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Look and Listen. What Are the Life and Business Lessons You Can Learn from Andy Warhol?

When Study the Life of Andy Warhol, You’re Sure to Come Away Impressed and Inspired Whatever you feel, think, or say about Andy Warhol, it’s probably true, and he would likely agree with you. There is already so much written about him, and yet the story seems to have no end. Nearly 30 years after […]

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Featured Artist Mark D. Bird

Artist Mark Bird’s masterful watercolor paintings capture the light in landscapes and urban scenes from his extensive travels. Enjoy his portfolio and visit his website to see more.

 

“Salisbury Cathedral, Salisbury, Wiltshire, England" Exterior view of Salisbury Cathedral, Watercolor by Mark Bird

“Salisbury Cathedral, Salisbury, Wiltshire, England (Exterior)” Watercolor, 24” x 34”

 

For over forty years, I have enjoyed an outstanding career as a professional architectural illustrator and designer, which allowed me, in 2017, to begin the next chapter of my life as a fine artist.

 

“Salisbury Cathedral Nave as Viewed Toward West Front" Interior view of Salisbury Cathedral's nave, watercolor by Mark Bird

“Salisbury Cathedral Nave as Viewed Toward West Front (Interior)” Watercolor, 13.5” x 27”

 

I have always enjoyed illustrating architecture as subject matter, especially historic architecture. Now, I am able to apply some of the skills from my former career to my current path.

 

“Via Dei Montanini, Siena, Italy” View of an Italian street, watercolor by Mark Bird

“Via Dei Montanini, Siena, Italy” Watercolor, 11” x 20.5”

 

I had always “reserved” the medium of pure watercolor for “my next career” and therefore never utilized it as an illustrator, wanting to keep it pure for my personal use in the future. Well, the future is here and I am making every moment count!

 

“Via Rosina, Florence, Italy” Italian street market, watercolor by Mark Bird

“Via Rosina, Florence, Italy” Watercolor, 14.5” x 29”

 

I am at a point in my life where travel is a high priority and I look forward to painting the subjects I visit.

 

“Sunrise in Montepulciano, Italy” Painting of the sunrise in Italy, watercolor by Mark Bird

“Sunrise in Montepulciano, Italy” Watercolor, 18.75” x 28.75”

 

I enjoy viewing subjects in dramatic light, either early or late in the day. I become familiar with a scene in order to take some liberties as an artist, thereby interpreting what I see before me with my own emotions and sensitivity.

 

“Cadgwith, Cornwall, England” English landscape with cottages, watercolor by Mark Bird

“Cadgwith, Cornwall, England” Watercolor, 21” x 14”

 

Like most watercolorists, I begin with a preliminary sketch, and sometimes a value study. The primary washes are applied next working from background to foreground. Secondary, defining washes then appear, with the final details bringing a painting to completion.

 

“Cadgwith Cove, Cornwall, England” English beach town, watercolor by Mark Bird

“Cadgwith Cove, Cornwall, England” Watercolor, 17.5” x 26.5”

 

These stages are pretty routine, except for the occasional happy accident, which in some cases sends the composition onto a new, often glorious path!

 

“Mousehole, Cornwall, England” English seascape with boats and village, watercolor by Mark Bird

“Mousehole, Cornwall, England” Watercolor, 8.75” x 14”

 

Usually, I have the sense of “seeing” a painting complete before I lay down the first brushstroke. After the vision, the actual work of the painting is just putting on paper what my mind has already seen.

 

“Grazing Sheep, Gloucestershire, England” English landscape with grazing sheep in the foreground, watercolor by Mark Bird

“Grazing Sheep, Gloucestershire, England” Watercolor, 26” x 20”

 

I am a member of the Kentucky Watercolor Society and the American Watercolor Society. I attained Signature Membership with the National Watercolor Society in 2018. My work has been accepted in the Kentucky Watercolor Society’s 41st Annual national Exhibition, Aqueous USA, and was included in the National Watercolor Society’s 98th Annual International Open Exhibition.

 

“Dawn at Lago San Pablo, Ecuador” Painting of an Ecuadorean lake at dawn, watercolor by Mark Bird

“Dawn at Lago San Pablo, Ecuador” Watercolor, 26.5” x 20.5”

 

My work has also been accepted into the American Watercolor Society’s 152nd Annual International Exhibition.

 

Artist Mark Bird invites you to follow him on Facebook and Instagram.

 

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Featured Artist DebiLynn Fendley

Artist DebiLynn Fendley is a conceptual realist who works primarily with cultural subgroups, creating portraits of artistically underrepresented people. See more of this versatile artist’s work by visiting her website.

 

"Roses and Oleander" Mixed media artwork of two young girls by DebiLynn Fendley

“Roses and Oleander” Mixed Media, 20” x 16”

 

This is what I know: I grew up in a place that wasn’t all that important, but the place a person is born always holds a certain kind of sweetness. Most often it’s like honeysuckle—sweet to some people, sickly to others.

 

“My Bacchanalia” Mixed media art of a man with a grape vine wreath on his head by DebiLynn Fendley

“My Bacchanalia” Mixed Media, 16” x 20”

 

My family lived in the country. My dad’s family were dairy and crop farmers and my grandfather worked in the local mill until it burned to the ground, thus ending the prosperity of the community. He then found another mill in which to work.

 

“Dreams of Distant Drums” Graphite Drawing of a young Native American man by DebiLynn Fendley

“Dreams of Distant Drums” Graphite on Paper, 18” x 18”

 

I grew up sickly and confined. I remember some things from the years before I went to school—sitting and observing, playing with certain favorite toys, loving animals, loving books and making up stories.

 

“Three Little Pigs” Graphite drawing of a girl with three pigs by DebiLynn Fendley

“Three Little Pigs” Graphite on Paper, 12” x 19”

 

Then came school. I loved learning, even though in the beginning I wasn’t good at it. I had tunnel vision, and I can remember that things I heard always had an underwater sound in my mind. With obsessive-compulsive disorder, I lived life on the spectrum and no one knew until I was diagnosed much later in life. Making art became one of my obsessive rituals and remains so till this day.

 

“Carousel” Acrylic painting of a girl on a carousel by DebiLynn Fendley

“Carousel” Acrylic on Paper, 22” x 30”

 

I was very right-brained, and I remember having to force myself to operate outside of my normal in order to be normal. My first school art project was a rainbow, and I got an “F” on it. I was clueless as to what the teacher wanted, so I drew my rainbow all in black. I suppose she thought I was being defiant.

 

“Crystal Bridges” Acrylic painting of a man in an art gallery by DebiLynn Fendley

“Crystal Bridges” Acrylic on Paper, 32” x 20”

 

This didn’t stop me though. Once I discovered reading, the joy of writing and the need to illustrate what I wrote, there was no other path for me.

 

“Being Slipshod” Acrylic painting of a man in a bathing suit drinking beer by DebiLynn Fendley

“Being Slipshod” Acrylic on Paper, 22” x 30”

 

Now I work within cultural subgroups to produce both documentary and conceptual realism pieces in photography, printmaking, drawing and painting. As a storyteller, I push the boundaries between fantasy and reality, but always with a grain of truth. I want to be true to what and who I am, to be consistent no matter which subculture I am working with, to be strongly protective of my models and their ideas.

 

“Jumping Through Hoops” Etching of two circus performers with hoops and a dog by DebiLynn Fendley

“Jumping Through Hoops” Etching and Spit Bite Aquatint, 11” x 14”

 

I try to bridge boundaries between cultural subgroups and mainstream norms by presenting, in imagery, people who are underrepresented in art. If nothing else, I hope to start a dialogue, provide an education and offer opportunities for individuals who would not otherwise darken the door of a gallery or a museum to look at and make art. I like placing art in unconventional and surprising places, thereby forcing people to look.

 

“Wolf Watching” Etching of a wolf in clothing holding three tiger cubs by DebiLynn Fendley

“Wolf Watching” Etching and Spit Bite Aquatint, 11” x 14”

 

When I am asked why I do what I do, I always say, “To bear witness.”

 

Artist DebiLynn Fendley in the studio holding her painting "Carousel"

Artist DebiLynn Fendley in the studio

 

I have been heavily influenced by Diane Arbus and Dorothea Lange, but the motto I have taken to heart and use as my own comes from a quote by Milton Rogovin, “because the rich ones have their own photographers.”

 

Artist DebiLynn Fendley invites you to follow her on Instagram and Facebook.

 

Want to stay current on cutting edge business articles from Artsy Shark, plus artist features, and an invitation to the next Call for Artists? Subscribe to our twice-monthly Updates, and get a free e-book on Where to Sell Art Online right now!

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The post Featured Artist DebiLynn Fendley appeared first on Artsy Shark.

Make Your Own Curved Card Scraper

curved_scraper_shape

If you didn’t get a chance to purchase one of the Crucible curved card scrapers, you can make your own with a dry grinder and an existing card scraper. It takes about 30 minutes.

Download and print out the following template. It’s a hand-drawn version of Chris Williams’s scraper, which is where our design started.

chriswilliams_scraper_shape

Cut it out and affix it to your card scraper with the help of spray adhesive. Or make a cardboard template and trace its shape on your scraper with a permanent marker.

At your grinder, set the tool rest to 0° – parallel to the floor. Dress the wheel of your grinder (we use an #80-grit wheel, but a #60 or #100 will also do) so it has a slight convex shape. This convexity in the wheel makes the scraper easier to shape.

Get a bucket of water and put it by the grinder.

(Hey wait, where are the step photos? I’m in a hotel room that’s 400 miles from my shop. You are going to have to use your imagination.)

Place the scraper on the tool rest and start grinding the excess metal away. Don’t work on one part of the scraper for more than a few seconds. Keep moving around the perimeter. After 10 or 15 seconds, try to pinch the scraper with a finger and thumb. If….

… you can pinch the scraper with no pain, continue to grind.

… your fingers reflexively jump away, cool the scraper in your water bucket.

… you smell bacon, also cool the scraper in the water bucket.

Once you have ground down to your line, you will have become pretty good at grinding flat shapes – congrats. Now you need to remove the grinder marks from the edges.

Use a block of wood to hold the scraper at 90° on a coarse diamond stone and stone the edges. Remove all the scratches from the grinder. Then move up to a #1,000-grit waterstone (or soft Arkansas) and then up to a polishing stone. Then you can proceed with normal scraper-sharpening procedures.

This is exactly how I made all of our prototypes. I promise that you will become emotionally involved with your scraper after putting all the work into it, and you might not ever want to buy one of ours.

So be it.

— Christopher Schwarz