Sunday, March 26, 2017

Fine Art or Illustration?

My formal art education was in advertising art.  All mediums were taught; watercolor, pastel, charcoal, pen and ink, oil, gouache, acrylic and mixed mediums. I loved most of them.  It has always been a dilemma for me to land on one preferred medium or style as we were taught to please the client.  I am uncertain whether some of my art would be considered fine art or illustration?  It does seem to me that leaning toward illustrative art is more fun!  Who cares?  I love a quote by Andy Warhol,

"Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art."  

This week's Illustration Friday prompt is "Umbrella."  I have always loved umbrellas!  My favorite, covered with a Monet style painting, was purchased in an umbrella shop.  I loved that umbrella - but forgot it one rainy evening, after giving a demo to an art club in a nearby by town.  I did go back later to retrieve it, but it was gone.

I did this painting some time ago and is sold.  I will let you decide if it's good or bad, if you love it or hate it.  In the meantime I am making more art. (Of course I do hope you like it.) Prints are available at my Etsy Shop

"Autumn Rain ~ Yellow Umbrella"

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

A Story Behind a Painting

Many years ago when we resided in the Puget Sound area of Washington state, I took some young students for a plein air painting outing in an area they had requested.  They lived close by and were intrigued by and desired to paint a signal light at Brown's Point at the edge of the shoreline.  They called it a lighthouse.  However, it was not an actual lighthouse as I expected, but signal light mounted on a stand for sea-going vessels.  We sketched and painted a few hours until late afternoon.

When we turned to leave, I was astonished to see the most amazing scene behind us!  It was a stunning view of a collection of eclectic homes perched on a steep hill on the edge of the shore.  The warm late afternoon sun cast wonderful light and shadows.  The tide was out, exposing the shoreline.

I have sketched and painted this scene repeatedly both when the tide was in as well as out - using multiple mediums from soft pastels, pen & ink, watercolor and most recently oil.

"Brown's Point ~ Tide Is Out"
Patricia Lee Christensen
Oil on Wood Panel 12" x 9"

"Brown's Point"
Ink on Paper
Patricia Lee Christensen

Pastel in progress using pen & ink sketch as reference.

"Brown's Point Sunset"
Patricia Lee Christensen
Pastel on Ampersand Pastel Board
10" x 8"

"Brown's Point - Tide Is In"
Watercolor, Pen & Ink plus Gesso
Patricia Lee Christensen

I think the moral to this tale is to take a 360 degrees look around your surroundings!  You never know what you are missing!

I hope you see the amazing views around you today!

Monday, March 6, 2017

"Scoop" Prompt for Illustration Friday

"Scoop" is the prompt of the week for Illustration Friday.  The most obvious image that comes to mind may be the scoop of ice cream in a cone.  Or perhaps if you are a responsible pet owner, you carry those little plastic bags to scoop you-know-what when your pup needs to pause along your walk together.

I wanted to reach for something a little less obvious, and first thought of a news scoop with an old-time newsboy hawking newspapers.  I researched the clothing they wore and found the newsboy caps are quite in fashion for both boys & girls even now!  I decided to create a "newsgirl" in place of a boy - and instead of knickers, I put her in rolled-up overalls - which I loved to wear years ago. She does sport a newsboy-style hat and some Converse-influenced high tops.

I have posted my thought process, palette choices and the finished image.  I highly recommend checking out Design Seeds at for what they call "Your daily dose of inspiration." The Design Seeds palette I used can be seen in the 2nd photo.

"Get The Latest Scoop"
Watercolor / Pen & Ink
9" x 6" - 140 lb Arches Cold-Press Watercolor Paper

Hope you enjoy this little moment of whimsy!  Feel free to comment as I would love to hear from you!
~  Patricia