Discovering gouache

Hello everyone,

It is hard to believe that 2018 is already well underway! I have high hopes for this new year and feel excited anticipation for all it has to offer.

The first new thing I have encountered this year is an exciting new medium…

Now, as you know I am a great lover of watercolors. It is was the first type of art that I had success with and has been my medium of choice for many years. I have experimented with other techniques from oils to charcoal to ink but I always come back to watercolor.

Well, this year for Christmas a generous family member gifted me with a set of gouache. Gouache, for those of you who do not know, is essentially like an opaque watercolor. It is a medium that had long been an object of curiosity to me so I was enormously enthusiastic to have the opportunity to try it out.

…Let’s just say it far exceeded my expectations.

Although accurate, the description of “opaque watercolor” hardly does this paint justice. Gouache is a remarkable hybrid paint that combines the optimal features of both watercolor and oils. It can be applied in thin washes or in a thick paste. It has the convenience of watercolor with the deep color of oils and it is the preferred medium of illustrators because it dries completely matte. I am somewhat infatuated…

Here’s my first all-gouache painting. Aslan and Lucy are two characters that I strive to portray frequently because of their personal relevance. C.S. Lewis’ imagery is so powerful and is a significant source of inspiration to me. I am very pleased with the details, texture and color that is achievable with the gouache and I’m excited to continue experimenting with it.

I’m looking forward to a new year of Sage Brush and Canvas!


A Whimsical Father Christmas

Well Everyone, it is officially three days away from the most anticipated holiday of the year. I could not be more enthusiastic!Yesterday it struck my fancy to paint a tribute to one of Christmas’ most iconic characters. So, in the spirit of the season, I have done a watercolor take on Father Christmas…

Now, in previous renderings of ‘ol Saint Nick I have avoided the highly commercialized “Santa Clause” look and opted for a slightly more woodsy appearance. I have continued that theme this year with this scene. Here is a time lapse video of my process:And…here is the finished product:A jovial, fur trimmed woodsman welding a birch staff, a bag of gifts and playfully bedecking the crescent moon with an ornament.

While I dearly love celebrating the mood and magic of Christmas. It is important not to forget the true reason for the season. Take a moment to read about the Christmas story in the book of Luke… it is more vivid and amazing than anything that could be produced in paint. I hope you all have a very merry Christmas!

Miss Gibson & True Beauty

gibson 2Hello Everyone,

My  artistic fascination this week has been this discovery of the “Gibson Girls”. Historically, Gibson Girls were a series  of pen and ink ladies drawn by, and named for a guy named Charles Dana Gibson. They were the face of advertisements in the 19th and 20th centuries and represented the  standards of beauty in that era.

I just happen to notice a charming pen and ink drawing of a Victorian look’n lady with an impressive pompadour  as a decorative print at a restaurant. It sparked my curiosity and, after some inquiries, I discovered that this was a “Gibson Girl”.

Naturally I was eager to give this illustration  a shot… Now, pen and ink is a fun and dramatic medium but not one for the first crack at a new style. After a very frightening first attempt I switched over to graphite and tried to isolate the particular quality of these drawings. Working from Mr. Gibson’s illustrations I found that the defining features of Gibson Girls are heavy lids, big hair , veiled expression, and the impression of looking down their tiny noses at the viewer. I came to a fairly good sketch and then outlined with the ever-challenging pen and ink. The result: a lady looking thoroughly bored and cynical… but in a charming way.  Hello Miss Gibson.
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It is so interesting to see how societal standards of women’s beauty has changed throughout the years. I truly believe it is important not to get too focused in on the media’s standards because they are never achievable and always shifting. Just like women in the days of the Gibson Girls probably strove to have the biggest pompadour and exude an air of indifference now-a-days we become fixated on the latest celebrity look and Instagram fad.  The only lasting definition for what it means to be beautiful is what is dictated by God, the ultimate artist. He is the source of all that is beautiful and He has created every person uniquely out of His divine creativity. He designed each of us according to the style of beauty He picked specifically for us. What a cool thought! As it says in Ephesians 2:10 “We are God’s handiwork…”  It is sometimes hard to see this  in the face of the constant barrage of lies we are faced with everyday but  it is absolutely true. Be encouraged! You are the standard of beauty for you.


A Shout-Out to Jewel Tones

As the operations of Sage Brush and Canvas settle nicely into a time-consuming routine I have had a very limited  time for recreational painting/drawing. This time has been spent packaging, purchasing, and presenting my products. Also, making tiny watercolor tags to go with them…
Originally I intended for these personalized paintings to be a temporary stand-in until I got some official business cards printed. However, at this point the pass-time has become strangely obsessive. I have been including the tiny washes  with every package I send out. I’m using them as thank you notes and to add a personal flair. I’m having a lot of fun making each one unique with salt effects and wet on wet work. However, so far I have not been able to branch out from using  exclusively jewel tones. There’s just something about cool reds, purples, greens, and, blues that is so charming. A trademark perhaps? 

Shop Update, Oh boy!

Hello Everyone,

Keeping busy… Thank so much for all of you who have shared and purchased from the Etsy shop! I really couldn’t do it without you. Sage Brush and Canvas is officially opened for business. I shipped out my first several orders yesterday and have more to do today. I am loving it, and I look forward to getting more product up very soon.

As for the blog, I plan on getting back to documenting the ol’ art pretty soon. If I post a piece that you would be interested in purchasing either as a card, art print, or original painting let me know and I will do my best to accommodate.

More to follow I as continue my artistic and entrepreneurial adventures. (:

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Etsy shop is now open!

Hello everyone,

I am pleased to announce that my Etsy shop is now opened for business!

Check it out: Sage Brush and Canvas Shop

I am so excited to be able to share my artwork through this awesome venue and I appreciate your support as am getting it off the ground. I am starting  small  with  just a few listings but there will be many more in the near future. I will be sure to post as I get new products up.

Currently, I am happy to offer a selection of Christmas cards as well as a set of fall cards proudly  printed by Greyhound Print Solutions. I hope you will order your Christmas cards through me this year and be sure to tell your friends.  fall paintingscan-10.jpeg

Something to be Thankful For: A Big Announcement

Hello Everyone, my apologies for such sporadic posts.

I am discovering that attaining the “simple” life of my dreams is anything but simple and seldom graces me with superfluous time. I have been keeping busy.

And then, all of a sudden, it’s Autumn. The season of chunky sweaters, tea, colorful leaves, candles and general coziness. I could not be more enthusiastic for fall! Thanksgiving is over month away but it is not too early to start counting our blessings…

And at the top of my list I am very thankful to be able to share some big news!

Sagebrush Canvas Art is coming soon to Etsy! Look for me under the new and improved name: Sage Brush & Canvas. I am so excited to be able to share my art with you all in the form of original greeting cards, framed prints, and much more. It is yet another thing to be thankful for coming up in the next few weeks.

This is a big step and I am very excited to be able to offer you products featuring my artwork.  I will post updates as the launch of  Sage Brush & Canvas on Etsy approaches. I hope to have everything up and running in time for you to order your Christmas greeting cards through me.

I appreciate your support and will be posting soon to keep you all up to date on the shop  status and all my Autumnal artistic endeavors. Happy Fall!