My family and I love Hayao Miyazaki films. So much so that my son and I made a Princess Mononoke mask together this summer. We used air dry clay which is easy to work with and surprisingly sturdy. So fun and came out great!
I am finishing up a long and extravagant holiday break, but leading up to this, I had been so busy that I could only take care of whatever happened to be in front of me. The other me would have been horrified by this state, but it’s been a wonderful lesson on how to let things go. The weeds and leaves are fine where they are, so I didn’t get to planting garlic this year, my husband is taking up a lot of the slack, a lot, maybe we order in more than usual, and volunteering?… not so much. But what I have learned is that when I let my propensity for perfection go, life is more spontaneous and fun.
Since my blog is one things that has fallen by the wayside, here is a little catch up on what I’ve been up to.
My job at Maximal Art.
Turns out I love making jewelry!. I always knew I loved working with tools but for some reason had never made jewelry before. Of course it doesn’t hurt that my coworkers are amazingly sweet and funny and kind and I would choose to hang out with them all day even if I wasn’t getting paid.
My pet portrait business is still chugging along.
Though spending 40 hours a week at my 9-5 has changed my ability to do more behind the easel, I still have commissions trickling in at a pace that I can keep up with.
My hand painted greeting cards.
It is a perfect in between project for me to work on while pet portraits dry or I am waiting for pasta water to boil for dinner. It keeps my juices flowing without having to stress about the time commitment. Sort of my meditation time.
I love this new realization that being busy doesn’t take away from my ability to appreciate life but rather adds to it. I am truly looking forward to all that this new year has to offer and know I am ready to take it on!
Happy New Year everyone!
I’ve been photographing The Meander for artist Stacy Levy this past week. And just wanted to take a moment to remind those who live close enough to go check it out soon! The sculpture comes down in November. Tick…tick…tick…
Daytime viewing is breathtaking.
But night is even better.
Still making my hand painted cards. I love coming up with new designs. Though not realistic in terms of revenue, it’d be heavenly if I could make these all day.
Some of my favorite things to do professionally are side jobs. I love making my greeting cards and selling them at our local CoOp. I love helping to restore a local sculpture that was vandalized, I loved being a sumer camp art teacher, I love…hey wait, maybe my profession is just a string of side jobs. Fun!
I have a friend who is a professional house painter. His business is called Thomas Aquinas Painting. Yesterday my side job was to paint the men that he uses as his yard signs when he is working on a property.
Starting by sketching out the beautiful freshly primed plywood silhouettes.
Saving a poor zombified sign from times past.
All freshened up and ready to get to work.
Love my side jobs.
I am not sure where my obsession with poppies has come from, but if this painting doesn’t illustrate how much I love them, I don’t know what will.
At 3 X 4 feet, it is the largest painting I have done in quite awhile. Digging it…big time.
I may do something more with the background, but otherwise I’m putting this poppy to bed!
something else I have started working on again...my studio space. I just started last summer finally framing the wall where an old garage door used to be. The weather has been unseasonably warm this last week, so I have been able to get back at it. Plus I've gained a renewed perspective and energy associated with having my own space to create in. I have been holding back and making excuses in many areas of my life. It is nice to look at the inside of my soon to be studio and no longer see the chore of cleaning and organizing and fixing, but instead to see the potential. It is exciting! I'll keep you posted on my progress.
Now, back to sketching.
Another self portrait. There is something magical about human facial expressions that makes me want to keep doing portraits. I also find that looking at myself in a mirror...really looking, is helping me to be more introspective.
Today was a beautiful, sunny, I wish it was spring already day. Perfect for sketching the neighborhood kids playing in the yard. This sketch started as a blind contour drawing, but I just can't seem to stay away from color. I have worked with pastel once or twice before this experiment. Not sure how I could have missed this fun medium. I know that there are all sorts of new discoveries to be made...now that I am looking.
I almost gave up on this one. My son posed while he was doing his homework and I got a rough sketch down, but then he took off and I was on my own. Another excuse to put pressure on myself to not finish. So I decided to walk away for a bit... folded some laundry, did some dishes and when I came back I was full of ideas on how to proceed. I am not expecting any masterpieces out of myself. Maybe later, further down the road. Just taking it one sketch at a time and see where it leads. So far, so good.
Here is a sketch that I worked on today ofmy hubby, Jason, in his office. I really wasn't into it, but felt like I should finish it since I started. Where does this mentality come from? The whole point is to sketch for enjoyment ...glad I figured that out early on.
Sketch because you love it. Check.
Today I decided to work on a logo for my sketch experiment. I am not going to question whether my subject matter fits into a preconceived idea of what the subject of a sketch should be. That is how I got stuck in the creative rut to begin with. I've realized that resisting creative urges by over thinking has been my greatest obstacle. Time to go with the flow.
I've been thinking I should put a photo of myself up on the blog, but can't find one that would work well, so I decided to do a sketch of myself...two birds and all.
I am really enjoying using color. I had originally thought that most of my sketches would be done relatively quickly and in pen and ink. But color is so FUN!
Feeling extra inspired to get some color on the paper... took me two days to finish. On to the next so I don't get behind.
I got a little lazy today and did a blind contour of my inspirational artist, Picasso. But I LOVE doing blind contour drawings. You never know what you are going to get, and it takes a lot of pressure off. I mean I wasn't even looking at the paper, so what do you expect?? In reality, honestly, I almost always like what I get when I do a blind contour drawing. Maybe I will do one every Sunday.
Here I am posting, as promised, a sketch that I am not fond of but at least I did it. I was out of town and it was the weekend so it would have been easy to make the excuse to skip this day...only day 2 and already I am struggling with myself over doing sketches. The strange thing is, I really DO want to do these, but when it comes time to start one, I get weirded out. As if this is some big deal and if I don't do it just right my life will skid off track. Very odd. I keep telling myself to just do it, just do it...when I finally get my ass down and start doing it, it's great fun, so why all the pressure on myself?
Sketch one. Has a nice ring to it. Finally I am getting started. I have heard that the first step in anything is the hardest, so YAY ME! Step one, accomplished.
I actually had a little help from an artist you may have heard of named Picasso. I read somewhere that when you are looking for artistic inspiration, call on the spirit or energy or whatever you want to call it, of a master artist and ask them for help. So, I went to my bookshelf and found a book on the life and works of Picasso. It may seem like a strange thing to do, but it really did help me. Taking the book out and looking at a photo of Picasso and asking him to help me to get started actually worked. Whether he was guiding me or that step was what I needed to inspire myself to get motivated, it worked.