Prepared for New Creations

Holiday, Inspiration

Although I firmly believe that Christmas is not about gifts, I will say that I do love giving gifts to other people. It is not only fun, but allows you to show the people in your life that you care about them and have been thinking of them and their happiness.

I think most of us would also sheepishly admit that receiving gifts can be fun. I was especially excited this Christmas because I received a lot of thoughtful gifts from multiple people that have provided me with new inspiration. That being said, I am writing this post as a thank you to my family members who took the time to think of me and provide me with new inspiration.

1.Books from Andy: Both of these books “The Art of Disney Frozen” and “Harry Potter: Magical Places from the Films” were on the top of my wish list. They are both beautifully illustrated production books that are full of awesome behind-the-scene information and artwork to two of my favorite franchises. 

  
2. Canvases and Sketchbook from Grammie: These are both essential items to artists and painters, but items that I don’t always like spending money on. Therefore I was very excited about having some new blank slates for creating over break.

3. Fabric and Markers from Mom: As a fiber artist I am always looking for new fabrics and strings. Gifted a variety of new fabrics, I am excited to start some new embroideries. And, as we know, I love markers. I am also thrilled that these markers are perfect for illustration. (More on that later.)     

4. Coloring Books from Matt: As I have mentioned before, coloring is awesome. I’m so excited that my brother has gifted me with enough coloring books to last a lifetime (or at least, until next Christmas).  

5. Nutcrackers from Dad and Sandy: After reading one of my recent posts and learning that I collect nutcrackers, my father’s wife Sandy went out of her way to find some awesome nutcrackers for my collection.

6. Pots and Pans from Andy’s family: Despite the fact that I cook multiple times a day, I did not own quality pots and pans prior to this Christmas. This was a wonderfully useful surprise. 

 
7. Game of Thrones Calendar from Andy’s Brother and Sister-in-Law: I love “Game of Thrones,” books and quotes. So this daily calendar will provide insta-daily-inspiration.

Thank you so much to all of these people and many more! I am greatly inspired and look forward to creating diligently during the remainder of my winter break!

Inspiration is Novel

Food, Inspiration

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I think it is very important for artists and other creative people to identify the roots of his or her inspiration and keep track of it. If you know what inspires you then you will have a much easier and much more enjoyable time creating in the future.

As some of my readers may know, this past weekend was my 22nd birthday. And, lucky as I am, I received the gift of inspiration from two individuals. In both instances, such inspiration came in the form of a book.

The first came from my brother who gave me “The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook .” This book has inspired me in the kitchen, providing me with classic English recipes that I probably would never have thought of or tried otherwise.

the unofficial hp cookbook

Although I do not have much time to cook, I have already tried the recipe for cauldron cakes, or as we may know them, pancakes. Granted pancakes are a simple food, but this recipe was very different from the classic American version or what you might expect from Jiffy mix. The pancakes were much sweeter and took special care when flipping.

To those who want to try this recipe I would advise waiting longer then expected before flipping your pancakes. Though you make think they are done on one side, rest assured they are not. Give them a minute longer than you typically would allow.

cauldron cakes

My second inspiration piece came from Andy who gifted me “The World of Ice and Fire” a very large, very beautiful prequel to the “A Song of Ice and Fire” novels, more commonly known as the “Game of Thrones” series. The book is fantastic, containing not only fabulous narrative to the world that George R.R. Martin has created but also a wide array of artwork.

the world of ice and fire

Glancing through this enormous book I am especially inspired by the artwork. When you are an artist that chooses to focus on fantastical imagery such as myself it is always helpful and inspirational to see how other artists are approaching the fantasy realm. Especially, for me, how they are portraying dragons.

Fantastic illustration from the book

Fantastic illustration from the book

Having always been inspired by books I am lucky to have people in my life who not only care enough to buy me birthday gifts but also know what to give me. As I work my way through both of these books I know I will not only be content and entertained but also inspired.

Sunshine While You Can!

Colored Pencil

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Before I delve into this post I think a little bit of blog talk is in order! First and foremost I’ve decided to post weekly, publishing a new post every Friday. Why Friday? Because, in my opinion, Friday is the best day of the week! Also, I know that I personally tend to be most inspired and generally happier on Fridays. And, if I’m lucky, maybe this site will provide you with some creative energy for your weekend!

Second, I have decided to vary the subject matter to keep things interesting. Although I consider myself a visual artist above most other things, I have many more relatable hobbies that I look forward to posting about as well.

That being said though, I am kicking off this site with a visual art post! More specifically, a colored pencil drawing that I made the other day. For those of you who live in central/upstate New York, you know that nice weather is difficult to come by. Even in the summer we get chilly days and plenty of rain. So as you also know, when it is nice outside you really make an effort to GET OUTSIDE.

And it was GETTING OUTSIDE that inspired this simple sketch. Unlike many other artists, especially classical, I despise flowers as a subject matter. In fact, I typically try to avoid them. Because they are cliché one might assume that they are “easy” to render, while in truth it is the complete opposite. I myself, find flowers to be a challenging subject matter.

But as with any other skill, in order to improve, you have to challenge yourself. So, from time to time I make myself sketch flowers.

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For this sketch I started by outlining the basic shape in a neutral brown and light pink.I then filled in general colors, beginning with the lighter (“weaker”) colors. This is always a good way to proceed because they can be easily drawn over.

Once I had the lighter colors filled in I proceeded with the shadows and the details formed by darker colors. Sketching outside is great because you are not only energized by the fresh air, but you are able to observe your subject naturally.

That being said, however, bright sunlight can make sketching on white paper very difficult! Typically I like to mass in the overall idea of my piece outside and finish it up indoors where I’m not in danger of being blinded by my paper.

This sketch, is just that. A sketch. It is in no way magnificent or refined. But that is the beauty of it. It is simple and fleeting like the summers of central New York. It was a process of practice and sunshine and that is a process always worth carrying out!

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