Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Mindy Inspired and Frida for Mo

I thought you might like to see a process post today...it's kinda been a while since I've done one.

This spread is for my Documented Life journal for the Art Challenge "When Not To Stop" and the prompt "Don't Stop Til You Get Enough! (Ooh)" and is the first in the February (yep, that far behind!) theme of "Layers You Will Love"

I have to admit that layering does not come very naturally to me...it tends to require drying time...and that, in turn, requires patience...which is not my forte...  

I think that's why I always turn to a MINDY LACEFIELD inspired girl when I am prompted to do layers.   She talks about how her art is inspired by child-like freedom...doing what feels right, even though it may be technically 'wrong' artistically...like not waiting for that first layer to dry before you add more...that's right up my alley!  And here's what happened:

I started out with Aquamarkers on an un-gessoed page...added a crap ton of water to try to get them to blend...which didn't really happen, as you can see...FINE THEN, BE THAT WAY!
Instead of waiting for it to dry, I started spreading on some acrylic paint with a pallet knife over the sopping wet Aquamarker.
It looked a little flat, so I decided to add more paint, still with the pallet knife, but this time with the sharp edge instead of the broad, spreading way I had done previously...much better now, I think...more interesting to look at...more energetic...
Next, I challenged myself to paint the girl solely with my fingers.  I started out with the basic shape of the girl in a neutral color.
I started defining areas of her face and body with a few more layers of paint... 
I kept having issues with her nose shape and there are several boring pictures I left out that were just me getting aggravated at noses in general....
I finally picked one and went with it...more colors, shading and highlights at this point...
I evened her out and gave her some pearls...blue pearls because she has that slightly sad introspective annoyed look on her face...
"I have a very strong feeling that the opposite of love is not hate - it's apathy.  It's not giving a damn."
-Lou Buscaglia

Sometimes I have a quote in mind before I start.  Other times, like for this spread, one will present itself after the fact...the art will tell me what it is my heart's brain was trying to say and I can find the just-right quote pretty easily. 

I hope you liked the step-by-step today...my mom says this girl is kinda scary looking, but she does have some harsh things to say, so she couldn't be all cutesy-froo-froo...she's lived a hard life this gal...she's jaded and bitter...  But admitting there's a problem is the first step towards solving it, and this little lady knows something's not quite right...

And now, for my sweet friend Twinkletoes, here's a couple pictures of Frida:

I caught her on my bed...she's never been on it before, and she doesn't know if she's allowed...she is literally not moving anything except her eyes (waiting to see if I'm going to fuss at her!)...for so long I decided to grab my camera and snap a picture...
Once I snapped the first pic, I started laughing at just how long she had stayed so still...and that's when I got this picture...it's the "Yay! She laughed, I'm not in trouble!" picture....
I just had her to the vet the other weekend, and she'd gained 12 pounds in a month!  She was a fluffy 41 pounds (at 4 months old).  She's such a gentle giant though...her brother, which is my sister's dog, is 54 pounds at the same age...and a maniac in my opinion...
I'll have to try to get some pics from where I take Frida walking at, Steele Creek Park...it's really pretty and serene and there's a lake and all...it's awesome!

And, on that note, I'm off to get ready for work...in a super speedy way because I've only got about 10 minutes before I have to go...five minute shower for me today!  But I got the important things done, and that's what counts, right? :)

Monday, April 27, 2015

Root For You

I'm slowly but surely working my way through all the prompts I've missed during the craziness so far this year...  I'm trying, you know...I'm trying.

The first thing I've got to show you today is for week 6 (back in February) of JOURNAL 52, the prompt being "Windows":

"Losing love is like a window in your heart, everybody sees you're blown apart."
-Paul Simon

It's from the fantastic song "Graceland" by Paul Simon:

That song has some great lyrics, and I'll probably return to grab more of them in the future...

Then there's the DOCUMENED LIFE prompt (from the last week of January) "What Lies Beneath?", with the art challenge of "Under Paper" and here's what I ended up with:

"Flowers grow in all kinds of dirt."
Not one of my favorite pieces (me and painting flowers just don't get along for some reason!), but the sentiment's true!

And finally, there's week 7 of JOURNAL 52, which had the prompt of "Valentines" and here's what I made:

"I'm amorous but out of reach."
I'm not sure about this one...it actually looks much better in person, the lines aren't so noticeable and the colors are a little different looking as well...but on camera...well, it looks like this...meh...I don't know...

I got the line from this song, "Valentine" by Fiona Apple:

And used this painting by Raphaelle Peale as an inspiration:

"Still Life With Peach"

And that's a couple more towards catching up!

I've actually got more to share with you, it's just a matter of getting the blog posts typed up...which is time consuming if I write in my usual way...hence the super condensed version today.  But next time, I've got one with pictures that show the progress of the page, and coming up really soon, I'll share a piece that I am super proud of!  So just bear with me...I'm still trying to get the new balance of life down and I'm just not there yet.  But soon, I think...I know I've got a lot of lovely people rooting for me. <3

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Starting To Change

It's been forever, hasn't it?  

It sure seems like it!

I've been adjusting (more on that later) and I actually managed to do a couple of art journal pages, so I thought I'd share them with you...as proof that I'm not dead and all that...

The first page is for JOURNAL 52...week 5...the television prompt, posted way back in January...yes, I am that behind...shame of shames!

"You spent half your life trying to turn the other half around."  -Kathleen Edwards

What does that page have to do with TV you ask?  The words are from this song by Kathleen Edwards, called "Six O'Clock News":

I am not a TV watcher by nature...even when I do, I've got to do something else while I watch...and I wasn't really feeling the TV prompt...until I remembered that song and the line "You spent half your life trying to turn the other half around."  Which I really like and had more to do with where I'm at right now than any other TV related thing, so I just went with it.

And then there's the DOCUMENTED LIFE spread...also from way back in January...I feel so behind!  (Probably because I AM THAT BEHIND!)  The Art Challenge for this spread was "writing" and the Journal Prompt was "words with friends" and here's what I came up with:

You can't see it very much, but I used writing as my beginning layer...it only shows through in a few places.

I got the words on this page from this song, "Time to Leave" by Melissa Ferrick:

And I think they are some wise words indeed:

"You can't fix anyone else, babe."
"Being a friend means knowing when it's time to leave"

Aside from getting a little art journaling in, KAT MCNALLY'S APRIL MOON (still time to join!) has started, and I've been pondering the prompts in my head...she's got such a knack for helping you get to the meat of things, instead of just fluttering on the surface...she just asks the right questions, I guess.  

Kat's Reverb14 prompts last year had a very profound affect on me.  In fact, they are part of the answer to the first April Moon prompt: 

"That's when I knew that this chapter of my life had ended.  And now I was free to...

The thought of leaving my husband is something that had occurred to me many times...but there was always a reason not to...me talking myself out of it with one thing or another.  Because it's wasn't something to do lightly.  So I stayed and things just kept piling up and piling up and I stayed and things piled.  And for years of my life, I waited and hoped things would change.  But they didn't change.  And so I decided that maybe if I changed, then it would be an inspiration to others and then they would change too.  But that's not what happened.

There was a point last year, during Reverb14, where I was sitting there typing my answer to one of the prompts and I thought to myself 'I don't want to live this life'.  I was so, so tired of trying and trying and having nothing to show for it.  I'd worked hard to make things better...but I was the only one who was changing...everything around me stayed very much the same...despite my needing it to be otherwise...despite my pleas for something/anything to be different.  

And something in me just snapped...I knew that nothing was ever going to change.  I knew that I was always going to live this same sad existence every day and have that for my life.  And I knew that I did not want to live that life forever.  There had been so much opportunity for things to have ended differently between my husband (Andy) and myself, but Andy was comfortable with the way things were...he didn't want anything to be different, and he didn't seem to care very much about what I wanted. This is not different from the entirety of my marriage...the difference is that I was not ok with it anymore, and I was not willing to keep trying.  He made his choice, and I'm not mad about it...I just wasn't going to let him make my choices anymore.  I needed things to be different and I wasn't going to be the only one compromising any more.  One person can't hold up the world.

And so I left, and I've been staying with my mom since January.  And in some ways, I feel in transition still...not settled...because this is not the end of the line for me...I will get my own place eventually and have my own space and take care of myself completely by myself...and so as I sit here and type away on mom's computer, in mom's house, I feel like a bit of a transient.  

But the thing is, I know now that I am free to do things differently.  That I won't always have this feeling of unrest...that I will find a place to put down roots.  I don't have to do the same things I've always done.  I can make another choice.  I can forge my own path.  And I'm working on it.

And that leads me to the second prompt for April Moon:

 "Knowing what I know now, I would tell my ten-years-ago self:"

Not to damn wait.  

Ten years ago, I was a year and a half into my marriage, and had pretty well already started to have doubts about it.  Instead of listening to my gut, I listened to other people.  People, who despite having the best of intentions, didn't really have the right to decide what I should do.  I chose to listen to them, and I lost a lot of time and opportunities.

I would tell my former self to get it together...pull yourself up by your bootstraps and get to it.  Nobody in life is going to hand you what you want, and you don't get anything by sitting there wishing for it.  If you want it, go work for it.  Don't let anybody tell you who you are and don't let anybody guilt you into being something that you don't want to be.

I'd tell her the same thing I am telling myself today:  Figure out what it is that you want and go get it.  Knuckle down, quit your whining and make things happen.  You don't get to blame anyone else ever again.  Whatever you end up with, good or bad, is because of your actions or lack of them, so whatever choice you make, you better be ready to make it work.

And on that forceful note, I'm done for today...

I'll leave you with some cuteness...Frida the adorable (and growing like a weed) puppy dog:

Had to trick her with treats next to the camera so as to get her to stay still...
...the paw on the leg is the last ditch effort at patience...half a second after I snapped this pic, she jumped up, head-butted me and stole the treat...