Brought To You by the Letter “B”

Posted May 16, 2016 by Kerry McFall

B is for Bachelor’s Buttons, Butterflies, Bark, the color Blue, and Borders!

sketch of small border designs

“Borders”, mixed media by Kerry McFall NFS

Borders are my new thing.  They’re small and compact, they’re useful for so many things (digital quilt edges, sketchbook pages, illustration frames), and they’re non-threatening from an artist’s viewpoint.  Doing an entire page every day in my sketchbook can be daunting, but doing one little rough border design can be quick and simple and still makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something.  I’ve started playing around with these as a way of warming up before I commit to drawing a full page.  For example, the Bachelor Button border was a way to test several shades of blue watercolor paints, and it worked out well enough that I got brave and made an entire painting:

painting of blue flower

“Bachelor Button”, mixed media by Kerry McFall, prints $25

If I can keep this up, I’ll have an entire library of borders at my disposal for making digital quilt borders and greeting cards.  If I get excited about something new, which given my squirrelly attention span is not unlikely, I’ll still have a few in my hip pocket and several nice sketchbook pages – the trick is to index and file the images so I can find them again.  Someplace obvious, like under “Borders”, duh.  Digital housekeeping, and sketchbook housekeeping, is as critical as physical housekeeping, and just about as much fun – ugh.  But thanks to Roz Stendahl I have developed the discipline to index my sketchbooks, and it’s been worth the effort.  Maybe I’ll do a blog post on that soon…

Speaking of attention span, it occurs to me that this could also be a way to develop graphics that could work well for fabric designs… which the painting below isn’t but fabric was used to help with the background texture, and the title starts with B.  And squirrels do bark, in a chattery kind of way.  Okay, enough with the B’s…  I need to go and paint today’s border.  Maybe something with squirrels…and or tree bark.

painting of squirrel clinging to tree bark

,  “Bark”, by Kerry McFall, acrylic on canvas, sold