Monday, January 22, 2018

C E L E B R A T I O N

HELLO 2018  -and Good Bye 2017, you sure zoomed right on past!
Laurie Anne Smith Sikorowski Art Journal Celebrate Green

I blinked and WOW, a whole year went by. That old notion of time passing in proportion to the whole of your existence, sure seems accurate to me. I have no doubt time is merely a human construct and totally relative. Hmmm…. Now can I leverage that next time I happen to be a bit late –‘cause you know that is going to happen at some point. (Aside –check out this What But Why’s post on lateness. I just adore this site)

Ok now back to my post, oh yes, 2018. I think 2018 is going to be an AMAZING year for me and to honor that exclamation, my word, drumroll please, is CELEBRATION!!! Usually I ruminate a great deal about my word. Usually there ends up being about six or seven contenders and they have to duke it out and then I am mentally and emotionally exhausted from the brain battle. But not this year!

2018 will be a yearlong celebration! We are talking P-A-R-T-Y, balloons and banners, champagne and fireworks! Well, maybe not always that literal, but it is the attitude I hope to cultivate. One of abundance and joy. I plan to reward myself for small victories and the progress I make along the way, regardless how silly or inconsequential it may seem!

What is your word for the year? How do you plan to incorporate it in to your life? I hope to share some of the ways I intend to include the concept of celebration in my life, particularly through my art in my art journal. I have several partially completed journals and my mini-goal is to complete them all before 2019 comes around. It is a rather ambitious task, but I am super excited to get started!

Music to start the new year: Can't Stop the Feeling -Justin Timberlake

Laying out my supplies and general page concept

Smooshing (I just can't keep my fingers out of the paint)

Testing out alternative layouts (It is hard to stop playing and start gluing) 



Friday, October 20, 2017

The Only Thing Constant Is Change

Hello My Darling Artlings,
I'm Sharing Big Life Changes Yet Again!
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Hurricane Irma - Art by Laurie Anne Smith Sikorowski
My Little Hurricane Girl doodled in my art journal while Irma made landfall

It is me, Laurie Anne Smith Sikorowski (Haha, being all fancy and formal-like with my whole name incase you are new to my beloved but often neglected art blurred with lots of randomn life things blog) Well let me see how to start - first a job hunt, then not one but two hurricanes. Angsty Irma, the bully, pretty much affecting all of Florida (and beyond). Nasty timing as I needed to be out of my Key West townhouse by the end of September and the mandatory evacuation made that a strategic nightmare. On the positive, it did push me on to Nashville where I interviewed (a day late, oops, seriously who does this) and seemed to land my dream job! Yay!!! 

Oh, you know those reoccurring gremlins that plague me in my art, yes, the ones that I post about ad nauseam, guess what, they are just as active with my architectural practice. Well, maybe not quite on the doing architecture, I’m pretty secure on that part, but all the people stuff -that’s so so scary. Being seen as likable and competent is surprisingly important to me and self-confidence does not come naturally -but I do feel that I am making progress in this department.

I actually found (once I’d done massive prepping) I enjoyed the interview process. The prepping made me really look at what do I want in a career, as well as who am I, and what are my strengths and weaknesses. A snapshot of what I discovered is that I am a problem solver at heart. I like for my mind to be engaged figuring out some particularly intricate puzzle. I also thrive on building and deepening relationships. Not the let's go to the party and simple start talking to people I don’t know (umm.. like no way) but finding commonality and working together towards a common goal type relationships. And finally, I am inspired by beauty. I want to be surrounded by it and a part of its creation. My definition of beauty is broad and encompasses more that the visually pleasing; it is something deeper that can include a sense of appropriateness or even decay. It is an intangible something, more a feeling. It is easier to know where it is not than to describe what it is (although almost any thing, person, or place can have beauty if you are willing to go deep -but that is a thought ripe for a much longer exploration in later post) 

Adrift - Hurricane Art Journal Page by Laurie Anne Smith Sikorowski
"Adrift" -an art journal page expressing my sense of ununcertainty as I am between homes

Needless to say, September was an emotional rollercoaster. The high of truly sensing God’s hand in my journey and profound feelings of gratitude for the opening and shutting of doors. (I feel so taken care of) I picture myself as a seedling being carefully transplanted where I get just the right amount of sunshine and shade. I am dutifully watered and carefully pruned. I am blessed! What a wonderful time to feel so supported by precious friends and family.

BUT still I struggle with the dreadful imposter syndrome. You know where you are afraid that you are putting on an illusion of being more than who you are and if someone gets to know you better they won't think you are as amazing as you have projected. My insecurities are oozing out again, darn it! Crazy life shake ups tend to bring up the best and the worst of what usually lies dormant inside of us. Change is hard and oh how I like my comfort zone. The unknown is scary. My nature likes the calm and my life is totally not even close to calm at the moment. 

Which brings me to hurricane number two, Nate. How ironic I run from a storm right into another. Luckily Nate was much less destructive. I actually had college friends staying at the house for Nate’s arrival. No, it wasn’t intentional but ended up being fun. Nine of us crazies, playing games and watching the weather channel as the colorful mass scuttled across the tv screen.

Now, I’m heading to Nashville once again. This time to find a new place to call home. All the typical moving fears are out in full force; will I find friends, will I fit in, will I do well at my new job, and so on and so on, but also that excitement and thrill of a new beginning. I got this! Exhilaration and a soaring sense of endless possibilities! Breathe, just breathe!

Sheepish -Art  by Laurie Anne Smith Sikorowski
Sheepish Detail

I thought I’d have a lot of free time to create but so far it hasn’t happened. A couple small canvases before the storms and a few jounal pages with the meager supplies I kept in my small suitcase (yes, the one, I've been living out of for about a month now) Hopefully as I get settled (& my art supplies are unpacked), I’ll be able to do some painting before my new job begins. My fingers are itching for the smooth glide of paint on paper!


Music for today: (I had to go country since I'm about to be Nashville bound)
SaveSave

Saturday, July 1, 2017

An Artful Summary of My Year So Far

Hi! Hola! Nameste! Bonjour! Jambo! Ciao!
Laurie Smith Sikorowski Zen Art Girl

While I've been quite quiet on my blog, it doesn't mean I haven't been playing around in paints. It has been a busy art filled year. Facebook & Instagram have been my posting spots of choice lately. They are so quick & easy. Please follow me on those platformse for more impromptu updates:
https://www.facebook.com/Artfulbitsandbytes/
https://www.instagram.com/artfulbitsandbytes_laurieanne/

Well, let see what I've been doing lately, I've not done any art shows or festivals simply because the logistics of travel and set up (especially with a little 2 seater convertible) haven't been ideal. I do miss them though. I am hoping by this Fall to go to a few galleries and see if I can maybe get some art out there in that way. I may have mentioned this previously but, oh lazy me, hasn't actually done it yet. Wish me luck! I'm kind of nervous about doing this which is probably why I've put it off so long.

So This is going to be mostly a visual thumb through of some artsy highlights month by month:

Laurie Smith Sikorowski Key West Girl
Laurie Smith Sikorowski Art JoyIn January, I painted this girl holding a hen & yes, she has a story. On my way to church (a good 45 minutes from my house), my bug went up in smoke and these two sweet Latino men in an old pickup came to my rescue. I had to carry this big rooster in my lap as they drove on to church. Of course, I just had to incorporate this in to my artwork.

In February, I got back to a large half done canvas I've had for a long time. Well it is still not finished but one more layer added and lots of joy playing large after working on a lot of little paintings.
Delray Beach Art Retreat

Delray Beach Art Retreat Art JournalDelray Beach Art Retreat Art Journal Teesha Moore
In March, the first of two awesome art retreats. This one at Delray Beach with Dyan Reavely and Teesha Moore as the instructors. I made lots of trading cards and had a great time. I also got a great roomie and wonderful new art friend, Tina in the process.
Art Friends

In April,  the second art retreat was with the fabulous art gang that I first met at Artiest Rising last year. This was a very different kind of retreat, more "here is all my supplies, have at it" sort of thing. I had a blast. Lots of supplies, I can live without like pumice medium and tar medium but also a few new must haves, like this liquid paint squeeze pen thingy and making my own stamps.
Mixed Media Art Journal Spread

In May and June,  I mostly worked in some of my art journals. I still haven't quite finished any of them and am getting a bit impatient. with myself.  I'm playing around with some more abstract less figurative works. Lots of ideas, just got to get them down on paper!
Mixed Media Art Journal Texture Page

And now it is the first of July so who knows where the artful winds will blow! I'll try and pop in a little more often! I'm all twitchy to share a how-to artsy video soon. XOXO

Music for Today's Post: An eclectic trio, lol!
Little River Band - Reminiscing
Harry Styles - Sign of the Times
Ray Charles - Hit The Road Jack

Art Journaler Art Dork Extraordinaire Laurie
Me - Art Dork Extraordinaire 




Saturday, December 10, 2016

Fridamania

What is it about Frida Kahlo that resonates so? 

Frida Kahlo Quote

She was passionate, determined, and vulnerable! She managed to live a brief but amazingly bittersweet beautiful imperfect life while often in intense physical pain. A grand romance, a driving cause, a tragic turn.

I love seeing all the interpretations she has inspired. Could she be the most painted woman of this century, particularly by women artists? I would not be surprised. She holds some sort of fascination within our imaginations. 


She represents overcoming as well as succumbing. In her, we see many of our own fears and longings. It is no wonder that different diverse groups find an affinity to her art. Sure we have mythologized Frida's admittedly flawed life but because she shared her inner life so honestly, we feel that in some way we are intimate with her. That we know her. 


This represents just a few wonderful portraits from amazing artists I've found primarily through Pinterest. I've not yet painted my own portrait of Frida but I just know that I will. The pull is just too strong.

Frida Self Portrait
Frida Self Portrait

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Getting My Sketching On!

Hi sweet little neglected bloglet!  I'm b a a a c k !

Laurie Sikorowski Art

Honestly it has been awhile and lots of odds and ends have been going on.  Let's see, on the arts side, I am doing Julia Cameron's "The Artist's Way". I started an on-line group, "Exploring The Artist's Way" to go through it with (can you say accountability)  There is about 60 participants, of course realistically I'm sure much fewer will stick with it.  It has been interesting.

The Artist's Way

The primary activities are morning pages (a 3 page long brain drain each morning) and a weekly artist's date (a solo creative outing) and weekly writing tasks to go with the readings.  It has been more time intensive than I anticipated.  I'm not sure how much I've gotten out of it yet but I plan on following through as much as a tangible show of will power as creativity unblocking.

Laurie Sikorowski Art

I've also been in a major reading and sketching mode. Figured I'd share a few here. Not even Art Journal drawing, more random doodles on whatever I can get my hand on. I really should keep true drawing paper with me as usually I'm drawing on grid or lined paper but of course the advantage is it makes me stay loose and not precious which is really nice.

Laurie Sikorowski Art

Finally, the most exciting general life thing is that I just got home from Nashville for Thanksgiving! Such a wonderful time with family! It is what I miss the most about living so far away (yes, even more than my bath tub) My girls will be down in Key West for Christmas so even more wonderfulness to come. There is nothing in this world that I care for more than my kids.  I am so proud of the amazing young women my daughters have become.  Yet seeing them bloom and fly, reminds me just how fast time is zooming by and how important it is to make each moment count.  Goodness, it feels like they were my messy little munchkins only a few years ago.

Thanksgiving 2016

On the topic of time rushing past -sometimes when I see myself, I am surprised, I expect to see a face maybe 20 years younger.  I don't think you ever actually think of yourself as older (well except maybe when the aches and pains kick in) What a mixed blessing aging is.  I do think that I've finally started becoming comfortable with myself, well at least most days anyway. My next goal is to try to become more comfortable in my actual skin - my body issues are so big. Literally as well as figuratively. besides wanting to become physically smaller, I want to let it matter less.  Not judge myself so harshly.  Well, that will be an on going task but hopefully this time I'll make it stick!

Laurie Sikorowski

I'm going to try and be more regular in my posting so I'll be checking back in soon.  Of course, if you like you can catch me on Facebook as Artfulbitsandbytes and Instagram as as artfulbitsandbytes_laurieanne  -I tend to be a bit more active on these venues and would love to connect with you there.

Music for November:
Thanksgiving Song - Mary Chapin Carpenter

(Oh Yes, we went roller skating in Nashville & it was not quite as easy as I remembered but still just as fun -hence the following roller disco youtube links, lol!)

So Electric - Lifelike
Moves - Tahuna Breaks
Get Lucky - Daft Punk

Ciao Bella! Sweet Dreams!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Karissa

Hi Ya'll! I just wanted to update with progress and final photos of the custom piece I mentioned in my last post. This will be a quickie. First the background, lots of yummy color and texture!

Laurie Sikorowski - Mixed Media Background
 
Next, I start ghosting out my girl and horse. (First time painting a horse -totally enjoyed the challenge!) I honestly could have kept it close to this and been happy but I felt for this particular painting defining more features was appropriate.
 
Laurie Sikorowski - Mixed Media Painting
 
So more paint: butterfly, feathers & flowers! Then the words: sparkle & shine as well as lots of literal sparkle courtesy of my glittery gel pen and glow-in the dark paint for the stars. Finally some turquoise ribbon collaged on. This photo makes the face texture appear exaggerated which doesn't really happen in real life. It is on a nice thick panel board so the image continues on through the sides. Somewhere I have a much better final photo but for now this is pretty close. If I find it I'll add it if I can in the comments.

 
 
Well, that is my share for today! Serendipitously, the young lady is up for a reward for her horsemanship. How awesome is that -I had no idea at the conceptual stage. It is now with its new owner and she loves it (Yay! Yay! Yay!)
 
Laurie Sikorowski - Mixed Media Painting
 
Here is my sketch that I shared in the previous post so you can see how she evolved. Pretty Fun, huh?
 
 


Friday, August 5, 2016

Just A Blogg'n on this Fine Fine Day!!

Hello Sweet Sunshine!  Hello Beautiful Day!


Wow! What a wonderful morning -lazy and long, my very favorite kind! I've got a bacon and rolls cooking so it smells divine in my little townhouse. Very homey and comforting. Goodness, don't smells just take you places. I remember camping with my family while growing up; breakfast cooked outside on a small Coleman camp stove -mmmmm! Why is it that eating outside makes food taste so much better? What fabulous family times: the good- laughter, games, such silliness & the well umm -yet anther Confederate battlefield, shivering our butts off (Dad's shaving cream freezing on his face), even a fox hunt through our camping site, yeah, my dad kind of believed wherever you stopped could be a perfectly fine place to pitch a tent (like within a step or two of an unmarked cliff which we didn't notice till the next morning or the edge of a school playground waking to the sound of a mass of kids walking to school) Oh but goodness, it all makes me SMILE now!


I've got some serious family-needing fever going on lately as well as an intense itch to travel! Time is just flying by. The year is swiftly flowing like sands through an hourglass (get the cheesy tv reference -lol) but it is so true. I've got a longing to flip that sucker back over. Two years since Mom unexpectedly joined Dad in Heaven. It is still surreal. I catch myself wanting to call and share. I miss that unconditional love! I hope my girls know that is how I feel for them. That BIG MOTHER LOVE -it is one of those things you can't adequately put in to words; it has to be felt to be fully understood!


Ok, now to a little artsy stuff before I close & I am SUPER EXCITED about it! I've just started a commissioned piece for the mom of a lovely young lady with down syndrome. My challenge is keeping it cute and whimsical without either minimizing or over emphasizing the characteristics of the down syndrome. She appears to be a remarkable girl who is patriotic, loves country music, rides horses, and has a special affinity for Texas. Her sparkly personality really jumps out of her photos and I so want to produce a piece of art that captures her essence and of course brings joy to her and her mom. I've gotten my initial sketch approved and am now working on the background. It'll be yummy with lots of texture and happy colors. (finding unique color combinations and coming upon fabulously saturated colors makes my heart beat faster -even just imagining them lifts my spirits, crazy, huh?) I've included a horse in the composition. This is going to be fun as I've never tried a whimsical horse before. May take a few practice pages in the art journal before starting the actual one.

Well, I'd better get going. Busy day ahead with lots to do! (Oh and to throw an totally unrelated item in the mix -I'm volunteering in Fairyland for the Midsummer's Night Dream event tomorrow night. How appropriate!!! I actually convinced my younger brother I had an identical twin fairy sister when I was little, heck, I almost convinced myself! Mom would have gotten a kick out of this)

Ok, going for real now! Have an amazingly artful day! Adios! Hasta Luego!

Laurie Sikorowski
Me, chillaxing to a little jazzy morning music mix
after my shower while waiting for my clothes to dry!
Post''n just 'cause I can -LOL!

MUSIC FOR TODAY!

Morning Mix:
(David Lewis Luong is a member of the 'Music for Good' charity program on Reverbnation. For every song you buy from David's Reverbnation site (http://www.reverbnation.com/lewisluong), 50% of the money you spend on his songs will be donated to a charity organisation -almost an hour of music )
Breakfast Jazz by David Lewis Luong

Evening Mix:
(Beautiful quite long instrumental playlist of various artists -almost 4 hours of music)
Epic Fantasy Mix