Saturday, July 27, 2013

New Workshops Are Coming!

New workshops are on the horizon. Yea!!! I have 2 new workshops opening at Creative Pencils next week.  Both were created in response to the requests of students.  And both are using less than common pencils.   It is your opportunity to expand your pencil knowledge.  Double Yea!!

Panda in Pastels

Panda in Pastels is a drawing of a beautiful panda among the bamboo.  I drew the original as a gift for a new mother.  She had especially requested a panda bear.  Some of my students saw it while in progress and asked that I teach them how to draw one of their own.  I know you will love joining in.  In this workshop we use Derwent Soft Pastel pencils and I will take you through your drawing one step at a time.  Remember you can always ask me questions and show your work to me so that I can help you along the way.  I love looking at your work.  This colorful panda is a project that is suited to students of any drawing level.  

Lovely Wren

Lovely Wren started as a drawing I did at home just playing with my pencils.  One of my students saw it and requested a workshop so she could also draw a "lovely wren".  This drawing was created with Derwent Drawing pencils (sometimes referred to as Soft Drawing).  These pencils are very soft and layer in a very different way than regular colored pencils.  I think you will enjoy this new process and certainly your skills will benefit by expanding your knowledge. 

Dog Portrait in Graphite

One more bit of news is that the time for the Dog Portrait in Graphite workshop has been extended.  Due to my move, I am giving extra time just in case that complication was an interference for anyone else.  So, come on!  You've still got time to join in! 

Have a great weekend and remember to spend some quality time with your pencils.  I'd hate for them to get lonely.  Haha!


Wind and Honey Creations

Friday, July 12, 2013

Where Bloggers Create 2013

Come on in. I've been waiting for you and now I am so excited to have some friends over. You are just the one I have needed to give me some decorating advice.  I am participating in the Where Bloggers Create 2013 event sponsored by Karen Valentine of My Desert Cottage.  Five weeks ago we moved to another town and another home. My studio space here is very different than the one I had previously, including the fact that it is 30% smaller.

OK. I'm up for the challenge. The studio isn't completely unpacked or organized or decorated. But I was able to accomplish enough to get to share a bit with you here. There are just a few spots where I need the advice of a creative friend. That's where you come in. Like I said, I'm so glad you are here!

My name is Elizabeth Johnson and I am a pencil artist.  I specialize in animal portraiture and whimsical art.  I teach drawing online through a video format.  I teach a wide variety of drawing subjects, styles,  and pencils.   I love watching my students blossom and grow as artists.  You can see my work here and where my students learn here.

So, now that you know me a bit, let's get back to the studio.  

As I mentioned, this room is quite a big smaller than the large studio I had previously.  I was determined to be on top of things so I put quite a bit of thought into what furniture I would use and how it would be placed.  I looked around at my former studio and contemplated what I really needed in a studio.  I realized I did not need a large space but I did need multiple work stations.  I had a table, a desk, and a drafting table in my large room.  I often had to push an incomplete project aside to work on something that involved a deadline.  The problem was that once I'd pushed my project aside, it had lost its mojo and I often never got back to it for completion.  I decided I needed a place to keep my drawing projects clean and in progress.  That was easy -- my drafting table.  I needed a place for a very special big drawing project that I have started.  This would need to be separate from my drafting table project.

I needed a place to keep crafts in progress.  A place to keep my journals and supplies.  I needed a place for my computer and a place for recording the workshops I teach.  Wow!  That's a lot to ask of a very small room.  The more I thought about this, the more I realized work space was more important than floor space.  I didn't need to dance in this room.  I needed to work.  

I began at the beginning - with the drafting table.  There is no room for it so it sits in the middle of the room.  It is on wheels so if it gets in the way, I'll have to roll it out of the way.  Remember I've only been here 5 weeks and have spent most of those days unpacking boxes.  So, this is a theory.  I'll let you know how it works out in a couple of months.

We took the closet doors off so I could utilize all of the wall space for my desks.  We have two old oak teacher's desks.  They are both 5 ft. wide.  The darker one was in my previous studio and the lighter one was in my husband's home office.   I will store my computer and record workshops on the darker desk.  The TV is for monitoring the filming.   And I will be crafty at the lighter desk.  Do you think I should paint the desks or leave them the colors they are?  Or maybe just paint the lighter one?

When I was pondering the number of work stations I needed, the thought crossed my mind that it would be grand to have a place to keep my sewing machine.  Now, I am NOT a seamstress.  But I do pretend that I know what I'm doing every now and then.  Dragging the machine out of the closet is kind of a hassle, though.  I was quite sure that the sewing machine was one station over the line for this little room.  So, I put that idea aside. 

But look here!  I am SO EXCITED!!!   My sewing machine fits right here on the stand for a typewriter.  And it even fits when you put the stand back inside the cabinet and close the door.  How cool is that?!!  It can be ready to use and easy to get out and then be tucked away and out of sight in a jiffy.  I LOVE it!

I've used some vintage suitcases and a breadbox to hold the crafting supplies that are nice to have handy and some miscellaneous ephemera.   And some things are out just because their presence makes me feel more creative.  

Here is one of those projects where I need your advice.  I think I want to paint this wardrobe.  And I don't love those curtains.  I've thought about purchasing punched tin to replace the curtains.  But I thought I'd see what creative ideas you have.  I can't wait to hear them.  And if I paint the wardrobe, what color should it be?

OK.  So, we've moved along now and we have turned the corner to the wall opposite of the 2 large desks.  These desks both lived the lives of vanities in the previous house.  They both had mirrors.  The darker one is where I will work on my other drawing project.  I'm thinking about painting this one.   Behind it is the white iron headboard I used in my other studio as an inspiration board.  It works so well for this.  Pictures stay up with a magnet and it takes up very little room against the wall.

The painting above this desk (aka vanity) is a self portrait of my daughter.  When we were moving we found this painting in her stash of work from college.  I had never seen it and she was getting ready to throw it away!!  I snatched it from her and claimed it as my own. 

The wooden file cabinet is genuinely old and was a $10 find at a thrift store when we were on vacation.  At the time, we were driving a Buick.  Not exactly a truck for hauling stuff.  But I tended to use it that way.  Haha!   My husband said, "You'll never get it in the car.  It'll never fit."  I said, "Watch me!!"   You couldn't have slid a piece of paper between the cabinet and the doors on both sides in the back seat.  But we got it home.  : )  He really should know better by now!

Seated sweetly on top is my Raggedy Ann and my father's Raggedy Ann book.  They are both a little worn from the years.  But are very special to me and have a place of importance in every studio I work in. 

The green vanity is my journaling station.  I've only had time to sit there one day to work so far.  But I'm really looking forward to have a place to begin a page and then leave it until my next chance to sit.  BTW, I got those way cool knobs on clearance at Anthropologie.  I was so excited.  I paid a song for them!

The inspiration board above it is the porcelain top to the Hoosier cabinet that was in my husband's great grandparent's home.  The rest of the cabinet was not salvageable.   Magnets stick to it and it works perfectly here. 

This is Lydia who does need floor space, but hopefully there is enough here for her.

Now for the window.  This is where I really  need your advice.  In my old studio, I used this baby gate against the wall to hold photos and images I needed to have up.  In this studio, I've decided to hang it in this little nook for the window.  I have a vintage wooden window hanging below it.  I have hung some crystal leaves and flowers from ribbons.  I have enough of these to fill it.  But I thought, perhaps, it needed something else for variety.  What do you think?  More crystal leaves and flowers or something else.  And if so, what else?  And should I cover those wires above it with ribbon or fabric or what? 

Here you can see the whole window.  The cat baskets are in the window seat.  Although they chose not to grace us with their presence today. 

Bo says Good Day from the back yard.

Some of you may remember from the last 2 years that I had a favorite stuffed rocking chair in my studio.  Well, no room for it in this one.  I've placed it in my bedroom.  This one takes less room in this space where every inch is of a premium.

I'm not thrilled with the curtains on the closets.  Maybe you have a better idea for that too.  

Well, this has been fun.  I've loved having you here and am so excited to hear your ideas to help make my new studio a more creative space.

Thank you for joining me for this party.  I'll be stopping by your studio too. 

Wind and Honey Creations

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