Ever a story... waiting to be told

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

West End Cincinnati (Sort of)

One more little envelope drawing...
These are factories from many different parts of Cincinnati, as well as a few that I constructed myself just because the shape seemed to work well. It's only somewhat historically accurate. I'm already smiling in anticipation of the comments I'll hear from visitors at the gallery... they will hover about eight inches from the piece, and either lift their eyeglasses up or put on their reading glasses (depending on their age) to get a clearer look. Then they will frown and try to tell me exactly where that spot is located in Cincinnati and what family relative worked there, or lived near there in the 40's. But with this drawing, the buildings are located in different parts of the city... so I'm waiting to hear what they say about that. There are so many art lover/history buffs in Cincinnati, and they sometimes don't appreciate artwork that is not 100% precisely historically accurate. On the other hand there are a lot of people who just like a pretty picture that reminds them of a time and place, and most importantly, a story or feeling that comes to their mind when they look at the piece.
On the technical aspect, I concentrated on the different types of pen strokes I used in each area. This one was easy, though, because there was no billowing flag (whew). It was mostly all straight lines, except for the trees and the water tower. I also concentrated on gradually building up the values with layer after layer of tiny pen strokes. I used only a few colored pencils for the final color washes, letting the ink do all the work in shaping the piece.
The best advice that I kept in mind was from Gary Simmon's book, when he cautioned not to accept that you've achieved your blackest black, even though you're using a black pen. The more layers you apply, the blacker it will get. Too often, we accept an overall tone of grays instead of black. 
At this point, I think I'm finished with the pen series for a while. I have several new ones to display (although I just sold one on my Etsy shop last night). 
This last little cityscape made me start itching to do another brick building scene with my colored pencils. I started a very large (18x24) drawing of just such a scene, and I'm excited to get going on those bricks with every color I can pile on. I've missed that immersion into my colored pencils and I know they've been sitting there so patiently, waiting for me... 

20 comments:

  1. Wow Katherine!! This is just so stunning! Of course, I say that about every piece, don't I? I think everything that you've done has been amazing (including your foray into oils) so consider me a lifelong fan (and friend). I am so glad your Etsy shop is doing well...will you remind me of the date you will be in IL?

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  2. Your wonderful envelope drawings add dimension to the past.
    Roscoe Village in Coshocton, Ohio is a small area of charming brick buildings. Its a nice atmosphere to sketch and paint if you ever get up that way.

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  3. Beautiful, Katherine! Your work, your words, the thoughts you planted in me about black and layers. What a gift you are in so many, many ways. Thank you!:)

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  4. It a a great feeling I am sure when people genuinely study each of your creation, think, identify and relate to what they saw, that is worth all that hardwork that went behind, I am so happy for you Katherine, you have made a signature mark in your creative journey.

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  5. Very glad to find your blog and work. Old buildings are a favorite--this piece really stopped me in my tracks =]

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  6. You've really taken Gary Simmons's book to heart! Good for you! We do accept a lack of contrast don't we? Feels like we get stuck in a bunch of mid values sometimes. But not with your piece-I do love the darker areas a lot. And I have to laugh because your customers there sound like my customers here. They recognize places and definitely share what you got and didn't get:)

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  7. Katherine - this is fantastic. I love the fact that you chose buildings from all over the city to portray the feeling of a past life. Your work is always the best and this is sure to sell to some lucky buyer. Glad you pulling out your pencils again too. Hope you have a really lovely day.

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  8. Vos enveloppes sont merveilleuses.
    Elles transportent le spectateur comme un voyage dans le temps...
    Bravo Katherine.

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  9. I never get tired of admiring your work Katherine. I like your post and I agree with you. This is not a photograph after all and the artist in you needs to show her own feelings and interpration. Good job!

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  10. Oh, my goodness! How talented you are. This piece just fills my eyes. Thank you for your kind comments on my art blog. They mean so much coming from you. ((hugs)) Have a lovely day, my friend.

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  11. I'm glad you mentioned your ETSY store in this blog. It was fun the visit the store and see the variety of envelop pieces you have created. Although I like them all the newer pen and ink pieces do really pop. I think you have achieved a lot this this Spring Training. It will be fun to see how it translates into your pencil pieces as you return to that medium.

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  12. This is lovely, your style shows in everything you do.

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  13. Beautiful work Katherine and great tips about working in pen and building up to black.I love this piece because it reminds me of many older cities and the texture of the letter paper provides another interesting layer.

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  14. You've created something so charming with these envelope paintings, I hope you have plenty in stock to do in the future. Whether it's historically accurate or not, you have captured something very nostalgic.

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  15. You have created something so lovely with these envelope paintings, I hope you have plenty in stock to do more in the future. Whether you are historically accurate, or not, you have captured something very nostalgic that is so appealing.

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  16. What's an artist without some well placed artistic license? :) It is lot more fun to create the vision you have, isn't it? I think we as artists are blessed to be able to change the view to our liking and you are doing a wonderful job!

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  17. Hey K!

    This one will be snapped up on Etsy or from the gallery. It combines the interesting shapes of many cities beautifully with the historical element of the envelope.

    Excelling at your craft, you are such an inspiration!

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  18. Bravo Katherine!!! Una composición muy hermosa!
    El sello y fecha del matasellos son auténticos?
    Me gusta mucho.
    Un abrazo.

    Fecha del matasellos= the date on the postmark

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  19. This is lovely Katherine and all the more skilful for having composed it from various sources.

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