Fall Preview for Fairy Tree Studios

I took a drawing class in undergrad that I didn’t really like. I don’t think it was the instructor’s fault; he just taught drawing in a way that was different from how I’d taught myself. (Well, that and we had to draw what he said to draw, not what we wanted to draw.) But I did learn a valuable lesson in the class that I actually still use some 16 years later, in drawing and in other projects, which is this: step back every so often and look at the whole picture. I’m the type of person that will get lost in the details if I don’t remind myself to take that step back. I spent plenty of time as a kid drawing something — an eye, for example, getting the shape and the shading and every eye lash just right — only to find that, in the bigger picture of the face, it’s too far to one side or the other. Sketching out the bigger composition first — light circles and ovals and triangles where the features will go — before putting all the work into the details means a lot less erasing later.

All this is to say, I’ve made it a habit to look at the bigger picture pretty regularly in most aspects of my life, and this includes with Fairy Tree Studios. A few weeks ago I sat down and gave some thought to what direction I might like FTS to go next: what projects I might like to try and what pieces I’ve started that might become part of a collection or series. I got some new inspiration/reference photos from our honeymoon in New York City, plus I have a backlog of sketches and reference photos that I’ve saved in various places — some of these I’m ready to let go, but some I still want to revisit. I also want to branch out into other mediums, like pottery and possibly even making my own paper.

Another goal I’ve set involves doing more in-person events. This is something that I was trying to get into before the pandemic; now that COVID restrictions are loosening, there are some live (as opposed to virtual) art festivals coming up in central Illinois this fall and winter. I’m excited to say that I’ve been accepted into one local festival happening at the end of September, and have plans to apply for another in November. (The great thing about this too is that now I have a deadline to aim for on some of these projects.) I will share more details once they’re finalized; what I know so far is that I’ll have my booth set up for Friday and Saturday, Sept. 24 and 25!

I’m also considering an expanded range of products with my art printed on them and possibly investing in my own high-end printer for making prints and stationery. (We have a great local print shop, but they’re also a bit expensive, so it’s still a sticking point for me. I’m able to do a lot of the scanning and digitizing myself already, which is half the battle.) I need to do a bit more research, but I have some good leads on possible models.

And as far as paintings go, you can expect to see more flowers and landscapes coming soon, plus a couple of fun new pieces in an upcoming “nostalgia” series I’ve started sketching. I also got some more supplies for alcohol ink painting which I plan on playing with soon.

Is there anything you’d like to see from Fairy Tree Studios? Any paintings you’d like to see prints of, or new subject matter you’d like me to try? Let me know here or on Instagram!

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