Channeling Sam Cannon

While looking for something else I discovered Sam Cannon’s artwork and fell in love with his imagery and calligraphy. His eloquently realized animals, with beautifully hand-lettered quotations, spoke to a desire in me to do likewise. His tiny Petal Paper originals were particularly appealing.

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When I looked into channeling his style I found I was fresh out of Petal Paper, so I just made my own version by wetting watercolor paper and painting  loose leaves and flowers.

Using these backgrounds as inspiration, I added figures and quotes that particularly resonated with me, keeping faithfully to Sam Cannon’s style.

As the paintings developed I added more leaves, flowers and stems around the figures and calligraphy, making the most of my watercolors.

I love the distinctive Sam Cannon ‘font’ and line arrangement. I experimented with different tools for the calligraphy. flowersetsy

I tried a more traditional opaque gouache approach with the dip pen on brown paper for this garden painting.

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My favorite Thoreau quote is painted with white ink and a brush on the woodpile. These chilly chickadees are drawn from the flocks right outside my window here in Vermont.

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I am using Schminke Aqua Bronze Rich Gold and Silver gouache to paint the metallic accents.

I learn by copying and experimenting and evolving. I hope to keep moving ever further from copying Sam and more into being entirely me.

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As always, you can find my work for sale at my Etsy shop.

 

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Teaching…and trying to learn

I have seven, very talented writers in my class at Hollins this summer.

I am trying to teach them everything I know about conceiving, writing, revising, and revising, and tightening, and twisting, and revising yet again.

THEY are getting better every day.

As I have been teaching, I’ve also been taking an online course from Lilla Rogers: Making Art That Sells.

And, Oh, what a humbling and difficult road this has been. I realized immediately that my photoshop skills were dismal and needed a huge boost. My habit of trying out a new style for every new book really made decisions on which way to go on each assignment difficult.

And I realized I am not good at following directions at all!

Can the teacher learn?

I sure hope so.

The 1st assignment was to design bolt fabric using mushrooms and casserole dishes. Naturally, I did not follow directions very well and found the instructions for making a design that could repeat using Illustrator WAY too hard to learn.

So I painted mushrooms-which I have always been fascinated by…

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and casseroles, which are less appealing…

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and somehow  chickens demanded in.

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This part reminded me of the good old days making fabric icons for Joe Boxer. I worked for them back when Nick and Denise still ran the place in San Francisco. My nickname was “The Queen of Cute.”

When I finally succeeded in putting together a jpeg file of the correct size and scale I was wrung out!

But I  had LEARNED! I was getting the idea of layers and I think there is some humor.

Let’s see what next week brings…

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