Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Painted Lady, or You Have Something To Give

The Painted Lady, or You Have Something To Give
Acrylic paint and watercolor pencils on paper
8 1/2" x 8 1/2"

This is a painting that I did a while ago. I forgot to post it. Ooops. I posted a sneak peek once and then I think I got caught up in the drama of packing and moving and just forgot. It was posted over here at Magpie Girl, and then I just plum forgot.

So here she is.

She seems so gentle to me, although usually, a tatooed girl would be seen as tough or strange or counterculture.

But maybe not posting her was okay. I've finally gotten prints of her up in my shop, along with some older work, and some even newer, never seen before, work that you have to go over there to see. Oh, how sneaky of me.

Not only that, but the extra day gives me time to get my butterfly tutorial together. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A Tissue Pouf Leads to Inspiration

Ivy and her Tissue Flower Pouf
little girl, repurposed gift tissue, twist tie
38/100 in 100 days creative challenge

The other day, I came home from work and told my daughter I'd make her a pouf for her room.

I grabbed some left over tissue from a gift of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. It was a pretty color and I didn't want to waste it. I folded it up like I used to when I was a little kid making kleenex bouquets. And voila. There was my pouf. Well half a pouf. I realized half way through that I needed eight sheets, not four. But it didn't matter. Little girl was delighted and made me pin it up in her room right away. Which is why the photo lacks natural light.

And then her brother asked for his own pouf. Uh oh. I did not have enough tissue for this. All I had was two sheets of orange, what could I do?

And then the brain wheels started rotating. Two sheets. Floral poufs are really a little girly, aren't they? What could I make that would be good for a boy? He likes bugs. Orange tissue. A BUTTERFLY!

I had never made a butterfly nor had I seen it done on the internet. No tutorials. No tissue paper butterflies sold on etsy for weddings. I never did it in grade school for Spring bulletin board displays, but none of that signified.

I thought about the process of the pouf. I looked at the supplies I had available, I said to myself... Why not give it a try? Worst comes to worst and I'll waste a few minutes and some scrap wrapping paper.

Sneak Peak
Tissue Butterfly
39/100 in 100 days creative challenge
I'm just throwing a little tease of my butterfly in here, for two reasons. First, I want to point out to you that creating the pouf, while it made my kid happy, was not really important in itself. It wasn't a challenge for me. I didn't make anything new. I wasn't saying anything with it. I wasn't exploring anything or expanding any understanding. It was just a simple pretty crafty thing. And that was just fine in itself. However, even more important in the creative process was what happened next, the simple pouf led to a desire for something new and a dilemma. The dilemma led me to find a creative solution. The creative solution opened up a whole world of possibilities.

You should never write off a creative project as not challenging enough or too crafty or too simple. All of life, looked at creatively, can be a spring board for new adventures.

The second reason I am teasing with the small butterfly detail, is because I want to do a tutorial to show you how I made this. I'm so pleased with myself for figuring it out I want to share. But I have to make another and photo the process.

To be continued.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Lucky Star Charm or Living the Life You Have

Lucky Star Charm
fabric, felt, thread
37/100 in 100 days creative challenge

Here's another charm I made and sent along with a package.

The more I think about luck, the more I think about life, the more I think that the key to being successful in any of it, is to commit. Commit to whatever it is, just commit.

Part of that is believing that you will have success, having faith that putting all that energy into something will be worth it, and trusting yourself enough to believe that you can handle the results, whatever they are.

So what does that mean? Does that mean that luck is really all about belief?

In a way, it is. Because the more energy you put into a certain thing, the more that will come out of it. It doesn't mean that you believe in one thing to the detriment of reality... in fact, I think it actually is the commitment to What Is that makes it work.

Commitment to that story, that series of paintings, that character, that dance, or that technique because there is something to be found there. Taking it all the way.

Commitment to a style, a belief that what you love is beautiful, so you will wear that scarf, those patterns, and the crazy boots, or decorate your house with those strange things, or paint your shed that crazy color, because you trust your own taste.

Commitment to a relationship, because even though it is hard and your partner might drive you crazy some times, you know that it's the journey you take together that is important, not the perfection of the romantic dream.

Commitment to your children and raising them the way they need to be raised and commitment to recognizing them as individuals and commitment to doing what you believe is best for them. Commitment to being a stay at home mom, or a work out of home mom, or a work at home mom, or the kind of mom who does whatever she must and doesn't worry about what people call it.

Commitment to that dream you have that seems unreachable but won't go away, so you keep trying and keep getting closer, although perhaps the dream evolves as it grows and takes you on unexpected detours.

Commitment to living the life that you are living, not the one that you wish you had, but this one, right here. Commitment to loving what you have.

There is no better luck than to appreciate what you have and to just dive right into it, whole heartedly.That is to live a blessed life, even if we struggle within it sometimes.

This is the luck I wish for us all.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Tin Can Flower Pot

Ivy in Tin Can.36/100 in 100 creative challenge

I'm spreading my wings here. Telling myself that being creative means more than just painting or drawing or writing.

See. I know that is true. Creativity is a natural state for humans and it is a way of living, not just making pictures. But I have this thing about me that likes to say I am not doing things well enough to count.

So if I take this tiny ivy that I bought, deciding it was time to have an ivy plant again, considering I have a sprout of an Ivy running around my house growing like mad, and find a creative vessel
(not waiting anymore for a "proper" flower pot) and pot it and tend it... well then, that is part of my creative project.

So here's what I need to put together my DIY ivy in a tin can pot.
A hot day, a lawn and a sprinkler. To occupy the half wild kids while I get dirty, in order to not get the house even dirtier.
A tin can of good size.

This I believe was a can of crushed tomatoes. You know what would have been cool? One of those imported tomato cans with the pretty design painted right onto the tin. Then your flower pot would be decorated already. Maybe I'll be on the look out at the grocery store, although I kind of like the metal look and texture.Something to poke water holes in the bottom of the can. I used a hammer and a large nail. I suppose you could use a drill, but I'm pretty low tech, so I used a hammer and a nail. Pound pound pound.
This, a 2$ ivy. Ivies are pretty hardy. I used to have an ivy that I grew for years, from a little plant like this. I got it on my first day of college. I don't know where it went. But perhaps I'll start a new one.

Dirt. Rocks. Pottery shard.

I don't have a picture of this. Put shards or rocks in the bottom of the pot to help drain water. Cover with soil. Take your plant out of the old pot. Loosen up the root ball if it is too tight (just dig your fingers in and pull the little roots apart, it won't hurt it.) Put the root ball in the soil so that the plant sits an inch or so below the rim of the pot. Fill the rest of the space with more soil. Gently tamp down.

Water thoroughly.

Fluff plant, brush off dirt.

I feel a little silly posting about how to repot a plant. It's pretty simple. And I'm not an expert by far. But you know, everyone knows a little something that they can share with other people. And sometimes it's the basic stuff that you need to know.

Have you ever googled how to boil an egg? Apparently there is quite a lively discussion about it and there are many ways to do it.

Anyway, I think this silvery pot would look nice set in amongst some more traditional ones. A nice little surprise of shine.

Now I just have to build up my potted plant collection.

Think about some seemingly simple things that you know how to do. Do you count them as something important? Do you count them as creative?

Friday, July 23, 2010

Failure, Flying Girl, and Faith

Flying Girl Charm and Press
35/100 in 100 days creative challenge

Here is my not so success. The more difficult polymer clay, the unfamiliar reverse kind of work, the struggle of working with new tools, the miniature nature of it all.

I don't like the way it turned out.

But I am not giving up. I am both trying to fix the current press/mold and create a new one that might make a better charm. I am reversing the relief, innie to outie, and making it more delicate.

But I do not know if it will turn out right.

It's a lot like life, I think. It's not like a painting, where you can see the results of your action as soon as you put the paint on the paper. With this reversed press or whatever it's called, I don't know the technical term, you never know what the results will be until you carve it, bake it, make a new charm and let that dry. And maybe even paint or varnish it. I haven't gotten to that point yet.

You have to have faith that your work will be worth it. You have to have faith that all your hard work will come to something good.

Sometimes it is hard to keep that faith, to keep struggling with your goals, hoping that things will work out in the end. But you have to keep going, don't you? If your dreams are worth it, you keep going.

Are your dreams worth it? Do they mean that much to you? And if, in the end, you don't ultimately succeed with the results that you envision, will the journey have been worth it?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

You Must Be My Lucky Charms

You Must Be My Lucky Charms, and Mold
Charms: Paper Clay. Mold: Polymer Clay
34/100 in 100 days creative challenge

I experimented with polymer clay. This kind is much harder and stiffer than the kind I'm used to using. I used to make all sorts of miniatures and jewelry and geegaws and three dimensional pieces of art.

I wanted to make some forms so that I could create charms for decoration and inspiration. Let's just say it's awful hard to make a tiny lotus in relief, even with proper carving tools. The closest I got was this little sun. I didn't think it would turn out so well, but you know what? I was completely surprised at what happened once I fired it and then pressed out a couple of charms.

Sometimes doing something in reverse alters the results beyond your expectations. Like drawing something from a mirror reflection.

Also, sometimes taking the chance on a new endeavor yields positive rewards. This polymer clay is weird. But I keep trying.

Of course, sometimes taking a chance means you fail. I have another charm that doesn't feel so successful. I'll show you that one tomorrow.

Even failures are just a step towards the next challenge, the next lesson. And I think if I muck with it some more, maybe it won't be a failure. Who knows.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Teddy Bear Finger Puppets for the Kids

Bear Bear Finger Puppet
32/100 in 100 Days Creative Challenge
Felt, thread.

This little guy is a puppet I based off of my son's teddy bear, we call him Bear Bear round these parts. I put a little ring at the top, so he could be worn from a necklace or hung on the wall like a decoration.
Pink Bear Finger Puppet
33/100 in 100 Days Creative Challenge

Of course, once I made one for the boy, I had to make one for the girl. So this is Pink Bear. It is based off of her favorite Care Bear. Thus the rainbow on her chest. Just so you know, the rainbow was much harder to do than the heart.

Finger puppets are pretty fun to do. It's almost like drawing with felt. I considered making this little guy into a tiny stuffed animal, stuffing it and closing up the bottom, but then I thought I would need to sew it in three parts, to make the roundness, rather than just two little shapes for the front and back.

Anyway, these wouldn't be very sturdy, since the arms and legs are just cut pieces of felt, with no stitching for reinforcement. But then, not everything has to last forever. And sometimes we do things just for fun, or just for experimentation.

I did make a bunch of finger puppets for the kids for Christmas this year. Really they could be anything at all.

Actually, I think the boy asked for a finger puppet theater. Uh oh. Any ideas on how to make a finger puppet theater?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Prayer Installation, DIY Yarn and Push Pin Display

Prayer Installation

Here's my first attempt at getting my little Prayer series up on the wall. I created a yarn and push pin grid of sorts, using a ruler and a level.

I kind of wish I had made it smaller, because there's all this empty space and I think it would look better if the string wasn't sticking out so much from the drawings, but it was too much of a pain to measure and pin and measure and pin, so I left it the way it was. But measuring it wide like this allows for more flexibility. So here I can move the pieces around like a gallery, sell some if I wish and replace with others. I I can fill it up with even more of the pieces, which I kind of like the idea of. And I do want it to be less skimpy. I want it to be large and encompassing. I also still think that I would have liked it if I had just pinned each piece to the wall with a thumbtack or a nail, but you know, something in me won't allow me to commit to that particular display style.

I still have more blank pages, although I haven't done any of the prayers in very long. I've been working on all sorts of other projects. But I might like to do a few more, fill up my wall.

Filling up the walls is a good thing, because my newly moved into house still feels unfinished without art up. I am imagining large pieces, bold dramatic statements. Why don't I put up some of my old work? I don't know. I am feeling torn about it. Much of it seems to intimate to my personal taste and process and girliness to be put in my living room with a real live man watching baseball and falling asleep on the couch and stuff.

Maybe as time goes on, I can add in certain pieces of mine. When I have other art up on the walls to play off of it. When I have picked which ones feel right in which spaces. When I have good frames for them. Also, when there's other stuff up, so it doesn't just feel like a gallery of Ro.

Maybe a gallery of Ro isn't a bad idea, but I'm a little hesitant at this juncture to turn my abode into the gallery of Ro.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

"it suddenly appeared again," or Prayer for Rebirth

"it suddenly appeared again," or Prayer for Rebirth
Ink and Acrylic Paint on Vintage Book Page
31/100 in 100 days Creative Challenge

I am about 2 or 3 weeks behind in my self imposed create 100 works of art in 100 days challenge. Of course that's not so bad, considering I started about 2 or 3 weeks behind the arbitrary date of starting. I didn't pick the date. Well, actually I did. It's the date of last year's challenge. So this is the Second Annual 100 in 100 days challenge. I find myself much more casual about it this year than last year. But then, at the same time, I am also far more experimental than I was last year. Last year, it was pretty much painting the whole time. This year I'm doing paint, ink, paper, wood, paperclay, fabric, polymer clay, photography.... I think I might even include some home decor in this.Well, if I actually do something to an object, not just rearrange a room, but paint something or turn a cardboard box into a wastepaper basket. Don't scoff. I have it in the plans.

I suppose I am looking into making creativity an integrated part of my life, and working on lowering the pressure I put on myself to produce and produce.

And when you really think about it, painting pictures is awesome and fun and wonderful and all that, but what is the real benefit of being creative? Where do we get the most out of being creative? It's not the object that we finish that is the most valuable (although I know that art is actually a commodity, but let's not go in that direction right now) it the journey we are on to create the piece that really enriches our lives.

The other day, my 13 year old babysitter looked at a painting I was working on and was amazed. She didn't know how I could do it. She asked how long it had taken and I told her a couple of hours. She said it would have taken her months. And then I answered, "Well, it took me 39 years and a couple of hours." Because every little work of creativity we engage in is a product of the whole entirety of our lives. The years of study, all the experiences, the reading, the practice, the experimentation. And when you really think about it, each piece of work we do also changes us in ways, from the subtle to the profound. So not only does creativity come out of our lives, but the process of creating in turn transforms us.

This one above? I took another step in my struggle against perfectionism. I almost gave this one up for crap because I just didn't like it. But when I put it away, and then later looked at it in relation to the whole body of these Prayer Paintings, I saw how it could complete the collection, add another layer, reinforce prior thoughts. Then again, maybe this piece is teaching me the value of the process (I learn this lesson all the time) or to look at a piece not only for what is on the page, but also for it's relation to the rest of my life, the rest of my work.

Isn't that more important than the perfection of one little piece? Isn't it more important to see the whole flow of experience and understanding and creativity? Isn't it more important to go on the journey. The art itself might just be a wonderful byproduct.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Moaning Gremlins and Creative Authority

The Road Home

Has it really been almost a whole week? Where have I been? I didn't mean to not post this week. I guess I just got caught up in the living.

And maybe perhaps I haven't posted because I don't have any work to show you. I'm in the middle of multiple projects, both art and home, but I don't have anything done. Or if I do, I don't have my photos uploaded and edited.

I'm trying to get myself onto a new schedule in which art and writing are a regular, natural part of my day. I want them to be automatic, so I don't have to fight the scaredy cat parts of me to get to the creativity. I've been there before. It has worked, but right now, I am fighting all my lazy tendencies to take the paints out or fighting my fear to pull up the intimidating project of my third draft. I am in the place where I have all these ideas and all these projects and I am so close to their fruition, but the hurdles still seem impossible and nothing seems certain, and a little bump can throw me completely off.

I suppose it's some sort of insecurity, a lack of confidence, a fear that what I put out there into the world will be rebuffed, rejected, tossed aside, ignored.

"But what if I fail!!!!" moans my ravening gremlin. "What if I mess up the painting!" (I've been sitting on a new painting all week.) "What if I don't have time to finish? What if I never finish and toil away in obscurity forever? What if no one likes it? What if I'm not as good as I think I am? What if I am wasting all my time and all my efforts and I will never be more than what I am?"

Humph. My gremlin was just about to tell me that all I was was a dedicated amateur, and then I told my gremlin that I actually do make money selling my art, strangers buy it, so although I don't make a living with my creativity, I am a professional. Oh yeah. And I am a professional teacher of art and writing and girl's empowerment, even if I'm not doing it now, I have done it in the past and I am not an amateur. Take that you stupid gremlin.

This brings me to an almost epiphany I had this week. It's almost because it flashed through my mind and then flashed away just as quickly, like lightning, but I wasn't able to grab onto it and harness it. It was something about how becoming an authority on something is, in a big way, about accepting your own knowledge. How do you become an authority on something? You claim your own authority. You create your body of knowledge. You have faith in your own education and experiences that have gotten you to the point you exist in right now.

Even now, I don't have a handle on this epiphany. It faded that quickly. But I'm pretty sure my flash of insight told me to stop thinking I was an amateur and start recognizing the decades of work I have done, the creativity, the conversations, the reading, the classes, the experience.
And on and on.

What if we did walk through the world as if we were authorities on what we knew. Whatever that knowledge was, be it cooking or childrearing or teaching or travelling or art. Being an authority doesn't mean you aren't always looking for new ways of understanding your subject. It doesn't mean you are a know it all, jealous of your own knowledge and status and unwilling to admit where you don't know something. It means you say to yourself and to the world, "Yes. This is who I am. Yes. This is what I know."

I must consider more on this topic of creative authority.

Regardless of the moaning gremlins.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Joyful Heart and the Living

Joyful Heart Charm
Paperclay, acrylic paint and ink
30/100 in 100

How do we go from worrying about a million little (or big) things a day, to paying attention to the little (and big) things that we are living?

I'm not sure. I keep drawing pictures and making charms and writing lists to remind me. I keep taking photos, some digital, some mental. I keep remembering to take deep breaths and let them out again.

A joyful heart helps, I think. A heart in search of joy. A heart that expects joy. A heart that sings and dances and laughs. A whole person that sings and dance and laughs is good, I think.

Sometimes when things get rough and I get uncertain and I have no control over the matter, I start singing show tunes, or 80's pop songs. It's so ridiculous that it makes me laugh. And then I get silly.

What do you do to open your heart to joy? How do you let your joyful heart fill your life with living. Or is it your living that fills your heart with joy?

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Flowering Abundance and Saying Yes To Life

Flowering Abundance, or Yes
Acrylic paint, pen, paperclay
29/100 in 100

Here's a new charm. Painted on a hand shaped paperclay pendant.

I've been looking for some good fortune, some luck, some blessings. And so,because of that, I've decided to create some abundance to send out into the world.

The way I look at it, if I send good luck and fortune out to other people, I can't help but get some back. I am making good things happen in the world. I have a tendency to be a little stingy, to hold onto my time or my energy and not give it out, afraid that I won't have more. But I think this world doesn't really work that way. When you put something out there, it comes back. You don't hold onto your love, keeping it to yourself, and expect to get love in your life. In order to have love, you have to give it away.

On one hand, I am thinking of this charm as a kind of lucky charm, a spell, an item infused with good will which can only help draw good energy to itself and its bearer.

On the other hand, when I create something infused with that good will, for abundance or love or understanding or whatever it is, I am also focusing my attention on those good things. I pay attention to them. The act of creating something around the good will causes good will to be born in me. I am more abundant, or loving, or understanding.
back of the charm. Or I suppose front, if you hang it this way.

So let me tell you what I have learned by creating all these pieces of art with abundance at their heart.

Abundance is about creating. Abundance is about loving what you have. Abundance is about using what you have. Abundance is about respecting who you are and where you are. Abundance is about trusting yourself and trusting life. Abundance is about saying yes to the life you have been given. Which is why this piece says "yes."

And here's another yes for today.

I started working on my novel for the first time in forever. For good reasons, a new job, a move, a new house, family obligations, and daily child care, I have not been able to get back to revising my novel. But writers write, despite all the good reasons not to.

So today, I said, "Hey honey, I'm going to go to the library with my lap top, book a study room and get back to work on my novel. Just pretend that I was going to work today. I'll be back around 2 to relieve you in the child care duty."

And he said yes. And he said that we could do this on a regular basis. And he said we would work out a schedule where I could dedicate my time to writing every day or however would work for me.

So I walked the two blocks to the library, and the kids and S came with me, and we ran into the farmer's market in the parking lot of the library, where the kids made pipe cleaner bead bracelets and S got green beans and zucchini.

And then I left them to their adventure and sat down with my novel. Deleting the first chapter (it was a mess) and revising the prologue and the first 8 pages over and over again. It wasn't easy, but I think I am working through some of the tangles that have been stopping me in the story all along. Then I left the library, borroying some movies and running into the book sale at the library. There I bought a bag of books, mostly old favorites that I've lost in the various moves or are still in storage a thousand miles away. And I only spent the money that I would have spent on my treat of coffee.

Here's another thought on abundance.

Sometimes we get so wrapped up with the thought of money, the fear of not having enough, the desire to get more, that we forget that abundance does not really come from having money.

What do you think about abundance and how we find it? Is there anything that works for you?

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Swirly Charm, or Spinning Wheels

Swirly Charm or Spinning Wheels
Paperclay, pencil, Pitt artist pen, acrylic ink
28/100 in 100

This is my first attempt at doing something with all the little paperclay pieces I have from before. All those lovely little white blanks just waiting for attention. I drew on it and painted it according to whim, really. I suppose it's part of the process, this piece. Maybe it's not a winner in and of itself.

Now, I actually really like the white, but I wanted to try something new. I don't even know if this piece is done. I need to add some varnish, but I am waiting to do the varnishing until I have a whole batch of things to be varnished. It is hard to decide what to do with each piece, actually. Leave white. Paint. And then what to do with them when they are done? Do I make something out of them? Do I just put the little pieces up for sale in my shop individually? Do I let my kids play with them and end up with them under my couch and behind the bookshelves?

Sometimes I worry too much about the long term possible results and end up spinning my wheels. Or I worry about not having the time to finish and never get started. Well that's the same spinning, I guess.

I've got another paper clay piece working that I like better than this one. Another charm, but this one I made with the specific goal of painting it. I've been a little busy though, with a young man's fifth birthday, so I haven't really had time to finish it.

But this is part of living a creative life, isn't it? The living of it? Well, perhaps not the Chuck E Cheese part of it, that is creatively deadening, but the rest? The adventure, the interaction, the cake baking, the love... that either feeds the creativity or is part of the creation.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Lucky Charm and the Compulsion to Create

Lucky Charm in Orange and Gray
felt, cotton fabric, thread, embroidery floss
27/100 in 100 Creative Challenge

I made this last week during my night of creative activity. I whipped it up as a little good luck gift to go along with a print I sold. I wanted an ornament or charm of some sort and this is what came out.
Here's the back where I embroidered the word 'Luck.' Since taking this photo, I also frayed the edges of the cotton a bit more. I like the ruffled look and was willing to lose the cohesion of the paisley pattern for the worn look. But I can't show you a photo of that, because I up and mailed it already. So the luck has gone out into the world.

Also since that day, I've done pretty much no artwork. I had to work and I got tired and the Fourth of July holidays came upon us, but really, the truth is, if I don't work, if I don't create, I start to get really anxious and cranky.

If I am not working, I feel like I am not done. Maybe that I am disappointing the universe, that I am not living up to my own potential, that I have something imperative to do and must keep moving.

I do not know if any of this is true. I suppose it is not true. Even creative people deserve to enjoy their down time, or take a weekend off.

And yet, if you are a creative person, who finds joy in making things and creating beautiful things, then does it necessarily follow that if you are not creating things that you should feel bad? I'm wondering if some of that compulsion to create also turns into fear and anxiety that keeps us away from creating sometimes.

I think there are some crossed signals in that. I know I am not the only person who feels like they need to stay creative, to always stay busy. Maybe it's falling slightly out of balance. Maybe it's some crossed signals in our psyche.

Maybe it's just part of the process in being a driven creative type. Maybe we're obsessive, sometimes. I do feel compelled sometimes. Without that obsession or compulsion, would we even be creative people?

Do you feel the need to create? Is something pushing you to photograph the world around you? Are you compelled to pick up that journal or pen or brush. Do you HAVE to write every day? Does the anxiety of creating sometimes keep you away from your work?

Sometimes I wish I could just be a regular person and enjoy a lazy day without feeling like I am incomplete and should be writing/painting/drawing. What about you?

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Three Mixed Media Drawings, A Creative Evening

"Who are you?" or Prayer for a Butterfly
Ink, Watercolor Pencil and Acrylic Paint on antique book page.
26/100in 100 creative challenge, 6/30/10

Yesterday I came down with a cold and moped around all day feeling exhausted and blue.

However, the night before that, I had a little creative engine going. I watched my So You Think You Can Dance, and I watched my Work of Art Bravo show, and I sat there and made art all night long until my hands ached and my back complained.

Now, granted, I shouldn't have kept it up until my body creaked, but it felt good to create. This was one of my favorite pieces from last night.

It's based on a self portrait I did a little while ago, but this time on the old Wonderland papers. I don't know why I chose to do this, but I just know it felt right. And the shirt was crying out for this scalloped peacock like pattern. So that's what I did. The title comes directly from the text on the page.

This isn't the same kind of botanical inspiration as I've been doing, but perhaps that's where the scallops comes in. It references back to the botanical feel.
A Little Girl, or Prayer for Becoming
Ink, Watercolor Pencil and Acrylic Paint on Book Page

I did this one first, also inspired by a photo I took of myself. I don't know what my intention was, I just had the urge to draw the silhouette. Again the words came from the text. Oh, Alice and her strange adventures.

Actually, with this one, I added the floral pattern after I did the previous drawing. Maybe this one should have a later number. Oh well. But yes, the floral pattern was inspired by the scallop pattern. Except, oddly, I reversed the colors and used brown for the scallop design and blue for the inside. It completely changed the feel of the pattern. Isn't that interesting? I think I like the blue design with brown inside better, but hey, there is the magic of color and pattern, I guess. Plus, scallops in a circle look like dahlias.

A Moment of Silence, or Prayer for Contentment
acrylic paint and watercolor pencil on vintage book page
24/100 in 100 creative challenge 6/30/10

This is the first painting/drawing I did on my busy night. It is not my favorite, perhaps that is why I almost did not show it, but I know where the inspiration came from. This is something like what I saw this morning when I took my shower. It's the pattern of water droplets on the shower curtain with the light coming through them.

Like I said, this is not my favorite piece, but I look at it and see where the inspiration for the scallops in blue and brown and white came from.

The creative process is interesting. Sitting down and doing a bunch of work is also interesting. It's like there is a visual document of your thought processes. Or maybe it's not all about thought. Maybe it's about the subconscious. Or feelings. Or just the mysterious connection of random memories, observations, and physical realities.

I don't know what it is. But here it is.

I recommend a creative session for everyone. All it takes is some time without other commitments and you, surrounded by art supplies, unfinished projects and lists of things you want to create, something fun and not too engrossing on the television or stereo, and the time and space to create whatever comes to mind.

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