Monday, October 27, 2008


I am making a positive decision not to paint. Or I might paint, but I am not requiring myself to live up to some sort of challenge.

I am also probably not going to post until Halloween or the 1st of November when Nano starts.

I am going away for a couple of days with the kids and my best friend from high school and I'm going to relax without commitment.

This is necessary. This is a fifteen minute coffee break. This is taking a deep breath.

I will still finish out my Big Draw and Artober, but I will post those things later.

Wow. I think I feel the stress lifting already.

See you in a couple of days.

Flying Girl with Stars in her Eyes, or Dreams

Flying Girl with Stars in her Eyes, or Dreams

Kids refused their naps, but I wanted to get this posted even if I can't write.

Stay strong folks. Get creative.

Remember that nanowrimo is coming, so gird your writing loins and limber up those typing fingers. Log on, sign up, polish up those notes and whip those outlines into order.


Are you excited yet?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Two Flying Girls and A Warrior Girl in Space

Flying Girl in a Strange Land, or "Hey there what ya doin'?"
Golden Acrylic

I have no idea what this means. None. I know I'd been seeing circles and polka dots all day.. from the ripening grapefruits on the tree in my garden, to many spreads in the new Domino magazine that I just got. Also inspired by chalkboards and chalk and graphic numbers/letters. So I know where it comes from but have no idea what is going on. Maybe nothing.Flying Girl Made of Stars, or Constellation
writing: I still believe we are the heavens. Stars in our hot little lives fires. Stories in the Sky.
Golden Fluid Acrylics.

This was leftover paint from the first painting. Too much, couldn't waste it. Had time after number 1 was done while watching SNL. So I kept going. This is based on an old poem I wrote back after 9/11. Oh gosh. Do I have to go find it now and post it?

Oh, all right. I found it. Here it is. I think this is a rougher poem than the one I shared a couple days ago. The ideas have always captured me, but I've never really felt I got it in the poem... not the way I wanted to.
I've Been Searching These Empty Skies

I finally found the constellations
in Manhattan. On the riverside
skyline. Lights burning in windows, burning in hot little lives, fires,
"goddamn it you bitch!"

connecting the dots between the myths in parchment thin skin
walking around on Broadway, telling the stories brighter.

Big Bear, the Hunter. The Lost Little Girl.

This is a black sky
colder still night
glowing cigarette tip chilled
by the open sky
lips on a fevered neck damped
out by air waves
riverbreeze the peace
between molecules between
wake and dream
one breath
and the next between
breath and breath

and breath.

Stars fly from my mouth like

I am not alone.

Fall 2001

Goodness. I am slightly in awe of the way what I am working on now has roots in this poem. I even have a character in my novel whose nick name is "The Hunter." And her real name means "Star Maiden." Oh, yeah. And the working title is "Mythos." Curious.

Brainstorming my nanowrimo novel. Only a week to go!

When you're brainless and confused and you don't know what to do... do a mindmap/spiderweb and figure out what really is in those twisting and turning corridors of your head. Then you can follow different threads of the web and come up with new ideas or note down things that need to be addressed, or go deeper with plot development.

Alien Flora
10/25/08 The Big Draw #25
Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pens

Another way to get my head into the story. Drawing illustrations of some of the strange things I might find on my alien planet. Science Fiction is fun!

I wanted to not spend a lot of time blogging this weekend, but I'm finding I need my process.

I am watching the way I am gearing up for my novel. I can't start nanowrimo on November 1st all cold. It's like jumping into an icy pool. Over my head. Exhilarating, but shocking and possibly dangerous. I work my way up to it. Often in ways that are not visible. My brain starts casting out and about for bits and pieces to feed into my creativity. I struggle with not knowing what to do. I try old techniques that I have used in the past for my creative roadblocks.

Hopefully, when it is time to start going, I will be ready.

This is how I started doing my Flying Girl series, too. I talked about doing the 100 days of sacred art weeks before I really had anything to do. I thought about what it meant. Had discussions with people about it. Scanned blogs and the internet and magazines and life. Started a painting project with a "Hands" series that, really, when I think about it, just served as a warm-up. A dead end, but necessary. I was doing a prompt for Inspire Me Thursday when I think she came alive. And then, there I was in my 100 days.

My next challenge is actually to find a way to write my 50k words in November and still keep my painting going. Perhaps the real challenge is to find a working balance, so I don't burn out and stop writing in December, again. I wonder what it would be like to alternate a day of painting and a day of writing. Would that stave off the burnout?

Friday, October 24, 2008

Flying Girl Just Says "Pooh Pooh!" or Tigerness

Flying Girl Just Says "Pooh Pooh!" or Tigerness
Golden Fluid Acrylic

This painting was inspired by Madeline, written and illustrated by Ludwig Bemelmans, about our plucky little French girl who is not afraid of anything and loves to frighten Miss Clavel.

It took me FOREVER. First, I drew FG, then the tiger, and it was SO all wrong that I had to go into the kids' room after bedtime and risk waking them to get the illustration for reference. I'm glad I did, because I love that tiger, as you can see by my sketch and statement, below.
Tiger from Madeline
10/22/08 The Big Draw #22
Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pen

But even after I got my reference, I had to stop and take a break before I could go back with fresh eyes and figure out what to do with the background. Sometimes, when the figures/foreground are working and I don't want to mess them up, the whole painting gets harder to do. The Fear sets in. Oh, and this is such the good topic for today's post. The fear of the tiger, the fear of myself, the fear of messing up, the fear of being exposed as a fraud or as simply mediocre.

In the end, I just painted the background flat green, then added the yellow ground. Then changed the colors of FG's outfit, then all of a sudden, wanting to give the feeling of the trees/jungle in the background of the illustration, but not wanting the clutter of actual trees, I decided a swirl pattern would do. Only reminiscent of foliage, and in a color only a shade lighter than the flat green, although I did bring the scroll down into the yellow. I didn't want too much contrast, because that would draw attention away from the foreground, and I do so love the tiger and the proper, fearless grown up Madeline/FG in her gloves and envelope purse. She should have had a hat, too, but I think she really liked her kicky bob and decided to forgo the hat, probably horrifying Miss Clavel in the process.

But back to the fear. Did I go off topic?

For some reason, this FG really reminded me of a collage I did almost ten years ago. It was probably one of the first successes I had with collage and began my journey with mixed media.Tigerness
Mixed media
Jan 1999 (?)

There is a poem in that there collage, one about not being afraid of my own tigerness. I would post it for you, but I can't read it behind the paint. I thought I would go through my folders and find a copy and post that one, but I couldn't find it there, either. I think it is in my files in storage, way up in Brooklyn.

This poem is so hidden. I can't find it. I think I meant to hide it. I think that's why it is so layered with paint. I think I was afraid of it, or perhaps afraid that it was bad. It is ironic, that in a piece about not being afraid, I was hiding my words.

But while I was looking for that one little poem, I went through a bunch of others and came to the conclusion... I'm a poet!

Gosh. I haven't written poetry in so long. I think I have come to think that I am not good at it. But while I was reading my old words, without the weight of being so close to them, I actually gasped a couple of times. "Damn girl!" I told myself.

So, you know what? I am going to face one of my fears... the fear of being a public poet... and I am going to post a poem, even if it doesn't fit completely with the post or with where I am in my life right now. To top it off, that will achieve one of the things on my list of things to do before I turn 38 in less than a month.

So here's the one I'm picking. It's about fear, kind of, and it's short enough not to be annoying. If you're not into poetry, just skip it. :)

First Spark

The smudge of you
like unidentified smoke filling the house.
I wake up one night
hands grasping the bed.
what is this I feel?
Joy and fear leapfrog each other,
clang up and down my fire escape.
Alarms and thrills go off, flashing lights and bells pulse
through my veins.

My heart and hands, shudder and shake.
They are supposed to know better-- They are the fools
in big hats and rubber boots-- come to save the day?
Crash and burn, destroy my house, drown my art
Bumble and bump in the crazy mostly dark inside my head.

I fall on my ass in this suddenly upside down room
this suddenly un-safe place.
The night is full of this sudden fire
and I am struck dumb
in its unexpectedness.

1/01 (Oh what a year that was.)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Flying Girl Looks for the Wild Things, or Imaginations

Flying Girl Looks for the Wild Things, or Imaginations
Golden Liquid Acrylics, Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pens, Prismacolor Watercolor Pencils.

Last night, in the midst of painting the latest FG, I had to ask myself... "Is this the end of Flying Girl?" because, oh, my friends... it was NOT working out? I had to take a break for an hour or two before coming back and painting over the entire background sketch.

Let's just say that those wild things did not want to be found. They wanted to give FG space to fly, and then they hid behind the trees.

I got the idea for this painting while, again, reading bed time stories. This time, Where the Wild Things Are. I thought she would be dancing the wild rumpus, but when I drew it out, it just made me cringe. I don't know why.

Perhaps it's because as an adult, my monsters and fairies are all at a distance. It's not like when I was a child and mermaids swam with me at the shore, or elves lived in the flower blossoms and tall grass I walked through. Now, the fantasy hides in shadows, flits in the corner of my vision, and shows up, fully formed in books, movies and dreams.

Perhaps I, with so many worries and such long to do lists to deal with, have stopped paying attention to the magic of every day life, and so it hides behind the trees, ducking away when I look.

I think of these Wild Things, these imaginary friends, these beasts and characters as my inspiration. They are here, I believe. Maybe not in physical form, but here, nonetheless. And they hide from me, oh yes they do.

What? Am I kidding you? They hide from ME? Who is painting a new picture every night and planning a new novel, and drawing away and playing funtimes with the kids? They hide from me?

Yes. They do.

I pull my hair out sometimes trying to get them to come here. But don't take that as discouragement. It is proof that anyone can do it, if they put their minds to it. If I can do it, with my years of fallowness and my really low natural energy level and my chaotic life and my pushy children, you, too can do it. As long as you believe in yourself, and show up to the canvas/page/keyboard to do it.

Sometimes, the ideas come fast and furiously. And my pen is kept busy as I take notes and sketch out little thumbnail drawings and write out links and save to delicious and do as much as I can to capture the moment of inspiration. Sometimes such brilliant ideas come to me, I am sure they have legs of their own and will simply jump out of my head and dance around, but no. If I don't write those suckers down, they disappear. Sometimes my daily life feeds my inspiration and I am ready to paint when I sit down with my supplies. Sometimes my head is absolutely and irrevocably lonely, nothing alive in there at all, and I cast about in my notebooks and my surroundings and my subconscious for something, anything to paint. Sometimes I have a great idea when I sit down, but it revolts and runs away when I try to capture it in paint.

But I am not giving up. Even when I think the painting is going to die the slow death as I struggle with it, like last night. I don't give up and I take my daily paintings to completion, even if I don't love them. They are still vital. I take them as part of the process instead of beautiful work. I take them as a lesson about what I DON'T want to paint, and turn the next painting in another direction.

Oh, and I forgot about his one. Boredom. I get bored ALL THE TIME. I get sick of FG. And I take that opportunity to develop her in a different direction. Then I get excited again.

Don't forget Exhaustion. I am exhausted every night, but by dragging my butt to the show, I have turned my painting into a routine. I love routines. Forget about the exciting and glamorous artistic lifestyle. I really believe that the career of an artist is one of routine and showing up everyday. It's when the inspiration doesn't strike that you prove yourself to be a serious artist. Anyone can get high on flow and paint for hours, I think. The pain is doing it when you don't want to. Ugh. Just thinking about it makes me stressed. But now I've gotten to the point where if I don't paint every night, I don't know what to do with myself. The discomfort of feeling lost trumps the discomfort of not knowing what to paint.

When you folks come on here and see this crazy output of a painting a day, I am afraid that you think it takes something special and magical to do this. And it does... but it's the same special and magical qualities that you can have too. Yes, I have been painting for most of my life, but that does not signify. I have NEVER been this productive. I have never painted this much, even in my other productive periods. And not only does my history with art feed into this project, even more importantly, my history with living feeds into it. Everyone has their own history with living. Their own symbolism, their own tactics for difficult projects, their own stories to tell, their own abilities to focus, their own characters running around, Wild Things and fairies, waiting to be caught and turned into art.

Hand with Bracelet
The Big Draw #22

This drawing is me just showing up and not playing with my heart. I committed to the Big Draw in October, so I tossed this one off. I'd be surprised if it took me 5 minutes. And I think that's okay. Not everything has to be earth shattering. You can't win the game without showing up. You can't win the game without expecting some losses, right?

Pardon me for the sports metaphors. They are not my usual language, but I am coming to see some value in them for my own needs. Hopefully, it will help me as I tackle challenges and step up to the plate with projects that scare the bejeezus out of me.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Flying Girl Has Stayed Too Late at the Party, or Jump

Flying Girl Has Stayed Too Late at the Party, or Jump
Golden Fluid Acrylics

This painting comes from the Illustration Friday prompt, "Late." The first thing that popped into my head was the White Rabbit, oh my ears and whiskers, I'm late, I'm late. I think that was my HS yearbook quote. At the very least, it was the runner up. Then I thought, nah. And the second thought was "I'm Late," as in, hello baby, as in, infant, not hot tamale. And I thought, nah. Then I thought about what really felt late to me... that moment in the night when the sky feels softer, when the light begins to creep in, and the birds begin to sing, and you think, ohmygoodness, am I still out from the night before. You either feel like staying up and making chocolate chip cookies, or guilt ridden, as if you have wasted something precious.

These IF prompts are interesting, because they often take me out of my immediate life. Sometimes it becomes a conceptual thing. Sometimes it's about the past. Sometimes it could be a statement about society.

This painting is a combination of those things. Aside from being the person who always stays too long at social gatherings, because, I think, I don't know how to let go, this illustrates something I believe about change.

Sometimes we have to be smacked in the face that the world is changing for us to let go of the comfort of the past and dive into the unknown of the future. You see, the party is so much fun, why shouldn't it last forever? Except it can't. And the sun rises and you are reminded that shoes and martinis and glamour and excess are the way we burn out, if not given some balance with something deeper.

So here is the lotus, calling FG to jump out of her easy partiness, and leap towards the journey that is really hers.

Yes, I do think that's what's happening in America and the world, lately. Party is over. People didn't want to stop. Well, the universe gave us a kick in the butt, and now it's fall or fly in the new order of things.

I must be in a strange frame of mind, because my TBD piece is even weirder than my philosophizing.
10/20/08 The Big Draw #20
Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pens, Black Gesso. Gel Pen.

Oh, shoot. I forgot the words I was going to write in there. Oh well. I think it was going to say something like, "when the time comes, we must shed our confining skin," in white gel pen on the black gesso. Hopefully using less words than that.

It's pretty random, I think, but that's good, because it fits with a tag that I recieved from Karen at Beelieve. I have been asked to share six random things

1. I don't know how to drive. Yes, I am almost 38. It's lame. I always took the subways and never had a car in the years I lived in NYC and so never learned. I keep meaning to take care of that while I'm here in Florida, but other things keep cropping up.

2. I went to the High School of Music and Art, also known as Fiorello H. LaGuardia H.S. of Music and the Arts, which contains two schools... Music and Art and Performing Art (yes, the Fame school) and I received most of my formal art education in that school.

3. I am left handed and right brained, and I think these are two facts that contribute to my not being able to tell which is left and which is right unless I think about it very carefully. Also, addition, reading a clock, and the alphabet (despite working in a library for 8 years while in school).

4. I am afraid of heights, deep water, tsunamis, and zombies... but not irrationally so. I mean, I can get over it, but I definitely have to steel myself for it. Okay. The zombie thing is pretty irrational, I just can't help myself.

5. I have one tattoo, two piercings in each ear, one in my nose, and I used to have one in my eyebrow that I only took out last year. I would get more tattoos, but the first one took 7 years of planning and sketching and procrastination until I got it on the day I presented my Master's Thesis and earned my degree. I take these things very seriously. ;)

6. Uhmm. I'm running out of things since I am always saying random things. When I am in the city, one of my favorite places (among the museums and subways and parks and cafes) is a rooftop. Almost any rooftop. I love to sit up there and look at the sky and the buildings and feel the air and the peace in the chaos, and maybe flirt a little with my fear of heights... although I am very careful about getting close to the edge. And if I see someone else getting close to the edge, I will panic a bit. Interesting that the FG today is on a rooftop.

Okay, that was 6. Here are the rules.

Tag rules: Link to the person who tagged you. Post the rules on your blog. Write 6 random things about yourself. Tag 6 people at the end of your post and link to them. Let each person you have tagged know by leaving a comment on their blog. Let the tagger know when your entry is posted

And I will tag...
Marta, Kate, D'arcy, Marisa, Jena, Cliodhna

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Flying Girl in the Hat and the Cat, or Bedtime Story

Flying Girl in the Hat and the Cat, or Bedtime Story
Golden Fluid Acrylic.

I am a strange one. It has struck me anew as I have been painting my little Flying Girls. Why strange, you ask? Sometimes I feel very contradictory. How can a be an antimaterialist at the same time that I am fasion and style obsessed? How can I be both a spiritual searcher and a pop culture junkie? How can I be a perfectionist and an utter slob? How can I be an artistic snob, and yet fully welcoming of all artists at all stages of their development? Can I write literary fiction that is Science Fiction and still make it fun? Sometimes these contradictions don't seem to make sense to me... or rather, they kind of do, but I wonder how other people take them. I've been called both "fancy" and a hippie. Can you be a fancy hippie? I've been called too stubborn and wishy washy. I am both terribly anti-social and the one who won't ever shut up.

Sometimes I wonder if my Flying Girls can still journey towards enlightenment while dressed in fabulous chapeaus and ballet slippers.

I wonder these things and then move on. Because I am these things, so there is no paradox. We really are such a multitude inside of us, that there should be no worry about our differing and sometimes contradictory loves, habits and tastes. I'm sure if you were to make a character for each personality trait and put them in a room together, they would make one interesting party... even if they didn't always like each other. I think it's called "complexity" anyway. And if it isn't, that's a much nicer word than "weirdo."

This FG came to me while I was reading Dr. Suess' The Cat in the Hat to my kids at bedtime. Maybe I was on the stripes theme. It's interesting how often fashion is inspiring my painting choices, lately. But the lesson is there, too. The whimsy in the stripes, the little kitty being dragged along to what might very well be a party in that house around the corner.

Or perhaps they are going home to bed. Or perhaps they are off on their nighttime adventures into wonderland. Or maybe they are going to put on a ballet of Cat in the Hat and there is no bedtime involved at all. Degas' ballerinas were one of my first artistic influences. I had a print hanging in my bedroom when I was a little girl and loved it so very much.

Maybe this painting goes along with the contradictions. She is so many things and they can barely be pinned down. And there's no need to pin them down. Maybe she is simply falling/floating into dream land, and in her dreams she learns something about whimsy, childhood, dreams, happiness, dancing... and just enjoying life as it comes.

Alien Sketch
10/20/08 The Big Draw #20
Golden Acrylic and Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pens

Maybe her next stop will be in this faraway land. Don't ask me, I don't know where it came from. Perhaps I was influenced by the science fiction novel in my head. Oh I know I was, but the landscape started showing up before I made the connection.

See. Listen to your subconscious. Sometimes it pulls together two (or more) seemingly separate pieces of your identity into one.

Do you have some pieces of you rattling around in there that might like to go dancing together, like kitty cats and ballerinas? Or Science Fiction novels and the leftover gray paint from yesterday's FG? Fashion and zen?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Flying Girl Brings A Cupcake For You, or Treat

Flying Girl Brings A Cupcake For You, or Treat
10/2o/08 The Big Draw #20
Golden Acrylic and Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pens.

I've been exposed! I cheated. Well, I didn't really, but I thought I was. Yesterday's Stripey Flying Girl was not actually #18. Her cupcake brother was #18, and I drew her in the morning before I posted, which makes her #19. Why did I call her 18? I don't know.

I didn't do any painting last night, either. After getting home from my mom's house and the grocery store, where Ivy got sick and threw up in the cart, I didn't feel like painting and went to bed early. No drawing last night, so this morning, over my rebellion against FG, I painted... well, drew. Well, both. Painted the background, drew in the FG and painted in the white stripes.

I was planning to call her my TBD entry, but there's no need, or it doesn't matter. Goodness, I'm drawing! I'm drawing! And painting! It's all good.

But I was still taken with Stripey, although I didn't like her hair, so I thought I'd try her again. Without the conceptualizing and using less painting and more drawing, it went really fast and I finished only a little bit after the kids went to sleep. During Charlie Rose on PBS. I think it's funny that my creativity is fed by television.

Just like my early bedtime last night, FG wants you all to take care of yourself and give back to yourself. Eat right, (or don't eat so right, if you do too much of that...mmmm cupcakes) take a bath, go for a walk, have a yard saleing adventure or a night out. Whatever it is that feeds you, FG brings it to you, so that you can be rejuvenated and get back to the business of creativity. Feed the body, feed the soul, feed the creativity.

And don't forget to wear stripes.... I mean breathe.

Hey! I'm actually wearing stripes today. Total accident, I swear.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Flying Girl Sometimes Suffers from Anxiety, or Nervous

Flying Girl Sometimes Suffers from Anxiety, or Nervous
Golden Fluid Acrylic and Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pens.

This was the Inspire Me Thursday prompt, Nervous. I actually wanted to make her much less nervous, inside of a calm bubble, in that chaotic world. It didn't work out. Flying Girl is nervous, there is no way to pretend serenity.

Maybe that's okay. There is nothing wrong with the various states of being. No one is bad for feeling anxiety. Maybe if we can admit to our own anxiety (depression, neurosis, egotism, obsessiveness or whatever imbalance we have), then we can get closer to balance.

Striped Flying Girl Grins 10/18/08
The Big Draw #18
Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pens

For instance, this grinning flying girl fully accepts her own uglies. She embraces them and in the face of them, is beautiful. Watch out if she asks you to dance, though... you might be in for a wild ride.

Interestingly, Ivy was watching me while I drew her. If I went too near the stripes, to try to fix them or add a detail, she would cry, "noooo." Hm. I think she liked the stripes. I might be raising me a little baby fashionista. She does love her accessories.Jarett Monster and the Cupcake, 10/18/08
The Big Draw 18
Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pen.

This is Striped Flying Girl's little brother. He was actually the first striped monster to be drawn, before stripey FG. He was inspired by an old student of mine, who used to draw these monsters with barred teeth. Years later, I would find graffiti scattered about NYC of his monsters and I knew the Jarrett Monster had been there.

My Jarrett monster is not quite at ease with his uglies... as he hasn't quite learned to understand them, yet. But if you give him a cupcake, he will be very happy.

Sometimes all we need is a cupcake.

What is your cupcake of choice that helps you through your uglies? I think mine is fun tv. So You Think You Can Dance, or Heroes, or America's Next Top Model... escapist stuff. Maybe I shouldn't paint during those shows, multi tasking my night into anxiety, but just have a cupcake, and enjoy.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Just Neat-o

Okay, well this is just too cool for school and I had to post it. I found it on doobleh-vay and had to try it out on a self portrait that I thought was a loss. I guess it's not a loss.

Just plug in your photo and voila.

Tricks, and a Little Inspiration

And so... the Halloween festivities continue, as treats turn to tricks and ghosts dance about the courtyard. An eerie music plays as the sun goes down and other guests come out of the jungle...

Magnus Otto de Fluegelhorn, 10/17/08
The Big Draw #17
Chalk on slate paving stone.

Here we have Magnus Otto de Fluegelhorn. Carrying his favorite trick, a ray gun.
Gustave Machanado E Pluribus Consuelo 10/17/08
The Big Draw #17
Chalk on slate paving stone.

And here, dancing with one of the guests of honor, Ivy, we have Gustave Machanado E Pluribus Consuelo. He is borrowing Magnus' ray gun and pulling his pants up to his chin, which makes him slobber quite horribly. Please don't mention it, he gets testy when people mention it. Thus the ray gun. You may find yourself de-atomizing.
Sulgie, 10/17/08
The Big Draw #17
Chalk on cement paving stone.

This is Sulgie. He doesn't talk much. But he does growl. And run around, waving his many arms about. Watch out for him. He is very contagious. If you spend too much time with him, you might run about growling, waving your pitiful few arms about your head, too.

Uh oh, Gabriel. Looks like it's too late for you. You've contracted the dread Sulgie Monster disease. Whatever shall we do? Even Uncle Spooky heard about your problems and decided to stop by to commiserate. He contracted Sulgie Monster Flu years ago and has never been the same since. (Naturally, he didn't frighten monster Gabriel, but Ivy did show signs of Bunniness.)

Luckily, there's a spirit who makes his home in our house. Generally, he goes about in the guise of a black cat and doesn't bother much with us humans, but around Halloween time, his powers manifest and he deigns to interfere in the ways of mere mortals. We only know his mundane name, Pooty Tat, but he, in his nameless gelical ways, chased off the evil spirits of the Sulgie Flu, and both Gabriel and Uncle Spooky... who will now go about as just plain "uncle," are resting peacefully, free from Sulgie Flu.

As a note to Flying Girl Goes to the Party, or Big Night, I wanted to show you my inspiration. I actually had many ideas for inspiration for this painting, knowing as I did that it would be posted on the Halloween Party night, but the day of, I found this magazine page and knew this is what I wanted to do. I wish I had noted what this page was about, or even which magazine it came from. I believe it is the inspiration of a famous designer, but I don't remember who. Gaultier? Yves St Laurent? I don't know. I remember it was a man, and it's possible the dashing man next to my harlequin is him as a young man. Does anyone know who he might be? Or do you recognize the layout, even the magazine? I really need to keep track of this stuff.

I'm sorry that I didn't get to do my usual narrative with my painting, but my mom was here to take us on a small jaunt, and I wanted to get something out before the end of the day. It's the Halloween party, you know. Check it out on A Fanciful Twist and look at her blog roll for the attendees. Or, heck, do a post of your own Halloween Party and just jump in.

That's what Flying Girl is doing, you know. No longer being trapped by her own secret hermitness. No wall flower is she, as long as she's behind her mask. But any way, she's finally decided she wants to play, instead of sitting on the side lines.

But what key is that in her hand?

What lock is waiting for her?

Flying Girl Goes to the Party, or Big Night

Flying Girl Goes to the Party, or Big Night, 10/17
Golden Fluid Acrylic, Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pens

She's off to the party. People to see. Mysteries to ponder. Steps to dance.

Behind the mask, she can show the truth.

Beware the words that trip from her tongue, tonight. They may uncover reality. Or spin a tale of dreams.
What is in that cup? What an ominous crystal glass, raised to the sky.
Children go on a Halloween treasure hunt.
And find treats in strange places.
Off in search of more treats... or is it tricks they are hunting?

Stay tuned for the continued festivities. Or head on over to A Fanciful Twist for the rest of the revelers.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Flying Girl in Bohemia, or La Gitana

Flying Girl in Bohemia, or La Gitana 10/16/08
Golden Fluid Acrylic

I'd been wanting to paint a gypsy flying girl for a while, a kind of reference to a painting I did a long time ago, but I could never find a way in. Then I followed a link somewhere and ended up at a wikipedia reference of bohemian. And there was the way in. Aside from the description of a bohemian being kind of embarrassingly like my lifestyle, the Renoir painting of The Bohemian let me into the picture.The striped skirt and white peasant blouse, the long coils of hair. In the end, I am not completely satisfied. I think the more realistic background does not mix very well with the more conceptual figure, and the colors don't harmonize quite well. And maybe I would like to try the black hair, although I chose the brown to echo the stripes. Maybe she belongs in a different setting. I might try a gypsy again. Maybe this is the wrong project for the gypsy, maybe she belongs in a different series.

I don't know. I'm looking at painting in a different light now, though. I don't know if it's the month long Flying Girl project (which, I think I've actually achieved if I count up the days), or if it's my growth as a person where I have learned that valuable ideas don't go away but keep returning, but each painting is a part of a process. Even if the individual painting is a not quite success, what we learn from them might be more valuable. Sometimes the failure painting is important for the step to the next project.

It is hard to know where these little steps are going. Maybe that's the connection to the Gitana gypsy girl and the tarot card in her hand. The small hint of guidance, a little bit of an oracle to give us guidance on the next step in our journey.I'm Tired Hand, 10/16/08
The Big Draw #16
Prismacolor Watercolor Pencil

Self explanatory, I would like to say, but if this post is a bit disjointed or confusing, let's just say that the sleep schedule, in fact my whole daily schedule got out of whack today. I decided to switch up my naptime creativity and worked on my novel outline for an hour and a half right after putting the kids down. Great idea, I managed three pages and reviewed some old work BUT the boy rejected a nap, and stayed playing in his room, and then woke up the girl and now they are both up and I am trying to write this while they watch Beauty and the Beast. The girl, in particular is cranky and crying and I'm sure the boy will pass out early, which means my plans for my Halloween Party evening will go right out the window.

A routine is all well and good, but I think we have to remember that life is not always routine and sometimes things go off in their own direction. I'm going to just take it as it comes, and if I'm too exhausted to carve pumpkins tonight, or the boy needs an early bedtime, well, so be it. It's okay.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Flying Girl and Things To Do, or Possibilities

Flying Girl and Things To Do, or Possibilities, 10/15/08
Golden Fluid Acrylics

What does a breakthrough feel like when you are in the middle of it?

Something like this.

Well, maybe not like this painting. She seems very together and ordered and focused. Her no-nonsense camel-colored dress, her jaunty hat, her stompin' boots. Still not sure if that thing in her hand is a book or a purse. Whatever it is, it's carrying her plans and ideas. And the brushes in her other ideas are there for her to paint the new ones as they come.

Me, I feel a little confused, a little overwhelmed, a little unsure as to how all my plans will get done. Never quite sure which opportunities are the best to chase. And tired, too. I've been going non stop, until I end up sinking into laziness, then feeling guilty about it.

Maybe I painted this FG to help focus my own intentions. A kind of meditation, if you will.

As an interesting note on process, in the sketch, the clouds started out as flowers. This was supposed to be the enchanted forest, with tiny houses below the blossoms. I saw it in pastels, but when the sketch was complete, I was unsatisfied with the flowers... they were too trite, and being very late, it was too dark and exhausting to go out into the wilds (or city streets) of Florida to find a live reference. So I went with the clouds. Actually, the clouds in Florida are quite spectacular, and I actually shot a photo recently that looks very close to these clouds. It was after a brief, violent rain storm. Then the rain cleared, and there was this heart stopping cloudscape/sunset.

Maybe this FG is after the violent rain storm (of my life right now) and when it clears, the confusion and tempest will be gone, leaving the clarity and beauty of a sky washed clean. Ojala.

Hand and House, 10/15/08
The Big Draw #15
Prismacolor Watercolor Pencils

My sketch is another hand. What these hands mean is I didn't draw during the day, or I didn't finish, or I didn't like the drawing or I don't want to share it yet because I drew ideas for FGs that are still in the works. So after I paint, I realize that I still have to draw, and all I have there for a model is my hands.

This one was done on the initial sketch for FG Has Things To Do.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Flying Girl and the Night of Brooklyn Poetry, or Blackout

Flying Girl and the Night of Brooklyn Poetry, or Blackout 10/14/08
Golden Fluid Acrylic

When the lights went out that summer night, we first thought of the previous September, a day of fear and fire. Then, some people must have thought of the black out of 77, famous for riots and danger. But that night, when the lights went out, the stars came out.

People sat on their stoops and welcomed neighbors. People pooled their freezers and had cookouts in their back gardens, inviting the whole building. People sat on fire escapes and wrote poetry by candle light. People climbed to roof tops and watched the stars. People walked across a whole city to sleep on friends' sofas when they could walk no more. People too walks of camaraderie around the neighborhood, listening to updates on transistor radios as they passed. People sang songs and danced dances and laughed laughs of peace.

No disaster.

Sometimes we need to turn off the lights to see the light inside. Sometime we need be lost to find our path. Sometimes we need to be lonely to find ourselves. Sometimes we need to lose our financial security to learn what is really worth giving our lives to.

No disaster.

Hand and Paint, 10/14 11:30 pm
The Big Draw #14
Pen, Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pens

words say:
I have always loved when
the paint stains cover my
hands. It makes me feel like
there is proof of my being an artist.
Never mind the paintings, it's the paint
on my skin that makes me feel real.

I love this drawing for some reason.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Flying Girl Finds Her Superpowers and They Are Plain Old Her, or Hero

Flying Girl Finds Her Superpowers and They Are Plain Old Her, or Hero 10/13
Golden Fluid Acrylics.

Yesterday I didn't want to paint. I was tired. Tired of always having to find something weighty and philosophical to paint about. Tired of needing to be deep. Tired of working.

However, I did not want to not paint, because, I think, it makes me feel good. At least once I've passed that ugh-I-hate-this phase. Also, it has become part of my routine now, and if I didn't write, I might just have sat there, feeling as if my hands were empty and I was missing something.

So, instead of moaning or wracking my brain for something challenging, I went simple and fun. Maybe it's something I need to do every couple of weeks... remind myself to lighten up and have fun.

So I thought... Superhero! Complete with cape in that classic old comic book style. I was thinking the bright red and blue thing, but that is maybe my least favorite color scheme. So then I thought "The Dark Knight" and the skyline of Metropolis on a cloudy night, and I thought... monochrome! Woohoo! A SuperFlyingGirl is born.

And that is all. Sometimes we don't have to stretch our abilities to find the super. Sometimes we are super just the way we are. No need for otherworldly powers or being better than anyone or everyone else. Just be Us. Yay Us.
The Purple Hulkette and PooPoo Man, 10/13/08
The Big Draw #13
Pen, Gel Pens

writing: The Purple Hulkette. You won't like me when I'm angry.
Poo Poo Man. I fart in your general direction.

These are my sidekicks. Or are they my nemeses? Don't know.

By the way, that is G's real superhero. He made it up. He gave him fart power. He runs around making fart noises and pointing them in your general direction. I am not making it up. I did make Ivy's up. Although it's based in baby tantrum land. Woe be to the mommy who denies Purple Girl what she wants.

I'm going to try to be short with this post, because a) I think I post too long, and b) I need to fit writing into my short schedule and am overwhelmed as it is.

After looking at my schedule yesterday, I have come to some conclusions. I really can't cut housework down any farther than I already have. The internet must be curtailed, so if I am not around as much for the next 6weeks or so, that is why. I still would like to continue posting and commenting when I can, but the browsing must go kaput. I'd also still like to keep painting during November. I don't know if it's possible to do it everyday when I am also writing 2000 words or so everyday, too. It will be a challenge.

And I am gearing up for it. In fact, I'm going to go and work on my nanowrimo novel outline right now.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Flying Girl and the Daily Bread, or Mott and Prince Streets

Flying Girl and the Daily Bread, or Mott and Prince Streets
Golden Fluid Acrylic, Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pens

Hello Flying Girl. I see you are going about your errands today. That looks like a tasty loaf of bread and is that a latte I see you drinking? I love your jaunty beret and scarf. That is a darling dress you are wearing, with it's cozy wool knit and black buttons. I especially like the pleated cuffs and hem. And I must admit, dear Flying Girl, I miss wearing heels. Not even heeled boots, as you wear, are very functional when you are chasing toddlers and stopping tantrums and climbing stairs carrying squirming children. Neither are dashing red hoops that little children would like to yank. And never mind the fact that I am in a place without an autumn and your outfit would make me sweat like mid summer.

How is your day of errands going? I know that place where you fly. I used to live around the corner. The brick wall of the old church garden really does slope like that. And those trees in the church yard really do turn that fantastically brilliant shade of yellow/orange. Perhaps my nostalgia will fly away with you as you continue on in your errands. Are you going to the bookstore to read magazines? Perhaps you're going to sit in a cafe in Greenwich Village, stare out the window at passersby and write in your journal. Maybe you're going to meet friends for brunch, and you're bringing the bread and cheese and fruit.

Fly off, Flying Girl. I know you are busy I am too.
Doodle, The Big Draw #12
Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pens

This is a doodle I made while I was waiting for FG's paint to dry. There are many layers, especially in the trees... in part because she was supposed to be riding a bicycle, which, I realize, I don't know how to draw. I tried, using a reference even, but she did not come out right at all, and rather than struggling all night, since I do need to sleep, I decided to scrap the bike and keep her flying, as usual. The idea is there anyway. And I could focus on her style. Style is very important in Fall. You finally get to put away the flip flops and tank tops and take out the sweaters and jackets, boots and scarves. A little bit of my fashion dreaming, this is. And A little bit of my memory dreaming. Wishing, perhaps, that this was what my errands looked like now.

My daily schedule is more like this.

Wake up when the boy comes into my room.
Try to get him to leave me alone and play or read for a little while so I can wake up without blurry eyes and tripping over my own two feet with a head full of sleep dust.
Go get Ivy out of her crib and try to get them both to stay in the room while I go to the bathroom to dress and freshen up.
Take everyone downstairs for coffee or milk, cheerios and fruit.
Eat breakfast while the kids watch PBS (they love Sid the Science Kid) and I check my email and google reader.
Play with kids, watch Sesame Street, make their lunch.
Maybe a picnic, maybe an activity before or after lunch or during. Maybe in the garden, maybe in the family room.
Put kids to nap.
Shower (maybe)
Make myself lunch and eat while checking googlereader and/or blog comments.
Take yesterday's paintings out to the porch to photograph
Upload photos while picking up toys from the family room.
Upload photos to blog while sweeping and/or cleaning kitchen
Write blog entry, praying kids stay asleep until I finish.
When kids get up, play or activity or draw or garden or whatever.
Make dinner (usually while they are either in the garden or watching pbs/movie.
Have dinner.
Play in garden or family room while drinking bedtime milk and maybe a cookie.
Bath, book bedtime routine at which point it's about 7:45 and I
Go back downstairs to clean up whatever mess has been made.
Have a heath klondike bar, feeling like I need it like a shot of whiskey or something.
Check email, blogreader, comments while watching tv.
Sketch out FG while watching tv.
Set up on the couch with my bag of artsupplies
(This is them right here. Paints in the beach bag, sketch book, markers in a makeup bag. Pencils in their tin. Brushes in a placemat holder.)
Paint FG while watching primetime tv and maybe into the syndicated sitcoms.
Decompress for a few minutes to many minutes.
Clean up paints, brushes. Put everything back in the bag.
Turn off lights and close the door so the opinionated cat doesn't do any leavings of "opinions" on the couch throw.
Head up stairs, get ready for bed.
Check on kids, put boy back in bed since he likes to sleep on the floor.
Go to bed.
Read a few pages/chapters in whatever book I'm reading.
Turn off light.
Punch pillows to get comfortable, pull blankets up.
Fall asleep until it starts all over again.

Anyone want to know how I am productive as I am? This is how. Too much tv, too much coffee, multitasking, a pretty set schedule, and not much socializing. The days are occasionally interrupted by other things, but this is, by and large, my day. Now that I think about it, I need to find a place in that day to fit in writing. It really needs to be there for me, but Nanowrimo is coming, and it won't happen unless I build it in to my schedule.

Do you have a routine that helps you be creative?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Flying Girl Out Beyond Ideas, or Field

Flying Girl Out Beyond Ideas, or Field
Golden Fluid Acrylics. Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pens, Prismacolor Watercolor Pencils

Out beyond ideas
of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field.

I’ll meet you there.

When the soul lies down
in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.

Ideas, language
- even the phrase “each other” -
do not make any sense.


This painting was inspired by the above poem, the prompt for InspireMeThursday this week. I think it's a pretty literal interpretation of the poem, actually and not much is needed for interpretation.

But it was not easy to paint. I wanted it to feel kind of dreamy, because it is about a concept, not about an actuality, but I also didn't want it to be too vague. Plus, I had issues with the male figure. For a while, it just looked like a chalk outline at a murder scene. Not really the idea I was going for. And of course, a little house was added in last. I have houses on the brain, I guess. It asked to be put there, though. When I was almost done, that blank hill wanted a house, so I obliged.

Here, FG is wearing a white sundress and leather wrap sandals and red beads. I wonder if the way FG is dressing up is a reflection of my returning attention to style? I don't dress like that, it's far too unpractical with peanut butter smeared hands about, but I wouldn't mind playing with clothes and shoes and jewelry again. I think I am beginning to. I guess FG is too. It makes her less conceptual, I think, and more real. That's not a bad thing. But I'm not bound to the idea of fashion Flying Girl. Sometimes it's okay to just be a shadow, or an aura, and not wear a flower in your hair.

Flying Girl in the Tree Tops, or Silhouette
The Big Draw #11
Black Pen, Golden Fluid Acrylics

And here she is, back to a shadow. I like this one. I have always loved silhouettes, the way branches or lamp posts or buildings are shadowed against a sky. This drawing is a conglomeration of many ideas. First of all, the background is from days ago, when I had mixed too much paint for another FG and didn't want to waste it, because I'm cheap... uh, thrifty. So I covered a blank page with what was left, figuring I could come back and fill it in. Even though I often don't come back to an old page in my journal. I am always going forward.

But then, my kids were watching the Disney version of Robin Hood (with the foxes as Robin and Maid Marian) and for one shot, they were in the woods, and all you could see was this pattern of silhouetted leaves behind them. I gasped. How lovely. And filed the idea away in my brain for a time when I needed something to do. Then, as I was flipping around in my journal, there was my sky, painted already for my branches to be outlined against, and I just started drawing.

It's kind of shaky and smudgy. I did most of it while watching the kids, so I was often interrupted and sometimes being climbed upon. My hand picked up the wet ink and transferred it to the clean page. The lines wiggled about and there often spaces where there shouldn't be.

But you know what? That imperfection really goes with who I am. Not only am I a recovering perfectionist who needs to remember that nothing is perfect and good enough is often just dandy, but I also really like the lived in and loved in look. I like battered things. Things thrown out to be salvaged by someone else. Things bent and aged with finger prints. Not fixer uppers, things with character and personality.

This is a drawing that could not have been done by Disney's studios. Too messy. It could not have been done by a computer. This is done by an imperfect hand with much else to do. If I left a fingerprint on it, it's because it is who I am.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...