Thursday, April 30, 2009

"remember" says the Girl in the Wings

"remember" says the Girl in the Wings
ACEO, acrylic on paper 2.5"x3.5"

This painting comes from the Illustration Friday prompt "theater".

Actually, there's more to it. I have a much larger work... or two not so much larger works... that really give the frame for this piece. (Not sure how much my life supports larger works. I may have to go a little smaller. Not enough time or focus to detail the bigger things.)

The image that you can't see shows a couple in formal dress dancing a waltz on stage. It looks like the perfect image of love, but beneath the stage, are shadowy figures who are doing all the work that makes the performers look effortless.

That's my idea here of theater. The appearance, the show, what everybody sees on the outside, and how it is supported by creatures dressed in black, scuttling around, doing the dirty work, getting angry and anxious and finding the words to say, and keeping the energy going. Who prompts the beautiful lovers when they have lost their words of love?

This girl does. She likes the shadows and she can't dance, but she will remind you where you are going next... because she knows where you came from.

and if you have any inspiration for my next works, leave a comment on this post, and you might win a print of the painting you inspire.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Gold Fish Pond

The Goldfish Pond
Ttv (through the viewfinder) casio exilm through Duaflex II

You'll have to excuse me folks, I am in a huge funk.

This is despite the fact that some good things are happening. The publishing of today's BlissChick interview (the Rowena of that interview has much more wisdom than the Rowena of this post, so go see what she has to say instead of me). The recent publishing of my Pecannoot interview (seriously, funk here, go there). Even hitting my 500th post and having a subsequent giveaway. These are good things.

And yet, life is conspiring in a way to make it really hard to be positive.

I am trying, though. I am trying.

As evidence, my photo above.

See the beautiful feast of flowers that are blooming in the muck of our little goldfish pond? Despite the showers of dirt and pebbles and who knows what that my littles have been dumping in there for a year, they are lush and gorgeous.

Is there a metaphor here? Out of the muck of the swamp(ish) the beauty is born.

Waiting for those blossoms, here.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

She Remembers the Fire Inside

She Remembers the Fire Inside
Acrylic on Paper, 8"x10"

This painting is from the Thursday Sweet Treat prompt, "the warmth of the fire inside."

I know it's odd that it isn't all warm shades. You think warmth and fire and you think red and yellow and orange. But I was laying in bed staring at the shadows on the ceiling, and all of a sudden saw patterns of peach and blue. It reminded me of paisley or chandeliers.

And then I thought it also reminded me of reflections, of smoke, and said to myself, there's the prompt!

I like also how the fire is hidden in the subtlety of the colors. There's a pale fire, too. A white fire is hotter than the red one. And I like the veneer of sophistication here, but the hint that there's something burning inside.

I don't know how much meaning this painting has in my life... it kind of looks like it has nothing to do with my life, although I usually take lessons from whatever I've learned or experienced lately. It almost seems like I am making up a life, a hollywood life of glamor.

Eh, whatever the meaning, I still think it's pretty. And everything doesn't always have to be meaningful.

Monday, April 27, 2009

she remembers the sunsets and (unrelated) The Superfantabulous Inspire Me Winning Prompt Giveaway!

she remembers the sunsets
8"x10" Acrylic on Paper

Hello from a new land.

I seem to be going someplace, and the map is not clear. I know this painting was inspired by the colors turquoise and red. And the ideas of beach and portrait.

My Flying Girls have been continuing their journey for most of six months. Maybe longer. The format has allowed me to explore many things, both in meaning and in technique.

But other things seem to want to get out right now.

What a mystery.

Where do they come from? What makes them come when they do?

Sometimes I am amazed that something that did not exist yesterday is now a fully formed... something.

Is life like that too? Do things work under the surface unseen by us, only to pop up when they are ready and become real living (or seemingly living) things?

Let me tell you another thing that is new:

This is my 500th post! All those words! All those days! All those journeys! I just kept going step by step and then here I am, 500 posts later and I am in a totally different place than I was when I first started. Physically, mentally, creatively.

It kind of snuck up on me. I knew it was coming but it snuck up on me all the same.

Now here I am, and I am not quite sure where I am. Well. I'm RIGHT HERE, but what I mean is, I'm not quite sure what comes next.

So in honor of my befuddlement, I am offering a giveaway!

Of what?

I don't know!

That's where you come in.

The Superfantabulous Inspire Me Winning Prompt Giveaway!

To enter the giveaway, leave a comment here on this post, and in your comment, leave a prompt for me to use to create a new painting. You can make it a quote or a word or phrase, another image, a challenge, a technique, a social issue or whatever you think might get those juices flowing. Use your creativity to stoke my creativity. Haha. This is a ridiculous giveaway, but it's mine and I choose to be ridiculous.

I will paint a picture from the winning prompt and you will receive a limited edition print of that painting.

Bonus points if your prompt helps me find the next direction for my work. (A surprise secret additional gift. [No I have no idea what that would be, either.])

Also leave your name and a way to get in contact with you, because otherwise, how do I get it to you?

I will keep this giveaway open until Midnight, New York time, Sunday, May 3.

Let the inspiration races begin!

she remembers the sunsets is for sale as a print here

Turning the Lens Around A Bit

Portrait of Mama
by Ivy, my 2 year old daughter who still has to grasp some of the fine points of aiming and focusing.

Happy new week, everybody.

I'm so excited. Jess Gonacha over at Pecannoot has posted an interview with me.

I am very proud to be a part of her interview series and have loved all the previous interviews. Pecannoot is about abundance and productivity and art and all sorts of wonderful positive things. Such a great thing to be focusing on the yesses in the world today instead of all the nononos.

Check out my interview and stay to see what other wonderful things are in the Pecannoot world, as well as Jess's etsy, blog, and website.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Flying Girl and the Soul Moving, or He Says It's Ten Mile River

Flying Girl and the Soul Moving, or He Says It's Ten Mile River
Mixed Media, acrylic and collage on paper, 7"x10"

When you do the things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.

I've been seeing Rumi quotes all over the internet. This one just happens to match this picture.

I did this for a Thursday Sweet Treat Prompt-- the landscape of the soul. Really, that's what all the Flying Girls are. They are a dream moving through that landscape. Sometimes it's dark, sometimes it's light, sometimes it's urban, sometimes rural. Sometimes it's completely make believe or sometimes it's a place I clearly remember.

This one was kind of based on some dreams that I have sometimes, of floating down the river. This river here is made of words, if you can see them. Cut out of a book that I altered many years ago. In my dream, the river is usually the Hudson, but when S saw this painting, he said it was Ten Mile River, which I think is in California. It's a place I've never been, but he insisted I put Ten Mile River into the title.

I don't know. Is the landscape of the soul a place I've never seen? Maybe there are connections all throughout life that we don't understand. Maybe important things resonate.

Sometimes I think about places I've never been that someday I'll call home. They are strange now, but when I look back, they will feel very right. Journeys are like that. They change who you are.

(I don't know what I'm saying here, but I know it's right.)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

It Lets The Light Come In

Garden at Sun Down

Change is hard.

Maybe some of you have a fun time when the world is all topsy turvy. To you I say... how do you do it?

But still.

I understand something about hard times. It's taken me 38 years to get there, but there is a bit of understanding.

What I understand is that if you make your way through it, you get to new places, where the light shines brighter and the sun is warmer.

Oh, it's trite alright. It's always darkest before the dawn. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Yadda yadda. But I've learned it from the inside out.

I begin to believe.

The tough times are still tough, but they don't trap me as much as they used to. Or if they do, it doesn't last as long.

I understand. I see. I start looking for the light when it feels like things can't get any darker.

And I start looking for the new, too.

When things start feeling like they don't fit quite right. When my skin is a bit too tight and uncomfortable, I start looking for that new path. A detour maybe. I start remembering that just because I set myself on this path does not mean I am chained to it.

Things change. They always change. We might fight it, but that detour that takes us from our comfortable is sometimes necessary to get us to where we really need to go.

Oh pfiffle pfaffle. Rowena, what the heck are you talking about?

I don't really know.

I'll tell you when I figure it out.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

It's a Question of Art... or Maybe it's a Question of Blogging

Girl Who Is Worth It, Girl of the Silver Seas, Girl of the Dawn
Three ACEOS, mixed media acrylic paintings on 140lb watercolor paper, 2.5"x3.5"

Lately, I have been thinking about what purpose art serves in my life.

I mean, I paint a lot, as you have seen. But the question remains, why am I doing it?

Art for me has always been an outlet. Feelings, thoughts, experiences, meaning, understanding. It's been a way to pass the time when there was nothing else to do. It's been a way to document where I have been and what I have seen. It's also been a tactile pleasure, the colors, the feel of pen or pencil or brush on paper. It's also been a thrill. It's just fun to make something out of nothing, to create something pretty or strong. (as a side note, I have also used writing to do all these things.)

Art has never been linked to commerce for me before. Now I have my shop, and I feel like I am painting things just for the shop. Well not quite, but in a way, I feel that the shop legitimizes something that was just "fun."

It's messing with my head a bit. Now that it's "work" I've drained a lot of the "fun" out of it... but it's not that the experience is different, just my reading of it. I think because if it isn't "fun", then it must be "work", and if it's "work" then it must be "worth it". Here lies the strange logic of my value system-- the same one that has always said my art/I wasn't worth monetary remuneration.

Hey, I know it's screwy. I'm working on changing my attitudes towards self worth and money and abundance. It's the time for it, what with the recession and underemployment and SAHMing. I think I will come out of the other side of these trouble with a new world view, a new self view and a lot more abundance. If I keep working on it. Which I guess I am... in part with my painting. Hello Flying Girl on her Journey. Hello Goddess Girls and their spirits being drawn into the world. (What's her name, "Girl Who is Worth It?")

This comes back to my art again. What is it? To tell you the truth, if I were serious about entering the art world-- you know, "The Art World" with gallery representation and critical acclaim, I think I would be painting something different. Landscapes or abstracts or portraits, and probably much larger and canvas. I think I wouldn't have my girls on their journeys. These are stories. These are spirituality. These are lessons. I'm not really going in the traditional art world direction.

Is it a bad idea for me to put out there what my art means to me, and hopefully what it means to my life? I mean, I wouldn't mind gallery representation if it happened, but right now, my art is ABOUT the lesson. It's about creativity and wholeness and how everyone can use art to find themselves and move forward in their path.

In a way, while I love my paintings, what I am doing is not really "about" the product. It is about the process. The process of creating me. The process of exploring the creative journey. Ultimately, I know that I want to be even more explicit and write a book about creativity and transformation, for everyone.

You see, another important part of my creativity right now is actually you.

If it were all about me, I probably wouldn't still be painting with the frequency that I am. When I paint, I think about you-- my readers, my friends. I think about the meaning, not only to me, but what it all can mean to you.

So here's my question for you:
What would you like in these posts? How can I help or inspire you in your own creativity and understanding? Do you want more Flying Girls and analysis? Do you want to hear about the physical process of creation, how the paint goes down, how decisions are made about what to paint? Do you want discussions of how to further your own creativity? Breaking through blocks and developing your voice? Do you want exercises or prompts? I am a teacher and I love to do it, so this is no problem for me. Or are we talking empowerment here? Do we want discussions about what it means to be human, a woman, a mom, an artist, a child? Do you want more personal stories? Do you want to hear mommyblogger stuff? More kid activities? Should I be taking more photos of my life with my little point and shoot? More art, less talk? More talk less art? Contests? Giveaways? Interviews with other artists/writers/bloggers?

Whatever you are interested in. I'd like to hear. Even if I didn't mention it, give me a shout and tell me. Leave a comment or email me or twitter me or, hey! even join my Facebook fan page... which is still in development. I can't believe I have a "fan" page, but hey, it's the biz.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Flying Girl Between Heaven and Earth, or (Im)Possible

Flying Girl Between Heaven and Earth, or (Im)Possible
Golden Fluid Acrylics on Paper 7"x10"

Here is my question here: in going for our dreams, do we sometimes fail to realize that we already have happiness right where we are?

While shooting for the moon, do we not recognize the day to day, the wonder, the fulfillment, the joy?

Maybe the moon really is impossible. Maybe it is just impossible right now in this moment. Maybe if we climb some trees, glowing with the blossoms of new Spring, we will find our path to the moon.

I mean, it is already a miracle to be able to fly. Should we revel in that miracle, instead of ignoring it for the dream of space flight?

Oh yeah, this is a prompt for Illustration Friday (Impossible)

Speaking of Possible/Impossible and Illustration Friday, they made me Pick of the Week this week, so Moon Rabbit is up there all week. Wow. I never thought that would happen. Thank you Penelope and Brianna.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Girl of Yes

Girl of Yes
Golden Fluid Acrylic, watercolor pencil, marker on paper, 3.5x2.5" ACEO

This is a girl of abundance. She is surrounded with symbols of abundance, the green of the lush foliage, the bronze of the curtains and gold coins as a corona.

In her hand is an empty bowl.

I believe that in order to receive, one must have an openness, and emptiness... a nothing waiting to be filled.

I do not think I have mastered this nothingness, this letting go. It is very hard to release what you have been holding onto. It is hard to let go when you feel there is a lack, and you must hang on to whatever you can, because if you let go, you will have nothing. It's hard to trust that life moves on, that the universe provides, that you can actually work for and receive those dreams you have been holding onto for so long... particularly if you let them go.

Paradox? You can have your dreams by letting them go?

I think it's about having what IS, what actually is. And not holding on to tightly to that "what is," either, but cupping it loosely, so that it is free to transform into what it is supposed to be, not what you think it should be.

Only then can you be filled with true abundance.

Does this make sense or am I talking out of my, uhm...emptiness?

I painted this in order to focus myself on abundance, because I could use some of that. You could focus on it too, if you wanted to buy her. ;)

What do you think abundance is? What do you do to receive this abundance?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Flying Girl and Moon Rabbit Take Off, or Fleeting

Flying Girl and Moon Rabbit Take Off, or Fleeting
Golden Fluid Acrylic on Watercolor Paper, 7"x10"

Inspired by Illustration Friday's prompt, "fleeting" and my 2 year old daughters statement that I needed to add a moon to the rabbit and girl.

Because childhood is fleeting. Because whimsy is fleeting. The phases of the moon are fleeting. Home is fleeting. Balance is fleeting. Struggle is fleeting. Joy is fleeting. Sorrow is fleeting. Youth is fleeting. Time is fleeting. I am fleeting, you are fleeting. Everything around us is just a moment.

The only thing is now.

You can get the print of this on etsy.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Flying Girl Remembers Her Dreams, or Night Blooming

Flying Girl Remembers Her Dreams, or Night Blooming
Golden Fluid Acrylics on watercolor paper, 7"x10"

Here's one of the Flying Girls I've been struggling with. I think she's found her way. I'm hoping this means that I will be able to move forward with other Flying Girls, and that I have broken through the difficulties I was having. But I don't know if it's going to work like that.

I'm still tossing around a million and one thoughts, ideas, projects, worries, plans, tasks, responsibilities, deadlines. I don't know if there's room in all that for Dreams, or Night Blooming.

But maybe I need to remember what this girl remembers. And remember that there are dreams that continue on, even if we are caught up in the everyday, daylight living. Even if we don't remember those dreams right away, because we hit the ground running when we wake up. Maybe also, I need to remember that it's the night blooming flowers that have the most intoxicating scent. It's in the dark that we see the beauty that really is found in light.

Mystery and uncertainty, sure... but in the night, a candle's light is a beacon calling us home.

You can get a print of this Flying Girl in my shop. (I'm trying to keep ahead of myself in listing. It's a lot of work! Phew!)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Girls of Flowers, of Words, of Stars

ACEO goddess girls
(l-r) Girl of the Wildflower, Poetess, or Girl of the Words, and Girl of the First Star
Mixed media paintings, acrylic, newspaper, watercolor pencil, marker on 2.5x3.5" watercolor paper.

Maybe there's a reason why I am having such trouble connecting with the Flying Girls lately, and only seem to be able to create these Goddess Girls.

I have a lot more on my plate right now, and my time is divided into even smaller parcels. I have less brain space for focus, for larger paintings (which is funny, since they're only 7"x10") or for more complicated concepts. So, the simpler girls and their simpler backgrounds and smaller size. Although the detail is quite precise, there's less of everything.

Anyway, these girls are all inspired by color. The poetess, in the middle, is inspired by National Poetry Month. I like to think of her as a kind of Anais Nin character, wild and free, exploring new boundaries of culture and art. Me, I'm a different kind of poet. I steal moments before a child can interrupt, trying to find poetry again. I've taken on the challenge of writing a poem a day for the month of April, in hopes that I can get back to her... poetry, I mean. Maybe this goddess girl is meant to inspire me?

Wildflower is my hippie girl. I like her. I like her simplicity, the wild flowers and pony tails. That's all we need sometimes, wildflowers, blue skies, and barefeet running through a field. Sounds good no?

And then there's First Star. She reminds me of dreams. Wish I may, wish I might have the wish I wish tonight. And her blue eyes are swooningly deep. What is with that little crooked smile, though? Perhaps she knows that what we wish for will never quite turn out like we imagine?

I'm going to close these disjointed thoughts and maybe work a little more on a Flying Girl I have going on. Maybe I'll manage to post some of these Goddess Girls in the shop tonight. Keep your eyes open, I sold 4 this past weekend! Some of my favorites.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Girl of Nothing Ever Dies

Girl of Nothing Ever Dies
Golden Fluid Acrylics, Watercolor Pencils on Paper, ACEO 2.5x3.5"

What can I say? I painted a vampire.

Fine, you can't see her teeth, but she's hiding them. I got the urge when I saw some vampire somewhere else. I thought, hey, I paint all sorts of literary creations, why not this one. I like Vampires. And sadly, she looks more like me than any of the other goddess girls. The black hair and pale skin, the widows peak and dark eyes.

But beyond cultish stories of Bella and her predecessors, there's a meaning to this.

I have been amazed again and again that ideas I had years ago keep coming back. This very idea of goddess girls was percolating in a different incarnation many years ago, when I thought I would paint modern day gods/archetypes and sell them on the street corners of the East Village in NY. Gosh that was years ago, and I never did it. I thought the idea had passed.

But it rises again, in slightly different form.

And that gives me hope for all the other ideas that captured me once upon a time and died a death of neglect or indecision or whatever.

If these ideas never really die, then is it really important which one we choose in the moment? If I choose goddess girls right now, and let go of the idea of pendant... it's okay, because the opportunity for pendants will come back when the time is right.

Yes, I want to create resin pendants and have wanted to for years, but haven't.

And that idea feels like it is stirring in it's garlic twined coffin. So are many others.

The important thing is to just make a choice. To not stand in indecision afraid to decide on one if the others might die. They don't die. Not if they have power. If they have power, they stick around for the time when they can drink your blood and fly through the night.

Ha ha. No melodrama here. Maybe I should write a vampire novel. :)

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Flying Girl Is Blue Skies Through the Clouds, or That's How the Light Gets In

Flying Girl Is Blue Skies Through the Clouds, or That's How the Light Gets In
Golden Fluid Acrylics on Mokeskine Paper, 5x8"

Ring the bell that still can ring.
Forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack in everything.
That's how the light gets in.
-Leonard Cohen
This Flying Girl is based on a couple, or three, inspirations. The first is my first Flying Girl of the series. Not my first ever, mind you... that was in college, but Yellow Sky, Strange Land. And then there is the totally optional theme of Color from Creative Everyday. The color scheme... a very limited on of Raw Umber and Pthalo Blue was inspired by Sarah at greenweeds. That's the combo she uses. My standard blue/brown combo was Ultramarine and Burnt Sienna. So I thought I would try the new one and see what happens. It makes for warm grays, doesn't it? And cool blues.

Once I painted it, I was looking at it, trying to make sense, and I noticed how the warm tone of the moleskine paper seeps through, and then the faint white birds painted there... well I just started singing the lines from the Leonard Cohen song posted above. And then it came together in my head.

I've been painting a lot of clouds lately, using a lot of gray... not that it's necessarily a bad thing. The rain comes, it brings needed water, it brings shade, it brings green things growing, even if we associate rain and clouds with gloom and sadness. Personally, I love a cool day. I love the way the clouds build up in the sky, in so many different ways. I love a storm coming and the wind blowing and the lightning flashing. I love a downpour on a hot day. I used to walk down the street in New York singing through the storm.

Like Lenny says, "that's how the light gets in."

Friday, April 10, 2009

Girl of the Wild Heart

Girl of the Wild Heart ACEO
Acrylic on 140lb Watercolor Paper, 2.5x3.5"

Wild heart? Wild head?

I have the wild head. Wild and whirling full of all the things I have to do.

Is this the struggle of moms who are trying to achieve something?

I wish I had the wild heart, free and running through the shadows, fleet of foot and clear of eye.

Cool air rich with the scent of growing and dying and secrets and sun.

Maybe that's what life is like. Even in the wild head, the running from thing to thing, maybe that's no less that what the Wild Heart does. And maybe within that, we can find the balance.

Hey, running is just falling and catching yourself before you hit the ground. Again and again, tipping forward off balance and landing on the next foot. Fall, catch yourself. Fall, catch yourself. Fall, catch yourself, for as far as you want to go.

And that's how we travel fast.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Monkey, Bunny, and Mommy's Journey

Monkey Balloon ACEO acrylic on paper, 2.5"x3.5"
Bunny Flower ACEO acrylic on paper, 2.5"x3.5"

These mini paintings are in honor of my own little Monkey and Bunny... and in honor of Easter.

I don't think there are big momentous meanings behind them. I kinda just did them for fun.

I did a goddess girl at the same time... because I just don't like to waste paint, and I had extra blue and green and cream. I'll show you her tomorrow. Actually, that is a great benefit to these ACEO's... using up leftover paint before it dries. I am really cheap that way. ;)

But I did want to talk about a question that Converse Momma had yesterday.

"Do you create everyday?" she asked.

I started to answer in the comments but realized that it was such a big answer that it needed it's own post. And really, that's what this blog is about, living a creative life, becoming an artist in amongst the responsibilities of being the stay at home mom of two very young children-- who are at this moment running around like superheroes-- oh and crying. Ha ha ha. The joys.

The answer is: Yes, Converse Momma, I do create everyday.

But I didn't start out that way. About a year ago, I was barely creating at all. It was when I decided that last year, 2008, would be the year where I recovered my creativity. I started with my blog. I fussed around in my journal. I tried to paint. I cautiously avoided my novel that needed to be rewritten. But it started in my blog, where I began thinking about what kind of creativity I wanted in my life, about the truth and the fantasy of what it means to be creative. I faced dead on what it meant to be a mother and an artist at the same time, and how I could manage that. I had a big breakthrough where I realized that being a mom and living the creative life were not separate. One did not take from the other, but they were indeed the same thing.

If you go back to last April, it seems that every post is me struggling with my creativity. I don't think people who stumble upon my blog now would believe it, and that's why I link to all of these posts today. I WAS NOT CREATIVE. But I really wanted to be. Last April, I committed to being creative-- and that has made all the difference. If you made it through all those links, you must want to be creative, too.

How do I do it? I took it very slowly, and worked my way up.
I allowed myself to be inspired by other people, artists, writers, bloggers.
I joined communities and challenges... being in my situation, they are all on line, and yet, it still works.
I gave myself someone to be accountable to-- that's you, my dear readers. I post my creativity here, my paintings and projects and struggles and wins. And it reminds me that I always need something for tomorrow's post, so I don't give up when it would be so easy.
I steal time to be creative. Practice guitar while the kids are being read bedtime stories by Papa, and then show them what I've practiced and sing/play "twinkle twinkle little star," draw sketched in my journal while the kids are playing in the garden, write a post while they are watching Sesame Street, write a poem while I am on the toilet. I do not joke. People leave you alone when you're in the bathroom, and if you're a mom, you know how precious that is. My most fertile time being creative is positively opposite to all the collective wisdom of a room of one's own and good brain time.
My winning creativity solution is to paint while I watch tv on the sofa. I carry my bag of supplies into the living room and laugh at The Office while creating Flying Girls.

I forced myself to do it when I gave myself the challenge of painting a FG a day back in September-- I'd been too frightened to commit myself to painting every day, but it was in the back of my head and then it just organically appeared when I fell upon the old idea of Flying Girl. Now, I don't know what to do with myself if I don't have a paintbrush in my hand or a keyboard at my fingertips. I'm addicted, now.

Maybe that's the key. Get yourself hooked on creating. Make it a part of your bloodstream, so those minutes in the bathroom or waiting for the chicken to come out of the oven become like a hit of a drug. Art.

See, now I thought I was so healthy, skipping the myth of the addicted, drunken artist.... and it turns out I still fall into the stereotype... it's just the creating itself I'm addicted to.

This post seems awfully "me! me! me!" but that's another thing that needs to happen when you are creative. You need to be selfish and commit to it over other obligations. At least part of the time. I think that's one of the reasons it's so hard for women/moms to be artists, because they are expected to sacrifice for their families. Oy, I think that's a whole different topic.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Hello Ladies! Winter Spring Summer and Fall

acrylic on 140lb watercolor paper 2.5"x3.5" ACEOs
clockwise from top right
Girl of the Blooming Sun
Girl of the Bold Path
Girl of the Falling Leaves
Girl of the Bees

Funny how when I put these girls together, I realized that they were the four seasons.

I had mean Blooming Sun to be summer, but she could just as easily be late Spring when the flowers are in bloom. Isn't she gorgeous? She reminds me of an old time Hollywood movie star. When they wore emu mules and chiffon and full face make up to lounge around the house. Of course she would have a crown of flowers.

And Bold Path came out of the Inspire Me Thursday prompt for "key." I drew a girl, I drew a key, I asked myself..."what is this the key to?" And as she appeared, I realized it was the key to living a life outside of the box, going for dreams no matter what everyone else is doing. Thus the magenta hair, I suppose. But the whole key is that she is bold and she is brave, and she carries on although she is afraid.

Falling Leaves? Well. I was outside in the garden, watching the gold and brown leaves fall off the trees while the Spring green ones grew in. Spring in Florida is weird. Everything is yellowed and heavy. The weather is stunning, but there is no clear blue, crisp white, pale green, blushing pink of Spring in New York. I miss the Spring there, the renewal. But it's also lovely. I mean, I've been hanging out in the garden steadily for the last month, and I know the northerners have been fighting snow, still.

Ahh... see... there it is. When I painted her, Falling Leaves was about learning to let go of things and enjoying the beauty that is there. A tree doesn't hang on to her leaves when they turn bronze? She revels in the blaze of color and then releases them so she can move on to the next stage of life. I should take the lesson from this girl.

And Bees. Oh Bees. I love Bees. I love her serene face. I love the little buzzers crowning her head. I love the blue background and how she seems to emanate light. I love the ovals of face and hair and hive. She is not stung by those bees. How? Is she the Queen? Is she the one that cares for them. She's no flower, she's golden and calm.

So here are my latest goddess girls. Sorry that they are late. I had a very full day yesterday and couldn't get to the whole process of photo/edit/upload/write/post.

I will be putting the original ACEOs up in my shop as the day goes on. Come see!

Monday, April 06, 2009

Talismans To Get Us Through the Darkness

Three more OOAK ACEOs (One Of A Kind Artist Cards, Editions & Originals)
Girl of the Deep Sleep
Girl of Something Being Born
Girl of the Storm Clouds
all Golden Fluid Acrylic and Watercolor Pencil on Paper, 2.5"x3.5"

Hi. I took the weekend off. Sort of. I kept painting, did some more research, listed a few things in etsy.

I have been totally stumped on the Flying Girls, although I have been trying. Finally, I just painted over one that I'd been struggling with and started over with a night time background over the sea. I did it in the very bright sunshine in the garden, and out there it was a vibrant blue, but when I looked at it last night, it was nearly black. Hmm. I may just have to let it stay the way it is, because garsh, I'm tired of struggling with that painting. There comes a time when you have to let go of an idea and say, it's good enough. And then move on.

I definitely feel as if I am in transition here. As if things are starting to come through, but before they do, it's going to get dark and stormy. Or maybe it already is dark and stormy, but the light is starting to show.

It's like that Buddhist saying, "It's always darkest before the dawn."

If you look at the Girls up there, you can see this story, too. In order of painting, it is Storm Clouds, Sleep and Born.

Storm Clouds is my knowing little Boricua, probably from Washington Heights (where my cousins used to live), and she's been through the storms. But that smile and that flower in her hand is a reminder that after the rain comes the flowers. She knows it's tough now, but she also knows that storms pass, and we are washed clean and energized by their trials.

Then theres pretty little Sleep, a reminder that we have to rest and take care of ourselves. Allow the night to rejuvenate us. Allow the dreams to rise and grow strong. Step back. Be quiet. Sleep.

And lastly, look how gentle Born is. I think she's about being kind to ourselves. Could it be a baby she is holding? It sure could, but it could also be a project, or a new path in life, or a beautiful new idea.

Are these ways we struggle through?

I think so. Are these talismans to get us through the darkness. I think they are. In fact, when I found out the prompt for Illustration Friday was "talisman," I was at a loss. Not because I couldn't think of anyway to represent talisman in my art, but because I was already involved in making art talismans. Or talismans in art.

Sometimes those are the most difficult prompts for me, when I am already engaged in the topic, I wonder, "well how can I use this to prompt my art?" But then, maybe I don't need to do something more, maybe I just need to relax into what is already there.

Yeah. So here are my talismans. You can have them for your own, here, and here, and here.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Three Spirit Girl ACEOs

3 ACEOs (Artist Cards, Editions and Originals)
Girl of the Now Healed Heart,
Girl of the Calm Waters,
Girl of Spring Always Comes
Fluid Acrylics, Watercolor Pencil and Pitt Artist Pen on Watercolor Paper, each 2.5"x 3.5"

These are something new I've been trying. ACEOs or Artist Trading Cards. These are for sale in my shop in the original, not prints, so they're ACEO, but they're still the same size, still collectible, still tradeable.

I wanted to sell some original things, rather than prints, but I didn't want to sell my Flying Girls, because I have the feeling I am going to need them for something... projects that I am still developing, so I started on these.

I'm new to the world of ACEO/ATC... but I am not new to the world of tiny art. In fact, when I was a waitress, I used to use my restaurant's business cards to paint and draw. Usually draw, because I could do them while business was slow. I wonder where those are today? I should go digging in my files and portfolios.

I also have been feeling the need to paint faces and get in there with the Flying Girls, but the format of FG doesn't really allow for that. Then the Girl spirits just started arriving.

I do feel that they are inspired. They mean something, and they seem to have such distinct personalities. It's as if they are being painted for someone else. Someone is waiting for them to give them a home. Because of that, I am not making prints. These are one and onlies. Individual tiny paintings for individual real life people.

So if it's you, you can buy Healed Heart, or Calm Waters, or Spring Comes in my shop.

I will particularly miss Calm Waters. I can't stop staring at her. Maybe the next one will make me stare, too. Whenever I really love a painting, it's like I have a crush on it, but then I keep painting and my crush moves to the next one.

I think I will be happy to have a different format for my painting. I am stuck on one Flying Girl who won't come out, right now. Luckily I had another outlet in the Girl Spirits, and in the Daily Sketches. I did another of those, too.

I am painting so much! But I have to admit I am terribly stressed. I don't seem to be able to accomplish everything I want to accomplish or I think I need to do. I think my goals are too big. I think I keep forgetting that I am a full time SAHM, not a full time artist, even though I'm trying to build things up to where I will be able to transition to full time artist and writer. The building takes a lot of work, and I am afraid to lose my momentum. Will I get to a point where I have established some things and will be able to slow down, just a little bit?

I am writing, researching, painting, editing and WORKING all the time, now. I enjoy some of it and it often feels like play (which makes me feel a little guilty) but I am still very tired and frustrated. I think I need to pull it back.

But I don't really want to. I want to keep creating and keep working, but I don't want to feel stressed about it.

I know I need to make more time for play, for non business creating, for just sitting and enjoying, for relaxing. Maybe I also need to take stock of what I have achieved and REWARD myself for meeting goals and task. I don't do that now, I just move on to the next goal/task.

Poor S. It must be exhausting for him to see me always working. I probably make him feel guilty with my workaholic ways. Artaholic? Stressaholic? Someone give me some chocolate!

Anyway, what techniques do you have to balance out work and personal life? Spritual? Social? Fun? Whatever you do, how do you keep boundaries there and manage to take some time for actually living?

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Eat and Breathe

3/30/09 Daily Sketch
Mixed Media drawing on Vintage Book page

Oh my ears and whiskers, I'm late, I'm late, and I'm a bit confused.

I think this is what life is like. You just can't have a handle on it all the time. Sometimes it's going to be about change and transition and adjustment and confusion. And that's okay.

And someone tell me why I am drawing sketches every day on top of painting every night and guess what... I think I'm going to try to write a poem a day for the month of April, because, hey! it's National Poetry month.

I think I'm frickin' crazy. Because this is on top of figuring out my etsy shop and starting new ventures to support my etsy shop and longing to write my novel and planning bigger ventures for the future. And of course taking care of my cherubic children and cooking and keeping house (badly.)

Oh, well, I'm noticing the sketches are something I can do with kids around, or when I get kicked off the computer for a while or when everyone is out in the garden hanging out. Plus, I really am trying to find balance between always working and enjoying life. I'm remembering that I like to paint, and it's turning into a break from the computer and the marketing and the writing and the researching. So that's a good thing.

And I'm remembering how I like my journal... the hard copy, pen and ink one, where I can doodle and sketch and write poems and plan things and draw grids and swirls while something else is going on. I am not just a blog. :)

And here's something else, the poem I wrote a couple of days ago ties directly to the painting I posted yesterday about Flying Girl and the storm and the breathing.

And because it's the first day of April and that's poetry month and why not act the fool a little, I'll post the poem. (I am fully aware that I have deep insecurities around my poetry. Thanks Kuusisto [the traumatizing professor])


Storm front coming in
the sky is breathing
for me
filling lungs with air.
day to night could come any second.
dry to wet. no to

Sun shining on my face
leaves swirl in the

I am ready for whatever comes
I am
waiting for the rain.

by moi.

Isn't it funny how it fits with the painting, totally unintentionally.

What other medias are you using that you find show up in strange ways? Do your different projects over lap or feed each other?
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