Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Meet Kate - Colourer of the Month

This will be a monthly post, featuring someone whose colouring has caught my eye.

Check out Colourer of the Month for April - Helen
Check out Colourer of the Month for May - Erin

Introducing Kate who lives in Vancouver, BC, Canada.

FromThe Broken Mind of Joe's Ink Bk 2 by Joe Shivery

What made you start colouring?

I coloured all the time as a child. I have a scrapbook from my early days in which I made drawings with coloured pencils as well. At some point I stopped, though.

I’ve created art in many mediums. In the 70s, I completed a Fine Arts degree in Communication Design: photography and communication arts. I spent a dozen years as a professional photographer, all in black-and-white. Later, I began doing graphic design, then started my own design business, which gradually evolved into doing exclusively technical writing and professional copy editing.

From that summary of several decades, you can see that I drifted further and further away from COLOUR! When I retired, I began drawing and painting with acrylics as a hobby. But a couple of years ago, I guess my inspiration went dry. No desire to paint. Unfinished works sitting there for months. Oh dear!

Last summer (2015), I was well into my “artist’s block” period. I began noticing random colouring posts in my Facebook newsfeed. One day I clicked to one of the colouring group pages. It was Colouring Inside The Lines, which at that time was a small group started by Prue Jack. Wow! There was some excellent colouring being done, and the people were super friendly. I was immediately drawn both to the group and to colouring.

I downloaded a couple of the freebie pages and dug out my Crayolas. I began to colour, but I also felt guilty. I should be doing some “real” art, LOL. I confessed this feeling to the group, and got lots of encouraging feedback about what a super hobby colouring had become for people. I decided to drop the guilty feelings and just enjoy. I mean, after all, I’m retired, so why not just enjoy my relaxing time with the coloured pencils!

I still had to fool my internal Artist’s Soul, though. I convinced her that I was re-learning how to colour so that I could eventually create drawings from scratch with coloured pencils. Shhhhh, don’t tell her that I haven’t drawn anything yet; too busy colouring other people’s drawings!

I entered my first colouring contest and placed in the top 5. Encouraging! I entered another and won a colouring book as one of the top 3! Getting that acknowledgement finally got me permanently hooked. These days, I just can’t wait to sit down at my art table and colour. It’s my only artistically expressive medium now, besides crochet.

Lost Ocean by Johanna Basford

Enchanted Forest Postcards by Johanna Basford

Do you consider colouring to be art?

Hmm. This harkens back to an Aesthetics course I studied during my Fine Arts degree. The main discussions were about What is Art? What makes something good art? Does liking a piece make it good art? Why is some art enjoyed for centuries and some easily forgotten?

My answer is yes, colouring is art. The act of colouring is an artistic pursuit. The Oxford Dictionary Online's definition of art: "(from the 1300s) Skill; its display, and application, or expression; (from the 1600s) The expression or application of creative skill or imagination…producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power."

Typically, art is something created by an artist to be enjoyed by an audience. Colouring puts that on its head; I think colouring is done for the enjoyment of the artist. The audience is almost irrelevant, beyond the show-n-tell we enjoy among friends and in our Facebook colouring groups. 

We couldn’t have this colouring art without the artists whose drawings we colour. They are artists. We colourists are also artists. We give back enjoyment to them when they see their drawings transformed into coloured images. To me, that makes colouring a teamwork art!

Creative Haven Incredible Insect Designs

From Tangle Wood by Jessica Palmer, a competition winner

What materials do you like to use?

Whatever I can get my hands on! I began in summer 2015 with my old collection of Crayolas and some fine-tipped ink felts. A couple of months later, I allowed myself to spend some money (eek, a lot of money!) on a huge box of Faber-Castell Polychromos pencils. I also dug out an old box of Faber-Castell watercolour pencils I’d hardly used. I bought some more markers, but I’ve yet to learn to use them well for coloring. I bought ONE Copic marker to see why they seem to be the preferred markers for artists. Some day I’ll buy more and learn to use them. Last month I splurged on a 24-set of Pan Pastels and I’m gradually getting better at colouring with them. I find the techniques with those are more painterly than with pencils.

With every page I colour, I try a new technique or practice a skill I’m learning. I get inspired by and learn from those who’ve been doing this longer than I. Like with other artistic mediums I’ve used, there is no limit to techniques we can try. I like that there is no end-point to getting better and better at this colouring thing!

Coloring Flower Mandalas by Wendy Piersall

Coloring Flower Mandalas by Wendy Piersall. A limited palette challenge.

Which is your favourite colouring book?

I’ll switch the question to naming my favorite colouring-book artist, Joseph Shivery. I coloured one of his freebie downloadables in December 2015 and got hooked. I have a weird streak in me that is drawn to his strange art. He currently has two colouring books out, both entitled The Broken Mind of Joe's Ink, and his 3rd is about to be published.

The cover of Joseph Shivery’s Book 2 – 
Kate won the contest to have her colouring as his book cover  

Joseph Shivery’s Barrascoota

Do you frame your finished colourings or display them in any way? If so, how?

I put them in plastic sleeves in a binder, which I’ve shown off a few times to friends. My most recently completed pages are propped up in my art room to continue enjoying, so that display gets changed ongoingly. One of my colourings from Lost Ocean is framed and hanging on the wall. I intended to keep changing that out as I worked through that book, but haven’t coloured from Lost Ocean since framing that one.

Joseph Shivery’s Bonehead & Squeezel – Kate's most recent completion  

What's your favourite colour?

The one I’m using at the moment, LOL.

Favorite colours for non-colouring things have always been in the range of reds, pinks, violets, purples. My four shortest Polychromos pencils are Pink Madder Lake, Purple Violet, Cobalt Green (which I’d call turquoise or aqua), and Light Green (lime green). It would be hard for me to leave those unused on any page I colour.

One of Kate's photos, which she turned into a line drawing in graphics software, then printed and coloured  

Kate's Pinterest Page has boards that showcase selections of her paintings, crafts and colourings. You will find her Colouring Board there and plenty more colourings that I haven't got room to include here!
Kate sporadically writes in her blog, Ponder the Preposterous

Here are the books that Kate is colouring from…..

The Broken Mind of Joe's Ink Book 1

You can find out more at Book Depository;  Amazon US;  Amazon UK and at Booktopia (AU)

The Broken Mind of Joe's Ink Bk2

You can find out more about it at Book DepositoryAmazon USAmazon UK and Booktopia (AU)

Lost Ocean by Johanna Basford

You can find out more at At Book Depository;  Amazon US;  Amazon UK and at Booktopia (AU)

Enchanted Forest Postcards by Johanna Basford

You can find out more at Book DepositoryAmazon UKAmazon US and Booktopia (AU)

Creative Haven Incredible Insect Designs

You can find out more at Book Depository;  Amazon UK;  Amazon US and Booktopia (AU)

Tangle Wood by Jessica Palmer

You can find out more at Book Depository;  Amazon UK;  Amazon US and Booktopia (AU)

Coloring Flower Mandalas by Wendy Piersall

You can find out more at Book Depository;  Amazon UK;  Amazon US and Booktopia (AU)

Books reviewed last week -
Fairies in Wonderland - review is here.
Irojiten Coloured Pencils - review is here.
Vintage Vogue - Colouring Fashion - review is here.