How interesting, suddenly I'm getting spammed on my blog, two spam comments today! Anyone know what's up?
I reset comments to moderated, so if you answer I'll need to go looking for you!
Wednesday, September 1, 2021
Well, sorry all! That definitely did NOT go as planned.
August fell apart on me, between a death in the family and all the attendant issues, family visiting, BOTH our cars in the shop for an indeterminate amount of time, having to buy a NEW (for us) car, my own health issues plus the normal stuff of bloodwork and annual physical, finding three close family members are dealing with Covid 19, and not only did I not manage to really delve into my own class as I meant to, to get back on track (though I DID reread and update everything before we started), my beloved raccoon family was poisoned and put right outside my back fence, an issue with updating all the other classes as quickly as possible, and then just "normal" life, and as they say, "it's a sign." Or a whole encycopedia!
Not meant to be. I get it, Universe, no more 2 x 4s needed, please!
So...I AM sorry, but it just didn't work. I hope you enjoyed your explorations though!
This month is my personal retreat month, and after August I NEED it.
Friday, July 30, 2021
Almost time to jump into this adventure--August 1 is our official start date! Since that's Sunday, we may ease into it, and see how it goes getting everyone and everything up and running. (It's a LOT more complicated than I'd originally imagined it, ain't that the way things go?? 😵)
If you've taken the class before, dig it out of your computer and join us, week by week--no extra charge! If you want to enroll, it's here: https://cathyjohnson.info/art-classes/ --there IS a charge for the lessons, it's my original self-directed mini-class online.
There's also a Facebook group for enrolled students, so we all have access to the class materials to work with...it's here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/272299307988534 (No charge for our Facebook group or discussions, either...)
Just a heads up! There are 3 membership questions that must be answered before you can join the group; thanks!
And see you Sunday!
Thursday, July 22, 2021
Saturday, July 17, 2021
...so one of the people who has signed up for the Quick Sketch 1 adventure alerted me to the fact that a couple of the links aren't working in the first mini-class lesson. One is my old Amazon store, which I no longer have since Amazon closed all the stores in Missouri, and the other is a friend's blog, which no longer is at that address.
I'm working to find the original documents (which have gone into hiding and probably under the Witness Protection plan!), with the idea in mind of updating, but if I can't find them, that's the deal, sorry!
This is supposed to be fun for me, as well, not frustrating... 😓
And hooray, I DID find them, and edited them, and made new PDFs...will get my webmistress to put them up in the next few days...
Tuesday, July 13, 2021
Okay, so doing some further thinking on how this will work, since several of you have expressed an interest--
I need a reset, I think. I need to work through why my recent sketches are often not as satisfying, and some are downright bad, by my lights. I LIKE quick sketches, mind you, but some of these are just...ick. Tentative or inaccurate in ways that make me unhappy. So since I thought I'd go through my own class to see if I could isolate the issue (or issues!), I thought I'd invite you to join me--I learn from you, as well.
It's not really a class, other than the mini-class itself, above--I won't be teaching, per se--it's just a chance to discuss, share, ask questions, help eachother...
We'll start August 1, because why not?
You'll need the Quicksketch One mini-class, linked above...but if you already own it, dig it out, no need to buy again, you're welcome to go through this exercise with us! If you can't find it on your computer (we always recommend saving classes to your hard drive), we'll work that out.
The QS classes are delivered automatically, week by week, by aWeber, as soon as you enroll--so if you start now, you'll have several ahead of us. Start if you wish, of course, but we won't be discussing till August 1...I need time.
We will likely share and discuss here, but I will probably make a Facebook group for our discussions, as well, since it's not easy (or even possible anymore?) for you to share your images here in the comments.
The mini-class is one of several I offer on my class page, and as always, they're self-directed. I won't be doing this with all of them...I don't think! I just need a booster shot. 😜
Monday, July 12, 2021
...and I wanted to run it by you, here and on Facebook.
I've been in a bit of a dry spell with my sketching, though I have indeed done more than I've shared online. I've been involved with other creative endeavors, of course, eco-dyeing, sewing, creating my little fae poppets, but art journaling, not so much, and it shows. Some of my sketches are downright bad!
|Lavender and Rose Mary|
|The girls...polymer and fabric|
|Studious and Joyful|
|Faena Fawkes, who started me on this road...|
|And then there's sewing and eco-dyeing...|
|And MORE eco-dying, of papers and cloth, for small journals...|
There are a number of contributing factors when we lose our mojo...materials, time, circumstances, practice, tools...but June 2, as I did yet another sketch I didn't like much, I wrote in my journal "I think I need to take my own Quicksketch 1 class!"
I think I want to revisit those factors and try to sort it out a bit.
So. The idea kind of took hold. What if I DID, what if I went through the class week by week as it is delivered to those who sign up for it. What if some of you wanted to take it WITH me? What if we discussed it here, and on Facebook?
Let me know...I was thinking I might start August 1. Anybody wanna join me?
I'd love to see your comments and questions, below.
Monday, April 12, 2021
I love to work with a good fountain pen--either a vintage one with a springy nib or a newer one that writes dependably and smoothly. I also like not adding too much more to the landfill with disposable pens that appear to dry up way too rapidly, but more importantly I like having a relationship with my tools.
Two of the most important ways to keep that relationship a happy one are to clean your pen when needed (probably frequently, depending on the kind of ink you use!), and to match the ink to the pen. Also if you switch inks/brands/types, it's best to clean your pen between fillings, as some formulas may not play well with the residue left behind.
We've all been told that water-resistant inks are not good for vintage pens, and I believe that's sadly true. (Not so great in new ones, either, but for some unknown reason my TWSBI pens seem able to cope.) So it's necessary to be extra vigilant if you insist on using them anyway, which I often do!
Unfortunately one of my favorite techniques is ink and watercolor, so I stubbornly keep trying...
Of course it's fun to use water-soluble ink too, but it's less controllable and often makes your wash colors muddy.
|It can be fun to use a pen with water-soluble ink...makes shading a breeze! But as you can see the color is a big muddy.|
So when my pens need a good spa day, I use Goulet's pen cleaner solution, a soft ear syringe, and finally, an electronic sonic cleaner, if necessary. Sometimes it's enough to soak and flush, but sometimes you need to take the pen apart, if you're feeling brave (or frustrated enough!)
|Surprisingly even after restarting the cleaning several times I may still get ink coming free from the nib.|
Water-resistant inks often have some sort of varnish in them...that's why they say never to use India Ink in a fountain pen, but even some of the other inks like Platinum Carbon Black or the DeAtramentis Document inks can cause issues. The latter was what was in this pen, from Fountain Pen Revolution--happily NOT an expensive vintage pen.
|The inside of the nib was just gross! Gritty ink particles where it should be smooth and shiny.|
|This is the topside of the nib, with the heavy buildup of ink where it fitted the pen body.|
|After rinsing with hot water...still pretty stuck...|
|I had to scrape the dried ink off with my thumbnail, then gave the nib and the feed a good brushing with a bristle brush under running water.|
I'd be delighted to read your feedback and any thoughts or advice you have to offer!