Monday, March 30, 2015

art underground

I love that my parents' house has a basement.  Whenever I'm at that point of a visit here when I've just had enough of the craziness and need to retreat to a place of introverted bliss, I sneak down the basement to be alone.  This vacay is no exception.  And as usual, my daughter and I often share the space and use it to create our own temporary art studio.  Yes, it's a big jumbly mess down there, and smells like dampness and mold and fresh stinky firewood...but it's also our creative oasis.

During our time this weekend, I used this space to let loose my crazies in my art journal.  What I love about my art journal, is that it's not for show, unless I want it to be, so I can be as free and private as I want.  For all I have to do once it's done drying, is turn the page, or close the book, and the secrets are all mine.  It's like a private journal, only in pictures.  As they say, a picture paints a thousand words.  And sometimes my feelings have no words, and I usually approach my art journaling time with no words and no clear goals or intentions whatsoever.

This first drawing sums up what I've come here for: a little "ohm" time, away from it all:

Next is this simple collage that talks back to those stupid smart people in my life, those left-brained, practical people who try to tell me how i should live my life and to be who they want me to be instead of the crazy lunatic i am.  I can't change who I am.  I can change my perspective for the better, but I can't change the fact that i was born a free-spirited, overly-sensitive, wildly creative, ridiculously insanely humored, extremely melancholy soul who seems to have been adopted from a watermelon patch, as i usually never fit in with most people on this planet.

And finally, some simple words of wisdom to myself, to tune out all the noise of the junk around me, those voices screaming at me, distracting me, and instead to tune in to that still, small voice inside me.  To learn to be still and quiet and listen to what my wise heart is really saying.

And that is all for now.  Hoping to take these ideas and more back to my home studio tomorrow, and to begin creating new inspired works to share soon.  Goodnight!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

painted magazine ads

oh no, i've got the late night crazies!  
somebody please tell me to go to bed!
ok i will, thank you.
more on this new painting craze another time.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

mermaid story

When I was a little kid, I decided that I wanted to write and illustrate my own books for children.  So I began by writing a 66-chapter book, "The Troublesome Triplets" and illustrated it myself.  24 of the chapters, which could each stand alone as a short story, were published in a Girl Scouts magazine, 3 stories per issue, for a year.  That was a big deal for me as a kid. Then of course as I grew up there were many distractions and the whole idea of getting a "real" job kept getting pounded into my brain, so my dream of being an author/illustrator sort of lost its way.

But I thought of it again as I started working on this page in my art journal last night.  I was hearing a story unfurling in my brain as I worked on this, even though I had no intention of creating a story, just doodling while listening to a podcast of an artist interview on my headphones late at night.

This scene is sort of sad, of course, so I'd want to make a sequel, a happy ending to this dire situation.  Maybe I will.  Or maybe it's an analogy of something going on in my life right now, and i need to wait for some things to happen in my own personal journey before the ending of this mermaid story becomes clear, too.

So there it is. Maybe I'll come back to this another time, maybe not.  What's very satisfying to me is just how good it feels to let art draw out those thoughts and dreams inside of you that you might not ever share with anyone or even be able to find the words for in an actual spoken language.  It's just a feeling, a feeling that can only be expressed through art, either by images seen, or music heard.  It's your heartsong. Let it play!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

art journal

This page in my journal began with just a simple pencil sketch, then added watercolor pencils, brushed with water, finished with fine tip markers.  

One of my favorite muses, mermaids and the ocean.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Baking Bread

                                "Creativity is Intelligence having fun."    -Albert Einstein

Good morning!  Today I woke up and thought, "Today is a good day to bake some bread!" ha! ok, maybe not my very first thought, but it's something i haven't done in a long time.  yeast bread, that is, quick breads like pumpkin bread or banana bread don't count, i make those every week.

Today's project is a loaf of whole wheat bread. Here's the recipe...

.. here are the ingredients....

and here's my bread machine. 
(you didn't think i was actually going to mix it by hand and knead it and all that, did you? 
ha! i'm not that much of a granola girl...)

My bread machine requires that you put in the wet ingredients first. So here we go: water, egg, butter...

                                ...then i substituted honey for sugar cuz i love honey, yum!

  ....then the dry ingredients: bread flour, whole wheat flour, salt, and finally the yeast.

Choose "1" on the machine for a regular medium size loaf..

                                                         Press "start"....

                     And the waiting begins.  2 hours and 40 minutes seems like forever when that                                   yummy warm yeasty bread smell starts wafting through the house....

...and the waiting is the hardest part...

then...beep!beep!beep!beep!beep!!! bread's done!!!
Open up the machine, careful it's hot...

...pull out that hot square loaf and PLUNK it down a cooling rack.

                   cool, of course..unless you're anything like me...

                                    ...and you have no patience, and you must slice into that light, fluffy,                                                    slightly crispy crust....

                                          ...slather it with butter and honey and....

nom nom nom nom nommmmmm...So Good!!!

Thanks for dropping by, hope you were inspired to do something creative today!!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Recycled paint pallette (part one)


disclaimer: i was hoping to present to you a nicely organized, step-by-step tutorial with a flourishing finish of a wonderful finished product...but instead i'm stuck.  not sure where to go next with this..thing. whatever it is.  but here goes anyway.  my halfway tutorial:

So anytime i paint, my technique is to squirt out my paints on a sheet of this waxy pallette paper, which allows me to swipe the flat brush back and forth, working the paint into the bristles.  the leftover paint dries.  i pour more on top for the next project, it dries, and so on.

Then i've got this wonderful mess of leftover, dried-up paint. Well this time instead of just throwing that paper away, i decided to make a strange weird face out of it.  like this:

ok so yeah i skipped a few steps in the process, my bad. all i did was find some cool eyes and lips from a magazine, glue them on top of the dried up paint splotches, add a nose and eyebrows with black marker, and cut it out in a face shape.  no big deal, but i think it looks kinda cool.

now i need a background for it. it can't just float around in space, it's creepy enough already.
so i got together some materials:

square piece of cardboard

torn pages from an old vintage romance novel (found at an antique shop, i love digging thru dusty hole-in-the-wall places for good cluttery junk!)

torn pages from a phone book (you know, those stupid old-school things they dump on your doorstep every year)

mod podge (it's so mod..)

cheap paint brush

Proceed to tear pages into smaller pieces and glue randomly all over the cardboard. (i know, the first time you tear pages out of a perfectly good book, it sort of breaks a part of your heart, (if you love to read books, anyway..)  like it feels so sacrilegious or something, but you get over it, you harden your heart...)
Slap those pages down any which-way, doesn't matter.

Let it dry a bit, then i water down some black paint like so...

                                            ..and i swipe the watered down black paint all over the text                                                               background.

i use a baby wipe to pull some off, so some text still shows through.

                         then i decide it needs a little hint of white-ish bricks, so i squirt out some nice thick white gesso... (repeat after me, "gesso is my friend" will learn to love it for its yogurty texture and how it covers an-y-thing)...and smoosh it through a brick patterned stencil.

i then go back and forth between white and black, till it feels just right, just dirty enough, like it's from the hood.


now i'm stuck.  this ugly face is staring at me from the brick wall in the hood, and it's just not sitting well with me.  i'll probably have nightmares about it tonight.  any suggestions? does she need hair? 2 eye patches?  definitely some words, i have to know what she's thinking.  are the color splotches real or figurative?  do the colors stand for something?  is she hallucinating? 

i'm so sorry.  i know people look up art blogs for answers.  inspiration.  of which i am providing neither.  i provide you with my raw struggles in the process.  just sharin.

i'll finish this later.  
after i lie down and have nightmares of those eyes...THOSE EYES!!!!!