Pencil Paintings Just Added to the Site

Pencil Paintings Just Added to the Site

Today I had a chance to add some of my pencil paintings to this website.

I haven’t done a pencil painting in quite awhile and have noticed that the idea for something new is ruminating in my brain. These drawings take time. They are built on layers of graphite pencil and colored pencil that completely cover the page. They are far from sketches and that is why I call them paintings.

Many of these drawings are from dreams or from thoughts about our culture that capture my imagination. Sometimes I add writings like poems, or just simple statements that add clarity to them.

The one above is called Can I ask a Question? And this is what I am always doing. Lately my questions have been about color and light and just exploring the things around me. And that is why my new works have been mostly brilliant watercolors.

However these pencil drawings are very much a part of who I am and I need to share them. Some of these will be part of an upcoming event here in Ridgecrest on November 22, which you will hear more about soon. For now here is the link to the page of Pencil Paintings. Thank you for being here.

Have a happy day.

Cheryl

Tying it All Together.

Tying it All Together.

Moon Glow is my latest painting of a Datura blossom or Jimson weed in full bloom. It’s fullness is unfurled during the moonlight hours and to me it mimics and celebrates the full moon.

If you haven’t been to this website lately, I invite you to take a look around. Things have changed and will continue to do so. It was time to bring my blog and my art and photography galleries together under one roof, so to speak. I was getting very scattered as this artist seems to do without even realizing I am doing it! Website for art in one place, website for commercial photography in another, and blog on another platform and shopping cart in another. Well the shopping cart is going to stay on Etsy, at least for now but to put my art, photography and my writings together seemed like a necessary thing to do. Although this site is mostly a showcase, you will be able to access the shopping cart for works that are for sale with just a click of a mouse. Here you will also be able to find out about my architectural photography services if you need them and you will be able to see some of my fine art photography as well. I have been making art a long time and have much to share and it really is time to put it all in one location. New things will appear constantly as I have time to add them, and hopefully I will have enough sense to post new items as they do appear!

I am also making some changes to how I physically show my work and sell my cards. I am creating a home studio gallery space which will be a permanent showroom to show and sell my work by appointments and through open studio events here in Ridgecrest. I want to focus more on showing in fewer places locally and find some galleries in other locations where my work can be appreciated beyond this valley (if you know of any that might be a good fit, please let me know). Websites are good for that, however they don’t take the place of seeing art in person. No matter how expensive the camera is or how good the photographer is, photographs of art do not capture it all.

OPEN STUDIOS CELEBRATION

My first Open Studio Celebration will be held November 15th & 16th from 10-5 and will be by invitation only. If you plan to be in Ridgecrest, CA at that time and would like an invitation (and your not already on my email list) please send me an email and you will receive one. There will be art, cards, treats and libations and I am thinking even a door prize!

I am very excited about having a gallery again and having it in my studio where I actually create gives me a chance to share my work process as well as finished creations.

It’s kind of funny to me how Fall seems to be the time of year that changes in my life occur. Maybe it’s because my birthday is in the Summer and that is a time of reflection which is probably the origination point of change which then takes time to incubate bringing it to Fall for the blooming of it. Well, whatever the reason. It’s time for change and so I hope you continue to follow along. As you know my blogs wander and ramble and touch on many things. So stay tuned for what comes next!

Have a Happy Day

Cheryl

Architectural Illustration, Why Yes, I do that!

Architectural Illustration, Why Yes, I do that!

Going through magazines on style and arts and crafts lately it seems like I am reliving the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s! Macrame, retro architecture and furniture, polka dots and more are all the rage again. Nothing wrong with that! I loved those things the first time.  And I was a little surprised to see hand-painted architectural illustrations as a service making a come back.

Seems like a lifetime ago that I was an architectural illustrator. I used to paint in watercolor and pen & ink homes, restored buildings, beach town locations, and even painted a shopping center once.

I was hired by homeowners, real estate agents who wanted a unique gift for their clients, investment companies, and sometimes just painting locations because I loved the buildings. But then computer-generated illustration and photography became the style that everyone wanted and hand-painted illustration was just old fashioned and boring. And my business as an illustrator dried up and blew away.

Fast forward a few years and once more hand-painted illustration is cool again so maybe it’s time to revisit my skills and offer my services. Now that everyone has a camera in their pocket and computers create perfect drawings with just a few clicks, these have become the norm and having a unique style, as I do, of combining watercolor or ink wash and dancing line over a hand-drawn perspective gives my clients a one of a kind art piece. That can hang on the wall or be digitized for personal stationery, (which I can also do).

So I have added a listing on my Etsy page at cherylmcdonald-art.com where you can order a painting that can be created from your photos on beautiful Arches Watercolor paper using professional watercolors and archival inks. I have added images from my archives in several styles on my Etsy page, to give you an idea of options for you to choose from. I work with you personally throughout the process to create the size, style, and perfect illustration of your unique property.

Sometimes everything that’s old becomes new again and we once more appreciate the time and talent of artisans with unique skills. Going back to watercolor has been a wonderful renewal for me. Lately, my camera in on vacation and my paintbrushes are busy. And I am ok with that. If I can be of service to you please drop me a line. Creating unique works of art for my clients is my favorite thing to do.

Have a happy day!

Cheryl

I Make Bread, and It’s Delicious!

I Make Bread, and It’s Delicious!

I am making bread today. Yes it’s a work day and yes I am working and yes I am making bread too.

There is nothing that clears the stagnation out of my brain better than making fresh bread from scratch. The kneading of the dough is such a wonderful stressless, repetitive motion that your mind just naturally relaxes and opens up.

I have spent the last few days on the computer. Not my favorite thing, but a necessary thing. So much so that I was tense and irritable by last night. And my mind just kept finding new ideas to think about. This morning I knew a dose of fresh bread baking was in order.

Today I am trying a  new variation of this bread, I have added some whole wheat flour and looking forward to seeing how it works. My bread recipes come from a cookbook I bought years ago but was too intimidated to try until last year. The book is “The Il Fornaio Baking Book by Franco Galli. I highly recommend it. I have tried several recipes and been happy with them all.

One of the wonderful things I love about making bread is that there are periods of time between steps that allow me to work on other projects. I am one of those people that is time challenged I guess. I wouldn’t call it Attention Deficit actually, but I get restless and unfocused if I spend too much time on one thing, especially paperwork or computer design. I need to get up and move and clear my head. Making bread, and watercoloring are good alternate activities.

I am writing this blog during the first rising, and there are 2 more before it bakes so I will have fresh bread for dinner. But in between, there will be more computer and design work. And my brain will be happy as well as my belly.

Have a happy day!

More Spring Artwork to share

More Spring Artwork to share

Good Morning All,

My goodness, I have been having fun, painting fresh Spring flowers, iconic Easter images like bunnies, baby ducks and chicks. Creating mini art pieces that others can share is becoming a habit. I love the fact that they are mailable and hangable. My new tag line is “I make usable art”. As I’ve said before art is everywhere we turn so why not surround ourselves with art we love and art that makes us happy, and spreads a good feeling. We need more of that in our lives. The crazier the world seems, the more we need to spread the love.

Yesterday and today I put several of these new items on my CherylMcDonald-art and I even started a business page called Cheryl McDonald Creative! on Pinterest. This is the next step in becoming savvier about selling online.

I am learning that taking this task of online sales on in steps, sometimes even micro steps, makes it seem less daunting and much more manageable. Taking breaks to work in the garden or make art helps as well. It is exciting to see progress, in the form of sales and happy customers that I might never have met without this shop. Spreading the love as far as I can! One of the next steps will be figuring out global sales, not just United States sales.

Hope you are having a productive week, and I hope you are giving yourself time to recharge as well. Easy to forget to do when the world keeps throwing more and more at us.

Have a happy day!

Cheryl

It’s Spring and the Super Bloom in California has arrived in our desert!

It’s Spring and the Super Bloom in California has arrived in our desert!

Spring arrived over the weekend here in Ridgecrest. This side of the Sierra Nevada is popping wildflowers like crazy. Most are just beginning to bloom. I have quite a crop of wild mustard and belly* flowers in my own backyard!

I have not had much time to get out in the desert yet as projects and a nasty cold have kept me tethered to home so far. One of the projects is preparing for a new selling event called the Home Show here in the Valley. I will have a booth this weekend and so I am painting cards. Right now I am painting wildflower cards, duh!

The 3 in the photo above are in process and they are taken from photos I have of our local flowers in the past. These are some of my favorites. The top one is called the Desert 5 Spot and is typically found in Death Valley, Bottom left is called a Mariposa Lily and it likes to hang out in a little higher elevations on the mountain slopes and tends to be a little more elusive, and the third is a Thistle Sage which is a little more common. Can’t wait to see them finished. Very fun!

This year I am hearing stories of fields of Evening Snow and Phacelia and many other things. It’s time to get out. Wildflower season is always exciting here. Every year brings a different mix of species. My daily walks will move a little farther out of the city so I can commune with the flowers. Yesterday the Painted Butterfly migration was in my neighborhood. The puppies and I got to be in the midst of them as they flew on. It was magical.

Have a Happy Day!

Cheryl

*Belly flowers are not really a species of wildflowers. They come in all kinds. The reason we call them belly flowers is because you have to get down on your belly to see them 🙂

 

Art Requires Evolutions and Revelations

Art Requires Evolutions and Revelations

I can’t believe it has been 10 days since my last post. The time has flown and it has been a challenge to keep up.

On the 5th I was given the opportunity to be part of a festival which was one of the few in this area that is actually made up of really creative people. It was coming up on the weekend of the 8-9th and was one I had wanted to get in on earlier. But I got the information on it too late and all the slots were filled. This event was the biannual High Desert Quilt Show and although it seems questionable that this would be a good fit for a painter, I have other artist friends in various mediums, sculptors, jewelry artists, and ceramic artists, who have sold there in the past and done fairly well. I had the money and I had the desire to give it a try.  I had 4 days to prepare. My head was spinning. I needed to paint cards and I really wanted to get my newest painting done and framed as it is an important evolution in the direction I am moving. I wanted to share it and I also wanted to do well.

I painted note cards with spools of thread and quilt patches and lot’s of spring flowers and I did finish my painting. I was excited. about the show and about the art. My style and my focus are evolving and I am actually thinking about who my audience is and what they would like. These are 2 different aspects of being a creator. Because considering your audience is not important to make good art, but it is important to make art that sells. Anyway, I was accomplishing 2 objectives and I could see that all this marketing education is finally paying off as is the acceptance that I as a creator need to make art that comes from my soul. And somehow it is possible for those two to come together if you find the right niche.

Well, the weekend came, I set up a beautiful booth and I did have a very successful weekend. And even though I came down with a nasty cold in the process, from which I will recover, I made headway, and I discovered more about my direction as an artist as well as more about being a more successful artist and finding that niche that narrows my marketing strategy. I don’t have to try to sell to everyone! Got it! Finally!

So where do I go from here? My mind is in the process of envisioning my next painting, as I work on deadline projects that I must finish. I am also thinking about what I need to create for the next show, next weekend. Mentally describing the audience I will be connecting with and figuring out how the things I make can bring them joy and entice them to want to own.  This is really the essence, I think, of being a selling artist.

So the evolution continues as do the revelations, there is always more to learn and more life to live. As the story unfolds is not just a title for my blog, it is my life and yours as well.

Have a Happy Day.

Cheryl

P.S. I did sell the painting to one of my favorite collectors and I did do well with all of the art cards I created. More evidence that I am going in the right direction!