July 26, 2019 § 2 Comments
Been looking through old sketchbooks. I’m really glad I was encouraged to keep one. When I was very young I thought it was cheating. I thought real artists knew how to draw anything out of their head, without looking. Over the last thirty-five years they have served me well, both for developing larger projects, and for doodling and having fun. Here’s a little tour:
Starting from the left in this top photo: I was at the dentist and had just gotten a job to illustrate Rich Latta’s Mother Goose Puzzles for Price Stern Sloan (then in LA). A full color cover and 22 inside black & white spots. I worked out the cover in the waiting room using a black marker line and colored pencils.
The sailboats are Prismacolor art markers on a rice paper sketchbook from China. The markers bleed into this paper and look like watercolor. I like sketching with them because of this – and they’re quick and travel well.
The man reading began as a pen line then colored pencil and a few strokes of a gray marker for shadowing on his jacket. Same with the child in the yellow jacket on the toned paper sketchbook. I like toned paper for how it makes white ‘pop’ off the page. The shadowing on her pants is an 80% cool gray marker, the ground shadow, 40%.
The abstract doodle on the far right is a black pen line and gouache (“goo-wash“ – opaque watercolor). I don’t remember which I did first. I do remember how fun it was to paint.
The sketchbook at the top of this photo is filled with oil pastel designs quickly drawn within a circle. First I went through the sketchbook tracing a paper plate on each of the 80 pages, then whenever I felt like expressing myself (often some emotion), I grabbed a color and started filling in the circle, not thinking about anything. Each took no more than 5 minutes to complete. Great fun.
The bottom sketchbook I used as a catch-all for classes when I attended Art Center College of Design, in Pasadena, CA. back in the mid ’80’s. A painting instructor had us keep a couple pages of randomly drawn empty squares and rectangles in our sketchbook, and at odd moments during a week, fill in a few with something. Anything. This is a cool exercise. Over a period of time you begin to see patterns, things you’re most interested in, and some you might want to make into large paintings. These are small, 1 1/2 x 2″ rectangles and squares.
The last sketchbook was for doodles. I held a black and a red pen in my hand and scribbled around the large page with them, then spent time filling in some of the shapes with detailed designs. Also great fun. I do like detailing…
Here’s to a week of sketching and doodling! xo – Pierr
March 1, 2019 § 16 Comments
Since the 1st century philosophers puzzling cause and effect have wondered – which came first, the chicken or the egg? Recently, in our 21st century, physicists have shown that in parallel universes of quantum physics, the chicken AND the egg can both come first.
The art I share today is my whimsical glimpse into one such universe and what could be going on there at this very moment.I used gouache (goo-wash) and ink in a resist technique. Thinking backwards, I paint pattern first to stain the paper……then general colors over the pattern, leaving the paper blank where I want a black line.The scene fills in this way with more details and general color over them. I tape the piece to the bottom of an enamelware pan (waterproof) with Artist Tape (blue painter’s tape works as well)……then cover the foreground and borders with black waterproof ink (Higgins “Black Magic” is my fav).Then I let water from the kitchen faucet run over it. Water beating on the piece dissolves the paint which pushes the ink off itself, leaving a stain of color – and ink – where the paper was blank or where gouache wasn’t painted thick enough to resist the ink. This allows for surprise and that ‘happy accident’ which I love. The painting is usually a potato chip after this step, so I blow dry it flat again, then remove the tape.Final touch-ups are easy because gouache is opaque and will cover excess ink, or colors I might decide I want to brighten or change.For that Medieval illuminated manuscript look, metallic watercolor from Daniel Smith Art Supply in Seattle works wonders.Tonight – March 1, 2019 – the group show, Chickens: Birds of a Feather, opens at TAP (The Art Project), a gallery on Bainbridge Island, WA. The show is up through March 31.Thanks for attending my first “Freehand Friday.” My plan is to share something of my art process with you each week, to motivate me to keep on creating more and more new drawings and paintings. Ba-BOK! xo ~ Pierr
September 16, 2017 § 7 Comments
I signed up for another writing class in the city but it was cancelled. Bummer. But not. This time around it would have been a big distraction. I’m ready to write it. Got all I need. All the writing books tell you to find your own method – daily word count, time slots. I’ve tried them all with varying results. Ultimately it comes down to the D-word. Dedication. Dedication to the one you love…
Wings on your fingers! xo Pierr
June 2, 2017 § 4 Comments
The last couple years I lived on Whidbey Island a feral cat found my backyard a nice hunting ground. He (or she) sometimes sat for hours staring in my direction, oddly, I noticed, on days when I’d neglected my writing. Ever since I’ve considered any cat that crosses my path – especially a black one – my muse.
Saturday, JUNE 3, 10:30 am – 4:30 pm we’re writing again. Join me and my good FRIEND.
May 24, 2017 § 2 Comments
Join me for another Virtual WriteAway over the shores of Puget Sound. 10:30 am – 4:30 pm Pacific Time.
Click HERE to read about how these began and for a prompt or two, if you like. Write whatever you please. Bring your pen or keyboard to the view, even if you can only fly by for fifteen minutes or an hour during the six – I’ll be here, cheering you on. I believe everything we bring to and express in our writing has grace, beauty, and power, and that everything to do with writing – especially our desire to – rises, shimmering EVANESCENT.
May 7, 2017 § 4 Comments
Join me virtually! Monday MAY 8, Thursday MAY 11, Saturday MAY 27.
10:00 am – 3:00 pm Pacific Daylight Time. I’ll be here on Bainbridge Island, WA writing away on several things. I’ve pulled out a few more projects that have been stowed in boxes and bins long enough. Seeing them with new eyes there’s a surge of creative energy building. I’m feeling optimistic about sticking with them to the end of first rough drafts on each of three, and a sixth draft of the fourth. I’m not jinxing them with big goals or deadlines. Going with the flow. Easy and fun. My only rule is a little bit each day. Even picking up a page and reading it counts as a little bit. Heck – showing up at all counts!
As always, I’ll have my trusty timer handy and a few other friends:
Are you in? Let me know in the comments if you’d like a cheer from me. Always happy to support the process. Whoo-hoo! Go – go – GO! xo Pierr
March 22, 2017 § 12 Comments
Easy as mudpies being GREEN… ChildrensGarden copy It’s Spring! Got Seeds?by Carole Lexa Schaefer, illustrated by Pierr Morgan – arrives in bookstores MAY 2, 2017 ~ my 65th birthday! Here’s A Peek at My Illustration Process:
I use GOUACHE (“goo-wash”), an opaque watercolor, on Arches 140 lb Cold Press (textured) watercolor paper, and Higgins “Black Magic” waterproof ink, in a technique called “Gouache & Ink Resist” which I learned over thirty years ago at
This technique celebrates backwards thinking…something my brain does naturally. What you want showing in the end is painted first to stain the paper. Gouache colors are mixed to a melty-soft ice cream consistency and applied thickly enough – details first – so when dry, the paint resists the ink. Paper is left blank wherever you want black or a black line.When the paint is dry it gets a layer of waterproof ink.When the ink’s dry, it gets a rinse at the sink! (below is the Cover Art) Water beating on the surface dissolves the paint, which runs, pushing the ink off itself in flecks……leaving a brilliant stain and earthy texture. Always a surprise.
I look the painting over for places where color washed away, not leaving enough of a stain, or where ink stuck too much. I wanted the packets to look fairly new, without much dirt on them, especially for very young readers to easily identify the plants and match them with flowers, fruits, and vegetables growing in the book garden.Because Gouache is opaque, it paints over excess ink nicely. The Sunflower packet in these two photos is a good example of before & after ‘touch-ups.Below is what the final endpaper painting looks like printed and bound. Carole and I can’t wait to personalize copies on the blank seed packet. The American Goldfinch seems curious to read them.The back endpaper features Carole’s and my bio, cleverly placed on the flip side of the Wildflower seeds by Sasquatch Books’ Little Bigfoot design team.Oh! I almost forgot – the green snail – it’s in every picture. Can’t wait for you to find it. Click HERE to read more – and buy! – The Children’s Garden on Sasquatch Books’ website. Thanks so much! And thanks too, for reading to a Child. xo Pierr