Sunday, July 28, 2013

Where ART thou?

Well where do I start... I see its been over a year since I last posted in my blog and honestly I'm not sure why the long hiatus. 

Perhaps the complete upheaval of my life, yep I'm going to go with that... Shall I give a summary? Ok, I will.

So a few days after my last post I decided to do something about the pit in my stomach... That feeling you get when you think it's better to swallow the elephant in the room vs dealing with it. My elephant was my desire to end my marriage. 

3 years of talking about the big stuff and sweeping the small stuff under the rug had become too much to bear. I was unhappy, terribly so. I felt alone and yet my friends and family had no idea. I had accepted mediocrity as the high by which I strived for in terms of happiness and had forgotten what true happiness was. I wasn't depressed, I just knew change needed to happen.

In a calm manor on a Wednesday evening, I approached my husband and said "I want a divorce."  He said, "ok."  It really was that simple... Well there was a 5 hour conversation, some tears and Kleenex, but that's the gist. 

We divorced amicably, via a mediator. I moved out of the house, into an apartment in the city. See my ex and I began dating when I was 19... Married when I was 24, and I was divorced by 33. Mind you I had never lived on my own before. I moved in with my ex when I was 20... He owned a home, we later bought a house together.  

During all of this I began dating (wow has that changed), and am in a great relaationship now. I learned through dating that I am an attractive woman... How did I not know this?!  But those stories are best saved for another blog I'm going to start. 

Also I lived with my ex for nearly the whole divorcing process. We were in separate rooms of course, but that was odd and stressful. 

We had to also durning this time put down our beloved dog Luigi. He had cancer and after 3 days of refusing to eat (anything) and stopping his water intake, he was so weak. It was time for him to run free at the rainbow bridge... Letting him go was so incredibly hard. 

On top of that Tulip (our other dog), broke her leg... She will recover, but it's been a long process.

That's the main reason(s) for this unplanned absence. Now that I am much more settled... Let the blogging resume!  

Oh, but it's not that easy. As artists I think we learn to be creative in certain environments... at least that has been my experience.  Since moving, finding HOW to be creative is proving to be a challenge. I stare at my art supplies, and they somehow seem foreign... How is this medium used? What am I doing? Did I forget to pack my artistic side? 

Slowly but surly I'm breaking through... tweaking my space, just playing with the supplies and allowing myself to feel like a fish with no water. Adapting to my new surroundings and life. 

Still a work in Progress:

What struggles are keeping your creative dampers closed? How can you adapt to or change the situation?  Don't be shy... Share :)

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Let Freedom Ring ... and other stuff

For Americans this is a day of celebration, a day that marks are Independence ... our Freedom (relatively speaking). 

As a child I HATED the 4th of July, the fireworks scared me to death. This fear stemmed from an experience where the fireworks were being fired off too close to the crowds. The boom was unbearably loud causing several child to start screaming. If that was upsetting enough as the fireworks would fizzle and fall they were landing on the crowds as well and they HURT!  After I was traumatized at the age of 4 I would just prefer to watch them on TV for years to come. I'm not sure which age these started becoming acceptable (probably high school), but they did and I love them now.  

So like millions of others we will venture out into the heat and "ohhhh" Ahhhh" with the rest of them :)
People assume that living in MN we are always in the verge of a snow storm, this is far from the truth. Not only did we barely have any snow this past winter  the dew point today will make our 99 temp feel like 110! 

While I LOVE summer this past weekend I was treated for Heat Stroke. I along with several other crazy people decided to run the Warrior Dash. If you are not familiar with this, understand it is a 5K set at a ski hill/mountain  filled with mudpits and obstacles that you do in a timely fashion. 

Many people enjoy this sort of thing, I mean MANY people. Our group consisted of 14 people with all different athletic abilities and ranged in age from 20's to 40 (my hubby tops the charts here). I felt ready. I had ran some and while I had no intention of "racing" I felt like I would do okay. 

I was seriously mistaken. I only made it half way before I yelled for my hubby who had stayed behind and went slow for ME. I told him something was wrong, in 95 degree weather I should be sweating, but I wasn't. I had goose bumps and was shivering! I literally could not walk any further and I was starting to fade. The medic came to my rescue and I told my hubby to finish the race and find the rest of our group. 

I then spent 2 hours in the medic tent lying on ice, and working hard to form complete sentences. Once everyone was hosed off and had their pics and celebrations we were able to get shuttled back to the parking lots and head home where I happily watched TV/Movies in the AC. 

I am fine now, but a scary experience for sure.  What is the lesson here? KNOW YOUR BODY. If something doesn't seem right, it probably isn't.

Stay cool this 4th of July!

Oh ... You wanted some art?! Well I do have this little guy I finished just in time for today. While I am not a fan of "patriotic art" per se', I felt compelled to do this. 

Monday, June 25, 2012

Paintings, Butterflies and Life.

So where have I been ... well that is an a loaded question because the answer far surpasses the attention of most blog readers! 
Life suddenly got busy, and rather then sit back and watch I took the wave and have been riding it ever since. 
Here is a brief summary:
  • Interpreting career has been very full, challenging and rewarding
  • Finished one art e-course and then started taking another
  • Finished my 3rd commission and have 4 and 5 lined up already
  • Celebrated Hubbies 40th birthday with a big bash
  • Will be celebrating our 8th wedding anniversary on Tuesday
I always feel so honored and blessed when I am asked to paint something for someone, but those requests aren't void of trials and tribulations.
Its one thing to paint from your soul, its another to paint from your brain. I feel less of the "joy" when painting a commission as I become so engulfed in the process. Suddenly "perfection" takes center stage and I am merely a lost shadow. 
I lose site of the goal. When I am approached it is because MY style has captured the eye of another; remembering that, I finally let go of form and embrace what I know and love. I grow and become whole again. 

Just when the Caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly. 

I am not a lover of symmetry, so butterfly wings were hard to achieve at first. This is actually the 4th butterfly and to arrive at this,  I had to consult a repeating dream I had been having. 
I had dreamed  that I was in an art class and rather then focus on balance the teacher wanted symmetry. I felt stuck and would get yelled at for not following the rules. No matter how nice my painting looked it was never good enough. In my dream I teach myself to become ambidextrous and draw each outline of my paintings with two hands so each half would be the mirror of the other. 
In reality, I am right-handed. My left hand has very little responsibility and lacks confidence. 
Feeling desperate I grab two pieces of white pastel and in one fluid motion my two hands work as one. In seconds I had the shape I was after and that was all it took! Who knew such a feat was possible?

I love wrapping the images around the sides of my canvases.

I am anxious to try this technique again in future paintings to see how it works for my faces!

Since the painting has been completed I have had NUMEROUS encounters
with butterflies, to the point of freaky.

I have had them land on the windshield while in the car at a stop light.
Nearly ran over them while they lie on the road in front of 
my drive way.
The most freakish was when I was walking along a wall of windows
down a hall way at a building I was working. 
The butterfly in a lovely outdoor atrium was following me the whole walk
down and just as I was about to turn the corner
the butterfly repeatedly flew into the glass making an audible noise!
I was so surprised that I stopped and walked toward the window
at which time the butterfly relaxed and landed on the window sill.
I was stunned and took two pictures. One was a shot of a calm creature
the second was a much more curious creature as it tilted its body upward to look
right at me!  Some day I may share those:)

At the same time the painted butterfly was taking transformation I had started to hang out with a new friend ... kinda weird. The butterfly has many symbolic meanings, but "soul" is one that comes to mind. I feel like I have known this person (newer friend) for a long time and that is rather cool ... We both just "get it",  everyone should have a friend like that. :)

I hope all of you wonderful readers are doing well, leave a message and say HI :)


Thursday, May 17, 2012

One step closer... To selling my art.

I would say that I create in my sleep, its true. I will dream myself awake with an idea or an image, and while a dream journal is a great way to keep track of all those amazing thoughts, I cannot paint them into reality in the middle of the night. Thus those detailed pictures get squished between my hand and the snooze button. 

When I'm wide awake and my brain is full of mundane "life" stuff, sifting through it to find an image or a burst of inspiration seems to take much more work. It is a pretty messy office in my brain upstairs. The file cabinets are bursting with loose papers, there are completely empty files and stacks of things that could just be thrown out.

With all that chaos, I create first and think later ... many times this works. Then there is THE REST of the time.  

This painting started out as the image in the upper left corner.
I started over and had the image in the bottom left corner. 
While she was an improvement, I just wasn't happy and 
finally, she made her Debut as Lady Fox.

This little birdie was in instant success and 
was finished in 15 min.
Stopping to "Smell the Tulips"

For me part of the creative process is acknowledging that not all things have to make sense. In fact in the land of whimsy it is often better it doesn't. There is no planet where foxes run and flowers bloom with the luminous planet Earth off the horizon ... but so what.

Not all people are going to like what I create, and I honestly appreciate that. I often find it amusing when people Don't like my work.
Yep, totally true. I get some twisted high off of creating something only to have my Hubby look at it perplexed. I know instantly he isn't amused with it and that is completely fine. 

That is not to  mean that the pressure is off and I have some kind of overwhelming freedom. Recently I've added a new bit of technology (the Artisian 1430 printer) that is if anything making the pressure even more great. After painting for just under a year I have had an unbelievably amazing journey, I have learned much and have become quite comfortable with the process. Knowing when to take the next step however,  is scary. 

The once wide path has narrowed to a 4 inch balance beam and before I get down to the "wire" I have to answer a question. Why am I doing this? 

First and foremost I do this because I love it! When a once bare canvas suddenly evokes emotion, and a character or color combination resonates within me, others pick up on that.
I don't think God granted me this ability just to keep it for myself, but to share it with others. To send a smile, to share a story, to make others happy.  

I have been questioned several times about selling my work. Do I sell my work? Do I have a website? Why am I not selling? When will I start selling?

Currently I sell commissioned work. 
I only have a blog to display my work (I am a "basic" techie)
I am not selling because I'm chicken I have lots of excuses and feel like I need to learn more (do we ever stop learning?). 
I do however plan to sell soon, maybe, probably ... 

That printer was a commitment (thus the pressure). I mean if I wasn't going to make prints of my work with it, it would be really impractical to have. 

Lucky for me, fear has shifted in the last few years. It used to mean stopping dead in my tracks a road block with no detour insight. Now it is just a Yield sign or even a motivator.  "Caution, growth and opportunity ahead, proceed wisely."

I simply call this girl "Little Miss". Though I think a more appropriate
title might be as stated above; "Stopping to smell the tulips".

Lucky for me, fear has shifted in the last few years. It used to mean stopping dead in my tracks a road block with no detour insight. Now it is just a Yield sign or even a motivator.  "Caution, growth and opportunity ahead, proceed wisely."

So that is where I am now ... I create in a home studio that my hubby helped to set-up. Its quaint and I'm out growing it at a rapid rate! So time to sell what I have, to make room for the new right?! Ack!!

I have been absolutely terrified every moment of my life - and I've never
let it keep me from doing a single thing I've wanted to do. - Georgia O'Keeffe 

A big Shout Out to Mindy Lacefield of Tim's Sally. Who has inspired me to work with my inner 7 year old via her e-course, "Paint Your Story".  The paintings above were created while in her class and I have really enjoyed "letting go" and painting what is organically in me. If you want to free yourself and see what your inner child has to say, I suggest checking out her blog and signing up for the next session :)

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Tulips and Roller Skates: my inner child out to play

As you may know I have for the last year been on quite an art journey. While I have always been creative and highly involved in the arts, I have never felt more real or true to myself as when I have a paint brush in hand.

The past few weeks I have been taking an online course, "Paint Your Story" , taught by the fabulous, Mindy of Tim's Sally.  We are learning about painting from our inner seven year-old selves and reconnecting to the simpler things we enjoyed (or still enjoy) in life.

This is all about loosing up and not being perfect. I tend to paint from my subconscious and really don't have an outward goal in mind when I start. But all at once this begin to emerge.

I did this much in one sitting while watching a movie and let me tell you ... it was a cathartic process, that included lots of crying. The good healing kind of tears, the ones that act as crystals shining on what is ahead while fully closing the door behind you.

I find myself really attached to her and even dreamt I was chasing her the very night I painted her.

My childhood wasn't full of Chutes and Ladders, Lolli-pops and puppy kisses, but lets just say rough around the edges. Too often the bad times emerge to the surface and I deal and walk away. But when you allow those bad times to sit a while, its who comes out of the muck that is amazing. My 7 year old self ... my red tulip loving, rollerskating everyday self!

I had purple Popple, roller skates that I wore as though they were my feet. I put more miles in 
our basement/driveway/roller rink than humanly possible. I loved them. 
I also really enjoyed the red tulips outside our (mine and my mom's) bedroom window would bloom
every year.
They were so fun looking and were quite amazing to me. 
I lived on my grandparents Christmas tree farm until I was 10 and to have the vibrant red against all the 
green was wonderful. 

The "tulip's" were just magically there before this little girl was. I guess that is how it works
when it is meant to be:)

I think more will get added and something things will change a bit, but I really love this character and you know what, she is going to be A-OK :)

I am beginning to rethink the large round mickey-mouse bun to the right of her head, what do you think?

What is your 7 years old self teaching you today?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

My 7 Year-Old-Self Has Taken Over

If you have been wondering where I have been, well rest assured it has been in the studio! I have been consumed by this wonderful online e-course called, "Paint Your Story" taught by the talented Mindy Lacefield aka Tim's Sally.

This course has been about connecting with your 
7 year old self, and just letting go. 

As a child your art of symbols and scribbles doesn't have to 
make sense and yet, you were able to create things
you (and probably others) enjoyed.
They were uniquely YOU.

Just letting go and doing what 'feels good' versus what 
'seems right' can be scary. 
I've been working on NOT painting like I am 7 for a while
and now I am embracing that pig-tailed girl.

As a child I was a perfectionist and so I joke and say I am connecting
with my "inner-inner child", the non-perfect 
girl I sometimes really wanted to be. 

You can imagine some pretty emotional stuff can rise to the surface 
when digging deep.
I seem to be resonating with my "creepy people" as I loving call them.
They have scars that are visible, but slowly healing.

Sometimes just a word can set the mood for a great work of art. 
Sometimes a word can take you far away or make you laugh.

A whole mess of words can give you a glimpse into the crevasses of the brain.

I used to think, "I need to take art classes if I am going to be any
good at this." 
Now I am seeing that learning about My-Self, is far more 
rewarding and artistically beneficial!

Well I had always remembered the "Good Fairy saying if he 
didn't stop scooping up field mice and boppin' em' on the head
she would bop HIM. 
Well, no matter the words, that still little song of my childhood
played a part in this. 
Some have suggested (upon seeing this drawing) he was just loved a lot. 
Or maybe he really is wearing the Scarlet Letter of mice boppin'!

Each day I create new Characters and unearth parts of my
7 year old self. 
There is still a couple of weeks left and so please stay tuned to see
what my final creations will be. 

Happy Creating. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

I Peek in My Sketch Book

I have a few sketch books and while I enjoy sketching now and then, I also enjoy just using loose paper.

Well I haven't picked up my 7x10 sketch book in a long while but thought I'd share a little character I created using elements from other characters I've made.

He is rather fun, and I love his uniqueness. I think I'll have to add him in a painting ... He looks to the sky with determination and I like that :)

Are you ever surprised by what you find in your books?