I am noticing that I do my best painting in the late afternoon. The quality of light is really nice at that time of day and it’s usually much quieter in my studio. But I think more than both of those things, by afternoon, my internal rhythm, which can run a bit fast… has finally slowed enough to let me really relax into the painting. Breath is deeper, my hand a little looser… my mind clears and I get lost in gentle thoughts… it’s a state of complete ease. And it’s in these moments that I stray a little farther creatively and try new things, like painting with more water than usual, then letting the water pull the pigment from the brush rather than having my hand control it as I usually do. Results can be…surprising… but the name of this blog is appropriately titled, Risk Delight… so there you go. I do hope my artwork delights you from time to time.
It’s natural for me to emphasize the smaller, delicate details…maybe the ones that are a little off the beaten path that you wouldn’t first notice…like the crevice between the rocks or the shadows of the shells that lay just below water’s surface. Or maybe I will choose to highlight the edge of a cloud rather than the cloud itself. Or that mysterious sliver of light where sky meets the sea… it always seems so elusive. My seascapes attempt to honor those details and those less travelled/less seen places that I am so drawn to. How to show you what I see and feel? I continue to try to find new ways of bringing my vision uniquely to life.
All Original artwork ©Michelle Rummel/ Shell Artistree LLC ~
It’s a sleepy, quiet, solitary day of painting back in my studio. I am paying close attention to those little sparks within…I find I often come back to drawing/painting figurative works. I am drawn to faces, necks, hair and lips. I don’t always get the lines or the proportion right, but there is something familiar and pleasing just in the trying. I do often use photographs for reference but more often than not, at some point in the process I veer far off reference point and just let my hand and imagination lead the way. Always an element of organic abstraction… intricate detailing…watery colors, controlled… and yet, I do try to let watercolors just be watercolors and do their thing, too. It’s the sweetest dance between ink and water and although she doesn’t look like me, she becomes a true portrait of me at my creative happiest…
In this moment, I am fulfilled.
Original Ink and watercolor painting… ©Michelle Rummel / Shellartistree LLC / Shellrummel.com
Original ink and watercolor ©Michelle Rummel
…It’s NYC after all. Attitude is welcome here.
The first of a few self portraits I am working on.
I have been living and working in New York City for the past 8 days. It was an unexpected opportunity to rent an apartment in the city…A friend leaving town, she thought to ask me if I would like to stay. Too good to pass up, I just yelled YES…and imagined how I could and would spend two weeks away from home and my family in one of my favorite places. The first images in my mind were that of painting, creating. Quiet is a rare commodity in my home/studio. I don’t have the isolated, solitary, quiet painting time I used to have when my studio space was separate. And I miss it dearly.
I packed everything I could think I might want or need to create…art books that have been sitting, unread. All my watercolors, even the rarely used tubes. I brought my paper cutting knife…an interest I haven’t had time for. I brought yards of embroidery thread and needles to try my hand at embellishing my paintings.
The city is stimulating…I find I can get lost for hours just looking out the windows and watching the crowds float by. It’s loud. City noises that I am not used to hearing kept me up those first nights. I’m adjusting now and I imagine that by the end of this adventure I will barely notice the sirens and the horns at 3am (no matter, I’m usually wide awake then anyway;). The subway brings me downtown and unexpectedly, I find I like riding it! I walk everywhere, discover new streets, shops, restaurants…daily. I love the market…it has fresh flowers and smells so good. And I am working! A lovely morning at the NYDesign Center was filled with eye candy. I spent a day meeting with my design team in the showroom of my bedding Licensee and had a fantastic meeting to plan out the new collections that will launch in Spring 2015. I met with a potential new licensee too, and I know that partnership will be quite special when it finally comes together.
All these wonderful things and yet… I couldn’t paint. Oh, I tried… It’s all been set up and ready for me since day one. But I have found that it has taken me some time to get settled…to find a quiet pace that feels comfortable and good. I have had to be patient with myself and take time to adjust into this new place and space. An easy rhythm is necessary for me to create…
It seems today it finally came. Inspired by a photograph I took yesterday of two orchids in full bloom in a Madison Avenue window, my first ink and watercolor painted in my makeshift studio in NYC feels just right. I loved that walk…it was gently encouraged and it calmed me and inspired me. Looking forward to seeing what else may come from the brush/pen/thread in the coming days ~
There are many links in the above text, they just don’t show very well…hover over the text to see some of my visual inspiration ~
Original ink and watercolor ©Michelle Rummel
I spent some time today slowly sifting through my watercolors…Smiling to myself as I realized that I created far more than I thought I had over my busy summer months. Mostly saltwater inspired, waves and lines of tide make a strong appearance in the collection, as well as striations of green mixed among the layered painted Hosta leaves….I do love them so. There are figurative works too… a few nudes, some fashion illustrations and the always present seashell or feather in the mix. Soft, natural organic…qualities that are consistently present in my art…it’s what I am drawn to, after all. And of course, my design work reflects this too. But more on that, next time… ~
Original Watercolor ©Michelle Rummel
So peaceful, calm and happy in my day…It’s been filled with the most gorgeous light. I am wrapped well, feeling inspired anew.
Started this one yesterday for #DrawingAugust and added a touch more ink and line work to it today… Just play, but it’s a wonderful exercise for me…A different path for creating than the one my design work usually takes me down. I like the looseness, the playfulness that comes. Even more so, I love that the lines and watercolor wash brought me to the ocean.
Still craving saltwater, my beloved rock jetty and an east coast sunrise… Feeling the pull…I’ll get back there, soon enough, I think ~
Original Ink and Watercolor ©Michelle Rummel
This one, still evolving, I think.
And full [filled].
Inspired by the color of the ocean, the saltiness of the sea, the curve of a polished seashell.
The lingering effects of saltwater on skin… a very good day ~
Original ink and watercolor ©Michelle Rummel
Design work has pulled at me daily for months. I love it…every consuming part of it. It’s been a very big project; 6 distinct bedding collections for a very prominent manufacturer that will launch at Fall Market in NYC…a huge undertaking that has been just as much a personal challenge as a professional one. Two of those collections have now been sent off to production…two more technical packages for beds 3 and 4 were printed today in my studio… The final 2 beds will come together in the next two weeks. I am so pleased I can barely contain it…surely those who know me well will just take one look at me and see, beyond my tired eyes, the pride I feel. It spills from me.
And so this week, with one major deadline almost behind me, in the gentle lull of a peaceful moment, I finally took a very deep breath. And somewhere in that quiet space between, I realized just how much my fingers ached for the brush. So I painted.
This one began as most do… a very quick sketch to get the form down. I wasn’t sure of it at first. I drew her free hand and I felt my fingers tighter than I like…I struggled a bit with proportion but eventually, the shape came. Watercolor next…a light touch, my usual palette…comfort in watery blues. I felt her neither here nor there until I detailed in some ink which added something indescribably wonderful to my eye.
And that’s when I realized how much I miss the feel of it…and when I say that, I mean more than just the way the brush feels in my hand…but also the way I feel when I am lost in a moment of creation. It’s a spark of sorts that fuels me on, effortlessly. Like a whisper that says, breathe….
In those moments, I listen…I smile slowly with closed eyes…I come alive.
Original ink and watercolor ©MichelleRummel