Thursday, December 8, 2011

My BFF is coming!

Cinthia and I go way back. I mean WAAAAAY back. 1985 back. That's the year we met. We were probably around 10. But we didn't like each other at first. Well, not exactly. It's more like we had a completely different group of friends for the first four years. We sat on opposite corners in class, and we hardly ever talked at all.

Cinthia and I, side by side, TOTALLY by accident at that time.

It wasn't until high school that we became best friends. And after that we became a force to be reckoned with! Inseparable! We sat side by side, talked all the time during school hours and still came up with reasons to call each other on the phone 4, 5 times a day! We even had a joke about that. We would call and say: "Nothing..." (meaning, "I have nothing to say, but I called anyway").


In High School.

During our senior year, we were ALWAYS skipping classes! You would have a better chance to find us roaming through the halls of our school instead of inside the classroom. It was a good year!


In college we didn't see each other so much anymore, but we kept in touch.

We ended up going to the same University, although we studied in different campuses, so we never saw each other. Not long after that, we didn't even talk on the phone everyday anymore. We had new friends, new boyfriends, new routines, but still, our friendship remained.


In September of 2000, she was there, at my wedding, as my Maid of Honor.

Cinthia was my Maid of Honor.
She was waiting for me at the airport after I spent 2 years living abroad.
We became pregnant almost at the same time.
We were at each other's Baby Showers.
I was there when her son was born.
My son had his first sleepover at her house.

Showing off our preggo bellies. Our sons (yes, we both had boys!) were born one month apart.

I've been living in California for 5 years, and next month, for the first time, Cinthia is coming to visit me! Yeah! She and her son are staying with us for a week and we are both super excited about it!

We've been BFFs for 20 years! And here's to the next 20! Love you, girl!



PS: by the way, BFF, I spent the whole day digging up all those old pictures of us!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Belonging

 

Last Sunday I went to the first Painting Studio offered by Jenny Doh at her new Studio Crescendoh space. It's also where I took Flora Bowley's workshop a few weeks ago.


Judging by my introverted personality, you would think I would dread painting among other people, but I don't. I actually really - really! - enjoy it. There's something about being surround by like-minded souls that is very inspiring and comforting. There is no judging, no competition. Just artistic individuals who are there to make art. Simple. And perfect.

Harmony, me and JenEve

I got a chance to see some of my classmates again, Jenny and Cynthia, finally meet my online friend Harmony and get to know a few other great women.

one of my paintings at the end of the day


I had two 24x24 canvases (which, by the way, felt TINY after painting on a 30x30) and kept alternating between them throughout the day.
And when both of them were wet, I would chat with somebody. <-- one of the many perks of painting with a group!

second painting at the end of the session

Last night, I realized I was very stuck on this painting above, didn't know how to move forward. Maybe I added imagery too soon and now I didn't know how to NOT ruin it.  So I put on some music, 5 or 6 colors on my palette, and let go.


I still have a lot of work to do, but I am so happy with where I am now, not necessarily because of what it looks like, but because of what I did to get here. I even flipped the canvas! I was really in the moment and not afraid of doing something wrong! Plus, I am getting better with the foam brush, which is another reason to be happy. They are SO good to blend paint!

I'm evolving as an artist. And it feels good. I'm meeting new artists friends. And loving it. I belong here.

Lots to be thankful for.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 4, 2011

My "Flora" experience!!!

Me and Flora.

If you read my blog you know I've been waiting and talking about Flora Bowley's workshop for months. And last weekend, finally, it was time. Two whole days, from 9 to 5, painting and learning from Flora. 

So C-O-O-L!

Getting rid of the "white": Flora shows us the first step.

The workshop was at Studio Crescendoh, hosted by Jenny Doh. There were 18 students (if I remember correctly) from very different backgrounds, which, I think, only makes for a more interesting class.


How to make marks and add variation and interest to your painting.

Flora did short demos to show us the next steps, and then it was our turn. We had two canvases, 30x30 each. The biggest I've ever painted. And I liked it!

Sometimes I would walk around the see what everybody was doing. Amazingly different, each and every one!

While we waited for the paint to dry, we would work on the other canvas.


Times like these makes me realize how much I like being around other artists. Everybody was so happy to be there, so open to everything, so ready to dive in and paint their hearts out...amazing energy!

At one point Jenny turned to me and asked "Are you having a good time?" and I said "Yes!".
She nodded and said "Yeah, I can tell."


Some of the stages of Flora's painting. She really is the ultimate example of non-attachment.

Every once in awhile Flora would have us take a break and do some stretching and breathing and dancing. Other times she would walk around the room and read us an inspirational quote. And sometimes we would sit down, with our journals, and either draw or write. A nice break.

Everybody wrote affirmations and shared with the group.

On the second day, we could see everybody's paintings coming together.

Flora's painting by the end of the workshop.


As for MY paintings, I took some pictures of the progress too. I find it interesting to see how you can change a painting so much!

Painting 1:








Painting 2::






I still have to work on both of them, but I like them so far. I learned some interesting things from Flora, and I really liked meeting her. If you ever have the opportunity to take her class, do it. Totally worth it, I promise.


A final group pose.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

I've been published!


I'm so excited, I had to share! I'm in the Winter 2012 issue of Artful Blogging! So cool!

As you may or may not know, Artful Blogging is one of the MANY amazing publications from Stampington & Company. Each one of their magazines is like a book, full of creative and artsy stuff. And they offer digital editions too!



Anyway, a few months ago I received an email from Jennifer Jackson Taylor, the editor of Artful Blogging, asking me if I would be interested in having my blog featured on their magazine.

"Let me think... YEAH! Of course!!!"

So I sent her some images, wrote an article, and (not so) patiently waited until November 1st. And here it is, and it's beautiful, and I'm so happy!

 

Thank you, Jennifer, thank you, Stampington.


PS: I know this post is totally my ego talking, but please bare with me and allow me to just enjoy this moment... :-) xoxo


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Practicing unattachment

You can clearly see the similar color schemes, can't you?

I always knew that it was a good thing to have several paintings going at the same time. I've said this here many times and I've always tried to do that. There is always more than one unfinished painting in my studio at all times, for sure. But never, before this week, had I really taken full advantage of this...

And I'll explain.

I have this really annoying habit of not wanting any - ANY! - paint to go to waste. "Why is that annoying?", you may be asking. Because my attachment starts there! I'm so hung up on the fact that I mixed more paint than I need that I start using it all, even though I know I should stop. I just can't bare the thought of waste! See? Annoying.

So, anyway...

The other day I was trying to achieve a certain shade of purple and, when I finally got it, I had a TON of paint! This time, though, instead of covering the entire canvas with it, I grabbed a couple more substrates and started splashing the purple around!

After that, I started doing the same thing with all the colors I used: poured them on my palette and went from canvas to canvas... It's so "duh!", I know... I'm in a 'duh' week, I guess (see my previous post). 

All I can say is that, up until now, I'm having NO attachment issues. It is quite freeing to go from one painting to the next, applying color after color, completely unaware of what's gonna happen next.

I even let my daughter paint a little bit too. That's unattachment for ya!


If she is meant to be an artist and realizes that at age 3, more power to her!
It took me 33 years more than that!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

"A-ha" or "Duh" moment?

Today I was using, for the first time, a couple of new acrylic colors that I ordered for the (ahhhh!) Flora Bowley workshop I will be attending in 2 weeks (again: ahhhhh!). 

It was supposed to be very quick, I didn't have a lot of time to paint at that moment, so I just put a few colors on my palette, grabbed a brush and - get this - SAT DOWN! Wow! I'm painting sitting on the floor! Nice! Never done that before! Will be doing it more from now on.

So, 'a-ha' or 'duh' moment?
 
 

Maybe both.

PS: photo by my precious 3-year-old daughter. :-)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

oldie but goodie

 

Sometimes I challenge myself to only use a handful of colors on a painting...

 

...but it rarely works.

 

Truth is, I like color!


And when it's too much, you can always paint over it.

Why I can't do commissions just yet



In general, when I first started painting, my friends were very supportive of me and my art. Of course, being your friends, you kinda expect them to support you, but more than that, they seemed to genuinely like what I was doing. Even when I wasn't sure I did.

What really took me by surprise was the support of my not-so-close friends, acquaintaces, people that I only met twice or three times! When you put yourself out there, though, and have a blog, and a Facebook Biz Page, etc, that's what you want, ultimately: you want OTHER people (not only your close friends and supporters) too see your work and to hopefully fall in love with it. But when you do most of your marketing online, you don't realize that this is happening until you get their feedback, whether it's a comment in your blog or a "like" on Facebook.

There is this girl, in particular... she's friends with a few of my friends and we met a few times, at birthday parties and other social gatherings. So we're not very close and yet, every time I post a new picture on my Facebook, she leaves me a comment, and she cheers me on, she likes my paintings, and I sense she really wants me to succeed. This absolutely fills my heart with joy, to know that there is somebody out there rooting for me just "because"...

Anyway, the other day she asked me if I could do a painting with 2 boys. I only paint girls, for some reason, but she has two sons, so she wanted a boy painting. "I'll try". That's what I told her. A few days later I started 'trying'. The picture you see on top of this post is how that painting began.

But the whole time I was painting I wasn't 'feeling' it. It felt forced, planned, calculated. I usually start painting without any idea of where it's going, and this one already had an outcome from the get-go! I tried to keep going, because this is someone I really didn't want to disappoint. But it wasn't working; I couldn't finish it. Maybe she won't care so much when I tell her, but I do hope she understands my reasons and know that I really did try.

I am so not ready for commissions! :-(

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Letting my heart go free...

This painting has been ongoing for awhile now. At least for a month and half, according to this post, where I showed I technique I used here.


But that's my process, I always have a bunch of unfinished paintings at any given time. And I like it like that. Makes me worry less about their outcomes: if I 'mess up', there's always another one to work on.


Up until this stage (above), I was adding color after color, not thinking much about what I was doing or where I was going. Then, one day, I looked at one of the black lines and saw a face profile. So I went with it (below).


Everything started coming together after that... 
"What is that 'window' thing on the left?" - Maybe it's a bird cage.
"What is she looking at?" - Well, she's looking up, so, whatever it is, it has to be flying...hey, maybe it flew right out of that bird cage! It's her HEART! She's letting her heart go free! 


Still don't know if it's finished or not, but I like where it's going, and the story behind it. It has everything to do with me and where I am right now. I'm letting my heart (well, I'm trying, anyway) lead the way, guide me, show me what I'm looking for...

Tacky? Cliche? Well, maybe, but that's what I want now. Perhaps that's the World's Biggest Summit effect already and, if it is, even better. My heart is open.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

iSad


For my iMac, my iPhone, my iPad...thank you, Steve. 

Friday, September 30, 2011

New iPhone look!

I totally forgot to show you my latest purchase: a new customized iPhone case, with one of my paintings printed on it! I ordered it from Uncommon. They can print virtually anything on this case, and it's very easy to upload your own images and save your designs. The quality is amazing, I have to say. I'm very happy with it!






Changing the subject, I'm still doing Katie Kendrick's class that I mentioned on my last post, but I have nothing new to show today. The class is still amazing, Katie's videos and lessons are still awesome, but I haven't been the most dedicated student. No, that's not right; I haven't had time to do the exercises, that's more the case here. I hardly have time to read each lesson and watch every video without my 3-year-old daughter coming up to me wanting something. 

How do other moms do this? Seriously, the next online class I take has to be about "Being a mom and an artist: how to manage your time". Does anybody know of a class like that??? ;-)

Have a great weekend!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Learning with Katie

After my Flying Lessons with Kelly Rae, I decided to take another class - a painting class, this time. So this week I joined Katie Kendrick and a super talented group of artists/students and started LAYERED IMPRESSIONS. The registration is extended until tonight, Sep 18th, so if you think this is something you would be interested in, don't think too much! ;-)

Anyway, I am quite enjoying the class so far. Katie has a new lesson every day of the week (except weekends) and always with a video, in which she demonstrates everything. It's awesome!
This week we had to draw a couple of faces with our non-dominant hand - life drawing faces isn't hard enough, right?

And it was so good! So freeing! SO fun! Not worrying about whether or not it looks realistic, if the eyes are the same size or if the nose is too big...whatever! Just do it! Aaaahhhh!

Originally drawn with my left hand, then colored with pastels and gesso.

This one was first transferred onto another paper using gel medium, and then colored.


Yeah, they may not be the most beautiful women you've ever seen, but you have no idea how scary the idea of drawing a human face has always been for me. At least one that doesn't look like a cartoon!

All I know is I never looked forward for a Monday before! Can't wait to see what Katie has for us this week!

I'll keep you posted!