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If the Kitchen Is Too Cold, Just Bake Some Bread

January 18, 2016

kitchen studio

On days when it’s a little too cold in the studio, I sit at my kitchen table with the nice big light just above me and I sketch, and doodle, and make collage papers, and actually sometimes even make collages. And my laptop is never far away, of course.

I’ve been spending a lot of time recently looking online at ideas for my weekly drawing lessons for an 8-year-old. In an odd way, I feel pressure to get it right, since I haven’t taught in a long time. Therefore, I tend to obsess endlessly about that one thing. But a funny thing has happened as I’ve gone through my searches. I have been inspired by some new discoveries for my own work, tons of tempting new products, and by some older ideas and approaches that still work just as well as they always have.

As I come across some of them, I tell myself I should share them with my blog readers. I’ve been out of the loop for way too long, so maybe you’re ahead of me on some of these things, but it doesn’t hurt to share what we learn.

For instance, what is the absolute best white pen? It turns out that for best coverage, flow, and whiteness, you might want a  Whiteout pen from the office supply store. Who knew? For a full demo and comparison of various white pens, you can check out this video. I love white lines on black paper as shown here in my newest collage. (I think these white marks were made with a very skippy paint pen, plus some white colored pencil.)

Subterranean - collage, 5x7 inches on 8x10 backing

Subterranean – collage, 5×7 inches on 8×10 backing


Another “aha!” moment I have had after watching several different videos is that if you want to make precision brush strokes in your chosen color, and for brush lettering, you don’t have to buy an expensive set of brush pens. Instead, just get a water brush and use it with watercolors or inks. For my own use, I am always looking for different mark making tools. I may not do a lot of brush lettering, but having that kind of precision and control is sometimes useful. If the idea of brush lettering intrigues you, I recommend this video.

Here are some painted papers and magazine pages with doodles on top that I’ve created in recent sessions in my “kitchen studio.”

Assorted Papers Jan 2016

If the kitchen is too cold, that just means I need to bake some bread.

Sourdough 05_15


16 Comments leave one →
  1. January 18, 2016 3:10 pm

    Always love to see photos – visual pleasure:)) But, in this Blog, Martha I really learned several things. Like you said, “who knew” about the white out pen. Wow!! I need to run and get one. Also, the idea of just the inexpensive water color brushes for inks and such. Also, enjoyed the videos. Thank you, as always….learning and inspiration . . . life is good. However, it would be even nicer if I had a slice of your freshly baked bread.

    • January 18, 2016 4:57 pm

      Shirley, glad you liked the post today. My husband (my personal shopper 😉 ) stopped at Office Depot today and picked up a 2-pack of the whiteout pens. Of course I had to try one immediately. It worked great!

      I wish I could mail you some bread. 🙂

  2. January 18, 2016 3:10 pm

    Love all of your ideas! Thank you for sharing!!!

  3. Cyndy Goldmzn permalink
    January 18, 2016 3:24 pm

    Love this post MM!

    • January 18, 2016 4:48 pm

      Thanks, Cyndy! Great to see you. I’ve missed you on facebook, but totally understand!!

  4. ggmissm permalink
    January 18, 2016 3:37 pm

    Martha – this is such a delightful post in every way. Enjoyed seeing your “kitchen” art and also the note about baking bread. I live in a tiny studio apartment, so my art is all “kitchen” art (I tell people it’s an art studio with a bed)…As for the cold kitchen, I was once told by a woman in Massachusetts on a winter’s day that baking was the answer. “If my children smell cinnamon, they think they’re warm.”

    Happy baking and creating…

  5. January 18, 2016 6:05 pm

    I like teaching for the inspiration I get from it, too. I also always spent way to much time on research and development…some of the most successful classes were the simplest…but always gained ideas for my own work. Your work is lovely, and you bread looks delicious! Thanks!

  6. elenor martin permalink
    January 20, 2016 8:06 am

    As a retired (maths) teacher and a grandmother of a nearly three year old girl I’m very interested in your weekly drawing lessons for that lucky girl. Please share with us what you are doing in your lessons. I think for my little girl the most important thing at the moment is to keep her curious and interested in playing with colors, pencils, …. What do you think?

    Nevertheless I enjoy seeing your wonderful work. I want to thank you for sharing your knowledge and your ideas and for all the inspiration I get from you.

    • January 20, 2016 9:08 am

      Thank you so much for your interest in that post, Elenor. You’ve given me a topic to write about this week, since I’ve been thinking a lot about how to teach children. Meanwhile, you’re doing the right thing. Stay tuned!

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