm just fooling around with this stuff.  I urge you to do the same,  if it interests you.

I usually get my paint supplies from Blick Art Materials, and here are links for the above-mentioned products: High Flow Acrylics, Fluid Acrylics, Flow Release, Clear Tar Gel, and GAC 500.

If you have specific technical questions about the materials (what is the difference between GAC 500 and Clear Tar Gel, for example), contact Golden.  But first read the extensive information on their web site.  It is a generous source of information.  Try other brands of mediums as well.  Have fun!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Black and White Online Class

Finally, I have figured out an online workshop on Working in Black and White.  It begins next summer, July 19 (sorry I could not squeeze it in sooner).

I am very much drawn to the simplicity and austerity of black and white, neutrals, and shades of gray, even though much of my own work relies on color. Color is a powerful language, and it’s often the element we relate to most immediately in a painting. Because it is such a strong element, we sometimes neglect other possibilities of richness and subtlety in our visual expression.  Read more here.
 Here are a few previous blog posts on working in Black and White:  Black and White and Shades of GrayHappy New Year (2015), which includes a video; and Black and White Studies.  Since it is a while before the class starts, I encourage you to do your own studies in black and white.  See what happens!

Saturday, November 12, 2016

More Fun And Easy Collage Paper Techniques

Sometimes you just need something fun and easy to do in the studio that cheers you up and feels productive.  Making Pretty Papers is just the thing for a chilly November day.
WARM Collage papers for an uncertain future from Jane Davies on Vimeo.

Here are some links to the materials I am using, though there are more links on my Favorite Materials page.

Novacolor Paints - these are decent quality paints: good pigments in a good binder, but they are more extended (i.e. less pigment per unit of volume) than professional grade paints.  You can only get them from the manufacturer; they are not available from retailers.

ArtQuest Perfect Pigments, made in Michigan, are relatively new to me.  Gorgeous colors!

Golden Fluid Acrylics: many of you are familiar with these luscious paints.  I use them for most of my smaller work, and the Heavy Body paints for larger works.  I use some of the HB paints in this video too.

Golden High Flow Acrylics: these are low-viscosity (think: watery) paints suitable for dripping, dropping, splashing, flinging, hurling, spattering, and the like.  They have the same pigment load as other Golden paints, so they are not simply Fluid Acrylics watered down. 

Stay Warm, but have a chill weekend.  We all need it after last week!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Small Works at True North Gallery

I have a few pieces in a Small Works Show at True North Gallery in South Hamilton, MA.  The Small Works phenomenon seems to be very popular around the holidays.  I guess it suggests that you could buy a small work of original art as a gift, or treat yourself in this time of giving.

Check it out if you are in the area.  It is an opportunity to see a LOT of diverse art, all on a relatively small scale.  Enjoy!

Monday, October 31, 2016

House Paint

I've been taking a little break from the blog, partly because of a busy teaching schedule, and partly because I've been S L O W L Y figuring out how to shoot, edit, and upload video from my iPad.

House PAINT from Jane Davies on Vimeo.

I have been using house paint in my paintings; its unique viscosity and consistency - a little more fluid than Golden Fluid Acrylics, but less so than the High Flow paints or acrylic ink - allows a particular kind of line to form from dripping it.  YES, it is compatible with acrylic paint.

I took paint swatches of about a dozen "favorite" colors to the paint store and found pretty good matches from the available color samples. I had them mix quarts of interior latex, eggshell finish, in  C2, which is a good quality house paint.
At a workshop last week.  The piece on the wall behind me features a turquoise scribble in house paint.  Both pieces of "Big Fat Art" are in process.
Have fun with it!!
NOTE:  I have been having trouble getting the above video to work properly.  While I am working that out, please see my FACEBOOK page, where it works.

Friday, October 14, 2016

North Country Studio Workshops 6"x6" @ $66

Check out all the fabulous work available online now, created by North Country Studio Workshops Participants and Faculty.  Each piece is 6"x6", and is available for $66.
I donated four pieces to this fundraiser, one of which is still available.  There are pieces in many media, including ink on Yupo, ceramics, wood, textiles, painting, collage, and more.  This is a fabulous and affordable way to add to your art collection or buy a gift.  Or just ogle the eye candy.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Hey, Check This Out

One of the participants in my workshop last week at Omega, Heather Dubreuil, has done a lovely post on her blog about the workshop.  Heather is a practiced textile artist and painter, and you can see her work here on her web site.  She has been in a number of my online classes, and this was the first time I met her in person.  It was such a pleasure to get to know her a bit and work with her at Omega.






Here are a few of Heather's textile pieces from her web site:




Thanks, Heather, for coming to the workshop and blogging about it.  Thanks to everyone for visiting my blog.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Workshop At OMEGA

Last week I was teaching at OMEGA, and had a fabulous group of students.  Do I say that about every workshop?  Maybe.  Guess I've just been lucky to get such great people participating in workshops.  Here is a little eye-candy from the week.  I took mostly group shots, as the lighting was not right for getting head-on shots of individual pieces.  THIS IS ALL STUDENT WORK.
Five-Minute Paintings

A Series In Progress

The Drama of Black

Shapes, Lines, Patterns, Colors, YAY!

The beginnings of a Floating Shapes exercise

The gorgeous space at Omega

Shapes, lines, patterns


A little gem that turned up on the last day

Observing and taking photos
Spare and Graphic Collage

Gorgeous shapes!
Omega has a beautiful, tranquil, campus in Rhinebeck, NY.  It's like a luxurious summer camp for grown-ups, with lots of different housing options, great food, trails through the woods, a lake with boats you can use, gardens, a sanctuary for meditation, yoga classes open to everybody, plus wi-fi and cell service.  I love teaching there, and have also been a student.

Next year I will be teaching Intuitive Painting, June 4 - 9 at Omega.  This is open to all levels. 

I will also be teaching Visual Improvisation at Hudson River Valley Art Workshops, May 7 - 13. This is appropriate for "advanced beginner through intermediat" painters, meaning that you need to have some experience to get the most out of it.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Awkward Stages of Paintings

I feel a bit scattered in the studio lately, which is not unusual for me in general, but especially when I am between workshops.  Still, I feel it's important to go there and do something, even if it is just playing around or wrecking a few works in progress.  I have been futzing with these "train wrecks" on and off for a while, taking the opportunity to see how much contrast and variety I can get, usually at the expense of any kind of unity or wholeness.  The benefit is that they surprise me.  I intentionally go into awkward and unknown territory.

Whether any of them become finished pieces or not (and some do!), they all go through really awkward, even ugly, stages.  So I thought I would share a few of those awkward stages with you.  I think most paintings (of mine, anyway) go though awkward stages, like adolescents.  So these are my thirteen-year-old girls, or fourteen-year-old boys of paintings.  They are all 19"x25" on paper:






One thing that works for me about the paintings being "ugly" at this stage, or awkward, is that they compel me to DO something.  I am not afraid to "wreck" them, because they are so obviously in need of major renovation.  It is freeing.