Monday, December 29, 2008

How a Bird Celebrates New Year's Eve


"A Sparrow's Take on New Year's Eve"
Digitally Enhanced Watercolor

Another little sparrow bird has flown in to say Hi. She is ready to welcome in the New Year and excited about the possibilities of what lies ahead. How to celebrate New Year's Eve, she wonders? She could sit outside on the bird feeder, nibbling bird seed, letting the shells drop to the ground, staring into the quiet night and reflecting on hopes (not resolutions, thanks Diane, like that word change) and dreams. Daisy the Cat might saunter by but bird is safe way up here on second floor. She might even wish the cat Happy New Year (how she loves to taunt that white fur ball). Little bird might let her crow friend, who so loves his tarot decks, tell her what her future holds. With candles burning all around, maybe a mysterious, mystical setting might be worth investigating. Or she could sit tucked inside her abode, watching videos like Sesame Street's Big Bird series (whimsical and light-hearted) or The Birds (scare the peep out of her), and then watch that crazy big ball in New York drift slowly down, down. She imagines the ball made of bird seed and her flying round and round sampling the huge delicacy. Yum, yum. Yes, living it up, chowing down before dieting in 2009. She could join some fellow bird friends and go flying off into the woods and dance with them, shake a few feathers loose and at midnight give them each a little bird peck on their fuzzy faces. Ah, the choices of this last day into night of 2008, yet so many more days ahead beckon her with possibilities and adventure. Life is good, let the magic begin, may all your dreams come true!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Crow bestows his magic on me

"Crow Bestows His Magic On Me"
Watercolor, Digitally Enhanced

I hop on crow's back and we fly together into the cosmos,
where mysterious realms beckon
and call my name
Crow helps me open my eyes
to the possibilities of where my creativity can go.
Darkness, lightness, embracing them I seek
more journeys, past my perceived limits I go,
dancing on the stars, twirling in the smoky clouds,
comet tails I hold onto as I move
deeper into the void
Crow watches knowingly from his perch now,
his cawing growing fainter, more muffled
as I become a distant speck,
unafraid of the nothingness of space
and yet, knowing its essence fills me up
Completeness of self,
I have come home to me.

Crows are messengers calling to us about the creation and magic that is alive in the world today
and available to us all. I open myself to all of nature's teachings, humbled by the vast knowledge that surrounds me.

Right after I finished the crow creation above, I felt a pull from somewhere deep inside of me to write some words to accompany it. Doing the art was meditative. Adding layers of watercolor paint and putting detailed lines in to delineate feathers, for example, seemed to access my unconscious self. And then, with the poetry being done right after the art process, seemed to keep the creative flow going. This is unusual for me, as I always give myself a break, maybe hours, maybe days, between painting and writing about what the painting means. I almost felt the words here were written by someone else, not me. (Automatic writing, ghost writing?) Usually I feel that way about my art after I complete and step back and stare at it. To me, it seems a form of detachment, of letting go, releasing what I have held within. So this is a weird feeling, unusual, but not unpleasant. Crow did work his magic on me and my creative process. My art is changing, I am changing. Thank you, Crow, for stopping by and witnessing this.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Monkey Meditation, Recharging His Energy



"Quiet Time"
Photograph

Don't forget to take some time out for yourself, this little monkey at Brookfield Zoo tells me. He seems rather mystified by why all the humans walk by, gawk at him and let flash bulbs from cameras blind him. Yet, he stays centered within himself, unrattled. With all the chaos of the holidays, I think we need to follow his example and maintain our calm spirit. Meditate, pray, write, create, take a quiet walk in the woods, reflect on possibilities, the true meaning of the holidays. There is always a need to replenish our energy at this time of year. To be self-loving, during this holiday of giving and interacting with others, requires self awareness. Take a bubble bath, light some candles, eat some chocolate, read a good book, rest, take a light nap. And if you're ready for the crowds again, go to the zoo and see these little creatures, who lead by example. There's always a lesson to learn no matter what corner we turn in life. I, for one, will recharge myself by laying low now, for 2009 is just around the corner, and possibilities beckon!

I wish all of you a wonderful holiday season, filled with love for others and love for self!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Winter Blues of a Peony


"Winter Blues of a Peony"
Digital Photograph

I've seen enough winter pictures to get the idea that we are in the clutches of the season. With thoughts of Spring and Summer Flowers dancing in my head, I decided to do an image depicting my longings for warmer weather. The background above is a close-up of a swan wing taken one cold winter day at Lake Katherine Preserve. The swan was all tucked in, its feathers providing a nice warm blanket from the frigid temperatures. The peony has been hibernating in the wing, seeking protection and nurturing while Mother Nature frolics with Old Man Winter. The peony peeks out, dreaming of the times when she can bob her head to the sun's glowing rays. Yet, she is connected by strings to the wings for Swan friend knows that peony will suffer death if she ventures outside her haven. Be patient, little flower, those days will come. In the meantime, be grateful for your friend, swan wing. When someone offers of themselves, lending a helping hand, the world is a better place. And in due time, when summer arrives, the swans will be swimming nearby, inhaling your fragrant perfumes and feeling the joy that you offer in your own way.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Wonders of Ice, Can Be Quite Nice


"Ice Sculpture, Chicago, 2007"



"Ice Sculpture, Frankfort, IL, 2007"
Digital Photograph



"Ice and Snow Fantasy at the Center"
Digital Photograph


"Icicle Wonderland at the Center"
Digital Photograph

Rumor has it that an ice storm is coming. Though Mother Nature can challenge the driver in these kinds of conditions, she can also share her beauty and creativity as she ices the landscape. There really is wonder all around if we just open our eyes and our heart.

The top image was a photo taken at Millenium Park Ice Festival about a year ago. Sculptors have always intrigued me and to design such a huge ice sculpture, what love that artist must have for ice! The second image above was a photo I took at the Frankfort Ice Festival. It was one of many sculptures scattered around the town, adding such a holiday festive spirit to the place. These candy canes were embedded in ice, and I loved how the ice did amazing things. When the sun adds its reflection, oh so dazzling. I couldn't resist playing around on the computer adding my own little touches to an already surrealistic image. The third and fourth images were photos I took at the Center in Palos Park, Illinois. Ice and snow add more magic to a place that is already a beautiful setting in the woods, like adding frosting to a cupcake. The fragile plants are amazingly able to withstand these elements of winter, almost fossil-like in appearance. And since I've heard that snow is not really white, especially when it is painted by an artist, I thought let's add a little blue and purple to spice things up. Creative license is so much fun, isn't it?

So as we prepare for the ice storm and get our salt supplies ready, remember that Mother Nature is also gifting us with creative surprises that can take our breath away! Man and nature do not need to fight with each other, but rather by working together, what can be birthed is a sight to behold!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

My Creativity Welcomes the Holidays


"Reflecting on Christmas"
Watercolor Digitally Enhanced



"Christmas Memories, Melting My Heart"
Watercolor, Pen & Ink, Digitally Enhanced

The holidays are upon us and I suppose I wanted to get into the spirit with a creative piece or two. "Holiday Reflections" depicts an ornament with ribbons looking down into water, perhaps. Or maybe its on a glass tabletop. The ribbons twist and turn, intent on pulling us into the chaos and stress the holidays can bring. Yet they also represent our freedom as they flow in the air, reminding us we have choices on how to celebrate these special times. The ornament represents our inner calmness, a solid object that remains true to the real meaning of love that is what we ultimately yearn for. I've kept this piece relatively simple, flanked by a white background, to represent my yearning to live a more simplistic life these days. Finally, the ornament's dual image with reflection is myself, feeling reflective and nostalgic at this time of year, with memories past looming up into my heart and psyche.

The second painting, "Christmas Memories, Melting My Heart", depict three ornaments sitting on a snowy landscape somewhere, almost dreamlike, beginning to lose their form, solidity melting into nothingness. The ornaments glow from within, remembering fond feelings from Christmases past. My love of surrealism and Dali's melting clock piece are evident here. A nostalgic look into the past, where time and distance began to fade our remembrance of details, clouding them, but our hearts remain warmly alive, cherishing those times and traditions that sustain us deep within ourselves.
I am thankful that my creativity continues to unfold. And I am glad to share it with you all.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Luminarias And Tubas, A Holiday Festival


"Luminarias and Poinsettias"
Photograph



"Christmas Music, Tuba Style"
Photograph


Our writing assignment for this week: Write about Winter!

Winter offers challenges and risks for the photographer. Camera batteries are depleted much faster, lenses fog up during the temperature transistion from outside to inside, and frostbite is always a possibility. But when one has a passion for capturing images in this way, the cold melts away and the warmth of creativity takes over. The elements of nature become a distant memory.

I was wandering through the Tinley Park downtown area this past weekend. The holiday season has been upon us for several weeks now and it was this particular town’s turn to embrace and celebrate the upcoming season. The area by the train station was festive with gold lights. Lights had taken residence on trees, bushes, and a replica of a train engine gleamed brightlly on the overcast day. Gold had taken over the city and the Burl Ives song “Silver and Gold” danced in my head. I was overtaken with excitement and quickly took some photos of the various lights all around me. I did this quite quickly as I had taken off my bulky gloves to snap the pictures and my hands were turning red and becoming numb from the cold. Those fingerless gloves would have come in very handy right about now, I thought regretfully.

I noticed a number of men, ranging in age from 16 to 60, bending down and lighting candles inside of tall, white bags. Ah, the luminarias. I love them and their symbolism of lighting and guiding us down the path. Thei bags encircled a fountain in the center of the town, and they were all glowing magically in hues of peaches and pinks. Red poinsettas peeked out from blankets of snow. nestled behind the glowing lantern, forming a glorious backdrop. I took a few pictures of the luminarias, singly and in clusters, and noticed several bags were catching on fire. I gestured to one of the young men to get his attention and he quickly walked over and blew it out. Not before I got an action shot of the burning bag, of course. I thought, “wow, what a job these men have to do. Apparently, the four dollar store lighters that they had brought with them no longer functioned and as the wind either blew out the candles or a bag started on fire, the guys had a look of desperation on their faces. “Got a lighter?” one of the men asked my husband.. No, I don’t, he answered, and the man’s face sank. I felt sorry for his plight, but only momentarily, as my eyes took in the tall evergreen tree nearby.Decorated in huge ornaments of red and white, I stared in awe as it seemed to touch the sky. I stood back and took a picture of the top of the tree, bedecked with a star on top against the darkening sky. Then I moved closer to the tree and decided that it would be fun to take a few ornament pictures. My reflection and those of bystanders nearby could be seen in the ornaments. I love to take reflection shots, they seem mysterious and almost otherworldly. The red ornaments were too dark to see much of a reflection through, but the white ones seemed to offer a clearer image. I moved around to different angles, and I think I captured one of the ornaments with the train station reflected in it. We shall see how that turns out when I look at the photographs later.

As the day moved into late afternoon, the wind had picked up even more and the temperatures were really starting to dip. My husband said, “Time to go, you’re getting frostbitten". I think my cheeks were numb or getting there, so with some reluctance I decided my camera day was over. As he pulled me by the arm, I noticed now my eyes were starting to water as well. Isn’t it interesting how I hadn’t even noticed the cold while I was in my photo zone, but now trudging back to the car, I was almost gasping in the frigid air.

Yes, being a photographer today had been a challenge. I could have stayed in the warming tent, which we had visited early on, content to snap pictures of the German band playing music.My German roots stirred in appreciation, and the tubas and accordions were wonderful sights to behold. But that was too easy, my adventurous side had countered. How was I ever going to attain my dream of working for National Geographic if I didn’t push my limits? Climbing mountains, facing war zones, confronting wildlife in Africa all are the kinds of jaunts I dream of encountering someday. But I need to hone up on my skills a little bit more first. And dealing with subzero cold temperatures during a town’s holiday celebration is certainly a stepping stone in that direction. I turned around one last time and stared at the distant luminarias glowing in the night, serving as a reminder to me that all paths are possible and that there will always be a light to show me the way.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Sparrow Sings to the Universe


"Sparrow sings to the Universe"
Digitally Enhanced Watercolor

Iconography: The design or creation of images, image writing, image content. An artist friend of mine talked about the sparrow as an icon that finds its way deep into your being. I processed her words for a while and then looked at a recent image I had done. I've read that a sparrow symbolizes self-worth, dignity. From a chakra viewpoint, its song energizes and awakens the heart and throat. From God's view, it represents concern for the most insignificant living things. All these meanings seemed to come together in what I was trying to depict on a deeper level. From an artistic level, the sparrow had become a rainbow of colors, transformed from its original brown. Light violet tones emanated from the bird, reflecting its higher spiritual level. The background was red, symbolizing spiritual awakening, joy of life and love and passion. The green to the right I thought of as the earth, reminding her not to stray to far from her roots on the ground below. The sparrow appears perched on a quartz crystal, an object known to heal the heart. I even felt the object to the left was a stringed instrument of sorts, maybe a mandolin from historical past or Picasso's time. The bird's song, the music from past to present, all were linked in a timeless fashion. The background lines that went in all directions were the energetic lines of the universe. All in all, it seemed to come together and I was beginning to enjoy what color, line, texture, and object could convey on a deeper level.
The sparrow, though small, has a voice to share with the universe. And the universe responds back with its own musical energy, embracing the little creature, encouraging her. She does matter and has something to say. Spread your wings and fly high.

Thank you Doris, for helping me set the wheels in motion for this new creative vision. Thank you, Laura, for sharing your recent crow series. Thank you, Frank, for dislodging my writing resistance, which has subsequently helped my art to unfold. Thank you readers for being a witness to my artistic journey. Today I am grateful.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A Sparrow Flies in to say Hi


"Sparrow"
Photograph

"Sparrow"
Watercolor

Well, the cat is still hiding somewhere so another little bird emerges, this time a sparrow. I had taken this photo while the bird was nestled into the twiggy bushes. I had my zoom camera and was able to take the photo without disturbing the creature. Today I decided I wanted to paint from the photo so enlarged the photo on my computer screen, took my paintbrushes and started painting on paper. A bit of a challenge as the computer screen picture kept fading in and out. I suppose I could have printed out the image, went into my studio and painted it there. Nope, too much in the moment, or maybe too lazy, who knows. The painting above does not look anything like the sparrow photo, although that was my initial mission. It has no feet, and the bottom kind of flows, impressionistic style. But it does look like it's wearing suspenders, is is possible that my husband wearing suspenders is seeping into my artistic subconscious? Well, nevertheless, I was running out of steam, so maybe that's why detail (depicting every feather, for example) was tossed. But I'd like to think I was just going deep into the "zone", where reality disappears. Hm, maybe there really is something about painting from your own photos. It did feel freeing, I was experimenting more, and I was reliving that day when I took the photo, happy to be communing with nature. All in all, my senses were totally in moment when I painted it and time flew. My bird menagerie is becoming quite the family and I promise I will keep you safe from predators. If you promise not to chirp at night when I am trying to sleep! A deal?

Keep an Eye out for Bowser the Cat, Please!


"Finch on Coneflower"
Watercolor Digitally Enhanced

Well, little finch here feels it is safe to come out now that Bowser the Cat seems to have vanished. I drew from a magazine cover this little guy, painted him with watercolors, and then popped up colors with a computer program (also added some fuzziness to his edges). I had a photo I had taken in the woods of a finch but it was so swallowed up by the woods it was not very clear to see. My sister says she wanted a yellow bird of some sort so voila he landed here. He's got a flat top/maybe a buzz cut due to cropping him down here. He's also painted very close to top edge which is okay. I sometimes like images to go off the edge a bit. Also, don't tell little finch here but another librarian wants a print of Bowser the cat to send to her mother, who now owns Bowser. She wants her mom to see Bowser in his wilder days roaming streets of Frankfort. He's now a pampered, spoiled cat living in Connecticut but the librarian doesn't want him to forgot his original roots!!! This makes me laugh, how pets really can pull at our heart strings. I am glad I left the blade of grass in on his portrait as it shows a little piece of his natural surroundings.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A New Blog Called "Dark Places"

Today I have started a new blog. If you click to the right on "Dark Places" blog, you can access it. The intent of the new blog is to help me delve into the darker side of me, into my shadow self. I feel it is necessary to create this new blog, as the inner stirrings of myself seem to demand another outlet. The Dark Places blog replaces Finding My Voice blog. Sometimes we need to empty out the old to make way for the new. We shall see how it progresses, and I invite you in now and then to take a peek. As always, I welcome your comments and am honored you are coming along for the ride.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Bowser the Cat


"Bowser the Cat"
Photograph

Well, I suppose it was inevitable that a cat would pop up here today. With all the little birds flying around on my site the last few days, what could be a more alluring treat for these amber eyes to behold and fantasize about?
Earlier this year, I was wandering out by my local library, camera in hand. Flowers dazzled my eyes and I walked around to the back of the building to get some day-lily close-ups. Entrenched deep into my photo zone, I almost stepped on a black and white cat rolling around on the cement sidewalk. He jumped up and moved to safer land, hiding in the tall stalks of grass and peeking out at me. A librarian walked up behind me and said "That's Bowser, Bowser the Cat. I've kind of adopted him at the library, and have been feeding him". We chuckled together about the cat's name and I noticed the librarian's eyes were filled with love as she gazed at her adopted cat friend. I decided right then and there to take a few photos of him and promised I'd give her a copy. Several weeks later, I noticed Bowser was no longer around the premises. After inquiring of his whereabouts, I found out he that he was now living in Connecticut, with a friend of the librarian. I thought that now the photo of Bowser would become even more of a treasured memory to cherish.
Today I went to the library and gave the librarian the photo of Bowser. On the front of the photo, I attached a small Sparrow card I had painted. I thought that would be a humorous little twist, letting it lie right on the cat's face (with only some sheer plastic to keep the two creatures apart). Inside the card I wrote "To Mary From Bowser (and Beverly). The librarian stared at it for a few minutes, seemingly lost in memories. "Bowser is doing well now, has gained weight, is healthy", she softly said. One of the fellow librarians standing nearby said, "Too bad you didn't take him in under your roof". The librarian nodded silently, knowing that another addition to the 6 felines she already had would be next to impossible. Ever the photographer, I told the librarian that I had tried to erase the stalk of grass in front of the cat's face (via photoshop tricks, but had given up the task). "I like the cat with the stalk of grass". Glad you didn't do anything like that to the photo", she commented.
She peered closer at the cat's image. "Ah, yes, see the beauty mark on his white fur by his whiskers? Isn't that something?" she said, beaming. I, myself, had thought it was a smudge on the camera lens which had made its presence known on the photo and had tried to erase it. When it did not come off, I figured it was a spot of dirt or something the cat had picked up in its roamings. Never did I think it was a beauty mark, a legacy of Cindy Crawford, perhaps. And I stood there pondering how we attribute human traits to our animal friends, in the process deepening our connection to them. The librarian gave me a hug, said thank-you and kept staring at the cat photo as I edged out the door, my departure going unnoticed.
I felt good inside. Hopefully, today, I had made someone just a little happier. And I had had fun creating it. So it was a win, win situation. And maybe, just maybe, Bowser's memory across the miles would be strengthened by the photograph. I stare up at the wall next to me at a photo of Princess, my beloved cat who has passed on, and know from the heart that this is so.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Collage Endeavor, Scaling Its Peaks


"Collage Endeavor, Scaling its Peaks"
Collage with Handmade Papers
5"x 7"

Well, lo and behold, I cannot believe I am able to post the creation above. My first real attempt at making a collage with hand-painted papers. I decided to post it here even though it is in beginning stages. I take this cue from Laura, a wonderful collage artist who sometimes shows her step-be-step process in making her artistic gems. Many weeks ago I had painted a batch of papers using a variety of techniques with my art buddy Marge, another gifted artist. All the papers were laying in my studio, waiting for the next step, to be pasted on a backboard. But somewhere, deep inside of me, lurked resistance and other dark companions. "You're having too much fun making these papers", my ego critic said. So I put the papers in boxes and forgot about them. Well, yesterday, my inner child said "It's playtime", very loudly and persistently this time and wouldn't let up. So I went to Marge's house again and I proceeded to tear and paste these papers onto a tiny 5x7 backing (I believe).Even tearing these big papers into tiny pieces was tough. I had considered my whole papers a masterpiece in and of themselves, worthy of framing (We artists have a love affair with everything we produce, or so it seems). And a tiny 5x7 backboard, well, I didn't want to ruin my bigger backboards, (hm, negative thinking here) so I let the experiment run its course. The piece above resembles a landscape, and I left the middle blank for now. I might add one of my birdie pictures there, or maybe I'll paint the white backing or add some threads or something. But I was excited about this accomplishment and needed to share it. I will continue to hike my creative mountains, regardless of rocky terrain and other obstacles. For it strengthens my heart, and encourages more endeavors.

One last thing. I remember how long it took me to get a blog going. With the support and encouragement of wonderful friends, I was able to get past my fears and resistance. Once I got past thoughts and took action, things got easier. I suppose the same could be said about the collage above. Blogs and collages, all stepping stones to a more well-rounded me.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Sacred Experience

Link
"A Sacred Experience"
Digital Collage

This image leaped out of my soul today. I did not look at photos or other prompts but just let my heart create this. The energetic lines emitting from and behind the cross-like structure symbolizes the powerful impact our love has on the world, the universe, and beyond. As we go into the depths of our being, we find the light that is our true essence. And from there, anything is possible.

This Unicorn has a Question


Image taken from Drawing Book mentioned below
and my enhancement of it with watercolor and computer art

As I'm wanting to have more fun with my art, I thought I'd post this little unicorn here. Fantasy is a wonderful thing, and one can be so free with it. Sometimes I think about becoming an art illustrator for children's books (an art teacher once told me I had a knack for that). Her words filled my mind when I was looking at "Manga for the Beginner" a drawing book by Christopher Hart. The unicorn image in there appealed to my sense of wonder. I drew the unicorn outline and then added my own watercolors to the image. The original white background was changed to dots of color with some computer tools. And as I've been thinking about copyright laws, etc lately, I'm wondering if I could open up the discussion to all of you who stop here and visit. One of my former art teachers recently said "when you create something from someone else's drawing or photograph, only 20% of the original image can be left showing, the rest needs to be changed by you". Now maybe I didn't get that quite right from her, but I would like to pursue this in more detail. Especially if I want to sell some of these particular images. I know a lot of books say you can use their images for personal use only and reproductions are a no-no. Now maybe a reproduction is an exact copy. But what about those artists who reproduce the artwork of the Old Masters? For practice only or do they sell it? So anyway, I'm just paying more attention now. Most of the time my images do not look anything like the original, which is a good thing. Yet, vague traces remain. If nothing else, my little creature above was good practice. I don't want to dwell on this too long and stop my creative flow so I'll end here, hop on the unicorn and let it take me back to my studio.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Flock of Birds Emerges Today







6 Watercolor Bird Studies
Done on 140 Pound Rough Watercolor Paper

I decided to do some more bird portraits today. As my sister has mentioned she'd like a finch painting,I took a book on how to draw birds and anything finch-like, I tried painting. Plus a few other species as well. Using a few how-to examples as a starting point, I painted the top bird first. I did not intend for the left side of the bird to lose its edges and form, but I kind of like how it flows as I look at it now. On a second sheet of paper, I did four separate bird portraits. (All done in watercolor). I've got some photos of birds I have taken from the past and will reference them for future paintings, but this was just how I wanted to begin. The book suggests specific paint colors for each part of the bird, but I experimented with some of my own colors as well. I did not add much water to my paint, and noted that the colors seemed brighter, more saturated.
I scanned the watercolor original (with the four birds on it) so I could see it on the computer. Unfortunately, my 8.5 x 11" scanner could not accommodate the bigger paper So I had to break each bird down so it was its own separate portrait study. Sometimes I kept a pair of them together. Each seems to have its own story to tell. That's fine with me for now, as I am not sure which of the birds appeals to me at this point. I suppose in the future I'll get a bigger scanner or use smaller paper. Today, though, this sufficed.
Anyway, it was nice to paint and paint and paint today. Some of the birds seem a tad bizarre, others have a more realistic feel to them. These birds are a diversified group.I see I have not done much of a background. I like the way the birds float on the white paper though. Maybe tomorrow I'll change my mind and add a background. What's nice about art, we're not locked in. So freeing. I'm always surprised at the unpredictability of my creative self. But I accept and embrace what surfaces.
I showed my husband the paintings and he said "Now that's the Bev I remember". Those words were a nice ending to a very creative day.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Birds are Keeping Me Company Today


"The Basis for a Finch Painting"
Sketch in Pencil and Pen & Ink




"Winter Companions"
Digital Watercolor Collage


I think in a past life I was either a flower or a bird, as I always feel a deep connection to each of them. Lately, I've been focusing on birds as flowers seem to have departed now to let Old Man Winter make his presence known. Also, I have been requested to work on several bird images nestled into a snowy, winter scene, so I'm sure this has influenced my decision to focus on birds as well. (Balancing what my soul wants to do with what the public wants from me, a delicate dance, indeed). I started with a pencil drawing accented with pen & ink. (I was in a serious mood at the time and trying to be precise). Then I decided to color the birds via the computer process, but that got too complicated. Then the fun voice within me kicked in, said "Enough already, Take a Break, It's Playtime" and the second painting above emerged. I combined several birds from past creations and then really worked with my imagination on a background. The two different sparrow sizes happened because I like to vary images. And better yet, maybe my growth as an artist can be depicted by the larger bird. Who knows? I sure do like to psychoanalyze myself regarding creativity, but I'm told to write about my passion, my love, so soul-searching ponderings are evident in some shape or form. I think my ideal career would be psychoanalyzing creative pieces, hm, a thought!!!! And they could be a captive audience, not speaking back to me. I like that even better.

I am beginning to like doing backgrounds. It's actually challenging to fill up the whole paper. Perhaps it helps me to make a more complete statement now about what I am creating. And from a psychological point of view, (can't keep my shrink voice quiet), the Whole is the Sum of its Parts, a gestalt kind of thing. I find that I am taking various parts of myself and putting them together, like a puzzle piece, into whatever I put down on paper. Well, I've certainly got off the track in creating my finch images, but I cannot control my creative process and I would not want to.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Autumn Leaves, Making Room for Winter


"Autumn Leaves, Making Room for Winter"
Digital Collage

Soon Winter will arrive, the next Season in the Cycle. Fall disappears into the heavens, leaving us still breathless with memories of its beautiful palette of colors.

Yesterday I felt like playing with my imagination. Decided to travel into the universe with my creativity so this dimensional abstract emerged. I know there's so much one can do with 3D effects on the computer. But right now I will suffice with this attempt. The bottom piece was constructed first and then each successive layer was added. The topmost square is actually a photo I took of a fall woods and then altered it in various ways to add a more mysterious feel. I tilted the squares to give a sense of movement and unusual perspective, which helped energize things a bit. As I stare at it now, perhaps I might have made each subsequent square a bit smaller. But when I attempted to fix it, the computer began fighting with me. So I will let it be, and take that as a sign from the universe, to go with the flow. Sometimes we must settle with what is and let it be, for too much of a change defeats that first creative impulse. Well, that's that. I enjoyed creating the abstract art piece here for this is the kind of art, according to Wikipedia definition, that is unconcerned with the literal depiction of things from the visible world. It gives me freedom, pushes me outside of my boundaries, lets loose what's locked within me. I find the process comparible to writing fiction, where the sky is the limit regarding characters and story lines. This freedom can be overwhelming at times, yet so exhilarating nevertheless. So many choices! I feel rather disoriented but in a pleasant way after finishing this piece. Time to come down to earth and ground myself. A bit of a jolt but necessary. Or is it?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

I offer my gifts of hope and love


"Autumn Evergreens"
Photograph


Make like a tree and Leave your creations onto the wind. Let your glorious ideas Fall into the hands of we mortals who need your gifts of hope and love.

Frank Coughlin 2008

Frank, my creative partner (and so much more) on this Earth, sent this little gift of words to me this morning. The message touched me in a deep way and I wanted to share it here on this site. I think the election has given both of us new hope and I think the words above convey this. In addition, I feel each of us has an obligation to be the best we can be, to offer our gifts to the world, to share of ourselves as authentically as we can.

The photograph above was taken recently as I was trekking through the glorious foliage of Fall. I've taken numerous leaf pictures, singly, and as part of their fall environment. But to see green evergreens against a dreamy background of colors seemed a little more unique to me. Seasons change, the political climate changes, and so do we change. The ripple effect of life touches us all and we touch it back. Like tree branches bending in the wind, our flexibility to what life offers us is vital.

Happy New Beginnings for a New World.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

My Fantasies Soothe Me

I was ready to go to writing class, with nothing new to read. I still had several hours to come up with something this morning, yet was feeling ambivalent. I am not a writer, I am a painter and photographer. This mantra swirled in my head acting as a good defense for my resistance. Then as I sat staring at the blank computer screen, something shifted within me and feelings pushed up, demanding to be heard. I was surprised by what came out of me. Do you ever feel like your art, your writing or any other creative pursuit seems to be as if done by a stranger? That's how this poem/story that follows felt to me. Strangely familiar/yet unfamiliar.


My Fantasies Soothe Me

Butterfly wings, gnarled trees, wispy clouds
all circle around me as I float higher into the
atmosphere, far from earth I travel,
away from the despair that sucks me dry
the fears of life as we know it sink down
but I refuse to let it take me with it

I daydream about beauty and magic
and possibilities, choices,
how easy it is to let society pluck us
into its uneasy fingers,
sometimes a path chosen simply
because we know it, uncertain selves
seeking sanctuary, refuge
in known circles.

I want to fly higher, let my wings
beat rapidly into other spheres,
away, so far away from darkness
that threatens to let my dreams fizzle
into nothing
and then I shall once more
be ordinary.

I have been a turtle so much of
my life, staying in my dark armor
safe there, with my voice muffled,
only speaking to myself.

There have been moments
where
head comes out, quickly,
eyes darting around in nervous
energy, then retreating again,
for safety does not beckon
me into the outside.

I am a being who matters, who
wants to rise high to overcome
the despairing muck that inhales
me into its lungs, I am tired
of hiding, holding back my
life, my offerings

that is my fantasy where mystery reigns
for to see reality so black and white
does little to ease my soul so what
choice do I have but to tap deeper
into me, where positive vibrations
wiggle around, happy to be

talked to, to be considered
Denial, my mind says to me
have not you lived that word
for so many years and now
you delve into the fantasy that
used to protect you from chaos
of family long ago,

does society of the now so
frighten you that you disappear
from its clutches into fairies and
woodland creatures who offer
hope to your soul which is
so crying for relief.

Yes, it is a way to survive,
to believe, and I shall continue
to embrace my world for it is
so much more nurturing right now
I shall peek into treeholes looking
for creatures who hide there

I shall pull each petal apart
looking for magic lounging
in each bloom
Not hiding, just seeking
more meaning for me
Content, for now,
to explore my
imagination, whose
fantasies soothe me.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

These Swans Bring Me Comfort


"Swan Mom and Babe"
Watercolor

With all the chaos in the world these days, it's nice to remember the simple comforts of nature. I found some photos I had taken several years back of a swan family. I watched Dad and Mom raise five little fuzz balls who ended up magnificant swan creatures in their own right. They were wonderful subjects to photograph and would wander close to shore, and I was able to document them quite intimately. Soon the children were as big as the parents, and I could not tell them apart. But alas, the children, as is the nature of the cycle, departed the preserve they were born in and who knows where they went. Sometimes I'll wander over to the preserve, scanning the waters for these heavenly creatures, but none are to be found. Perhaps someday the children, now adults, will come back and raise their own babies. The cycles of life. The moon rising, the sun setting, the seasons changing. Stability offers me comfort in these unsettling times we are in now. I found a photo of Mom Swan and one of her babes tonight while in my studio and felt drawn to paint it, and immediately I was transported back to that special time I had with the swan family. As I painted and the watercolors flowed in a dreamlike quality, I felt comforted by these beautiful birds, as they nestled in close to one another. And then something stirred within my, in the region of my soul. I remembered that sense of safety and nurturing that my own parents had given me, and though they are no longer with me, the memories of their love, and my nature photos, sustain me when life just seems a little out of control.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Earth Angels

"Earth Angel"
Digital Mixed Media


I sat there in a hard metal chair,
oblivious to the cool Autumn winds
whistling through my bones
as angel music warmed my heart and
sweet violins moved in harmony

Earth angels dressed in white
focused, oh so focused on
sheet music before them
enchanted me with their
presence

Some with blue ribbons
adorning coiled hair
others with sunglasses
shading their eyes,
so different, each of them
yet so connected by
the music and

The leaves danced around
and the birds sang a chorus
sharing in the joy that
cascaded all around.

As the lingering daylight
caressed these cherubs,
Glittering wings sprouted
from behind them and
golden halos circled their
crowns,
Ah yes, the heavens had
opened up and given us
a taste of its magic

Memories stirred up within me
like the leaves whirling around
and touched my soul as
thoughts of myself as a child
surfaced.

I had once been an earth angel
playing the piano,
touching the heavens above
my soul transported,
floating on clouds

My eyes teared up, perhaps
from the blistering winds but more
likely from childhood thoughts that
came to the surface, threatening
to unleash a floodwater onto
my face

Longing for what was, what
could have been
I choked on wistfulness
drowning in lost dreams.

I drifted back and forth
between the past and the
present, feeling pain,
release, then joy

Yes, for an hour or so I
was was one with these
tiny musicians, feeling the healing
vibrations of melodies drifting
in and out of my being, touching
a connection within me,
so deeply immersed.

Ave Maria resounded through
the air, a homage to the
spirits, past, present and future
and I felt one with the notes,
the music, the world.


Joy reverberated through me
for I was here now rejoicing
in this music, where young souls
were letting out their passion without
restraint, not holding back, dreams
in their hearts, not lost, but strong,
and for that, I was grateful

That these earth angels touched me today
and helped me find a piece of my soul
locked away until this moment
and now my wings are sprouting
and I hear the music within me,
getting louder
and know

It’s not too late to
be an Earth Angel.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

It's Nice to Have an Art Park!


Violin Student


Violin Student II


Violin Teacher

I went to the new Art Park in Palos Heights on Saturday. It will not officially open until June 2009 but yesterday on the small plot of land that will be devoted to the arts, several of my art league members gathered. We showed our artwork and had a silent auction with some of our pieces. We sampled wine and cheese from Coopers Hawk and listened to violin music played by Beverly Art Center students. Four girls and a boy, ranging in ages from perhaps 5 to 15, entranced me as they stood there, so focused by what they were doing, so in the zone. I smiled because I know that feeling and the generation gap between us seemed to melt as each musical note drifted past my ears. I was quite mesmorized by the music that floated through the air and lingered by the musicians for much of the afternoon. Later, the two teachers played music from Cats (Memory), Ave Maria and various other melodies, sending me to a very peaceful place. I asked the violin teachers if I could take a few photos with promises of sending them copies. They were pleased by that. I also inquired about violin lessons for myself. Though I play the piano, there is something about stringed instruments that is as if angels are playing them. All in all, a day of creative bliss surrounded by like minds. As the day ended, I shivered, realizing the temperature had really dropped. Yet, for a while, my heart had been so warmed by the creative energy around me I had scarcely noticed the autumn chill. I would love to have 364 more days just like this, just like today, or close to it. I am thankful for the creation of art parks and music teachers who know how important the arts are to our souls. And I am grateful to me for being able to appreciate and take it all in!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Tapping into Uncharted Waters


"Chaos Churns Within"
Digital Painting

I was reading about surrealism today and afterwards, I started whirling and twirling with some paint tools on the computer and this maze of lines and colors emerged. Perhaps it represents the economic climate our world is in, perhaps it is my own inner turmoil seeking a resolution, perhaps it is my interpretation of how I might fulfill my surrealistic longings. Whatever the case, I had fun getting lost in my imaginary landscape and this vision emerged. A nice change from my art as I have known it. Will this become a common practice from now on? Only my unconscious knows......

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

I Need a Break from Spiders!


"Creative Memories I Now Reflect On"
Digital Photograph


"Window Sill Arrangement"
Watercolor

When I'm stumped with what to paint, I'll look at some of my older creations and see if they will jump-start me. I did this window and flower image in Florida a while back, joining my fellow students in a joint project. Teacher painted this step-by-step, we followed step-by-step. Each person's work was different, yet of course there were similarities. I enjoyed this "group" way of painting and the collective energy made us all seem more connected! At this time in my life, I was also painting lots of alligators and lizards who resided around me. Painting this image was a welcome respite for me, yet as I look at it now I feel a sense of detachment. I admit that when I have completed a creative project, I usually feel a sense of letting go. But these more distant projects I have done. Did I really do this? Can I do something like this now at this stage of my life? Do I really need something to jump-start me or are the answers to me deep within?

The top image was a photograph I took recently while walking in my hometown, Frankfort. I liked the flowers against the brick wall and the shadows they cast. Sometimes I feel a sense of nostalgia for simpler times and lately my heart is going that way. I played with a photoshop filter to give the image a blurred effect, somewhat like blurry memories from one's past. I might paint the original photo and see how much my creative process has either changed or stayed the same. A future project.
One final note: In my mind, the top image has a more personal title, the bottom image a more realistic title. Maybe I am tapping into the deeper recesses of me and have changed over the years.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Spiders Weave their Spell on Me


Golden Orb Spider at Vegetable Garden


Golden Orb Spider on Library Window


Weaving a Creative Masterpiece

"The means to gain happiness is to throw out from oneself like a spider in all directions an adhesive web of love, and to catch in it all that comes."
Leo Nikolaevich Tolstoy

Like the quote above, I felt the spider's spell weaving its magic on me as I gazed at it the other day. Yes, Halloween is coming, bringing with it images of spiders, black cats and witches. And the book "Medicine Cards" by Jamie Sams and David Carson, delves into the Native American tradition of what the spider represents. They talk about how, on a symbolic level, there is the idea of becoming trapped in the web, helpless, stuck in life. We are caught in our illusions, fearing there is nothing more to life, leaving few alternatives and solutions. But all is not gloom and doom. Sams and Carson go on to say that the spider symbolizes the infinite possibilities of creation and is also the female energy of the creative force weaving in and out beautiful designs of life.

Perhaps on some deeper level, as I stared at him/her floating in its web, I felt this deeper knowing that resonated through me and, subsequently, did not feel repulsed, but rather drawn in. I wanted to get closer, to tap into the knowledge that danced on the white, milky threads before me. Using the camera as a tool, I gave the image backgrounds presented here a dreamy, floating feeling. Perhaps I already knew on some deep level what I was going to read in words and print the following day about the spider and felt compelled to capture the image in this way. (a bit of foreshadowing, maybe). An article on the internet about the golden orb spider also seems appropriate to add here. This particular creature is also referred to as a writing spider due to the occasional zigzag patterns built into its web. The 2nd photo above probably depicts this best. The creative connection is certainly interwoven, isn't it? How important to read the words of others to clarify, and affirm, and help us find our own voice in the process.

From the readings of others, I now have a better understanding of the spider and how it relates to me on my creative path. The spider shows its creative gifts of writing and weaving and is a great example of how we are all multi-faceted, with many talents to offer the world. And it is female energy of the creative force. Perhaps that is what this creature is trying to tell me here. Messages are everywhere, when we open our eyes and our hearts and the outcome fosters in us the female energy to create, as the spider says. And like the spider, who symbolizes the dark and light aspects of its being, so too shall I tap into all parts of me, and not hold back.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Embracing Fall




Butterfly beckons
spreading wings to welcome fall's
golden tapestry

The above image reminded me of Fall in its peaches and coppers and yellows and so I decided this would be a nice way to embrace the upcoming Season. The writing accompanying the photo is a Haiku, a short form of writing dedicated to nature. Though small in size, it can pack a powerful punch. As I can get wordy in my writings at times, I felt the Haiku would be a good exercise to rail me in a little. The first line is composed of 5 syllables, the second line has 7 syllables and the third line has 5 syllables. Thank you, beautiful butterfly, for staying so still and calm despite the chaos that surrounded you during a recent Butterfly Festival. I know there's a life lesson for me to be learned here and am grateful once again for nature's classroom.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Writing Nonsense is Fun!


"Bowl of Fruit"
Watercolor and Pen & Ink

The assignment in writing class was to write about something that made no sense. This was a relief to me as my previous two stories had been memoirs concerning my relationships with my parents (who look down from above as I write here now). Of course, lots of unresolved sadness came up during these tributes (still tough to handle after all the years), so I welcomed this new writing challenge and found myself playing and frolicking with words. Writing this was fun, yet I was surprised at how it flowed. So it follows here. P.S. Couldn't resist adding a painting above. The only link I see with it and the story that follows is the purple grapes. Or maybe posting the "still" life is a way to balance the free flow of words that follow.......Can I imagine painting this story, hm, a challenge!

No Sense this Nonsense

The paint sucks me in, into a world of gooey colors that stick on me, coloring my perspective of life. Another viewpoint, another smell, and then I smell ink and I am walking on paper, making purple footprints on the parchment, stamping myself forever into somethingthat lies beyond me and as I walk, a cemetary comes into view and I am sucked down into a gravestone, deep I go mingling with the departed before me and then I am whisked up into the sky and I float high above and see painters sitting, painting everywhere, painting the monuments with angels perched on them and the angels begin to fly into the sky, joining me, holding my hands pulling me down to earth and I plop down hard, hardly noticing the bumps and bruises, my heart feels bruised from lack of painting, so I grab a piece of paper and trace the indentations of the names and words on the cold stone monuments, I throw the paper into the wind and wings emerge and the paper flies and I fly again and so it goes I am weightless now not feeling not being just
light as the paper and I have wings now and I sing and my harp in my fingers plays graceful beauty and the harp disappears and now a paintbrush is held by my trembling hands and I paint the skies purple so many shades of purple and a cluster of grapes comes into view and
I pluck one into my mouth and the grape screams in pain and I spit it out and it floats to the ground and disappears into another cemetary and then the ground spits it up and purple wine flows everywhere, everywhere and the people drink it, drink it deep into their parched throats and then they dance, drunk with magic, magic sweeps them from head to toe and they giggle and rise up to me, where I float on the cloud and the cloud bounces and then I take a bite of the cloud and white marshmallow fluff surrounds my mouth and the cluster of grapes sticks to me and soaks me and I am now purple, I feel spiritual, the color purple is heavenly to me and I
display my robes with pride and wonder. Wondering at my journey which is a dream or not so I pinch myself and I do not wake up so I am not dead or am I I feel good inside and want to float up, floating up and then float on a turquoise sea, with bottles filled with messages surrounding
me and I peek into a bottle and it sucks me inside into its narrow passage and I bob up and down in the water, fish nearby look at me with fish-eyed gazes and I return the stare wanting to ride their backs but feeling frustrated in my prison. No one cares as I make my journey out to sea and then I wash onto shore and lay there in the bottle hoping to break out of my enclosure. Suddenly I expand and the glass breaks and I run onto the beach, making purple footprints in the sand, sucking on grapes and making sand angels on the sandy landscape. A crab wanders up to me, pinching me, asking me if I am dreaming. Do you feel this, the crab says wickedly and I take the crab and open up the drawbridge of the sandcastle and lock him up. Oh, how beautiful, crab exclains. Come inside and see what I see. And I decide to fly into one of the stained glass windows and sit down on a thrown. My eyes are dazzled by the beauty within and crab has crown on his head and I see paintings on the wall, they are my paintings that I have painted many years ago. I feel crabby that I cannot get rid of these creatures. I want to lighten my load now, yet like adult children they want to move back home. Moving swiftly, Crab pinches me and plops his crown on my head. I am now his chosen one.
Beverly Bronson 2008

Grasshopper Love


"Grasshopper Love"
Photograph

Well, I was just trying to find something different to photograph besides the usual dahlias that inhabit Lake Katherine Nature Preserve. Don't get me wrong, they're a beautiful flower but I think I've taken them from every angle. So when these guys (or should I say gal and guy) popped into my view, I was delighted. I hope these creatures don't mind that I'm putting them on the internet for all eyes to behold. I'm told that the female grasshopper is on the bottom (hm, why did the dull, brown colors give her away) and the male is on the top. That seems kind of typical. Yet, after they have had their pleasure, the female will eat the male. (You go, girl!). My husband told me this fact of nature, but I still enjoy the shot, nevertheless. I like how the female is peeking at me and the way the peach dahlia is blurred in the background. And I'm certainly glad I didn't wait around to see her eating her dessert! Now I understand where the phrase "having your cake and eating it too" may have originated from! Photo taken with digital camera with zoom lens allowing me to get in close without disturbing them. Heaven forbid! Keep your eyes and ears open and check out every flower and leaf because you just never know.......

Monday, September 15, 2008

"Hibernating No More"


"Hibernating No More"
Watercolor, white acrylic and salt

I like that I have many alteregos. I can be SunHawk or ButterflyWoman, depending on my feelings and moods. Today I think I'm listening to Butterfly Woman, who has missed making her presence known on my artistic creations. I think in a past life, I was either a flying creature of some sort or a flower, as I have such an affinity to these nature creations. I came up with the above image, "Hibernating No More" after the raindrops outside forced me inside for shelter and into a deeper part of me. Also, I have been taking a hiatus from my painting and now feel inspired to tap into that aspect of me in more recent days. (So a bit of a double meaning for me here). I was looking at a butterfly book and was inspired by a particular shape and color. The original photo was dark blue, so using that as a jumping off point, I plunged into my own imagination. Yes, it seems, that sometimes I do need photographs or other images to stir me up. Yet, save for the outline shape that has some similarity, the colors are totally different. It is my own creation, I feel. I painted the image above using watercolors, opaque white paint and other little texture tools like salt. The glowing yellow above this creature represents the sun as well as the yearning for a higher spiritual dimension of myself. I was surprised at how quickly I was able to paint her and the next day put her in my scanner and let her fly. Hm, seems I need a bigger scanner as mine only scans 8x10 images. So a bit of her has been clipped, especially the wings, but as I like cropped images anyway, no matter at this point. I also attempted to sign my name using a pencil tool in Photoshop (wanted to experiment). I had to do it with my right hand, even though I am left handed and felt the signature didn't turn out too bad. Usually I take a pencil or brush and hand-sign my name to the painting. Now, I know Thomas Kinkade puts his DNA into each of his paintings, but I'm not going that far. Just letting my spirit soak into the painting is enough for me.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

My desert soul calls to me


"Desert Dream"
Digital Collage

I've always liked Georgia O'Keefe and her powerful artistic trek into New Mexico to let her creative juices fly. Her flower and skull arrangements always resonated with my artistic longings. Her strength, courage and independent spirit seemed to pave the way for future women artists. And there's something about the desert with its solitude and vast emptiness that calls to my soul. I used to live out in Arizona/New Mexico and feel a part of me still lurks and roams those lands. And as I've always liked surrealism, that artistic movement tinged with mystery and dream images, this latest piece links all of these bits and pieces into a whole. I've certainly done enough flower photographs but feel the need now to incorporate them with other images rather than having them stand alone. I feel more of a story can emerge this way.

"Desert Dream" reflects the relationship between beauty and death, and the never-ending cycle of our existence. This particular piece is a collage composite consisting of photographs I've taken and various computer tools. I wasn't sure whether to add the flower on the top of the skull's head but felt the need for balance with its addition. Right now it's image size is 8" x 10" but I'd like to make a bigger print for more impact. I really feel in a past life I was part of the surrealistic art movement, so feel the need to embrace it now.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Pushing the abstract envelope


Image One


Image Two
(with a slightly darker background)

Well, art fair took a lot out of me. I was pretty intense and energetic about it. Started feeling a bit of a let down for a few days afterwards. But now I am in creative mode again. Even though I have no exhibits in the near future, I am glad I am feeling this way. I really think getting your work "out there" does have a motivating factor to it. And I continue to want to be experimental. I took a photo of a flower interior (a Hollyhock), as someone at the fair told me, and decided to jazz and color it up. It was already an abstract image but seemed rather dull compared to some of the other art I had displayed at the fair. (Another good reason to frame and exhibit a number of your pieces together, I find). So this morning Frank and I played with the image and shared thoughts and ideas on where to go with it. The circle itself is not a perfect circle, which I feel adds interest. The original Hollyhock photo had been cropped so no background was evident. I felt the need to add a background here, though. To me the cross has a spiritual connotation and the darkness represents space/universe, giving some depth to the piece. The two images above have slightly different backgrounds (one is a slightly lighter purple) and I'd appreciate any feedback about them (Your preference). I continue to delve into the world of abstract and was glad I exhibited a few of my newer pieces at the art fair. No titles yet here, but in time I'm sure they'll emerge.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Creativity has alleviated some stress







"Cardinal Lets Loose"
Digitally Enhanced Watercolor

Well, this little cardinal (who symbolizes me) is finally letting loose and playing after a day spent figuring out computer settings for making cards and other graphic design brain activities that had me on the brink of a breakdown. A voice inside of me said "stop and play!!!!". And so I let my hair down, or shall I say, let the feathers fly, experimented and allowed the spirit of creativity to take me where it wanted to.
Cardinal gal has been sitting around on a white background for a few years all by her lonesome. I supposed my fear of painting backgrounds usually left my nature friends floating on blank paper. So I decided to add some things to give her some companionship and to get past my own old hangups. The background is a little hand-painted tissue paper I finally dug out of my studio and incorporated here. There's some pretty cool brushes on the computer that I got my hands on and it felt good swirling them around. These little brush tools seemed to release some inner stress I was feeling. Little birdy looks a little crazy now, hope I didn't transfer any of my loony vibes to her. She could be overwhelmed by all the changes I did to her and the painting. Hope she doesn't get lost here now, because she is a beauty in her own right. I enjoyed moving the bird off the page a bit and liked touching a few brush strokes to outside edges, felt freeing to me. (represents me pushing out of my self-limiting boundaries).
I feel more relaxed and mellow now as I sit here writing about my new/old creation so I thank you, my cardinal friend, for letting me transform you and visa versa. Let us both soar together.