Need a creative interlude?

Need a creative interlude?

Life is hectic, art-making is rejuvenating!

I find that art-making  gives me the chance to observe the world around me and reflect. I’m designing workshops and classes that give artists, non-artists, and would-be artists, a chance to be creative. Learn more from these short media pieces:

Art Cards and Journals:
 

Fountain Pens:

Contact me to host a class or workshop. 

Single-session workshops can run from one to four hours. Multi-session classes allow for more skills-building and in-depth projects. Workshops or classes can stand alone, or fit with other professional development or community activities, conferences or retreats. Let’s talk! jsalmons[at]vision2lead.com. 

 

 

Workshop at Two Hands Paperie

Workshop at Two Hands Paperie

You don’t have to be an artist
to enjoy creative time!

Take a break from the busy-ness and learn new ways to integrate creativity into your everyday life. I’m offering a class at Two Hands Paperie in Boulder, Colorado to give you a start! These intimate, relaxed workshops offer how-to steps, time to practice, and take-home guides.  Not in Boulder? See flexible class options and invite me to offer a workshop in your shop, museum, organization, or community!

Hands-On Fountain Pens 

Friday, November 15th
3:00-5:00 pm
Register now.

I am a blogger and have written 7 books, so I have lots of experience with digital writing. When I want to think more deeply about what I am writing, create a message that won’t get stuck in an inbox, or when I want to sketch and doodle, my choice is a fountain pen. I love being able to choose inks and nibs, and avoid adding disposable pens to the landfill. Don’t be intimidated– modern pens are easy to use! Come learn to write with a fountain pen. You will also learn how fountain pens work, and how to maintain them so you can treasure a pen for years to come. 

 

A Watercolor Month Art Journal

A Watercolor Month Art Journal

World Watercolor Month: Prompts and Community

This summer I worked on three art journaling projects. World Watercolor Month inspired one of them. World Watercolor Month is the brainchild of Charlie O’Shields and hosted annually on www.doodlewash.com

A list of prompts is published, and artists from novice to expert post and comment on each other’s paintings. This year I managed to complete 23 of 31 prompts. I had fun interpreting the prompts visually, sometimes literally, and other times making a play on words. For me, the goal isn’t artistic excellence, but simply to make more time for creativity in my everyday life. I collected the pages into an art journal chapbook, so take a look:

 

Join me for a creative workshop!

Try working with prompts, or developing your own, and use different kinds of journaling techniques! See these current workshop offerings, or contact me to discuss hosting one in your organization, retreat, museum, or shop.

 

Journaling World Watercolor Month

Journaling World Watercolor Month

Yay! It’s World Watercolor Month!

Every July the energetic Charlie O’Shields invites expert and amateur watercolor artists to paint in response to daily prompts. The goal of World Watercolor Month is to create 31 paintings in 31 days.

When people post their work on social media, or directly into the Doodlewash site community (my preference) they appear in a collective newsfeed. You can see how others responded, and make comments. The result is an interactive global community art fair!

Enjoy the digital edition of my World Watercolor Month art journal! I am participating for the second time. This year I am creating a World Watercolor Month art journal. In addition, I am working on a summer travel art journal, but more on that in another post!

Day 1

The prompt was Primary Colors. Of course red, yellow, and blue are primary colors, but  since the natural world often inspires my painting, I select and blend my watercolors to reflect the Colorado landscape.

Day 2

The prompt was Sunny Sky. After an unusually gray spring and early summer, illuminated leaves are most appreciated.

Day 3

Painting on the patio is our idea of Family Fun! This one includes torn painted rice paper collage with watercolor and brush pen.

Day 4

Painting on the patio is our idea of Family Fun! This one includes torn painted rice paper collage with watercolor and brush pen.

Day 5

Loose and free, the Day 5 prompt, sounds like a Colorado theme! Our streams and rivers are the result of snow pack cutting loose– they freely rush over rocks to make a dramatic and beautiful flow. I tried to represent a fast and free river in this two Day 5 contribution.

Day 6

For the Day 6 prompt Window View, I am sharing a little painting based on my recent experience of taking a train from Boston to Philadelphia. We had a window seat in the cafe car, and watched towns, woods, farms, and water go by.

Day 7

The prompt for Day 7 was Shiny Things. At this time of the year its the sunshine-y places that inspire me. This watercolor sketch is from a shiny day at Grand Lake, Colorado.

It is free to participate, but any funds generated through donations or sales of very cool merchandise go to the Dreaming Zebra Foundation to provide art opportunities and supplies to kids.

Interested in journaling? Registration opens soon for workshops in Boulder, Colorado. See summer offerings!

Get Creative! Workshop Options

Get Creative! Workshop Options

Does your group, organization, or business
need to get creative?

My creative interlude workshops are based on three principles:

  • We need time to refresh our minds and spirits. We are collectively under stress from a tumultuous time and information overload. We spend too much time looking at screens (this from a digital geek!) and not enough time using our hands.
  • You don’t need to be an artist to benefit from a creative experiences. We focus on process, not the product.
  • You can do it! Start with some basic techniques, play and have fun!

Consider offering one of the following classes, or work with me to develop one that meets your specific needs.

Hands On Fountain Pens. Did you know Americans alone throw away at least 1.6 billion disposable pens every year? Learn the basics about how to buy, use, and maintain refillable fountain pens. Experiment with writing and drawing.

Wish You Were Here: Art Cards. Creating and sending small paintings is fun for you and will make the day of anyone who receives it. Learn watercolor and writing techniques that will make your cards stand out in a pile of junk mail!

Start Journaling. From to-do lists to life observations, journaling can be practical or reflective. Learn a variety of styles including bullet, art, nature, memoir, dream, and choose the ones that fit your life now.

Paper-Paint-Paper: Multimedia Collage. Who doesn’t remember the fun of cutting and pasting? Try a grown-up version with rice and decorative papers, and watercolor paints.

Contact me to discuss options for class length, size, supplies, and of course costs! Write to jsalmons[at]vision2lead.com.

 

Thinking about trying a fountain pen? 

Thinking about trying a fountain pen? 

Try a fountain pen to liven up your writing!
If you are looking for a pen to start with, these pens are tried and true. They are modestly priced, good quality, fun to use and easy to maintain. They all come in multiple colors, and have steel nibs.

Patronize your local pen shops! In Boulder? You can find these pens at Two Hands Paperie. If you don’t live near a pen shop, follow the links.

  • Kaweco Sport. Small plastic pen from Germany, with selection of nib options, including extra fine, fine, medium, broad and calligraphy. Easy to switch nibs if you want to use more than one size. International standard cartridge only.
  • Lamy Safari, Al-Star or Vista. Lamys include both plastic and metal models. These German pens are available with extra fine, fine, medium, broad nibs. Lamy also makes the Joy, a calligraphy pen. Lamys come with a converter and sample cartridge. Lamys use a proprietary cartridge.
  • Pilot Metropolitan. The Metropolitan has a metal body. Japanese nib options include fine, medium, medium italic. The pen comes come with a squeeze converter and sample cartridge. It uses a proprietary cartridge.
  • Pilot Kakuno. The Kakuno has a plastic body. Japanese nib options include extra fine, fine, or medium. It uses a proprietary cartridge; converter is sold separately.

Writing Styles:
Two of these pens are from Germany, and two are from Japan. Here are some writing examples on Baron Fig paper. As you can see, the Japanese Pilot nibs are considerably finer than the German Lamy nibs. The choice is one of personal preference.

Related blog post:
Academic Writing with Pen in Hand. A blog post about my hybrid digital/analog writing style.

Resources and Guides:

Save the Date: Join Hands-On Fountain Pens at Two Hands Paperie in Boulder, November 15, 2019. Registration will be online early fall.

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Resources for Art Card Painters

Resources for Art Card Painters

Thinking about Painting Art Cards? 

Painting art cards has multiple benefits. The painter takes time for reflection and sharpens skills in observation. The card brightens the day of the recipient, who continues to enjoy it. Painting for art cards can be quick and informal, in plein air or a coffee shop, landscapes, still life, or abstract. 

I consulted the following resources for the Wish You Were Here art card workshop at Two Hands Paperie in Boulder, Colorado. 

Online Resources

Doodlewash: Home of World Watercolor Month and a thriving community of artists. Led by Charlie Shields, who offers a cheerful painting and post every day

The Watercolor Learning Center: Lots of great resources from Ellen Fountain

Free nature journaling online course with Jan Blencowe 

Angela Fehr: Classes and examples

Landscape painting from David Bellamy. PDF excerpt.

John Muir Laws resources on drawing and nature journaling

Liz Steel is good resource for capturing the urban side of postcard creating.She shares lots of tips on color mixing, drawing, telling a story and feeling comfortable creating out in the world.

Suhita and Shari Blaukopf both work in sketchbooks but have styles that would translate well to a postcard. They capture in their paintings the places they live and travel in a way that tells a story about the season, place and moment in time. 

Supplies for Painting on the Go

Paints and Palettes

Some palettes come filled with paint. Some are made to simply use until the paint is gone, then discard. Others have plastic or metal pans that can be removed to switch out with other colors, and to refill and keep using.

Others include empty pans, which you can fill using watercolor paints that come in tubes. It is easy to fill your own pans. You fill them with tube water color paints, and let them dry overnight. If you look at the sources listed above, or search online, you will discover lots of approaches for selecting the colors for a palette. You might decide that you need more than one, or that you will change for the seasons, or for travel.

The term “palette” also refers to the sectioned dish you can use to mix paints. They come in all sizes and in plastic or porcelain. For on-the-go painting, the lid of the paintbox works just fine.

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This small Cotman set is great for mobile painters. When you use up the paints, you can refill the pans with paints from tubes. Cotman paints come in 40 colors, so you can customize your palette to your liking. If you are in Boulder, Two Hands Paperie carries these sets.

The Portable Palette is a fold-up plastic painting set up, and the stand doubles as a water reservoir.

MEEDEN Empty Watercolor Tins Palette Paint Case Metal Box with 12 Transparent Half PansThis type of empty palette comes in all sizes, from this small one to styles that fit 48 pans. 

Travel Painter Palette with Brush

Pans are removable in these options so you can easily change your color combinations.

 

If you want to be really mobile, you can buy or make tiny palettes in mint tins. Here is a how-to tutorial and detailed description of options on the Scratchmade Journal website.

 

This set of brushes offers a flexible assortment. Another travel option is the type of brush that has a protective cap. See a review of travel brushes on the Scratchmade Journal site.

Reviews & comparisons of travel pocket brushes for watercolor - ScratchamadeJournal.com

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From my kitchen table to you!

From my kitchen table to you!

Wish You Were Here – Postcards on the Go!

Sometimes we are inspired by travel or a hike in the beautiful Colorado outdoors. But when the temperatures hover at freezing, I look for inspiration at home, and opt for the kitchen table instead of plein aire.

Join me for a workshop at Two Hands to learn some basic watercolor and penmanship techniques you can use for art cards that will stand out in our email/text/information overload world and brighten your friends’ mailboxes!

Saturday, April 13, 1- 4 pm
at Two Hands Paperie in Boulder, Colorado.
Register for the class. Note: FOUR spaces left as of March 6.

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Workshops at Two Hands Paperie in Boulder, Colorado

Workshops at Two Hands Paperie in Boulder, Colorado

Garden Fun

Wish You Were Here – Postcards on the Go! 

Information overload – everyone suffers from it now that text messages and emails are inescapable. How can you break though the inbox and catch someone’s attention? With an art card and handwritten note, of course!

Saturday, April 13, 1- 4 pm at Two Hands Paperie in Boulder, Colorado.
Register for the class. Note: FOUR spaces left as of March 4.

 

pilot penHands-On Pens:

The fountain pen offers a unique and timeless writing experience. This workshop offers a hands-on experience that covers the basics of how to select, care for, and use a fountain pen for writing or drawing. 

This class was offered Friday, March 1st, 6:00-8:00 pm at Two Hands Paperie in Boulder, Colorado.