About Sydney and the Vision of Chavah's Garden
I loved painting vegetables straight from the garden, then I remembered my grandmother's fabulous flour sack tea towels and in a moment of you-got-your-peanut-butter-on-
my-chocolate inspiration, my business was born.
My painting process has been evolving over time, and my current m.o. begins with lots of blind contour drawing of my new subject.
What is blind contour drawing?
You choose your subject, put your pen to paper, and then draw it without ever looking down at what you're doing. Yes, the drawings are wild and crazy but they have a freedom and perception that doesn't happen when you're constantly looking at your drawing trying to make it perfect. Here are some samples from my orca design.
Some of the more beginning drawings:
But then, when I got the jolliest orca ever, I knew it was time to paint:
And then I quickly came to this:
However, it isn't always quick or easy. I painted a gazillion sea turtles and finally sent an email to all of my subscribers asking their preference: a naturally colored green sea turtle or a sea turtle that is the color of tropical water?
This is just a smattering of the many, many, many sea turtle paintings I did.
And I'm thrilled to say that the overwhelming majority of my fans chose the tropical water sea turtle.
After the painting stage, I scan my image. Then I put it into my printer software. Here's a short video of the process.
I have a great team: I have one part-time employee who prints all my fabric goods like towels, aprons, and onesies, and another part-time employee (my nephew) who prints my Swedish dishcloths.
I'm sure my process will change more over time, and I'll keep you posted. But if you ever need to loosen your mind and let yourself see in a whole new way, try blind contour drawing. You can use your shoe, your dog, your cat, a photo of the Eiffel Tower, whatever floats your boat. It gives you a new perspective and freshness, and don't we all need that from time to time?