Mardi Gras is around the corner, and this Saturday is a big deal in Culpeper. The Culpeper Renaissance (CRI) coordinates the Culpeper Downtown Carnival, an all day affair at the downtown shops and restaurants. Lots of beads, live music, food, artists, wagon rides, costumed performers, and activities make it a great day for all ages.
The first time we participated, we partnered with the Museum of Culpeper History to make noodle necklaces at our studio. I had spent the week dyeing noodles green, purple, and gold, and I can still vividly recall the smell of rubbing alcohol that’s part of that process. I was so grateful to the museum staff for their help that day because the extra hands made it fun for all of us. Without them, it would’ve been exhausting.
Last year, I set up my easel at The Cameleer and painted during the Carnival. It was a great opportunity to catch up with friends as they stopped by, and I met other aspiring artists of all ages. The staff at the shop were incredibly kind and welcoming, and I managed to finish 2 paintings.
I’m unable to participate this year because of other commitments, and I will sincerely miss it. The Carnival is a wonderful example of the community here, and how much we can accomplish when we coordinate efforts. I’m grateful for all the behind the scenes work CRI does to make downtown such a special place to work, shop, eat, and play.
For more information, click here to visit the event website.
Last year Culpeper Baptist Church celebrated the 40th anniversary of their pipe organ with a free community concert series. Performances included the Duke University Chorale, the National Brass Quintet, the American Youth Harp Ensemble, and of course several concerts highlighting the organ. The series was so well received that they have decided to make it an annual event, and they came to us in January to ask for help in branding and promoting it.
The first step was to create a logo that can grow with the vision for the concert series, and that included a discussion of the name of the event. Two concerns were to communicate clearly that the concert series is open to the public and all are welcome (it’s not just for members of the church) and that the caliber of the entertainment is very high and from beyond our community–with groups based in DC, Richmond, and Baltimore making the trip to Culpeper.
The 2019 series includes groups with local roots like the Rapidan Orchestra, as well as the renowned U.S. Army Chorus. We’ve created the program, large posters for the series, and individual posters for each performance. Click here to download the program.
I am grateful for the opportunity to teach last weekend’s drawing workshop for teens and adults. When I plan classes and projects, I have an idea for how I hope it will come together, but the one constant is that I am always surprised. Thank you to all of you that attended for bringing your enthusiasm, questions, and openness to learn and share. I hope to see you at the studio again!
In the meantime, I wanted to share some tips on supplies with links to help you find them. You really don’t need a lot of fancy supplies, but a good set of pencils is a worthwhile investment. I like Staedtler Mars Lumograph pencils because the quality is consistently reliable. You can purchase them at Staples, Michaels, Hobby Lobby, or Amazon. They make nice erasers and sharpeners too.
A sketchbook is one of the best ways to develop your skills, but you have to use it for it to work! With that in mind, I like smallish books that I can keep in the car or my bag. I’ll draw when I’m waiting to pick up the kids or when I’m waiting at a doctors office or a restaurant, or while I’m at soccer tournaments and gymnastics meets. I use it as a way to relax or to capture a memory. I’ve found that when I draw something it becomes a much more vivid memory than when I just take a photo. It’s time well spent.
Moleskine makes some really nice sketchbooks, but I prefer the ones that have heavier paper and they have become very hard to find. My favorite is the pocket version of the watercolor album. Since they’ve become scarce, I’ve started using Global Art Materials sketchbooks which can be found at Hobby Lobby and on Amazon. The paper is good quality, and the books are 5.5″ inches square.
If you don’t mind a bigger book, Strathmore and Canson book offer spiral sketchbooks that start at 5.5″x8.5″. The paper may be a little thinner if it’s listed as a drawing paper, but if you look for ones that say suitable for multimedia, the paper will be sturdier. Strathmore also offers sketchbooks filled with toned paper in tan or gray which can be a nice way to work with traditional pencil, ink or charcoal as well as white charcoal pencil or white pens. You can find Strathmore and Canson sketchbooks at Michaels, Hobby Lobby, or Amazon. If you want to try charcoal, the best charcoal pencils (black and white) are made by General Pencil and you can find those at the same stores.
As you may know, I’m not a huge fan of erasers, but they do serve a purpose. If you want to add one to your kit, these retractable ones are handy because they are can get into small areas and the casing helps them stay clean.
One closing bit of advice is to draw something little every day. Make a commitment to take that bit of time for yourself and see what you can do with it. A sketchbook full of drawings can be very satisfying and a lot of fun to share with others!
January is special to K Art & Design. In addition to celebrating our anniversary, we do a lot of internal planning this time of year which is a combination of evaluating last year and looking at ways to improve in the next 12 months. It’s not that different from New Year’s resolutions in some ways. But if you only look at these plans once a year, it’s about as effective as most resolutions. It’s important to check the plan on a regular basis!
We rely on digital calendars and apps to keep track of work and our family, but last year I added a paper planner for the first time in a long time, and it made a huge difference for me. I realized that when I write something by hand, I remember it better, and I think I take more care with what I write since there’s no delete button. I also kept all my notes in one place which helped me keep thoughts and projects organized.
If we can help you with your plans for 2019, or if you want to add some projects to our calendar, we’re always happy to hear from you. We hope you had a wonderful holiday season! Here’s to a great 2019!
Small Business Saturday is this weekend, and we want to thank you for choosing to work with our small family business. I realize you have choices and there are websites promising a logo design for $10. I price check too, but I also firmly believe that the lowest price isn’t the whole story. Working with someone you know, being able to get technical questions answered, brainstorming ideas together, building sincere working relationships built on mutual trust–this is what’s important to us. When you live and work in a small town, your work is invested in the community and reputation is everything. Thank you sincerely for being a part of K Art and Design!
In the spirit of Small Business Saturday, I encourage you to shop downtown Culpeper. The merchants are competing with Amazon and the big box stores, and they need our support. I know you’ll have a wonderful day downtown and a level of customer service that the big guys simply can’t provide. For example, Pepperberries will not only help you select a gorgeous locket, they’ll scan your photo and print it to size. They even gift wrap!
This Thanksgiving, we hope you share the table with those dearest to you. Enjoy the well-earned break!
~Kelly, Tony, Cole & Joy
Thanksgiving, Thursday, November 22
Race starts at 8:00 a.m.
Tony designed the logo for the first annual Powell Wellness Center Turkey Trot, and in typical K Art style this event will be a family affair. Cole will be running the 5K while Kelly volunteers at the race. Joy has chosen to sleep in!
The Turkey Trot logo was designed to make it easy to update for future races and the colors were chosen to coordinate with PWC’s color palette.
Proceeds from the run will support Manna Ministry and its mission of providing nourishing meals to community members in need.
31 Days. 31 Drawings.
Jake Parker began Inktober in 2009 as a challenge to improve his inking skills and develop positive drawing habits. In the years since, it’s become an international art celebration whether you participate by drawing or simply by being inspired by the work of others. Each day there is a drawing prompt, and then the results are shared on social media with the hashtag #inktober and #inktober2018.
There are not a lot of rules. You don’t have to draw every day to be a part of it. You can set a goal for a week or just weekends and jump in or out at any time. It’s really up to you, but sharing the work is one important part because it will feels good to be a part of something bigger. You don’t need fancy pens or paper, and it doesn’t have to be all black and white either. If you can avoid the pencil and eraser and give yourself a chance the opportunity to work with ink. It’s scary and liberating!
Tony has completed the challenge for a couple of years, but I’ve only managed to make 1 or 2 drawings. This year, we’re working with supplies from Artsnacks which include a brush, dip pen, Dr. Ph. Martin’s bottled ink in matte black and green, Kuretake manga markers, and a Copic brush pen. Tony is excited about the new tools and has hit the ground running. I am so far out of my comfort zone and already a little behind!
At the end of August, Tony traveled to his home state of Wisconsin for the official unveiling of the Milwaukee Bucks Art Collection at the newly constructed Fiserv Forum. His mural Eras was selected from over 1,200 entries last year. Thirty-two artists are featured in this collection, twenty-two with ties to Wisconsin, while more than one hundred students also contributed work.
The ceremony was a celebration of the value of art and demonstrated how art can be integrated into a very large, multi-use space. The art and its artists were not mere afterthoughts to fill space. The art is a dynamic part of design and architecture of the arena. It is truly something to marvel at. Tony would like to thank Sports & The Arts for curating and guiding the collection along with the Milwaukee Bucks for a memorable weekend.
It is an honor for Tony to be included in this diverse and beautiful collaboration of artists from Wisconsin and beyond. For more photos from Tony’s trip, visit his photo gallery on the K Art Facebook page.
About the Piece
Eras depicts the history of the Milwaukee Bucks through their significant players, coaches, logos, and uniform color schemes while incorporating several Milwaukee landmarks. It encompasses both Tony’s fandom for the Bucks and his love for his birth city, where several Rozwadowski generations still reside.
Originally conceived as a quadriptych that could either be used as wall art or a mural, Eras evolved into one seamless design split into two images for the wall space selected for display. Eras starts with the original Bango Buck logo and color scheme from the early years of the franchise into the 1980s. Historic players and coaches are present alongside the Allen Bradley Clock Tower as it leads to the first major redesign of the Bucks logo.
The purple, green, and silver color scheme is shown prominently with the forward facing buck and triangle crest logo of the 1990s. “The Big Three” era includes the U.S. Bank Center building and Milwaukee skyline along the bottom. Purple gives way to a callback of the classic red used decades earlier. Two more landmarks, the Mitchell Park Conservatory (The Domes) and the Daniel Hoan Memorial Bridge, complement the buck crest logo into the mid 2000s to 2010s. The bridge spans across the design to connect the past to the future.
Eras ends with the third major logo redesign and color scheme change for the franchise. The new modern buck head/M combination introduces Cream City Cream, Great Lakes Blue, and black to the familiar green. The team’s current stars surround the logo and beautiful Quadracci Pavilion, ushering in a new era of promise for the franchise, its fans, and the city’s revitalized downtown.
Eras is a digital illustration that was installed to the interior walls of the Fiserv Forum’s BMO VIP Entrance way using a vinyl application. Even though it looks like it is painted like a traditional mural, it is not. Tony emulated a painterly style with the addition of textures and shading to capture the appearance of a traditionally painted mural.
Can you name all of the players in Eras that have worn a Bucks uniform? Recognize the Milwaukee landmarks?
Shoes, rocks, and websites
The expression “the cobbler’s child has no shoes” has been haunting me as Tony and I struggled to redesign our website. While our website had been designed to grow with the business, it was showing its age, and the content was embarrassingly out of date.
The majority of our time is spent on projects for customers, and it was very difficult to carve out enough time to focus on an internal project. We’d take the time to get started, make a little progress, and then have to stop to work on something else. Each time we’d talk about the website, it felt like we were starting all over again. It was like rolling a heavy rock up a hill and having it roll back down because you stopped before you reached the top.
What changed? It’s going to sound counterintuitive, but taking a summer road trip was a big part of the solution. The week of July 4th, we drove to WI to visit family. With the holiday in the middle of the week, work was pretty quiet as everyone took time off to celebrate. Tony worked hard to get the structure of the website completed before our trip. While the uncles and cousins played games, I worked on content for a section of the site each evening. We’d visit and have adventures during the day, and I’d only work at night. The site was 90% done by the end of our working vacation.
With the crest of the hill in sight, we were determined to finish. We had saved the portfolio and a new case study section for last. It’s with great relief I can now say, the new and improved www.k-artanddesign.com is launched!
Not only have I learned more WordPress through the process, I have a new understanding for the importance of setting aside enough time to make real progress on a project…and a change of scenery is good for the brain too!