Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Dame's Rocket

Dame's Rocket
Dame’s Rocket, 2010

© 2010 Susan M. Lohse.  All rights reserved.

Sadly, the patch of dame’s rocket I photographed a couple of years ago was destroyed last year to make way for an apartment complex.  On the other side of the street, where more dame’s rocket was growing, the land was plowed under for a pumpkin crop.

The patch on the side of the street with the apartments looks to be gone forever.  I’ll have to wait until this coming spring to see if any of the dame’s rocket survived on the pumpkin side.

UPDATE:  It’s May 2012, and the fate of the dame’s rocket is much better than I’d feared.  Some of the flowers were destroyed on the side of the street where pumpkins were planted, but many of them remain.  On the other side of the street, construction of a new access road revealed an abundance of dame’s rocket still thriving in the thickly wooded area behind the apartment complex.

Saturday, January 14, 2012


Fuchsia, ink and watercolor
Fuchsia, 2012
Ink and watercolor on paper
4 1/2 x 5 3/4 inches

© 2012 Susan M. Lohse.  All rights reserved.

I’m a big fan of art made with watercolor and ink:  It’s light, bright, contemporary (yet steeped in tradition), and frequently whimsical.  Some of my favorite artists who work with these media are Nicole Wong, Tommy Kane and Geninne Zlatkis, who more often uses white ink, rather than the customary black, for a completely different look.

Another individual who works in watercolor and ink is Jane LaFazio, a mixed-media artist.  I discovered Jane when she was a guest on Quilting Arts on my local PBS station.  I was immediately drawn to her “don’t sweat it” attitude toward making art.  Jane credits Danny Gregory with starting her on the path of art journaling with watercolor and ink, in what she calls “journal style.”  Working in journal style is a good way to practice contour drawing and a means to train oneself to minimize detail in favor of capturing the essence of a subject.

Because I wanted to explore watercolor and ink further, I was thrilled when Jane released From Art Journaling to Art: Drawing, Watercolor, and More Techniques for the Mixed-Media Artist, an instructional video, particularly since she and I are attracted to similar subject matter.  In the video, she presents the tools and materials she uses, her process, and ways to leverage journal art.  Jane is a terrific teacher:  She keeps it simple and educates the viewer about the refinements that turn a journal page into a complete work of art.
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