Welcome to our super secret blog page!! If this all works like I think it should, you all are the only ones with access to this page. If you go to the link I sent via email and view this page any time in the coming weeks, any new posts, just for you, should appear, newest ones at the top. Keep an eye on comments from each other and feel free to post questions to myself and each other here. Use this as your pre-Taos forum! I will check it daily.
We are just over 2 months away from our trip together so it’s time to start talkin’ details!! Today I’m sharing with you the first of a series of videos that I’ve made, this one showing a few of my own well loved and lived in books, and displaying the basic supplies you will need for the trip (also detailed below). In the weeks to come we will learn a little bit about trickin’ out the book with a lovely, one of a kind cover, how to take those first wobbly steps into basic drawing, and a few little watercolor exercises to try before you head to New Mexico.
When I first started this workshop, my students were all from my home town here in Cincinnati and we met once a week for a few weeks before class to prepare our books, learn some basics about drawing and colors and collage. By the time the group reached Taos, they were already well into practice and could hit the ground running so to speak. I wanted the same pre-workshop benefit for my students now that they are from all over the country and so you get video me!! 🙂 I hope you enjoy these videos and overlook any cringe worthy moments in them. I am new to video format but I have found making them to be a lot of fun! And I have learned a great deal in the process. I hope you enjoy them and that they help you feel that much more well prepared for the workshop. I know many of you are busy with ‘real life’ between now and the trip, so none of this will be too terribly time consuming.
book: Stillman & Birn, Alpha Series book, white (not cream) paper, (approx 5.5″ X 8.5″)
watercolor set: Windsor and Newton travel set, Cotman is nice. If you want to splurge, get the artist’s grade series. it’s worth every penny
Drawing supplies: Pencil (yes, a simple #2 will do, but if you have others you like, bring them!) Pens: Uniball Vision Elite, fine point in black (get 2, available at art supply stores but also in office supply stores) 3 Pigma Micron pens, (.005, 01, 02)
Brushes: Your WC set will come with a lovely tiny brush. You may find that is enough, especially on the go. But I also like to bring a larger brush for washes. Something like THIS would be great, though I am sure you can shop around for better prices. And for detailing, a little pointed round brush is a nice option as well. I will have some of these on hand to borrow out in Taos for classroom work. The brush in your set is all you need for field work and quick studies. (be sure and get a brush that is short enough to fit in your to-to pencil bag. I’ve been known to saw off the end of a good brush and sand the end a bit to make it fit.)
Water container (your choice how complicated you want to get here, a simple toss away paper cup is just fine!!)
Bag for pencils: quart sized ziploc bags work nicely!
Bag for carrying your supplies. I like the ‘messenger’ or ‘sling’ style bags as then your supplies are at your side when out in the field and you don’t have to take off your back pack to get to them. But other folks really like the compartments available in little backpacks made for kids. I recommend packing your stuff up in your bag and practice toting it around. Does it hurt your shoulder? Is it convenient to get to when you want to sketch? Is there room for a camera? I take a camera to get a reference shot of what I am drawing in the field if I want to make a more finished drawing later. But it’s no replacement for a sketch!
Field chair. Crazy Creek makes a nice one if you are good with sitting on the ground. There are also foldable ‘camp stool’ style chairs that are quite small and packable and nice for field work as well. This item is optional, especially if you are flying. A lot of sketching we do will be while standing, or if we are at Mabel’s sketching, there are loads of chairs to scoot around and tuck into the right corner to sit and draw.
That is really all you need. Like I said in the video, I will bring some supplementary supplies for you to try which will enhance your book pages. But so much can be done with a simple watercolor set, a little book, something to draw with, and most importantly, time. I am so looking forward to sinking back into the magic of Taos with you guys in just a matter of weeks!! Welcome!