acrylic paint, colored pencils, oil pastels, and matte gel medium on muslin
"... And how did I find you? How strange my journey was! ... Give me your hand, my almost forgotten soul. How warm the joy at seeing you again, you long disavowed soul. Life has led me back to you. Let us thank the life I have lived for all the happy and all the sad hours, for every joy, for every sadness. My soul, my journey should continue with you. I will wander with you..."
acrylic paint, oil pastels, colored pencils, and matte gel medium on 90# stonehenge paper
. . .
I should advise you to put it all down as beautifully as you can - in some beautifully bound book... Think of it in your imagination and try to paint it. Then when these things are in some precious book you can go to the book and turn over the pages and for you it will be your church - your cathedral - the silent places of your spirit where you will find renewal. If anyone tells you that it is morbid or neurotic and you listen to them - then you will lose your soul - for that book is your soul.
Carl Jung advising a patient to paint her dreams and visions. ~from 'The Red Book'
colored pencil, oil pastels, watercolor and acrylic paint on collaged 90# stonehenge paper
of an angel...
i've been drawing lotus-winged beings this week... there's one in the third eye area here, blowing its breath of lotus-winged understanding downward...
i'm going to take a break from blogging for a little while. as the winter solstice draws closer i feel quieter and quieter... maybe i'll post some pics without words, i don't know...
before i go, though, do you know about secret sunday? it's part of seth apter's 'the pulse'... (surely everyone knows about this!). if you haven't already done so, pop over to his blog and check out this week's secrets. i was so excited reading most of them that i could hardly keep from getting up and trying them!
. . .
Harry Rand: The images and shapes in your work have great complicated meanings, very rich meanings. Do the colours have meanings for your also?
Friedensreich Hundertwasser: The question should be the other way round. The colours have a meaning because the shapes are not so important. In my paintings my forms are not rich at all, the colours are rich. The forms are very poor. I cannot draw. I am not very good as far as shading is concerned - light and shade are not my strong points. My strong points are the colours, and there I am quite good.
'Hundertwasser', by Harry Rand, pub. by Taschen
. . .
i wish you all a joyful thanksgiving... i'm very grateful for many things, not the least of which is your support and love these past months...
the funny thing about last week was that it felt like i didn't do much art...
i spent a good part of the week catching up in this workshop, which i started a couple of days late. it was worth it though... patricia ariel is a gifted artist, a wise woman, and a knowledgeable astrologer.
colored pencils, oil pastels, watercolor and acrylic paint on muslin, 12" x 12"
this is the mandala that i made for the workshop (creative astrology)... our instructions were to meditate first and ask to be shown the image in the center of the mandala. what i saw was this animal, and since i have no idea how to draw animals accurately, i just forged ahead with my left hand... i don't think i'll leave it hanging in my art room - it's too intense. but i do relate to it deeply in a way that i can't access on a conscious level.
the main thing that i learned in the workshop is that i can be my own astrologer...
when i finished it midweek, i started on other things...
i did a few lotuses in oil pastels and china marker...
image transfer, colored pencils, acrylic paint, and alcohol inks in moleskin sketchbook
and i worked a whole bunch in my new moleskin sketchbook! i am so in love with that book!
this is an image transfer of the 8" x 10" piece that i did...( i forgot to reverse the image so it's backwards) i was impressed with how well the sketchbook paper held up to the image transfer process.
the rest of the pages are done with colored pencils and oil pastels. i got some new oil pastels and colored pencils and have only just begun to check them out. i got some faber-castell colored pencils and i think i like them more than prismacolor pencils. they sharpen perfectly (with no broken leads) and the colors are beautiful.
one of my favorite colors (of the faber-castell pencils) is terra cotta. it's on just about all of these eyelids! it's a great color for shading faces... and paynes gray! i got a paynes gray colored pencil and oil pastel stick! woo! her eyebrows are paynes gray...
her cheeks have some caran d'ache neo-pastel (oil pastel) 'salmon' in them. one of the great things about caran d'ache is that they have many colors available in all of their product lines . if you have colors that you like in the neo-color II crayons, there's a good chance they're available as a colored pencil and oil pastel.
some of these faces are on only a small part of the page - i've written on the rest of it and cropped it out of these pics... the words are conversations between my dominant and non-dominant hands - the 'child me' and the 'adult me'. this is proving very insightful. in the pic at the top of the post you can see that 'child me' is telling me that i worry too much. shocking!
inspired by the words of outsider artist michel nedjar - 'i am tied to the threads of the world'...
. . .
Many of the objects in this exhibition are the works of patients. The mechanisms of artistic creativity are exactly the same in their hands as they are for all other reputedly normal people. Besides, this distinction between normal and abnormal seems quite untenable; who after all, is normal? Where is he, your normal man? Show him to us! Can the artistic act, with the extreme tension that it implies and the high fever that accompanies it, ever be deemed normal? From our point of view, the artistic function is identical in all cases, and there is no more an art of the insane than there is an art of the dyspeptics or of those with knee problems. Jean Dubuffet in the Catalogue of the first large public exhibition of Art Brut, Rene Drouin Gallery, Paris, 1949
oil pastels, colored pencils, and acrylic paint in moleskin journal
last week i started working in a new moleskin sketchbook. i was anxious to start working in a journal again... i wanted something that i could put muslin pieces in, or doodle in, or draw... something easy and portable. no, i still haven't finished the last homemade journal i made, but i couldn't bring myself to cover any more pages in it. i can't cover up a whole journal's worth of st. armand paper with gel medium and muslin. just can't do it... and as much as i love Barely There Books, i like working on individual pieces of muslin more.
the muslin face on the left is glued to the backside of the page above... i may cut rectangles out of most of the pages in this moleskin, but that i can do!
watercolors, oil pastels, , colored pencils, and acrylic paint on muslin
caran d'ache crayons, colored pencils, gesso, sharpie poster paint markers
I have managed to open some windows onto this world. How I have managed it is difficult to explain. It certainly wasn't by force, not by selection, not by intelligence, not even exactly by intuition, but almost by a kind of sleep walking. The work of an artist is very difficult, precisely because it cannot be done by force, with diligence, or with intelligence. I mean, you can do everything else in life using strength and application and intellect, but in art these things produce absolutely no result.
some observations from the 'outsider art sourcebook':
a. most of the people started doing art after they retired or an event forced them to stop working at their 'regular' job.
b. most of the artists are reclusive, even anti-social.
c. they all create vast, HUGE quantities of work. they're obsessed with creating.
watercolors, oil pastels, colored pencils, china marker, and acylic paint on muslin
i'm playing on another piece of 8" x 10" muslin... i sprayed it with fixative today so i can start another layer without messing up the watercolors...
in case it's helpful i thought i'd pass on a little of what i've learned about using blending stumps on oil pastels and colored pencils... because the muslin is so 'toothy' i have to use them, otherwise my fingers would be worn out. it seems good to keep two stumps for black - a smaller one for around eyes, noses, etc., and a bigger one for general, big smudging. i keep the others clean by rubbing them on muslin - that way i can use a stump over and over on any color... the muslin cleans them right up. i also put a piece of muslin over the stump to wipe off oil pastels if i don't like what i've got going. the muslin is coarse enough to take the surface back down to where you can start adding color again.
and i took a pic of three of my favorite colors of oil pastels - golden brown by portfolio/smith binney - great for skin when used with white; bordeaux by sennelier - a saturated, delicious color that puts zing into everything instantly; and white, any brand - for skin.
~ Messers. Andre Breton, Jean Dubuffet, Jean Paulhan, Charles Ratton, Henri-Pierre Roche, and Michel Tapie(1949)
We are looking for works of art such as paintings, drawings, statues and statuettes, objects of all kinds that owe nothing (or as little as possible) to the imitation of works of art on display in museums, exhibitions, and galleries. On the contrary, they should draw upon the basic human experience and the most spontaneous personal invention.... Works of this kind interest us even if they are crude and clumsily executed. We do not set great store by manual dexterity; most of the time it is used to imitate works created by others and disguises the creator instead of expressing himself through it... We seek works in which the faculties of invention and creation that we believe to exist in every human being (at least at times) are manifested in a very immediate manner without masks and without constraints.
from, Outsider Art Sourcebook, Raw Vision Magazine
colored pencil, oil pastels, crackle paint, and watercolors on muslin
it appears that life has gone from 'slowed down' back to 'speeded up'... each week seems to last about three days, and in those three days all kinds of change happens. after deciding to sell my lampworking equipment, and then not to, i proceeded with the plan i'd been hatching for a couple of months of opening an online store. slowly, slowly it's been incubating, until all that was left was to create the store front and actually do it. which is what i've been doing this past week. i didn't think the store would be hard to create using big cartel, but it was, uh, time consuming... i blithley told my sister it wouldn't take long to create the store or a banner for it - HA! it reminds me of when i got my first tattoo and someone in the car asked if i thought it would hurt much. i said no, it couldn't possibly hurt that much otherwise so many people wouldn't have them. omg, did i really say that?! an hour later it felt like someone was sawing my foot off!!
colored pencil, oil pastels, watercolors and acrylic paint on muslin
but it's done! the Brave Child Me is tickled about this and very happy to be sharing her stuff. some pieces that i do will go in my journal and some will go to the store, as the child sees fit. this is her show, doncha know...
colored pencil, oil pastels, watercolors, and acrylic paint on muslin
i'm still working on the 8" x 10" piece i started a couple of weeks ago... i like it! i have it hanging up so i can look at it!
it's just about done but this little guy needs something. i don't know what, but something...
all my pieces for the store... sigh... don't you love to look at your stuff? ; )
i've been out walking a lot lately too, as we've had warm, sunny weather again. this is a huge dead tree that i've taken many pictures of. it's a bearing tree, and i suppose that's why the forest service hasn't cut it down even though it's been dead a long time. i never feel like dead trees are really dead, though. maybe it's because so much life lives on inside them.
more dead tree love...
some of the sticks that i've drawn on...
the stick on the far left lives with this magnificent juniper. these old growth junipers are more than a thousand years old...
on another note entirely, i was privileged to be asked by alma stoller to write an article for issue #4 of her zine, 'soulcraft'. i wrote about drawing with your non-dominant hand, and i'd like to say that it was pure pleasure working with alma. it'll be out nov. 16, but she's taking pre-orders for it here - she says they sell out quickly.
i'd also like to say a big thank you to cynjon, who helped me figure out how to put imeem music here, and to grrl for telling me how to make my shop pic an active link. i wrote to them at the end of my cyber rope, and they quickly told me what to do... thank you...
i'm going to leave you with barry instead of a quote... last week i loaded a bunch of songs onto my mp3 player that i simply cannot listen to and sit still. i can attest to the fact that singing this song to the trees and sky while dancing will sever your earthly bonds, if only for three minutes and 24 seconds...
colored pencils, oil pastels, watercolor on muslin
it's been a week of reflections and revelations... i think the sale of my lampworking stuff was the primary catalyst, but also the exercises in 'the power of your other hand'. i ended up not selling most of my lampworking equipment... suffice it to say that by the end of the week it felt like my old thoughts about bead making had been snapped like a dry twig...
i realized something very fundamental about myself while doing the exercises in 'the power of your other hand'. the basic idea is that your non dominant hand represents your child self - your creative, playful, imaginative self, while the dominant hand represents the adult you. you can have conversations with your 'selves' by writing alternately with each hand - one asks the questions and the other answers. in the course of doing this i saw clearly that my brave self, my risk taking self, is the child me! omg! how could i have missed that all these years?! the adult me is many things, but brave is not one of them - controlling, yes, and cautious and quite often fearful. but not brave. how liberating it is to know that my creative self is the brave and fearless one...
oil pastels, colored pencils, watercolor and acrylic paint on muslin
and now i'll let the pictures do the talking about the rest of my week. (when i wasn't reflecting and revelating ; )
What moves men of genius, or rather what inspires their work, is not new ideas, but their obsession with the idea that what has already been said is still not enough.