Thursday, May 24, 2012

Psst!... Want To See My Sketchbook?

Hello!  I hope the sun in shining brightly in your part of the world.  Having recently returned to Vancouver Island after an extended stay in Phoenix, I am discovering how "solar powered" I am.  Phoenix had sun almost every day and I felt creatively inspired often during my stay.  Victoria on the other hand has very changeable weather and at times there are days on end that are cloudy, overcast and/or rainy. On grey rainy days I feel so very uninspired but the moment the sun pierces the clouds with its glorious rays I immediately feel my mood lift and creativity soar! Somehow I need to carry my own personal piece of sunshine with me (and no, strangely enough sun lamps and things of that sort don't seem to help me at all). 

The bridal stationery line is still my main focus and I'm now working on compiling the catalog with the help of Scott at Art Ink.  It's exciting new territory for me and I am so grateful for Scott's objective input.  Hopefully between us both we'll produce an easy-to-follow catalog that showcases the bridal cards to their best advantage.  I'll give you a sneak peek...... soon...   : )

In the meantime, you my have noticed that I haven't been producing any new art.  All my energies have been focused on the bridal catalog although a little voice in my head keeps whispering.... no, make that almost yelling!... that I need to pick up a pencil or brush and doodle in my sketchbook if nothing else.

Which brings me to the subject of sketchbooks.  Over the past months I have thoroughly enjoyed seeing pages from other people's sketchbooks -- like Koosje Koene's (to view her blog click here), Connie's (which you can view on her blog here and here) and Amna Mehwish's (view her blog here) to name just a few.  (Koosje and Amna are fellow participants in the "Creative Courage" online course by Stephanie Levy.)  I think people who share sketchbook pages are quite brave, as our sketches are rather personal and aren't polished works of art.  The ladies I mentioned above have inspired me to be brave.  Since I don't have any new art to share at the moment (sorry Amna... I know your comment on a previous post told me not to stop painting again...but this time it's for a good cause.... honest!) I thought I'd share a few pages from my sketchbook.  

My sketchbook started as a place to draw.  That's it... pencil drawings...plain and simple... 

New ferns unfurling in spring
Way back when I was trying to be brave enough to do anything creative and artistic I challenged myself to draw the sword fern fronds unfurling in the backyard.  I loved the curving, curling shapes and now wish I'd thought to take a photo as a reference so I could now turn this into a painting.

The Dallas Road waterfront in Victoria
I have a story to share about the Dallas Road sketch.  I was sitting sketching on top of the cliffs that overlook this part of the waterfront when a tourist approached and asked if I'd mind having my picture taken as I sketched.  The photo was taken from behind so they could get the sketchbook in the photo along with the actual scene I was trying to capture.  So somewhere out there my sketchbook and I are immortalized as part of someone's Victoria vacation photos.  : )

Summer rose hip
The rose hip sketch was made while sitting waiting at a ferry terminal for a sailing that was considerably delayed.  Rose hips were growing profusely along side the parking lot and time slipped by quite quickly as I sketched.  Thank goodness for my sketchbook!  And that time I remembered to take a photo and may actually try to reproduce this picture in watercolour one day.

It didn't take long before my sketchbook became a place where I could also experiment with new and different art media.
Testing out felt tipped drawing pens and Copic colour markers.
Such fun!

Experimenting with coloured pencils while reading a book on botanical illustration.
Playing with pastels.

It would be ideal if I could discipline myself to sketch regularly. I've read that regular sketching contributes to making good progress technically and artistically.   I know some people manage to do it daily but at this point I'd settle for once a week! However, at the moment my first priority is the bridal stationery line.  After that I'll see about more sketching.

So now that we're on the subject of sketchbooks, I'd love to you what medium you use most often in your sketchbook, and what's your favourite subject?

Happy sketching!
- Fern

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Wedding Invitations and Bridal Stationery

Wow... it's true!...  Time really does fly when you're having fun!  lol...  Since my last post I've been busy developing a new card line - a line of wedding invitations and bridal stationery!  A new bridal shop is opening up in Wisconsin soon and I am developing a line of custom printed invitations and bridal stationery for them.  Here's a peek at what I've been working on --

Altogether there will be 20 photo images, and as you can see each photo image with come in either a light or dark border because some brides prefer the bolder look of a dark border.  I'm thinking that the white cactus flower image may appeal to a bride who wants a less traditional, slightly 'edgier' look.  Someone who saw these images early in the card development process commented that the cactus flower is a fitting bridal image because love and marriage isn't all about romance and good times - there can be some thorny time, too! 

I'm planning on putting together a catalog so a bride can see all the choices of image, font style and type of stationery.  For example, wedding invitations could be folded cards or flat unfolded cards.  Thank you cards will be available in two sizes - 5 x 7" and 3.25 x 5.25".  A bride could also order RSVP cards, reception information cards, save the date folded cards or postcards, table place cards, dinner menu cards, wedding programs, and bookmarks that could be given to guests as favors. 

Are there any other types of wedding stationery that you think would be good to include?  Something you wish had been available when you got married?  Or something you saw at someone's wedding and thought was a really good idea?  I'd love to hear your suggestions.