Why is it Called Artwork?

WIP, anthurium, watercolor, ncwren
From Google:
noun: artwork
  1. illustrations, photographs, or other nontextual material prepared for inclusion in a publication.
    • paintings, drawings, or other artistic works.
      plural noun: artworks
      "a collection of artwork from tribal cultures"

I would define it as the finished product of one’s artistic endeavors.
Also from Google:
be engaged in physical or mental activity in order to achieve a purpose or result, especially in one's job; do work.
I can think of no other profession where the final product includes the name of the profession. It reminds me of the quote attributed to Leonardo da Vinci  “Art is never finished, only abandoned.”
It also reminds me of my Grandmother’s friend who worked in a soup factory. I have heard the same thing with different food products- “If you knew how *that* was made you would never eat *it* again!”.
Production can messy whether it is a company or an individual. Sometimes the process is ugly and disheartening. The magic is pushing through that and finding that glimmer of hope-that light at the end of the tunnel and working towards it.
Putting my artwork online was a big step for me. I’ve done it enough now, in a variety of places that it is has become easier to put myself out there. Putting my WIP (works in progress) online terrified me. What if the outcome was bad? What if I didn’t finish that piece? All of those things have happened in a short amount of time.
It’s nice to live in an age where the entire process (good, bad and ugly) can be shared. I personally find it refreshing to be able to sneak a peek beyond the glossy surface and see how something is done. It removes some of the mystery and allows all of us to understand what it takes to get to a final product.
Artwork-an aptly named product AND process.

Please feel free to leave a comment!

watercolor, ncwren, palette

Palomino Blackwing Pencil Review

I really enjoy my monthly subscription box from Pigment + Palette. I have been introduced to products that I would not normally come across in my local artist supply store. In the 14th edition I found a strange looking pencil called a Palomino Blackwing. The eraser at the top is flattened out like a carpentry pencil-handy when you need your pencil to stay put.
Blackwing pencil, ncwren, nc wren fineart
The write up was over the top:
“The Blackwing pencil was introduced in the 1930’s by Eberhard Faber and was the pencil of choice for Oscar, Grammy, and Pulitzer Prize winners throughout the 20th century. After it was discontinued in the 1990’s, fans began paying as much as $40 per pencil to seize unused stock.”
I rolled my eyes a bit while sharpening my new acquisition. I was taken back a bit with the smoothness of the graphite on paper. It reminded me of my Tombows of which I am a big fan of. I had to pull them out for a comparison. I think it falls into a #3b softness range (there is nothing I can find about the hardness rating of this pencil).
tombow, blackwing, ncwren, nc wren fine art
I’m not sure if the scale tips a bit into the Blackwing camp because of the ‘cool’ factor or if there is just the slightest quality point in the buttery like smoothness of the graphite. I also really like the white eraser that extends out of the ferule. One less thing needed for sketching on the go.
blackwing pencil, ncwren, nc wren fine art
I think I will put this pencil in my ‘to go’ bag.

What is your favorite pencil?

You can see some of my graphite work here:
Sand Island Lighthouse
These pencils are available for purchase from Amazon:

Looking For My ‘Niche’

niche, watercolors, botanicals, advanced course, ncwren
1. an ornamental recess in a wall or the like, usually semicircular in plan and arched, as for a statue or other decorative object.
2. a place or position suitable or appropriate for a person or thing: to find one's niche in the business world.
3. a distinct segment of a market.
4. Ecology. the position or function of an organism in a community of plants and animals.
In the 70’s I grew up in a house with arched ceilings, a delivery door for the milkman, a mail slot in the wall next to the front door and niches in the walls of the living and dining room.
One night my cat, Muffy, decided to claim the niche above the fireplace as her own. My mom had decorated it with a large ceramic owl she had made. She woke all of us up when the very large owl came crashing down onto the stone of the hearth. Muffy was unfazed and sat regally in her new spot.
I have spent the last year working with different mediums and subject matter looking for that sweet spot-that niche that I can claim.
I feel like I’ll know it when I do it. Right now I am just enjoying each medium for it’s own unique traits and working on improving my skills in all mediums.
This last week I have been taking an advanced flower course in watercolors. I’m really loving it. There is magic with watercolor even when it is restrained and not ‘loose’. I have always loved the way botanicals looked as art pieces. I’m excited to finish the last two and frame the four of them to hang in my living room.
This year I plan to work on a series of botanicals of my own composition and offer them for sale.

Have you found your niche? Is it important?