Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Letter to a Younger Self

I've not been sleeping well and am going through a creative slump, so here is a bit of writing from today's newsletter:

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Dear child self,

After years of denial, you are going to realize that your art hobby is the only thing you really care about. You'll try to think of safe alternatives but it won't happen because
a) you never put effort into stuff you don't want.
b) in the 21st century, nothing is safe.

Art is so unbelievably reliant on social skills. You will spend years holed up in your room, listening to grump rock, drawing fairies and being as socially skilled as a bucket. Milkshakes don't literally bring all the boys to the yard unless you are handing out flyers for free milkshakes.  For the love of cake, be good at making friends and having conversations.

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Just like getting a good job, having a friend in the business is crucial. Even on the internet, your art will be buried by millions of others. It's kind of like throwing a birthday party and not a single kid is there to enjoy it (You should probably cancel that, btw). It would be a waste of good cake. And you will probably be a 30 year old minimum wager with very few friends and a side business that will barely pay for itself. Just saying.

With love,
Future self.

PS: Challenge your parents, and learn to cook and buy clothing please. You're a mess.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Bonus Journal Page - Morpho

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As predicted, I'm really missing my usual watercolour journals right about now. The coloured mists are gathering dust off in the corner and it is making me sad. But I've got probably two months left of this scrappy journal to go so let's pick up the speed! 

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Today, I recorded a bonus journal video for my newsletter folk who will receive it on Wednesday. If you're not on the list, you can sign up in violet off to the sidebar ----->

Otherwise, feel free to just enjoy the photos! The watercolour/acrylic butterfly sticks out from the page... what was I thinking??? As if I needed to make this journal thicker!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Doodle Moth Painting - "Irrational"

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I'm super happy that this painting ended up here. I wasn't sure where it was going and for a moment I definitely thought I had ruined it but it happened. 3D bits make me so incredibly happy. 

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Femininity in a patriarchal society.
The expectation of personal sacrifice.
The image of being irrational 24/7.
There is small difference between a butterfly and a moth,
yet the former is celebrated while the latter is often feared. 

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As usual, this painting is available for purchase here. I offer inexpensive photo reproductions as well, I just haven't been scanning my artwork much lately.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Ode to Nasturtiums

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Wandering through this doodle painting and wondering when the fire in my spine will go out. Also, I emptied a bag of sand outside and it was TOO MUCH SAND and it is very obvious that someone left a pile of sand right next to a "no dumping" sign and tried to bury it in leaves in the dark at 1am and I'm worrying about what to do with the second bag of sand I've got hiding in the trunk of my car, and it's annoying that I find things like this to worry about when I'm pretty sure no one cares about freaking SAND.

Garden News:
The black aphids have taken over the first wave of nasturtiums and it's gross. I just learned that they are meant to be sacrificial plants that divert all of the awful stuff away from the "real" plants. Well I guess it's good to know the fruit trees will be happy in their schaudenfreude.

Nastis: you are real, you are loved.

Friday, July 19, 2013

I Probably Won't Sign Up For Your Online Class

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Online art journal classes are multiplying like CRAZY, and they're kind of tempting because: marketing. And then you sign up for them and sometimes they're inspiring and useful and sometimes you realize that you really just wish you could have that person's life or at least be a small part of it somehow and those dollars you spent didn't get you any closer to your life goals. 

A few years ago I felt like I was part of an online community. It was fantastic, easy and fulfilling enough just to know that there are likeminded people out there. But things change and I've been finding online communication to be quite lacking. If I didn't like making videos and throwing photos and words into the black hole of the internet and never knowing if they're hitting anything, I would have quit ages ago! But that's how it is. 

What has been really enriching is waiting in line with a bunch of skilled strangers, waiting to be rejected from a show. It's a buzzing reception with more skilled strangers, nibbling strawberries and looking at each others' art. It's painting and journaling with some new friends in a colourful studio. It's sitting quietly in a dim, overly air-conditioned gallery listening to artists talk, and listening to the audience click its tongue in agreement. It's bonding with a bunch of other vulnerable sellers at a dismally slow craft fair (but making a few small sales in the progress)! 

Online journal classes rarely come close.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

From the Journal Post

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I'm running out of regular gel medium! The white flake medium is interesting I guess, but I'm not sure what kind of things I should be doing with it! What is it meant to be for?

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In the meantime, look at these cool stencils (ahem... "masks") that came in the mail today! 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Mini Painting - Fade

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Here's a tiny painting of some pretty flowers at full bloom, just before they begin to fade away. Some of the flowers "pop out" to add some visual interest. 

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I like these mini paintings because they are low-pressure study for me and an inexpensive option for you to own a piece of original art.

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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Sketching in Lined Notebooks

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I used to see these thin notebooks all of the time at Chapters stores. The notebook/journal section is always filled with yummy notebook goodness, and every visit I often wish I could send some back in time to my younger self, when I kept a lot of written journals (and could never find any nice ones).

So when I saw a pack of three of these journals at the dollar store I snatched them up. No plan for what to do with them.

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Sadly, they have lined pages, but decided to draw in one anyway. 

Stock image:

Monday, July 8, 2013

Collection of Journal Pages Using Sketches

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A little bit of a zentangle while watching the Cryaotic livestream on Saturday...

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An attempt to draw something realistic that didn't go as well as I'd hoped! I find small details to be very challenging with acrylic paint. 

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These were fun. I spent a long time (in the past) waiting to come across chalk pastels, and once I found them, I learned how unbelievably messy they are. Wow. Especially on smooth papers, it will collect a pile of coloured dust which will get all over everything if I'm not careful. Keep a wet rag handy. 

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Because they're so chalky, I sprayed them with matte varnish which I don't really care for - it covered my dark black lines with a hazy white film. And then I sealed them onto the page with some gel medium. In the end, they kind of look like images printed from a terrible printer! Ha! 

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Watercolour Painting - Gate

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"Sweet childhood memories merge in this painting of an old, handmade garden gate surrounded by tiger lilies. Dreamy 'starhawks' gather at sundown, collecting what is left of the day's sunlight and preparing for the coming darkness."

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Available here. 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Art Journal Page - July 2 2013

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I already liked the yellow star pattern on this paper so I didn't want to obscure it too much. 

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I'm still slacking a lot lately (it's been much too hot and humid to do anything but lay on the floor) but when it was still raining I was doing a bit more sketching in my tiny sketchbook. This goldfish was chopped out of the book and pasted onto the journal page.