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September 2013



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My latest art tip announcement, #71

If you are on my announcement list, you'll already have seen this, sorry!  If not, lots of fun links and some inspiring art as well--from Amanda Kavanaugh's and Aisling d'Art's contemporary blogs to sixteenth century Hans Holbein the Younger!

Her corner of the world, acrylic

This is one of the strong women mentioned below, now on eBay...wish I could still manage to do a direct link, but the how-to has changed!  She's item # 20132157324, at any rate...


Hi, all--if you thought this tip was a bit late, you're right--my computer
was down all last week, and I've been playing catch-up!

This one touches on using liquid mask.  We'll do another one on this subject
later, because it's a fun and versatile product that works wonderfully well
to preserve the lights when painting in watercolor, but you can do far more
with it than you might imagine.  This one's the intro to the subject!

If you've used liquid mask before, I hope you'll find some tips here to make
your experience even better.  If you're new to it, prepare to have fun, it's
amazing stuff!

As usual, it's in the Art Tips section of my website,
http://www.cathyjohnson.info/.  Click on it at upper left, and a new window
will open, with tip # 71--you can open the PDF, print it, save it, share it
with a friend, whatever--that's what they're there for!

The step by step demonstration painting for this tip is of Fourth Lake, in
the Adirondacks--I did it for my Art Crawl demo, from a photo and from

Normally I love painting plein air, but that's not always an option--it
would have been dark by the time I got back up to the camp, found my art
stuff and made it back down to the lake shore, in any case!

(I've put this painting up for auction in my Cathy Johnson's Fine Art
Galleries on eBay--it's here: http://tinyurl.com/ys9mr3 or just go here, if
you prefer, to see all the new offerings, including several acrylics:
http://stores.ebay.com/Cathy-Johnson-Fine-Art-Galleries )


Some Amazing Women

Speaking of acrylics on my eBay site, two of them are of strong, beautiful
women; I've been thinking, the last few years, of friendship and courage and
the amazing PRESENCE of the women in my life.  I started life as a tomboy,
and have stayed that way for the most part.  I didn't care for dolls or
girls' games--no tea parties and sewing circles for me!  But the last few
years I have come to realize how important the friendship of women is to me,
how much they mean to me, and how much I admire them.

Almost all of the women in my life are creative, in one way or another.
They're full of vision, energy, mystery, enthusiasm, quiet strength.  I
think the two paintings in my Flickr album (and currently on eBay) mark the
beginning of my need to capture something of their magic.

"Her Corner of the World," here,
http://www.flickr.com/photos/25146557@N00/846948209/ is of no one particular
woman--I just wanted to capture something of the reality of the strength and
determination of all the women I know.

I've been blessed in my associations, and although I think I'll always be a
tomboy, I'm delighted to have come to this bone-deep appreciation.  Thank
you, all.


Watercolor Magic and Hans Holbein the Younger

I just finished a new article for Watercolor Magic, for their new Creativity
Column--it was a delight working with them again, and with their managing
editor Sarah Strickley!

My favorite piece for the article is this one, in my Flickr album, of my old
friend Kevin, with his quintessentially Irish face (Kev's one of my best
models--I've painted him again and again!)  It's here:

I have always been intrigued by the work of Hans Holbein the Younger, the
sixteenth century artist who did portrait studies of great restraint and
elegance--just line drawings with a hint of color--and I wanted to try for
that effect in my portrait of Kevin.

Google Images for Hans Holbein the Younger and you'll find many examples of
the master's work--an excellent one can be found at the Art Review site of
Holbein's work at the Tate, in London, from November 25, 2006.
http://artreview.wordpress.com/page/2/  His many portraits of Ann Boleyn are
inspiring as well!

Of course I don't know if my portrait of The Flute Player will end up in the
finished article, but I do know I will be trying this effect again...


Need inspiration?  A kick in the behind?

My friend Aisling d'Art shared this link from the creator of Gaping Void in
her blog, and it's wonderful.  There's a list of pithy sayings and great
thoughts that's worth printing out and keeping!

Three of my favorites are "You are responsible for your own experience,"
"Never compare your inside with somebody eles's outside,"  and "The best way
to get approval is not to need it."

Great advice!  That's not to say easy--but it's a goal to aim for, I think.

The whole list is here:

And Aisling's blog is well worth keeping up with--she's always sharing great
links, thoughts about art, creativity and life, and her travels.  It's here:


Figure Drawing

This is excellent practice for an artist, but finding a live model is not
always easy.  My oldest friend, Roberta, recently took at class at the
Kansas City Art Institute, and got to spend half a day sketching and drawing
the figure in pastel--the results are stunning.  I've been fortunate enough
to have an occasional model, but in the interim, you might want to check out
Pose Maniacs!


This site is in Japanese, but you can probably figure out how it works by
playing around with it a bit.  You can choose one of the photos, click on
it, and have a "model" that turns frequently to angles that you can choose.

The site is a bit slow to load, though, so if you're on dial-up be warned!


Another Artist's Sketch-blog

Amanda Kavanaugh shares wonderfully inspiring sketches and journal pages
here: http://craftmonkeys.typepad.com/

I especially love travel journals, and hers are terrific.  Click on the sets
at left to see what I mean!

Amanda is one of the artists featured in Danny Gregory's new book--so am I,
so I get to see some amazing work when Danny posts it!  Sorry I don't know
what the publication date is, yet--I'll let you know as soon as I do.  Right
now Danny's waiting on my interview/questionnaire, I guess I'd better get
back to it Real Soon.


Our Art Crawl and Sketch Crawl this month was fun!  I got to sketch the
musicians at the Excelsior Springs Historical Museum and Archives, who were
there for the Art is Life and Life is Art show featuring luthiers--musicians
who make their own instruments!  I drew the musicians in performance (MY I
wish they'd do longer songs!) and went back a day or two later to add bits
and pieces of some of the instruments, old and new.

You can see my sketches here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/25146557@N00/839883050/in/photostream/ and
here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/25146557@N00/839883338/in/photostream/


The next day, Sunday, I attended a wine tasting of South African wines at
the historic Elms Resort and Conference Center http://www.elmsresort.com/ .
Much fun!

I'm not a wine person--a real Philistine/barbarian who really doesn't "get"
red wines!--but I loved sitting with friends, laughing, cutting up, and

I'm a firm believer that you can sketch virtually any time, any place, and
this drawing proves it! http://www.flickr.com/photos/25146557@N00/830049597/


If you're in the area of Excelsior Springs, MO, stop in at the Elms.  My
darling friend Andy is now their head chef--I'm going there for lunch today,
with good buddy and fellow artist Jeri, and I can't wait!

Andy's married to my friend Susan, who owns Scandinavian Country with her
mom, Jytte, and he's dad to the beautiful Birgitte, my fairy godchild!
She's a doll, isn't she?


And speaking of Scandinavian Country, they've branched out into an all new
soup menu on weekends and DESSERTS EVERY DAY.  Oh, my...I'm controlling
myself and having a treat of iced coffee every once in a while, instead!
(The brownies with dark chocolate ganache are INCREDIBLE, though.)

Check the lovelies on the menu, here:
http://www.scandinavian-country.com/generic6.html and if you're wildly
tempted, stop by!  Let me know when you're in town, maybe I can join you!


My sweetie was here for a visit last week, and the house seems terribly
empty without him.  He hurt his back before our camping trip in June, as I
reported earlier, so he wasn't able to do much on the rehab project he
bought next door.  It's coming along, though, slowly but surely!  Until I
get the photos moved to a new home, they're still in my Yahoo album, here:


The drywall is making it look much more habitable, isn't it!  Our rehab
expert, Mark Boone, is doing a great job, juggling this with his work on the
newly reopened Oaks Hotel Apartments, where he's now in charge of
maintenance. It's a great old hotel, recently turned into apartments--a
great save for a place that was an eyesore so recently!

Here's a bit of the history...http://theidlehour.com/hotelfolder/oaks.html


It's finally turned true summer here, with hot, muggy afternoons but still
bearable nights...I work outdoors and on the rehab in the mornings, then
hole up in my studio or at the computer!

I hope you're finding time for art too, wherever you are...

My best to you...

Kate (Cathy Johnson)  graphicart@epsi.net

Original Art:  http://members.ebay.com/aboutme/cathyjohnsonart
Artists' CDs & More:  http://www.cafepress.com/cathy_johnson/
Art & Tutorials:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/25146557@N00/
Artist's Blog:  http://katequicksilvr.livejournal.com/


Thanks for the link, and the recommendation about putting a blog link on my homepage. It's fixed now. (I lose track of what's linked there and what isn't. I didn't realize that I'd deleted the blog link at some point... *sheepish grin*)

Also thanks for the many great resources that you list here! Wow!
I get very confused with all the html stuff...glad it's back and easy to find!

And you're welcome!


The drawing is absolutely fabulous! I love the style.

I also wanted to let you know that I've listed the Posemaniacs link that I found here as a figure drawing resource on my blog.

Thank you

Re: Posemaniacs

Thank you! And I'm glad the link was useful...the individual poses seem slow to open today, but I've done it before with no problem. The ether must be clogged!