FALL-ing into a new studio space . . .

leafpageIt’s that time of year when I don’t want to get rid of the Wild Rose bush that I never planted in the first place, and that fights me all Summer – with thorns being the least of her weapons.

But I came from Michigan a LONG time ago, and Fall leaves had lots of reds (Santa Fe leaves do not), so when this Wild Rose produces such amazing color every Fall, she stays on my “keeper” list.

It is cold enough to turn leaves beautiful colors in the garden, so I have moved back into my Winter Studio (my greenhouse/garden room), where I have been painting these great leaves.

leafdeskSome of you are already asking what those markers are, aren’t you? Thought so.

They are amazing and brand new from Winsor Newton, and they are REAL watercolor markers. And, of course, five minutes after hearing about them, I bought them.

You might remember this post back in 2013 when I took that Sketch workshop online and the only thing I got out of it was the idea that you could use water soluble markers as paint.

I still use that method of painting – a lot. But the idea of a non-permanent (non-archival) pigment sort of bothers me. I am very picky about color nuances in my work, and I don’t want them changing over time.

So, how cool is it that one of the top watercolor manufacturers in the world has put their artist grade pigments into markers.

I watched the promo videos and no one is using them this way (on a Sheer Heaven palette) – yet. This is one of those mediums that you can use a lot of ways for very different effects. I will share more as I learn more.

Here is the painting area of the garden room studio . . .

gardenstudioIt looks like a big mess from this angle because we are looking through everything, but the desk is clear. We’ll see how long that lasts, right?

And, to the right of the desk, is my rocker that must fill in for my beloved swing for the next few months. My beautiful garden quilt, gifted to me by my friend, Jerrie Hall, waits on the back of the rocker for chillier times. It is folded with the back side out so the sun will not fade the fabulous art on the other side. (Which you can see in this post from 2011, when the garden room was MUCH less cluttered.)

rockerandquiltjpg2I enjoy reading art books in this rocker (purging the “library”).

Across from me I have hung those amazing cascading Begonias I got in Durango last Spring. They are still going strong and I am shocked (pleasantly). This is a terrible photo because the light was so low. I moved one of the fountains in too – because there is no sound I would rather listen to.

fountainbegoniasSo, I am happily painting away in my Stillman & Birn journals (still my absolute favorite), and I thought it might be nice if you could paint some leaves too.

In case you don’t happen to have any, I will share some of mine. Feel free to right-click this photo, or take a screen shot with your iPad, and paint away with me . . .

leaf6upHave You Noticed the BIG Blog Re-Design?

I am cleaning up everything online, but there was a business reason for this change as well.

My old theme was not responsive to mobile devices. The blog showed as a narrow column in the center of the screen, and my sidebar did not show at all.

Though I blog for the love of it, this blog also serves as my only marketing for the workshops and books and Sheer Heaven. The only place to put that info is in the sidebar, and if the sidebar does not show up for most of you because you are reading this on your tablets, then I won’t be able to afford dog food and such.

The sidebar also has access links to my favorite blogs by other people, and to all the archived posts in this blog. So, it is well worth having. There is even a Search box so you can find any old posts you sorta half remember, and want to read again (IF you can remember some word that has something to do with it).

So, this theme is clean and easy to read, AND the sidebar should show up on mobile devices. Some blog reading apps, like Feedly, show only the post content unless you tap the screen. Then it will take you to the actual full blog view, where you can see the sidebar.

The Bloglovin app and Safari browser, (which you get when you open your email subscription link on your iPad), also shows the site correctly now.

Bloglovin is my favorite blog reader – on the computer and the iPad. You can follow this blog on Bloglovin by clicking the link at the topof the sidebar.

I really like the way they present your blog feed, and I like that they suggest other blogs you may like – based on the ones you follow. Very nice blog reader.

This re-design was A LOT of work, but I am very pleased with the result.

Your Opinion Please . . .

I am very excited to have the new Artist Journal Chronicles, Volume 1, almost ready to publish!

I have been working on the masthead (logo) and I am having a hard time making up my mind.

Since you are the folks who are going to adore this publication and clamor for more, I would like your votes for which of these is most appealing. I like them all, which makes choosing more difficult.

Vote for #1, #2, or #3 in Comments, and I will randomly select a voter to receive a free copy of the first book.

Here they are . . .

ajclogosThanks for your vote and I hope you win the free issue!

68 thoughts on “FALL-ing into a new studio space . . .

  1. Dora

    I like #3 best because it is crisp and clean. I love being able to see everything in the margins of the pages so your work on the blog overhaul were worth it for me!

  2. Jeanne from Austin

    Forgot to say earlier that I love the new blog look. Everything is easy to find, and it all just looks clean and simple. I’ve been to way too many blogs that are crowded, have too much crap, and make it much too difficult to find things. And a heartfelt thank-you for not having all that advertising baloney that most other blogs have. Having some ads is fine—that brings income, but so many blogs are so crowded with them. And thank you for not having 39 photos of one project. I mean, really.

    Now a question. I loved Creativity Knocking, and I’m sure I will love Artist Journal Chronicles. Has CK been replaced by AJC, or will you do another volume?

  3. Lori Bradford

    Im voting for 3 but it was closely followed by 2. Now Im off to check out those new watercolor markers!

  4. Carole Kosteriva

    I love your signature ‘bird’ logo so vote for #1 as the lettering detracts less from him/ her.

  5. Carole Wolford

    Hi Jessica, Here is my vote. I like #3 because it is not “cutesy” and not fussy. ..just clean and easy to read. Elegant.

  6. Suzi DaVia

    Hi Jess…
    I am loving all of this… just spent a long while wondering around…it’s so fun….so easy. Nice work.

    OK…I am voting for # 1… it’s playful, it’s YOU!

    Am going to play with the leaves….maybe on a new tote bag I just got…rich vibrant colors…..and yet they’re at the end of their journey. I love the Fall!!!

  7. Margaret Hadden

    My vote is for #2. #3 is very nice, but an “artist” needs something that is out of the range of looking just like another font.

    Best wishes,
    Margaret

  8. Lani

    I too prefer #2 — #1for me is warm & fuzzy but too cutesy scrapbook looking and 3 is way too cold and mechanical font looking and is attention getting and artsy fartsy and I really like it. Love the new blog look and did you ever get my message about saving tres fur from your 4footed kids in order that I could blend with a little alpaca and wool so I could spin you some yarn for someone to knit up some little ” sumpin or nutter” hugs lani

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