A Cat in a Garden

Bear one of our feral cats. i actually drew him with the Noodler first but forgot to take a pic.
Since I have all this paint leftover from pouring i decided to use it. Made Black w mostly indigo and some raw sienna and cad red. I maybe using these colors for quite a while. Still plenty of paint.
I used a dip pen w masking fluid to do his whiskers. works great. Painted the background.
Then i drew all the leaves in. Margaret who had been up since 5 am and is ready for bed. Xoxoxoxo

From the River

Our volunteer Sunflower continues to shoot skyward. I swear it grows 3 inches a day. Jack and the Beanstalk don’t have anything on it. Hopefully a sunflower on the opposite page. An old Strathmore Mixed Media sketchbook I never filled up. Lovely paper but I abandoned it because it won’t lay flat which annoys me. Drawn w my original very first beloved coral Lamy Safari with carbon platinum black ink.
Cleaning continues. Found these two old sketches of dear Erica from 2014. Goes to show you can improve if you draw enough. Legs far too short. 😵‍💫
While she is long and very slim those tiny hands?! And once again foreshortened legs OFF. So keep those pencils sharpened and practice practice practice. Daily practice does work just like in tennis. Or should i say like golf since its Masters week here in Augusta Ga Ya gotta put the hours in.
The cleaned and sorted cupboard. Way too many brand new sketchbooks. Who knew i had all of those?
Sooty playing guard cat. No bird need eat. Clueless what he’s doing. And that’s the sunflower in front of him.

Margaret xoxoxo from the rainy river.

A few more scribbles

Not what i meant to post today. have another painting to pour half way done but got sidetracked spring cleaning. Exhausted i noticed a sunflower volunteering from the bird seed out the den window and drew it.
My silly tortie kept begging for kitty snacks instead of letting me take a nap when i was slowing down. She was below me on the floor so this is a wonky drawing.
Tried out two new pens today that some people recommend for sketching. All are supposedly waterproof. I just felt odd drawing and writing w the bic and the zebra. I dont think the lines are thinner so will stick w my fav uniball micro pens.

Interesting recommendations for your ig feed to improve it from a woman who has a zillion followers. Thinking abt taking her class at the end of the april. Obviously she knows something i don’t know.

From Dina Brodsky! Her Ig is @ dinabrodsky and she has 772000 plus followers! So she must know what she’s talking about!!

Today, a few thoughts on your bio.

Why your bio is important and how to optimize it

  • Instagram is the platform of choice for the art world, and most galleries, collectors and critics will look at your instagram account before they look at your website or CV. Most people’s first impressions are formed instantly, so the first thing to do is to make sure your account is the best possible impression of you as an artist.
  • Your name/handle: make sure this is what you want to be known by in the art world. I would suggest sticking to your actual name, or, if that’s already taken, Yourname_artist, yourname_paintings, etc. Since this is your professional account, keep it professional, rather than charming/whimsical/clever. 

Your Profile Photo

  • Since most people are looking at instagram on their phone, your profile photo might be too small for them to make out. That being said, make sure its a photo of your art, you, or you and your art.

Your Bio

  • This is a place to say a few words about yourself as a person and as an artist. Also, a place to direct people to what’s happening in the link in your bio, which is the most important part of your profile 

Link in bio/website 

Why it’s important:

  • This is the only place on Instagram you can place a live link. This should be the place you direct people to the most important thing happening in your career at the moment  – your next exhibition, a write-up in a major publication, or something actionable like a workshop you’re trying to fill or a studio sale.


Why it’s really important:

  • Did you know that the Instagram algorithm puts a disproportionate weight on whether people click on your link in bio? This means that if you direct people to the link in your post/reel, and they click on it, that post will get prioritized by the algorithm and become visible to more people. 
  • DON’T put lots of links in your bio with tools like Linktree. Less than 1% of your audience will click your link–send them to the ONE place that’s most important to you. 
  • Pro tip: if you do want your link in bio to direct people to several places, don’t do it via Linktree, Lnk.bio or other third party apps. Instead make a Links page on your website, like this: https://www.dinabrodsky.com/links

    That way you are driving people to your website instead of a third party app.

Dina
Insights For Artists

Dina Brodsky, Boston, MA

Sometimes a sketch book is just scribbles

Love escape to the country and its variety of houses. Probably my fav show other than big bang. I get the urge to draw the beautiful countryside and the wonky odd ball charming houses and shops. i finally did. And probably will again since this one didnt turn out the way i wanted it too. And oopsey. How do they get the pronunciation Lem-stir out of the name Leominster? Go figure. I love the fields and Yorkshire the land of my ggggggrandmother Hartley takes my breath away. She lived just diwn the road from All Creatures Great and Small Skelldale House.
Drawing the seagulls at the dam. They were plucking herring from the water. Rather like drawing gesture sketches but they never hold a pose for a second.
The first pages. I think they got better.
Sweet Daisy who is always a willing model snoozing on the back deck and especially appropriate for ink sketches since shes fifty shades of grey.

Stillman and birn alpha uniball micro pen pentel brush pen

Margaret who has taken way too much antihistamine today. 💤💤💤💤xoxoxoxo

The correct color

I actually took this out on our wet back deck to photograph when the rain let up. You get more accurate color photos on an over cast day or so they say. The great debate was on as to whether it was done. I decided it was.

Heres the photo i took inside last night. A BIG change in the color, isn’t it?! Anyway the new owner of this large painting pronounced it “wonderful” so i take it that he thinks its done. Painting the edges, varnishing, and adding the wire tomorrow. This will eventually end up in the owner’s cabin in the Western North Carolina mountains.

Nature does not hurry and yet everything is accomplished. (Lao Tzu) is the theme of this painting.

The vultures have been gathering on our sycamore alot recently.
One was on the pool fence today feet from the back door. Fascinating creepy things. According to my husband they only eat meat once its rancid. No feathers on their head lets them get right into that rotten meat. 🤪
I had to take these pics thru the bars on the back deck rail. I was afraid to go outside for fear of scaring him off.
Pretty cool catching him with his wings wide open. Well at least part of them. There were several more in the yard. Our attack cats ran them off.

Margaret xoxoxox who had enough excitemnt for today. Lol.

My Husband’s Cat

Pumpkin 300# cp Fabriano Artistico may be done. Shes aging right now.
The cat masked. I drew the whiskers and the furry hairs on the left w a fine indian ink pen. It can be a bear removing so much masking. Lots of rubbing required.
Second pour.
I also added some burnt sienna on the left.
Biggest decision. How to paint all that fur and keep it soft?! 😵‍💫Found a Liz Steele @lizsteelart post on instagram where she used four colors today all of which i happened to have -Daniel Smith French Ultramarine Blue, DS Buff Titanium, DS Monte Amiata and DS Red Iron Oxide which i thought would be perfect for Miss Pumpkin. This is my test page in my Stillman and Birn Alpha. Lots of wet on wet for the fur test.
And here she is now. The watermark lettering does not show like that when you look at the painting. I also had to wet the back of the paper to wet the back to try to flatten the paper which was anything but flat when i was done.

Margaret xoxoxoxo

My Husband’s Cat

Pumpkin 300# cp Fabriano Artistico may be done. Shes aging right now.
The paper masked and first pour of a variety of purples and blues.
Second pour.
I also added some burnt sienna on the left.
Third pour
Painting before i removed the masking.
Biggest decision. How to paint all that fur and keep it soft?! 😵‍💫Found a Liz Steele @lizsteelart post on instagram where she used four colors today all of which i happened to have -Daniel Smith French Ultramarine Blue, DS Buff Titanium, DS Monte Amiata and DS Red Iron Oxide which i thought would be perfect for Miss Pumpkin. This is my test page in my Stillman and Birn Alpha. Lots of wet on wet for the fur test.
Before i stripped off the masking. Not a big fan of masking. You have to soften alot of edges after you remove it.
Lots of sharp edges now on her face. I had to lift out some of them by rubbing them w a nylon flat and remove the rest of the masking.
And here she is now. The watermark lettering does not show like that when you look at the painting. I also had tto wet the back of the paper toto wet the back to try to flatten the paper which was

Margaret xoxoxoxo

Court reporter

In my next life i want to be a court reporter. Since we have alot of connections w the low country esp Edisto and Beaufort we have been following the Murdaugh trial. Today he testified which never happens. I could not resist drawing him.

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Calling this Better than Alex did with the Sketch Artist

SLED asked him to work with a sketch artist for a portrait of the man who shot him on the Salkahatchee Road. Needless to say his idea of his attacker a man he knew well his Cousin Eddie was grossly inaccurate.

And that finishes off my Stillman and Birn Alpha book. Watercolor pencil. This was done with no pencil sketch like you do w watercolor but just coloring til i got it right.

I have Pumpkin ready to pour. I did her whiskers and wispy hits with a crowquill india ink pen just dipping it in and drawing with it quickly.
And then theres this ballerina Mike and I are virtually meeting up to work on tomorrow.
Supposedly she will look like this if we paint fast enough!! The Jury is out in this one. As in we shall see.

A little bird flew by

A tufted Titmouse that was out back this am eating before the cats showed up for breakfast. The cats don’t know it but I let them go hungry while the birds are. He’s not quite what I meant to do but at least it’s done.
This was how it started out and I didn’t like it. So I decided to darken the background. Still don’t like it. Then I got the razor knife out and started scratching it. Well it was as good as it was going to get. Titmice don’t hold still long enough to let you draw them. One seed and they are off.

Should have been finishing the flamingo but was having an unmotivated Saturday. 🙃🙃🙃

My baked mushrooms were delicious and so easy to make. Clean the big mushrooms. Bake them at 375 for 20-25 min. Slap a square or two of cheese on top and let it melt. Yummy. You can microwave them too but I like them baked better.

Margaret whose sleepy now. Xoxoxo

Bird of the day well actually

Been working on this bird for a few days. Maybe a week off and on.

This is 9×12 and done. I like a lot. So I decided to paint a bigger one. BYTW this one is available if you need her at your house.
The background wash went well but darn what was with the bird drawing. the back looks like spikes and regular ones at that. Regularity is an anathema in a painting. So how do I fix it without starting over?! So of course I kept on painting.
Starting the head. And then of course I forgot to take pics. Sigh. Really like the quin gold and the quin rose with cerulean on the neck and around the beak. But then no more pics. Sigh.
So here she is almost done but those spikes are still annoying me. So yesterday after madly painting with Vlad I thought slap some paint on the background and get rid of those spikes.
So I did. And it went well. I painted the horrible spikey look out. HURRAH!! But then I got the dreadful green run across the bottom of the beak. The 140 kilimanjaro was waffling like crazy with huge ripples making the washes run like crazy. To make it worse the green run was THALO notoriously staining of any paper. NIGHTMARE time.
Slapping cobalt on to give her some curves.
So her she is today. The paper dried amazingly flat for all the ripples it had yesterday. Maybe I can grey out the green streak. Tomorrows job! I do like the way she looks now.
Maybe a crop to take a couple of inches off on the right?? She’s a big girl at 16×20”. Did I say I have already drawn another one?! 😵‍💫
Tonite sunset was rather spectacular. I saw it out of the corner of my eye as I was heating up our dinner leftovers. We do love a good bowl of leftover soup.

Margaret ready for bed xoxoxox