DCRdesign Online Studio and Gallery

Infiniti Crow has been designed to announce new artwork and greeting cards by Diana Campbell-Rice.

As the blog grows, we will introduce new aspects, such as a newsletter, events, exhibits and links to interesting art and education.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Add Text to Acrylic Paintings

Wish, Acrylic, 3"x3", Diana Campbell Rice
 Ok, I admit it is an interesting process.  New techniques in art are much like any new learning process -- you do it until you have mastered it.  I have created four small paintings specifically so I could add text to them.  I have been in quite the abstract mood, so...the paintings reflect that, plus, I just like the controlled randomness of the design. 

Angel Muse Set, Acrylic, 3"x3", Diana Campbell Rice
 So far, I like this painting the best, Wish, top right, and it was the first one I did.  I particularly like the colors and how the text was incorporated.

The next design, found in the Angel Muse Set, was created as the final painting in the set.  Not sure if you can read the text...where angels dare to tread -- Perfect for bringing out the expression I wanted for this collection. Very pleased with the new addition -- finally, it all works.

It is so fun to stretch and try new techniques.  If you are interested in learning how to add print or any image to acrylic paintings, just follow the link and...experiment!


Here's a link to an indepth discussion on how to do it.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The elegant art of saying thank you

The gracious art of sending a personal Thank You note has almost disappeared from the human landscape.  Quite often these days, we say thanks through our electronic devices and social media.  Expressing appreciation is important, no matter how it gets done, but nothing replaces a hand-written note.  The receiver knows you had to go out of your way. 

Doors & Hallways, Organic Zen, Watercolor, Diana Campbell Rice

The personal note expresses you in so many ways...it is tactile and offers info about your tastes and sentiments.  Stuck for something to say?  I offer an article with the words needed for many occasions, including professional.  Please feel free to use in your notes.  Just scroll down on this site until you reach the topic titled Pages.  Click on Write a Memorable Thank You Note...and you have a great resource for a penned Thank You card.

Need a card?  I offer those too, and at great prices...$2 per card in the sets... for beautiful, professional art prints.  Here is the link.  http://dcrdesign.us/ 

Enjoy, and write that Thank You note, you will make a lasting impression!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Schedule Creativity? Yeah, it works!

Where did the time go?
Working Out Life, Native American Series,
Watercolor & ink, Diana Campbell Rice
Lately, I find my self more and more involved commenting on face book than writing my blogs -- including this one, which ties directly to my sales site.  So, I knew it was time to have a discussion with myself about priorities, creativity and a plan.

Creating art for the specific purpose of selling -- either originals, prints or notes -- is just like any other business.  You have to work at it.  Marketing, promoting and selling art is a necessary part of the business plan and these days, it includes social media. 

I write because I really, really enjoy it.  This blog shares my art, philosophy and some good tips for other artists.  I paint and draw because I love it.  So, how does that fit into a creativity plan?

The Plan
1.  Just like a job - you go to work at a certain time and finish at a specific time.  Pick the times that work best for you (a schedule) and stick with it.  Think about your daily routine and schedule a time frame when you won't be interrupted.
2.  Give yourself some adjustment time in the studio -- 15 mins. or so to mental review your project for the day.  Think about your work -- gather your ideas.
3.  Make sure you have the supplies you need -- nothing is as bothersome and disrupting as running out of paint, paper...
3.  When you are in the studio at your scheduled time, avoid distractions, including, kids, spouses, friends, and phone calls.  Often, people don't get it that when you are creating in the studio, you are actually working.  You have one goal -- create -- don't confuse that with laundry, food prep, house cleaning, chatting with friends or appointments.
4.  Dress the part -- I love my painting clothes, apron, etc.  Wearing them is the signal for me that I am ready to paint.
5.  Take care of yourself and prepare for your work day -- eat something before you start; have a beverage handy and take regular timed breaks.
6.  Build in a schedule that includes all the activities you need to get done -- for example -- Mon./Wed./Fri. - create/painting time; Tues. - blog, social media, return emails, work-related phone calls; Thurs. -- all the other stuff it takes to keep the studio flowing -- meetings, shopping, errands, mailing, responding, packaging, etc. (You can mix and match on Tues./Thurs. because life happens).

I am working with my creativity plan with good result.  I hope these ideas help you put together a plan that keeps you creating!

My art is offered at http://www.dcrdesign.us/


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Acrylics -- how to keep the paint wet and a great class for beginners.

Acrylic Painting -- you learn to move with it
Muse 1 and Muse 2, acrylic and pen, 3x3", Diana Campbell Rice

Talk about a whole new art experience.  I am taking an acrylics painting class and it has taken me out of my comfort zone in a big way.  My forte has been painting in watercolor with a little foray into oils.  Acrylic-based painting is an animal of a different color.  Here is a set of four small painting I recently completed.

Acrylic-based paints are a hugely versatile medium and can be applied to any oil and wax free surface. For an artist, it means acrylics can be used for almost any purpose -- painting on pottery, clothing, wood, glass, in addition to canvas or paper.

To put it simply, acrylic paint is fabulous. . . but unlike oil paints, acrylics dry very quickly. As I learned, ff you’re not careful you can end up destroying brushes and wasting paint.

Muse-touched 1 and Muse-Touched 2,
acrylic, 3x3", Diana Campbell Rice
The secret is to keep the brushes in water until you can thoroughly clean them -- do not let the paint dry on them or any reason.  And, I recommend cleaning your brushes after each painting session.

Oh, and what about wasted paint -- it will dry right on your palette.  Here is a link to a great article on paint-saving tips -- or how to keep your acrylic paints wet on the palette.  I have used these tips and can tell you -- they work.  http://emptyeasel.com/2009/08/11/how-to-keep-your-acrylic-paints-wet-on-the-palette/

Also, I am providing a link to the class I am taking at The Foundry.  The class is taught by artist, Linda Osburn.  She is an amazing teacher -- supportive with beginners; answers all your questions and nurtures individual expression.  You can contact The Foundry directly for information on this and future classes.  

I can say I am on my way to becoming an acrylic artist.  Man!


Friday, January 28, 2011

A whole new look -- art + movement & music -- I like it

Kiss, Organic Zen
Diana Campbell Rice
Talk about inspiration...revamping my art website renewed my art spirit.  Funny how that works!  I have an amazing web designer who is not only creative, but actually cares about what I think.  Seeing my art and fine art note cards displayed on my sales site with movement and music made me see them in a new way.  It was so refreshing to view my work in an updated format.  

The purpose of any sales website is, of course, sales.  As an artist, the entire image of the web site matters to me -- from the words, to visual, to ease of purchase.  I wanted to delight visitors with my art work and cards...and create a site that helps them move from image to image easily.  I especially like the purchase page on this site featuring mini-versions of each of my current collections -- it is so helpful for purchasers.

Thanks to the Rice Agency for capturing my work beautifully and designing a site with visitors in mind.  If you are interested in a website, I recommend Rice Agency -- 661.588.2488.  Here is the link to my new website:  www.dcrdesign.us -- take a look. I would love your feedback.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Abstracts and Self-Value...a learning experience

Sunset Geo, Organic Zen Note Cards, Diana Campbell Rice, 
Note Card or Small Print
 Watercolor abstracts have been holding my attention for awhile.  There are times when I just love the freedom abstract impression gives me.  I am free to let my mind wander and my hands along with it.  This one, Sunset Geo, is one of the images in my latest line of fine art notecards, Organic Zen

A friend, CJ Jones, recently shared a post from social media guru, Jim Kukral, with the advice to stop devaluing what you know -   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VSIJipEhUhY  I think many artists do just that -- they depend upon others to tell them their work is "good".   So many times we view our pieces as successful only if someone buys them.  I know, I have been there.     

This past year I have had the opportunity and time to explore, express and value -- value my own artistic ability and let it be expressed.  Yeah, I appreciate sales as much as anyone and depend upon them.  But what I have learned in this past year isn't about trending my art toward sales...it has been about loving the expression in the form it takes.  For me, art is sometime loose, casual drawings finished with watercolor and ink.  Sometimes my art is totally whimsical, with a simple, structured, and focused charm.  

Lately, the wildness and freedom of abstract design is all about trusting myself as an artist.  I love this new sense of value...so Jim Kukral's post resonated with me.  I hope you view it -- only a few minutes -- and take it to heart.  Thanks, CJ, for sharing -- I will pass on the message -- it is a good one.

Cheers...and...thinking of sales...the website to purchase my work is found at http://www.dcrdesign.us/


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Texture/Splatter -- Yes, in watercolor!

For the love of trees
Forest Sunset, Organic Zen, Diana Campbell Rice
6.5 x 7.5
I love trees.  I love the movement of trees.  In this abstract, titled Forest Sunset, I wanted to capture that movement without putting it into an actual drawing of a tree. My goal was to emphasize the feeling of the forest at sunset -- looking out through the trees. The techniques I used worked out well. 

In this watercolor, pen and ink painting, I used a soft toothbrush dipped in the paint to cause the splatter and movement -- layering the splatter through each paint and dry cycle.   

I layered paint and splatters and used my favorite scratching tools to add texture and more movement -- again through each cycle.  The sunset is representational with the orange lines and tiny circles.  As a finishing touch I added the tiny orange squares.

Forest Sunset, is part of my newest line of greeting cards and small prints, Organic Zen, coming soon to my website http://www.dcrdesign.us/

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.
- Scott Adams 

Here's to creativity,