Make Good Art

Monday, July 16th, 2012

Make Good Art calligraphic painting by Amy Crook

Make Good Art calligraphic painting by Amy Crook

Although I think many people have said this before (including several of my prior art teachers), it’s come most recently from Neil Gaiman. I also find the advice later on about freelancing to be very good and very true — to paraphrase, you must do good work, be on time, and be pleasant, and people will continue to hire you; actually, two out of three will do, most days. And thank goodness for that, because some days all three is more than anyone can manage.

I made this very pink wash when I was mucking about with my red palette of Japanese watercolors, going from the color that is almost exactly the same as the Orchid crayon in my childhood set, through a bright fuchsia pink and on to a lovely deep burgundy. I used my poor abused fountain pen to scribble in the lettering, then took my water brush and blurred it out, which gives an interesting effect, especially in the capitals. Next came the gold glitter paint in the letters, and I left it overnight to figure out what more it needed.

It needed tentacles, of course!

I finally found the fourth palette from the same set, which is six different shades of almost-black, so I took the rich plum-purple one and made a row of tentacles reaching up to tease at the lettering. Then, to balance it, I added the gold filigree at the top, and it finally felt done.

My mental narrative for it is a bit like, “Glimpse of the golden vines of Olympus? Make good art! Chased by tentacles from the Depths? Make good art!”

So, that’s my message for you this Monday – whatever form it takes, whatever inspires you, today, make good art.

Make Good Art, 8″x4″ Japanese watercolor, pen & ink, and glitter gel pen on Fluid watercolor paper on paper.

Make Good Art, detail 1, by Amy Crook

Make Good Art, detail 1, by Amy Crook

This is one of those pieces that’s very different depending on the lighting; the gold almost vanishes when it’s in low light, but it stands out beautifully when the sun hits it, and the thicker paint on the tentacles also has a bit of a gloss here and there. Below, you can see the effect just on the word “Art.”

And for those of you that’ve read this far, have a wallpaper of the above image, with my gloved fingers sneakily Photoshopped out.

Make Good Art, detail 2, by Amy Crook

Make Good Art, detail 2, by Amy Crook

I put it in a temporary frame so you can see the scale. Given the odd size, you may want to have it custom framed, or put it on a piece of mat board in a larger frame the way I’ve got it shown below.

Make Good Art, framed, by Amy Crook

Make Good Art, framed, by Amy Crook

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Categories: Daily Art, Free Wallpapers, Things I'm a Fan Of, Whimsical and Strange, Words Words Words
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2 Responses to “Make Good Art”

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  1. […] used the same rich fuchsia on the stars here as I did on the central part of Monday’s painting, and they make the glittery filigree on the planet look very orange by comparison. The underlying […]

  2. […] back into calligraphy, not just as a long-forgotten habit but a legitimate art form of its own. Monday’s art may be part of a trend, I’m not sure yet — I don’t always have words to put on a […]