Monday, April 27, 2009

Unleashing the Passion

"Unleashing the Passion"
Watercolor and Some Digital Effects

I used to do a lot of figure drawings, inspired by a life drawing class I took in college. I was praised highly when I did these sketches, with teachers telling me I already had my own personal style. I even got a 1st place in a student show, which should have been enough for me to keep going. Then that all fell by the wayside. I began to feel shame and guilt as past family issues began to come up. So I buried my drawings under my bed and began to focus on nature instead. But now, the figure drawings that my artist friends Doris and Laura have been doing recently have motivated me to rekindle that passion for this kind of subject matter. This morning I took a watercolor I had done of a female figure (which I had completed last year) and tweaked it a bit with some computer painting tools. The female I drew came from a photo and not from a live drawing session, unfortunately. In time I hope to make that happen again. The human figure really is a beautiful form in and of itself. I hope this is just the beginning of more drawings to follow. I'm feeling pushed in this direction, for some reason. Perhaps this will release some buried expression I have been afraid, yes, I'll say afraid, to share.

All parts of me need to come out of hiding. In order for me to heal, I shall look upon them as gifts of me.

Please click on the sidebar to see the work of Doris and Laura. They are two fine artists whose creative friendship I have been honored to have in my life. The support of others is truly a Godsend and I am blessed.

Monday, April 20, 2009


Digital Photograph

That in-between place
not a bulb, not a blossom
I await myself

I'm finding that taking photographs can be a bit boring. Now, I can't believe I said that as I feel a passion for picture-taking. Yet, the image really has to mean something to me on a deeper level, otherwise; it's just another flower. Even though Spring is here and I am feeling rejuvenated with the warmer weather and longer daylight hours, I have some apprehensive about myself. Over the last six months or so, what has been important to my growth does not seem so viable anymore. So I have been going into hiding, reflecting on these changes within. I feel myself in the same stage as the tulip pictured above. Not waiting to bloom quite yet, but also not wanting to resort back to a bulb in the ground. I'd like to stay in this particular place for awhile, incubating, not ready to share myself. I wonder if there are any more ideas within, clamoring to come out.

But soon the tulip will burst forth in brilliant blooms; it has no choice but to share its gifts. I too will soon be in an art fair or two and will be sharing my creativity. The cycles of life need to continue; they are consistent and offer a stabilizing example to us all. I need to recognize that state of continuation in myself. I cannot go back into the ground and hide; for that is to regress. It is time to embrace what is ahead of me and open my petals wide.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Crocus Awakens, and So Do I

"Crocus Awakens"
Watercolor, acrylics, gesso

Though the crocus is just a distant memory, I am thankful I have this painting to hold onto, to remember those dainty, paper-thin beauties. I painted this image from a photograph, but was not content with the original white of the flower. Once I start applying color, something deep within me takes ahold and seems to move the brush for me. I know it's me, but yet it is not me, on some unconscious level. Splashes of gesso and acrylic, added to the watercolor base, helped to give this piece a more energetic feel. That's why I enjoy mixed media so much. Each medium I use seems to tap into a hidden emotion within myself, allowing more complete expression. I feel everything in life has an aliveness and I wanted to depict that here.

I suppose that is how I feel, more alive as the weather warms up and the days get longer. My art continues to awaken within me and I shall slumber no more. Thank you crocus, for showing how much we are alike, in our growth process.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

"The Easter Bunny"
Watercolor, pen and ink, oil pastels

The bunny is coming to town to celebrate Easter. He's got Chocolate bunnies, Peeps, and Jelly Beans to share. Hope he hopes over to your house to say "Happy Easter"!

I did this painting today from a photo I took at Lake Katherine Wildlife Preserve in Palos Heights a few years back. Hm, as I recall, it was around Easter time when I saw him sitting in the tall grasses. Maybe the image above really is the Easter Bunny. Just don't tell the
kiddies he's here, okay? I want them to be surprised this coming Sunday!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Day lilies and Dreams of Summer

"Day Lily #1"
Digital Photograph

"Day Lily #2"
Digital Photograph

Taking Time

If one steps closer,
a white day lily reveals
rainbows tucked within

Spring flowers are coming out, albeit slowly, but the photos I took above were taken in the heat of July of last year. The beauty of photography is that you can pull out images taken days, months, or years ago and stoke your creative fires. Day lilies emerge later in the summer season than many other flowers, but my breath is always taken away when they do arrive. These white daylilies I found nestled amongst their neighbors, who were decked out in every color of the rainbow. They actually jumped out from the rest, believe it or not. These particular white flowers are rather challenging to photograph and to paint, I might add. White subjects in general can try one's patience, but I still find them very appealing as subject matter. When photographing them, one must be very careful with the lighting and exposure as the white can get washed out and details lost. And regarding painting something that is white, usually there are subtle shades of pink, blue, purple and other soft colors that can be depicted to make these kinds of subjects more interesting. Imagination needs to be tapped into to move beyond the reality of what the eye sees.

The images above are photographs that have been tweeked a bit in photoshop. I wanted to convey a dreamy effect with transparent layers appearing to show through. The top image has a cooler cast to it; the bottom image I added a little warmer color to the stamens and outside edges. I'm not sure which one I prefer, so have posted them both here. Would welcome your input and thoughts about which day lily is more appealing.

And now, I shall go search for some daffodils and hyacinths, I don't want to shortchange the Spring Season just yet. We all have our time for glory, patience required.