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
It began with a massive reorganization of my files in an effort to make sense of the hundreds of visual images that I tuck away over time. Swatches of color… honey golds, watery blues, mossy greens. Images of flowing lines, petals, leaves, light, love. Some will be used as reference for new collections down the road. Others will get pinned to my studio bulletin board simply because I like to look at beautiful things:))
In the midst of all this eye candy, an ocean coastline photograph that a friend had posted online floated to the forefront of my vision. An instant pull, a voice inside… “paint me”…. So I did. I pushed scraps of paper aside, made room for my watercolor pad and began a very loose and quick rendering. As always, I painted what I felt far more than what I actually saw… usual for me, my mind brings me there and it’s different somehow. More so, the place I imagine it to be.
It’s been a while since paint flowed with ease and oh, it felt so good. And so I kept going, taking advantage of the calm and the quiet. Wrapped warm by the soft light over my shoulder, a fashion illustration inspired piece emerged from my ink pen.. I quickly painted a dress on her that I would wear… I piled her hair on top of her head and enjoyed the satisfying feeling of designing a look, a mood with simple line, minimal color and easy brushwork. Within minutes of starting, as breathing was a deep and steady sympatico…I felt her complete and I put the brush down.
And then I ate a proper lunch, because a girl’s gotta eat.
Not bad, for a Tuesday;))
Drinking in the warmth of the sun… letting it fill me up.
So much to be thankful for. A really good day:)
Original Ink and watercolor ©Michelle Rummel / Shellrummel.com
In keeping with the edges theme/obsession, this week I picked up some knives and began to cut paper. There is something remarkably soothing about the process… the blade is flexible, so it flows with the curves nicely…well, as nicely as the hand holding it;) You can feel it sink through fiber and the trick is to guide it smoothly. I want my paper cut lines to be delicate, fluid…just like my watercolors. Practice needed. Even more, I am intrigued by the secret layer of shadow that forms at the edges… I am experimenting with adding watercolor over, under….and in between. And there is something glorious to my eye about combining my watercolors with cut paper (and in this case, embroidery thread too…) It’s a textural dance that leads me along, a new direction that seems right. I feel my heart beating which tells me it’s real.
I am in awe of those who master this art so brilliantly. There is much learning involved and my impatience taught more than one lesson along the way in just two studio sessions. At the end of the day, my desk was covered in hundreds of shards of paper. I found that oddly satisfying:) Can’t wait to keep playing, experimenting, adding to, learning. I know the look I am trying to achieve and I see now how to get there. It feels like a gentle parting of branches when walking down a quiet path. So much to discover, just beyond… ~
Original Ink, watercolor, embroidery and paper cut ~ ©Michelle Rummel Shellrummel.com
Always interested in the edges of things…
Loved painting this for so many reasons.
Original watercolor… ©Michelle Rummel
Our year in Review…
It makes me dizzy (in the best possible way;) to look back on the last year and see all we have accomplished in my design studio. It was truly an extraordinary year for the Shell Rummel brand in the sense that much of the work we did during the year was in preparation for 2015. We’ve been steadily focused, and as is true of most good things in life, patience rewards! So many beautiful new products and collections are about to launch! It’s such a thrill…
We’ll be giving away some lovely products in the coming months in partnership with some of our licensees…Not to be missed so feel free to join our mailing list or follow my brand page on facebook. My website has all the updated information, so come take a few minutes and have a look through. As always, my gratitude for your kind support of my art and design work…it means so much ~ Shell
…in and back. Some days it is so easy to get lost in the lines.
Only a glimpse of this one as it is still evolving…I keep adding intricacy of line, deepening depth with watercolor…trying, always to honor the strong pull of the coast and all that it means to me. I’m getting closer, I feel it.
Original ink and watercolor ©MichelleRummel