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. susie

    Congrats on all your endeavors!

    I like #2, it’s not a font I’ve seen before so I don’t have a preconceived feeling about it.

  2. Deb Spindler

    I like # 2, maybe because the bird has two legs to stand on, maybe because the font is more interesting..

  3. Joanne

    I like the new look, but have not tried on a mobile device. I vote for #3, and I love the little bird that is in all of them.

  4. sheila J

    Hi Jessica:
    I vote for number 3. I find the large serifs in number 1 too distracting. The font in number 2 makes me think I am seeing “double.” But number 3 has a lovely flow to it and feels relaxed. The wee birdy adds just a touch of whimsy.

    BTW, do you know where I could purchase those W & N markers on-line? I am stuck inside waiting for a hip replacement – in southern Manitoba. We have been lucky – it’s not that cold yet – but winter is coming.

    Sheila J

  5. Jerrie

    I LOVE #2!
    Your new blog format is great too. I find it much easier to read…. I especially LOVE that beautiful quilt!!! (grins)

  6. Christine in Neotsu

    I love your workspace. I’d take a picture of mine, but right now it’s hopeless. I tried to move some things upstairs to the big kitchen table, and it, too, has become hopeless. Your space has inspired me….so maybe down the line, I’ll take a picture or two.

    I like #3 also. I was going to say I liked the sans serif look, but n and a have serifs. I also like the crispness of the letters and the subtle weight change in the letter strokes.

  7. Patricia

    The new blog format on my iPad is great. Thanks for taking the time. I like #1 because of how the bird sits on the “l.” # 3 looks like it would pierce the bird’s tummy. #2 is too busy for me.

  8. Barbara L.

    My vote is for #2. It looks more like a book title to me. The other two look like article titles to me.

  9. Maureen

    i discarded #2 immediately, too busy. so in looking at #1 and #3, i squinted my eyes and tried to figure out which one was visually more appealing. for all the reasons other people have already indicated (crisp, clean, sans serif, etc), i vote for …. drum roll please …. #3!!

    enjoyed this post … i’ve live in ABQ for 36 years and i STILL miss red leaves, so what a delight to find them on your page!!

    very much looking forward to the Artist Journal Chronicles ;)


  10. Jeanne from Austin

    No contest for me—Number 3! What’s that—a poem? :-D

    It’s clean and simple and easy to read. The delightful little bird is all that it needs to proclaim that this is from an artist!

  11. jordi

    Number 1. I’m doing this on a tablet and it “reads” best. It is clean and would reduce and go bigger best I think. Play with it in different resolutions and sizes before you commit!

  12. Rhee

    I like #2 (although it looks a little pixelated), then #1. Alas, they all read “Artist Chronicles Journal” to me…

  13. Marilyn

    Definitely #1. Number 2 the l looks like it is teh bird’s legs so there is no end to Journal. Number 3 the J running under the chronicles makes the flow off and the O looks capitalized and out of size. Interesting how everyone sees things differently.

  14. Ann Cumbie

    I enjoyed reading about your winter workspace. I brought a few flowers in and have lost a few. Maybe I can do a better job next year.
    #3 is my pick. . . no particular reason. . . it just appeals to me more.
    Hugs from Nashville.

  15. Louise W

    It is a toss-up between #1 and #3. I don’t like #2 – can’t give you a why. I just don’t. #1 is whimsically artsey, but I have to go with #3 as it’s cleaner and crisper. And just because I like it the best!

  16. Cathie

    I vote for #3. It’s soft yet crisp. It’s comfortable—like a welcoming friend, but there’s a sense of professionalism attached.

  17. Jane F

    I like #3 best, although I do like the bird’s two legs of the l in the second one..
    The new blog is finally readable for these ole eyes. That narrow column was hard! Plus now I can see the sidebar! Thanks for your efforts to make life easier for us!

  18. Nancy De Santis

    #2 seems like you! But all are nice.
    I love the new blog! Viewing the old one on the iPad was a bit of a drag, but not enough not to tune in, as your content is always good no matter the format!

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