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September 2013



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Too busy to announce Tip #66!

Oooops, I've been wildly busy lately, what with finishing my editor's questions and needs on the new North Light book and working on the rehab project, and I forgot that I meant to copy my announcement of the new art tip here, in case you're not subscribed to my list!  (You can sign up on my website, address below, if you like--I often forget to copy it here!)

#66 is on negative space, again--yet another aspect of it.
Funny how something called negative can be so POSITIVE, when it comes to our
work--I hope you enjoy it!

As usual the tips are on my website, http://www.cathyjohnson.info/ --at
upper left.  Just click on the link and you're there--past tips archived as
PDF files on the right of that new window.  Save them, share them with a
friend, print them out--that's what they're there for!

The next tip will be on found art supplies--sometimes when I don't have what
I need with me, I find something that works even better, right on the spot!


As noted last time, I'm still up to my eyelashes in house rehab--the old
home my sweetheart bought next door to mine needs much work, and we're doing
as much with volunteer labor as possible, of course.  Am I TIRED, but pacing

This is art, too...it feels wonderful, and I'm so tempted to sketch it as we
go along.  Time's a bit short of late, but I'm going to start doing
some...really I am...

You can see the work-in-progress here:
http://new.photos.yahoo.com/graphicartepsi/album/576460762396605717 , with
new photos at the bottom.  J. thinks a gallery or workshop space, or both,
would be great to include in the finished plans...I just enjoy seeing it
"rising from the dead" as one viewer had it!  It had been a long, slow slide
downhill, and bringing it back, one step at a time, is very
satisfying--particularly since it improves the whole neighborhood!

The handyman/jack-of-all-trades found room in his schedule, and he's been
here since last Friday--LOVELY to see the trim go from grim and peeling to
fresh, clean white.  He says people drive by and honk and wave, delighted to
see the changes.  I've noticed the same thing--lots of support not only from
the neighborhood, but people driving to and from the houses up the hill...

He'll be starting inside soon...

My young friends Naomi and John came to help last week, and we got more done
in one evening than I'd been able to in a week and a half--amazing!  John's
terrific, and has done construction work, so he had all the tools and knew
exactly what needed to be done.  Miss Naomi and I were the worker bees...can
you tell?

It was great, and they're planning to come back next week--who knows what
we'll accomplish?!

Here's the lovely Naomi, from a group picnic last summer--with Mr. Tumnus on
the right.  Yes, I'm a LOTR* fan...

**Oooops, again--ya think I'm a little tired!?  Mr. Tumnus was Chronicles of Narnia, NOT LOTR...I knew that...


Speaking of rehab projects, I got to visit a house my friend Ginger Nelson,
at Olde English Garden Shoppe (http://englishgardenshop.com), is dreaming
about finding someone willing and able to bring back to life.  It's
GORGEOUS, the stairwell is wonderful, and what a tea room, small restaurant,
or gallery it could be...I sketched it while waiting for her to arrive to
show some of us through the rooms, which are filled with construction
material--SOMEONE obviously intended to finish it!

Ginger and her husband Jim, our wonderful mayor who was instrumental in
helping J. iron out problems with the house next door, are working hard to
bring this town back, and their efforts are inspiring.  Lots of other
merchants and residents have gotten on the bandstand, and the changes are
measurable, week to week.  Excelsior Springs, Missouri, is coming back!

My sketch of the yellow brick house is here-- 
http://www.flickr.com/photos/25146557@N00/470508770/  Wanna buy a neat old
house? *g*


We had our first sketchcrawl a couple of weeks ago--well, the first one
attended by anybody besides me!--and it was fun.  We'll plan to try to hold
one the day after the art crawl, which is the 2nd Friday of each month
during the season.

So plan on joining us on the 2nd Saturday--write me if you think you can
make it!  Some of my sketches from last time are here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/25146557@N00/460778269/  It was chilly, but we
had a blast, as we used to say!


I'm still working on the new North Light book, as noted last time, going
through the pre-copyedited version of the layout, answering my editors'
questions, and re-shooting, redoing, or making new art.  (You saw this one
last time...what a wild

I'm just finishing up the last illustration today--they decided instead of a
photo of my sketchbooks or paper, they'd like another of the ink and
watercolor illustrations I did for the other supplies, so painted a pile of
sketchbooks, watercolor blocks and journals yesterday.  Whew...that's
tricky.  At first I could only envision a painting of paper--flat,
white--sort of like the old joke about a painting of a blizzard in Alaska.
White paper.*G*

It turned out to be slightly more challenging than that, with 7 different
types of sketching or painting opportunities, from WC blocks to hardbound


Still working on the new class site, so no date set yet for the upcoming
semester.  Watch my website and we'll announce as soon as we're done--you
can check it out and see what you think.


We are having a second spring, thank goodness--the backup leaves are just
beginning to sprout after or record cold, so for once spring may last as
long as I often wish it would.  What a miracle...nature never fails to
astound me.


One of the artists' websites that I visit frequently is Nel
Jansen's...amazingly, she's managed to paint virtually every day in the
midst of a huge move.  I love her plein air oils, they're evocative, moody,
fresh and energetic...see what I mean, here:

(I can't wait for MY Jansen to dry enough to be shipped to me!)


It's ironic that my friend Angela has two sons, one fighting in the Middle
East, and the one in danger lately who attends Virginia Tech, not far from
their home in Williamsburg.  Thank God he was all right...

Our thoughts and prayers go out to those who lost their lives, to the
survivors, both students and teachers, and to their families and friends.
What a tragedy, and one that should have been prevented...

Please keep Ange in your thoughts, too...


And please feel free to visit my blog at
http://katequicksilvr.livejournal.com/ if you want to keep up with the
changes--both on the house rehab and life in general.  "Never a dull
moment," isn't that what they say?  (Shhhh, occasionally I think I might
LIKE one or two...)

(Cathy Johnson)

New--original art auctions up this week
Artists' CDs, Art, Nature and More
Flickr account--art and tutorials
Visit my Live Journal art blog!

Graphics/Fine Arts Press--


Wow! You are an inspiration!

And thanks for the link to Nel Jansen's work. That's a tremendous inspiration, too!
She's terrific, isn't she!
i'm sitting here, thinging that it's a good thing that there are so many miles between us. i'm afraid i'd turn into a pest, hanging around, trying to mine your brain for tips, watching how you do you sketching, annoying the heck out of you. someday, i'll show up at one of these sketch crawls....and i may just sit and watch. i'm too big to be a mouse in the corner--but i could be the 500 lb gorilla!

you do bring out the inspiration in one--you are a tireless thing! i have a friend like you, who just had a knee replacement, because her old one was slowing her down. she's 80....i want to be her when i grow up!
Hey, no just sitting and watching, that's no fun! Gotta PLAY.

And oh nooooo, I'm definitely NOT tireless. Absolutely whipped, all weekend. I finally did a lot of nothing today. Lots of DIFFERENT nothings, so I'm still tired, but NO working on the house, NO working on the book, no working on WORK.
sometimes vegging out (or a facsimile thereof) is the best recreation!
Apparently it was, I feel just about human today!