Tuesday, February 23, 2016

In my studio: ink experiments

Last Friday night I was hanging out with my husband when an idea hit me. What would happen if I used a spray bottle on an ink drawing? 
The black ink I draw with would do absolutely nothing because it becomes permanent so quickly, but I had no clue what would happen with my new blue-green ink. 

Rachel Loewens: ink experiments

Well, the result (I thought) was kind of amazing. The amount of bleed was definitely impacted by how close the water bottle was to the paper and the angle that I held the sketchbook. Having watercolor pencils nearby, I added some washes of blue to create depth. 

The next morning I taped down some paper that I thought was watercolor paper (but now am pretty sure isn't) and played around with washes, drips and spraying. The result was nice but different from what I achieved on the watercolor paper. 

Rachel Loewens: ink experiments

This time around I made sure to use the same sketchbook paper from the first time. I had my camera set up to record and take close ups afterwards so you could get a better idea of what I was up to. 

Rachel Loewens: ink experiments

Rachel Loewens: ink experiments

Kinda cool, right? Now I should warn you that I have not made any type of multi-media video since like the fourth grade. Seriously. Fourth grade. I'm not sure which is more shocking, that I was able to figure out how to use an app to add text to my video or that my kids were quiet while I shot it! 

Stay tuned to see where these experiments lead, or if I ever attempt to record again! :-)

Monday, February 8, 2016

In my studio: ten minutes at a time

As a wife and momma, I sometimes long for extended times to spend working in my studio. As Herman Melville wrote in a letter to Nathaniel Hawthorne, " I am so pulled hither and thither by circumstances. The calm, the coolness, the silent grass-growing mood in which a man ought always compose, --that, I fear, can seldom be mine."

This notion that I had to have at least three hours to work if I was going really make art was all fine and dandy when I was young and had fewer responsibilities. Now, that just isn't going to cut it. I would never make anything if that was still a requirement for art making.

In my studio: ten minutes at a time

Ten to twenty minute spurts are how I seem to best operate now. Washing machine cycle is almost over... Run!! I can glue down those collage pieces before it is finished! 
The kids are about to wake from their naps. Can I get those canvases primed in time? Yes!
Sketching while simmering soup for dinner? Of course!!

The couple of pieces I am currently working on have been made in short increments of time. 

In my studio: ten minutes at a time
(Still in the beginning phase)

Here's to making it work while still getting on with life's work!!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Surviving #snomahog

Snomahog? Yes, snomahog! The Mayor of Omaha accidentally dubbed our most recent blizzard after some sort of snow/ city in Nebraska/ porcine creature. Really. I'm not clever enough to make this sort of thing up!

Anyway, my kiddos informed me last week that they were done with snow. All being to young for school, the prospect of a snow day held little appeal. That is until I mentioned that Daddy would stay home all day, that they could stay in their jammies and could pick out new art supplies at Dick Blick to keep them busy during our confinement. Instant attitude improvement!

Now while my kiddos were super pumped about their creative enterprises, I was not so excited. You may recall that I am working on this massive garter stitch blanket and should, therefore, be thrilled at the prospect of being snowed in with knitting to be done. However, I accidentally spilled hot sugar (like 300 F hot sugar) down my hand. I'm not really in any pain, but the bandages make knitting super awkward! 

I am still able to draw so I've been making some patterns on tissue paper for future collages and been playing around  with two-tone pen and ink designs in my sketchbook, too. 

Hope all of you that were snowed in, too had as much fun as we did!!