Loomis Art Loop - Open Studios Tour - May 13th & 14th

Sunday, April 30, 2017

If you're going to be near Loomis CA on Mother's Day weekend (May 13th & 14th), please stop by!

The Loop is free, click on the map image below to go to the tour web site and download a printable map.

Visit 17 artists in 6 locations. All locations are within 10 minutes of each other, an easy drive and a great way to spend a day or the weekend! Hours are 10 am - 5 pm each day.

I'll be at the Horton Iris Garden with Doug Horton, Paula Amerine & Janet Paehlig (numbers 4 - 7 on the map). I'll have original scratchboard drawings and reproductions as prints & note cards; a few photos too. Also see scratchboard drawings in progress; I'll explain my process.

"No Tricks", mixed media on Claybord, will debut at the Loop


"Safety" Wins Silver

Thursday, March 16, 2017

I'm very grateful to Avril Thomas, the judge for the Master's Division of the 6th Annual International Society of Scratchboard Artists' Exhibition in South Australia. She chose "Safety" to receive the "Silver Award" (Second Place). I'm also grateful to the buyer of "Safety" who purchased it during the Exhibition. The drawing will remain in Australia. I have to admit, I fully expected the drawing to come home, so I didn't really get a chance to say goodbye. I create my work with the intention of selling it, but it can still be a little bit sad when a piece goes off to a new home.

To learn more about this drawing, please click on the image to go to my web site.


Plenty Has Happened . . .

Sunday, November 20, 2016

. . . since my last blog post . . . but the most exciting news is that I'm now a Master member (MSA) of the International Society of Scratchboard Artists (ISSA)! It’s an incredible honor to be recognized for my achievements in scratchboard and my dedication to this medium that I love so much! For more information, please read my press release.

In other news (old news), a quick recap: lots of scratching, a 3-artist collaborative art show with my friend & brother, an open studio tour, a booth at the City of Trees Art & Ink Expo, regular postings on my Instagram, and a scratchboard workshop (2 more scheduled for 2017).

. . . and new news:

Tell Me More About 'Sheep' will be in the new "Art Journey Animals" book due out soon. This is North Light's compilation book featuring animal art, and it can be pre-ordered now. Expected in-stock date is 12-15-16.  

Safety will be on its way to Australia in January for our 6th annual ISSA Exhibition


Thoughts on Learning Scratchboard

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

This is an easy post to make, since I had already written it for our Scratchboard Artists' group on Facebook. The group is a great one, full of inspiration and advice. If you have any interest in scratchboard, as an artist or an admirer, please check it out. Scratchers of all skill levels post work in there and I was recently pondering some of the beginner's works.

Thoughts from the shower, where I get some good contemplatin’ done. . .

It’s not about the scratching, it’s about the drawing!

Allow me to generalize a bit, this is based on my own observations: Those that seem to come naturally to scratchboard have most likely already gained experience with drawing in other mediums. Having a previous understanding of how to render tone, contrast & texture helps immensely with scratchboard.

Scratchboard is unique in that it’s not a medium that is commonly taught or accessible to artists (of course, we’re all trying to change that). There are plenty of opportunities for aspiring artists to learn watercolor, oil, acrylic, pencil, pen & ink . . . and build skills.

For those who choose scratchboard as an entry to art, or may not have much experience in other mediums, you’re learning to draw at the same time you're learning the scratching techniques.

Think about *drawing* with your knife, not just scratching. Look at the surface of your subject. Is it smooth or textured? Look at the contours, how do they define the structure and in what direction do they go? Find the different tones: light (white), medium, dark (black), and the continuum in between. How do different types of scratches (long, short, stippled, feathered, hatched, soft, heavy, wide, thin) help you render these components? Make judgement calls, use your artistic license, create your own composition from your reference photo. Leave things out that don't make sense, make your own contrasts where needed.

Figuring all this out comes from practice, learning to see, and the wonderful advice that so many of our members (in the Facebook group mentioned above) are happy to give.

Remember too, that it’s all an illusion. We’re not creating dogs, cats, buildings, etc. We’re making the right kind of scratches on a board that resemble these things. It’s our interpretation of what we see in our reference photo.

The last paragraph comes from an earlier "light bulb moment" regarding the illusion that you can read about in this post.


New Exhibition for "Sleeping Patterns"

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

I'm thrilled and honored to announce that "Sleeping Patterns", my scratchboard drawing of a pair of Sumatran Tigers, has been accepted in the Society of Animal Artists' 56th Annual Exhibition. The Exhibition runs September 23, 2016 through January 1, 2017 at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. After the Exhibition ends in Houston, there will be a touring exhibition of select works. It's a possibility that these tigers could do some traveling.

Read more about the process and see in-progress stages in this blog post I wrote just after completing the drawing.

 Click here to see a "zoomable" version of the drawing.


My "New" Shop

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Over the years, I've had a number of on-line sales venues & shops, including eBay, Etsy, Bonanza, Fine Art America, Zazzle, and CafePress. Earlier this year, I decided to take the plunge and create my own shop with Shopify. With this set-up, I can consolidate all my merchandise into one location, and include links to my print on demand shops on Fine Art America, Zazzle, and CafePress. Shopify uses the WordPress platform, so it's familiar to me and easy to navigate.

I still have plenty of art & merchandise to add, but I've made a decent start. Shopify just introduced the "Buy Now" button, which is a nice option to add available art on my website or blog. See the example below with my latest mini scratchboard.

I also list all currently available originals in an album on my Facebook business page. If an original is in my shop, there will be a link along with the image.

- - - All art and images ©Ann Ranlett, unless otherwise credited. All rights reserved. - - -

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