Thursday, July 30, 2009

Path of Least Resistance

'Path of Least Resistance"
Digital collage

I have broken through many, many walls of resistance and have finally opened up an Etsy On-line Art Shop! If you click on the link to BevsArtCreations, you can see a number of my art babies there. (Yes, I still feel protective of them). Once a creative mother, always one.

I cannot believe how much I dragged my feet getting this shop going. It brought to mind how hard it was for me to start blogging. But like the blogging step, once I took ACTION and put monkey mind to sleep, I became like that little train engine that could, gaining steam, (yes, I can, yes I can). Putting that first image on the shop was the hardest step but now I cannot stop. In the last three days I have posted, I believe, 8 images. So I feel a wonderful sense of accomplishment and full of energetic tension as I write this. But in a good way, believe you me. By the way, thanks to all my supportive friends and believing mirrors who cheered me on throughout this. My heart goes out to you all.

I created the above image about a week ago. It has a nice abstract feel to it, reminiscent of Jackson Pollock or Miro (if I've got my artists right). It seems appropriate to post it here today and I will tell you why. The arrows represent direction and focus down my path. Though they seem a bit haphazard, the arrows represent how I twisted and turned and lost direction as I worked to get the shop going. Millions of excuses jumped in my way, each one seeming more important than the last. Quenching my heart's desire always seemed to jump to the bottom of the things to do list. As I stare at the image above I see a black stick figure with pink lines extending from the round head. There also appears to be an upside down heart being held in the left hand (hey, I'm left handed what can I say). I feel the "open" heart represents my being open enough to share my art now with the "world". The figure appears to be flying high in the sky holding onto a black line extending from the hands out to the edges. I suppose the line could represent the path or maybe it could be a grounding cord to earth so "I" do not stay forever in the clouds. But what better way to spend the day? By the way, I welcome your interpretations about what you see in the above image.

So, I am glad l did not give up and let resistance conquer me. It's not always easy to follow a path with heart, but the rewards so outweigh anything else. Follow your dreams!!!!!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Creating For Your Own Sake

"Creating For Your Own Sake"
(Acrylics, Dimensional Fabric Paint,
Rubber stamps, Scraps of Paper
and Mat Board as Backing)

FINALLY. I gave myself permission to pull out a big bag of rubber stamps collecting dust on a shelf somewhere. $3.00 was all I paid for these treasures I found at a September rummage sale a few years back. It was time to play. The ideas brewing in my head for a few days needed an outlet and today was the day.
Recently, I came across some old business cards of mine. I began cutting them up as the e-mail and website address were no longer relevant. But rather than tossing them away into the garbage, I decided to keep the tiny little photo prints for future creations. From what I've read, collage artists never throw anything away. Was I finally embracing some of those very same characteristics myself? Hm. Into a cigar box, still with a lingering aroma, the tiny creations went, perhaps to collect spider webs for a few years, as I'd probably forget I put them there.
Then on Sunday, I felt the urge to use my rubber stamps. After stamping a woman, some butterflies and roses and stems, I grabbed my distress ink pad and began to directly imprint some square shapes around the outside border. In my mind, I was thinking that the shapes were turning into windows/frames. Ah ha, I thought, I'll past my little photos in there. So I did. The woman in the middle who had a Leonardi DiVinci invention feel to her became a central character (I felt a personal kinship) and I squirted some fabric paint around to connect her to the photos. I also painted the woman with some paint to give her a more human feel.
Finally, I felt the urge to put some words down. I've always been intrigued by words in a collage and wanted to try it myself. I pulled out a few "word" stamps but could not read the words on them (they are printed upside down and backwards so the casual observer cannot decipher them). So, I took a chance, and began to stamp them in various random places. I was quite delighted with what emerged. One said "Create Art For Your Own Sake" and the other said "Her Art Disturbed Her". I actually liked these two sayings, seemed to fit my inner art personality just fine. It appeared the universe, and my intuition, gave me a hand here.

All in all, I was happy that I had let some ideas simmer in my head for a few days before I took action. It all fell into place. I also remembered a teacher who had once told me to just put the color down and let the shapes that emerged lead you into your creation. I think I did that with this image, going with the flow, and felt quite joyful surrendering to the process.

Happy Creating!!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

A Poem Called Choices

I'm in an on-line poetry group where we were given 8 words (in bold italics) in the poem shown below) and were then allowed to let our imagination run wild with our own personal interpretations. Sometimes I need some stimulus (like a few words or the gentle support of others in a safe group setting) as a jumping off point. It felt good to tap into my writer heart today. I think it was feeling a tad lonely.


She believes in gold that
reflects peculiar prisms,
angel armies whose
translucent wings brush
her shoulders daily
and butterflies that
dust her eyes with
pollen, leaving yellow kisses
The hushed dappled
woods brings forth
her inner enchantment
and a padlocked doorway
she will break open
and roads off the
beaten path she will
abandon and a warehouse
of words that lie to her
she spits upon for
into her life only smooth
pebbles will she skip
across the water, the
boulders that have
adorned her shoulders
like albatrosses now
dusty filaments at
her feet and she
blows them away
spreads her wings
and adrift, joins
her army awaiting.

Earlier in the day, I experimented with some rubber stamps and made a collage. I am finding myself more at ease in switching from painting to writing and vise versa. In this way, I am able to intensify and ultimately sustain the energy that swirls within me, aching for expression. The resistant voice grows quieter as a result.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Putting My Personal Stamp on a Daylily

"Daylily Dazzle"
Digital Photo

This photograph was taken at the Art in the Garden Daylily Art Fair I recently participated in. How could I resist not wandering around and taking some photos of the beautiful daylilies that adorned the landscape? I was also lucky to have a supportive partner who watched my space as I moved around, allowing me the freedom to create and go mindless for a bit.

I used to be so content with the photograph depicted as it is, reveling in nature's splendor. I would print it out and if I liked it enough, frame it. Now, for some reason a photo as it is is not enough for me. I need to play with it, paint it, change it, add my own unique twist to what stands before me. It somehow does not seem as flat or lifeless if I add some twirls and swirls to accentuate the energy I feel pouring from these gifts of nature. The green leaves and stems in the background took on a bluish abstract design and the stamens in the flower's middle grew beyond their normal length with a flick of my digital brush. I honor the more painterly side of me that seems to be seeking my attention these days as long as it brings me some magic as well.

Maybe someday the painting side of me will lose a little of its hold on me and I'll grab the camera again and shoot just for the sake of capturing what I see before me, in all its natural form. Even though I find all this unpredictability of myself rather chaotic, I always look at its positive attributes. I find the cyclic nature of creativity challenging to me and it pushes me out of the box. So, that being said, I can only go with the flow; to resist would be detrimental to my evolution. And besides, a path that is linear actually seems rather boring to me!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Dusting off the camera again

"Frisbee-Catching Dog"
Digital Photo

It's not the clearest photo I've ever taken, but capturing action shots like this helped alleviate some of the boredom I've encountered lately with picture-taking. Flowers are a captive audience and don't move too much, unless the wind is blowing. I love their natural beauty, don't get me wrong, but when I want to push myself, I have to seek different opportunities.

The gentleman who brought his 7 dogs to my town of Frankfort is of world-championship caliber. It was quite remarkable to watch the agile movements of australian sheep-dogs and border collies. On top of this, 5 out of 7 of the dogs are rescue dogs, which opened my heart even more to this kind-hearted, and talented man. I was in the photo zone most of the day, taking about 300 pictures. These ranged from a bag of frisbees lying nearby to different poses by the dogs catching the multi-colored round discs. I even got a couple of shots of the trainer twirling his dogs round and round while they held the frisbee in their mouths. Strong teeth!

The hardest part for me was determining where the dog would catch the frisbee. I had to move the camera and pick a spot, hoping for the right results. I had the camera on the correct shutter speed (about 125 on up) but I suppose moving the camera to catch the dog added some blurriness to many images. And they always say "Use a tripod" which I left behind. Ah well, in the excitement of going some things you just don't think about.

The kids who gathered to watch, and the dogs themselves, were hysterical and I laughed alot. I also felt pushed and motivated by the scene in front of me. Maybe I won't lay my camera down to collect dust quite yet. Being the explorer that I am, I know there's a whole lotta world out there calling my name!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Influence of Others on My Creative Process

"Waiting His Turn"
Watercolor Digital Collage

Ho, Hum

Hummingbird waiting
while wasp licks nectar drippings
melting pot feeder

The haiku above landed here about a day after I painted the bird shown above. I still dream sometimes about being a children's book illustrator so doing creative exercises like this keeps me motivated in that way. Going back to the painting, I took little dots of color and arranged them on the watercolor paper to mix and match, adding new colors in the process (called Pointillism). A painting is then formed. Georges Seurat was a French artist who excelled at this art form. One of his most famous pieces is shown below. I am grateful we can continue to study and learn from these wonderful artists in our own personal evolution.

"Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte"
Oil Painting

To continue on with my own process, putting down these little paint dots involved a little more thought on my part, but I was careful not to let the "ego" take over. The ultimate goal, for me, is to have fun and play. I could have covered the whole paper with dots of color, ala Georges Seurat, but this is just a beginning attempt and I did not want to "burn out" on my first try. (or go cross-eyed). Not as much water was used here, so the paints did not escape from me, allowing for more control. The background is from a handmade collage paper I had created some time back and I liked its whimsical effect. I got the idea of the haiku while I stared at the image above for a while. The bird was looking up, perhaps at a hummingbird feeder just out of reach off the page. Once that thought formed, the rest of the words tumbled out in succession. I was satisfied that I was able to unleash two of my creative passions here, painting and writing, and marry them together.

Recently, I've been reflecting on the influence of teachers and fellow artists in my own evolving style. Of course, there are the wonderful Masters who are deceased but whose spirits live on in our present day creations. Some of my personal favorites are Georgia O'Keefe, Leonardo Di Vinci, Claude Monet, Vincent VanGogh and now of course, Georges Seurat.

I remember an oil painting class I took in college. We did various paintings based on the styles of past artists. I can recall doing one in a Cubist style (Picasso) and another a Vincent Van Gogh replica. Below is the painting I did in Vincent's style from a still life set-up.

"An Offering to Spirit"
Oil Painting

As I reflect on the memories stirred up from looking at this painting, I remember that the fruit was starting to rot away as I worked on this creation. I think that influenced me to add a Dali-Surrealism touch (comparable to say, those melting watches in one of his pieces) to my own painting. The oil painting teacher I had at this time taught me techniques, but did not restrict my personal growth. In this way, a unique style I could call my own emerged. These kind of teachers are worth their weight in gold!

In my life now, I am grateful to be surrounded by a number of wonderful artist/teacher friends.
The creative path is never static, but always evolving. I find that the influence from past and present artists in my own work helps me to stay inspired. I can only hope that my own personal creations will live on into future generations and perhaps influence artists to come.

Back to the hummingbird waiting for his sugar juice. I hope he gets his turn to drink soon enough. And I thank him, too, for influencing my art. There are so many teachers out there if we just open our eyes and hearts!