Sketches, Artwork, Quotes & Interviews

Monday, May 24, 2010

A Tour of my Studio

I've heard that art studios are as different as the people who use them. Mine is not pretty, nothing special to see, but there are some parts of it that work. Let's take a tour. It's in the basement of our home, past the basement man-cave, past the big screen, pool table, drums and hoopla.

Entering the doorway (above). Lighting includes inset ceiling lights, track lighting intended for the walls, and spotlights at each working surface. 

I use this drawing table for quick sketches and composition planning. The poster on the wall is Picasso, in the Think Different ad from Apple.


I use the easel for medium-sized canvases. Rarely use the chair, because of constantly stepping back to the doorway to see the work from a distance.

This nook was part of the unfinished basement.  I searched for a good worktable, and eventually my son and husband built this one for a custom fit. I like it! The bottom shelf holds tools for framing, the middle shelf holds flat things like paper and canvas. The top surface holds supplies within easy reach. The two pendant lights provide perfect lighting. I use this table for glue-ing, mixed media, and for painting. The lighting is better than at the easel. Underneath the table, there's a CD player/radio. I tend to vary between alternative rock and classic rock while painting. Two CD's at hand here: Constantine's debut, love it, and for when I feel techno-funk studio cool, a Tom Glide CD. Lately, I take Pandora in there, Maroon V station is great.

Supplies, left to right: Acrylics sorted in a silverware box, table easel (not visible here), markers, back corner oils in a box, some mosaic stuff, acrylic gels and mediums (love), paintbrushes both dead and alive, and various artificial flowers which make great organic subjects when experimenting with color schemes and techniques. White daisies are my favorite subject, they adapt to any painting mood (but they are absent from this pic for some reason.)
Supplies, different view. 
The inner wall, left of the worktable holds some of my favorite little sketches and color samples, thumbtacked to the wall.
To the right and behind you at the worktable, a display wall of framed work, some on the way to shows, some returning. It's always crooked, changing, and right now is looking weak with so many small ones; it has more impact when there's  big one there. Yes, I hang the ribbons and have a little stack of others-they encourage me! That blue ribbon one received a $500 award, but I never think about the money. When I think of the painting, I think of the first place ribbon it won and it makes me purrr.

This is me pretending to work at the easel.

Oftentimes I just move every thing to the floor,  where I can move around and reach it all. This painting is about to get some paper glued into it. By the way,the floor  is concrete, it's a basement floor. It's painted with glossy chocolate brown paint.
Let's go, I'll walk you upstairs to the front door.  

Upstairs to the main floor. I didn't paint that one.
This is where I watch a lot of tv!

This is the way to the door. I like to see the piano and books, even when too busy to stop. One of my favorite things about the house is the khaki color of the floorboards and trim.      
And out you go! Drive safely.                               
It seems this bunny found a patch of grass
that's better than the rest. 

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Walk On

"Walk On"
A new piece, 16 x 20 acrylic

Inspired by Neil Young and Crazy Horse, 
their authenticity and heyjustbeyou-ness

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Hey, Just Be You and other Quotes about Authenticity

Greek Man with Scarf
pastel on paper, Ann Rudd

Being yourself, what a great concept.
And one of my all-time favorite topics.
The other day I had an epiphany, or at least minor personal insight, about this concept, and the "how to" of being you.

I was thinking about art, about "artistic voice," and realized something: When I first started painting 10 years ago, people said they could recognize my style ("soft, atmospheric.") That seemed interesting, because I wasn't trying to have a style, I was just trying to learn how to paint. So yada yada, years go by.

I've noticed this: When I grab a brush and set out to paint a soft painting, because that's "my style," they come out too soft and mushy. BUT, when I grab brush and set out to experiment and/or to just paint what I SEE, including darks, lights, contrasts, colors, they come out surprisingly soft and atmospheric, they feel like they're mine; these are generally the best ones. They have some drama and some softness.

One example, above: The Greek Man drawing of Constantine Maroulis was a quick exercise I did one Sunday night around midnight, when I grabbed some pastels and felt like practicing portrait-drawing, trying to capture a face from a photo; I think it turned out, it's what I saw. Also, below: Work in Progress, I was playing with collage and painted the bunch of brushes sitting in front of me, painted what I saw, later won an award for it, how nice!

So I'm on a quest this spring to test out that theory,  to not think about it too much, just paint what I see.

My conclusion: A key point is to not TRY being yourself, but just BE yourself, and the style is there.

I googled to see what great minds and wise people have said about Being Yourself, and here are some ideas to consider: In reading through these, I'm struck that such a struggle occurs with the simple attempt to be oneself. If anyone reading has additional insights or suggestions, things you have learned, please comment!

Individualism is rather like innocence: There must be something unconscious about it. ~Louis Kronenberger

God has given you one face, and you make yourself another. ~William Shakespeare

To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting. ~e.e. cummings, 1955

Originality is... a by-product of sincerity. ~Marianne Moore

Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind. ~Dr. Seuss

Never apologize for showing feeling. When you do so, you apologize for the truth. ~Benjamin Disraeli

I was looking for myself and asking everyone except myself questions which I, and only I, could answer. ~Ralph Ellison

The life of every man is a diary in which he means to write one story, and writes another. ~James Matthew Barrie

Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation. ~Oscar Wilde

It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are. ~e.e. cummings

Almost every man wastes part of his life in attempts to display qualities which he does not possess, and to gain applause which he cannot keep. ~Samuel Johnson

The fellow that can only see a week ahead is always the popular fellow, for he is looking with the crowd. But the one that can see years ahead, he has a telescope but he can't make anybody believe that he has it.~Will Smith

Be yourself. The world worships the original. ~Ingrid Bergman

Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it. ~C.S. Lewis

I always try to improve, to find new ways of expressing myself, to keep looking for truth and originality. ~Burt Lancaster

There lurks, perhaps, in every human heart a desire of distinction, which inclines every man first to hope, and then to believe, that Nature has given him something peculiar to himself. ~Samuel Johnson

You must have control of the authorship of your own destiny. The pen that writes your life story must be held in your own hand. ~Irene C. Kassorla

You were born an original. Don't die a copy. ~John Mason

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. ~Psalm 139:14

At bottom every man knows well enough that he is a unique being, only once on this earth; and by no extraordinary chance will such a marvelously picturesque piece of diversity in unity as he is, ever be t together a second time. ~Friedrich Nietzsche

Work in Progress
Mixed media, Ann Rudd

Saturday, February 27, 2010

More Paintings are Moving

"Rhapsody" sold at Green Rice Gallery in February.
I miss it.

"Packer Pass" sold on Etsy and is on its way to Minnesota.

Now it's time to get out the paint and brushes and palette knives and see what comes out.
 I'm ready to create!

Monday, February 1, 2010

What Should You Do When You Go to NoDa?

I used to think the NoDa historic arts district in Charlotte was like a mysterious territory, an intersection with four streets of galleries, restaurants and whatnot. I still find it kind of mysterious, but have learned my way around some of the blocks, and am happy to pass on what I've learned. So for anyone interested in venturing over there for a Saturday afternoon outing with your dog, a date with your spouse, or a casual weekend stop at the Friday Night gallery crawl, here are some highlights of NoDa to orient your visit.

The first thing you might notice is the large building with the purple wall (see photo), which becomes a bright green wall a little farther down the road. This is at the corner of 36th and North Davidson (hence, NoDa). The purple building is the excellent boutique called The Boulevard. It's stocked with a variety of interesting items. You can browse hand-made jewelry, scarves, clothing, and accessories, as well as nice pet dishes, and whatnot! After that, stroll a few feet down the sidewalk and walk right into the next door you see at the Lark & Key, a cool and moody gallery. Back on the street, keep going just a few feet farther down the sidewalk to the green wall, enter the next door and go right into the Green Rice Gallery. (If I haven't mentioned it in the last 5 minutes, my artwork is there! There's a juried show opening Feb 5th, opens at 6, awards at 8 p.m. It's a NC/SC show, featuring 50 pieces; they asked the artists to write a paragraph explaining their inspiration for their piece, should be interesting)

Back on the street, well, across the street you will spot a dark little place with the name painted in graffiti, The Rat's Nest. I haven't actually been there yet, but I always stare at it and wonder. If you go there (tell me about it sometime), and then go up the street back toward the purple building intersection; on the right you'll see the awesome Evening Muse. It's an atmospheric little music place that features great bands and performers. There's usually a small crowd of people on the sidewalk listening at the door, because a) there's a cover, and b) it's usually sold out. If you accidentally walk in, like we have, the bouncers will step in front of you and politely let you know that it's full. And you can go stand outside in the crowd or keep walking.

Around the corner to the right, hmm, Salvador Deli, will make you any kind of sandwich you can think of. Sometimes they have bands outside, and you see people from college kids sitting on picnic tables, to little kids with their parents dancing in front of the bands, very pleasant there. Sometimes you find local artists selling from tables on the street near here, and they are pleasant to talk with and to buy from, plus you can find bargains. There's also a Wine Bar and a Taco Restaurant that are popular. I heard that the taco place was on the food channel once in a story about offbeat places. And down one of these streets, I think it's this one, you'll find the Center of the Earth Gallery, which has contemporary landscapes, sculpture, and pottery.

Now for you and your dog, up the other way, past the intersection, there's a place, I think it's called the Dog Bar. Dogs and owners are inside and outside there. I'm not sure, but I think they offer dog bones and treats, among other things. If you're not a dog person, try the Smelly Cat Cafe (named after the song from Friends, and decorated in the style of Friends.) They have snacks and such. And there's a nice bakery around (I'm not sure where) called Amelie's, I've heard great things about it.

Other than than, you'll see the Neighborhood Theatre (which offers venue to big names like Leon Russell/ I read somewhere that it might be closing, but I think the NoDa area is rallying to keep it there) and you'll see some busy railroad tracks which you need to watch out for at the edge of the district. I think AmTrak goes right through the area, frequently, lots of RR lights and warnings. And there's a whole different artist area back off of 36th St., called the Arthouse. I've been there, know some of the people, and recommend a  visit. You'll think you're driving into a quiet deadend street if you follow the sign to the Arthouse, but proceed anyway; they have busy crawls you will see once you're in the building/warehouse there. The people are nice and the art is great.. You can walk throughout the main NoDa area, but the Arthouse is a short drive away.

Then back onto Tryon St. you can drive left to downtown or right to University City.That's about all I know at this point about NoDa. Check it out this winter and spring.

Photo Courtesy of Blue Wheel Photography + Design

In the Midst of a Snowstorm, "Greetings" Gets a New Home

I painted this while listening to "Greetings from Asbury Park," the Bruce Springsteen classic. This big (for me ) 24 x 18 " palette knife floral piece was custom-framed at Pope's in Charlotte, exhibited in a juried show, then displayed in my home studio and then hung silently in our guest room. Since November, it's been at Green Rice Gallery in Charlotte. Last Friday while husband and I were snowed in at home, and thought everyone else was, too, some people were evidently out at the gallery crawls. There was a poetry reading event at Green Rice, and the wife of a poet took a liking to the painting--and they bought it and took it home! And that is the story of Greetings.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Entries Have Been Chosen For a Regional Art Competition & Exhibition at Green Rice Gallery

Link: North and South Exhibition: The entries have been chosen !

Opening reception is on February 5
at Green Rice Gallery in Charlotte

Ann Rudd
5 x7

Happy to say that this painting was accepted into the show!

Creativity Quote for the Day

From artist Chuck Close:

I have to go into the studio and paint whether I feel like it or not.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Interview with Two Artists: Mike and Donna Brown of Brown's Country Originals

1. Greetings, Mike and Donna! Please tell us a little about
your backgrounds:
We are Mike and Donna Brown, self-taught husband and wife artist team. I work with wood, chalkware, clay and papier mache. My wife works with dried, fresh and artificial flowers and hypertufa. These creative passions led us in 2008 to start Brown’s Country Originals. The name came from living in the country and our last name.

2. When did you become interested in crafting?
It was started when we were very young.

3. How did you learn your current techniques?
Books and articles on the topics.

4. You have a great variety of artwork to offer, from garden decorations to in-home decor. What inspires you?
Life and vintage works.

5. What is your biggest struggle as an artist?
Pricing our work and marketing.

6. What do you find most rewarding in your work?
The joy it brings to other people.

7. What is the best advice you have received, either about creativity or about life?
Do not give up, keep trying.

8. Good advice. Where can we see your work? What are your price ranges?

Our work can be seen on the following websites:

Our prices range from $200 to $5.

9. What are your art plans for the next year?
Increase sales.

10. I hope that will go well for you, your works are delightful (I love the springtime Easter bunnies at your etsy shop!)What would you like people to know about you and your creations?
I use recycled paper to make the paper mache clay.
Here are links to some of our work:

In the photos above, you can see some of Donna's hypertufa (light concrete) pieces and a photo of Mike's work shop with some pieces being created. Check out their etsy shop for personable snowmen, Santas, rabbits, jewelry, Valentine items and natural garden decor!

The images in this post belong
to the artists who created them 
and are protected by copyright law.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

I refuse to have Blog Stress!

Well, I can't seem to keep up with reading or writing blog posts.
So there.

For instance, someone posted a tutorial a while back on how to make paper beads, which I really want to try, but I didn't have time to read it at the time, and just skipped it. I do plan to track down and read that post. But generally, when I scan through the reader, there are so MANY photos, products and ideas that I want to check out. How does one keep up? I don't know. I think I will just have to miss out on some good information. Or maybe try to check in more regularly with my very favorite blogs.

Anyway, I don't have any blog-worthy news, but I will post this photo since I am here.

Harvest, this little acrylic painting, was purchased and has a new home in Charlotte!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Quote for the Day

"How many cares one loses when one decides
not to be something but to be someone." 
~Coco Chanel 

Monday, January 4, 2010

New Year, New Hobby: A Tutorial

Turn your artwork into miniature
art prints on glass tile pendants, key rings, or coasters. If you don't have your own artwork,
you can make these with any printed image of your choice.

Above: An 8 x 10 inch oil painting, "Gardens at Biltmore," and
5 x 7 inch pastel drawing, "Greek Man with Scarf," become a miniature print pendant and a key ring.

jpg of your choice
Glass tile, 1" square, or larger
Photosafe adhesive
Jewelry bail, if planning to string onto a chain or cord
Note: You can purchase do-it-yourself kits with glass tiles, adhesive and bails; I ordered from a craft supplier at etsy (kit is less than $15, makes 5 tiles.)

Step 1: Choose your image.

Step 2: Crop it to a square shape.

Step 3: Resize the image to 1" x 1" for these 1" tiles, or other size for larger tile or coaster.

Step 4: Be sure to keep the resolution at 300 dpi, if possible. See the don't-do example below:
I forgot about resolution and printed the already loose-style image (below), with a lower resolution of 200 dpi, and lost the brush strokes and edges. I'm still using the pendant and wearing it as a splash of abstract color--because I know what it is, even if no one else does;) However, next time I print photos I will re-print and re-do this with a higher resolution. Also, note that when prints are vertical or horizontal in format (as the Biltmore print), not cropped as squares , the glass tile will exceed the edges. A square fit gives a more finished look.

Step 5: Print onto photo paper. Suggestion: Copy and paste several image options/jpgs into one word document and print onto one photo page, to conserve on your photopaper. Cut out images with scissors or craft knife.

Step 6: Gently shake the adhesive and apply it to the photo (the image side) with a paint brush or sponge.

Step 7: Center and gently press the tile (rough side down) onto the photo. Don't press it too firmly or the adhesive will shift. Let it dry.

Step 8: Optional, number and sign your print on the back.

Step 9: Apply adhesive across the back of the paper to seal it.

Step 10: While the back is wet or dry, apply adhesive to bail, center it on the top back of the tile, with the loop leaning over the top edge of the tile and press gently. Let it dry.

If the print is too large, as in the first and last photo here, trim it to fit, using a craft knife and sandpaper.
String your necklace chain, cord, or key chain through the bail and your project is ready to go.

Note to Self

Originally, I started this blog in November 2009, to test out my plan for creating one piece of art per day, either a scribble, a sketch, or a painting. I have concluded that trying to do one per day is not realistic, not comfortably achievable for me, due to full-time job and such. BUT, I read in another blog, an artist's goal of creating one completed piece each week, and that, I can do.

So some of my art goals for 2010 are to:
**Complete one art project per week = 52 new pieces this year.
**At least 1 per month will be in traditional impressionistic style. 

Week 1 is here, so I better get started!

Oh, this remains the Daily Art Snip and I will continue to come by almost every day with a snip, a quote, or an interview. Thanks for visiting!