Click “Collect Me” to help me win $10,000 and a show in the most immense exhibition of art in New York City : Art Takes Times Square.
via Edna Collazo.
Click “Collect Me” to help me win $10,000 and a show in the most immense exhibition of art in New York City : Art Takes Times Square.
via Edna Collazo.
Battling depression since late 2006 has not been an easy journey for neither me nor my husband and my son. Under control for some time (enough to allow myself the mistake of letting my guard down) I have been on and off meds for different reasons. I began a new treatment at the end of last December and am doing much better. The only good thing about having dealt with this for the past five + years is I can tell when it is coming, and how strong it’s coming. It does make it a wee bit easier to face the monster when it shows its ugly face in full force. I’m sure my poor husband notices before anyone. He is at the end of my “snappyshn-ess” and rotten attitude –just two of the first signs that the bad fork on the road is up ahead.
That is why I suddenly stopped posting here for you guys. I feel so bad that after having arted every day for the month of November, I never did a last closing post showing what I had done the last days of the challenge. Disdain is another symptom. When I start not giving a shit about making art, that is when I can be sure I’m in for an ugly treat. I did finish the AEDM project, I did make art every day, I just did not post it here. I’m so happy to have done that challenge! I pushed myself and worked no matter the conditions or the space. I painted things I had never painted before and experimented in ways I had feared for a long time. But once the depression wave hit, I started putting things off for tomorrow, then the day after, then next week. When I found out we would be flying to PR for the Navidades Holidays, I had just done enough to fulfill the gifting needs and was spent and done with.
All of the things I made and painted then I will post here as soon as I finally get myself and my mind together. Soon, I’m in the process and happy to be needing art again, I’m sure it will get me going and save me from myself once more. Love and art, that’s all I need, and patience from the outside world. I have been feeding off the love of my family and friends for the past two months and I am almost whole again.
I made a photo collage a couple of nights ago, it is made up of most of the things and people that are most meaningful to me, those that I am nourished with, those that inspire me (including, of course, other artist’s work). I want to share it with you, till next time
The fat lady has sung.
Blessings, Love and Light to all of you out there.
Well, been doing it still. Now thinking about the Holidays and all the presents that can be achieved at home, with my own two hands. But it’s not like I’ve had the time to post everything, so here it is, what I’ve been doing since the last time. Hope you like it.
I’ve been working on a couple of things at once, as usual. First, an owl for my sister in Florida. We are trading hand-made gifts. She asked me what I wanted and I told her I needed a big, sturdy tote bag which I’ll be sure to show you guys when I get in in the mail. For her, this owl, just because I’ve grown fond of them with all the revival of the 70s fashion for everything owl:
The, with my deep love for Gustav Klimt only growing with time I finally decided to try my hand at a piece inspired by his glorious work. I took one of my thrift store finds, a cheap framed canvas which had been covered in dark green paint and then splattered with tiny white dots of paint I’d been keeping for the longest time and went to town with it. I gessoed it and sat in front of the laptop with a pic of one of his women and tried my hand at making it my own:
It is not a version of the the whole original picture, but it was close enough to what I usually do, and I did want to make it my own, not a copy because that would be impossible, like trying to copy a God, so I want to feel comfortable working on the image.
Now, for the last set of pics. I worked tonight on an original piece inspired by Klimt’s backgrounds. Of course, not nearly as stunning as his, mind you, but I just wanted to make something purely mine, but richer in feel in comparison with what I usually do. So I looked at my picture file and found the photo of a woman who was the inspiration of Modigliany. The photo has a very mysterious feel to it, her look, her clothing, all of it could be interpreted in so many ways, I just had to work on something that would –at least- remind me of her when I looked at it.
I actually LOVE the way she came out. It is still a portrait in the way I make them, mostly a face and a neck, yeah, I know, I will surprise you when you least expect it with a whole body, you’ll see! But, I made a connection with an original portrait, the photograph of Modigliani’s girlfriend, I brought into it a feel for Klimt’s work with the background, and I was able to make it something totally my own which is ultimately the point. I may not be feeling totally happy about a whole slew of things in my own mind, but at least on the only spot I can control right now I’m making something that is totally me, only my own, something to keep me grounded. Art always saves.
For now, this is more than enough for this fat lady to sing tonight. Plus: It’s Sunday and that only means one thing: AMC’s “THER WALKING DEAD”!!! Which happens to be AMAZING! If you enjoy watching zombies getting whacked, you’re in for a treat, go watch it!
Blessings, Love and Light!
This will be short, I’ve been taking care of my little man the past week and a half. He’s been really sick and I’ve been giving him Albuterol therapy with the machine 3 times a day for about 7 or 8 days. Oh Joy!
The workshop I have been participating in since the beginning of November has brought forth so many ideas, so much inspiration, that I keep feeling the need to make journal entries or spreads from quotes I’ve found as I read this wonderful book Life is a Verb (Patti Digh) under the expert guidance of Effy Wild (Wild Precious Studio).
One of the things Digh discusses when touching on the subject of your life as your personal story is the concept of Quiditty, or that which makes you “you”, the embodiment of your individuality. She talks about patterns, of the fact that we should take note of those things in our lives which have become part of a pattern. Are our patterns working for us?, If not, what should we do to modify them?
This idea of what makes me ME, and of the fact that there are so many patterns in my life drove me to a journal entry I really enjoyed making. I have realized that it is life which has helped me become an individual. I recognize that there are aspects of my character and personality which are inherently part of my upbringing, but life has thrown quite a hefty amount of curveballs my way too, and those have shaped me as much as erosion reshapes a rock. Many of those things that life has offered me are part of patterns: the kind of men I fell for, the kinds of people I surrounded myself with, how much of a people pleaser I used to be… well, the list is too long for today and you already know how I feel about lists!
After this, I kept on going and did an entry totally unrelated to the workshop, yep, I was on a roll!
The page has a cut out, so I had to finish the dress on the next page so it would show on the page as part of the piece:
Then I saw I would have to justify hat piece of fabric there on the next page when it came time to use the page. What to do? I created a window with four panes so the piece of fabric could be turned into a curtain:
I did the same thing with the missing wing part. The page says:
“I always wear my heart, its wings make for a pretty dress. It’s all made out of feathers and I can put it on whenever I feel safe to take flight. I keep my pretty white dress in a safe place, its feathers are really worn.”
Come to think of it, it actually has to do with the workshop too, and the patterns and my very own Quiditty.
This is as much as the fat lady can sing for today. Thanks for looking and reading and making the visit.
I love your comments and am planning on a give-away pretty soon. So don’t only visit, follow me here too, subscribe and you’ll always be on the know.
As always, Blessings, Love and Light!
Just in case you were wondering. I’m still here, and still “arting” every day. These last few days I have been working, finally, on the writing and journaling for the Wild Precious Studio workshop “To See Us Through The Long Dark” based on Patti Digh’s book LIFE IS A VERB.
So, I finally gave myself time to sit down and DO something. I had started reading the book as soon as I got it in the mail, I had to go back, sit down -before even thinking about answering Effy’s prompt questions- and take a look at what had caught my attention while giving it a first read. I sat down and went over all my underlining and margin notes and started with that. I copied the quotes that hit me the hardest and reacted to them, much in the way I did my studying and researching when I was in College. Finally studying Literature served me for something! LOL
Well, I spent a couple of hours doing that, and THEN I went back to Effy’s questions and was able to answer them honestly and without as much trouble as I was having when I first looked at them.
The main idea of what we have to do art-wise is to work on the concept of our life story seen as a house. I thought, if my life is a story, it’s in a story-book, this made me think of my childhood, and all the years I spent dreaming of having one of those big doll houses that open –just like a book would- and both sides have room for everything a house should have, like a full life, I wanted a full house. So that is what I “journaled”. The idea of inhabiting my life-story was wonderful for me, because I could truly look at my life almost from the outside in, like I do when I am analyzing a novel. So my house became my “STORY-Book HOUSE”.
I jotted the plan to make a board book into a house-book, with all the pages looking like the inside og a little girl’s doll house. Since I did not have the time to make that, I turned my original idea into a 3part journal spread. On the outside cover of the journal I’d already made for the workshop I created the facade of my Story-Book House. This is what came of it, the home I have always dreamed about, a little cottage surrounded by trees and flowers, in this case all representative of aspects of my life, past and present (notice the door has no knob, your life-story should be opened from the inside):
Then I turned the page and went in. The next two pages show two sides of my story, two parts of my home. It is as if you were opening a doll house and looking in at both sides of the house.
One side is darker, more introspective, with books (which have always been a very important aspect of my life, a rocking chair like my grandfather’s (which I used to rock my son to sleep when he was a baby. There is a huge key above the door and the space where the door should be is full of little drawers (the compartmentalization you create for the world outside of your story.) There is an old map of NY and a round window that looks out into nothing (since what really matters is inside), the outside functions accordingly. There is a woman looking down from the attic, that is one of my first drawings, and she’s my muse, overlooking my inner life. There is also a stairs going up and a caption at the bottom that reads: “ADULT NONFICTION”. And a space above the house, in the “sky” to do some journaling.
On the right side is a sunny and magical space inhabited by creatures past, present and future (maybe). The people that did not stay (good riddance). There are creatures of nature which remind me of the wild woman in me, of my ancient ties with air, water and trees. The freedom I struggled to have for so long is present in the form of butterflies, dragonflies and birds. Even a toad is there, something I’ve always hated, but reminds me of the ugly parts of myself and of my life I’ll always have to live with… There is also an antique bird cage, beautiful and ornate, but still a cage – a reminder not to repeat the same mistakes from previous marriages.
Well, not gonna bore you anymore! Instead of giving myself space for journaling, I added printed words that helped me illustrate my story: The Building Site, Contemplation, Creativity, Observation, Society, Acquisitions, Find the Future and Promise (because I have never felt my life holds as much promise as it does now).
This is hard, good hard, it is also amazing and so rewarding! It’s like having therapy with a shrink, but creative and FUN!
*YOU SHOULD COME CHECK IT OUT AT WILD PRECIOUS STUDIO
On a different note: The painting finally arrived to its destination in Missouri!!!! YAAAAYYYYYY!!!!! Here is the pic my friend Kimberly sent of the way she has set it up in her home. It is simple, tasteful and just LOVELY!!!!
This is all for now Guys! The fat lady has sung and will keep posting art stuff as “almost daily” as possible. Till then,
Blessings, Love and Light!
PS: I worked on a new journal spread today and hope to be posting and blogging about it tomorrow.
Ok. I’ve been doing it every day so far. I have been cheating a bit too, cause I have also been doing some other finishing up these days as well as the piece that I presented to you on Nov.2nd.
I’ll show you the finished product and then I’ll go on to show ya the other stuff.
This is what you saw then, my preliminary work on a new piece where I would later on add some collage:
This is what I did next, I took some lovely colors from my little craft acrylics bin, squirted some around the girl, pink, blue and yellow. Then I spread them around, getting this sort of thing as an effect –that’s my technical description and I’m sticking to it!
Now, as you can imagine I could not possibly leave that poor naked girl, so pure and chaste on a background that would call attention to her nakedness… Oh no! Mamma had to do something about this! And SOON! So this is what happened:
I’ll try to get a better quality pic –taken during the daytime, maybe- so you can get a better look at the texture on the piece. She’s lovely, isn’t she?
The other piece that I had been working on that I finished after the start of this month was a mixed media piece I had started as fulfillment to my first commission. My friend Kimberly Brown Miner –baker extraordinaire and owner of Sugar and Spikes in Missouri- had asked me to put her in one of my pieces, to turn her into one of my girls. Well, I thought, Kim is a lovely woman with gorgeous tattoos, a flawless ivory skin and big gray eyes… hmmm, what to do??? I know she enjoys the dark side in art, she enjoys the Goth style. May I turn her into a Goth girl, with big blue eyes and dark hair and of course, those gorgeous tats? So I went with that idea. I practiced drawing her face once, twice, and by the third time I was pretty happy with the resemblance. I cut the face drawing and after having created a sort of Goth, dark background on a 12 x 16 canvas, I placed the face to the back ground:
I drew the shoulders in white pencil and started to color it in, skin color first, then the facial features, then the tattoos, it was a disaster. The line where the paper drawing ended and the canvas began was too obvious, the layers of acrylics were making it all too thick. This was the effect, and it was the wrong one.
Besides, I don’t know why this happens, but she looked much more like my model as a drawing than she did as a painting, it wasn’t Kim any more. I e-mailed her with a copy of this image and explained my missgivings, especially the fact that it did not look like her. Her answered made me so happy, and gave me the freedom to really do something special for her. She said: It doesn’t have to look like me, and I just want to be in one of your paintings, do your thing and it’s gonna be fine, don’t sweat it. Or something of that sort. I was so happy I just sat down and drew the image I had had on the back of my mind going against the grain all this time: I’m going to remake Kim as a cupcake goddess! This is what I sent her in the mail last Tuesday morning:
I added the detail of sewing the “sprinkles” on with glass beads. I’m happy to say Kim loved it. But there was another woman, let’s say, an adult version of the girlie goddess, that still bothered me, I liked her very much, but her destiny was not as I originally had imagined. I went back some days ago to my work table and sat down with her for a bit of a chat. I just had to give her a “make-over”. This was the result:
Yep, I thought so.
For now, the fat lady has sung. Till next time when I see what the heck I can come up with to keep pushing myself further ahead into the unknown yonder!
Blessings, Love and Light!
make art every day. It may seem simple because I make art almost every day, but it may be deceivingly simple. The pledge means –to me, not necessarily to everyone- that now I HAVE TO. Which just may be the challenge I need to keep pushing myself forward. If you want to find out how that works, what are the rules –if any- just go here and find out all about it!
There is only one problem: I already enrolled myself in a workshop from Effy Wild and Jeanette House’s WILD PRECIOUS STUDIO; To See Us Through The Long Dark (arting through Patty Digh’s book LIFE IS A VERB).
How will I manage? Will I manage at all? Will I break down in the middle of it all, begging for mercy from the Art Gods? Who the heck knows! Who the heck CARES??? We’ll see. I’ll be posting here about what I do every day for my pledge (not necessarily post every day, mind you) but post I intend to, as much and as constantly as possible –though I’m not making any promises, you know how I work –or not- with lists, I’m almost as bad with promises, I’d rather not make them for fear of not being able to keep them.
But, just for the sake of tempting fate: here is my work –which I started last night, so I’m technically starting on time- and which I will finish (hopefully) tonight. Hope you like the way it’s going.
I’m happy the way it is turning out because I’m finally branching out and experimenting with textures and other stuff to bring my work into a more realistic look and feel. The white space behind her will be filled with collage. Maybe.
Well, that is it for now, the fat lady has sung and will not strain her vocal chords for some time, till then, Ta!
Blessings, Love and Light,
This is just to give you an idea of what I was selling at the fair. My “half-orange” (husband) took the time to snap a few while I busied myself with my efforts to sell.
I brought back a trick from my past experiences. I remembered how many of my artisan friends would take some work with them to their selling spot and work while showing the finished product. It is a good way for people to see that you are the actual artist, the real human being creating the pieces they are holding in their hands and enjoying.
As you can see I didn’t even have a fabric cover for the table (which my dear friend Leslie loaned me) so I purchased some plastic party “tablecloths”. I had no stands or rests for my jewelry. I had no canopy to cover me from the sun… well, you got the picture. But there is something that did help me a lot, to bear the hours, the standing and the boredom. After my husband left with our son to go home till closing time, my friend Leslie came to keep me company and help me out. She is one of those people who can make you laugh and enjoy whatever you are doing even when carrying a burden herself. After she came my mood lightened considerably, which allowed me the levity to feel free, dance to the music of the pirated CDs stand –which was huge by the way, and had many, many customers- and sell some more stuff. If you have ever seen my mixed media portraits you may remember having seen her face:
So it comes to this. Just take a nap, (I tell myself) and make your Ego get some sleep too. Maybe you will both dream big and exercise your mind while resting your soul. Always carry your loved ones, family and friends with you, you might need them to carry you once in a while. Love gives us stronger arms than any push-ups.
Now that the fat lady has sung she’s going back to bed. Just had about 3 hours of sleep before having to take my kid to the doctor. I’m beat!
Blessings, Love and Light!
Back after some long hours hunched over my polymer clay beads trying to work some magic. I have struggled for the last few years to start my jewelry business. It would be an understatement in any part of the known universe to say that it’s been easy. There has never been any money to invest, but we have invested. There has been a “how much time can I spend working the clay and mixing colors and struggling to make interesting canes-while trying to keep a modicum of order in my house and a family happy” kind of issue. Not for either my son or my husband, but for myself.
The bottom line seems to be that in order to do as much as I think I should do, I have to be home-maker by day and artist/artisan by night. It’s not: “Have gun/will travel” for me. It’s rather: “Have coffee/will create”. The problem is even during nights when I have “nothing” to do, I still stay awake in bed creating in my mind, so active, so loudly, so crazy I will not go to sleep. My mind keeps going on and on this loop that has each idea begetting another and another… it’s like an episode of LOST!
The last few weeks I spent sleepless nights either working or worrying over the looming date of October the 8th. I had come across a street “fair”, the kind where a group pays to have a piece of street closed off during much of a day to have an assortment of nondescript vendors set up camp and sell their stuff -from food to clothes to used bric-a-brac to cheap plastic jewelry. I have been dying to go back to the years when I sold my home-made candles at craft fairs in Puerto Rico. I was a happy artisan back then. I even had a licence from the government that certified me as such and allowed me entrance as a legit seller at craft fairs all over the island. Back then scented candles were only available at department stores or through catalogues. So, when I found myself jobless and in need of something to help me keep my head above water I taught myself to make candles at home with very little expense and after taking some baby steps one thing led to another and I ended up on the local tv crafting show teaching a little bit of what I knew and advertising my workshops.
But this is not PR, this is New York City. Every bit of paper costs you if you want something to be legit (my Puerto Rican government issue artisan licence cost me nothing) so when I found myself at that street fair in Washington Heights, I took a shot and asked around. A very nice lady explained what I had to do and even gave me a written invitation to their next date, one which I could take to the proper authorities who would give me -for a very small fee, mind you- a temporary street fair vendor’s permit to be able to participate at the event. All well and good. I did all I had to do, in a very short amount of time I went, paid my ten bucks for 30 days worth of permit and came happily home, carrying an ID card permit thingie. They say the devil is in the details, right? Well, my own little devil had snuck in through the tiny detail of what I had to pay the nice lady who gave me the invite. The fee for participating in the event was $130.0. I gave her a 30 bucks advance and she secured a space for me, all of 10 feet by 10 feet.
It is more than understandable that I could not sleep, I had tons of stuff to do, I had lots of ideas to put to work, to try out before going. But I hadn’t done this in ages. I was so ignorant of all the basics, just as if I were doing this for the first time. And, I did not have any money for all the minutiae that comes with setting up “camp Madre Luna”. Anyone who reads this who has ever done any kind of selling event will pee in their pants laughing if they saw my pitiful set up. I just did the best I could. Honestly. I know that, my husband knows that, even my 6-year-old knows that. But my poor, wounded Ego has no idea. Frankly, I feel like shit. I am definitely thankful for the pieces I sold (all of 10), I am thankful for all the people who stopped by and looked, and looked, and looked and praised my work as original, as unique, and then strode on their merry way on to my neighbor the handsome Asian selling cheap chinese plastic jewelry. There were two very lovely ladies who stopped by and did not only compliment my work, they bought multiple pieces… after I lowered the prices so they could actually take more than one set of necklace and earrings. Oh! Price, that’s another joke. I price my stuff the way I was taught by my Mom -who has had home-based businesses of one kind or another all her married life- actually, the way anyone with a pulse would price their stuff: you add your investment in supplies to your time and the amount of work you put into it, not to mention taxes if you have to. Well, my jewelry is more than fairly priced, it takes into account competition and placing. So, I went even lower considering the competition and the place… I made $100.00. 30 bucks short of what I paid for spending the day on my feet doing the little “come see/come buy the goods” dance we all have to do.
It was definitely an experience. My dear half orange tells me I have to think about it this way: we paid 130 dollars for a workshop on how to sell in this kind of scenario. I know he’s right, even little Otto knows it, but my poor stupid Ego just won’t let go of its pain. So I will try to go to bed tonight (technically it’s morning, last I saw it was past 3:30) and sooth my Ego with memories of craft shows past, tell him (cause it’s a stubborn little man this Ego of mine) that everything will be all right, that my art is beautiful, that my pieces are one-of-a-kind, that each bead is unique and that next time it will hurt less and we’ll sell more.
Another thing to add to my list!
Oh! I almost forgot to tell you: the polymer clay jewelry workshop I had up on MMW has been closed. I decided to start showing my craft right here for free for everyone who comes to read, and laugh and commiserate with my poor, poor Ego. Watch out for this next few days, just to see what happens, Ok?
For now, the fat lady has sung and is off to bed at… at 4:39 a.m. Shit! My husband’s gonna kill me for not sleeping… again!
Blessings, Love and Light!
P.S. I promise pics from the show next time…
I have never been fond of making lists. The last few years this has become even less likely since I have become increasingly absent-minded (yep, my mind is not present in the moment, but almost always absent) forgetting to bring my cel phone with me when I go out. Going out and forgetting my keys inside the apartment and ending up locked out of my own house. Noticing after hours in front of the computer that my eyes are red -haven’t put on my glasses- and it’s almost bedtime and I haven’t ushered my son to the bathtub… well the list goes on and on.
Which brings me back to lists. I hate making lists, maybe because it means that I am forcing myself to follow a set of “rules” (I know that is NOT what lists are made for, but my rebellious nature gets caught up in the small things). Hated them to begin with and now I just -if and when- make a list and totally forget I have it in my purse/pocket/bag/hand… And that is when I remember to make a list. This almost-gone-summer was one for lists, mental or written: lists of things we had to take on our trip, lists of bills to pay as soon as we got the loan, lists of things I WANTED to get when the money came, back-to-school lists… Well, summer is almost gone and I finally have decided to sit down and make a list. Not a shopping list, not a chores list, an important “things-I-want-to-do-with-all-my-heart-list”. Although it is not a “Bucket List”, it is a list of things I have been lazily putting off till later but have to face head on. Some of the items in the list are things that will be hard to accomplish and so have been put off till later. Some things imply some soul-searching and this can sometimes be hurtful, any kind of self-search is always difficult and I -who used to pride myself when younger on the fact that I was not “scared to look inside” have lately come to feel so out of touch with myself that the young woman I just mentioned actually seems like a stranger. Someone I’d like to get to know better, though.
I have come to rely too much on the grounding effect that my husband’s love has on me. I have become complacent with myself because he just makes my life so much easier, so much simpler, maybe because he loves me deeply and shows it frequently. I have come under the impression -false, of course- that there is no more struggle for me, that I can just lay back, be a mom and wife and use as much free time as I want for my art. But I want my art to be as meaningful as my life is, as deep as the love I feel for my husband, as bright as the pride that fills my heart every single day when I pick up my six-year-old son from school… as joyful as my memories of my father, whom I feel closer to me now than when he was alive. I want my work as an artist -now that I finally have come to a place where I feel free to call myself an artist- to show my own depth, my own sparkle, my own Faith. I want all of me to be there present in each and every piece I create so that when anybody who knows me sees it they can see Me in it.
But for that I have to be present for myself. And I have to accept I have let myself “go”. Yes, emotionally, spiritually, and sadly in a very physical sense too. So, soul-searching is first on the list. Looking deep inside once more to see who it is that looks back from within. I used to write too. A lot. I loved to write and read and do stuff that helped me grow. It seems as though I have -in some unconscious level- believed there is nothing further, no more frontiers to reach. I have forgotten that the Human Spirit is much more than just a ball of energy inside my soul. Spirit, when let go outside of the physical body, is as limitless as the sky. Why then should I have become so complacent? Was the road here so hard at times I have just taken a longer rest on the road than I should have? My life is full of meaning, full of joy and beauty. Don’t get me wrong, I am aware of this and grateful for each and every day I wake up and count my long list of blessings. But my spirit feels asleep somehow, so it is time to wake it up.
I have had the pleasure of late to enjoy the company of many interesting and special Spirits, women whom I have come to know through my friend Jeanette House and who share their work and progress at Wild Precious Studio, with the fearless pajama-clad leader Effy Wild. Something has started to wake up recently and nagging me to wake up entirely. It’s my Spirit calling out from within, feeling the tug of kindred Spirits who have come up to me for a reason. It is the time and place for list writing, and this time I better sit down and listen to my heart. I signed up to do the November worksop: “To See Us Through The Long Dark: Life is A Verb”. I got my book in the mail today “Life is A Verb” by Patti Digh, which we will be using with Effy in the 37 days to”…wake up, be mindful, and live intentionally”.
It’s gonna be a long list.
If you want to come along for the ride, you can follow my progress here.
Blessings, Love and Light!