Smashing

I was going through my stacks of lists, ideas, notes and random bits and pieces the other day, trying to find a way to either let go of them or organize them, sort them, include them in an updated master To Do list…which is not to be confused with my daily Most Important Things To Do Today list.

On the edge of one page, there was a simple faceless sketch with some notes alongside of it.  The notes said ” a spider in her hair and a bird house in her soul”.

You know I had to run with that.

I sketched her in a smashbook I had handy, while sitting on the bed next to my three-year-old while he slept.  The next day, I added color.  I started with alcohol markers.  Then acrylic paint.  Then some clear gesso and colored pencils.

I love her.

watermarked-spider in her hair, birdhouse in her soul

 

She has a sister as well, but I am not done painting her yet.  I’ll post her when she’s done.

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Oh, The Thinning Veils

Long have I loved the Masque Of The Red Death…and this is where the impetus for this piece came from…even though I didn’t realize that until after I finished and stepped away from it.

This was an easy piece.  I had a lot of fun doing it, more than I would have thought.

The focal point, our skeletal lady in her finery best, is an image from Ephemera’s Garden, one of her freebies.  The background is a simple napkin.  I used charcoal (white and black) and a variety of colored pencils (clear gesso and colored pencils are a win scenario for me)…and voila…

When I stepped back to see what she wanted to say, the words I scribbled down were exactly what I heard.

The words needed no embellishment–as scrawly as they came out.

I love her, right down to the moldy old flowers in her bustle.

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And don’t forget…the Veils this Night, They are a’thinnin’…

Beware.  Beware.  (Voice from the film Labyrinth here.)

Happy Hallow’s Eve.

 

 

Revealed: An Intention Setting Art Spread

Remember my collaboration with Ayala Art?

Before I bought the canvas, before anything shipped, just after the initial conversations of what we were going to do together…

I sat down with my art journal to create an intention spread about the collaboration.

I have a tendency to freeze when doing things 1 for other people specifically (will they like it? will it be good enough?) and 2 on a deadline…

I wanted to practice some of the ideas I had floating in my head (Frida Kahlo) and I wanted to make sure that I released all my tensions, fears and monsters in my head onto that page and left them there for when I did the actual piece.

I have a whole set of pictures taken of the spread as it evolved.

Here’s a link to the video:

This is the finished piece.

watermarked-ayala exchange spreadThis piece did not go anywhere near where I had planned it to go.  Yes, there are two faces, a la the Two Fridas…but the ideas I had for the faces (and for making two Fridas, without the blood and gore) — well, this spread had intentions of its own.

I do love where it went.

I actually think the finished piece I did for Ayala looks more like one of Frida’s sisters than Frida…but I am still proud of it.

watermarked-ayala swap to her

 

The Whispers Begin…

This art journal spread started out…with no real purpose, no real direction.  I worked on it at random for about four days before I felt like doing much with it.

I keep my art journal out where I can have it open and can just fling paint left-overs and whatever at it as I need to.

This piece started out…as under paper for other pieces I was working on.  I sort of liked where all the colors were going…so I painted the entire spread with a color that would allow the other colors to still show through and still be noticed…a pale translucent yellow.

Then, I walked away for two days.

I woke up the next morning, walked past it carrying the mail for the day.  In my hands was a magazine…which for some reason no matter how many times I tell them, we receive three exact same copies of every month.  I tore out three pictures at random, whatever spoke to me, glued them down with gel medium.

Then, I walked away for a day and a half.

I came back in with some stamping.  My son had colored with wax crayons on some musical scores torn from a book–because if Mama can do it, so can he.  By the way–I painted over the wax crayons.  I used gel medium over the wax crayons.  When I sketched the face on and started to work on her…you couldn’t tell I had anything over that crayon…and I let the stuff dry well overnight before touching it…

I glued some of the crayoned musical score down.  As well as some pretty (and actual) under paper (deli paper).

Then, I walked away from it for awhile.  Before bed that night, I took some white paint, some latte paint and some bright pink paint and randomly smeared it all over the spread for no real reason other than it felt good.

Then, I went to bed…and didn’t get near that journal until bedtime the next night…

Which is when the idea of the profile face hit me.

Profile faces–not my forte–but I am working on them.

She has a minimal color pallet…but the weird thing is the message writ in colored pencil and outlined with more colored pencil and sharpie: I can hear the whispers grow.

It took me over twenty-four hours to start to savvy that one, but eventually some light began to shed down upon it…and it is a good thing…

watermarked-artimg109One thing I can say about this piece is…I rarely if ever leave my collage pieces that untouched — especially images torn from magazines.  I made sure they were altered enough to not violate copyright…but otherwise…they are visible…and if you knew the original image you might be able to make out what they are…I sort of like the way that happened.

Prompt: Anais Nin Quote

“We are like sculptors, constantly carving out of others the image we long for, need, love or desire, often against reality, against their benefit, and always, in the end, a disappointment, because it does not fit them.”

… To Another Spread … Or Two …

I spoke to you in this post about how I did not set out to do a Full Moon spread…and about how I ended up with my Word of the Year for 2016.

Well, then, if that wasn’t my Full Moon spread, I needed to do one.  I needed to create one for me.

Since the Deepen spread was drying in my Ocean journal, I decided to turn to my Stardust journal to create this spread.

I started with water-soluble graphite crayon and I wrote out my prayers and my intentions.  Then I hit it with water…and then something else hit me…

I had forgotten along the way that I made Stardust using the left-overs…of a pad of mixed media paper.  I have become spoiled and accustomed to the nice thick water-color paper in my Ocean journal.  Frankly, outside of the journals now I normally use water-color paper rather than mixed media…I prefer it these days.  It always works for me and I never have to worry.

Well, in Stardust–I am not going to worry–oh, the tricks I have up my sleeves.  Like — collaging every background before I start in order to strengthen the pages…

I digress…

So…my pages buckled when I watered out the graphite.  But, ya know, I was planning to add some collage anyway.  Instead of a little bit, I went to town.  Then–I forgot about it.

Once it was dry, there was paint flinging, stamping, stencilling, doodling, ink drips, splattering…the usual.

Then I saw a form waiting.  I outlined her in paint before adding charcoal outlines.  I knew the face was supposed to be more primitive in this piece. Then, there I scribbled a bit on the other page in pencil.  The focal word also came about there: Away.

I left it to try while I did other things…and when I came back…it didn’t want anything else.  So I left it.

Maybe it was because on some level I was disappointed by my substrate.  Maybe the figure really does feel complete.  I can’t say for sure, because both things ring true.  However, this is the first piece I have done in a very long time where there was an actual JOY in my heart as I went about flinging and splattering and playing.  That Joy hasn’t been awake for quite a while.

Here she is:

watermarked-artimg121

 

Maybe that whisper of disappointment lingered and that is why I chose to do another spread, this time in my Ocean journal.  Maybe it was because I wanted to prolong that Joy and that Contentment creating brought forth in me.

I enjoyed making this piece.

She’s simple.  Her message is so very powerful.

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One Spread Leads…

First: I did not create this journal spread specifically for the Full Moon.  There was no intention setting, goal setting, nor dream creation.

I came to my journal with an open heart and said–show me…

And sure enough, my Guides and my Muse held my hand and took me on a journey.  The Universe spoke to me–I can do nothing but Listen.

Two: I had no expectations, no intentions.  I had not planned to create a face at all.  I had thought to work with a dream I keep having, a dream conversation I keep having — Maeve, the Goddess–and Her Bees–She comes to me frequently right now, saying, I am the Goddess Maeve.  These are my Bees.  So, please, if you have any information linking Maeve and Her Bees in any Tradition, please let me know where to find it.  It’s one of those things that I can’t quite pin down myself, but would love to have research to back up what is coming to me.

The analytical mind in me…can’t let that angle go, even as I sit with Maeve night after night, heeding Her counsel, afraid of those Bees, but knowing there is a Message therein.

So…I could say three here: this is not my usual style, but I like it.  Learning to push myself, to push my boundaries, to lean into things…and even as I say–not my usual style, it sort of is.  I have been looking at a lot of my work in the past two years.  I can see this sort of thing cropping up…and yet, not.

watermarked-deepen

 

It is layers beneath.  Then, some quick imprecise sketching with charcoal and a water-soluble graphite crayon.  Then, clear gesso and colored pencils.  Nothing more.

So, Samhain is the starting point of the Wheel of the Year.  It is my New Year, spiritual New Year, if you like.  It is an amazing thing for my Word of the Year to show up now, weeks, if not more, before I had thought to start thinking about looking for it.

My word is:Deepen.

Originally what came up–and what continues to come up–is Deepen Into The Stretch.

My contracted, barrier-ridden Yoga practice is such an incredible solace for me…it is healing even in such a battered format.  Pushing myself is deepening into the stretch, no matter where that stretch is or comes.  I understand the idea, the concept, both on and off the Yoga mat.

Deepening into the Practice of My Self is going to be my focus for the coming year.  Deepening into the stretch of who I am, what I do, that is my intention.  In whatever way that shows up.

That is what feels good to me, what feels juicy.

Where my Heart leads me, there shall I follow.

I will be working with Deepen as a Word, as a Concept, as an Intention, as much as I am able, over the few weeks.

Won’t you come along with me?