Saturday, June 26, 2010

Kicking Fear to the Curb!

Thank you everyone who posted such encourging and lovely commets to my last post.  It felt a wee scary to put myself so out there, but I'm very glad I did.  Apparently I'm not the only one with these fears.  :)  And it's good to know I have some company in this area. 

Because of your generous support, I was able to push some of those fears aside and finish two paintings!  A 3rd one is super close to being done, and yet a fourth is just beginning!

 I'm so so proud of myself for leaping into my studio and picking up the paintbrushes.   Granted I still haven't gained control of my time managing skills, so by the time I actually make it in to the studio is quite a bit later than I originally wanted.  Yet the fact is, I am getting in there even if it is at 10pm.   Will work on that!

On that note, I thought I'd post a couple pics of how things are coming along.  These are not the finished products, as I want to save that unveiling until I get everything photographed properly next week.

Here we go...

So remember the purple glitter spot diseased bird from few posts ago?  The one you see above? I just could not get past the tapioca/disease look this bird was sporting, so here is a sneak peak of what I've done to improve it...
Sorry, you can't see it all yet.  :)  But seriously, I like this much better.  And that reminds me of something one of the commenters shared in the last post.  It was Chrissy who relayed something that Kelly Rae said to her.  And that was, "There are no mistakes!"  I loved that saying the minute I read it, and you know what?  It's so true.  Had I not made the "mistake" of putting the disease spots on this bird, I would not have thought to cover it up with tiny scraps of paper, thereby creating a patchwork effect, which I'm such a sucker for.  Thank you Chrissy for sharing that!

Now, remember this photo from last week?

Well here is a preview of what's happening with  it....


Getting my painting skills on! 

That's all for now!  Working on the Mad Hatter piece and the Small World piece today, hope to have pictures to show soon. 

Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Afraid To Paint

So this week, I've done nothing about my time management issues.  I managed to get caught up on the Flying Lessons class last week, and was pretty proud of myself for that, only to fall seriously behind again this week.

Then I saw the A-Team over the weekend, and well that prompted a serious bout of nostalgia, which meant of course I needed to watch re-runs all night on Hulu.  

On Monday, I spent nearly 3 hours agonizing over the best feed reader to use, in order to read my blogs.  That whole project initially started as a way to save time. Yet, quickly became the complete opposite.

What I really really wanted was something like Tweetdeck to read blogs in.  No such thing exists, so I settled on Bloglines, which is working out fairly well.  It does indeed save me time, and it is really nice to see at a glace who has updated their blogs all in one spot. Though, I think Tweetdeck should do us all a favor, and add blogger and Typepad etc. to their list of social networking sites. 

And of course, I'm still busy keeping up with all the tweets, FB updates, blogs etc. of all the new artists I've met, and have been having a great time.  The only snag is, I haven't done much art.  Oh I've been in the studio.  Once or twice.   I've looked around a bit, sat in the chair, got on the computer to print a few things, only to be distracted by itunes looking up songs from The Andy Griffith Show, (yes it was that important that I downloaded the Crawdad Song), picking up supplies, and moving them around, staring at the walls... well you get the picture.  I didn't do squat. 

I had a bunch of excuses as to why I couldn't finish the half dozen or so paintings that I've started.  None of them very good.

The only thing I've really done is make yet another background, which is the picture you see above.  I seem to be specializing in those lately.  Part of the reason is I'm busy using my time in not the smartest of ways, part of it is I've been gone a lot, and the other part is, well probably the biggest part, is because believe it or not, I'm afraid to finish the paintings. 

Does that make sense?  I'm actually scared of my own art.  You see each background I do, I have a plan for.  I know exactly what I want on it for the most part, but I'm afraid to start that part of the process because I'm afraid I'll mess it up.  I seem to moving into a new direction, and I am wanting and trying to draw and paint more in my work.

So the collages, I'm working on require me to draw the subject, and then paint them, and that worries me, because I feel I'm not good enough yet to try doing that.  I'm worried that it won't come out the way I see it in my mind. 

I'm feeling a lot of the things we've talked about in class too.  Mainly, who do I think I am to think others will be interested in my art? and Will I be able to make enough money to make art my career? ( I've been on disability for the last six months, so I'm using this time to see if I can start a creative business, hoping that I can a least contribute to a few household bills again.)

It's true I'm feeling intimidated (and inspired!!) by a lot of the wonderful art I'm seeing out there, and I know I've read on other blogs, some of you are feeling the same way.  It's a nasty thing being intimidated, but like Kelly says, we need to be true to ourselves.  Put ourselves into our art and into our blogs etc. Well I'm putting myself out there for you all to see.  Hope I don't scare you off.  :)  But the honest truth is I am afraid.   This creative journey can be crazy scary, frustrating, overwhelming etc. BUT it is also exciting.  And most of the time, it is the exciting bit I am concentrating on.  But for now, I'm letting the fear in, acknowledging it, and hopefully waving good-bye to it very soon!   

Friday, June 18, 2010

Time management problems....

I have been having so much fun connecting with folks and finding amazing artists from my Flying Lessons class from Kelly Rae Roberts.  It has taken up a lot of my time lately all this blog hopping, Facebooking, Twittering oh my!  I am still seriously behind in my class, which I'm trying somewhat unsuccessfully to catch up on today, If only I could stay off my Tweetdeck!

Also I've spent entirely too much time, fiddling with my blog appearance.  I have changed to the lighter background, which I think is easier to read, but not the best for my photos.  Hmmm....  Still deciding on that one, and things may change again, not sure yet.

Also I still have the 3 columns as you can see, but now I notice that when I post my blog link anywhere like Facebook, it brings up the stuff in my left sidebar, instead of the blog post and picture.  Argh!  Not sure how to fix that one, I may go back to two column because of that.  If anyone knows how to fix this please let me know.  :)

Anyway, despite all that business, I do have a few things in the works artistically that I've been fooling around with this week.  So I thought I'd give you a peek into what's been going on...

The first pic you see above is one I just started the other day.  This is the start of the background for a Mad Hatter piece I want to do.  I sure hope it turns out!!

And this is another work in progress, that is actually almost done now. I was inspired by the characters in "It's a Small World" for this piece. I think I'm also going to do one of the Small World Castle.  Hopefully.  :)

And finally, my studio apprentice hard at work!!

That's all for now!  I'm off to school now, hopefully I can better manage my time next week.  Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A little something you probably didn't know about me...

Alrighty, so I thought I'd post a little something about myself for a change.  I mean I know I always post about myself in a way, but I don't really post about who I really am. 

I have noticed that most of my posts tend to center around what I am making artistically, and that's it.   As this is an art blog, I thought that content to be most appropriate.  But then after taking Kelly Rae's Flying Lessons, I am learning that I need to put ALL of me out there for you all to see. You know, so we get to know one another, and connect better right? 

Well here is a little story I am sharing with you about a phobia of mine. If you are going to get to know me, you may as well know the good, the bad, and the ugly.    

Now, some of you may recognize this post from my first blog, which was actually non art related.  That's right.  I had another blog.  It became pretty popular too.  I even got a little award.  But then the pressure to create a post all the time for my "public" got to me, and I gave it all up when I found art again. 

Originally I wanted to keep the pressure off,  and keep this blog mainly about art, but I realize this might make things a tad stale.  I'm thinking there isn't much personality to it.  And I'd thought I spruce things up a bit. 

So here you go, a glimpse into my neurotic side...

This is a little story about ticks.  Just to give you some background here,  I hate them. With all my heart.  They gross me out and scare me silly.  In short, I have a HUGE phobia of them. 

Now, this little phobia of mine has become quite dangerous and is very likely to get me into trouble sometime. Let me give you an example of what I mean.

Last summer I was driving to the grocery store. Earlier that day, I had been on a hike, and as it was getting cool out, I had put on a black sweatshirt (the color is important here).

About halfway to the store, I am stopped at a stop sign and notice something moving on the sleeve of my sweatshirt.

As I start driving again, I simultaneously inspect my sleeve. Big mistake! It was a tick. Just one lone tick, making it's way down my arm, along my black sweatshirt.


Ticks are also black.

Do you know what went through my mind after I finished screaming? Yes I did scream. Loudly.

I kept thinking how many other ticks were on me, that I couldn't see because they blended into my black sweatshirt. Not only that, but where did the first tick come from? My neck? My hair? My shirt? My pants?

The possibilities were endless.

I was positively freaking out. Shudders, screams, much flailing of the arms, hyperventilating, and rising panic all ensued, at the thought of the possible hordes of ticks dispersed along my body.

And all this was happening while I driving on a two lane, windy, mountain road.

As I tried to brush the phantom ticks off me, I would swerve into the oncoming traffic, but luckily pull out, just before a car sped past.

Sensing imminent danger. I hastily spun my car around, and sped home as fast as I could. Once there, I ran into the house, shedding clothes along the way, and jumped into the shower.

After a good, thorough scrubbing and inspection, I was convinced that it was safe to leave the confines of the shower, and put clean clothes on. I never went back to the store that night, as I was sure my car was positively infested with those bloodsuckers.

All that commotion for ONE tick.

And that? Wasn't the worst episode. Allow me to share just what happened on the night of the scariest tick moment of my life.

The scariest tick moment of my life happened when my husband and I were very first dating.

Since we were a new couple, we did wild and crazy things, such as staying up late on weeknights, eating junk food, and go for late night bike rides and hikes.

As usual, one night after work, I made my way over to his place for dinner. It was pretty late, since those were the days when I worked until almost nine every night.

Sometime after dinner, we decided it would be fun to go on a late night hike. There was a nice hiking mountain right near his house, so we drove up there.

I don't think you are supposed to hike there at night. Especially at 11 pm, but what the heck. Rules were made to be broken right?

The view was spectacular.

The weather comfortable.

The trails, thin and grassy.

Grassy.  Tall grass to be precise.

That should have been my first clue. Long grassy weeds in the hills? Tick city.

Just so you know, I have been on hundreds of hikes, in all kinds of terrain, and I have never once picked up a tick. Never. Ticks were the absolute furthest thing from my mind.

Our walk was lovely, but was stopped short when I felt something crawling up my leg. As I bent down to brush it off, I noticed it was a tick.

Trying to be cool, in front of my relatively new boyfriend, I tried to minimize my panic and flailing arms as I furiously checked myself for more.

When I noticed yet another one, all hell broke loose.

Obviously, I didn't mean to shriek so loudly. But, I just couldn't help it. I flew towards the car, and started a massive inspection.

My boyfriend somewhat alarmed by my loss of composure/coolness, followed at a more sedate pace.

The more we inspected me, the more ticks we found.

Clothes started flying off of at a rapid pace. Ticks were hiding in every nook and cranny. Apparently they like armpits.

Soon I was .... well naked. As in buck.

I was still furiously inspecting my body, when I noticed the bright police lights shining in my direction.

Oh dear god.

I flew into the car, but was too scared of my clothes, to cover myself up, so I just huddled with my arms crossed over me, as best I could in the front seat, with the cop light beaming into the car at about a million watts.

I can only imagine what our little scenario looked like. A young couple in the mountains late at night, near a parked car, the woman completely naked. The only odd part would be the fact that my boyfriend was fully clothed, and we were standing outside the car.

At any rate, he managed to talk to the cop and convince him nothing untoward was going on. In exchange for not getting written up for trespassing, and or indecent exposure, we were told to leave. Which we gladly did.

We drove the short distance home, but I was still huddled in the front seat without a stitch of clothes on, as we made our way down the city streets and stopped at all red lights.

Back at his house, I ran from the car to the bathroom at top speeds, lest his roommate, and or a passing neighbor saw my nekked self.

Another furiously long shower, and I was deemed to be tick free.

That was almost 3 years ago, and despite the episode last summer, I am actually getting better now, that I live among the little buggers on a daily basis.

Just the other day, I found one, lodged in my jugular.

I really feel like I'm improving.

After all, I only screamed once, and hyperventilated maybe twice ...

Monday, June 14, 2010

A Few Things I'm Working On

I haven't been in the studio much in the last few weeks, which means I have loads of projects lying around waiting to be finished. 

After spending almost the whole day on the computer blog hopping, checking Facebook, and Twitter, reading my class notes, etc.  I finally got sick and tired of sitting in one spot staring at a monitor. 

I was starting to feel anxious in a way that meant I needed to create.  The only problem was I didn't feel like it.  So I sat and wasted even more time contemplating whether or not I should paint, when finally after some Twitter encouragement, I decided what the heck, and gave it a go. 

I'm working on the middle piece right now, but it is drying so I gave myself permission to take a break (like I needed one), and post this real quick.

So the picture you see above, are 3 WIP's. I've been hanging on to them for a while now, and just can't seem to finish them.  The bird on the right, I'm kind of skeptical about since it looks like he has a disease. Which reminds me of tapioca pudding.  Which to me looks like a disease.  I can't eat that stuff with all those little bumps floating around it grosses me out.  Always has.  I don't eat rice pudding either for the same reason.  Yep I know I'm strange.

Anyway, the bird looks like a flapper chicken with a disease worthy of Bewitched, something along the lines of "purple glitter spot syndrome". 

But I am really curious to see how these guys turn out.  The middle and left one, I have specific plans for.  It will be interesting to see if they turn out like I am hoping. 

In other news, I'm sure you have noticed that I changed the look of my blog.  That's another thing I spent far to much time on today.  I really wanted to make it a 3 column layout, and after fighting with the new blogger design center for a hour, and finding out my blog template no longer exists (what the heck?), I finally found a proper tutorial.  So I got it done, but now I don't know if I like it.  

The blog looks really busy to me now, and I'm not sure how good that is.  In one way it is awesome to have the extra room, but on the other I liked the simplicity of the two column look.  Decisions, decisions.  What do you think?  Is it too much?

Although if you say it needs to go back to two column, I don't have a clue how to change it again.  Doh!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Such a Lovely Day!

 So today, I finally got the inspiration fairy to come by and say hi.  I wasn't in full blown artist mode, but I did get the urge to go into the studio and create something.  I ended up making a bunch of backgrounds, and while they were drying the hubby and I set off down the road to the Scout Ranch.

The "Ranch" is a park (for boy scouts actually but they are never there) that has lovely hiking trails and a creek (the same creek that runs through our yard).

What we usually do is walk to the park, pick up Rico who's a dog that lives next door to the ranch, take a small hike to a little beach area, and then walk the creek back home.  Rico as usual follows us the whole way through the creek, so we have to to drive him back home when we are done.

Since I don't have any art to show, I thought I'd show you some pics of our adventure today.

I wish I had the camera for our walk through the creek, but as we have to wade up to our shoulders in some parts, I thought it best not to bring the camera along on that part of the journey.  One day, I'll have to bring it when we don't take the creek home.  It's amazingly beautiful out there.

Anyway when we got back, we ended up taking our cat Monkey for his daily walk, and since I was inspired to take pictures, I brought the camera along.  So come along, and take a walk with us.  Here's a small peek into my neighborhood...

This is outside our front door.  Our front yard is actually one huge deck, and a driveway, and this clump of trees is what you see right away.

Monkey walking the hood.  Notice how important he is. 

 Another shot of the hood.  I love how nature-y it is.

Here's some flowers from the field above...

A bit of the neighborhood road.  Notice how it's not paved...

This is Lily one of the neighbor's cats.  Secretly she is Monkey's girlfriend, but he won't admit it.  Actually when he comes up to her, he stops walking, sits down and refuses to move, until she leaves.  Contrary to popular belief, this isn't because he's scared of her.  Nope, he's actually jealous of her, because whenever she is out we shower tons of attention on her and ignore him, and she eats it up too, twirling and prancing like a little ballerina. 

Well, that's it for now, I took a ton more shots, but they didn't come out so well, so this is all I have for today.  The photo of the tree with a face in the beginning, is a tree sitting right in front of our deck.  A friend decorated it for us on day while we were gone.  I love it!

BTW please excuse the amateur photography.  I am experimenting with effects, and can't seem to get the rounded corners right.  Plus I don't know how to get rid of the frame around the photos, so I realize it all looks a little hokey.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

WIP Update

Just a quick update to show what I've done to my WIP from last week.  It is definitely not done yet, but I can tell you it has gone through so many stages. 

This last stage was an attempt at covering up the houses and basically starting over.  But after a few swipes with the brayer, I kind of liked how it was looking, so I stopped.  Now I'm letting it sit for a bit, while I figure out what do next.  Any thoughts?

So, I haven't been spending any time in my studio lately, which is really starting to bum me out.   It's not that I don't have the time, though I admit with Kelly Rae's  ecourse, I find myself on the computer much much more, trying to catch up with all her wonderful posts, not to mention all the comments, Holy cow! And, I'm also trying to blog hop and meet the folks in class. Which is a full time job right there. :)

It has been such a wonderful class and experience, and I'm so happy I signed up for it!

As expected, I'm learning tons of cool stuff in class, but for some reason, my desire to create actual art has vanished.  Again.  I so hate when that happen. , I wish I knew why I go through these phases, but at least I now know lots of other artists struggle with it too.  I always sympathize when I read on someone's blog how they are in a creative slump.  It just isn't any fun!   And I really hope it returns soon.  Because honestly, I miss creating. 

Fortunately, through class, I've been finding some really cool blogs and artists out there, and that has been inspiring me a lot.  Now I just need to step in the studio and start painting!

This blog in particular by Chrissy has totally inspired me to be creative in a new way for me.  I now want to    bust out the camera, and take a zillion pictures.  Perhaps to use in my collages somehow?  Hmm... Anyway, I'm so inspired by her photos of San Francisco and Napa Valley, that I want to head out there tomorrow and see if I can get a few cool shots too.  Luckily I live an hour away from SF so this is very possible. 

Then there is Juliette's blog   who's adorable whimsical creations are getting my creative juices flowing again.  (Thank goodness!)   I just love her characters! 

Actually I found a lot more people that have been inspiring me, but if I list everyone, this post would be about a mile long.   No lie.  I'm loving what I see out there!  It's so awesome we have the internet to meet people and see each others art, I can't begin to imagine how people connected artistically with out it.  It sure is a whole lot easier!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Work in progress and other news

Oy, it's been an interesting week.

The main thing I did was poison myself eating too much health food. Yes, it is possible to do.

I am living proof, that too many vegetables=a lot of time spent in the commode. And I don't mean reading! Unfortunately it's taken until today to recover.

Luckily for me I finally realized I was overdosing on vegetables and whole grains, AKA fiber, so naturally I switched over to pizza, nachos, and ice cream. Feeling much better now!

In art news, above, you will see a disaster... I mean work in progress.

Actually that piece looks nothing like that now, but I don't have a recent photo, because I was too lazy to take it when I thought about it, and now I'm not home so I have no choice but to make due with this one. Of course I could wait until I get back home, and take a proper photo, but why do that, when I can waste a whole paragraph explaining why I posted this one?

Anyway, this is what happens when I paint, rather than do a collage. It's been forever since I've done a real honest to goodness painting, no help with papers, embellishments etc. that I forgot what to do. So bear with me, while I get my painting wings back on, it's going to be a bumpy ride I suspect.

In other even more interesting art news, yesterday I packed up all my art again, and took it over to the local library for it's summer vacation! I'm sad to see it go, since my walls are uglier than homemade soap when bare, but I know my collages will have a good time hanging out with the fine folks at the library.

Now, this is where thing go fuzzy. Somehow during the two hours it took to hang the work, I managed to agree to teaching a collage workshop.

I know!

If I woke up with my head sewn to the carpet, I couldn't have been more surprised than I was yesterday when I agreed to do a class. Me? Teach? Other people? As in, I need to speak in front of a crowd? Of people not of the imaginary kind?

Who took over my body, and said yes to that?

Now, I'm the kind of person that during collage on the first day of class, if any kind of public speaking was mentioned, as in you need to give a speech for your midterm, or I love to torture students so much that everyone will give a speech every other week kind of thing... I would walk out at the break, and scratch that class off my list forever.

If we were halfway through the semester, and the instructor announced a surprise speech, I would drop the class right then, no matter how much work was invested or if I needed that class to graduate. No way, no how. Not going to happen.

You get the idea, that public speaking terrifies me no? Though, perhaps this is why, I haven't graduated from collage, even though I've been out of high school for nearly 17 years?

Yet, despite all the shaking, hyperventilating, panic attacks, and sweating, I usually go through when I so much as think about talking in front of people.

It looks like I will in fact be teaching a workshop. Fancy that.