Friday, August 31, 2012

miss fashion girl gets a boost

I don't design clothes, I design dreams.
Ralph Lauren

hello folks...

I felt like having fun last night with collage.
Don't panic yet - she kinda looks like Rocky here.

Snippets of different parts of the face from different photos.
The mouth is actually the mouth of a baby,
just cause i'm guessing some of these fashion queens
must pout now and then.

No doubt from lack of food... ;-)

A bit of color in the background to shape the face...

Yeah, i could have simply cut the paper,
but there's not much thinking going on at the early stages.

Color in the eyes... and yes, i thought she looked better
with a flower on her head rather than hair. 

I'd make a fine fashion designer... ;-)

a few little extra doodles... and dots. ;-)

more detail...
notice the turtle neck sweater... it's wool. ;-)

she looks pretty sad, but most of them usually do...
(again, lack of food)

Give me a week with nothing but lemon juice and crackers,
and i'd be about ready to kill someone.

i need croissants and coffee
thank you very much...

I can't take much credit for something like this, since it's mostly collage.
But the purpose was to relax and have fun - and that i did.

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!
it's Friiiiiiday!! 


Thursday, August 30, 2012

why living in the maybe makes sense to me

For small creatures such as we
the vastness is bearable only through love. 
Carl Sagan

I read something yesterday that got me thinking… 

The post began with this question:

can you live in the maybe?

And immediately, my mind went racing. 

Isn't this where we all live, every day?

Many of us deny it, but i believe this is where we always live.

In the maybe.

We are surrounded by death,

and divorce

and firings

and change of plans

and change of hearts

and burning houses

and burning desires

and accidents

and unexpected anguish

and questions…

oh, the questions…

No one knows anything with absolute certainty -
including knowing God.

Especially knowing God.

Those who claim to know with certainty may be fooling themselves
but they're not fooling me.

People who marry believe in their hearts
they are marrying for life.
And sometimes, this is the case,
but many times - it isn't.

Loyal employees believe they have a job for life,
but we all know how quickly this can change.

Professional students who yearn to become doctors,
discover after graduation that they were not cut out for the medical profession after all.

People change.

Dreams change.

Passions change.

Life changes.

If life is a constant change, then surely,
it is a constant maybe.

Maybe i'll find happiness in that dream home,
maybe i won't.

Maybe i'll be totally satisfied to finally write that novel,
maybe i won't.

Maybe my loved ones will be here tomorrow,
maybe they won't.

Life happens.

One can still say YES to life, and still shout it out on the rooftops,
but we should never fool ourselves into thinking
that our current reality is permanent.

As much as we'd love to keep things safe and protected,
life doesn't work that way.

We may think we're always in control, but in reality,
we are never in control.

Life is in control.

Believing otherwise has us riding against the current
rather than with it.

The only one thing i do know with certainty

is that love exists

and it does matter.

By the way, the lovely bracelet at the top of this post was made for me by a dear friend, Denise... (who's wonderfully talented, btw)... and i know it was made with love. :-) Thank you girl!!! You rock.

Carpe Diem.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

some art materials i use on a daily basis...

i love happy bunny... :-)

i want to post some of the materials i use,
so that some of you can see that we don't always need
the best of the best to CREATE. I use most of these materials on a daily
(or almost daily) basis.

My watercolor brushes. I usually always gravitate towards the bigger one,
and the one on the bottom (with the white handle). As long as you have a big brush, and smaller one, you're ok. Prices range, obviously, but i don't think you should have to sell your house to buy a brush. ;-) 

My trusty micron pens. These are .05 but i have a few .01 tips lying around too. I prefer the smaller tips, .01

My watercolor set. As you can see, a few of the little compartments need to be filled again. Funny how we always tend to use the same colors. The orange and red at the top are still the original colors. Not colors i naturally gravitate to.

I buy a few watercolors in tubes and simply squeeze the watercolor paint out of the tube whenever i need more. I know there are fancier shmancier watercolor sets, but this one is small and portable - so i love it. It's a Windsor Newton, but i know there are tons of brands out there. Start with a DollarStore set if you want to test it out first to see if you like it.

My brush tip markers. i love these because they don't bleed at all and you can do thick or thin lines with the same tip. You can always buy just the ONE marker to give it a try and see how you like it before buying a package.

i love these color pencils... love the weight of them in my hand and they are SO friggin' smooth... 

a few extra markers - the ones on the left are BIC markers (thin point) and the bleed far too much for my liking. They're great on glossy paper (photographic paper) but i use them very little. The ones on the right are Sharpies. Excellent. 

This is the one material i don't use on a daily basis...
but whenever i DO use it, i enjoy them. Oil pastels.
The cheapo brand from Michael's. 

Some artists feel that art isn't valuable art unless it's done with expensive materials. I'm not one of those artists. I saw masterpieces done with Crayola wax crayons. I think the important thing is for YOU to be comfortable with the materials you use, and to be aware of what's out there. Sure, a $100 box of pastels will probably feel better than a $20 one, but you may be ok with the $20 one...and it may feel totally ok to you. You'll still get the feel of pastels and if you discover along the way that you DO love it, you can always buy more expensive brands later. 

A few of my acrylic paints... in my green plastic basket. :-)

Liquid acrylics, from the Dollar Store. A few are a bit more expensive, from Michael's. I think i may continue buying the more expensive ones. They just feel better to me on paper.

I especially love these for journaling. You can pour the paint directly on the paper and it's easy peasy clean up. 

These i use less often too, but whenever i do, i love them.
Dry pastels i bought like a gazillion years ago, and only recently began using them. Much messier than some of the other material i use, but still - for those who like to get their hands dirty - this will do it. Plus, i love that it's simple to use. This and paper, and you're good to go.

Paper is probably the most important material for me

The one i'm willing to spend more money for. i use a variety of papers, depending on what i'm doing and how serious the work is. My journal is basically a black hard cover book (with spiral) and thick watercolor like paper. As long as the paper is not too thin for journaling. Some people don't mind the paper rolling when water is added to it, but it drives me nuts. So i prefer a thicker paper, even if it's not top of the line watercolor paper. As long as it's thicker and able to hold water and gesso and mod podge, and markers, i'm good. ;-)

Painting on paper has brought me a lot of freedom and released a lot of the pressure we sometimes feel when we're painting on canvas. We all know we can wipe a canvas clean or paint over it if we don't like what we see, but i find with paper, it's a much more 'freeing' feeling from the beginning. It may be psychological, i don't know. I only know that it feels good for me to paint on paper, so i do it. ;-) 

Sometimes i use cheapo DollarStore journals like this one... simple, easy to carry around, perfect for jotting down ideas or quick sketches. A little harder to find ones with blank white paper (without lines) though.

a little peek in my semi organized art supplies cabinet. I see photos on blogs sometimes of studios and art supplies and i think "HOLY SHIT!! Where are they going with all these supplies?"

I basically try to buy what i need for now. I never run out of supplies, but i'm not stocked for a nuclear meltdown either. ;-) I always have an extra journal book, cause that's more important to me than anything.

Maybe some people think there's gonna be a shortage of art supplies in the years to come and they're just stocking up?

So i guess i'll buy from them when and if the time comes. :-)  

Some of my brushes - some in pretty sad condition. But i keep them all, even the ones that are all torn up. I still use them when i'm painting. 

Who doesn't need a big box of crayola wax crayons?! 

These are the watercolor tubes (and a few gouache) i mentioned earlier, the ones i use to refill my little watercolor set. I've gathered these for years. It's amazing how long they last.

And last but not least... another happy bunny, to end this post on a high note.
These little notebooks are great. Portable, small and funny. What more do you need to jot down your fantastico ideas?

i know there are surely some materials i use and haven't posted, but in general, when i'm making art, this is all i need. As for canvas, i buy the higher quality ones when i'm doing a serious painting, but i also buy a few cheap canvas panels at the DollarStore, just for playing with paint.  

It's important not to feel like we need a certain brand, or a certain experience, to be able to make art.

EVERYONE can make art.

Not everyone does, but everyone CAN. We are all creative beings, and while most of us have stifled this creativity, for fear of not being good enough or not being seen by society as serious enough, I believe the need to create is always there - the need to express, to share, to connect, whether you do it with cooking or writing or dancing or playing music.

If one could only make art with expensive materials, then art would only be for the rich. And we all know that's not true. I've seen some crappy art done with expensive material, and some fascinating art done with a pencil. Don't ever feel like you need every material available to make good art. The only thing you really need is the heart to do it.

Thank you for all your kind comments. I hate that i can't reply to each and every one of them, but i hope you all know how much your support means to me.

Click here to read about how Henri Matisse felt a deep need to create, regardless of circumstances or materials. So inspirational.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

IF, green tree and sorrow...

Illustration Friday... TALL. :-)

watercolor on paper.

There was an accident near here last weekend
and a local young man lost his life... (18). This is a small community,
so whenever something like this happens, it always hits home.

I know it makes me want to hold my teenage son just a little tighter...

i painted this on Sunday... 

I wanted a 'no edges' rough kinda look... although i'm not sure i've got it.
This takes practice... to paint without a definite edge.

But i love the look of paintings without an edge.
Like one thing blends into the other and nothing is too precise anymore. 

a bit of color...

not sure i'm done yet. I'll see...

This is a mother, grieving the loss of her son...

sorry i didn't take any pics while painting it.
This one just rushed out of me, without a thought for the camera.

Tomorrow, i'll post a few of the materials i use...

i took some pics yesterday but didn't download them yet.
Hope to see you back here. :-)

Saturday, August 25, 2012

the beach, good books and a WW2 painting...

The cure for anything is salt water - sweat, tears, or the sea.

- Isak Dinesen

I made my way to the beach today...
is there anything better than a quiet day at the beach with a good book?

And with these little treasures i got last week from Amazon,
let's just say it was a good day. 

I am somewhat of a loner, so i much prefer a quiet beach
than one filled with noise and barking dogs
and shiny, sparkly, tanned bodies. :-)

We have several beaches around here we can escape to
when we don't feel like being surrounded by a gazillion people.

I still think that if everyone regularly took time to unwind like this, 
the world would be a better place.

I realize that not everyone has such freedom...
and almost always, whenever i am surrounded by this beauty,
i can't help but think of those less fortunate
and it's an effort for me not to feel guilty for what i have.

...a little blue ocean between the rocks...

The wharf, with fishing boats coming in and going out...

multi-colored fishing rope...

A fishing boat...

Who wouldn't love a turquoise boat?

lovely reflection in the water...

A few more people showed up, but still very quiet.
I had a wonderful few hours to myself...

I'm squeezing out every last bit of summer we have left,
although i welcome the fall with open arms.
It's my favorite season.

This was last night's work....

I have a soft spot for WW2 soldiers and stories.

Many of these men went into battle without much of a choice.
It's one thing to choose to become a soldier,
but quite another to be forced into it.

My father in law was a WW2 veteran and used to tell me stories of local men
who spent months hiding in the woods near here,
so they wouldn't be forced to join the army.

Once in a while, the military police would go from house to house,
gathering all the men to join in the battle overseas (in Europe).

When they suspected there was a man of the house in hiding,
they searched the thick woods in the surrounding areas
and often found what they were looking for.

My father in law told me of one such man who had the kindest heart,
and who had been hiding in the woods for months,
fearful of being forced into the army,
with his wife and children bringing him food.

Some may see these men as cowards, but i don't.

I think of my own father, who doesn't have the heart to discipline his dog, 
let alone kill a man,
and i understand what these men were hiding from.

They were filled with fear at the thought of war,
and the idea that they may be killed,
but more than anything,
they were paralyzed in fear at having to kill someone else.

When i saw this photo last night in one of my books, it tugged at my heart.

This police constable is consoling a man who had gone for a walk with his dog while his wife cooked Sunday dinner. His town (in South London) was bombed and he came back to find everything demolished and his wife buried beneath the rubble.  

a quick watercolor sketch with colors a bit too dark for my liking,
but i guess that was the mood...

As much as the world is filled with crap,
it's also filled with very hopeful, caring,
compassionate moments like these.

My world makes sense when i acknowledge both, the good with the bad.

Sometimes, i let myself get carried away too much with the bad
(hence, the asshole post prior to this one!)
but then i treat my soul to good books and a day at the beach
and all is well with the world again. :-)

Thank you all for visiting here.
I hope you all know how grateful i am
that we share this space together...

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

how to avoid assholes, or avoid becoming one

Hello out there...

I have little time in the evenings lately,
so i did this little painting sketch this morning.

I'll bet the vibe would be different
if i painted in the morning rather than the evening.

When are you most creative? Morning or night?

I have this perfect little routine going...

Walk in the morning, work in the day, paint and read in the evenings.

I'm not usually one for routine, 
but if it ain't broken, don't fix it, right? ;-)

It works for me, so i'll just keep movin' on...

I didn't have anything in mind when i began this. Obviously.

As i get older, I am getting much more picky about
how i choose to spend my time
and who i choose to spend it with.

There are a lot of good people in this world,
but we all know there are still way too many assholes. ;-)

The key to a happy life is limiting your time with the negatives,
and maximizing your time with the good stuff and the good people.

(You're welcome)

I also have a few other keys to happiness:

- avoiding victims (the ones who bring you down in 5 minutes flat)

- watching very little tv

- walking on the beach

- avoiding those who don't believe in dreams (and who try to crush yours)

- avoiding negatives. In people and in math. ;-)

- making art as often as i can

- listening

- good wine and good coffee

- caring very little about what others think of me

- trusting my own voice for a change and drowning out the rest.

- everything in moderation. Yes, everything. 

I believe my bullshit radar is getting
really honed and precise with age.

I'm just saying... ;-)

Years ago, i never would have painted something like this
and posted it for the world to see.

Well, ok, maybe there's only a hundred of you, but still.

I never would have dared to put myself out there,
for fear of being judged. For fear of not being good enough.
For fear, for fear, for fear...

And yet, what if i AM judged by someone out there?
What if i'm not the best?
How does this really change my life?
How does this actually matter?

It doesn't.

What matters, is how I feel about what i'm doing.

If you can make sense of it - someone else will too.

Unless you're a lunatic. 

In which case, it'll only make sense
to other lunatics. ;-)

But still - it'll make sense to someone!

I'm grateful that we all share this space together
and feed off one another in creativity and connection.

That's what it's all about, isn't it?