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In my studio: Instagram catch up

 

It has been awhile since I've posted completed works here on my blog. After several months without a regular studio practice, I am again trying to establish a bit more of a routine in that area. With the weather being just SO COLD in Omaha, I am focusing more on painting so I don't have to go in and out of the house like I do with cyanotypes. 

Instagram catch up || Rachel Loewens Fine Art

I've been breaking away from the color blue...

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and combining collage with painting...

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and then coming back to blue again!

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To stay up to date on my latest work, follow me here on Instagram


 

 

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What makes an ordinary week

(for further context, see last week's post Ordinary Time in My Studio

Lesson plan for history: To experience a “taste” of what life was like as a monk, prepare a typical “monk’s meal” for supper one night. You might like to pretend that it is Christmas, so you can have some butter on your bread!
Pretty Pavlova || What makes an ordinary week || blog post || Rachel Loewens Fine Art

Me: "Since we are learning about Monks, we are going to make a bread like the kind they would have eaten. "
AJ: "Can't I make Mary Berry's Pavlova instead?"
Me: "I'm not sure we have enough eggs... "
AJ: " We only need six!" (proceeds to recite rest of recipe and directions)

Yeah, she won. 


This month, we are still figuring out what an ordinary week for us will look like this year. I was given some very wise counsel that co-teachers (homeschool moms) usually doesn't get their routine down until October so I know we have a few more weeks to get our stride. I'm still participating in the #PCJ30in30 Challenge on Instagram and am loving the process of observing one memory or moment of each day in a painting. 

Chilly Sunday || #PCJ30in30 || Rachel Loewens Fine Art
Pretty Pavlova || #PCJ30in30 || 8x8" acrylic on watercolor paper || Rachel Loewens Fine Art

Sometimes I know what I want to capture within the first few hours of the day, other times it takes until dinnertime. Either way, this practice is helping me focus on what little thing sets each day apart from the next (a tall order for someone who is big-picture minded).

Raining sunshine || #PCJ30in30 || 6x8" || acrylics + paint pen on watercolor paper || Rachel Loewens
Turning season sunset || #PCJ30in30 || 8x8" || acrylic paint on watercolor paper || Rachel Loewens

To stay up to date on this challenge follow me on Instagram



Cyanotype supplies: hand-prepped vs. store made

As much as I love using the ready to use cyanotype papers found at Dick Blick, I've been itching to mix my own chemicals so that I can print on watercolor paper. 

cyanotype || Rachel Loewens Fine Art

Above: store bought paper

Right: hand mixed chemicals on watercolor paper

cyanotype exposing || Rachel Loewens Fine Art

As it usually goes the first time you try something new, I had a few bumps along the way but I've had a bit of success as well. One of my favorites is this hydrangea print below. 

Hydrangea cyanotype || Rachel Loewens Fine Art

I've also been collaging and painting with some of my other pieces and loving them, too!

 
Rachel Loewens || Fine Art
 

This time of figuring out how to best use my supplies is often the most frustrating but also rewarding part of my creative practice!

 

Doodles and Sketches

Spring break is upon us and the weather is well, not very spring-like. We got rather spoiled the past few weeks so I have to keep reminding myself that a few days of cold and snow won't do me any harm!

Doodles and Sketches || Rachel Loewens Fine Art
Doodles and Sketches || Rachel Loewens

Last week, as I was cleaning out my studio, I found these two boxes of onion skin paper that I've had for ages and decided it was time to figure out a use for them. 

With some of my favorite pens at hand I started testing out marks. The pages are in order of being worked on from left to right, and my internal monologue when something like this:

"Thick short gold line with long skinny line on top. Nope. With short skinny line on top.  Man, I need to be more loose. Next page. Long lines with short perpendicular lines to get comfortable. Switch pens. V, V, V. Switch pen. V, V, V. Switch pen. Ah, this pen isn't working! Oh, wait! Now it is starting to! V, V, V, line underneath. Long line and then bifurcate v's. Hmm. Kinda like arrows? Maybe will work as a pattern? Next page. Yup that works. What else can I do?

 

I then thought the arrow lines sort of reminded me of evergreen trees and would be nicely situated in some of my landscape drawings. 

Doodles and Sketches || Rachel Loewens
Sketches and Doodles || Rachel Loewens Fine Art

I had also been messing around with ink washes earlier in the day and tried these shapes out agains that background. I'm kinda excited to see what else comes from these doodles!

Doodles and Sketches || Rachel Loewens

I would love to hear what creative projects you other moms are working on while you have Spring Break at your house! We have another week of in about a month, and I'm always seeking out inspiration!