As a gift, Rich took me to see the Georgia O'Keeffe show at the Peabody Essex Museum. I was greatly inspired by her when I was young and in high school. She will always be a great, strong woman icon in my life - she is one of the reasons I paint. She was always so bold and was never afraid to represent herself in her own way; not conforming to society standards. Her strong spirit is felt in all of her work. As an artist, I felt at times that I had to conform to what is popular, or what is selling, or what is "on trend". I have realized now, it is perfectly fine to be different, to rise up and stay true to your heart. God wants each and every one of us to rise and share our own gift with others. I do not understand why we have fear, that sometimes hold us back in our lives. We have to release this fear and let God and nature in. Due to this reawakening of artistic spirit, I broke out my old calligraphy set and starting lettering again. Once my still-life study painting was complete, I superimposed the lettering over the painting to make cards. Keep painting and keep rising. God bless.
My latest technique I have learned from Bonnie Christine from the Roost Tribe is making a repeat pattern design from watercolors or gouache paint. I have begun to experiment with gouache due to the very nice layering attributes the paint has to offer and the beautiful colors. It is best to choose hot press and bright white watercolor paper instead of the cold press. Cold press paper has a rough texture, hot press paper is smooth with no texture. It is easier to scan in your watercolor on a scanner better with hot press.
I like to listen to music or an audible book while painting - be free and fluid! Make sure your flowers or images do not touch. Do not be exact about color at this point; just have fun!
Scan your work on your flatbed scanner and import into Adobe Photoshop. Adjust the background to bright white. Select one image and import from Photoshop to Adobe Illustrator.
In Illustrator, set up your document the size of a square (500 px x 500 px). Build a new library of color harmonies from your favorite colored photos. For each color, have a nice range of 5-7 colors of the same hue. Next, use Illustrator's Image Trace feature to trace your one image (flower). Your goal is to get it to 5-7 colors only. Using your color library, select one flower and only use 5-7 of the same color library to recolor that one image. Repeat these coloring steps for each image until each image is colored. Keeping control of your color harmonies will help you when you go to press. It will also make a huge different when using the new recolor tool in Illustrator.
Once each flower or image is complete, begin mirroring, repeating and resizing your images for a repeat pattern. Apply a mask over the image the same size as your canvas (500 x 500px). Viola! Repeat pattern is complete! Enjoy!
I am wishing everyone a very happy new year! Last night we said goodbye to year 2017! I pray that 2018 brings design opportunities that generate a living income for me. I have begun this year with Skillshare lessons from Bonnie Chirstine with her Watercolor class. The above design is the first finished design I have created. In the midst of Massachusetts freezing cold weather, I have to keep focused on Valentine's Day and Spring. As a designer, I also have to begin thinking of Birthdays, Anniversaries and LOVE! Staying focused on creating a cohesive collection is my goal for 2018.
I will be teaching on Saturdays this January in Clinton, MA at Biff's Local my design classes.
I believe God created each and every one of us with a certain gift that we are to share with others. Sometimes we know at an early age what our life purpose on earth is, with others, it happens later in life. We are where we are in life, at this exact time, based upon the decisions we made in our life and the people we interactive with on a regular basis. The person that you spend most time with is yourself - are you happy?
I recently watched a sermon by T.D. Jakes from The Potter's Touch. I was moved as he passionately discussed about reaching your goal. He said that the intended goal has never moved, the circumstances did! According to the Book of Exodus, it took forty years for the Israelites to reach the Promised Land of the Canaanites, when in reality, it should have only taken them a few days. How many times in life have we let our circumstances change our destination? How well do we manage our circumstances? Stay focused on what brings you joy and happiness. Things will happen in life that bring sadness and pain, but keep that dream alive inside of you. Have hope. During the hard times, reach out to others and give. It is during the act of giving to others, you will experience joy and peace in your heart. There is always sunshine after the rain.
Merry Christmas and may the Spirit of the Lord be with you always. God bless.
Have you followed your passion or have you given up? What inspires you? Who has inspired you that helped to influence your life?
Last night I watched a PBS special on Edgar Allen Poe. I have had several influences in my life and I was strangely surprised to be inspired by Poe's life story. He was a person that constantly struggled to fit in. He lost is mother at an extremely young age to T.B. and two other motherly influences after. He was greatly effected by deaths caused by tuberculosis. Growing up, he continued to struggle to fit in anywhere, never having a secure environment to rely on. He knew his mother had been a singer and always searched for a comforting female for guidance and influence. As he struggled, he always wrote. His wife was a big influence and encouraged him into the wee hours of the night offering support with his writings. He kept on writing and kept on writing - never giving up on his passion. He did not get noticed for his writings until he wrote The Raven and acted out on it at a writing gathering of poets and writers. It was at this event, while speaking and adding character to his words, he become recognized. He had in-born talent, like his mother to speak out his words in his own way. Poe never gave up on his passion despite all the hardship he had.
God has given each and everyone of us a certain gift, a certain talent, a passion that we are born with. What is yours? Who helped you shape your life?
This month I focused on dog portraiture and fall New England harvest season. This is my first dog portrait and landscape. I fell in love with doing this! I need to keep pushing my boundaries of what I can explore with wildlife and animal portraits. I felt a deep connection. I felt emotion and spirit. I enjoy the New England fall weather, being with family, friends and dogs. Animals capture and express feelings that bring out the best of us. The portrait I completed of Louis, my niece;s dog, captures his feeling of loyalty, strength and solitude.
Not only do I love dogs, but I also like gourds, flowers and pumpkins! I think gourds are so funky and fun and they should be celebrated, too! They always look cool in a kitchen. I have also speckled this gourd with my rhinestones. You just have to have a little glimmer!
God bless everyone. May you have a blessed day. Always add a little color to your day!
Make a Wish! That is what I am working on this fall and winter. I have begun to go to craft fairs and meeting with the wonderful people in Leominster, MA and surrounding areas. I love meeting all of you and have begun to make some new friendships. It is a great joy to be with people that have the same craft, art and business drive; sharing your passion is the greatest gift! At the craft fairs and online at Etsy, I am selling my Christmas merchandise. www.etsy.com/shop/DawnStratchko. I have a new Christmas card line and snow paintings that are embellished with rhinestones. Soon, in mid October, I will have holiday scarves and hair accessories. The Make a Wish Card for Christmas is currently being printed and will be available within 2 weeks of this post. The original painting is available- there is only one. My next craft fair will be Saturday, Nov. 18th, at the Ladies Guild Craft Fair, 5 Pond St., Leominster, MA from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Keep creating and be happy! God bless!
This was a very busy summer. I had signed up for another Lilla Roger's, Make Art that Sells class; her latest being Home Decor. Once again, Lilla's classes are amazing and am having a great time. This term, I decided to pick my category of tropical home decor, due to the fact that my parents have a new tropical retreat for their retirement. I have been studying tropical flowers and birds. I dug back into my photos from a trip 6 years ago to the San Diego zoo. The flamingos were perfect! I also walked around town and took pictures of the summer tropical plants in the center of town in Leominster, MA. These are the pictures of my study of this subject matter.
During the third week of this program I began to get behind, due to interviewing for jobs. I am still behind on the assignments, and am still interviewing for work. I have been unemployed for over a year and just recently took a temp job through Christmas. I am still interviewing at a great prospect. In between this time, I have also begun to sell my art merchandise in the center square on Saturdays from 9-1 in Leominster Marketplace. I have met some wonderful people during my first times there and am looking forward to becoming more active in the community. Next weekend 9/16/17 is Johnny Appleseed Fair and I will be attending there, too at Sholan Farms Orchard.
For now, Keep drawing, keep painting, keep creating! God bless.
It has been many, many months since I last wrote. A lot has changed. I continued taking Lilla Rogers courses which led me to Jennifer Nelson, art agent and critic. After a full review of all of my artwork from Jennifer, I have realized my specialty is painting. She suggested that I take my repeat patterns and paint them, the old fashioned-way! How cool is that! She also suggested that I focus on categories on floral and winter, since they sell well. I have been been drawing and painting like crazy since the recent critique! This has changed my whole perspective. I will be going to the Surtex 2017 NYC convention this next weekend. I am very excited of what I will learn and see. For now, paint on!
I would love to hear from you.