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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Painting New Beginnings

Well,  I was going to say Good Morning...but I guess it's afternoon now!!!

(I've been in the studio painting since 10am...)

I had a wonderful day at Hampshire College yesterday - it's great to be on campus for a bit of the week.  It was my first official "portfolio critique" and I got excellent feedback and ideas.
My portfolio critique at Hampshire yesterday
 Since I love painting abstract backgrounds so much, someone proposed that I might enjoy paper sculpture and paper cutting.  This way I could have some fun painting my usual whimsical acrylic backgrounds, and then the possibilities become endless in 3D!  Maybe I should just start with an origami book?

Then, thanks to the wonders of the internet, I discovered some amazing paper-cutting artists, like Akira Nagaya, who does amazing work.  On Etsy, Tina Tarnoff even turns her exquisite paper-cutting into jewelry.  Really beautiful.

Then I went a bit google-crazy.  Here are more examples of some gorgeous paper art.  Design*Sponge also featured 25 amazing paper-cutting artists here.  These sculptures are made of nothing but paper.  And then, HongKiat also listed some wonderful masters of paper and sculpture.  I am so inspired to start this new venture!
I also just purchased this book, which might give me some new ideas in the studio...

Trying New Things...

As an artist, and as a human, I have my set comfort zone and am very used to doing what I do. But there is nothing like a new way of looking at something to take your art, and life, into new unforeseen territories.  As comfortable as I am with painting and fabric work right now, I think getting into paper-cutting and sculpture would open a whole new world!

I definitely have a goal this year of trying new mediums in the art world.  I found these crazy material ideas for portraits which really blew my mind!  Maybe I won't get that adventurous...
Growing, growing...
I've been absolutely terrified every moment of my life — and I've never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do.” ~ Georgia O'Keeffe

And on that note, here are 18 things creative people do differently - you might find that you're being more creative than you think!

So anyway, I was actually in my studio all day sticking to my comfort zone, for now.  But having quite a bit of fun!
First painting of the morning...
 I had painted these three backgrounds last week and decided to take a stab at them next.
One might say that they're fine as is...but I wanted to do a little to them - just a little!  I swear!
(still working on that minimalism thing)

 I'm not exactly sure how I want to set them up - sometimes it helps to have another pair of eyes once they're finished.
 So...these are the final products - I know it's hard to believe, but I wanted to do so much more!  But I used relative restraint here, and I'm pretty pleased.
 I used very sheer material and tuile to not cover too much of the painting I did.  A cool idea I thought of was to hide the tears and broken hearts underneath the fabric, as well as some magazine photos, gears, and some bits of poetry that I ripped from an old book.
 I want all of these girls to have some kind of relation to each other, some kind of conversation, or a sense that they all have something that the other one wants - that only when all three canvases are together can they attain a sense of wholeness.  For me, that's what I'd like my pieces to do when they are a series.
 So that was half my day, I guess.  If anyone has any feedback or what order they think these girls should be in, I'd love to hear how you resonate with these!  I love how any art can serve as anyone else's refection, so I'd love to hear how these speak to all of my cyber-space art-lovers :)

I was going to start working on this background, but I think that's enough for today.  This is just layers of photos and poetry with gesso and paint over it, and some matte medium.  Not sure what I'll do to this piece.  I think it needs to simmer for a bit.

(Speaking of many of these soups have you tried?  Apparently this year, bone broth is the new trend...which is perfect because my mother makes the most amazing chicken soup with fresh marrow. 
(Yum...but I'l wash my hands first...)
It's wonderful spending the day in the studio...but there are no windows so you can lose track of time quite easily!  A nice, creative way to find peace for the day.
The place of ZEN.

In my studio, I have little cards I've made with affirmations on them.  My ritual is that before I start painting, I pull a random affirmation out of the basket and start.  They also just get my head in a good place for the day.  Here are some of them:

Be here now
I am enough
Feel the fear and do it anyway
Breathe in experience, breathe out poetry
Breathe out negativity, breathe in positivity
Breathe out anxiety, breathe in five senses
Feel something physically, observe the five senses
I am choosing the thought that supports my aliveness

I find that the last one is particularly helpful whenever I am conflicted on making a decision.  By thinking about whether that decision supports my aliveness - that passion, vitality, my connection to the earth that sustains me - it's easier to know I'm making a choice for the right reasons.
Some early art after being discharged from the hospital around 2007
I was looking back on some art I did very early on, once discharged from the hospital, and came across some old journal writings I did reflecting on the day I was finally allowed off of my IV-pole "leash" for an hour or so - only then do you appreciate the little things - like being able to walk around without strings attached to you!

"How does one cope with being covered in adhesives, attached to fifty different strings like a marionette and being manipulated by a puppet?  Literally, the first thing I sang when I was unhooked from TPN for the first time in the Columbia ICU for just an hour or so, I was singing I Got No Strings from Pinocchio and stumbling from wall to wall, just absolutely exhilarated by being able to zig-zag back and forth down the hallways, proudly exclaiming I OWN this hospital!  And feeling the freedom in my arms, how I could deviate a bit to the side and not have to instruct my father to move along with me, though I think he still needed to hold my hand because I couldn’t walk totally steadily and stable yet."

I never thought I'd see the day where I could experience an entire 24 hours without an IV pole - it didn't even seem real to me.  But with time, it happened.  First 2 hours off the pole, then 4, 6, only at night...and now...I got no strings!
“In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer."

You have to believe in magic and miracles for them to be present in your life.  You have to see those dragons and believe that fairytales are ongoing occurrences in order to feel like a princess or living for some higher, noble cause.  Decide what you're living for, and then DO IT!  :)

The beauty of Hampshire Campus in the fall

I've navigated my crazy path by trying to always tap into my intuition.  Intuition whispers through our dreams – our dreams are the seed of whatever energy is orchestrating this grand show we call life.  That imagination we have deep within us is actually the only real thing – it’s what anchors us to the great spirit above and around our heads – it’s our Velcro into the universe, it’s how we belong.  I use imagination to blend me into the universe like a big juicy succulent smoothie, creating the most nourishing blend of connection and wholeness rich with pulp and color.  My imagination has the potency to convey my story to the world, bringing my soul to light, and hopefully bringing out the light in souls worldwide.
"We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope." (MLK)
Anyway, I also wanted to share a fun little song I wrote a long time ago.  I do yoga - but more of a choreographed yoga - I love building long sequences of series and "performing" them like a dance.  So, one sequence was ridiculously long and I could never remember it.  Whenever I did it, instead of saying the entire sequence, I just called it "the whole enchilada."

So...leave it to me to make a song out of it.  This way I could just sing it to myself!  With my brother Matt playing piano, enjoy!  Here's The Whole Enchilada!

Can you believe it's almost March?
I know Spring is under all this snow somewhere...
Spring will be here before we know it...and then summer!  I can (almost) feel it...and can't wait to start venturing into New York again once it gets warmer out.  I love catching all the music on the streets of the city.  Last summer, Brandon and I took an amazing Lower East Side food tour and got to hear this group doing their thing.  I wish I knew who they were!  

Music makes everything better.  Even my toy Australian shepherd Pepper knows that - surprisingly in tune, right?  And of course, what is music without dancing?  (In my defense, this was my first time at a casino and I was tremendously excited!!)

And in the world of much better, actual dancing, this routine from "So You Think You Can Dance" is so inspiring and powerful.  It also helps they are dancing to Ingrid Michaelson - an amazing singer-songwriter who I have tremendous respect for.

These are some reads I spotted at the bookstore the other day that seem like spectacular creative companions...
Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, but just take the first step.
- Martin Luther King Jr.

I'm off for now, and thank you to Anne Quasarano of the Fairfieldista Blog for featuring my upcoming artist's reception in today's post!


1 comment:

  1. Your work is lovely! Life is an everyday learning process. We just need to remember this is the fun part! :)