Thursday, March 24, 2016

deuxième partie

Hello! I’m back with a continuation of my postcard journey! On the first postcard post, I described my written intensions for the postcards. So now for my attitude -relaxed with that sense of play and experimentation without judgment!

I was completely OK with this being an experience, a gift of myself to the ladies in the swap. There is such freedom in not worrying if something will be worthy of selling or creating a “statement.” Oh how often I will let my own expectations stifle my creativity. Totally self imposed! Being afraid to mess up a beautiful background (right!?!) that I’ve become too attached to or struggling over what color to place where, or –my biggie- overthinking so much that I end up “thinking” instead of painting. What has helped my overcome these blocks more than anything has been my art journal!
If you have a bossy inner critic like I do and don’t art journal –please give it a try! Not the formal lesson oriented sort (which don't get me wrong are awesome in there own way, but just a messy deeply personal space to unabashedly be yourself – let loose of any boundaries, celebrate your highs, work through your demons, explore techniques and medias you aren’t familiar with, heck even copy, scribble, doodle … but mostly DREAM in imagery and words (Here is a link to one of my art journal posts and one of a more personalpage if you’d like to check it out)

Oops, a little detour on one of my passions there, but back to my postcards. Next gathering and laying out SUPPLIES! (I'll list the exact ones at the end) I am very random -remember no rules, just what feels good! I started out with prints of butterflies I'd found on various sites through Pinterest (Oh, I LOVE Pinterest!!!) Butterflies represent transformation and beauty and soaring, all very appropriate symbolically, don't you think? I cut them out and gathered some craft paints in happy colors. I cut out 4x6 cards from a Mixed Media Journal where I had already written down my intensions (and various other life stuff) on the pages. Then I pulled a couple favorite stamps (butterfly, bumblebee, rectangular design I'd never used before, small zigzag, and finally a part of a ruler) Yea, a lot of stamps -went a bit cray cray on this part! Each card got a big fat stamp of each then on to the watercolor crayons. 5 colors just happened to be on my desk already, I liked them so they are what I used. Next more happy color with craft paints smooched on with a credit card. Tip: A good strategy is to alternate transparent and opaque layers  (ex: watercolor crayons -transparent-ish, acrylic -opaque-ish) If the paint is obscuring too much, wipe some off. Still super random!
Next I took my Tim Holtz distressed sequin waste stencil added purple to my cards (bubble wrap would have also worked) Then I tore into strips pages from a favorite book, "A Tree Grows In Brooklyn" and used Matte Media to glue 2 to 3 on each postcard. Some splattering of pretty turquoise paint with an old toothbrush and finally I created red drips by drenching some water on the card edge where I want the drip and adding watered down paint over the water on the card. Ok -backgrounds completed!!!!!
I've got some botched old test prints of some of my girls so I cut their faces out to add to the cards. I don't quite have enough so I print out some of my previously scanned girls that I group on a page of typing paper. Now I start to add the faces and the butterflies I cut up earlier to the cards. This is so fun. I pull from my trusty scrap bag for decorative papers, fabric scraps, old ticket stubs (Nashville from a couple weeks ago), napkins, maps (New Orleans from Christmas) and other assorted bits. This is more meditative. The girls begin to tell me what they where they want to be placed, if they want to wear wings, how they want their hair to be and what they want to wear. I think I am in the home stretch. Tomorrow I think I will finish up. (HaHa - I am delusional)
The faces are pretty blurry since they were mostly taken from scrap prints, the colors are off so now I am on the individual cards one (mostly) by one. I add paint and ink to the faces, sometimes only changing eye colors and highlighting details, other times basically starting close to scratch.
The basic steps though are similar. I add shadows with a Sketch& Wash Graphite pencil and black watercolor pencil. Extra dots of color with the watercolor crayons and acrylics. Then I start adding details and words with back and white pens. On a couple I use word cutouts. I rarely outline and detail with stark contract -this is new -it is experimentation and play! No fear, No rules! Most get an ink or pastel smear along the card edges. Once again, I'm in that meditative state imagining what each girl wants to say. They start becoming more individual. Certain ones call out for something different: a bit of glitter, a bit of grunge, the bits like glow-in-the-dark paint for the "Shine" card and a 3-D butterfly for the "Soar" card. One girl simply refuses to accept words, she wants to be open ended -surprise the map is very evident in her background. I'm lost in the creative flow - one of my favorite places in the world.
Whoa baby! Yes, I've really completed the postcard fronts!!!!  I am SUPER HAPPY!  Wiggle, wiggle, jiggle, twist!  I am really tired!  I decide to scan the cards so I can create wood blocks later.
Now on to the backs. I've gathered quotes that really spoke to me and fit my girls. I print them out along with my name, Laurie Anne Smith-Sikorowski and Swap Info. A quick bumblebee stamp (you know science still hasn't figured out how these chubby little creatures can fly reminding us that nothing is impossible) and it is off to the post office! DONE & DONE!
I sure hope you've enjoyed going through my process. Please note these cards were done over the course of a couple weeks, not all at once. I am not particularly speedy (at anything really). I wish I was but I'm just not. I was born with a quiet calm steadiness that sometimes irks me but I am trying to learn to appreciate this part of my personality. It is so easy to tell someone else that they are perfectly imperfect just the way they are. It is much harder to accept it for yourself. So if you are another artsybody who gets discouraged with how fast and amazing other artists create -Don't! You are not alone. Everyone has their own gifts and their own struggles. LOVE YOUR IMPERFECTLY PERFECT SELF! GIVE YOURSELF A HUG RIGHT NOW, I MEAN IT RIGHT NOW! YOU ARE FREAKING AWESOME!!! DON'T YOU FORGET IT -EVER!

Finally, a quick peak at the supplies that I used for this endeavor.  If you'd like the actual list with brands and such just let me know in the comments and I'll include it there. As long as you have something to make marks with and on, truly anything is substitutable. This is probably more than I usually use for such a small work but its fun to just layer it on! I've still got lots more postcards to complete for the next batch to go out so I'm sure I'll be posting more progress pics. What I really want to try next is a video tutorial. Wouldn't that be fun? We will see! Anyway, I will be sharing some of the postcards with their quotes as single quick posts coming up soon so come back often and check them out!

Music for tonight: Gary Wright -Dreamweaver
Quote for tonight: "You can do what you have to do, and sometimes you can do it even better that you think you can." - Jimmy Carter






Saturday, March 19, 2016

Postcard Process Number One - The Beginning

Be True!  Be Curious!  Be Passionate!  Be Loving!  Be Kind!  Be Creative!
I'm back. Sooner than you expected, right?  My goodness, it has been glorious outside!  Seriously gorgeous!  I am just loving my new little convertible.  I've never been a big driver usually preferring to be the rider but with the topdown and the sun shining -I don't know.  Times they are a changing!  Anyway it is so putting a great big grin on my face! I am pumped and ready to Live Full Throttle! 
Soul Sister's Postcard Swap
Ok now, lets get right down to the art, baby!  I’m going to share the steps and process I used in creating my postcards for a “Soul Sisters” postcard swap (the name came after the fact –but isn’t it great?) 16 postcards to inspire and share –such fun but quite a challenge. As you’ll see while each card was very different, I used the same colors, materials, and techniques in the same sequence at the same time to bring them from start to almost finish. The final little bits with the individual girls, I broke out and finished up one by one. It definitely took a little longer than I anticipated, but hey, I am the turtle girl so that is pretty much par for my course.

First thing before any paint hits the paper, I came up with my intentions / aspirations -something Kelly Rae Roberts goes in to with her Hello Soul, Hello Mantra course. I thought of what goals did I not only have for my cards but for my life right then.

Words to Aspire and Inspire!

BEING TRUE really stood out. I know many folks think the Myer-Briggs Typology is kind of silly but after taking a couple on-line tests, particular the one at PersonalityHacker, I found I am most likely an INTP (Introverted Intuitive Thinking Perceiver) and upon reading the descriptions and understanding the functional stacks, there was this profound - "you mean that there are others out there that are kind of like me" moment.  (you see, not that many people, particularly women are INTPs which is probably why it affected me so much since I've always felt "different" -a social awkwardness, like to be perceived as normal, there is this bit of a facade that I must wear that doesn't quite fit) The feeling was actually quite similar to the one I got when I found the mixed media/ art journaling on-line community.  That was another big OMG moment for me.  All these cool unique creative encouraging women that got off on some of the same things that I did. Wow! I digress, so back to topic.

I created my intentions on grid paper (because it happened to be what was on my desk at the time) with wings (to remind me that I am capable and am made to soar) and a heart (to remind me that I do not have to be perfect, it is more about intent and process than product) but it can be much simpler, just words scribbled on a piece of paper or even written on your arm. This sets the mood, sort of like taking a deep cleansing breath.  So this is step one.  Easy-peasy, right?  More fun is just ahead!

Because next we start our BACKGROUNDS!  Yea! (I'm trying to break up my posts a little more since I tend to be a bit long winded but of course if you want to go start to finish you will have to read backwards once I'm done. We will see how this goes then I'll evaluate for future multi-post processes)

Music for today: Thirteen Senses, "Do No Wrong"
(Because I find it hauntingly beautiful)

Quote for today: "I am thankful for my struggle because without it I wouldn't have stumbled upon my strength." -Alex Elle

Island Days

I am alive “surprise”, I know, I know, it has been soooo long.  
Artsy update: had a great show at the Key West Old Island Days Show.  Lots of little originals now have new homes, yeah!  
Key West Mermaid and Seahorses

A couple with barely dry paint -Literally as I was painting during the show.  An example is the little MERMAID above. Do you notice the bit of Key West influence? (Yes, my last post was a bit Mermaidy too!) This photo collage which I created with Picmonkey shows the process from sketch and background to the final canvas.  I often try different aspects with a trace paper overlay. On this painting, you can see me playing with various top options.  I ended up with a sort of grecian gauzy one.  Hopefully you'll see more tropical influences as I continue to live, work, & play down here!

Fearless Girl Power Art

Here is another painting I created during the show, "FEARLESS". A quicker freer GIRL POWER piece! Such Fun!  I love painting bold vibrant backgrounds. Aren't these colors just fabulous?
Back to the show, Pete came and helped me set up and take down my tent.  OMG… so grateful!  I did the Botanical Gardens Show by myself and it was just too difficult. Seriously!!!  If I were taller, it would help tremendously –but even so not nearly enough.  I’m working on some alternate ways of setting up and displaying which should make it a little better.  But still...
 I’d like to find a gallery to show my art in the near future if possible.  I’ve just got to get off my tush and see what is out there.  Luckily some of the show-goes gave me several suggestions of options on the island.
Well, that is my update for now but I promise the next post will be coming soon.  I want to share the process I used creating my postcards. They turned out so cute and the affirmations, honestly they were as much for me as anything else.

Today's Quote: "The best way to get things done is to simply begin!"
Music for today: Mary Mary -"Go Get It"
Sometimes life is hard and confusing and unfair -there are times when we really need inspiration. I find words, art, & nature are my go tos but I also turn to music. Yes, music! Glorious music! Pretty much every genre has some song that speaks to me. I have found so much inspiration in music which is why I typically include a link on my blog with every post. I hope you enjoy getting to know me a bit through the songs I share! 
Blessings & Love,
Laurie Anne