For The Birds

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This is the first in a series of cutesy-beach art I am creating to sell to tourists this summer off Narragansett Beach.

This illustration depicts some spoofs on our visitors as well as favorite local beach foods. Here’s a link to a description of some quirky RI favorites:  10 Must Try Foods When Visiting RI

_2017-03-28 11.03.44Ok. Now let me explain another part of this beach art idea… it’s a little bit embarrassing, but I’m sure somebody will get a kick out of it.  Do you know those nights when you wake up at 3am and there is absolutely no way your mind is letting you go back to sleep?  Luckily I don’t have too many, I sleep like a log, but I did recently had “One of those nights”.  For many, every piece of stress in your life might surface: to-do lists, exams, presentations; you know all the stuff that seriously needs worrying. Well, for some reason, my mind didn’t go there. My little off-beat head started thinking about a Haiku poem I wrote in the third grade.  Hmm… I really liked Haiku in the third grade… and then poof…13 Haiku poems came out of my head and onto little scraps of paper I keep on my night stand. Granted they are all about the beach because that would be my current focus, but now I’m thinking to possibly use them in my beach art.

Here is a fast recap on Haiku for those of you like me, who may not have worked on one since the third grade:  How to write a Haiku Poem The important principle is that it is a poem of three lines: 5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables.  They aren’t supposed to rhyme, but they are supposed to conjure beauty and nature.

So some of these poems are better than others.  The one below doesn’t really conjure up beauty but a seagull technically is a part of nature ;)   FULL DISCLOSURE: DON’T JUDGE ME OR I’LL NEVER SHARE MY FAILURES WITH YOU AGAIN!!! Ok. with that said, here’s my seagull Haiku.

So clever they Are

Watching seagulls is so fun

One just took my lunch

 I have an illustration I’ve done of a seagull inside someone’s beach bag grabbing a cheese doodle.  It is one of my favorite pass times -watching unsuspecting beachgoers wading in the water while they thought nothing of sealing up their beach bags.  Rookies.  The seagulls wait maybe 40 seconds before they fully abscond with their 12 inch sub, 3 bags of chips and some chocolate chip cookies for good measure.  I love it.  Good stuff. Serious entertainment.

So the image above isn’t the one that matches this poem.  I am wising up and starting on my least favorite illustrations as opposed to my favorites.  The last ones always come out the best and it has only taken me a decade to discipline myself not to jump right in on my favorites! This illustration didn’t really match up with any of my poems, but it kind of cracked me up, so I decided to paint it anyway.  Can’t hurt right? May not use it but it lets me iron out kinks…

In the coming weeks I will post a bunch of little drawings/paintings and haiku poems.  My idea is to write the poems onto the illustrations, but I am holding off until the end to decide how stupid or valid this idea is… I mean maybe channeling my inner 3rd grader seemed like a way better idea at 3am then it might a month or two from now.  If there are some word geeks out there who want to send me improvements…I am all for it…if not, I will plug away and let the ideas work themselves out. If I make 12-15 paintings there should be at least 6 worth printing.  I learned that from pottery.  Want 4 perfect plates?  Make 7. Then you can choose the best.  There’s some merit to this idea…

I apologize for sounding completely insecure today.  I’m feeling insecure. I don’t like to admit I’m not perfect, however I find it so important not to perpetuate the illusion of perfection. It’s not real.  Good ideas seldom come out on the first run. Becoming good at something only comes from learning from past failures. The reason I still blog is because I don’t think there is enough artists out there that show this perspective and it’s probably one of the most endearing parts of sharing one’s creativity.  It’s not perfect!  Still, it doesn’t feel that great showing one’s underbelly.  It makes you cringe inside and writhe in discomfort.  That’s why I do it.  If you disclose everything and still you are alive – you are free.  And strong.  It put’s hair on your chest ;) And don’t we all want that?   … back to work!

 

FABRIC FOR THE BIRDS

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MISSION COMPLETE – FABRIC PANEL COMPLETE!

CARDINAL FINAL PANEL3I actually finished this fabric design a few days ago, but the weather has been so lousy I couldn’t get a good photo and the computer editing was taking forever…I should go back and re-photograph …but not any time soon!  It’s good enough for me!

I just loaded my design onto Spoonflower ,ordered a swatch and now I must wait…I hate waiting!  If the fabric looks good I can make my design public and other lovers of Cardinals can order my fabric too.

Speaking of great love of Cardinals.  CBS Sunday Morning had a beautiful segment on Cardinals.  Check it out:  http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/nature-cardinals-in-the-oklahoma-snow/  I must warn you, this segment forces you to decompress, quiet down and be present… This is hard for me to do, but I truly understand its importance… treat yourself!

Other news…

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I have a 4ft x 6ft canvas sitting in my bedroom…massively unfinished. I plan on “JUST SAYING NO TO EVERYONE” in the new year – as politely as possible mind you, because my time has been leaking all over the place.  I need to take it back.  This starts Monday.  Sorry world.

Pottery – I’ve got nothing.  My poor instructor has been sick for almost a month which slowed the kilns to a stand still.  I have lots of cool things I’m doing there, but they have been locked up.  Next week I shall take pictures I hope.  Photos always allow me to visually see productivity, which I need since I always feel like I haven’t got much done!

I am working on stopping this.  The “WORRYING ABOUT TIME” thing.  I’m not sure why I always feel like I’m in a race or need to sprint to the finish line, especially since I don’t even know what the finish line is mind you!!!

Isn’t that the definition of insanity??? I have been feeling insane all month!

Well January is pretty much gone.  My New Years starts Monday.

Taking my time back

Creating an Action Plan

Stopping the Time-Worry Tape Recording in my Head

Freeing up Self to Embrace Happiness

Yep. Tall order.  But, I’m ready to dig in.

Wish me luck!

Block Island Salt Pond

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Hooray!  Painting complete!  I feel like this painting’s been kicking around forever!

Here is the progression:

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Wow. It was kind of difficult to know when to stop painting. I had in my head to add a bunch of native plants to BI such as bayberry, Rosa Rugosa, ivy, golden rod and wild Astor. It’s what I love about the island.  You can actually see what would grow in our region if we didn’t have all of the development.

Well, this gouache painting got me back in the saddle. I think I’ve loosened up after not painting for some time.  Next I am going to switch to acrylics and canvas…let’s see what comes out!

Painting Update

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I’m still plugging along.  I only use blue, yellow, magenta, black and white paints.  I mix my own colors.

Well, mid-painting, I ran out of the blue gouache.  My local art supply store was out of gouache (because I bought it all!) and I live an hour from any other store that would carry fine art supplies ( I have to get my kids from school, so there is now way I can drive two hours and pick up paint in time!).  I had to special order the paint which means finishing this painting is on hold until I get the supplies… I can imagine it is just like Van Gogh running out of the organic compounds ochre & umber in the middle of Arles… your just stuck right?  Yeah Vincent. I feel your frustration.

I have a long laundry list of other creative projects I put on hold so I could paint.  I guess the responsible thing to do would be to get all my other work done…maybe even some actual laundry – nah, I’m not that desperate!

OK.  I’ll keep you posted on my progress and I hope you are all taking on something uber-creative today!

Uncovering the Layers

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I finished my first painting in some time today and boy was there a lot of angst attached!   Here’s the story…

So last week I had finished the months of interruptions that kept me from painting and was ready to start fresh.  I knew I wanted to start with painting landscapes because I hadn’t done too many during my 365.

I went to the library and amassed my favorites: David Hockney, Milton Avery and a few other books on Fauvist masters.

Next I pulled out ten big blank canvases.

Then I put them back and pulled out ten small 11×14 canvases.

Then I thought maybe I should work out some sketches on 3″x 5″ watercolor paper.

Then I thought well, maybe I should do three samples of each concept and figure out what color scheme I want to work with, then I’ll take the best, paint small 11×14’s acrylic paintings and from there take the best concepts and go to large canvases…

sensible right?…

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Well, I got two mini water colors into this process before I felt like I never wanted to paint again!  I had sucked all the joy and spontaneity right out of my own creative process.  Boy I felt absolutely discouraged and all-out bummed.

It took me a day to pull myself together and remind myself I have been dying to paint for the last 4 months!  I returned the books to the library.  I put all the canvases away.  I stopped looking at all the amazing inspiration I had pinned on Pinterest.  I put away everything.

Wow. I had gotten myself into such a perfectionist frenzy there was no way anything could come out yet alone create joy.

From there I asked myself “what do I feel like doing?” and the answer came.  “I want to play with fast strokes and swirl paint.”  OK.   “I want bright clean color and I want to be able to add layers if necessary.”  OK.   “I don’t feel like acrylic at the moment – it makes me too serious.  I’m not in a serious mood…” OK.  Got it.

IT’S CALLED LISTENING TO YOU INTUITION!!!

As soon as I dumped the preconceived notion of everything my painting needed to be, it allowed space for “me” to be.

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I felt a little rusty.  I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted it to look like or what I wanted where.   I did a lot of back n’ forth until I found something I could live with.  You know, I guess it’s like the warm up before the run. We’ll call this painting some well needed stretching.

There are quite a few things I’d change in hindsight, but I was happy with where I left it.  The color is beautiful.  The mood is how I feel this time of year.  There’s breeze, sunlight and so much beauty outdoors.  This painting is loosely based on a road I drove down in Jamestown.  It was quiet, well manicured and I just loved the turn I find myself wondering …where does it lead?

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Here is the final painting.

It is gouache on heavy cold press paper 30″ x 30″.   I put a bottle and can in the photo at the way top to give you an idea of the size and proportion of the painting.

So the unnerving first painting is out-of-the-way. Hopefully now I can do away with the angst and get back to work!

Ah, it feels good to be back :)

DAY #354 – AND MAY ALL YOUR CHRISTMASES BE BRIGHT

#354- May all your christmases by bright

Oh man. I would love to wake up one morning and see Fruity Pebble colored snow!

That would make for a Very Mary Christmas!! Ha ha ha. That was bad… I know… I know…

It’s funny, when I started this 365 challenge, I had absolutely no idea how it would end.  I’ve lived every day thus far “one day at a time”.  It is only occurring to me now that I have given absolutely no thought to how I am going to make it through the next ten days. I start traveling to be with family for Christmas starting tomorrow.  Packing, gifts, cleaning, becoming Santa, driving, hosting, trying to have a meaningful moment with each person in my life… How in the heck am I going to create something daily for my 365 and simply try to survive what is already the most stressful time of the year for me?

I’m pretty sure you couldn’t hear that giant sigh I just made.

The answer is – I have no idea!

The answer is I will most likely have to work small, I will have to engage my family in whatever I come up with and finally, I’m going to have to give myself a little bit of a break!

That is hard for me because if you asked me a year ago how I would like my 365 to end, I would have said “fireworks”, better yet “I could run through a hand-crafted finish line”  or best “I could sit on Oprah’s couch in Maui and reflect on a great year”.

More likely I will not have showered for three days, my children will be shooting me with Nerf darts, my house may become condemned for the amount of crap on the floor and I will finish out the same way I began, with a few good friends giving me a pat on the back.

Reality isn’t ever as good as my imagination. This is why I chose to create!

So I warn you, if I post a photograph of a pretty swirl in my coffee, a mustard stain on a cocktail napkin or Jesus on some toast, go easy on me!

I am going to try my best, but I have to tell you, I just can’t see how I’m going to make it to that finish line!

I’ll do it though…I’ve come so far, I can’t quit now.

http://www.becreativemary.com

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