Sunday, November 24, 2013

Line & Feather: Capturing the Process

Just before we moved out of our old place, my sister Heidi (the same sister mentioned in my first post) offered to come and capture my creative process via photography for my blog. I didn't know quite what to expect, but figured I should clean my house and maybe paint my nails so they didn't look unpleasant in any close-ups of my hands. Heidi quickly shot down my first idea, in the spirit of my first post's commitment to "show the messy parts." I was ok with that, since we were in the process of moving and boxes were all over the place. Apparently, I forgot to paint my nails, but whatever.

Read on, if you will, and follow me through the creation of a Line & Feather piece. Heidi didn't get an entire piece start to finish (that would have taken too long) but we captured each of the basic stages involved.

Here's our old apartment in Capitol Hill, our first home. I do miss this place.
I don't know what I'm doing with bubble wrap in my hand. Apparently, trying to pack during our photoshoot. 
Alright, let's get to it.
Since I am a list maker, the first step is to plan, of course,   I keep a running list of ideas on a Word doc.  Mostly, my "ideas" consist of phrases or objects I think are pretty or intriguing.  I then use my trusty Moleskine notebook to sketch out idea prototypes.
Of course, essential to a successful art session is brewing a good cup of coffee! Nick and I got into camping this summer, and not wanting to sacrifice our love of quality coffee, we purchased this fine stove-top percolator. It definitely does the trick in the wild. I also enjoy it at home. 

After coffee comes set-up. I make sure I have a clean workspace, and get out all of my tools. To create my Line & Feather pieces, I need my Micron Pens (I primarily use .005, but occasionally I'll live on the edge and go with the slightly thicker .01. And lately, I've been dabbling with a Micron Brush pens which I just found out existed!) I also need a straight-edge ruler, a variety of paintbrushes, and my 6" x 6" watercolor paper. 
The next step is to get a move on! The only bad art is the art you don't create. Well, that might not be true. But it's a good philosophy to get you started. :) 
This was the beginning of "Bloom, Baby."  
I spend a lot of time in the sketching phase. You can erase pencil till the cows come home. Once the ink is down, there's no going back! 
The next step is to go over the pencil sketch in ink. I like Micron pens because they are waterproof and use acid-free, archival ink. 
After the pen comes the brush. I primarily use watercolors from a boxed art set my mother-in-law gave me. They belonged to her late twin brother, David. I'm honored to be able to use them today. 
And, voila. Here's a piece I did for some friends over the summer. It says, "Between the devil and the deep blue sea." 
Obviously, a big part of the creative process is staying well-fed and eating delicious salads. Heidi and I got hungry mid-session and made a yummy concoction with chicken, hard-boiled eggs, avocado, carrots, snap peas, and other goodness. 

And there you have it. 
Thanks for stopping by, folks. 
Check back at at the beginning of December for some exciting news! Or, subscribe via email in the little box at the bottom of this page, and you'll get an email straight to your inbox when I post next. How handy is that? 

Fond regards,


**** If you are a local artist interested in a photo session like this one, contact Heidi here
It's fun, I promise. ;) 


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Brittany! :) Heidi is good at what she does, for sure.

  2. Hey Anna, I just started following your blog - you're one of those cute, sweet, inspiring people in one's life... i look forward to following your artistic journey. Blessings to you and Nick !

    1. Thank you!! :) It's wonderful to have your support from across the ocean. Happy Thanksgiving to you two!

  3. Anna your blog/work is beautiful. I can't wait to see more when you open your Etsy shop :)

    1. Thank you, Monique!! I'm so glad you're liking it. The shop is going to start fairly small, but nevertheless I am excited to actually get it open. Thanks for being excited about it with me. :)

  4. Anna, this is so beautiful!! You are a talented creator and beautiful woman! I got lost in your blog today (not for the first time) and I can't wait to explore your etsy shop. Thanks for sharing your heart and creative process :) Love you!