Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Monday, June 28, 2010
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Self Portrait/This Morning Before Work
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Monday, June 21, 2010
ink and watercolor pencil on vintage book page (Alice in Wonderland)
10/100 in 100 Creative Challenge. 6/19/10
My days of drawing in ink on my old Alice in Wonderland continue.
I have to say, I enjoy the prayer like aspect of it. Very much. I keep wanting to take my book with me, like to the grocery store, or when I dropped my almost 5 year old off at the week long preview of kindergarten. (Yes that's right, he's off on his first flight without mama. Can't wait to hear about his adventure.)
I do a little in the morning before work. I do a little at night in front of the tv. I sit on the deck in the sun and draw, while the kids meet neighborhood cats and dogs, after picking blackcap raspberries in our new yard.
Here I've drawn the spindly basil that I bought but haven't had the opportunity to plant into the container herb garden I am planning for the back deck. I've decided to stick to containers, because a whole yard intimidates me, and besides, the deck really is the sunniest spot in my yard surrounded with pines and maples and cottonwoods and mulberry trees.
I am surrounded by plants. And they are really seeping into my soul, I think. This is a very lush land, almost as lush as Florida, but cool. I wouldn't be surprised if bugs started showing up, too... this is a land of bugs, too. Something my budding kindergardner loves.
Also on this drawing is a sketch inspired by/copied loosely from the cover of my old Alice in Wonderland book.
Do you see it there in the gold? I am trying to resist adding gold to my little prayer/drawings. Maybe I shouldn't resist. Don't be surprised if gold starts showing up. I still feel a little guilty about breaking up this book, but it was already well loved when I got it. Already had been sketched in by children, so I just went with it. And it has served as so much inspiration and creation to me, I think it was worth it that this old lady has sacrificed herself for my art. She is still loved, just in a different incarnation.
Not only loved, but she is helping me learn to love my own life, as it comes, imperfect and messy.
No Day But To Day, or Sun Prayer
ink on vintage book page
11/100 in 100 Creative Challenge, 6/19/10
Here is another drawing I did on the day of blackcap raspberries and neighborhood pets. That night I sat down to draw, not knowing what I was doing, but feeling the need to draw a sun, the sun the shines down on us and helps us grow, gives us energy, feeds us, allows us to live. Us, everything, everyone, life on Earth.
What a wonderful sun. What a wonderful world where a design made decades ago can inspire something wild, something precious. This drawing here is still influenced by the front cover, but it's wilder, no longer symmetrical, a little ugly. But while I was drawing it, the song from Rent kept going through my head, and so did memories of picking raspberries, and getting bit by mosquitoes, and the taste of cold iced coffee in the hot sun, and music floating on a summer breeze, and the flickering shade of tall trees. And you know what?
I felt a little bit of the weedy unkempt garden within me begin to bloom. And it was beautiful. And it was sweet. And it was tart. And it prickled me when I moved wrong. And it was life.
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Ink on Vintage Book Page (Alice in Wonderland)
9/100 in 100 Creative Challenge, 6/18/10
I think I've found something in these Wonderland drawings. Like yesterday, I realize that this is a type of prayer. The detail of the drawings, the attention paid to the inking... I like that you can see the pen strokes. I don't want it to feel like a computer did this. I want a viewer to be able to see the work that has gone into this, the touch of the hand.
This is not the first time that I have done these hand outlines. More than once in the past couple of decades, I have turned to the hand outlines when I did not know what to create. Something about putting the image on the paper means I am free to explore whatever I can do with it. So much more comforting than the blank page. A place to start. A boundary within which to create.
More than that, these hands represent to me personal agency. This is MY hand. My hand was laid on the page. I traced the very outline. There was direct skin to paper contact. This is MY hand. I make this. It is within my control, my power to create these drawings. And more than that, it is within my power to create the kind of life I want to live.
Whenever I start to feel up in the air and a little bit lost with where I am going and who I am, doing a few of these hand drawings/paintings grounds me. Allows me to remember that my life is within my control.
This one here? This one is about abundance. I think I will be doing a whole series about abundance, actually. I am beginning to imagine them fastened casually to the wall in a type of installation. I am a bit worried that they might get a little worn like that, but, just like the hand pressed to the page, I like the immediacy of just tacking them to the wall. I don't want a barrier of a frame and mat and glass. I want them present as an object, not divided by the objectification of a formal frame.
Perhaps I have been watching too much Work of Art. I think I am going to art school or something.
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Friday, June 18, 2010
pen, pencil and watercolor on paper
Thursday, June 17, 2010
pen and Pitt Artist pens on paper
6/100 in 100, 6/17/10
When does play time start to feel unnatural? When do we take on this mantle of adulthood, and let all our serious worries and troubles take over?
This is something I have struggled with for a long time. I am too serious. I have been too serious for most of my life, but once upon a time, I did not feel like I needed to be productive in order to be worthy.
How do we learn to enjoy living? How do we remember how to exist in bliss? How do we keep our old blisses from becoming just another burden, when we commit to them and try to make them into something more than just a thing we do for fun?
I have the feeling that everything we need in life is there waiting for us. I have the feeling that, outside of the basic needs, bliss is all a mind set.
What exactly IS that set of mind? How do we set our minds in that place of bliss.
Is enlightenment supposed to be so hard? (That's kind of a joke. Are you laughing yet?)
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
I find myself flumoxed with where to go next, though. Perhaps I'll do a few more sketches in my journal to try out the new projects in my head. New supplies are so much fun, but they make me nervous. I don't want to ruin my supplies. I'll probably be even more all over the place with my style. Although, I'm really jonesing for some more abstract and/or conceptual pieces. I love Flying Girl, but I really love some of the more odd, poetic kind of work.
Take a look at the iced coffee with ice cream and dark chocolate syrup I made. YUM. It was really good. And I sat outside with it and sketched things in my journal. Strange things. Things that made no sense and were not set and were kind of smudgy.
And it was okay.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
ink on paper, 5"x8"
I've been seeing all the tent inspiration around the web, including this tutorial for making your own pup tent. Now those instructions are a little intimidating for my carpentry and seamstress skills, but still, I have been dreaming of this kind of retreat for my kids.
Actually, it's not just the skills but the energy. I seem to have no energy or focus to get things done. Sigh.
Wow. Just like my thoughts on creative block, I should try not giving all my attention to my exhaustion. It just makes the exhaustion grow. I mean, we need to take care of our bodies, but going around all the time moaning, "I'm so tired, I can't get anything done!" What does that do for us? Except validate how we can't get anything done.
Well that's a revelation. Give my attention to what I CAN do, despite the exhaustion, my plans to get things done, to focus, to grow, to enjoy, and this will mean I end up enjoying life and being productive.
I'm going to try this and see if it works better than flopping into a chair at the end of the day, feeling sorry for myself.
And I'm going to try manifesting some of my dreams. I have the things I need to manifest this back yard pup tent for my kids. I have the back yard... that's the hardest thing to get, in my life. Why not try to create it for real, in real life. And to tell the truth, I kind of dream of painting this sketch. It would be dark greens and blues, with the hatchmarks in paler colors, and the tent in a glowing yellow, and perhaps there would be words written lightly in the darkness, words for childhood, for play, for memories being made.
Oh. And I was wondering. Did anyone see the Bravo show last week about the artists? It's like Project Runway, but all about artists. I saw it on the internet and now I am dying to see the next episode. It's called Work Of Art. Thanks to Kelley for the find.
Monday, June 14, 2010
pen and paper, 5x8"
3/100 in 100 challenge. 6/12/10
I've decided I'm going to try doing the 100 in 100 again. Last year... about this time, as I was reminded by a friend, I committed to creating 100 paintings in 100 days, and I invited anyone else to come along on the challenge. I achieved my goal, but not without adjusting my expectations of myself, and realizing that I was doing a lot more art than just the pieces I was counting within my totals.
I'm not limiting myself to doing just 100 paintings. I've decided that any piece of art will do. I've decided not to judge my art as less worthy or more worthy because of it's provenance, its intention, its medium, the time it took to create, or it's formality.
A sketch I did while I was at work will count as much as a large scale painting on wood (I have one planned). Finishing a piece that I started months before will count as much as starting and finishing in one day.
I did this painting while watching tv, as it got later and later and I got more and more tired. I didn't know what I was doing when I started it, but I felt compelled to finish it before I went to bed.
It started out quite like the doodles I used to do when I was in school. The eye and the scrolls and the floopy winglike paisleys. What does it mean? I don't know. And that's fine.
Going off on intuition is maybe a way to gain access to the things that have kind of been hiding. The things that have been tied up by the demands of the everyday and the necessary stresses of a busy life.
Me? I'm trying to release some of the things I've been holding under wraps, waiting for a time when things will be more stable or more secure or when I will have a handle on it all.
I begin to think that I will never have a handle on it all. Or if I do sometimes, I will only have that handle for a brief time until I go back to being confused again. This might be called life.
Confusing. And yet... cosmically speaking... not. (ah ha. I got this post back to the drawing! We are starstuff, and all the craziness and stress we put on ourselves all the time? cosmically speaking, it just don't mean a damn.)
All we can do is keep putting one foot in front of the other and continue to do our best. Keep it up. Move forward.
Any one want to try to challenge themselves with 100 works of creativity in 100 days? 100 drawings/paintings? 100 poems? 100 new meals from scratch? 100 self portraits? 100 photos?
100 pages in a novel? I'm doing it a lot more casually than I did last time, a factor of my transitional life, but hey, I'm still doing it.
And that's the important part.
PS I found my official rules for 100 in 100 days. I did a lot of thought on this project last year. This year it just snuck up on me.
Saturday, June 12, 2010
I don't have any inspiration.
I can't think of what to paint. To make. The creative part of my brain is confused and kind of silent. My energy is at ebb tide.
But you know what?
None of that really matters.
Inspiration is nice, but is not necessary in being creative. Creativity is more about working and exploring than it is about being hit with the thunderbolt that is inspiration. Creativity is about committing to the work and about working itself.
I am under the firm belief that creative block is a self fulfilling prophecy. When we decide that we are blocked, all our energy goes into being blocked, and the block just gets bigger and bigger.
I am not interested in my reasons for not creating. Not the whys or the excuses, no matter how valid.
Instead I must focus on creating itself. On what I can create. On the time I can carve out of my day for creating. On keeping my pen moving. On looking for that inspiration whenever it might pop up and grabbing onto it. And on continuing to work, even when I don't have inspiration.
Even if what I create isn't fabulous, even if it doesn't thrill me I have to keep going. I have to start wherever I am, and that includes being in the land of the exhausted, confused, discombobulated and uninspired.
In my experience, if I start regularly putting my pen to paper, drawing doodles, sketching my lunch, or my foot or my hand, then pretty soon, I will be inspired to take it farther. I will open up my paints and start something more intensive. I will start sketching paintings for later. I will start making time to get that art painted.
The same goes for writing. If I start reading over my old work, talking about it. If I start doing exercises to define my characters or plot. If I start making maps or sketches of the places and people in the story. If I take out my red pen and start editing... well, pretty soon, I start living in that world I've created, and the world of the imgination starts growing and growing until it demands attention.
Here is my process. Sometimes I have nothing to say or paint or write and no energy. I'm pretty sure every artist goes through these periods. But an artist keeps going even when they don't have anything to say. Even when what they say is flat and uninspired. Being an artist is being committed to the creating, that's all.
An artist TRUSTS that the art (word/music/dance/inspiration) will come back, if she just keeps showing up to the page (canvas, stage, floor, studio). And she keeps working.
I am going to trust that my art will come back, even if I am confused in my land of doodles and transition.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
- Painting Large Pieces. (I have space. I can finally paint big!)
- Using wood and metal and various hardware to make sculptures along with paperclay and sculpey and felt other familiar materials.
- Painting my old found white dresser a vibrant teal. (I've already bought the paint.)
- Furnishing my empty garage with easels and tables and a couch and/or chairs to make it a comfortable space to create. (The landlord said he'd put in a new window on the west wall.)
- Perhaps starting a new 100 in 100 Days project (I'm scared of taking it on.)
- Getting back to reading tarot cards. (I don't talk about this much, because I haven't done it often since having kids, but I used to have clients in NYC and I enjoyed it.)
- Learning how to do resin jewelry.
- Learning how to encaustic painting.
- Finishing my little doll and turning her into a kind of hearth goddess. (I need to get some art supplies to finish her up.)
- Having a place to be creative and exploratory, and perhaps also, away from the computer so I don't get sucked into the interwebs.
These are just the projects that come to mind. They are exciting. I should really get on it, before I get stuck in a rut of not being creative. Start the juices flowing so that life can be juicy.
I think I need to remember my baby steps. Maybe I'll start painting in my journal, first, so that I can get the practice back without all the stress of feeling like I need to produce something fabulous.
What projects would you like to take on? What would it take for you to get excited about them?
Monday, June 07, 2010
Or rather, welcome me back.
I've spent the week and more packing, moving and unpacking, finally settling back into my own place after a gypsy life this last couple of years.
It feels odd, but good. All sorts of plans and visions are bubbling to the surface... but I literally have no place to put them yet. I need book shelves and tables and dressers and all that mish mosh. I also figuratively have not place to put them, my mind is a whirlwind of all there is to do.
But what does this blog title mean?
It's been an upside down, trying to make things work last few years. In some lights, it would be easy to see it all as a failure... but I can't.
I have learned too much, grown too much, started to become the me I always wanted to be.
It's the failures that teach you the most. It's the sutmbles where you learn to pick yourself up. It's figuring out what doesn'twork that helps you undestand what does work. And when you mess up, fall on your head, need to ask for help, have to come up with new solutions... well that's when you discover that failure is not the end of the world and you are stronger and more creative than you thought you were.
This is what living creatively is about. It's about seeing the possibilities in the disaster. It's about recreating what is not satisfying into something that feels right. it's about envisioning what you want to have in your life and making it come real on that blank page.
I am getting back to my art. I am getting back to my writing. I am finishing up unfinished projects. I am getting a studio where I can paint big and make messes and be afraid and not be afriad of being afriad. I have come from a place where I have screwed up, and found wisdom and joy and growth and peace within the mistakes. I am still making mistakes, but I'm trying to have faith.
And I'm doing all these things while getting ready to paint and old dresser teal and hang circus stripe curtains in the kids room, and buying an awesome new kitchen table and doing all the things that make a house cozy. I am working on it all.
In the craziness that is my rumpled life.
I may not have the time. Or perhaps I'll make the time, and damn the mistakes, the anxiety, the fear.
Oh, I'm also putting prints back in my shop. HOORAY! Flying Girl is home.