Monthly Archives: June 2012

Colorado Fires

As a former Colorado resident, my heart goes out to those affected by the fires. From now until July 10th, 15% of my online sales will go to the American Red Cross. The 15% will be specifically allocated to the local chapters that are supporting fire victims.
Please visit my online stores at http://www.artfire.com/ext/shop/studio/FireOakStudio
and http://www.etsy.com/shop/FireOakStudio

Obvious Outdoor Event Lessons

I did my first outdoor Farmer’s Market today in Keene, NY and I learned some lessons about outdoor venues… lessons that should have been obvious in hindsight.

First, it is windy outside. If you have a tent anchor it. Luckily, mine was adequately anchored for the light wind we had today. My display, however, was not. I work with wood. Wood is actually pretty light. Some of my bowls took flight. None were damaged, thankfully.  The other problem with my display was with the metal grid I use to hang some of my pieces from.

A gust knocked it over. One of my pieces was damaged. I potentially lost customers because I had to fix my display.

My first idea to fix the problem was to put the walls to my tent up. This worked for a while, but it was insanely hot. Again I potentially lost customers, because no one wanted to stay long enough to browse. Even with the walls, the display was knocked over again.

My final attempt to fix the problem was to stabilize the grid. I don’t think it looked as good. If I had thought of it earlier I would have rearranged my entire display around it.

Now I just need to figure out a more stable way to display my bowls outside. .

My Art Goals

I recently joined a cooperative blog called Artist Ambition. The blog is about the challenges and exercises the participating artists give themselves in order to improve. As I sat down to write my introduction and wish list or plan, I realized that I am not as clear on what I want to achieve in my art as I thought. I have been so focused on the business side that I have forgotten the creative side. Joining this group of artists in their journeys into improve their art has opened my eyes to my own journey.

I want to bring more creativity into my work. My subject, themes, color schemes, and overall compositions are safe. Here’s my list to explore:

  • participate in Sketchfest whenever possible to expand subjects and themes
  • Anatomy studies – hands and feet; how the head, neck and torso go together; proportions ( have a tendency to draw very short legged people); and the core/torso
  • Color – explore limited color palettes and unusual colors. Do studies in reflected color
  • Composition – explore more dynamic figures and groups of figures
  • Environment – any… I need the practice

In the spirit of moving forward, here are some of my recent paintings. Yes, more fish. I’m actually going to do a lot more fish. Like the alphabet, it is a personal project.

Image

copyright 2012 Christina Kester

Image

copyright 2012 Christina Kester

Watercolor

I have a rocky relationship with watercolor. It is one of the first mediums I used, but it is also the one I am farthest from mastering. I cannot just paint over my mistakes like I do in acrylic. Another problem I face with watercolor is anticipating how the water and paint will behave. Then there is the waiting for washes to dry before moving on. For all of the patience I have for knotwork, I am not a patient painter. I do not like to stop and break from the creative trance.

Having said all of that, I love the luminous feel of watercolor. I know I can achieve some of that effect with acrylic, but is is not wholly the same.  So I have been playing with watercolors again. I do it while I paint with my son. The compositions are simple and the subject is always chosen by my son. He has been on a tree kick. I use different papers to see how water reacts differently on each surface. One of my goals is to avoid muddying the colors. I still have a lot to learn.

Here are a couple of my recent attempts.

copyright Christina Kester 2012

 

copyright Christina Kester 2012