Category Archives: art

Painter

I got Corel Painter 2017 for Christmas, but have not been able to use it until today. It has been a lot of fun to play around with. I have only scratched the surface of the program’s capabilities. I am really looking forward to learning the ins and outs. For now, I’ll give you a preview of what I’ve done so far…

Forest_CKester

Cheers

Just a Brief on What’s New

I have been fairly silent on the media front, but that does not mean I have not been busy. Toward the end of last year I did a test run of coloring books. I wanted to see if it was something that might sell. I had a pretty good response, so I am currently working on two more.  If you are interested in purchasing one of my remaining coloring books you can do so here.

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I am also working on a new plan for how I am going to market and sell my wood burning. I have been analyzing my past sales to see what sells and what doesn’t. The biggest change is that I will be doing more of the fast movers and fewer of the pieces that are slow sellers. This was a tough choice for me. In the past, my plan was to only do pieces that I would like to own myself. Over time, I learned that I was selling myself and my potential customers short. By stepping outside of my preference, I will be pushing myself and improving my art.

I’ll have more updates, tips, and pictures soon.

Cheers

Refreshing an Older Piece

I’ve had one bowl that I have taken from show to show. It just wont sell. Similar pieces have sold, but this bowl just wont budge. When I’m brutally honest with my critique, I would have to say that it is probably because the design wasn’t executed very well. It was one of my earliest pieces. The lines weren’t consistent.

After much consideration, I decided to sand off the finish and give it a refresh. I redid the simple key design around the rim and added a stylized bird in the center. The old design is on the left, new on the right.

Key Before After CKester

What do you think?

Well, back to work for me. Part 2 of my Tools, Tips, and Safety series will be coming soon.

Baby Steps or Giant Leaps

I’m starting to emerge from my creative break. It is still a challenge to balance art and caring for my little ones, but I’m getting there. My biggest break through was realizing that it doesn’t matter if I only work for five minutes at a time. I meant to ease back into it, but I seem to have taken a giant leap. So far, I’ve started roughly 10 new pieces.

Here are a few of the ones I’ve recently finished.

LizardSpoon2015_Ckester1 OakNapkin_CKester1 PoppySpoon_Ckester_3

The Fox

My eldest son has been a little obsessed with foxes lately. So I decided to do something special for him last Christmas. He caught me working on it before it was finished, but I let him believe it was for the business.

FoxWalkthrough_CKester

Fox walk-through – Christina Kester-Tallman

 

It was fun working with watercolor again. My son was really happy with the finished painting.

My current project is a new sign for my display at craft shows. I’m using a 12 x 24 inch Italian poplar plywood board. Here’s a peek at my current progress.

20150106_12260520150107_105234

 

Christmas Ornaments

I’ve already had people asking about my hand burned Christmas ornaments. I really have to start working on these earlier next year. I haven’t been able to list many online because I can’t keep them in stock locally. The good news is that I just received a large supply of wood slices to keep up with the demand. this year the types of wood include birch, maple, cedar, apple, linden, and a few more that I don’t have definite identification of. I’m also looking in to adding key chains to what I sell. 

Here are a couple of pictures of some of my ornaments (and a spoon) in progress.

OrnamentsWIP_CKester OrnamentsWIP2_CKester

 

The Habit of Art

In college I overheard two professors talking about a student. One was laughing about how this student hadn’t turned in their assignment using the excuse of not having enough time. The other made a quip about how this student would never succeed because artists never have to find the time for art. Art should be like breathing.

I remember being a little insulted by this conversation. I was not the student they were talking about, but I was struggling to fit art into my schedule. Sure I doodled anytime I had a pen and paper, but I was having trouble finding the time to do formal studies and finished pieces.

The thought that “real” artists naturally do art all of the time was something that has haunted me for a long time. The more I became involved in the art community, the more I realized that I wasn’t alone in my struggle. Art takes work. You have to practice.  You have to be dedicated to be a successful artist. You have to continually grow and develop your skills. You have to learn about business and marketing. All of this takes time. In many cases, you have to try to fit this all in with other responsibilities (family, second job, etc). You kind of have to really want to be an artist.

So, were those professors right all of those years ago?If you don’t instinctively do art all of the time, will you fail?

The answer isn’t that cut and dry. If you don’t make time for it, you probably wont succeed. You can learn how to make doing art a habit. However, making and breaking habits is difficult work. You have to change the way you think of things. It takes time.

I’m still working on changing my habits. I want to up the time I spend on formal studies and not just finished pieces.

If you are interested in how to make or break habits, I recommend this book.

Making Habits, Breaking Habits: Why We Do Things, Why We Don’t, and How to Make Any Change Stick by Jeremy Dean

It talks about the science behind making and breaking habits and gives you some ideas on how to change habits. I’ll warn you though, that Mr. Dean points out that we are not as in control of our brains and habits as we might think. Changing isn’t easy.

I have no affiliation with Mr. Dean, the publishers, or sellers of the book. I actually started reading it to see if it could help me develop better fitness and nutrition habits. The more I read, the more I realized it could help me with my art too.

Letter N

I’m skipping around with my letters. Here’s letter N for Nectarine

Copyright Christina Kester 2013

Copyright 2013 Christina Kester

I’m on the lining stages for letter R and I have letter Z prepped and ready to paint.

 

Update 2/9/13

After my holiday shows, I was in a bit of an art slump. Things have picked up a little recently. I am working on some character concept designs for a story I may or may not get to writing. It is good practice for drawing people even if I never finish the writing part.

Melora hairstyles_CKester2

I’ve prepped two more letters (J and K) for my long time Celtic Tree Alphabet project.

Here are some of my commissions, gifts, and new pieces that I can post now that the holidays are over –

A private commission –

copyright Christina Kester

copyright Christina Kester

A gift –

Some new pieces (all sold except the bear) –

copyright Christina Kester

copyright Christina Kester

copyright Christina Kester

copyright Christina Kester

copyright Christina Kester

copyright Christina Kester

Update 11/1/2012

Fall is my busy time of year. All of my big craft shows are in the fall. It leaves me with little time for anything else and as such I have neglected my blog. Never fear, I am still here and still plugging away at my art.

I finished my giant bowl just in time for the Artist Supporting ARC show last week. I think it turned out pretty well.

copyright 2012 Christina Kester

I’m currently working on upping my holiday ornament stock for upcoming shows. I have the SUNY Plattsburgh Craft show this weekend. It is one of the bigger shows in the area and was a good venue for me last year.  Here are some recent magnets, ornaments and a square bowl in progress.

 

In my spare time, I have also been working on my digital painting skills.  One of my goals for improvement earlier this year was to work on more dynamic figures and backgrounds. The following two sketches are a start to that.  For the first, I referenced stock photos by Chonastock on Deviant art for the pose. The second sketch was inspired by Brom.

copyright 2012 Christina Kester

 

copyright 2012 Christina Kester