When I get a chance, I enjoy working with simple subjects like plants, seed pods and flowers. Sometimes real plants aren’t available so I will use images from the internet or in magazines. Here’s a quick tutorial on my you tube.
You might ask, “What is the difference between "good" art and "bad" art” This is a big question with a lot of answers.
Your first question should be, does it appeal to me?
Ask yourself, what is it about this piece of art that draws me in?
I like it, but why?
When I ask this question of students during our first meeting, they many times don't know what to say other than, I like it. I like the colors. I will ask "what is it about the colors that you like?"
Most times it is difficult for them to answer. It is hard for the non-artist or the beginning to pinpoint why a piece appeals to them.
Why is it that some images appeal to you and others do not?
The first thing you need to know is that there is a formula that artists use to create visually interesting works of art. It’s called Artistic Composition. Artistic Composition refers to the arrangement of the elements and principles of art. Understanding these elements and principles is the first step to creating visually interesting art or collecting art that you will love.
Whether you are an art lover looking to buy a piece of art or an aspiring artist you should be familiar with the guidelines of composition.
The elements work with the principles to create a pleasing composition.
The elements are:
Let’s look at the painting below and see how they work together.
This is a Maxfield Parrish Illustration. Parrish was known for his gorgeous use of color.
Color is the first thing I see in this painting.
Why is the color so striking?
One reason is the contrast in warm and cool colors. Warm colors are reds, yellows and some violets. Cool colors are blues, greens and some violets. You can see warmth on the figure's body and the hills. You see the cool blue sky in the background.
In this painting, you might say that the composition uses the element of color with the principle of contrast. If the painting was all shades of gray, it would not be as exciting or visually interesting.
I read an article at Edutopia about keeping record of your teaching. I have always wanted to do that. I'm in a unique place this school year. I'm teaching at two schools. One in Baltimore city and one in the county.
I teach high school students digital photography and graphic design in a large private school and middle school art in a small private school.
I have been teaching art for about 20 years so I have seen the change in the way kids process information as well as what they are willing to give you in respect to thier time. Attention span has reduced dramatically, especially for art class. Enough boring stuff!
This week at my Middle School I started a paper mache project for 7th and 8th grade.
The kids love this. With minimal instruction and Google/Pinterest searches they are off and running, balling up newspaper and taping heads to bodies and asking me how to make a wrapped candy or other fun idea. I don't tell them what to make. I only give them size restrictions. Storing all 60 projects while we are in process will be a challenge in my tiny room.
The sixth grade has started pencil and line. I had them try some blind contour drawing. This is where you look only at the subject you are drawing and not a the paper. Only a couple of students were able to understand and do this correctly. We will try again this Friday.
At my high school, graphic design students are working on a poster project to teach them some Graphic Arts history . They will do do three things in this project.
In Digital Photo students are creating cyanotypes. I begin with a power point that covers some film developing basics and then goes into how to create a cyanotype and who first developed and used this photo process.
We have printed the negatives and I am hoping to paint the paper and do some prints. It's only going to be a high of 39 today. This is not exactly the weather for an outdoor activity. With cyanotype you develop in sunlight or a UV light, which I have. Maybe I will go that route.
This summer I invested in some great Pewter spacer beads as well as lapis and amethyst rough cut beads. I have a couple of simple earring designs to show you. I also created several great looking stretch bracelets and fun shell fragment charms from my trip to the beach.
Fine Art Update
It has been a busy summer for my art. I placed 7 large paintings at new venue in Philadelphia. I have also made a connection with a fantastic printer. After years of trying to find a way to offer great prints through my website I have decided to list my art on Pictorem. This company goes way beyond the other canvas print places. They offer image optimization, really cool varnishes and many frame styles. You can see my site here.
It can be difficult for me to stay focused in one creative area. I have two wonderful ambitions. One is painting and the other is creating beaded jewelry.
Both of these processes are yielding lots of art and ideas. I want to share these ideas and art works you, so I am working on two websites, this one, sarahbutcher.com and my sister site bead social.
sarahbutcher.com showcases my fine art and beadsocial is my creative event company.
My paintings are available for you to purchase. Each one is a 20 x 30 inch canvas print. Because these are digital paintings I can create them in other sizes and surfaces as well.
I am working on product listings for each one. If you are interested in purchasing a painting now email me,with the title and size you want and I will create a piece for you. Shipping is free and your satisfaction is guaranteed. I will refund you the purchase price if you are unhappy for any reason. email
The paintings on my home page are painted from my photographs. They begin as a record of something, someone, sometimes me and they end as abstractions, where only the colors of the original photograph remain. They ability to paint rapidly allows me to create a series from a single photographic image.
They are at once very satisfying to create and somewhat unwilling because the painting happens so quickly.
I wish to see the images printed large, perhaps each painting is printed 18 x 24 inches, hanging together to create a huge statement.
They are available for purchase. contact me by email: email@example.com
I have started a youtube channel. I'd like to share my artistic processes with a larger audience. My production equipment is quite basic but I think it's a pretty good setup to show how to use your phone or tablet to create art.
I use a Mac Book Air running Yosemite. This version allows you to use Quicktime to capture everything that's happening on your device while recording your voice at the same time, like Screencastify. I have created a few videos that show how to use Adobe Sketch to create paintings from a photo, in acrylic and watercolor media. If you get a chance to view a video and try out the process, I 'd love to hear from you.
here's the link; https://www.youtube.com/user/sagehare
Happy Art Making!
I'd like to thank the Mt. Vernon Conservancy for allowing me to bring my workshops to
Mt. Vernon Place this summer. It has been a wonderful experience. We still have a children's class this Saturday and another watercolor class scheduled for some time in September.
Before time gets away from me, I am posting some links for those who attended the class on July 11. Please feel free to email or message me if you have questions about any of the apps or processes.
Adobe Corporation is one of the places I go for artistic inspiration,tools and instruction.
Many of the desktop applications are subscription based, however, they have many free apps and learning resources. Here are some you might want to check out:
Photoshop Mix v2.0 (Android, iOS): Work With Layers on Touchscreens Forget about Photoshop Touch and even the powerful Photoshop Express. Adobe is working hard on a new app that puts both of those to shame. In July, Photoshop Mix finally updated to v2.0 and brought a slew of fantastic new features.
Photoshop Fix (iOS): The Best of Photoshop Touch, for Free The touchscreen-friendly version of Photoshop has been around for some time, but Photoshop Express burdens you with annoying in-app purchases. However, not many people know about Photoshop Fix, and it’s Adobe’s best-kept secret.
Adobe Spark Suite (Web, iOS): Create Beautiful Posts, Articles, or Videos Not everyone is born with great aesthetic sense. So even if you’re good with creating content, you might not have the style to be able to translate it into an incredible video or a photo with gorgeous graphics.
Adobe Photoshop Sketch | Sketch and paint app
Create expressive drawings anywhere using natural drawing tools like pencils, pens, markers, and watercolor brushes with Adobe Photoshop Sketch.
The Adobe Education Exchange
This is a free resource with courses for teachers and students.
Brushes for Photoshop and Sketch
Use Master Painter Edvard Munch's brushes in Adobe Photoshop and Sketch
Check out this link and video to see how Kyle T. Webster created 7 brushes from the master's actual archived paintbrushes.
I am introducing 3 Fabulous Party ideas for 2017!
Check them out on my Fabulous Party Ideas page. One of the ideas is called BeadSocial.
have purchased the domain name and am building the website. It is pretty close to launch! BeadSocial is an adult beading party similar to other creative party activities which you may be familiar. I am looking forward to getting this little business started because I have a love for jewelry making and teaching. If we can do this with a glass of wine then so much the better!
I wonder if it is unusual for an artist to have such a diverse number of endeavors going on all at once?
After I thought about this, I think that I am an entrepreneurial artist.
I believe I have these ideas because I have a passion for creating satisfying and meaningful art and art experiences.
I want to bring art to everyone. Art that you can make and art that you can buy and enjoy in your home or workplace.
I believe that artwork enhances your life experience . As you sit for a meal or crash on the sofa at night, I'd like to see you surround yourself with art. When picking your art the only thing you need to know is whether or not it appeals to you. It doesn't matter the movement or artist. It's all about the warm humanity that those paintings or objects evoke in your dwelling. Look around, I bet your place is screaming for that cultural connection.