Thursday, December 31, 2009


24" x 18" colored pencil, acrylic, paint pen and paper collage on board

Monday, December 28, 2009

In Full Bloom

--Above is a detail of a piece I just finished, while it was still in process. I have dealt with much more obvious and intense blooms, but this is the best photo I have of one thus far. If you look at the middle of the scalp you will see a strip through it running down into the leather strap, that is much more dark and rich than its surroundings, that is where I have wiped away the bloom, and revealed the original colors.--

I've been wanting to write about wax bloom for several months, but I haven't been able to find any good visual examples online, and being a visual thinker, this has kept me milling about, waiting for my own blooms, because there must be an example! Well, I wait no longer, let's begin.

Almost all my pieces bloom. what is blooming? It is a side effect of using colored pencils. After a drawing has had time to sit, one might say settle, the pigment and its carrier the wax will separate, leaving the wax resting on top in a cloudy layer with the pigment underneath. Dark colors will look dull and washed out, it won't be as detectable on lighter areas but that doesn't mean it hasn't happened and that your drawing isn't dulled.

Blooming doesn't happen to all drawings, but it does especially in pieces with very thick coats, one might say burnished into the substrate, something I almost always do. I prefer to work my colored pencil surface until it will barely take any more pigment, so this is a common issue for me, but blooming may be something you never encounter. My pieces usually bloom after they have been allowed to sit three to four days. Another way I can spot a bloom on lighter work is if the surface is matt when I reflect light on it, and it shows finger prints quite clearly, I like my drawing to have a very polished shiny finish, which is the natural quality of the pencil on board, regardless of fixative.

The solution to blooming is deliciously simple. You just wipe the wax off! Ta dah! I like to use a dry clean paper towel, however I work on board and my drawings are... what did I say, yes, burnished into the boards surface so I can be a bit rough, if you're working on paper you may want to use a soft cotton rag. What is important to think about while removing the wax, is to not rub a dark area into a light one, and visa versa and do not rub into any other mediums in your composition.

It will probably surprise you how little pigment will be picked up when you wipe because the wax is on top and the pigment is settled into the substrate. This is especially true if you're drawing with a very waxy pencil like Prismacolor.

I let my pieces bloom about three times before I seal them, once a piece is sealed, say with, workable fixative, it shouldn't bloom again, however if it does, things are not so simple, if a piece blooms underneath a seal there is no way to wipe it off... basically, you're stuck with it. This thankfully has never happened to me, and so I don't have any advice or solutions if it happens to you. This is the main reason I let my pieces bloom at least three times before sealing, because by that point most of the wax that wants to separate has. Often after I've wiped away that third bloom even if I don't seal the piece it won't bloom again.

I try to avoid blooming altogether in a piece that has integrated graphite with the CP, because graphite smears all over the place. sometimes in B&W pieces I like to use graphite for my initial sketch and darkest darks, and in this case I may use workable fixative throughout the drawing process and immediately after finishing the piece, because with the graphite so integrated into the CP wiping away a bloom would smear my piece into oblivion.

Now, wasn't that exciting!

for more resources check out this online book:

a brief update

Hello you dahling! So, here we are at the end of the year. I've been awfully tardy here in blogsville, but that is because I have been hard at work out in the real world, plugging away at work.

There have been a few group shows I haven't promoted online whatsoever. For that I deserve a good slap on the wrist (doesn't sound unbearable...) Momentum Tulsa, The Champagne & Chocolate gala at Living Arts, and a great little underground show at Ebb & Flow Woodworks, tucked away in downtown Tulsa to name a few exhibits. These were great shows, and I hope I saw you there. Maybe I'll mention something here next time. foo.

Shortly to come are a few new posts. You'll soon be seeing three new works for my March show at JRB Gallery, in OKC, and hopefully tonight I'll finish putting together a technical piece explaining the troubles with wax blooming in colored pencils and what you can do about it. Bloom what?

Thank you for continuing to stop by during this stale period, things should be happening at a rapid pace from now until the opening in March, so, please continue to come by and see what's News. Also I promise I'll be more proactive about promoting group shows where you can see my work, and letting you know about other goodies abounding around.

Thank you, JP Morrison

Monday, October 19, 2009

the girl in the high collar waits.

"Edwardian" 8" x 8" colored pencil, graphite and acrylic on board.

See her at JRB's small works show, 100 artists 8"x 8" pieces, all priced at $180. Opening Nov. 6th 6-10 pm. show runs through Nov. 29th

Monday, October 5, 2009

Telephone Operator Girl

"Telephone Operator Girl" 8" x 8"
colored pencil, sharpie and gouache on board.

So, I hemmed, and I hawed, and I procrastinated and worked on pieces I shouldn't've and then I went and did something I don't like to admit I am capable of. I did the entire piece in one night. See, above. 8 hours of work, wah la. I am super super happy with her too. It was one of those effortless little undertakings, where the first choice was always the right one. I needed this boost as well, I've been moving a bit show since "Beguiled" opened, and I feel empowered. Huzah! High quality images will be posted to my flickr hopefully by the end of the week. see the link at the top of the side menu, or click here: flickr

Friday, October 2, 2009

a piece I should wait to work on... but I'm not.

This is a quick in progress shot of a piece I've been dabbling with for the last month or so. The shot is in reverse because I took it with the photobooth program here on my little maccy. I'm planning on adding much collage to this piece, it also includes much more invented rendering than most of my work, i.e. no photo reference for certain parts. I'm enjoying it immensely, but currently should be working on two other pieces that I have an Oct. 15th deadline for... this piece symbolizes two things I should be doing, one: not this piece, two: sleeping. for real. The foreground hand is only in its first three layers of work, very unfinished, you can see the difference in tonality and color between the two hands, and working up the wrist. The photos were taken at sunset and the colors are very rich and varied I am especially in love with the blues. I liked this particular shot because of the way the negative space in the background hand created a symbolic eye. Also it has been interesting drawing a face with gravity pushing the features sideways, since it's my own face I'm especially aware of the differences. I've been trying to avoid using myself as a model as much, but I'm right here when I need someone, and I know exactly what the artist wants. Sometimes I'm hard to pass up, what can I say.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Next Show : a brief musing

I'm currently working on two pieces for my next show in March in Oklahoma City. I haven't entirely articulated what the blanket concept for this body of work is going to be, and the two works currently in process are very disparate in nature, though the mediums and styles unite them. One is a new drawing of a 'hand tree' or 'angel' an example of which is the header for this here blog, the other is me... sleeping... with airplanes... maybe...

I built 'Beguiled' my last show on a very specific theme, and I really enjoyed having the foundation of women in folklore to build upon, but now I want to loosen the reins a bit, wiggle in new ideas that may not necessarily fit into a single box.

Also in this last group of works I challenged myself to remove all nonessential information, wanting to shed my reputation for needing to fill every single space in a work with decorative material. (horror vacui) I shall restrain myself no longer! There will be airplanes... lots and lots of airplanes... in one of the two pieces currently resting on my drafting table... however I have learned some true moderation from my year of blank backgrounds and the 'hand tree' piece will have very little going on beyond the subject itself.

I know I'm talking in very vague terms, with no photos as of yet to explain myself. Describing art and the ideas that surround it with no visual reference is akin to trying to describe a smell; mostly impossible and rather frustrating... but here we are. The only comfort I can give you dear reader is the knowledge that these things shall reveal themselves in time... much like the true nature of this next group of works. I can't wait, can you?

Friday, September 4, 2009


Tonight, Sept. 4th, 6-9pm @ The Base Gallery. Last Chance to catch me and "Beguiled : The Folklore of Women" in the same room together. Please come out and visit, show runs through Sept. 24th.

The Base Gallery is in the basement of the Leedy-Voulkos Art Center, 2012 Baltimore Rd. KCMO

Saturday, August 22, 2009

12 x 12

Here is this years 12 x 12, possibly my favorite arts-org. fund raiser, it is a great event for a great organization. You can see last years piece above, as the title art for this blog, and the year before that is prominently featured on my business card, the work I've produced for 12x12 has been some of my very best in my personal opinion, I seem to grow with these pieces. I spent a ridiculous amount of time on last years piece, absolutely worth it for the personal advancement and education, it was a huge leap forward for me. This years work turned out so much better than it appeared it would half way through the process, *wipes brow* sepias and grey tones always give me trouble, but I'm quite please with the results. Please come this year if you'll be in the OKC area on Sept. 26th. Get all the info :Here:

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Beguiled Opening

Beguiled opened last weekend, and it was a wonderful evening! All my favorite people came out of the woodwork, and many new faces shared great ideas and feelings with me regarding the new artwork. It rocked. The cherrie on top goes to Josh Rizer for letting me share his lovely after party. He had an opening that night as well, please check out his tight writing and great paintings Here. Below are some photos from the festivities. Now, I'm gunna enjoy a little down time, and relax after teaching another week of summer camp before hitting the drawing board again. Yes soon there shall be news, but for now there is only a late Sunday brunch in my future. ahhhh.

Photo credits for this post, and all shots from the preview party go to RC Morrison (me daddy).

Friday, July 31, 2009

The Previews Perfection

Last night was the preview party here in Tulsa. It was wonderful. The questions, interest, support, and kind words have given me such a wonderful lift. I can't wait for the next big shindig in Kansas City August 7th. Thanks to all who attended here in Tulsa, I really was overwhelmed with the love and support of each and every one of you who came and said hello, took time to look at my work and give me so much great feed back. You must all take the credit for helping me to continue down this path of creative expression, I couldn't do it without the love and support of my family, friends, peers, mentors and patrons. And a very special thanks to The Pearl Gallery, owners Janet and Doug Edwards are truly remarkable people and gallerists, I recommend them to any artist as representation, and to any collector who wants a respectful, personal and thoughtful buying experience, they are genuine and caring people, and I am so grateful to them. cheers to you all!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Pre-View Party Tomorrow Night, July 29th.

If you live in Oklahoma, this is your one chance to see my new show, "Beguiled" before it heads up to Kansas City. the details are as follows, Tomorrow, Wednesday the 29th, from 5 - 8 PM @ The Pearl Gallery, 1201 East 3rd Street, Tulsa, OK. 74120. Please come out, I'll be there, all crazy and happy and bouncing about off the walls and bystanders. finished the last touches on the last piece last night, around 2:30AM. I was happy I got to read the novel I've been devouring the rest of the night (morning) without feeling guilty. I love loosing that "I should be working" feeling. So unfamiliar to be without of late. Here is a video I took last night no long before I completed the piece. Don't jump when my hand hits the camera!

Honestly it still hasn't sunk in at all that I am finished. I think my relief is tempered with the knowledge that I still have a statement to refine, and titles and note cards to write up before the Real Opening August 7th. Not to mention the several other pieces looming in the background for the next shows that must be worked on and completed soon. Upcoming? OVAC's 12x12, and an early piece for promotion of my next show. slated for March @ JRB Gallery.

I have two pieces that I still have not published online for "Beguiled" - unless you count the sneak peak video above - I'm going to wait until the opening, give those who attend something they haven't even seen a picture of before. Stay tune tho, this will be the first place I publish them. Okay... now back to my novel... ahhhh.

Sunday, July 19, 2009


I've just updated my website! It's very simple, but it's something I can manage myself which is a huge help! Right now it's just a new gallery, but soon it will include my latest statement, resume and biography, as well as information on how to order commissions, etcetera. Please check it out!

Monday, July 6, 2009

In Process...

Here are the first several stages of the piece I am currently working on, I'm going to break down a few stages for you, so you may better understand this craziness. After completing this piece I have only one more to crank out for my Show opening this August at the Base Gallery, in KCMO. The show is going to be called, Beguiled: The Folklore Of Women. And if I can get the work I still have to complete finished in time (note panting breathe) I will be.... well, really happy. stay tuned for more!

Stage One:
Here you can see my conté sketch, it's the soft red outline everything is built on, also I should mention I'm working on un-gessoed hard board, which is basically really nice light toothy masonite. I prefer an off white surface, not because it's logical but because off-white is just way more approachable in my opinion, and it's nice to work out from a mid-tone surface.
Stage Two:
Which I refer to as the hulk stage, in which I lay down all the darkest shadows in green, specifically Marine Green. I only use prismacolor pencils, no snobbery, it's just what I learned on and if it ain't broke don't fix it, so color names are specific to that brand. So, hulk stage, which you can see in the neck, nose and mouth. I'm working really lightly here, just laying out a map of tones to build upon later.
Stage Three:
The sun burn stage, where in I use Carmine Red, a pinkish red, to "put the blood in". I'll use this all over the whole figure, but I won't put green or red where my white highlights are going to go.

Stage Four:
Here I go back over all the image with white, it's sort of a pinkish, zombie burn victim stage. The arm is the only thing that has been lightened with the white in this photograph. It's important to get this white very even but not too heavy. Also, as I mentioned both layers before this are very light, because the tricky thing with colored pencils in not building up too much with them. If you're frugal you can get about eight to ten layers of color down, then the wax build up will prevent anymore perfecting, whether you like it or not. I'll use the white lightly in the darkest shadow areas, but I will still put the white where it later won't belong for both consistency and blending purposes. I always go lighter on this stage than is needed. I work up my lightest lights and then I'll work back down into my dark colors, with colored pencils, it's always easier to go darker after the fact, they're transparent, so you'll never get your whites back if you cover them up.

Stage Five:
After laying down white everywhere, I'll go back in with Carmine Red, and Marine Green the two colors I used before and define the shadows (green) and mid-tones, (red) more clearly.
Stage Six:
Laying in the darkest shadows with Indigo Blue, and Raspberry. The only places in the image above where Indigo and Raspberry are used are the inside of the mouth, nostrils, eyelashes and shadows behind the fingers. Everything else is just the polished Marine Green, Carmine Red, and White.

Stage Seven and then some:
A lot more has happened here, you wouldn't be able to see all the little tweaks I've added about... six more colored to the skin tone, not counting the colored I used in the eyes. I'll have to come back and update the color list, but basically, once I get all the tones just right, only then will I start adding other colors, usually just those three colors are too pink, so I use two different oranges, Pumpkin Orange, and _____, and two different mossy soft green blues, Jade Green, and ______, these two blues are good for nail beds and veins, I also recently started using the pinks, Nectar and Henna which are closer to an actual skin tone than any other pencil I use, they're good for blending and warming shadows. Eye color is always a mix of whatever feels right. I wish I could be more specific for you here, but at this stage things get really intuitive. You'd have to just sit next to me and watch and listen to me babble at you.

Stage Eight:
Now that the skin is finished I can start all the embellishments. The mask is also colored pencil, in white, a very light blue and a few cool grays the specific names of which I can't currently recall. I'll tweak things until the very end. I look forward to showing you the completed piece. And I'll update those missing color names tomorrow when I head back into studio. Also please disregard the smashed spider, these things happen, I live in the country, and I doubt it will be part of the finished piece, although currently I'm rather enjoying it.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Blue Beards Wife Eating a Pomegranate

18" x 24" Colored Pencil, Gouache and paper collage on board. I may play with the background a bit more. but here you go.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Good Girl Bad Girl

this nearly killed me... or nearly made me kill... but it was worth it. Also please note that the colors are much more vibrant than this picture illustrates.

48" x 36" colored pencil, gouache, acrylic, and paper collage on board.

Monday, June 22, 2009


I have been working hard in the real world. Which hasn't been good for my bloggery. It really is a misfortune because this is just the place to be building all the hype for my August show in Kansas City. the press will have to be set up and sent out by the end of the month, so much should be posted soon. The reality is I'm a tad overwhelmed, and free time is spent fretting over the next thing instead of talking about it here.

I put in a whole new background in my largest piece tonight, it's not as good as the one that was there before, tomorrow I shall paint over all of it, and start a new. This realization was a little crippling in the moment, but I am at peace with it now. I never would have been satisfied with that first background, I was and would continue to doubt it... but i was heading in the right direction, and it will be better the second time round. Honestly it's good mental headway, even if I have to back track about four/eight hours of work.

Monday, May 25, 2009

The Latest!

Here it is! No title yet. I finished it just about 30 minutes ago! Still a little tonal tweaking to do, but I was too excited to wait on posting it! It was originally meant to be a companion piece for Jessi Lively, however it took on its own life and color scheme as I worked on it, and while this was upsetting at first, I am very happy with the finished results. I believe I will still hang the two pieces together, but now they will both have to stand more for themselves, this is really a good things, diptychs are hard to sell.

The figure is all colored pencil, the background is a combination of washes and stenciling in acrylic and gouache, the patterning in the top right corner is this crazy holographic metallic paper, here it looks yellow, often it looks green, I like it best when it looks hot pink, and sometime it's even purple. The background needed something ballsy, the washes and stencils were too "wallpaper" the shiny pink paper was just the ticket. I'm really happy with the finished background because all the first choices ended up being the right choices. That is always so pleasing.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


This is a piece I did for an invitational. The theme was color. I chose the colors indigo and blue. This is the blue piece.  The parameters were very specific for this show. I was given a paint swatch to match my colors against, 75% of the piece had to be said color, and all the works in the show were required to be the same height, for consistency. In the end 1/3 of the participating artists either didn't pay any attention to the parameters, or just blew them off… Charming. I'm so glad I did all that work, and spent the money on -x- size canvas etc.

So, now that I’ve set the mood...

I will start by saying I respect the curator of this show immensely. The curator was a victim of the situation and nothing more. No blame or frustration should be or is placed there. 

The situation was that this show took place in a public pedestrian space, specifically an underground concourse where mostly office workers travel to and from other buildings or parking garages. For those of you in Oklahoma City, you will be familiar with, the underground, this art space is also overseen by a private committee.

I started this piece with an inkling that I might have problems, but I can hold my head high and say… that’s never stopped me! However, before I turned the art in I emailed images to the curator. Just a, "hey, here are my pieces, see you soon!" sort of heads up. I wasn't surprised when she replied to me that, the breasts might pose a problem. We talked on the phone, and although the curator was willing to take on the issue with the higher ups I decided to simply let this one go. 

It does rub me the wrong way that this show had such detailed parameters as mentioned above, and yet nowhere did they state the there was any sort of subject restraint. Was this something I was supposed to assume? Well I didn't, and I won't ever make that assumption.

There is a time and a place to fight and this wasn’t it.  I have my reasons for choosing to not stand up for my own principals and paint out a beautiful pair of breasts. One reasons is that I did this piece especially for that show. I wasn't going to show it anywhere else and therefore it made no since to have it excluded. You may scoff at how quickly I bent over on the issue, but as I said I respected the curator and didn’t feel that making trouble would be productive, efficient or effective. However, it certainly did put the issue into the forefront of my mind.

I am working on a nude now, and will be starting another soon; I haven’t yet decided how nude to make them… they will both be much more realistic than the blue piece above, and both could be full frontal, if I so choose. I will make the decision based on how valid the nudity is to the subject and the overall mood of each piece… these sorts of decisions happen in process so, no predictions here.

It is hard to completely push the trouble with nudes from my mind and my creative process. Lots of galleries will tell you that nudes are hard to sell, and lots of galleries will simply refuse to take them. I know this from experience. And as you can tell from above, they are in general hard to show. Especially in the market I am currently working.

It really amazes me. First of all we all look at nudes in art all the time… there are bare breasts all over the art deco and nouveau buildings here in downtown Tulsa. I use that example because Tulsa, like OKC is in the bible belt, which I do think figures into the argument. Classical art has the human form all over it… true, often conveniently draped, which drives me crazy. Are we really still too uptight to enjoy the breasts above? Sadly yes. If breasts are such an issue, what about pubic hair, and what if I wanted to paint a male nude? Can I sell a penis? All I can say is I will do my best to not let this subjugation of our own bodies deter me from making the art I want to make, and next time, I will stand up for my breasts, etc. 

Monday, March 23, 2009

a little blog hello from me to you

Things have been quiet here at TAFPWI.... Taff peewee? sure. Life hasn't been quiet, life has been loud, and there's lots of good catching up to do, of which we will only touch upon here tonight.

I was planning a blog on censorship in art, but I can't find the example I wanted to show you, that being, a painting of my own that I had to edit the breasts out of in order to show it in a public space. I know what your thinking -or at least I hope I do- breasts?! you had to edit out  breasts?! well yes, and when I find the before and after pictures I will tell you more. Please stay tuned.

The biggest news here in JP's-vill is that I have officially booked a solo featured show with JRB Gallery at the Elms in OKC, for March of next year. This is a really big deal for me. I think I can safely say this is one of the top galleries in the state. I never expected to get this far in this amount of time. it's a great accomplishment for having only been "at it" (promoting myself in Oklahoma) since last October.

So two solo shows to prepare for, and a slew of summer camp work in front of me, and I'm feeling rather full, as in busy and satisfied.

Life is good, even if I do have a head cold. Now... just to make this a fun post instead of a little rant about what I have and haven't done, here are some awesome images:

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


I've completed my 5x5 early this year. early JP? But, JP! You don't do early? well no... I don't, however, after being asked if I wanted to participate in some press releases for the event, in which they wanted to show the artists alongside their pieces, I said SURE! Because if there's one thing I am learning about being successful as a self employed artist, it is that it's a constant hustle. And I'm always game for a good publicity stunt! 

So here's the little beast. It is a self-portrait, colored pencil on board, measuring 5"x 5" in the frame, which my dear father built for me, (he's a gem). 

You may choose either of these two reasons why I chose a self portrait; 
1. I am the easiest model to get a hold of on short notice. 
2. I wanted my picture taken twice, a picture of me, with a picture of me.

I got a great deal of flack in college for doing self portraits, The logic being, I assume, that, if you are a semi-attractive young woman, the only reason anyone can think of that you would choose to draw yourself is because you're totally into yourself. 
*Insert me screaming expletives at imaginary critiques, here.*

There are several reasons why I chose to portray myself in various works. Each time the reason was different, and it's really just luck that I happen to be a semi-attractive young woman. When I am old, I suppose everyone will assume the work is about my own death, or a commentary on aging... I bet it won't be.

As I've explained above, I chose to use myself for two reasons, 
1. I was the easiest model around. I still have a great deal of trouble directing my models, and getting the mood right. I am working hard on finding the cure of this... I'll keep you up to date.

2. Because the work was about my experiences, and I didn't want someone else in there mucking up the catharsis of putting my own image through that experience again.
Now it could be argued, that number 2. is in fact narcissistic. But! Lets get real. If we deem that all artwork about the artist's experience is narcissistic, then all art is so. And that, I can agree with. All art is for the artist first, and the patron/the public/the mesuem/etc., second. I've said it before and I will continue to say, that art is a masturbatory event. It is firstly self-serving and self-satisfying, and rightly so. In my personal experience artists that try to ignore this truth, try to make it about something bigger, better, holier, progressive-ier well, those artists annoy me greatly, and are also never happy... or, satisfied. It is us exploring our own world, not their world, ours, and it can only ever be our personal experiences, and interpretations that inform our hands to draw what they do. So go forth my little painting friends, and rub one out on the canvas! Just don't go calling me a narcissist, I can do it myself, and for the right reasons.