Keep Going

Renee_Stephenson_Look Closer_4A_Wk4

Collage has never been a strong suit for me. It has always felt awkward and forced. Trying to think of it a different way I realized that collage is not unlike the building of watercolor washes. That is, sometimes you don't know what you have until you keep going. If you stopped at the first wash in watercolor most times you would have a flat, lifeless painting. Each layer changes the last and soon they start singing together. It's a magic you can't force but is intoxicating to bear witness to.

What Month Is It?

Saucy bunny says 'Hello'.
Somehow it is already November. 
A few months back I was pretty proud of myself for starting to sketch out ideas for our annual holiday cards. I had so much time to hem and haw over the details.
And then - POW! - summer is over, my birthday passed (11/5 - write it down for next year, folks), and the sky is threatening snow. 
After finishing my class project for MATS, I doodled some holiday card ideas to send to the printer. The last few years I spent quite a few hours meticulously painting detailed scenes. Maybe it's the influence of my current class or perhaps it's just sheer impatience but I decided to keep things simple this year. 
A new character has made an appearance.
I will not spoil the surprise for those of you on "the list" to receive cards this year but the above bunny may or may not be of acquaintance to the star of this year's Stephenson card.

A Steep Learning Curve.

Renee_Stephenson_Root Veg_4A_WK 1

I think it's ironic that as an illustrator my most difficult challenge is managing a program called Illustrator. Those folks at Adobe are arguably geniuses and as I am not, I wrestle with it's tools and feel like a small child navigating complex mathematics. Despite the mental exhaustion, I am determined to develop a level of proficiency that allows me to create digital artwork that still is easily identified as "mine".
Today I had a few small breakthroughs using Image Trace, although I still defaulted back to the more familiar Photoshop. The above piece is done as a Bolt Fabric assignment for Make Art That Sells by Lilla Rogers. Regardless of how uncomfortable it feels, I am going to push myself to experiment and most certainly learn.