Featured Artists

Artist Caitlin Geels

   
Caitlin Geels art
art by Caitlin Geels

300 Series Bristol Smooth

Caitlin Geels art
art by Caitlin Geels

300 Series Charcoal

Caitlin Geels art
art by Caitlin Geels

300 Series Tracing

About Caitlin Geels

photo of Caitlin Geels

Caitlin was born in California and started drawing when she was 5 years old. Her Christian parents were always patient and supportive of what she did (except for the time that she scrawled in permanent marker over a family friend's painting, which ironically was a gift to Caitlin) and her grandmother was thrilled that she had inherited her artistic genes. From 5 to about 10 years old, she read every fantasy book she could find, which cultivated an imagination and love to create things that didn't exist. In 6th grade her mom enrolled her in private art lessons where she learned about the fundamentals of composition and fell in love with oil painting.

Her senior year in high school she enrolled in AP Art where her teacher encouraged her to use her love of cartooning in her pieces. By the end of the class, she found herself with plenty of great pieces for a portfolio and the knowledge that thumbnails are amazingly helpful to figure out everything and anything in a composition. After high school she went to the Savannah College of Art and Design in order to learn the craft of animation and will graduate in 2013 ready to take on the world!

Interview with the Artist

How does sketching/drawing/painting still life imagery in class affect your own personal imagery?
I had never been much for still lifes (because I would have to make them myself and I had no idea how to create an interesting one) but once I got into Foundations courses at college I found that I liked the detail one could achieve with such small, plain items. Because of those still lifes, I began to add more detail into drawings that I did outside of class and took more notice of everyday items that, when assembled, could be used to make something beautiful.

How did the Strathmore paper you used for the project affect your drawing (or painting) techniques?
My drawing style by nature is very precise and neat and I noticed that the Bristol Smooth surface was perfect for how I use graphite. The surface allowed me to get smooth blending with light layers and even took watercolor rather well. The Charcoal paper responded gamely to my abuse of it (I press quite hard with charcoal) and I was pleased to find that it didn't disintegrate under the frequent scratching, erasing, and smearing.

Which artist(s) inspire you?
My influences and inspirations are really spread all over the board, drawing from books and movies more than artists these days. Informally I'm a fan of the work of Bruce Timm, the animator who created designs for and helmed all of the DC Animated TV shows (like Batman and Justice League). As far as traditional work I would have to say that the 16th century Dutch vanitas still lifes have always awed me. They were truly masters of their craft!

What advice would you give to beginning artists?
Use plenty of reference, don't be afraid to draw badly in your sketchbook (we all have those days) because it's YOUR sketchbook and it's there for practice.

Artist Rovan Yu

   

Rovan Yu

Rovan Yu art
art by Rovan Yu

300 Series Newsprint Rough

Rovan Yu art
art by Rovan Yu

300 Series Sketch

Rovan Yu art
art by Rovan Yu

300 Series Drawing

About Rovan Yu

photo of Rovan Yu


Rovan Yu was born in Taipei, Taiwan. Growing up in Beijing, China for most of her life and educated under International Baccalaureate, Rovan embodies international cultures.

She is currently pursuing a Bachelor in Fine Arts in Advertising at the Savannah College of Art and Design. On the side, she continues to draw in traditional media, such as graphite, charcoal and ink.

Interview with the Artist


How does sketching/drawing/painting still life imagery in class affect your own personal imagery?
Still life provides unlimited possibilities to create exciting compositions. Drawing still life imagery definitely trained my composition in my personal imagery.

How did the Strathmore paper you used for the project affect your drawing (or painting) techniques?
My drawing style incorporates a lot of cross-hatching and layering. The quality of Strathmore paper makes my drawing style possible.

Which artist(s) inspire you?
I am most inspired by the detail pen work from medieval illuminated manuscripts and elaborated details in the works of Professor John Rise.

What advice would you give to beginning artists?
Don't let your drawing skills bring you down. If traditional drawing techniques are throwing you off, throw it away, create your own drawing techniques.

Artist Chieh Lee

   
Chieh Lee art
art by Chieh Lee

300 Series Newsprint Smooth

Chieh Lee art
art by Chieh Lee

300 Series Bristol Vellum

About Chieh Lee

photo of Chieh Lee


Chieh Y. Lee (Chieh) originally came from Taichung, Taiwan and now is living in Edison, NJ with her family. She has dreamt about being an artist since she was little. But she did not get traditional art training until she was in middle school. In 2005, Chieh's family immigrated to America and she continued her high school education in Edison, NJ. She has won many art awards and her art pieces were displayed in Capitol Hill and the NJ State House when she was in high school.

Now Chieh is studying illustration and taking Concept Art for Games as a minor at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) in Savannah, GA. Her future goal is to be both a concept artist and free-lance illustrator. She is open to the different types of commission work.

Interview with the Artist


How does sketching/drawing/painting still life imagery in class affect your own personal imagery?
Since the beginning of art history, sketching/drawing/painting still life has been deemed as the entrance to study art. All beginners need to study still life before they go to another level. I constantly sketched and drew still life in my foundation drawing classes so my artistic ability and skill grew enormously. Also, because I have enough drawing experiences as I go to the higher level illustration major classes, I am able to convey my imagination in a realistic way to create my fantastic world on paper.

How did the Strathmore paper you used for the project affect your drawing (or painting) technique?
Different types of Strathmore papers allow the artist to work on different media and with different techniques. I worked on Bristol Vellum and Newsprint Smooth papers. Bristol Vellum a great surface for graphite pencils and line work. Also, I tried a wash on my still life drawing and it handled it pretty well. Newsprint Smooth papers provide a beautiful smooth surface for dry media. However, I worked with it for preliminary studies and sketches more than the finished drawings.

Which artist(s) inspire you?
Fine artists: Van Gogh, Gustav Klimt, Odilon Redon, John Rise, Peter Paul Rubens, Sherry Yee, Johnny Yen, and Yong Zhou.

Illustrators/Sequential Artists: Takei Hiroyuki, Jimmy Liao, Hayao Miyazaki, Daniel Powers, Peter de Seve and Au You Shiang

What advice would you give to beginning artists?
"Practice makes perfect" is my advice for beginning artists. I believe that everyone can be an artist and draw. All you need is to practice and practice. As long as you put time into working on your art, your artistic ability will grow. Also, trying to go to museums on a regular basis or reading books about art are helpful and this information makes you more knowledgeable about art subject matter.

Karen Charatan art
art by Karen Charatan

400 Series Parchment

Artist Karen Charatan

   
Karen Charatan art
art by Karen Charatan

400 Series Calligraphy

Karen Charatan art
art by Karen Charatan

400 Series Parchment

About Karen Charatan

photo of Karen Charatan


With pens, brushes and traditional tools, Karen Charatan designs and digitally customizes calligraphic and drawn lettering for commercial work. She also creates abstract calligraphic paintings which she exhibits internationally with a group of Asian and Western artists. Some of these works are included in the collection of the Mobile Museum of Art in Mobile, AL.

Karen has taught for the international lettering arts conferences and for guilds in the US and abroad. Her work has been featured in various lettering journals and books. A gallery of her work is found at www.karencharatan.com

"My word-based abstract work is often about the complexities of human emotional struggles. Illegibility doesn't frighten me. In some compositions words may be decipherable, but visual content is the main focus. However, as a commercial artist who also experiments with type design, I do feel the shapes of letters are always important. Whether they are a major focal point or a textural rhythm, letters are dressed simply as themselves or costumed to perform center stage."

Interview with the Artist


How did you interpret using the Strathmore Thistle for the pad cover artwork?  Anything else you'd like to share about your piece? How did the Strathmore paper you used for the project affect your drawing (or painting) techniques?
A Multitude of Kindness  (400 Series Calligraphy Paper)
Growing out of the ground like a real bit of nature, the thistle is an expressive calligraphic form waving to an exuberant environment of letter forms. Kindness is the theme of the texts that inspired me to make this abstract piece of writing. While one would think that the letter K would symbolize kindness, I chose the S or ess for its softer sound and look, lingering at the end of the word. A packed composition of hugging, squeezing and tangling marks continues off the edges into an infinity of endless giving. Never too much kindness!

Normally I work on a large scale and with verve. I challenged myself to see how sensitively I could work on this calligraphy paper's delicate laid finish, even though it is strong enough for heavy-handed pressure with a broad metal nib or a pointed pen. The paper is ideal for ink or diluted gouache. Its toothy texture allowed me to cover large areas with dry brush strokes and pencil shading. For careful pen control or for quick, spontaneous work, this surface is much more inviting than a smoother paper.

Good Old Fashioned Kindness (400 Series Parchment Paper)
The mysteriously illegible thistle is nestled like a gift in the hand of the large S shape and is made only of pencil writing on the warm natural color of the paper. Opaque gouache and walnut ink cover the parchment in varying degrees. The thistle "speaks" with contemporary handwriting, contrasting the historical writing styles used elsewhere in the work.

Because I incorporated all four Strathmore parchment colors, the work had to be a collage. With this sturdy paper, torn edges are easy to achieve and I related to them with dry brush strokes and rough-edged contemporary script letter forms. Parchment paper has a subtle mottling intended to simulate real parchment or animal skin which was used throughout history for manuscript books and official documents. Writing styles have greatly evolved since real parchment was used, so I wanted to blend the look of lettering over the centuries. Old fashioned kindness, as might be felt with a more formal correspondence, is blended with today's warm personal style of casual writing.

Which artists inspire you?
Fortunately the vast visual influences of New York City signage and architecture are nearby. In my travels, museums and major art collections of the world have introduced me to my favorite traditional, impressionist, art nouveau, expressionist and conceptual artists. Renaissance men Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo are two of my heroes. Asian and Western abstract artists have led me to new avenues. Other art forms such as music and photography have also contributed to the evolution of my art.

The international calligraphy community gathers multidisciplinary artists who promote the understanding of historical letter forms and excellence in craftsmanship. It has been my pleasure to study with many masterful lettering artists and to be included among them in their supportive atmosphere of courses and workshops. Unexpected and unique applications of lettering art have emerged from this nurturing. Journals such as Letter Arts Review and myriad books such as Artist and Alphabet: 20th Century Calligraphy and Letter Art in America have been a source of inspiration to experiment and diversify.

What advice would you give to beginning artists?
Calligraphic art uses a vast range of materials and tools, so you may also appreciate many other Strathmore papers because calligraphy is essentially drawing. The practice of seeing and drawing larger letters will improve your written pen and brush calligraphy. Identify lines with character, whether part of a traditional oil painting, a photograph or a completely abstract work. Observing Asian calligraphy, perhaps illegible to a Westerner, offers a study of brush movement that conveys the artist's energy, mood and impulses. Mail order lettering books and journals help to provide efficient self-guided study. Use every opportunity to put media on any surface, invent greeting cards and wrapping paper, draw in the sand, experiment designing grocery lists. Even if you aren't drawing, never stop seeing.

Artist Luana Luconi Winner

   
Luana Luconi Winner art
art by Luana Luconi Winner

400 Series Grayscale

About Luana Luconi Winner

photo of Luana Luconi Winner


Luana Luconi Winner is a founding member and North Carolina Ambassador of the Portrait Society of America. She was schooled in Rome, Florence, Switzerland, and the USA, and her portraits and murals hang in corporations, universities, and residences on both sides of the ocean.

Luana's portraits and paintings in oil and pastel have won national and international recognitions and awards, including an international silver medal and "Best in Show" at the Richeson International Figure and Portrait Competition. She is currently the President of the Pastel Society of North Carolina and sits on several art boards.

Her articles have appeared in International Artist Magazine, Artist Magazine, The Art of the Portrait, Signature, The Folio, as well as regional publications and periodicals. In the annual edition of Studios Magazine (September 2010) by American Artist Magazine, Luana was part of the cover story "20 Top Artists Open Their Studios." She has authored four workbooks, twenty instructional DVD's on drawing and painting portraits in pastel, watercolor, acrylic, and oil, and has three series of brushes by Silver Brush.

In demand as an instructor, she has served as faculty for the International Association of Pastel Societies Conferences- Albuquerque and Santa Fe, the Portrait Society of America International Conference- Boston, Dallas, and Washington, DC, the American Artist Magazine Art Methods Conference - Pasadena, Pearl Paint Great American Art Event - New York City, Learning and Product Expo - Chicago and Pasadena,  the Portrait Society of Atlanta, Cheap Joe's- Boone, NC,  Jerry's Art of the Carolinas - Raleigh, NC. Go to http://www.winnerstudios.com/.

Interview with the Artist


How did you interpret using the Strathmore Thistle for the pad cover artwork?
Once the image of the young family was chosen for "Story Time," it was easy to see that the bedding and night clothes offered several opportunities to use the Strathmore logo. Therefore, a "rose" on the bedding quickly became the "Thistle."

Anything else you'd like to share about your piece?
It is my hope that the image is either instantly recognizable as a part of your own life today, or that it evokes a fond memory of your childhood...or perhaps a life you wish to have in the future.

How did the Strathmore paper you used for the project affect your drawing (or painting) techniques?
Toned paper is always my first choice for drawing. It permits me to work much like the way I paint both in oil and pastel. Starting with the darks to sculpt the form in the shadows and moving progressively into the lights to accent key details, I allow the middle tone of the paper to do some of the work for me.

Which artists inspire you?
Rather than pick out one or two artists, I would say that I am inspired by artists with European Academy training. As an American of Italian descent, I have great admiration for the long traditions of both the Italian and French Academies. Remember even Sargent, Degas, and so many others we admire all began their artistic lives at the Academy in Florence, Italy where they learned the basics of seeing.

What advice would you give to beginning artists?
Draw all the time. Fill reams of paper with drawings without worrying if they will be masterpieces.  Draw to develop eye-hand-thought coordination.  Draw to practice technique. Draw to record something interesting. Draw to remember something. Draw as you dream something up. All the time you are building your drawing skills, you will be developing your artistic voice as well, and this will come out in your paintings and sculpture later.