Monday, June 29, 2009
So its Monday and i am sitting at work without any tea! Woe is me. But alas, i feel contented. this past Last Thursday art walk on Alberta st was a blast and i had a lovely relaxing weekend at home with Danny working on various projects and whatnots.
I seem to be pretty low on energy as of late, so its been difficult for me to focus on all my projects in process. But im getting through alright.
June 25th was certainly a much needed burst of inspiration. I love the Last Thursday art walks on Alberta st. The community that comes out, gathering to take part and support in local arts, is really touching. Community is very important right now. i am feeling that more than i ever have in my life, and i am hoping that train of thought is being echoed all over the states. when our system fails us, its time for banding together- grass roots style. i think we are only seeing the beginning of our potentials and this is encouraging to me.
here are some quick shots from the artwalk:
Our set up wasn't nearly as fancy as it has been in the past. Now that times are getting tighter i couldn't afford to take off from work early on Thursday in order to get to Alberta early to grab a good spot. So, we arrived around 3:40. There wasn't enough space to set up our full tent/canopy so we snagged some sidewalk and created our display there. Danny cleverly used some ribbon to fasten the paintings to the fence. we laid out a cloth on the concrete and placed our framed prints, mini paintings and more out on there. Plus we had a small table with our prints and screen prints for sale.
I sat directly across the sidewalk from our display- and set up a lil Face and Body painting area:
This was my second time taking my face paint with me to the Art walk. When i first get there i take the time to paint myself- in order to have a good example of what i am offering. I usually paint an entire arm and then finish with an example of the sort of painting i do with the face, around my eyes.
I am working with Snazaroo face/body paint. I really love it- its smooth enough for me to get a nice fluid stoke with my paint brush and is great in its ability to grab onto skin while being easily washed away by water. You can also use your basic colors to mix other colors too. i love the versatility and easiness of this paint. its awesomeness! I think my favorite part about painting people is getting to use Pixie dust( glitter ) as a finish.
....at slow intervals i will call out into the crowd "Face and Body painting here- get your face painting here! I have pixie dust! Only one dollar!" Its easy to attract peoples attention when you offer them something for only one buck!
While i do have a lot of lil kids who end up my customers, id say i have about the same amount of adults who end up in my chair as well. I feel this maybe so, since i am not offering the traditional fair face paintings like hearts or rainbows or shamrocks and happy faces. I'm offering a more magical/whimsy, personalized art painting on flesh- and people seem to be really drawn to that idea and eager to see it on themselves. When i am painting people i feel i am honoring the beauty of our bodies- rejoicing in the life within our vassals and helping to remind each person of the powerful loveliness that is our very own, residing always within.
needless to say- i had a very positive experience this past art walk. its always so rejuvenating spiritually, but at times a lil phsycially exhasting. Still, worth it 100 fold.
On to other news: Come July 1st Danny and I will be putting our etsy shop on blowout SALE mode! So keep an eye on our shop this coming month- the sale prices should be super hot!
Monday, June 22, 2009
I worked on the background piece for my mermaid warrior painting. I hope to place my mermaid amidst a sunken/glowing city. This is what i have so far for the background:
This is a 16"x24" acrylic painting on stretched canvas.
My next step will be to project this illustration of mine: onto the background painting. Once i have the mermaid positioned correctly i will white out her form and then trace over the projected image lines with black. Once i have the outlines in place i will begin to build up her form + adding color. I am thinking i might reverse her horizontal direction and expand upon her tail and her hair more. not sure though. I struggled at first while creating the sunken city. Depth perception in oceans is interesting and light/glow spreads a lil more mysteriously underwater then it does in air. When i finally let me self relax and have fun with it i really enjoyed coming up with various shapes for buildings and things. Danny happened to be watching some older batman cartoons and i was certainly inspired by the various Gotham cityscape shots in the episodes. I'm a little apprehensive to put her ontop of this underwater scape painting because i feel it has a certain charm by itself. But we shall see how it turns out. i am eager to begin experimenting with backgrounds in my paintings. However i wonder if this particular approach to background work is a bit too heavy? Perhaps a more subtle approach would work well? we shall see how it turns out i suppose.
As far as Danny's weekend projects went, he made some really amazing progress on our website's look, functionality and content. Have a look at the progress : Lucid Optic Lab.com our website is modeled off a vintage book and Danny has made it so that when you click to go to the gallery the book of the page turns! We now have a gallery page. He also added all sorts of yummy ink splatters and drawing doodles here and there to add interest. I really like the direction we are moving in with the website. Danny still has a lot to do and it will be very interesting to slowly watch the progress unfurl.
Meanwhile- Danny and i are getting ready for this month's Last Thursday Artwalk on Alberta St. in Portland Oregon which happends June 25th. I hope to be offering a few more of my illustrations as prints and have some more mini canvas paintings avilaible for purchase. Also, if you happen to be roaming around at the artwalk near 20th and alberta st, be sure to look for our booth and my Face and Body painting sign:
This will be my second artfair where i will be doing face and body painting! I had a really wonderful response from the first time i did it. I also loved meeting so many interesting people and cute kids. There is something so magical about body painting that really makes people feel festive, joyous and beautiful!
We were really hoping to have a fresh new batch of tie-dye to sell at Last Thursday art walk, but our budget has been pretty tight and hasn't allowed us too much freedom as far as buying needed materials goes. By next month we aim to have a new tie-dye batch and may even begin selling tie-dye at the local farmers markets around town! So stay tuned for new tie-dye...its on its way just in time for summer!
And now its time for another Dready Journey Update!
Annie from DreadieWorld:Dreadie World online shop and gallery sent me some more dread beads!
Thank you so so much annie! I am in love with all of them.
My new ones:
She made me two out of prints of some of my paintings! Which turned out to be perhaps one of the coolest collaborations ever and has now turned my mane of dreads into an art gallery!
here is a close up of them:
She also gave me an OCTOPUS BEAD!! Which, i think may be my most favorite because the lil guy is so cute with his googly eyes and mischievous tendrils. Check him out:
Here is a close up:
I can feel these beads shining with love- the love that bursts forth from handmade creations!
If anyone is interested- Annie makes beads by request and can do custom orders + she has some ready made beads that will really wow.
....so yes. my locks are very happy indeed!
last weekend i went to the coast and while i was there i dipped my head into the water. Oregon oceans are freezing! but the water seemed to really really help them tighten up, they even shrunk a lil. when i washed my hair it was insane how much sand i had collected in them, but i had managed to get it out fine. they are feelin pretty good now- i kinda wish i had filled a water bottle with some ocean water so that i could rinse my head in it from time to time.
Also- on last Thursday danny and i went to see Midnite play at the crystal ballroom and it was a holy experience. im reluctant to wash my dreads after the concert, for i feel the essence of the music within them! what a charge. it was my second time seeing Midnite. it was the first time they have played in Portland Oregon. i hope they come back sometime soon.
....So as one can see, there are many simmering pots, new potential energies and projects in processes right now in my life. I am enjoying this full burst of summer life, feeling my inner tempo quicken.
Happy summer solstice everyone!
Much love, always
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
.....just checked my traffic counter at the bottom of my blog and its telling me that today we went over 3,000 views(all time)! Thanks so much to everyone for the support, its very inspirational and much appreciated.
Its been a jam packed couple of weeks.
Now that the dust has settled a bit i have started working on a new painting.
It started out with this rough pencil/pen and ink sketch:
I have a vision for this piece involving some background setting. I rarely do backgrounds and i would like to start...so this is a bit of a challenge to myself. I am planning on positioning her coming out from the gloom of deep sea, hovering protectively above a sunken glowing city. So far i have the first layer of the background prepped-which is a cool gradation of blue, light at the top center, slowly darkening into inky purple blue, where i will soon start painting in the sunken city. I hope to chronicle my creative process with this piece, as i did with masquerade ball.
....speaking of the masquerade ball piece. I finally got to sign and varnish it- so last night i took some better quality pictures of this finished piece. here you go:
.....I had some great news over last weekend. At one of the first Last Thursday Art walks on Alberta St of this year, a nice lady whom i feel compelled to describe as an "art angel"( youll see why) named Tiffany Ruth stopped by our booth to speak with me. She seemed to really enjoy my work. We got to talking and she mentioned that she will soon be opening a Folk/Outsider art gallery in NW Portland, and that she would love for me to do a show with her. I gave her my card and crossed my fingers, hoping she would call me back when the time was right. She called me back last week and said that she would like me to be in her 2nd show with one other artist( sometime in august or September). Im looking forward to checking out the gallery space on July 2nd, when she will be having her first gallery opening featuring a sanfran artists doing a tribute to Freida khalo. From what i have gathered so far the art gallery is called Curious artspace. its located in NW portland on 24th and thurman. Very excited to find myself slowly but surley making my way into the portland art scene. People are so supportive and open up here...there are many galleries that work as launchpads for up and coming artists....the community so tight nit and diverse. Once i have more details on Tiffany's gallery and the show i will be in i will post here to get the word out.
In other exciting news: Marla, my dear friend...flew up to come hang out in Portland for 4 days. We did so much! On the first day of Marla's arrival we checked out the forest trails in our neck of the woods and then drove around the city afterward checked out Belmont st, showed her the hawthorn district and then came home and cooked a super yummy meal. The next day we scouted out a few art galleries and went driving out to Horsetail falls just off the 84 on the historic highway. We hiked up to the horsetail falls and have a nice picnic, basking in the sweet spray of the roaring waterfall. Here is a pic of Marla and I that Danny took as we were making our way to Horsetail:
this is a photo collage that danny made of the lower ponytail falls:
The next day we went downtown and checked out the Saturday market, got some lunch and sat on the waterfront grass as the gay pride festival unfurled. There happened to be a naked bike ride parade that day too....which was quite a site. We then made our way around town checking out more art galleries. The next day we drove to Cannon beach and had a nice relaxing time there, taking in the sea breeze and the sights. I was sad to see Marla go the next day, but i am left with some lovely memories!
This summer has been a busy one so far( and its not even summer yet)...its interesting how life jumps alive after those hard winter months. its refreshing.
.....Also i have an update on my Dready Journey: Its been over 6 months now, that i have had my locks! i just recently got a bunch of lovely handmade beads from Anne at Dreadieworld : www.flickr.com/photos/dreadieworld/
and i felt like showin them off!
i am in love with my new beads. its so fun to adorn dreads with charms and lil things...incorporating a lil magick and festivity. fun stuff! they are feelin like they are maturing nice and fast. they have done a fair amount of shrinking as well so they are gettin thick. ...im excited to see where i will be in a few more months with them. sometimes i feel that tending ones dreads is almost like tending a garden and watching your flowers slowly bloom.
Monday, June 8, 2009
I would like to detail my most recent finished painting and my creative process here. I tried to document the various fazes of the paintings creation from the first sketch to the final stroke. I thought this would be a good thing to begin doing for myself with my paintings as a way to be able to step back from the creation process at intervals and really look at and critique what im creating…figure out what I like, don’t like and where I should go with the painting next. I thought I would be interesting to document the creation process on pieces since each painting is a completely different creative and spiritual journey for me. I learn something new with each piece I create.
Creative process- Step 1
My painting, as they often do, started out with a pen and ink drawing:
This illustration was done with my favorite drawing pens by Faber Castell. They are India ink pens that come in a variety of size from super fine to brush pen.
My pen and ink drawings usually happen spur of the moment. This drawing was inspired by lovely high busted, fancyfull dresses of the olden age when corsets and undoes were aplenty. I think I was watching the movie Sleepy hollow while I drew this, very much inspired by the costume design in the film…that especially of the white witch in the story. I have always had a fascination with tight waist corsetry and dresses and I find more and more I am doodling out my own gowns and gussied up ladies.
…I love pen and ink, black and white illustration. I am fond of this drawing as it is but I got to thinking I would like to try it on a larger scale using acrylic paint.
Creative process – Step 2
I started with a 24” x 24” studio framed blank canvas painted gray. I used my lil art projector called “tracer” and used one of my 5x7 prints as a base to project the illustration onto the canvas. I then very roughly traced over the projected image onto the canvas with my Faber Castell India Ink pens, until I had down the basic shape and detail of the drawing
Creative process – Step 3
Close up of color experimentation in detail on skin and face:
Next, I started experimenting with my colors. It may seem obvious but my favorite colors are Purple and green, especially when paired together. I find the color combo creates a unique color harmony that is hard for me to resist. Thus, I began to work out that the dress and the mask would be in those chosen colors. I often tend to paint the skin of my ladies a blue or a green, hinting at a paranormal aspect to these creatures( also indicated with the one eye that is in fact part “creature” be it cat or reptilian inspired with the sharp pupil)
Creative Process -Step 4
Here I began coming in to detail and smooth out the first layers of color.
I went into the under eyes and pulled more purple in to compliment the dress. began adding color detail, high lighting along the sleeves and stuff... to give the dress a glow, then reapplied black to secure and smooth out the planned shapes. I decided on a yellow green gradation for the background...so far the background color just has its base foundation that will need to be enriched and smoothed later on. At this point I can really begin to see what direction the color palette is going and began plotting out things like what colors I might try to use in the hair and along the sleeves. Also realizing I will want to go back into the mask and repaint the right side so it’s a lil less clumsy lookin. At this point there is lots of room for experimentation.
Creative Process – Step 5
Please click to full View!
….i would have liked to document a few more phases with creating this piece before finishing it but it came together so fast I didn’t have time to stop at intervals and document. Firstly, I went back into the background and smoothed out the gradation...pulling more yellow into the mix and fanning it into a sorta green vignette around the sides. Once I did that I was able to make a firm decision on what color to make the hair. I wanted to go light, close to white even…to create a similar look of the old fashioned powdered wig type style. I chose to use the hair as a way to tie in some pink, that also is present in the delicate features of the face like the lips and the cheeks. I used a darker purple for shading, which helped compliment the color palette of the dress. I then went back into the corset and decided it was much too rough looking and needed some more highlight and a bit of interest. I did a few layers of green/yellow highlight and then began to layer the shine with a suggestion of spirally black brocade pattern…for the corsets fabric. I felt that added some interest and helped it look less flat. Once I got the corset finished and figured out I finished the lower pieces of sleeves along the arm, choosing the same colors used in the puffy striped parts of the upper sleeve. Once I was done with that I took some gray paint and whited out the right side of the mask just above her eye. I then went back in with black and planned the mask’s detail and shape better to compliment its other side. I then went in and did my base color work on it, trying to stick close to the colors already present in the mask. Once that was finished I went over the entire piece once again and accentuating a glowing look by adding more highlights in the details. When I was done with that all that was left to do was go back over the entire painting with black to smooth out the planned shapes and also to add the last pieces of detail, such as the wispys and flowers that spring from her head and the glowing jewels and flowers near her bosom. I did all that over this past weekend. I am very relieved to have this piece finished. Now all I have to do is sign, date it and varnish it. Once It is varnished I will take better, closer, more detailed pictures of it.
So, that’s that. I think I am going to try and paint smaller from now on since I am running out of room in my small apartment, and also it seems smaller paintings tend to be more sellable at the present since they tend to be less of an big investment.
Just incase someone was curious...I used a combination of Windsor and Newton Galleria acrylic paint and Daler Rowney system 3 acrylic paint.