This week’s prompt:
You’re entirely bonkers. But I’ll tell you a secret. All the best people are.
and … I received a beautiful message about accepting and embracing my muchness.
I watched this sneak peek video by Mindy Lacefield…and I was mesmerized by what I saw.
Now–I did not take her class, so the way I did it on my own may have absolutely nothing to do with what she did, but — it made me feel good.
I started here on a pre-painted background that I had made some time last year.
And…I played…because that is what I do…I play…
The only things I used on this face were soft pastels and one shade of acrylic paint (unbleached titanium)…and a touch of acrylic paint pen for the lights–and only the lights–in the eyes (because the pastel didn’t want to show up the way I wanted it to there)…
Now, I am not entirely thrilled with how the mouth turned out…but overall, I thoroughly love this piece. I love how she evolved and turned out. I am going to continue to play with this method.
I am already looking at a partially finished piece that I think I will finish in this style, to see how the two meld.
Overall, this was a successful experiment for me and I am so glad I tried it.
So, last year I did this A to Z challenge, even though I did not officially sign up to do it via the Blogging from A to Z Challenge blog.
Uhm, I would link to those posts, but those were on the old blog…and that blog is defunct due to technical issues…but … well, you’ll see what I did at some point.
You can check out my daughter’s A to Z posts on her blog from last year. She worked in collaboration with my friend Tracy. All posts of Evangeline’s are linked to Tracy’s, so you can check out both, if you like.
Today is the big grand theme reveal.
Yeah. About that…
I am still working with two ideas…and at this point I think I might just stick with both ideas.
Last year, I did a goddess a day sketch. I never finished those sketches. I plan to finish those sketches…and what better time than now to complete them? So, there’s one theme.
The other theme is making affirmation cards. I was thinking a single word on an art card–but some cards may require…a bit more.
So, there’s the big reveal.
I hope you enjoy the coming month.
So…March’s New Moon was … a week ago….and I did put up a post for the New Moon…which you can see here…
But–I actually did work on the New Moon…I actually did create on the New Moon, in my actual journal that I normally use for my Moon journalling…
This post was done in a different journal and was basically all I had to show for the New Moon that day…I just was not creating art that much during that week…not with paint, anyway…
But…I did create something…and I love what I did and how she evolved.
I knew I wanted to do my usual New Moon spread, with the underlayer of writing and everything that I normally do. I had opened my journal to a fresh spread and was waiting until I had a few free minutes to sit in contemplation.
I watched the video …and I started to write across the pages of that open journal spread…then, I layered various colors of paint, blues and greens, and then some white to push that back a bit. With my fingers I smooshed in about five different colors, all over the place, randomly, with no thought or planning.
Then, I had to walk away because…well, toddler…
When I came back, I roughed in a sketch of the girl, following the outlines that had shown up in the paint. Originally, I pulled her out of the background using a graphite pencil (plain old #2, the kind used in schools) — and then I outlined her with my favorite black Bic cristal. Nothing special.
Then–we skip to the next day…
On the phone with my best friend...I began to write across the page two words, over and over–they were the response, the Universal answer, to what I had written down in the initial layer, over and over and over, all across the page, around the body of the female …
After the phone call was over, I began to lay down the layers of paint on the figure…eventually that spilled over into painting a pale pale blue all over the background to push it back, without losing it entirely. Based on some of the imagery that had come up while i listened to the video…I added a heart, a heart full of layers, surrounded by barriers that need to be surmounted…
An, yes, if you want to know, Sting’s Fortress Around Your Heart was playing on repeat in my head at the time…
Once all the paint dried, I added a layer of clear gesso over the heart and over the figure (and let it dry completely). I finished both out with colored pencils and conte pencil.
I think after February’s month of faces, I am ready to embark on a month of figures…I’ve been wanting an excuse to practice hands…maybe…it won’t be this month that I do it, but you will see more figures in my work as I begin to play with that.
I have not much been present online these past few weeks…and I am allowing myself to be ok with that.
I have been overly tired…and underly stimulated to produce and create.
If you have been missing my Wednesday prompt responses, never fear…I have been sketching…I just haven’t been finishing them.
I do try to make sure I post the sketches via instagram, so you know I am not completely ignoring everything.
So, let me show you some of the sketches I’ve been doing.
First, the Magic Mushroom sketches (yeah, I so did not think that name through when I created this series, but I shall steadfastly stick with it…)
This is my Pepper Pig sketch.
Here is Um, from Umbrage, from yesterday.
And today is St Patrick’s Day…
I am wearing my ‘pinch me and I’ll punch you’ t-shirt–seriously…
I did two sketches last night…because I need to create something for St Patrick’s Day, Ostara and Spring Equinox… I created the two following sketches while thinking and holding “St Patrick’s Day” in my head…although I did leave out the snakes that seriously wanted to show up there…but only because of the way they wanted to show up…they’ll have their day in another piece some other time…
This is the first sketch:
And this is the second sketch:
And after I said enough sketching, because I wasn’t getting anything else that wanted to come forth for any reason (it was very late at night and I was very tired) … an urge hit…and I created some images in my art journal on a background I have been working and playing with for over a week…
Yeah–my phone flips the images a lot and I have no idea how to unflip things…so I just let them go…
Now, I have completed one piece recently…
I started my rune series…which is not exactly going where I thought it was going to go–but I sort of expected that as well…
Here is One:
The actual rune itself is glued to the back of the canvas.
The series will be done on 6 inch by 6 inch canvas.
For some reason, going smaller lately has been what is calling to me…so I am following…
Here is the beginnings of Two:
And right now, that is all I have to show…unless you really want to see the stack of unfinished sketches that I have sitting on my workspace. All the leftovers from 29 Faces and since…as I said, I have been sketching…I’ve just not been finishing as much right now.
We’ll see what happens with the Return Of The Sun.
Until next time….
So, if you have been watching the vlogging I’ve been doing lately, then you will see some of the normal chaos of my life.
Now, vlogging, talking on the phone, having a conversation, thinking…all of that can be rather difficult when I am in the midst of things and the chaos swarms around and onto to me. I get distracted, discombobulated, off my game…it’s like, hey look, squirrel…and I’m gone. Trying to regain my footing again after the interruptions, it’s never really easy for me. I segue away from my main point all too easily.
It turns out that some of the habits I picked up in high school have paid off later in life. I learned how to write in the middle of class, at lunchtime, on the bus, wherever I was, whatever I was doing, whoever was around me, doing whatever they were doing. I learned to stop when the bell rang, regardless of where I was in a story or a poem or whatever. I would pick back up as soon as I was able, which did not always mean when the next bell rang. Sometimes I would remember exactly where I was and what I intended…sometimes…new things had to be embraced, because there was nothing else coming.
When I started knitting, I would carry my knitting everywhere. In fact, I carried my knitting all the time everywhere up until the youngest arrived. I would knit at stop lights. I would knit while stopped. I knitted while waiting. I always took easy mindless knitting projects, but I learned how to pick up and put down what I was working on without hesitation.
Here I am now, trying to paint, trying to write, trying to create, trying to put work out, put courses out…in the midst of all this chaos that is our family and our life. Hey, a sixty-five pound ninja kitty (it’s the saluki/shepherd mix) who has no idea where her feet end up as she dances through the house whose idea of getting your attention is not just head-butting you, but grabbing whatever she can reach, be it flesh or clothes, and yanking on you until you pay attention to her is sort of hard to ignore…
So–how do I manage to do anything?
In small increments. In very small increments.
I can wander the house with a little notebook and pen and jot down ideas and thoughts and little notes throughout the day, although I usually have to have two little notebooks, as the boy will swipe mine, and my pen. I want to make sure we encourage his creativity and his desire to write, so I don’t get upset…unless he starts scribbling over my stuff. Usually it’s not such a big deal. Usually I can still read my stuff and re-transcribe it elsewhere.
But…there are art journal spreads, paintings, blog posts, courses, patterns, and on and on.
Now, I do try to work at night while the toddler sleeps. Although some days he naps late and then is up until the wee hours, which means those days I don’t work. Luckily (or not, depending upon how you look at it), he’s not much of a napper, so these late evening naps are not constant, nor consistent. But when they happen…my work day is shot. He is good enough so that when it is everyone else’s bedtime, he can be pacified in bed, but sitting beside him and working is not an option. I have to be present to him, with the lights outs, until he goes to sleep.
During the day, I do what I can. For example, an art journal spread. I may take my journal and scribble in it. It may be one minute–it may be ten. Then, sometimes, that is as far as I get in a day. It may be days before I return to that spread. Then — there is an underlayer of paint. Maybe it is one color. Maybe it is two or three different shades of one color. I do like to use a pink and a red and a white to start off spreads, especially if my journal writing was a brain dump, which is usually a rant of some sort. Red covers that emotion well for me, usually. Sometimes I will use greens, because I want to grow something out of what I wrote. The underpainting usually has very little to do with the final piece.
As the spread sits there, journal open, I will smush left-over paint on the spread. I will use washi tape. I will throw down bits of paper and collage. Then I will smear more paint.
It’s just one of those things. If the urge hits and I have the time and space to stand there for twenty minutes or so…because I usually work on backgrounds standing up, because it is usually a sort of drive-by experience, I will take it and run with it. If I have one minute, I do what I can and I don’t get fussy about how things turn out.
This year, without classes guiding the work I am doing, I am no longer as concerned about getting things ‘just so’ or ‘perfect’ … I have found this space that is just happy to be moving paint around and creating something on a regular-ish basis.
I like to have the written part of a spread, an underpainting layer, a collage layer, a layer of paint over that. Then I actually start working on the actual background that has a better chance of staying once the piece is done. I stamp things. I stencil things. I use bubble wrap–my new best friend now that I have a nice unpopped piece hidden from my children–and yes, all three of them are addicted to popping the bubble wrap. Not that I blame them…but, sheesh, I don’t need that large a piece for my work…and I share, every time I get my hands on some.
Now, when it comes to my writing, writing blog posts, emails, coursework, I usually do this at night. I can sit beside a sleeping toddler and type away–and he sleeps through it. No, the boy does not sleep through the night. It’s just one of the things we go through here. One day, he will be able to sleep alone, in the dark. I pray for that day, really I do.
Until then, I do what I do.
I can sit beside him, with a low light on, and knit. While he sleeps is the only way, the only way, I can do the decreases on a hat I haven’t really done anything else since he arrived that requires consistent decreasing…nor have I done anything all that complicated. I am just now slowly working my way back into knitting hats…that used to be a thing I did every year…everyone gets a new winter hat every year…and since the youngest has arrived, not to much. But…I do what I can.
Sometimes I can work in the same room as the boy and the dogs, sitting on the couch, computer on my lap…sometimes I give up trying to balance the computer and I write everything out by hand in a notebook…and then as time allows, I transcribe on to the computer whenever the time allows.
So…does that make sense? I take the moment that I have it as I get it. That is really all it is. If it takes two months to write up a course, instead of the two weeks, then so be it. Right now, that is the path I have chosen. Sometimes it drives me up a wall; other times the little boy in question walks up to me, gives me a hug and a kiss and flashing that winning ornery grin…and everything is perfect…
Now you understand why sometimes I just do not make my own deadlines…among other things.
Until next time…