Thursday, February 28, 2013  I am teaching a workshop March 28-30, 2013 at the Art Center in Bonita Springs, FL.  All levels are welcome, and we will be concentrating on learning to mass, using still life as our inspiration.  Contact the art center if you are interested.

Also, I will be teaching a  Walk & Watercolor workshop April 1-2, 2013 in Bonita Springs, using opague and transparent watercolor, as well as ink and wash, on toned paper.  If you are interested in this one, please contact me directly.  We will meet at the Village Walk, but we will be painting in several different locations.  

Both classes are from life, and I do lots of demonstrating.   I hope you can join me!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Self-Portraits 2013

Looking in the small mirror

The start - finding my lights and darks

keeping it loose and getting the pitch

Adding a touch more color and going a little lighter in the lights and darker in the darks

Refining my masses and tightening my drawing

Checking the mirror

At this point...I was tempted to stop and leave out the glasses

Checking the painting in reverse in the other mirror

Added the glasses, but had to stop because the light was fading in the studio

Close-up at the end of the day

2 days later, I returned to the studio and began the print on the scarf

Finished the print on the scarf

Checking the painting in the mirror
I think I have been people-painting starved, because I did 2 self-portraits in February. This was the second one.   I set up 2 mirrors, one to look into for the portrait, and another to check the painting.  I am working on a small gessoed panel.  As usual, I start out very loosely.  This painting was done in flat light, with the whole front plane of my face in light.  The shadows are in the under planes.

Having the large mirror to check the painting is a great help.  I try to get the right pitch in my first pass, so I work my background in quickly, constantly checking to make sure the relationship to the light works.  In a description I read about Sargent's painting, it said:  ...Till the end there had been no features or accents; simply a solid shape growing out of and into the background, which is ONE.  I like that..and strive to remember it.

Most of the painting was done in one sitting, February 12th, but I did the print on the scarf two days later.  It occurred to me, after I was done with the print, that all those years of rendering fabric with patterns or prints for fashion illustrations helped.  

Plan B

around 1972 - marker and colored pencil illustration by Karen Winslow

around 1973 - watercolor and charcoal - part of 2 page spread

around 1974 - black & white illustration for  Butterick 

1973 - 2 page spread in watercolor & charcoal 

1975 - black & white illustrations for Butterick

1976 - Black & White illustrations for Butterick
Making a living as an artist takes various forms.  Drawing can take you in many different directions.  Before I studied painting at the Art Students League, I studied fashion illustration at the Fashion Institute of Technology in NY.  After graduating I became a staff artist for Simplicity and McCall's Patterns, and eventually, I freelanced for McCall's and Butterick, as well as JC Penney and Gimbels.  Freelancing allowed me to studied painting.  It was funny to switch gears....producing "cute" illustrations for a living, but studying Classical drawing and painting at the same time.  Back then, I avoided telling anyone in my painting class that I did commercial work.  Now, I look back with fondness.  

The truth is that everything we do and learn in life will help us.  The years of rendering prints and fabrics for the pattern industry helped in my painting.  Putting figures together for illustrations can help in figure compositions.  You can still recognize the whimsy that comes through in some of my toy paintings now.  We expand on what we know and love, but our personalities will emerge...but with more skill and taste (hopefully).

If you learn to draw, there are ways of making a living.  For me, back in the early seventies, producing illustrations for pattern companies was a fun way.  The children's patterns were the most fun, but I illustrated teens and misses clothing, as well.  

Having dug a bunch of these old illustrations out made me realize that I was much braver back then.  I had no problem just making things up and composing multiple figures, and seeing them has just inspired me to do this again...and I will be trying to concentrate on more figurative work in my painting.

Monday, February 11, 2013

More Note Cards

"Wynken  Blynken & Nod"  from an original painting by Karen Winslow

"Catch a Falling Star"  from an original painting by Karen Winslow
Sometimes it is just fun to use your imagination and make up paintings.  The 2 images above are note cards from a couple of my paintings that were painted out of my head.  The top one, Wynken Blynken and Nod, was inspired by a small plein air study I did of my kids as the paddled around a pond.  The plein air study was just a start which was never finished, but it gave me the idea.  Wynken Blyken and Nod is a lovely children's poem that I always wanted to illustrate.  To do the painting, I set up a wooden, Dutch shoe as a still life to get the correct light.  Then, I translated the figures and feeling from my plein air study into an imaginary night sky, using the shoe as the boat.  The clouds became the sea.   

The bottom painting was inspired after visiting some friends up the road.  In June, the fly flies in Vermont put on a spectacular display, and seeing a swarm of them against a big expanse of space is a delight.  The painting was also inspired by my daughter, Rebekah, who rather than calling them fly flies, called them star bugs!  Catching star bugs is one of the many joys of childhood and summer evenings.  Hence, the title, Catch a Falling Star.

All of my note cards are 5"x7" and blank inside.  They come with plain, white envelopes.  

Note Cards

"Dolls" from an original painting by Karen Winslow

"Girl in the Big Straw Hat" from an original painting by Karen Winslow

"Penny's Perfect Teas & Pastries" from an original painting by Karen Winslow

"Dolls & Books" from an original painting by Karen Winslow

"Tea Party" from an original painting by Karen Winslow
Some years back, I printed note cards from a few of my paintings.  I sold them through various bookstores and gifts shops, and when I opened my studio storefront, I sold them there.  Selling them supplemented painting sales.  In order to make a living as an artist, artists often come up with a "Plan B".  The above cards were part of my "Children" theme.  The paintings in these cards sold years ago, but I thought the images made pleasant cards.  All of my cards are blank and come with plain white envelopes.  The cards with the little girls were from paintings I did  of my children and were done from life.  In so many ways, I wish I still owned the paintings. 

 I am considering putting some of these on Etsy, but I think I may just sell them directly.  If anyone is interested, please let me know.  Thanks.

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Etching Sale

Some etching plates and prints by Karen Winslow

Plate & Print by Karen Winslow

Rustic Scene - an etching print by Jack Winslow

Summer Morning - an etching print by Jack Winslow

Sweet's Farm - an etching proof by Karen Winslow

Lamoille - and etching proof by Jack Winslow
For the month of February, I am offering a 10% discount on all etchings in our Etsy shop.  Be sure to use the code FEBBREAK1, and the discount will be applied at the checkout.

My husband, Jack, and I produce a small number of hand-pulled etchings that we sell from our Etsy shop.  We sell some prints, as well as unique proofs.  Check it out, if you get a chance.

Pen & Ink, Wash & Gouache

My drawing tools - fountain pens and watercolor brushes

My granddaughter, Jilli - the start with walnut ink

..with the addition of white gouache

Jillian - walnut ink with brush & pen, heightened with white
I love brown ink drawings.  It is a classic way to draw, concentrating of light and value relationships.  The brown ink blends nicely and transitions well, without abrupt edges.  

I recently drew this little study of my granddaughter, Jillian, using walnut ink with white gouache.  Now, I try to keep my drawing "kit" handy, so when the opportunity to draw presents itself, I am ready.

In the top photo, you can see my fountain pens and my watercolor brushes.  The brushes are both sables.  The one taped together is an old Windsor & Newton, and the other is a Charles Reid, which comes to a very sharp point like a rigger.  In addition to the fountain pens, I have 2 dip pens.