Tag Archives: create

Me at 20 (assignment for a self – discovery workshop) 

The assignment was to find a metaphorical image of ourselves at a selected age. I had originally picked the number 27 because she first had us just pick a number, without telling us what the number was for.

At 27, I was internally severely depressed, suicidal, and a general mess, but presented as very together to the outside world. I worked almost 80 hours a week. I was a manager at a group home. I had my external shit together… I would land in the hospital for a week, get discharged, and head back to work the day of discharge, or the following day. I worked full-time while attending intensive outpatient treatment around my work schedule… I can’t count anymore how many times I was asked how I could manage that so seemingly easily…

The perfect picture for that would be an ad for the exorcism movie (a b&w photo with a girl sitting in a room alone, her head facing the wrong direction, and the words “there’s a fate worse than death”… I kinda regret not bringing it now…

So yeah, that felt like a bit heavy, and a bit much to bring to this workshop.

The second age I picked was 20 simply because L picked that one. The image for it is an ad for The Good Place…

It’s perfect for me at 20. There were a few bumps, but I was generally unaware. My internal systems did a good job of convincing me everything was fine. I was oblivious except for a few things not going great (hugely depressed, but no real clue why. Trying to work on it in therapy and constantly getting the question “was there anything else?” Because the interventions that should have worked just didn’t…). So yeah, that works well for 20.


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…


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. 

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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. 


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…

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Out of Phase

That’s it! He feels out of phase… I think maybe that’s why communication is so difficult.

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Phew!

No nightmares about L dying last night.

No nightmares at all last night actually 🙂

I’m itching to play art again, but I’m at work at the moment. I did bring one of my art journals, but I’m not sure what to draw in it. I couldn’t exactly bring all my paints, and I don’t have a travel paint set put together. I could have brought the gelatos, but I didn’t think of it till after.

It’s all ok though. I’ll have time tomorrow before group to play art. Then tomorrow evening, a friend is giving a talk on paper arts at a local gallery. I was planning on dragging L. It should be fun.

Other than that, progress on the therapy front: I was able to watch what would have been a triggering scene in a TV show without falling into intrusive memories. HUGE, HUGE step for me, even though it was “just” around the domestic violence stuff. I was kinda excited that I was able to be aware of the memories but still remain engaged in the show (it was a scene from Flash about Zoom’s back-story). I kinda laughed when I noticed that I had witnessed a similar scene numerous times (minus the murder part) and marveled that I wasn’t a sociopath…

Anyway, so yeah, little victories and happy-dances all around.

Note to self: engaging in expressive art, and seeking support around the ickiness are both helpful in regaining balance when things are starting to fall apart again.


More art

Worked on this page today. I’ve had the under layer done since September, but hadn’t figured out what else to do with her. She’s still a work in progress (didn’t mean to make the gold above her eye look like bangs), but she’s getting there… gonna get rid of the bangs and sew her mouth shut… not sure what else will happen, but that’s part of the plan.

Gelatos over gesso’d magazine page. Feather is gesso’d steps of origami paper.

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Another minor art dump

I didn’t really do much art for the past several days, until today. I worked on (stared at) 3 pieces this afternoon. It was nice to have my creativity back, even if it was severely stunted.

I started by working more on the piece I was asked to do for domestic violence awareness. For the past 2 or 3 weeks, it sat as a sketch with a plain black background. I had an idea of what was to come next, but I didn’t move to work on it.  Today I caved and colored in the sketch with marker. It’s not great, but it works ok for what it is. I still have a lot of practice to get in when it comes to art with markers… Anyway, I think it’s mostly finished. I will look at it again tomorrow before I put on the sealant spray as the final step. I thought about framing it, but I just don’t have the cash flow to make that happen right now.

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I changed a few minor things since this picture; I removed the triangles from around the word “crash” and I took out the upside-down exclamation mark because it looked too much like the letter “i”. I would like to attempt to blend the bottom of her torso and the bg a bit better, but I’m not quite sure I can accomplish it the way I’m picturing. Anyway, like I said, it’s mostly done. I just have to contact the dv clinic and find out when and where to drop it off.

The two other pages I worked on were backgrounds that had been sitting idle for a while. They are far from finished, but they served the purpose of giving me another thing to multitask with while watching Netflix with L (I’m noticing more and more that I need the constant distraction again).

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The face done in pen came about from the shapes I saw in the marbled background. It kinda reminds me of the Indonesian warrior masks, or the Japanese warrior faces from kabuki theater. I think I will go back and add more lines with a better pen before I call it finished (I’m still struggling to find a replacement for my favorite black scarlet lime pen. Nothing I’ve tried works as reliably or effectively on multimedia surfaces)…

Yesterday in therapy we talked about stressors that add to my depression. She pointed out something that should have been glaringly obvious to me, but something that I just hadn’t put together yet: I’m lonely. It’s difficult when everyone has wonky work schedules. Even at my work, I don’t really get to interact much with peers. Most of the time, I do customer service by myself. I chat a bit with the customers and in passing with the other associates, but for the most part, it’s just me by myself the whole shift. When I do finally get to spend more time with a few people, I inevitably end up doing or saying something horribly awkward :/ (I also still have a lot of trouble believing anyone would want to hang out with me of their own free will. Even visiting my brother and his wife this weekend, I didn’t feel like I belonged. It felt like everyone else had a right to be there, but I was just wasting oxygen and space. My rational mind knows that it is not true, but I still felt very awkward and out-of-place)…

Talking about all that was good though. Having L randomly needing to switch her schedule to be home most of today also helped. It’ll just be weird on Thursday when she has to work all day…

Oh, the latest self portrait I did was last Wednesday… it’s more stylized and emotive, but I like how the whole piece worked out:
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Self portrait – 100 mile stare

This pretty much encompasses today:

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I might redo the face tomorrow (have another idea for it), though I might not. I suppose I should keep the drawings as they are, and watch the progression/change as I get practice under my belt.

This one is definitely reflective of the mood of the day: distance, disconnect, attempts at grounding…


other art

I have a bunch of art journal pages that are just sitting there, waiting for progress. Some are further along than others, and many have been sitting for months. A few are actually finished. Most of them are “left over” supplies pages.


untitled art (needs a name) **might be TRIGGERING**

wpid-20150923_164522.jpgNot exactly what I started out picturing, but I think I like it. This is the “finished” piece, though it may just be finished for today… It also needs a title. It was supposed to be a comforting image, but it turned creepy when I couldn’t get the level of detail I wanted with the pastels. It became creepier still when I needed an outlet for these stupid body memories, so they made it into the painting (awesome how memories can be transferred into & contained by art… kinda reminds me of the Vigo painting from GhostBusters II in that respect).

Some cool things I learned about oil pastels while playing with this piece: 1. to remove it from a gesso’d background, scrape off as much as you can, then rub over what’s left with paint thinner. I used Turpenoid Natural b/c it is supposed to be non-toxic. It smells like Goo Gone so it may be the same stuff. 2. To make oil pastels behave/look more like oil paints, brush over with a small amount of said paint thinner. To keep the detail of the piece, use a very thin layer applied with a soft brush at a nearly horizontal angle. If you want it to behave like paint, use a bit more paint thinner and brush the pastels as you would if you were painting.

These are some “progress” shots.

 

Loosely inspired by:

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Other things in the works:

 

 

 


Studying Stones – art journal

I finished this page up the other day. It didn’t really have an original direction, but it went through a bunch of layers before I settled on an ending.

It started as lyrics to a Flyleaf song (So I Thought), then was covered by some vintage papers… I colored over those in gelatos thinking they would be more translucent, but I ultimately liked the way the colors spread, so I kept them. I still wanted some of the paper peeking through, so I used stencils and wiped away some of the gelato through the stencil…

I wasn’t sure what to do next, though I thought I would try maybe some zentangle-style things. I quickly remembered I kinda suck at the zentangle style though, so I went digging for other things. I found a print-out of the lyrics to Ani Difranco’s Studying Stones. I did an image transfer of that onto the b/g… then I went searching for reference photos of balancing stones (I had a specific picture in mind, but could not find it). Along the way, I stumbled upon a pic of stones that looked kinda like a little stone person, so I used that as a reference instead. More gelatos. I also added the phrase “you are magical” as I had seen it on one of my social media feeds and thought it would work for this piece (I know it was meant as an inspirational phrase, to mean that the reader is magical, but I also liked the concept of the little stone person believing the stones are magical in their own right: being unaffected by life, and simply being stones – as the lyrics to the Ani song describe).

Anyway, here’s the final result (and a few more “progress” shots)

I would still like to do something with or of my interpretation of the flyleaf lyrics at some point. There are some lines in that song which I can really relate to…


More art

Progress on “flashbacks” & some other stuff…

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Flashbacks (WIP)

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This page has been one of the slowest yet. I’ve had the general idea for the top layer for over 2 weeks (though it went through at least 4 revisions before that. The original bg sketch was done back in June), but can’t seem to execute it the way I see it in my head. I totally screwed up the skeleton… now I’m waiting for it to dry before I can try it again.

Also, faces in profile are my toughest draw. They always look wrong, so I tend to just do a mass of hair covering where the face would be…

Here are some of the steps that I remembered to take pics of:

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Mistaken

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A small art dump

Between packing and procrastinating, I’ve gotten some art time in.

wpid-20150621_153423-1.jpgI didn’t expect to be able to go to Friday’s class with my friend, but stars aligned and things worked out. It was fun. We made marbled backgrounds using paint and shaving cream… I don’t have any pics of the plain bg (will have to ask my friend for it. She always takes pics of what everyone makes), but I turned one into a painting today. Some of the marbling looked like lotus flowers, so I drew some. Then I painted around them to have them stand out better.

 

wpid-20150619_233026.jpgOne of the other bg’s I made that night was just dots of color. She had also brought along her stamps, including a new face one (for her class the next day). We got to mess with them. I really like that stamp, though cannot picture spending that much on a stamp. I’ll stick to borrowing her’s or drawing my own faces… (the price tag on it was $23, but she uses it for her students, so she can justify it). Anyway, I used that & her poppies. When I got home that night, I decided to play with that page. I thought the poppies would be interesting if I made them out of washi tape. After heading to bed though, I ended up coloring in her eyes with gel pen. I have yet to take another pic of what it looks like now. It’s still a work in progress.

 

wpid-20150619_124942-1.jpgLastly, TM had given me this Dumbledore quote last week. I wanted to put it somewhere safe, so into the big journal it went. I originally was going to draw a light bulb hanging from a chain, with just a pull chain next to it. The bulb was going to just be the barest hint of being there, with a hand pulling the chain to turn it on, but I wasn’t confident in my ability to pull off the concept as I saw it in my head, so I went with a hand holding a lit match. (The significance of the bulb would have had me too nervous to be able to handle screwing up the picture).

 

wpid-img_20150619_081344.jpgit was first done in white wax pencil, but I wasn’t satisfied with the look. I added gelatos for color, and I think it looks much better (we will ignore that I forgot to put wax paper between the pages so it got a bit ruined today when I had to peel the stuck pages apart… it’s ok. It’s not that bad. I can live with it. The whole piece is not ruined… I will keep telling myself that until I believe it).

Anyway, those were this weekend’s distractions. Now I have to get back to packing o_O

Oh! I also found the absolute cutest washi tape on clearance at Office Depot yesterday: effalants!

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Most of my washi tapes are black, white, or black & white. I think the caution tape was one of 3 that had color. I just had to get this set though. The elephants are totally worth it ❤


Distractions: art

I’ve been pretty busy being creative. It’s easier than facing packing and endings and difficult decisions.

Here’s what I’ve done in the last few days…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Another Friday night, another fun journal class

I may or may not kick myself tomorrow because I may or may not have purchased another art journal tonight. There was a sale though. And a coupon. So… yeah. I had to get it. It was way cheap! (I’m really just trying to justify the expense when I had no business spending. We need to save every penny for this move…).

Anyway, went to the class tonight. We played with spray inks. While I miss having the longer class to be able to do something more than a background, I think I like what came out of today.

The first page was done with dylusion & Heidi Swapp spray inks using commercially available stencils. The second page was done using the home-made fabric dye inks and my fall-back black printer ink with a home-made mask and some commercially available stencils. I really actually like both pages a lot. The second page got more attention tonight, so it was a bit more finished. Not at all sure what I will be putting on the blue/purple/yellow page. I’m sure I will figure it out though.

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The nipples were totally an accident, but they had us cracking up 😉 I had picked up the mask and just wasn’t able to move it from the page fast enough for it to not drip… :shrugz: it works.

I’m really going to miss my friend and her classes. I was struggling with body memories today. The usual distractions at home did not help. Going to the class and engaging not only with the art, but also the others in the class helped lessen them however. They returned when I returned home but they were not as intense. I’m going to have to make sure I find something like this up north. It won’t be the same, but hoping it will help just the same.


Dotty in 8-bit (updated)

Dotty has been itching to make another appearance for several days now. She tried last night in a journal page, but then changed her mind, citing a bad hair day. She liked that page though, so tried again today. She wanted to pay homage to classic 8-bit graphics from back in the day. She said she was still feeling the bad hair day and didn’t trust me with anything more complicated just yet.

She brought my attention to some ancient graph paper I had lying around waiting to become a background; “That. Draw me on that. You can erase easy, and the squares should give you a decent guide.”

I tried to explain that the size of the squares on the graph paper would mean she would need to be quite a bit bigger to look anything recognizable as herself; “no one will be able to tell it’s you if I make you too small. These squares are too big for smaller detail…”

She insisted on the graph paper anyway.

“Ok, but that means you won’t fit the page you like…”

“That’s ok. I’ll figure something else out for that page.”

I set to work lightly sketching her lines in. I then dug out fine-liner markers with which to give her some color. She complained about the background after noticing how pale her cloth was against the cream paper. We chatted for a bit. She threw around the ideas of a colored background (she really liked the green and purple markers I had). We talked a bit about contrast, and she eventually settled on a black background; “black is the most comfortable surrounding anyway… but don’t color in the whole page. I like this paper. Make sure some of it shows. Just do the black around me.”

“Will do. You’re the boss…”

If she could have smiled at this, she would have. She likes to think of herself as in charge. She picked the classic pose, though decided against the stool. She likes to use her noose as a swing; “the stool will get in the way of my feet and I won’t get the momentum I’m looking for…”

Check. No stool.

Dotty in 8-bit

 

Now she is occupying herself swinging back and forth while we wait for another page in the bigger journal to dry. She tried to get me to put her on that page, but I had to explain she would cover too much of the happy timeline. I reminded her I have a hard enough time remembering the happy things, I don’t want to have to push her around trying to see what’s written. She pouted for a bit, then got distracted swinging again. It must be nice to have no spine, or lungs, or any other pesky vital organs that would make playing at the end of a noose quite impracticable…

(Dotty would like me to remind you that her more-complete story can be found here)

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She got a bit excited when I told her she could go into the journal tonight. She feels at home now. She almost looks like a macabre cross stitch…

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Last night’s art journal class & a moment of zen

I barely got out of bed yesterday. I got up to go to the bathroom and take care of the dogs…

In the early afternoon, I decided I need to take some sort of action to help me stabilize a bit. My friend then posted that there were still spots let in her journal class that night. I told her I was going. I didn’t really have the money for it, but I needed the distraction and to get out of bed (and the house). I’m really glad I went.

Not only was it great to see my friend, but I met some cool new people also. And the journal page came out really cool. I liked the concept so much (and I was bored waiting for the first one to dry) that I did one in both journals.

wpid-20150529_215618.jpgFirst we created an abstract background with tempera paint (the blocks, so it ended up looking like a grungier watercolor). It took a few layers, but they came out really cool. I might have to invest in some tempera blocks. Then we traced/drew some feather outlines on the page and painted around them with diluted gesso. I did the first page as she showed us (painting the whole page but the feathers). The second one I tweaked. One of the other ladies in class painted one half of her journal, then did the reverse (painted the feathers in) on the other half. Her’s came out really cool, so I tried a similar technique.

I showed TM both of them today, and upon seeing the smaller one, she commented how bright and happy the colors were… Then she looked closer and read the poem. She frowned a bit. She said it was surprising (or interesting? or striking? I can’t remember her exact word choice) that at first glance the page looked so happy & bright, but the words and additional images were so sad/dark/depressing. I hadn’t put it together in as many words at the time, but it was somewhat on purpose. It matches my presentation a lot of the time: I may look happy & bright and together at first glance, until you take a closer look. Then you see the darkness…

wpid-20150529_232604.jpgThe second page looks a bit more chaotic and grungy even at first glance, but the words are happier. They are lines/words from a song (“I won’t come down” & “fly”) I guess I liked the concept of having to look past initial impressions to get the true feel of the piece; contradictions in appearance and substance… Much like all of humanity. You can’t judge anything on appearance & first glances alone. There’s always more to it… (sorry, I don’t have an updated picture of the second one with the additional lyrics on it, but they are at the top, center of the spread).

I had a lot of fun doing them. I’m also ::gasp!:: pleased with how they turned out 😉

And finally, for a moment of zen; tonight’s sunset & moon: (yeah, so the sunset keeps getting more dramatic as it progresses… jumped up like 5 times for pics already. gonna miss this view a lot…)

 


Art dump

Things have been wierd lately. I’ve been feeling better, but not really. I’ve had more success distancing, and the super-heavy depression has lifted to just average depression. Finally got around to running some errands that needed running, as well as doing some long-overdue chores. Today I played art. Messing more with those pebeo paints I won from the mothers day art raffle… there’s quite the learning curve to get the paint:outline radio just right. It’s also recommended not to drink while painting (dropped a heart I was outlining and, like buttered bread, it landed face-down). I was able to salvage it, and I threatened to paint in the outline on the tile floor also (which strangely enough, my mom was laughing about and said it would be ok)…

Anyway, here’s what I have pics of. The salvaged heart will be photographed again after the outline is dry so I don’t screw it up worse 😉


Themes much? (Art Journal)

Done over the last few days. I’m obsessed with the pebeo mirror foil… and needing some reminders apparently.
Also, new gelato colors are wonderful.

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Distractions: some art journal progress from yesterday

Yesterday I spent the day with my friend who teaches the art journal classes. We were going to play around more making spray inks, but my car needed to go to the shop, so I ended spending the day with her. We ran her errands, then went back to her place. I played around with journal pages, and her dogs (omg are they ever friggin cute! They’re a pair of french bulldogs…).

I didn’t finish anything, but started a few backgrounds… actually, I finished the “heart” page that I had drawn the other night but really disliked (before and after images included)… The blue & black page I finished at home last night (and true to my printer-ink-as-spray-ink history, I’m still waiting for the black ink to dry 24 hours later).

I also got some of the mirror foil that my friend has, and added it to my “create” page from last week. The glue used is really cool. It was still tacky and workable a week after application. It’s supposed to remain tacky for use with the foil for like 2 weeks, and I believe it. I even had dust on my journal, and wax on other parts but the foil stuck to the glue lines. Very cool!

The other 3 pages are still just backgrounds. We did end up making the additional spray inks, but I left them at her place for the time being. I’ll do a whole other post about that experience, as color theory doesn’t quite work the same with clothing dye (who knew blue and yellow wouldn’t mix well. We got a light olive-green, a slightly darker yellow, a slightly greenish blue, and a black, but no straight-up green)…

Anyway, here are the backgrounds and the finished pages in no particular order.


Art Journal – Never Measure Up

Playing around a bit tonight with spray inks and newer washi tape (hadn’t used the tape measure one yet).

I really like the subtle effect you get when water is applied through a stencil over dried spray ink. It gives the pattern of the stencil without overpowering the piece.

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I kinda stalled for a moment at this point. I wasn’t exactly sure where to go next for this one, so I dug through my washi tapes. The tape measure one jumped out at me, as did the caution. I applied those two and scrawled out something about never measuring up around the tapes. I liked the red pen, but didn’t think it would show over the background too well… and I didn’t know what else to write.

Then the song Hurt (by NIN, but covered by Johnny Cash – one of the few times I like both the original and the cover) came on my playlist. I know I’ve used some of the lyrics in another piece, but I wrote out all of it for this one… In white, so it again doesn’t overpower the piece but also doesn’t get totally lost (this gel pen absorbs some of the background pigment so it blends relatively well, mimicking the changes in background color and intensity while still remaining lighter than the background).

I also wanted to practice figure drawing a bit more, so I did a quick sketch inspired by a magazine ad for that famous little blue pill… I took some artistic license with the sketch and omitted the fact that she was mostly naked and quite airbrushed… she’s also crying in my version.

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Still need to practice my faces and hands and overall figures, but this is okay for what it is.

Who knew I’d find a use for those “mistake” flower stamps from last night? I thought I would just end up covering over them completely. I like how they work with this piece though. I’m glad I picked this page to play on tonight.


Art Journal – Color-blocking

So, my friend started teaching at a new location for the summer. It will be weekly, though I doubt I can afford every week…

Anyway, it’s a shorter time also, so she will be doing less-complex journals, but they are still super fun.

This week, we did color-blocking. I wasn’t able to finish mine in the time alloted though. 1.5 hours just isn’t enough to allow for decisions and drying time. I did get a chance to work on it some more at home though.

Anyway, here it is… (first pic is what I completed in class, second pic is what I added at home. There’s still a few finishing touches to be had, but that will happen next week)

And for a moment of Zen: tonight’s sunset.

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Tonight’s Art as Therapy

Yeah… kinda had a melt down on the phone with my wife. Wasn’t her fault. The way she reacted to something I said was just “the last straw” for the day. And lemme tell you, that meme that points out that angrily hitting “end call” just doesn’t fill the need to slam the phone down is SO accurate… not that she deserved me slamming the phone down, but I was having a moment. Being able to slam the phone would have helped get the churning emotion out. Instead, I pushed “end” about 30 times as I gently set the phone down next to me… anyway, there was no real reason for my outburst. I felt bad about it, but I just couldn’t rein it in in time… the stress of the day finally cracked me. I almost cried…
We talked about it a few minutes later and I apologized. She apologized also, though she didn’t have reason to.

Anyway, I figured after my craptastic display of assholery, I needed to let off some stream. I started finger painting a journal background. It was too bright though, so it got covered in crackle medium then black paint. Ahh, the comfort and security of a black background…

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I played some more, added more paint, and am now waiting for those layers to fully dry before I figure out where to take the page next.

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While watching paint dry can be spectacularly entertaining, I needed to risk missing the excitement and move on to another project. I decided I was going to put more effort into the happy timeline TM asked me to do. I came up with this:

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It was supposed to be a rose vine with leaves (and thorns), but after putting down the vine, I realized it kinda also looks like a dragon. The vine would have great symbolism (growing the “happy” in life), but I just like the thought of a dragon better… so I’m undecided where to go next with the artistic “line” of my timeline. I’m going to sleep on it, and see what I decide another day.

I wanted to put more effort into this one because I want the positive stuff to be a more salient memory than the negative stuff. This is also less overwhelming, even if it does have its triggers and sore spots. I might end up gluing it into my art journal as a fold-out spread. I want it to be something I want to look at and remember.

Anyway, yeah. The cats did their best to hinder progress, but I figured out how to work around them.

Rora is weighing the value of sitting on the project I’m currently working on vs walking through the wet paint on the journal page.

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And Biz absolutely had to have a bath immediately as I started drawing… he actually woke up from a sound sleep on the coffee table to make the most of this unique opportunity.

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What can I say, they are too cute trying to be annoying for me to actually be annoyed at them.


almost didn’t, but I’m calling it a win

I was so close to giving in today. I was so close to throwing up my hands and resigning myself to the fact that I am hopeless and will never change. But something propelled me to keep trying…

If I don’t do the dog nails first, no one will do them any time soon. I might as well at least do that…

It was quite a physical feet. While my dogs were relatively easy to do, mom’s dog was a handful. Not only did he not want his nails sanded, but he was going to try to get away the whole time. Lemme tell you a secret buddy, it goes a lot faster and easier if you just let me do it… But no. He didn’t want to stay put, he didn’t want to lay down and be pinned (he thinks he’s the boss after all), he wanted nothing to do with the pedicure. I was more stubborn them him though. He was placed back down every time he tried to get up and run. He got pinned and dealt with it. I stayed calm despite his frantic efforts to get away. Eventually, he submitted. The cardio I got from it though made up for anything I may have lacked last week. Picture a 65lb lanky, muscular dog who is also really good at squirming away…

Anyway, I won. I finished the mani/pedi’s for all 4 dogs. And it gave me the release of pent-up anxiety I so desperately needed.

My thoughts still float towards self-destruction, but they are not as desperate and intense as they had been earlier this afternoon. I almost left TM a defeated message saying I had failed a mere 20 hours before I would be seeing her again. I’m glad I didn’t. As I told L a bit ago, if you never change how you react to stress, nothing will ever change. Don’t get me wrong, I so wanted to give in and shred my body. I wanted to OD on everything I could get my hands on. I wanted to relieve the stress and anxiety in any way possible. I even contemplated giving the crisis line a “courtesy call” saying that I was pretty much going to cut, but that I had promised TM I would reach out first. I was going to tell them I had no idea how they could help me, or even that they could help me, but that I was simply going through the motions (keeping my word to TM is very important to me). I actually probably would have if doing the dogs’ nails hadn’t taken so much out of me. I’m kinda glad the puppy was such a jerk about it. If he had been easier, I would be admitting to TM that I failed…

Anyway… yeah. So, I battled all those crazy-intense self-destruct thoughts. I even gave myself permission to give in to them after first doing the mani/pedi’s for the dogs. But in the end, I won against the thoughts also.

Here’s to changing even if the change is excruciating.
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