Category Archives: art

Ashes- mixed media panel

It didn’t start out specifically as something related to the loss of Chow, but it ended up that way…

I was just messing around with art supplies in an attempt to get myself unstuck from the grief. 

There were also 2 pages in my journal I played around with, but they are not finished yet. So far, they are just backgrounds: 

I  was experimenting with a rust texture set I dug out of the clearance section last week. This tag was the first thing I used the stuff on. I think it came out ok (much better than when I tried it on the blue page)… It will go on the blue page eventually. I can’t decide where to put it though. I really like how it pops when it’s in the bottom left corner, but I also really like the detail of that spot. I’ve been trying to make it work in other spots, but it seems to get lost in the chaos of the background anywhere else I try to put it. I might have to deal with covering up what’s easily my favorite area on the page. The other option would be to alter the tag or background in a way that allows the tag to be distinguished from the background. It may take me a while to figure that out…


Impossible things (a letter to no one) 

Sometimes I wish I could materialize you here in my living room, where I’m comfortable and engaged in art. It’s easier to talk sometimes when I’m distracted by the flow, but still connected to the inside. 

Sometimes it’s hard to fit all the talking into that hour. Sometimes it would be easier if we could just do art together and I could talk when things popped into my head; when they felt ready and comfortable to come up. 

It’s safe here alone with just the dogs and my art. Sometimes I wish I could start that way, but bring you in to talk to when I was able. Sometimes I wish you were here without me knowing, so I could get past that censor and shame, and maybe you could help me with the stuff that’s too raw to bring up out loud and in your presence. 

I could get lost in my art and music, and you could watch without me knowing. Then, you could blink in when I wanted to talk… it would be safe and non-threatening. I could communicate the things I’m too scared and ashamed to tell you about. 

And while we are on the topic of impossible powers, maybe it would be good if you could read my mind and tell me for sure if I’m making this all up. You could point out the lies and show me where I’m exaggerating. You could look at the stuff that’s all a jumble and help me understand it. You could take an outsider’s perspective without the emotion, and you could tell me I really am making it all up just because I need to feel worth your time and attention. I want attention… (and even as I think that, I can feel hands on my body and between my legs. It’s creepy. I don’t want attention. I don’t want to be special or pretty or paid attention to. I want to melt into the fibers of the carpet and hide away from everything. I want to disappear).  


Barbie gets a makeover; steps to an altered doll

Last week, I decided I wanted to turn an old barbie I had bought for mold-making purposes into an altered doll. It started because I’ve been struggling with some really graphic self harm thoughts. I was hoping expressing it on the doll would help alleviate them… it’s kinda working I guess. Either that, or the doll has me distracted enough to put the thoughts on the back-burner.

I had cut most of her hair off back when I thought of making a mold, so I decided to pluck out the rest of it to be able to sew in something else (it might be useful to note that hand-sewing doll hair is a pain, and painful. Even with a thimble to help push the needle through the plastic, my fingers are raw and sore from having to do it so many times… I’m not even half done yet!).

Anyway, I started with her hair change. I also removed her existing makeup. Painting a new face will be challenging, but I’m looking forward to that. I’ll have to thin even my high flow paint to avoid the brush lines visible with the white I had tried…

I’m planning on articulating her better as well. Currently, she’s only movable at the shoulders and hips. I’d like to bring a greater variety of motion to her other joints also. I did a quick YouTube search and found this video. It’s about articulating a Bratz doll, which is pretty much the same structure as Barbie, so I’m hoping it will work. I need to get my hands on some of the plastic molding stuff she’s talking about. I’m guessing I can find it online (amazon smile has been my best friend in finding random art supplies)…

I have ambitious plans for this doll. I want to figure out how to make it look like she’s pulling her own heart out. It seems that her body is hollow, so that should be easy enough… I just have to perfect my sculpting skills so I can make a heart I’m satisfied with. I’d also like to figure out some way to express dissociation. I’m not sure if I want to alter her head to accomplish that, or simply utilize facial expression…

There’s a measure of therapy involved in making this doll. It will be a blend of artistic expression and autobiographical depiction. I guess something along the lines of Hollywood creative nonfiction; the backbone of the story is true, but the details are exaggerated and embellished for dramatic effect…we’ll see how far I actually get with her. 

_____________________________

I’m going to put some YouTube videos below for reference. I haven’t tried them yet, but I want to know what to come back to later. I would normally do this in a “private” post so you don’t have to see my note-taking, but it might be useful to others if they are also interested in making dolls… and if any of you have experience, feel free to critique or offer up suggestions. 


Stocking swap progress

Sorry I haven’t been around much lately. It’s been a combination of stuff, mostly stress and moderate depression symptoms. I stopped the lexapro after a week due to side effects. I’d triggered myself with some doctor’s appointments, and just my general malaise around holidays. It’s finally getting a bit easier to do things again. 

In an effort to have some fun with the holidays this year, I joined a holiday stocking swap. I was really excited about the concept of painting a custom stocking based on the likes and dislikes of my random partner. 

I went through a bunch of initial concept ideas, but crossed them off for various reasons (mostly because I couldn’t execute them properly). I originally wanted to turn the stocking upside down and make it into a unicorn. I was going to add a horn, ears, and mane to the stocking while opening either the back of the neck or the head to keep the concept of a stocking. That involved too much sewing though, so I scrapped it. I eventually settled on simply painting a design on the stocking. I think it came out cute. It still needs a few finishing touches, but I like it so far… the stars, moon, and bulbs all glow in the dark. The ice also has a coat of blue interference paint to give it an icy shimmer. 

It needs to be sent out by the end of the week. I will be looking for a couple of other things to add to the package, then off it goes. I hope the recipient likes it… if nothing else, L really likes the stocking and wants another one for herself. Guess I’m off to buy more paintable stockings. 


And now I’m anxious about going to bed…

…will the anxiety ever just go away??

The flopping fish is going nuts in my chest. It makes my shirt dance. 

I’m anxious about going to bed. I know nothing bad will happen, but I’m still having a difficult time packing it in for the night. Every time I think about it, my chest rattles and thuds. 

Instead, I’m thinking of the most complicated way to frame a dimensional paper cut-out I did today. I’m not deliberately thinking of the hardest way to do it, that just seems to be my default. I can’t seem to figure out the easy answers to things untill someone points me in the right direction… so far, no one has done that. I’ve even asked the dogs, but they are more interested in what i’m eating and drinking than figuring out my framing issues…

I long for the day when depression, flashbacks, and anxiety no longer are a struggle. I’m so tired of all this. 


Art journaling again, finally

It’s been a while, huh? 

The weekend went ok after fixing the art piece, though we didn’t really do much more with it. We were going to, but something else sidetracked us (though in the moment, I can’t really remember what it was). 

I’ve been really stuck in my art. I’ve completed a whole bunch of backgrounds, but nothing really finished. There were also a few doodles, but again, all unfinished and directionless. 

I think I managed to get through a piece tonight. I got further than any other piece in the past several weeks… I was trying for a Halloween theme (because, well, it’s the only holiday I really like, and it usually inspires me). I started it earlier this week but got sidetracked (themes much?). I grabbed some supplies I thought would work with the existing background. I started laying down washi tape. It wasn’t really a pattern with any real direction though, and I got stuck again. 

I began flicking through the screenshots on my phone (inspiration images, things I find interesting, quotes that stick out to me…). I landed on a quote that seemed appropriate; “it takes a huge effort to free yourself from memory” – Paulo Coelho. 

It fit the background and the washi tape pretty well. It also gave me more direction for the page. 

I used crackle paste to form the silhouette of a brain. Appropriate, since lately my brain feels cracked and broken. I feel cracked and broken… I know sometimes I feel these really horrible things, but other times I have no connection to any of it. I have these huge walls that I feel almost no control over. They slam into place with little warning, and they have very little seepage. 

Anyway… yeah. Here’s the page:


I don’t have a good working title for this piece

This whole “reorganization” of how I handle stress; the shift from instant dissociation of emotions in order to deal with the situation at hand, to an overwhelm of emotions and feel incompetent, has my little world in a sort of chaos…

Flipping through some junk mail, I found the perfect image: a long-exposure picture of a barn and night sky. The long exposure made the stars look like circular steaks in the sky, and the angle of the image gave the barn a “funhouse mirror” effect of stretching and angling it to look ominous and looming.

I did an image transfer onto a page in a journal that already had some paint and ink on it (one of those “hey, let’s not waste this extra stuff” pages with stencil “stamping” and other random effects). The stuff that was already there can be seen through the image transfer. It gives some added depth, but also goes with the feeling in trying to convey (they were Halloween-themed stencils I had been testing out)… the transfer came out grungy; again, it fits the feel of the page. Sadly, much of the detail of the streaking stars was lost. It just looked like a glowing barn next to a large black area. I accented the streaks with my white pen. Sometimes I’m glad that my supplies don’t work “perfectly” because the intermittent lines made by the pen mimicked the steaks in the original image. It was frustrating when I tried to use the same pen to write lyrics from a Tori Amos song on the page, but it worked perfectly for the stars…

The page has a few different sets of lyrics on it. I don’t normally mix lyrics on pages, but the the two tori songs are connected in my head… and the telepop music inspired words are a reminder to balance the chaos (“just breathe. just be”… I was limited to the words printed on the washi tape, so not totally accurate to the song).

The lyrics in white at the top of the page are from Upside Down, by Tori Amos;

“god, I love to turn my little blue world upside down…inside my head the noise chatter chatter chatter chatter chatters… you see I’m afraid I’ll always be upside down… but my head it says I’ve been shatter shatter shatter shatter shattered… you see I love to turn my little blue world upside down”

The black lyrics in the barn are from Silent all These Years (also by Tori Amos);

“Years go by/ will I still be waiting for somebody else to understand/ years go by if I’m stripped of my beauty and the orange clouds raining in my head… years go by will I choke on my tears till finally there is nothing left/ one more casualty you know we’re too easy easy easy… let’s hear what you think of me now but baby don’t look up/ the sky is falling/but what if I’m a mermaid in these jeans of his with her name still on it/ hey but I don’t care cause sometimes, I said sometimes I hear my voice/ and it’s been here/ silent all these years”

There’s more to be done on this page, but I’m not quite sure what. Going to let it lead me wherever it wants to go…

image