Sunday, October 18, 2015

Moving Forward

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hello!   Like i said before, i've been a bit preoccupied and stressed lately...but i finally got around to messing around with my paints today, so i'll share it with you.

it was one of those times where i wasn't even the tiniest bit inspired to do art, but since my daughter was at the other side of the table making her own handpainted greeting cards, i decided to stick around and at least get my hands dirty.

i had an idea for an art journal, this theme of Moving Forward.  i recently came to the point where i am sick sick sick of being in this horrible stuck place of indecision, depression, and all things bad and dark and dreary...and it was time to move on.  regardless.  of a lot of things.  and in order to do that in a positive way and expect any positive outcomes whatsoever, i need to start THINKING positive. to have faith.  that's where my art comes in.  so i started throwing together this collage:

first layer, my usual ripped scraps of phone book and vintage book text, some colored scraps too.  gesso. (gesso is your friend!)  random messy drips of colored inks, first cool colors, then warm. add cut-out photos of model chicks strutting the catwalk.  (don't they just make you think, moving forward?? yeah me too.)

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(i also stenciled and stamped the words Moving Forward on the background, but they pretty much got covered up with the other stuff.)

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Then i added some cut-out words and phrases from magazines... glazed my strutting beauties with a bit more white gesso...

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and that's about it.  ta-da!!!  no big deal, just felt good to get that out of me.

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after this layout dried, i went ahead and flipped the page and started another totally different kind of collage on the next page.  i'll tell you about that next time.

thanks for stopping by!!!

she longed for the sea

I made this painting awhile back, but am now just catching up on this blog, filling in the gaps with some recent work. 

Honestly, I've been a bit preoccupied and stressed lately to do much art, but I did get into my "studio" today and messed around some more.  More art blogging to come!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

City vibe

Playing around in my art journal today..magazine collage, paint, ink, stamps, toilet paper roll, phone book pages, washi tape, duct tape.
Still a work in progress. What to add next? A quote? Another image? Whatever, this is just for fun!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Sunday afternoon vibe

Creating the mood for creating. Candles lit, music playing, craft room newly cleaned, reorganized, rearranged..(yes, AGAIN!)..mind and spirit open to possibilities. Start by doodling in art journal. Mindless scribbles, a poem written in different color inks, then painted over, but still playing in my soul. Not doing a project, just playing, letting stuff out, nourishing my little me.  Love it. The vibe has arrived.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

beach girl

i was thinking about the beach
last night when i sat down at my art table..
and then this happened.

          ..still an unfinished page.  don't know where she came from, i don't usually do doe-eyed babies like this, but it was fun.  (and don't you even THINK about adding a shark in the background for #sharkweek!!  poor thang..)

charcoal pencil, watercolor crayons, waiting for ink and...???

tomorrow at this time i'll be getting on a plane.  maybe i'll bring my sketchbook along.

see ya!!!

Sunday, July 5, 2015


"There is nothing new under the sun."  Ecclesiastes 1:9

I'm learning some new things about being a copycat.  That to be a great artist, you actually need to start stealing stuff.

This book I'm reading...
Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon,
explains it much better.  
But I'll at least show you what I mean by my own attempts.

I will often scroll aimlessly through Pinterest or Etsy, searching certain types of art that I love to create myself, but needing inspiration, I'll look to other artists, and actually try to duplicate theirs, 
just for fun.
Like this picture below, done by someone else:

Nice! I thought. I love drawing and painting faces, in sort of a folk art style,
adding color, details, random collage elements and some nice words or a quote to give it some meaning.

("The only art I'll ever study is stuff
that I can steal from."  --David Bowie)

Image result for david bowie concert

So I began to copy it. Same color scheme, same clothes, same chalky white outlines and funky flowers pieced together from patterned scrapbook papers.
oh but wait--what's going on with her hair? what happened to the prim little bun on her head?

oops. i guess it just didn't work for me. And the more i looked at my "stolen" piece of art, i realized it just didn't sit well with me, so i ripped out some phone book pages and starting pasting them over the girl's frumpy outfit.

Added a big swath of white gesso...
(i LOVE gesso, it covers a multitude of sins...)

more scraps, more gesso.

Penciled in new outlines, new body shapes.

yeah, it's looking better already. more casual.  more like me, actually..

not that i was going for that look but hey i'll take it.

pretty much my finished product here. 

added a quote that I liked, not the one i copied from.

and there you go.  an attempt to copy turns into my own original.  
Sort of like my life.  Tried living my imaginary identity, only to find my heart feeling sadder and emptier, colder and number.  Until something...some...thing...flashed by the eyes...those mirrors of the soul...and lit a spark.  that fanned to a small flame...and bigger...and bigger...until it was a fire out of control and the real me came tumbling out, thrashing, awkward, and SPLAT!!! so embarrassing.  and i've been picking up the pieces, strengthening this tender plant with supports, wooden beams, counseling, fighting off the weeds that try to choke it back into its former plastic identity theft.  nope.  the original, unable to be copied, one snowflake in a million has come out.  

that's what art is all about.  finding your true voice.  sometimes it takes a bit of hard practice, of trying to imitate other's stuff...till the work becomes your own.  

i'll end with just a few more quotes from the book i mentioned above, Steal Like an Artist:

"Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination.  Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows.  
Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul.  If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic."  --Jim Jarmusch


"All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts."--William Shakespeare

(fake it til you make it!!)

Image result for shakespeare plays   Image result for shakespeare plays

"Start copying what you love.  Copy copy copy copy.  At the end of the copy you will find your self."--Yohji Yamamoto

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"The human hand is incapable of making a perfect copy."--Austin Kleon

"We want you to take from us.  We want you, at first, to steal from us, because you can't steal.  You will take what we give you and you will put it in your own voice and that's how you will find your voice.  And that's how you begin.  And then one day someone will steal from you."
--Francis Ford Coppola

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"You can't connect the dots looking forward, you only connect them looking backwards."
--Steve Jobs

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There is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost.”
― Martha Graham

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ok i know i'm awkwardly fusing the idea of original art with the idea of being an original YOU, but still...

** just remember: art may be a recreation of something that's been said before, but you, YOU..are not an imitation of anyone else.  You are uniquely created by God, and that makes YOU extremely special.  And very much loved. :-)

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

changing it up

Rearranged my studio yesterday.
Moved some furniture, created a new L-shape configuration with my desk and the long table that i share with my daughter.  Reorganized some more stuff, put stuff that i use  most in places closest to me so i don't have to scramble and knock over water jars and the cats and get distracted trying to find what i need. 


It also gives me a nice view of the outside, through the bay windows facing our backyard.  I need to fill my eyeballs, my corneas, my iris or whatever that part of my eye-brain is...
that needs light and natural life to inspire me, to keep me breathing creatively.

But probably the main reason i do for the love of change.
i've always been motivated by change, it's an adrenalin junkie's fix in a boring sleepy suburbian lifestyle.  If i can't be hitchhiking across foreign countries with just a few bananas and my snorkel mask in my backpack, then let my crazy wanderlust spirit go wild in whatever small ways i can.

yes, if i had the choice, i would've lived in about 10 different places in these past 15 years, instead of just one.  So as i wake up to this realization of what my true nature really craves, i'm using art as a medium to reach my heart again, to stir up those passions, those feelings that become a rush of energy to motivate me to make larger changes...still over the horizon, not able to see them yet...and still so much painful ground to cover before i arrive.  or i shouldn't say arrive, i don't really believe in arriving.  you just keep journeying.

Buying a new coffee mug almost every beach trip i take is another guilty pleasure of mine.
i know i cannot really defend my impulsive choices, i guess it's the biggest "change" i can muster at this time, just a new sensation to warm my cupped palms in the morning, while dreaming of larger thrills on my journey onward.  waiting is so hard.

in the meantime, maybe these new paintbrushes will help.

That's it for now.  I've got more stuff to share, some paintings and collages i'm working on,
so i'll be back...eventually..

Thursday, June 4, 2015

hit me with your best shot

Threw together this art journal spread last night
based on the lyrics on the old 80's song by pat benatar...
..and inspired by the mood of the week!

I started by splashing on warm colors of paint and dyes,

                ....scrawling some of the lyrics on the side and then covering it up with gesso...

           ...adding this perky young vintage chick that looks like she had her head chopped off and                                pasted onto a vogue magazine-ish model figure... (it was!)

added this little subliminal image that sort of looks like she's doing her thing in a sports bar with tv screens showing the latest fight..

...and this is just a shot of a few of my leftover collage materials that i've been collecting, for such a time as now.  don't worry, they'll find a home in some other collage, another day.

that was fun!  art is so therapeutic!  now i need to get to the gym and box some of it out, too. 
anyway, thanks for stopping in!!!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

art at the beach

Currently stationed in Nags Head, NC, on the beautiful Outer Banks islands.  Enjoying some time relaxing in the sun, the pool, wading in the shallow waters of the sound near the condo we're renting, visiting the wild waves of the ocean side, hiking the sand dunes, kayaking, bicycling, and just laying around.  During our down times, I'm thankful to have brought along my huge heavy bag of art supplies, which I now have set up on the dining room table for whenever the creative muse inspires me.

My first painting is an exercise from this new book I just bought, entitled 
The Painting Workbook by Alena Hennessy.  

This first exercise is about color pairs.  Limiting your palette to just two colors (along with tints and shades, using white and black), it's a fun way to study colors and the way they interact with one another.  I tried keeping my subject simple, the shape of a seagull I'd seen earlier that morning on the pier:

                  Here he is, in two of my favorite color combinations, turquoise and lemon yellow:

Then I started working in more white and black paint, just playing, just having fun.
Adding the title, "the brave and the free", just because that's what he resembled to me.
2 words that describe what I want to be.

and then i just played around with some fishy stencils i'd brought along, hoping to build on this later.

more later!

Friday, May 15, 2015

good night

                             bottom line: a passionate night of making art you end up hating

                                                                is still better than

                             falling asleep on the couch watching lukewarm meaningless garbage on tv.

                                                              good good night!!!