Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Simple Things

Hello Dear Ones! I've a new painting to share :)
Simple things detail

Life can feel so complicated and it is so easy to lose our joy.  I created this little piece is a reminder to take an emotional step back, breathe, and count my BLESSINGS.  I've been lost and overwhelmed lately and so often it truly is the simple things in life which re-center us - goodness knows I need a bit of re-centering

This painting was concieved from a comment/request from a lady on etsy who is going through a rough time right now.  Her husband recently left and I can relate to her pain. Dreams shattered hurt worse than broken bones.  She has three daughters; the blondes are twins so how fun to create something positive to celebrate this beginning of her new path in life. 

Joining this sweet little family are birds, flowers, and stars all under a waning moon. There is also a butterfly in the mother's hair as a nod to my mom's transformation as she passed from this earthly home to her eternal one along side my dad. Creating art helps me process life and heal from still raw emotions. My heart swells when I think  it might also brings a bit of light and joy in to the live's of those who view it :)

I've included snippets of items from my own MOM in this piece: leaves cut from a sympathy card, words cut from one of her favorite "tea" napkins, the moon and stars cut from a watercolored sheet that she had doodled on, and finally the daughter's tops which I cut from another of her tissue paper and watercolored sheets. The background music applied to the wood board (a scrap sample from work) is "Across the Universe."
Mixed Media Family Art

I've included a few photos to share my meandering process of creating art. Notice in the first photo I've finished most of my background and am playing with the girl's placement on the panel. I painted the faces separately in my mixed media pad then cut them out so I could see what layout worked best with the patterns that had evolved on the background. Also I wanted this painting to be a little brighter and softer than most of my work so I used almost only white and yellow acrylics along with watercolor crayons until near the very end. In the next photo, I've change the orientation completely and am almost done. I've collaged on manipulated scrapbook papers for the hair. The bottom photo is the finished piece; I've added the stars, the pink birds' cheeks and highlights to the girls' faces. I also rubbed a red pastel only the edge of the panel. I hope you've enjoyed seeing some of how my art comes together! Prints are available on Etsy if you'd like a copy of your own :)

Music for today: of course "Across the Universe"  by the Beatles, and sung by Rufus Wainwright and sung by Fiona Apple :)
Below: my initial inspiration sketch tucked in one of my many journals.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Happy Things

Hello! I've got a quick question for you: What things make you Happy? Well, while going through the books and magazines to ready my parent’s home for an estate sale, I came upon an issue of Country Living where author Mary Randolph Carter had written an  article and within  was this marvelous snippet, “… I’ve learned not to let guilt or someone else’s taste overcome the pleasure of my desire. Let yourself fall in love with something that simply makes you happy.” What a wonderful statement. 

How often do we let something other than our heart dictate what we like? Glitter is tacky. Primary colors are for kids. Sweet is unsophisticated. Pastels are passé. Whatever. So many rules for what we are supposed to like.

Yes, as we become more educated and are exposed to new experiences, we are able to understand and appreciate items that at first don’t draw us in. In the realm of food, think coffee, red wind, and caviar. Rare is the person who adored any of those at first but then once the taste is developed … mmm! In art it is similar; some works become more amazing once the context and concepts are understood.

I remember the first time I read the book “Seeing is forgetting the name of the thing one sees” by Robert Irwin. A light bulb went off and non-representational art suddenly became much more accessible and interesting. I could appreciate what before had seemed only simple, or ugly, or boring. Well, unless it had pretty bright colors then I'd probably liked it regardless -just call me MAGPIE.

Which brings me back to my original topic (yes, detours are the rule here in my blog, not the exception)  As new horizons open up before us, we shouldn’t let that child-like “gut” love be covered up. You know that almost instantaneous reaction to something that calls to you. Maybe it is cute, or nostalgic, or simply brings a smile to your face. That’s the beauty -it doesn’t matter what it is that makes it sing. That unconscious reaction is personal and unique, just like you.

A few of my own happy things :)
Indulge you inner self occasionally and sprinkle little things you love about your space: a tiny toy car tucked up on a shelf, a bouquet of bright paper flowers on the night stand, a quaint painted rock placed by the fireplace, a dried heart shaped leaf pinned to a bulletin board, a slightly rusted antique watering can nestled in the garden, a sweet little art print (yes, like any of mine -hint, hint) displayed beside your computer, whatever makes your heart fuzzy inside. Cost, importance, or permanence isn't important. Don't get caught up on whether your mother-in-law will approve or if it is going to match your sofa. 

For me, creating and viewing the etsy treasuries as well as pinterest boards is a digital way of collecting these "happys". While creating art, it is getting lost in decorative papers, swooshing creamy paints on with my fingers, and tweaking the tiny details to give just the right expression to one of my girl's faces. In life, it is spending time savouring special relationships and enjoying everyday moments: laughing, dreaming, dancing ... -but that is getting too broad for this little post to share tonight, but definitely something to ponder for another day though.

Ok now I am sort of jumping around in thoughts again but I've had a notion to set up a framed print in my hall and make a ritual of switching out the image with the seasons and holidays. (The connection: It makes me happy) I already kind of do this for Christmas as I have a couple favorite holiday prints from old calendars and small originals I've collected through the years that I bring out and display for the month of December then tuck back into storage the rest of the year. It's fun and I look forward to seeing them. But now I really think I will start a little collection of my own art as prints all the same size that I can switch out of a designated frame each month. Maybe it could be the beginning of a calendar set. Hmmmm -I'll have to think about this :)

Well good evening (or morning or afternoon depending on what time a day it is when you read this) I hope your week is full of happy surprises!

Music for tonight (an oldie): Gary Wright singing Dream Weaver

And below, the finished Ashton Artwork with collaged bits of Go Dog Go and Across the Universe Sheet Music. I posted progress pics in an earlier blog and figured it might be nice for folks to see the finished product (or almost finished as I did a little more but this is the last scan I made before sending it off)