Friday, January 29, 2016

Finding a Balance

I sooooo love beautiful layered textures and mixed media. Some of my favorite artists work this way- check out the amazing Pamela Zagarenski for example! I've been trying for years to find my own way of combining printmaking with other media and lots layered color. It's been a challenge but I think I've worked out ways to balance watercolor, ink, stamps, collage, and drawing. Just in case you think it was easy, let me show some of the steps I went through to get the final 5 images. Each progress photo shows the original sketchbook idea (or two!) and then some not-successful attempts.

It helped this one a lot when I went back to the warm yellow background, more like the original sketchbook painting.

Above is the final sweet blue bird, happy in her nest.

I was anxious to get this one right because it's a special image for my daughter. It wasn't working for me with the traditional colors but I went crazy and tried a dark purple/blue/maroon background with white ink, kind of like my original sketchbook painting and that was the winner!

Off she goes into Dreamland.

Part of my struggle with this one was that the paper I was using didn't take water very well. If I used too much watercolor or gouache the paper got too wrinkly. But a layer of ink with a little water media on top is a neat effect and the paper stayed pretty flat. I actually used a cut-out and glued tree and heart for the final one instead of trying to paint white around where I wanted them to be like in the image above.

The Love Birds in their Love Tree!

This one I did so many times I was starting to hate it. But I'm glad I stayed with it. And you notice, my daughter also got to do her own interpretation of a starry tree.

I love stars and star stamps. Obviously!

I tried collaging the trees on this one like I did for The Love Tree, but they didn't look good with the dogs and moon stamps. So I cut the trees out of thin cardboard and printed them. It gave them a look that matched with the carved stamps better.

There they are- the first cards in my new series! I'm having them printed and I can't wait to hold them in my hands. There will be a line of text inside each also, but you have to wait to find out what the insides say!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Winter Carnival!

I'm excited to show you what the finished Winter Carnival poster looks like- so here it is! I had a fun time making it and people seem to love it. I think it fits the spirit of our town, Steamboat Springs, Colorado. This is a small town with a history of ranching, a love of skiing and winter sports, an old-fashioned western downtown, TWO ski areas including Howelsen Hill with world class nordic ski jumping, and a bunch of crazy kids willing to be pulled on skis behind a horse! 

Below are some photos of the linocut block in progress, and then it being printed and painted.

If you'd like to read more about the process of making the poster, there are two interviews you can read: The Steamboat Pilot and Steamboat Sotheby's blog. The posters will be on sale around town soon and I'll keep you updated on that!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

100 Trees

I'm in the middle of the 100 Trees project. It's been so much fun! I'm trying out different media and letting myself play around. Some of the images are inspiring me to keep working on them and turn them into greeting cards. I'll show some of that process next week. I'm going to try and do blog posts on Thursdays if you are interested!

Here are the first 50 of the trees from my sketchbook. Be sure to follow on Instagram or Facebook or check in at my website if you want to see the new trees each time.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Winter Carnival Poster

Happy new Year! (A little late.) Thanks so much for those of you who stop by to read my blog from time to time- I hope you all have a fantastic 2016!

This year something new is happening for me. In November I was selected to create the Steamboat Springs, Colorado Winter Carnival poster for this February, 2016. This is the 103rd year of the Winter Carnival in my town and it's really rich in history and character. Several blocks of our main street are covered with snow for street events and a parade that includes the High School marching band on skis.

You can see different kinds of races, contests and jumping including Nordic ski jumping, something most people only see at the Olympics. There are also night events that end with The Lighted Man- Jon Banks, who skis down Howelsen Hill with lights and fireworks shooting off of him!

These photos are from the Steamboat Springs Chamber of Commerce.

I was contacted to submit a drawing for this year's poster and was eventually selected to make the image. The winter carnival has had posters to advertise it before, but this year Steamboat Sotheby's Real Estate has partnered with the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club in asking a local artist to make the poster. The original art, some limited edition prints, and poster prints are all being sold to raise money for scholarships.

The image is still being kept secret, so I can't show it yet. But I've been interviewed twice now about making the poster. Below is our newspaper, The Steamboat Today story. And you can see another interview on the Steamboat Sotheby's blog here.

Artist Jill Bergman used a linocut to create an original piece of art that will be placed on 5,000 posters for the Winter Carnival. The art was commissioned by Steamboat Sotheby's International Realty and proceeds from the sale of the posters and some limited edition prints will benefit the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club.
Courtesy photo
Artist Jill Bergman used a linocut to create an original piece of art that will be placed on 5,000 posters for the Winter Carnival. The art was commissioned by Steamboat Sotheby's International Realty and proceeds from the sale of the posters and some limited edition prints will benefit the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club.

Local artist commissioned for Winter Carnival poster benefitting SSWSC

 — Hype for the 2016 Winter Carnival continues with the announcement of new commemorative artwork by a local artist that will benefit the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club.
Courtesy photo
Artist Jill Bergman used a linocut to create the black outlines of her art piece and then painted in the details using watercolors.

If you go:

What: Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club Foundation's Stars at Night fundraising gala, including an auction of Jill Bergman's art
When: 6:00 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 29
Where: The Steamboat Grand Korbell ballroom, 2300 Mount Werner Circle
Tickets: $175 each, or complete tables can be reserved
In an effort to promote art and athletics in the community, Steamboat Sotheby’s International Realty has commissioned artist Jill Bergman to create a commemorative poster for the annual Winter Carnival.
Sotheby’s is donating Bergman’s original artwork and three of 25 prints to be auctioned off during the upcoming fifth annual Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club Foundation’s Stars at Night fundraising gala Tuesday, Dec. 29.
The remaining 22 limited edition prints will be available for purchase online, and an additional 5,000 poster prints will be available for public purchase locally at Steamboat Sotheby's and online in January.
All proceeds from the original artwork, prints and posters will go the Winter Sports Club.
“We hope to make the commemorative poster an annual project that touches both the distinguished Steamboat artists and connects athletes to their true potential,” said Nancy Ihlenfeldt, Sotheby’s marketing director.
Bergman, the artist selected to create the posters, crafts artwork using a linocut carving block and then prints an image using black ink. Once the ink is dry, the print is painted with watercolor.
“I carved the image as a linocut, which is like a giant rubber stamp. It's an old art form and adds a rustic, western feel to the poster,” said Bergman, who considered the many memorable images related to the Winter Carnival when sketching to prepare for the art piece.
“There are so many iconic images that would make a neat poster, like the lighted man, the ski jumpers, the parade and the street events,” Bergman said. “I loved best the way that the western character of the ranchers and horses in the street events contrasts with the bright, modern clothes of our young athletes. So that’s what I used as the focus of the poster.”
More of Bergman’s art can be found on her website,
The Stars at Night silent auction can be found
The decision to commission a poster benefiting the Winter Sports Club is part of Sotheby's efforts to create opportunities for local artists. The company is also planning this summer to offer scholarships to some young, local artists to visit Sotheby's Art Institute in New York, an art business graduate school.