Tagged: art

Out of Darkness: The Power of Aesthetics (and Art Prints Presale!)

Now that I have been dressing with less, giving things away, and choosing quality over quantity, I have had a realization: aesthetics are powerful. Since paring down my wardrobe, I feel more confident in my clothes. As I thoughtfully add, subtract, and rearrange things in my house and my closet, I find I feel more at home. A thoughtfully designed space can create a sense of peace and welcome.

Recently I had the opportunity to collaborate with View Along the Way and E G Allis Photography . These two talented women have designed a room for a safe house with Out of Darkness, a non-profit committed to fighting sex trafficking in Atlanta, and I created some hand-lettered art for the project. Kelly’s thoughtful design decisions have transformed a room into a place of peace and welcome for women on a healing journey.

Here are the pieces I created:

It was an honor to be a part of this project and contribute to a space where redemption stories are unfolding.

Designed as a diptych, these two pieces are offered as limited edition archival prints. They are available for preorder now through November 30th and will ship following completion of the presale. (Edited to add: prints are now in stock and available in my Etsy store.) For each print ordered, 20% of the purchase price will be donated to Out of Darkness.

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Project: Watercolor Play

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During college, I bought waaaaaaaaay too many art supplies. I spent countless hours (and dollars) in the art supply store selecting interesting papers, colorful felt-tip pens, all sizes of t-squares, and eight different kinds of erasers. Some of these things were for projects, but many were just impulse buys. On one of these shopping sprees, I apparently acquired tubes of watercolors, cold press paper, and frisket. Today I decided to finally try out these basically untouched watercolor supplies.

Watercolor has always intimidated me a bit. Unlike oil paint, you can’t keep adding until you are satisfied. There is no erasing, and for an inexperienced hand like mine, it is difficult to control and has unpredictable results. You can, however, keep some areas white and paint-free using frisket.

If you are unfamiliar with frisket, it comes as a film or a thick white liquid you apply to the paper. After painting the paper with watercolor, wait for it to dry and remove the frisket. The area underneath retains the white of the page. Frisket peels off like rubber cement, and wow, does it smell terrible when applied. I probably should have opened a window.

I glanced at some watercolor tutorials online and then gave it a go, and I was pleasantly surprised by some of the effects I achieved. I liked the contrast of using a free-flowing medium with my controlled, repetitive mark-making, and I liked how the tones and colors mixed and layered.
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Sometimes the vast emptiness of the page and the pressure to create finished, frame-worthy art scare me away from making anything. Using an unfamiliar medium helped me overcome those excuses and just play, and I now have some good ideas I might apply to future work. I’m thinking watercolor could be the start of a fun 2013 desktop calendar or maybe some Spoonflower fabric.

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Have you tried a new hobby, medium, or technique recently? Have you seen any gorgeous or unexpected applications of watercolor?