Sunday, December 7, 2008

Can this be colored pencil?

Sisters I - color pencil and nero pencil - 36.5" x 33"

There it is again, you know, the question..."that's colored pencil?" First they doubt you because they cannot see how, then it's the wonder and amazement as they finally begin to accept the fact. But this time it's me! I am the one whos jaw has dropped as I stare and marvel, all the while thinking, could it really be? Yes, indeed it is. These beautiful colored pencil pieces, I'm just reminding you they were done in colored pencil, were done by an artist named Bill Vuksanovich

The backgrounds of "Sisters I" and most likely "Sisters II" were done with a nero pencil.
What more can I say? Oh, I know, I wonder how long it took him to do that? How about it, do you want to say "WOW" with me?
I wish I could make them really large so we could all see the detail but that's all I could get.

Sisters II, 2007, color pencil, 41" x 32.5"

Rose II, 2001 watercolor, pencil, and color pencil, 30" x 22.5"

Bio: Bill Vuksanovich was born in Belgrade, Yugoslavia in 1938 and came to Chicago in 1952, where he resides today. He attended the American Academy of Art and the School of Professional Art, both in Chicago.

His main body of work includes larger-than-life size photo-realistically rendered drawings. He portrays his figures in the frontal position, so that the image and viewer become involved in a confrontation with one another. This offers an emotionally and psychologically loaded presentation that never fails, to engage.

In 1992, a distinguished committee of leading art professionals awarded Vuksanovich a Pollack-Krasner Foundation Grant. And in 2001 he participated in the Identities: Contemporary Portraiture exhibition at the New Jersey Center for Visual Arts, Summit, NJ.

If you'd like to see more of his work click here: Koplin del Rio & Forum Gallery

Friday, December 5, 2008

Kent Bellows

I discovered the work of Kent Bellows a few years ago in one of the art magazines. I could not believe what I was looking at was actually a drawing. When perusing the internet this morning I came across a gallery that represents him. Because I love his work so much I thought you might appreciate him too. Most of the information posted came from another blog.

Kent Bellows
- "Flawless and masterful. Such words are commonly used, but fail to describe the works of Kent Bellows, whose painting and printing techniques captured character and persona as few artists before him. Born in Blair, NE in 1949, Bellows grew up in a home where art, literature, music and theater were prized. Although he attended the University of Nebraska he considered his parents to be the most important influence on his art. Renowned for his figurative portraits, Bellows demonstrated a keen ability to capture detail and an even greater compassion for the human character. Whether male or female, he captured all the strength, dynamism, fragility and vulnerability inherent in the human condition.

"When New Realism developed during the 1970s and ’80s, Bellow became a master of its sub genre Sharp Focus sometimes also referred to as Meticulous Realism. In the essay “Get Real” published in 2000, Virginia Anne Bonito commented: “Bellows’ technique is noteworthy; he is among the most skilled masters in the medium of graphite on paper, and he has recently translated his meticulous approach into the oil medium. His images in graphite on paper challenge the viewer’s belief that they are not 'art' photography.” Forum Gallery, which has offices in both New York City in Los Angeles and is one of the leaders in the field of contemporary figurative art, represented Bellows and labels him “America’s greatest master of figurative drawing.” "Bellows exhibited his first paintings in the Old Market in 1970 and 1971, and although he developed a reputation as an artist of international rank, he remained in Nebraska and painted from his studio in Omaha. In an interview with The Reader in September 2005, Mark Masuoka, Executive Director of the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, reflected: “People know how significant of an artist he is. When anyone makes that kind of an impact, they become a cultural icon. People who aren’t from Omaha, when they hear the name, think, ‘Jun Kaneko lives there. Kent Bellows lives there.’ That an artist of that level lived here — that’s huge.” "IN MEMORIAMA former Bemis Center Artist-in-Residence in 1988, Bellows’ work is included in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Toledo Museum of Art, to name a few.

Sadly, Bellows passed away in his home in September 2005 at the age of 56. Generous to family, friends and artists alike, the Bellows Family has requested that those interested in making a contribution to the Kent Bellows Memorial Fund contact the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts at 402.341.7130 for more information."
For more images of Kent Bellows' art, take a look HERE, but only if you find the nude human body beautiful as a subject of art.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

SEPTEMBER, 19, 20, 21 - SAN CLEMENTE, CA - "Intensify and Optimize Your Colored Pencils"

This has got to be one of the most beautiful places I've ever taught a workshop. And should I say it? Ok I will, the weather wonderful. Would you look at this place! This is the San Clemente Art Supply in San Clemente, CA. It's owned by Patti Herdell, a former Texan....if you can ever be former that is. Not only is it beautiful it's one of the largest art stores I've ever been in...full of all kinds of goodies. I hope to make it back some time next year.

This is the entrance...lovely isn't it?

This is the back door that opens to the classroom.

This is the group! I'm in there somewhere...thank you ladies for a really great workshop and for making it possible for me to see beautiful San Clemente.

Blending with the brush and UArt sand paper...

Hi Lisa! Lisa is one of my students in Texas. Apparently she did not see fit to let me know she and her mother were coming. I'm sure she thought it would be more fun to surprise me. I'm pretty sure she got the reaction she expected. I could not believe what I was seeing. It was nice also because she got to visit with her mother who lives near.

Lisa's Mom, Bobbie.

Ann flew in from Arizona. You paid me so many nice compliments Ann.Thank you!

Working hard....

Friday, October 10, 2008


I talked to the Sanford Rep this afternoon and found out that Sanford has decided to only pre sharpen the pencils in the sets. They ARE NOT going to sharpen the pencils that are sold in open stock. I'm actually happier to know that than the news that my piece will be printed in the 2009 calendar. What a relief....

What a wonderful surprise...

I thought this was a done deal. I'd heard all the winners in the 2008 Prismacolor Art Contest had been contacted. Since I had not heard from them I figured that was that so I went about my business. Then I received this email today from the Sanford Corp. Wow was I ever surprised!

Hi Linda,

Thank you for entering the 2008 Prismacolor Art Contest. I would like to congratulate you for being in the top entries in this year’s competition! Our judges ranked your artwork one of the best of over 1200 entries.

We would like to recognize your artwork in our Prismacolor gallery at our company headquarters and also include it in a Prismacolor calendar for 2009. In order to do this, we will need hi res images of your artwork. We would like to have your artwork shipped to our headquarters in Oak Brook to have photography done and then we will promptly return your artwork. We will send you empty Fed-ex package to use for shipping your artwork and we will pay for all shipping fees. This will be no expense to you and the shipping of the art will be insured by us.

Please confirm that you would like to include your artwork in our Prismacolor gallery and calendar. Then please confirm that the mailing address below is correct. As soon as I receive confirmation, I will ship out the empty Fed-ex tube for shipping your art. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me at the number below. Thanks and once again, congratulations.

Danielle Bujan
Leader, Brand Marketing, Prismacolor
Newell Rubbermaid Office Products Group

Sunday, August 3, 2008

What are your thoughts on this?

I've heard from a very reliable source that, at some point in the near future, Sanford is going to pre-sharpen their pencils and, at the first of the year there will be a price increase.

For me this is NOT good news. Of course we must all deal with price increases, but I'm opposed to higher prices for the disadvantage of pre-sharpening, here's why. I don't know about the rest of you but I glue my pencils end to end. That way, other than what I lose in the sharpener or what breaks off, I don't have a lot of waste. As far as I know Prismacolors are the only pencils that are open ended and not pre-sharpened. Because they are manufactured here, readily available open stock, open ended and not pre-sharpened, that makes them the most economical colored pencil on the market. If Sanford pre-sharpens there will be no gluing them together, so more or less, one quarter of each pencil will be unusable. I feel, cost wise, this will be a win win for them but it will mean a great deal more expense for us.

Let me ask you this:

1. How much do you pay for your pencils? I know a lot of you buy them from Blick so be sure to figure in shipping. Here they are $1.49. If I buy a dozen or more from my local art store I get a 30% discount. So, including tax, I'm paying around $1.13 each.
2. How much USE do you actually get from each pencil?
3. How much, excluding what you lose in the sharpener, would you lose if you could not glue them together?

Even if they pre-sharpen I will have to re-sharpen. Most pre-sharpened pencils have a blunt point. So pre-sharpening will absolutely be of no advantage to me what so ever....yet I will have to pay more!

If you would like to know what made them decide to do this...I was told they listened to consumers...apparently teachers who complained their students had to sharpen their pencils. I am not discounting this as being a valid point but...

Please give it some thought, but consider this, whether pre-sharpening makes a difference to you or not it is going to effect you.

Monday, July 21, 2008


1. What do you mean by, “…painting with a dry medium” and how does it work?

My method of blending is actually that, dry blending/burnishing. In order to be successful with this method of blending it's important to get enough colored pencil pigment on the paper or it will not work. In other words, the paper has to be fairly saturated. The brush can only pick up a little bit of color so it’s basically just smearing it around.

2. What kind of colored pencils do you use?

I only use Prismacolor. The primary reason is because they have more wax in them than most of the other brands. The wax-based pigment tends to adhere to the paper better. Most other brands are oil based so the pigment is harder. I’ve also noticed that the oil based pigments do not adhere as well when applied to the sandpaper. For me, that creates another problem because I blend the pigment with a brush. The wax-based pigment will blend whereas the other pigments appear to sweep off the paper.

3. What kind of sandpaper do you use?

I use UArt sandpaper in the 800 grit. Uart is a new fine art sandpaper that replaces Ersta. Unlike Ersta, it is produced on a neutral pH backing. The papers are available in four grits ranging from P400 (coarse) - P800 (very fine). It is available in sheets in a variety of sizes, and rolls in all surfaces! To learn more check out their new

4. Where can I get the UArt sandpaper?

I generally get it through
Dakota Art but if you click here or on the Store Locator link that is on the UArt webpage you'll find a list of carriers.

5. Does it come in different colors?

It only comes in one color. It’s close to cream.

6. What kind of brush do you use?

I use a Loew Cornell # 2015. They come is sizes 2 and 4. Unfortunately they need to be trimmed. You will need to trim the size 2 to about 1/4 of an inch and the size 4 to about 1/2 inch. For best results trim them when the sizing is in them, otherwise they will be difficult to cut. If the bristles are too long and you try to blend, the brush will just lay down and you won’t be able to move any pigment. If they are too short the brush will remove the pigment so be careful.

7. Will any other brush work?

Yes. I'm sure there are quite a few brushes that will work however it takes time and money to find them. Since these brushes are cheap and I ruin them on the sandpaper, for my purposes they are the best. I have tried other brushes though but I keep coming back to these.

8. Where can I buy these brushes and how much do they cost?

The best way to get them is through Asel Art in Plano, TX. They will do mail order. Keep in mind that you will need several. If you tell them you want Linda's brushes they should know what you mean. If there’s any question just tell them that you want the Loew Cornell # 2015 and that they are kept with the colored pencils. They cost about $2.50 each.

Asel Art
1915 N.Central Exwy #450
Plano Tx 75075
Store Hours
Mon-Fri 8:30am-6pm
Sat 9am-5pm
Sun 1pm-5pm

9. One last thing, what do I do when my brush gets dirty?

When it gets dirty just wash it with soap and water and let it dry.

If there is anything you'd like to know that you think should be added to my list of questions and answers please let me know.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Here's some exciting news....

I've been invited to demo at Southwest Gallery's 2008 Summer Art Festival. Events include gallery artists painting and sculpting on-site, as well as jewelry, a painting trunk-show, live music, food and fun! (I'll be working in colored pencil)

The other artists who will be participating are: Tony Bass, Lynwood Bennett, Gene Brown, Fran Di Giacomo, Manuel Garza, Jonathan Hardesty, R. W. Hedge, Robert Hogan, George Kovach, Kyle Polzin, Tony Saladino, Paul Walden, Kay Walton, and Mark Whitmarsh.

If you live in the DFW area or somewhere nearby come visit. I'll be there Saturday & Sunday August 23-24, 2008 - from 1-5 pm

Southwest Gallery - 4500 SIGMA at Welch - Dallas, Texas 75244 - 972.960.8935- 800.272.9910

Monday, July 7, 2008

The Idaho Falls Group...

I must confess, this is one of the most fun groups I've ever been privileged to teach. They worked hard and played just as hard. At the end of the workshop when we were getting ready to take this photo I suddenly remembered I'd forgotten to announce that they could take a break any time they wanted...I knew it was a irrelevant statement since they were on break much of the time but as you can see, it made them smile.

Thank you soooo much Idaho Falls. I had a wonderful time....

Day one...

What do you mean it needs more pigment?

Hard work and a great deal of patience...

By day two it begins to make sense....

You were right, the greens are harder...

At the end of the day...

Day One: The red peppers

Day Two: The red & green peppers..what do you think? Aren't they lovely?

Friday, June 13, 2008

Workshop in Idaho, Falls....

Well I'm off tomorrow for Idaho. My husband and I will be driving. John estimates it will be about 3,000 miles roundtrip so I'll be gone for a while. Belle & Bazil, our two Yorkies, are going to stay with Phyllis and her two Shelties. Belle likes it there but this will be Bazil's first time, not only there but, away from us. What can I say, I miss them already but I'm sure they'll have fun.

We are going to stop off in Wyoming for a couple of days to visit Ginger at the ranch. Last week it was snowing but she said they had hummingbirds. I can't imagine going from the sweltering 90's here in Texas to snow. Maybe I'll get to see another Spring...if Idaho is blooming this will be the third Spring I've seen this year. I was in Ohio two weeks ago and it was beautiful. Even though I'm frequently in different States I very seldom get to see much so I'm really looking forward to this trip. The batteries are charged in the cameras so I guess I'm ready to go.

You all take care and I'll post some pictures when I get back. By the way, leave a comment, I'd love to hear what you have to say....Linda

Monday, June 9, 2008

This is my Oops! picture...

No, that's not the title. I say that is because I intended to send my green apple on a red plate, "Having Fun With Red and Green" to Nationals this year to be included in the silent auction....BUT I submitted that picture to the Prismacolor competition, I am embarassed to say, before I read the rules and guidelines you know why the "oops". Let this be a good lesson not only to me but to any of you who enter competitions. Read everything before you do anything. Anyway I decided to do something else for the silent auction. It is green and those of you who have taken my workshops know greens are harder to blend. Wow! I had a time getting it to do what I wanted it to. Nevertheless, it is rendered on 800 grit Uart sandpaper with Prismacolors and it measures 8 x 10".
By the way, I just posted pictures from my three latest workshops. Make sure you see them all.

The Colors of White - North Canton, Ohio, May 31 - June 1, 2008

Are these pots white?

How about this vase, is it white? I know this is a white vase because I took the picture but most importantly I see it as white even though I don't see much white on it. How many colors do you see?

The Colors of White continued...

Some girls are just gonna have fun! Thank you Rose, you made my day.

Even with all the fun, she got a lot of work done.