Mandalas, Doodles and being employed…

Art this past few weeks has consisted mostly of doodling. My doodles are mostly in the form of mandalas or start in the form of a mandala and then grow from there. I have done no painting or mixed media art and I’m feeling the absence of it in my life.

I’m on my fifth week of having returned to being employed. It is a part-time position which should pay enough to fill in the gaps financially which is a welcome relief. Part-time means I work anywhere from 20 hours to 24 hours with the occasional request to add more hours if I want when they need someone to fill in. My previous work was very sedentary. This position has me on my feet for the whole time except for breaks and lunches. I find myself extremely exhausted if I work 8 hours, but still tired after a 4 hour or 5 hour shift. In my 3rd week, I contracted a cold which hit me pretty hard, and I had to miss 4 shifts. I am still recovering but at least able to work.

IMG_0905 copy

I have found it a bit difficult to switch my mind off after work and get into the mindset of doing any art.  This is why over the past few weeks I have only been able to produce pieces like I have pictured in this post of the mandala/doodles. I come home exhausted, my feet too sore to be on them any more than a few minutes, so I sit with them propped up while trying to decompress as I stream videos on cravetv or netflix and doodle in my journal. It is my hope as I become more comfortable with my new job and my body becomes more accustomed to the work, that I’ll be able to turn my focus towards my art.

Today and tomorrow are my days off and though I was given the option to work an extra four hours today, I turned it down. I knew I needed some self-care time for these two days to help further my recovery from my cold and I feel a deep need to do something more than doodling, possibly work on a mixed media piece for a class I haven’t had the motivation or time for these past few weeks.

My journaling has also taken a turn from expressing my concerns over finances to expressing my experiences and concerns over my new job. It is interesting how satisfying one concern can quickly turn into a different concern and need for journaling in order to get it out so we can focus on the things we need to.

IMG_0912 copy

My new position is very public. I speak with probably a hundred or more people every day. Every single person is in a different frame of mind, some happy, some sad, some angry, some criticizing, many are a pleasure to talk to and can uplift in just the few minutes we interact together. I have no doubt this will eventually come out in my creativity in one form or another as I become more comfortable in what I’m doing.

In another aspect of my life, I live in a strata which has recently been doing some work to improve the appearance, making repairs and so forth. In one area of the yard some landscaping was done to cover some gaps under the fence where our dog could get out. Some earth was used to fill it in. Today, I noticed the earth that was used was taken from a corner which was elevated and in the spring tulips and daffodils would bloom. They apparently didn’t realize this and when I looked there were bulbs lying on top of the earth that had been dug up when they took some of the earth to fill in the gaps below the fence. To me these were little treasures I took and have now stored for the fall to replant. Hopefully, they will survive and bloom in the spring in their new location. I have hopes of adding a few small gardening plots around our patio and these will be a nice beginning and possibly inspiration for some art pieces in the spring next year.

I miss the many hours I had free to play with my art supplies and spend time on classes or watching videos to learn new techniques or skills. However, I am very grateful for the job and hopefully the end of my daily financial worries. My period of not working, being challenged financially, gave me some incentive to find alternatives for the more expensive art supplies. It also challenged me in ways I never expected and I am learning things about myself. Things I wanted to learn and things I never wanted to learn.

IMG_0914 copy

Those things we never wanted to learn about ourselves, at least for me, are things which make me feel vulnerable. They make me feel helpless. It doesn’t mean I am helpless, it just means it makes me feel that way, if that makes any sense. At least until I find a way around it, or what I can do that will take that helpless feeling away. The most vulnerable thing to learn is when you find out you have a breaking point. The most strengthening thing to learn is when you find out you have a creative mind that will allow you to do what you need to do to avoid the breaking point.

When I felt like I had no structure in my life, when things felt chaotic and out of control, was when I found out focusing on art with structure, such as mandalas, or something with geometric shapes and structure, helped me to gain back a sense of control. I am only beginning to understand how art connects me with understanding myself and the world around me. It is an amazing thing to witness.

IMG_0915 copy

Today, I want to cry…

Here is the thing about artists. Something I am learning about myself anyway. I’m not sure every artist feels this way. I just know I do… at least today.

I just watched a short video on how society kills creativity. If you haven’t seen it, check it out here. At the end of the video, I just wanted to cry, it brought up so many memories, not just about myself, but also about my daughter.

My daughter when she was three years old, drew these amazing abstract pieces of art. I remember asking her one day what one of her drawings was and was promptly told, “It’s a machine Mama.” I laminated that picture so I would be able to keep it forever because I knew in my gut her time in public school would change her art. It did.

The other thing the video brought to mind was how I feel sitting down to do any piece of art, whether it was a class assignment or something I wanted to do on my own. The feelings that arise within me as I sit in front of a blank sheet of paper, no matter what color, or even if there is something already draw on it and I need to add to it, are confined. They do not flow freely. It is difficult to describe this feeling. It is like knowing something is there but you can’t see it, you can feel it, but you can’t reach it. It is the most frustrating feeling in the world, at least for me.

Seeing the boy, turn to observe the violinist, the sense of awe and pure joy is what all artists should feel or it is what they WANT to feel at the beginning of everything they start, but instead, many, like me, feel confined, held back, as if there is something seeking to burst free but has been tightly locked up and we have lost the key to unlock it.

I don’t recall as single moment in my life where I have been told not to do something a particular way. I do recall being shown EXACTLY HOW to do something. Penmanship lessons in first and second grade are a perfect example. (I could give a million other examples of every lesson learned in and out of school.) Letters must slant just so. The tail on the last letter must curve up, just so. Only in later grades were any of us daring enough to try and add a curl to the end or to create larger ovals on our letters, or big loops on the tails of ‘y’s and ‘g’s.

I’m good at copying. If I am really meticulous I can recreate a lesson almost exactly as my teacher if I have the same supplies she/he does. I learned how to do this through years and years of watching others in school, in society, what was acceptable and what was not acceptable. So much so, when I try to let my imagination have free reign, my imagination suddenly finds itself halted in its tracks, not knowing what to do. Or, how to do it. Or where exactly someone’s instructions, or copying ends and my imagination starts.

I felt like crying at the end of the video because I could totally relate to both the child and the adult. I find myself today, having begun a new job just this week, relating so very much with the adult in the video. I could feel my color drain from me. I have spent the past year and half, not working, at least not in the ‘normal’ sense of a job. I spent that year and half working to discover and reawaken my inner artist. I worked on trying to break down the conditioning society has placed upon me since I was a small child. And now I find myself having to shrug back into that conditioning in order to step back into the workplace to bring in the money I need to take care of me and my daughter.

I try not to write about my personal life here on this blog. This blog is supposed to be about my art, my experience as an artist, and my journey. But, I would be remiss in leaving this out. I would be horribly remiss in leaving this part of my journey out.

I am not alone in this. I have no doubt there are hundreds if not thousands of artists out there who have to suppress this part of themselves in order to survive. In order to live and work to make ends meet. This is not what I want in my life any more.

I worked my first full day on Tuesday, came home exhausted, with no energy to create. Towards the end of the evening I could barely keep my eyes open after just putting a few pen strokes on my journal page I have in progress. Today, I found it very difficult to get focused for working on my journal page so I decided to be brave and try working on sewing.

I won’t go into describing the sewing project right now other than to say it is supposed to be a quilted pillow cover. I may go into describing it in another post but not now. This was something I could easily stop and start during my day as I had to go to an appointment and ended up in an out of the house while running errands.

Writing this post tonight has me in tears for many reasons. I feel as though I am losing ground on what I have accomplished over the past year and a half. I feel as though I am reverting back to that person who was so bound up and lost in the business world and so out of touch from her inner artist. I haven’t had a chance to work on the Mandala Madness course which has also made me sad and heartbroken. Ever After 2017 which I won a seat in has also had to take a backseat. This is only the first week of returning to the workforce and I feel like I have gone into mourning over the loss of a close friend.

I feel the color drain from me. I feel like the child handing over the final lesson where he has finally written his letters as he was instructed to write them, without any creativity. I feel like I’m in a world where all is repetitive, dull, grey and somewhere there stands the violinist in a tiny little spot, under a small colorful tree, which no one sees as they go about their day.

It is hard to move forward in the world when there is so much grey around you, reminding you, and discouraging you from creating your own colorful world. It can be like trying to break through a thick brick wall, to only have another brick thrown over the tiny hole you have created that gives you that tiny bit of hope that you are on the right path.

Taking small steps in order to be ready for the big steps…

I am unable to express in the right words how satisfying it is to create something with my own hands.

When a person is young, people like to ask them what it is they want to do or become when they are older. I would come up with all sorts of things. One time it was an archeologist. Another time a teacher. Another time a police officer. And another time it was a dancer. I never dreamed of going into computers. Back then they were new, not something anyone ever thought would be a common every day thing for most everyone to have in their home, let alone be able to carry around with them.

You might be wondering why I have gone off on this tangent after reading the first sentence. Hang in there. I’m getting there.

In school, I had three teachers make suggestions for what I could do with my life. The first was my typing teacher. She suggested being a secretary. That is what administrative assistants were called back then. Yes, I was good at typing and creating professional looking letters and documentation. The second teacher was my math teacher, he suggested either teaching math or getting into something math related. Yes, because math came easy to me. The third teacher was my art teacher. He suggested I use my talent as an artist and make a career out of it.

Though I didn’t set out to get into computers, the universe set me on that path, so it might appear I had followed my math teacher’s recommendation. In reality, I just grasped an opportunity when it presented itself. I can’t say it was a right or wrong decision or a poor or good decision. It just was what it was. IT served its purpose. It fed the analytical/logical part of me and provided well for me and my daughter.

There are various reasons why I chose that route. I could get experience and education in it by entering the Air Force. College wasn’t in the cards for me, so a business degree or art degree wasn’t possible at that time, neither was a computer science degree, so I opted for a way to gain experience and some education in a career field that would provide for me.

What my art teacher didn’t know was that for some reason while in his art classes, I felt the artist in me peeking out and at times brave enough to show herself. When not in those classes, she went back into hiding.

Throughout my subsequent years, I tried at times to pick up a pencil to draw but would always become frustrated within the first few minutes. I would then put it down and not pick it back up for years.

I satisfied my need to create with my own hands in other ways. I started teaching myself how to crochet after just learning a few stitches from my mother. Then I taught myself how to knit. When my mother or I bought something that needed to be put together I was right there, taking over, working together or doing it all by myself. I always felt like I had accomplished something when I was able to put whatever it was together. I got into jewelry making, even took a class in jewelry repair which I loved and was really good at it. I had dreams of designing and creating my own jewelry but I couldn’t afford the tools and supplies it would require. I also didn’t have the space or an area safe enough for the type of equipment needed. Knitting and crocheting became my way of filling my need to create, and it went in cycles because it wasn’t enough to hold my interest.

About three years ago, I decided it was time to awaken my inner artist. It is she that craves the need to create with her hands. I started watching youtube videos and discovered Zentangle, Zentangle Inspired Art, Doodling, Zendoodling, or whatever people want to call it. I am not a natural doodler. I have never been one to sit and doodle in meetings or when on the phone, or at any other time. Watching the videos, reading on Zentangle, and this type of art made me realize this might be the way for me to awaken my inner artist without having the frustration, fear, anxiety or whatever it is that kept me frozen whenever I would pick up a pencil to draw. It had structure which my logical mind craved.

My natural inclination when I draw is to draw exactly what I see.  Anyone who is an artist will know how impossible that is to accomplish. I’m a perfectionist, if my pencil stroke is not perfect then it is wrong and I’m an awful artist, is how I felt inside. I read articles, I watched videos on Zentangle and their philosophy is nothing is a mistake. Use pen/ink and you will eventually learn to accept every line you draw and no longer think of them as mistakes. And, you learn to incorporate them into your art. Boy, did I need that!

I started drawing, first just drawing the step-outs. Then incorporating them into abstract pieces using the idea of strings. For those not familiar with this idea, this is the only place you use a pencil other than to shade. Draw a random line, straight or curved or both, creating smaller areas that are then filled in with the patterns. I found a free website tanglepatterns.com which has hundreds if not thousands of patterns and their step-outs or links to other sites with the step-outs. This got me started and brave enough to try other things.

Tangles eventually progressed into mandalas. Mandalas eventually progressed into art journaling, then eventually into whimsical art or other classes where I could gradually improve my skills as an artist and learn to experiment with different mediums, eventually expanding into mixed media art.

If you have read my previous posts you will be aware that I am taking Mandala Madness a course in how to draw mandalas given by Barb Owen of How To Get Creative. I had already been drawing mandalas for over a year when I started taking this course. I wasn’t sure how much I would learn from it. The only reason I took it was I wanted to learn how to create a mandala on canvas. I have only painted on canvas once and it wasn’t to do a mandala. I love what I create so much that I wanted to be able to create a large one on canvas to hang in my home, so I signed up for the class.

I am absolutely amazed by how much I am learning in this class and we haven’t even gotten to the canvas part yet. Even if it wasn’t part of the class I feel I have already gotten my money’s worth and more. I rarely put color with my mandalas. I love them in their stark black and white. Now, I am falling in love with color too. Here is my latest:

I call it “Royalty”. This one is made using the technique shown by Barb in her free introductory videos for how to draw a mandala using a compass. If drawing mandalas interests you at all, have a look, give it a try. I think you will be surprised how easy it is. Barb is an excellent instructor. She takes her time explaining each step along the way. The only thing you need are the tools she mentions and an imagination or you can follow her detailed instructions to try and make one just like she does in the videos.

Getting here. Being able to create this with my own two hands after years of being away from art, is so satisfying to my inner artist. It is hard to describe. Over thirty years of having my logical analytical side listened to, fed and being forefront in my life, meant my creative side was suppressed, ignored, and not listened to.  It feels good to let her out to play.

I will admit. I feel freer to play when I sit down to draw mandalas because they include my rather ordered logical analytical side. Other things like drawing whimsical creatures are more of a challenge and aren’t something I find easy to just sit down and do without thinking a lot about it first. That includes art journal pages. Working intuitively is difficult for me, unless I’m working with mandalas. This is something I am only just discovering about myself.

So… when I feel challenged by something that makes me feel uncomfortable, I often find myself reaching for paper to begin drawing a mandala or to continue working on a mandala I have started. Seeing them develop gives me the courage to work on something that feels less comfortable, like the next lesson of Peter Pan and Wendy in Ever After 2017.

Speaking of Ever After 2017 the Peter Pan and Wendy lesson, it took me days if not a week or more to get the courage up to just start sketching. I finally did, and discovered I had some difficulty going small. I wanted to fill my page with the cityscape which would leave very little room for the rest of the elements in the painting. Here is my beginning sketch on 11″ x 15″ watercolor paper:

FullSizeRender

You might find it difficult to believe that I could go bigger than this. Believe me, the first sketch was much bigger, and the clock tower’s tip was at the top of the page. I had first tried drawing it in landscape layout but decided to switch to portrait layout, even so it took me three tries to get to this point.  I think this is the size I want and I hope it works with the rest of the elements.

I find it interesting, with my love of geometric shapes, how it took me so long to begin sketching the cityscape. Obviously I’m still working on it, trying to get the angles right and the buildings in the way I want them. The overall project is quite daunting, so I’m trying to take it one step at a time. I may draw the other elements which come much later in the process first so I can be sure they will fit in with the cityscape as it is.

I just know if this had been my first attempt to get back into art instead of starting with tangles, I would have walked away and never picked up a pencil again to draw. I’m so glad I took the approach I did three years ago which allows me to try a lesson like this one and be able to handle the anxiety it generates. Getting to this point in the sketch really gives me a feeling of satisfaction, because I did it and didn’t quit.

More watercolor facial studies….

In my last post I talked about the first watercolor facial study I did for a 21 Secrets class I took. Repeating the technique was not so easy on my next watercolor study which was focused on the nose, a feature I often have difficulty with. I didn’t have any left over skin tone mix from the first one, and several days had gone by, so the skin tones do not match.

nose copy

On the same day, I also worked on a study of the mouth, mostly just the lips.

lips copy

Several more days passed before I worked on the last one, which was the left eye. This one I actually worked on today. In the class, Jodi Ohl demonstrated both the dry method and the wet method for applying watercolor to the paper and though her wet method ended up very loose, mind did not.

right eye copy

I started all of them by wetting the paper first and then applying the watercolor. I will admit the perfectionist in me immediately started trying to control exactly where the colors went. If you haven’t worked with watercolor, then you don’t know how ridiculous that statement sounds. On this last one I tried to be looser than all the others ones and was not very successful. Loose technique in anything, just may not be my style. I’m working on it though. I’m better at loose technique when it is abstract.

After I completed my watercolor study today and it dried, I decided to see how all four of the pieces looked displayed together. Here is what it looks like:

collage 2 copy

She is a bit wonky but that is to be expected since I didn’t lay down all four pieces of watercolor paper and sketch her out first so all portions would be symmetrical. Even so, I like how they all look in a collage. I may mount them this way permanently but not sure at this time.

My next venture in watercolor? Maybe, I’ll try to do her whole face and see if she ends up looking anything like the reference photo.

~Patti

Loving Watercolor

Watercolor is quickly becoming my favorite of all paints to work with. I don’t know how to express the joy I feel every time I work with it. Today was no different.

Most of my watercolor experience has been only recently in the past year. It started with just playing around with watercolor pencils a year ago when I discovered bullet journals. I decided to use watercolor pencils to decorate my pages. I knew absolutely nothing at that time about how to work with watercolor pencils, let alone watercolor paint.

I came across videos on YouTube but my general interest at the time was mixed media, so I was hopping around all over the place watching videos on all different types of mediums. I think the only medium I haven’t touched is oil paints. Some day I might but not right now. I have too many types of mediums I want to perfect my skills within.

I think when I was a teenager watercolor terrified me. I think this because when I returned to studying art, in the past year or so, watercolor was the last thing I considered pursuing other than just simply playing around with it. I never thought I would pursue it as a medium I would desire for any serious art.

Isn’t that how it works sometimes? The things we least desire or think we have the remotest chance of being even close to good at, ends up being that one thing that makes our hearts soar and our souls sing. This is what I’m finding with watercolor.

About a year ago, I purchased 21 Secrets “Tools and Techniques” course. One of it’s lessons is by Jodi Ohl, called Flowing Facial Features. I have probably put off doing this lesson for at least three months if not more. Guess the medium yet? The word ‘flow’ should give you an indication. If you guessed, watercolor, you would be correct.

I studied her videos, watching them in their entirety probably three if not four times before I attempted just one facial feature study. Why did I wait so long? Trepidation for one. My inner critic for another. My perfectionist personality for another. I knew very little about watercolor. I didn’t even know what it meant by stretch the watercolor paper, or how to tape down watercolor paper properly. I tried one time with some painters tape but the tape ended up releasing from all the soaking in the water.

I finally found a video on how to properly prepare for doing a watercolor painting, thanks to Lindsay Weirich’s YouTube video. She has a wordpress blog too.  She does live streams on YouTube, which I try to catch as often as I can.  I don’t know how many videos of hers I have watched before I felt confident enough to try my first facial feature study.

Here it is:

Flowing Facial Features study 1

I had a couple issues, that involved retaining the white spaces, especially the white highlights in the eye. My paint ended up bleeding into the space I had reserved for the highlight so when I finished with the watercolor paints, I used colored pencil to bring out the highlight more. White for the highlight and some black around the highlight and pupil to bring it out more.

I also, over worked the eyelashes but once overworked I couldn’t undo it, so I used some black colored pencil to try and bring forward some eyelashes hoping the rest might look like shadows or would recede enough to not distract. Lesson learned though for the next eye on my facial studies.

I have three more sketches I did for the facial feature studies. Another eye with a partial nose, a nose with a partial eye, and the lips. In the end, I hope they will create a full face when tiled together.

What I learned while working on this piece was even if it looks like the color is too dark when I apply it to paper, it isn’t the end of the world. I can lift some of it up to lighten it. Something I’m learning to do without scrubbing and pilling the paper. After working with acrylics it is sometimes hard to remember to not apply pressure when doing a slight bit of scrubbing.

I love that Jodi Ohl recommended focusing on one facial feature. It took the pressure off of trying to paint a full face. I need to take this approach in other things like drawing. I become overwhelmed when I consider creating a large piece, even if it is just a face with all its features. It can be rather daunting.

I used to think watercolors were unforgiving and difficult to keep some semblance of control over. That is the perfectionist within me wanting everything to come out perfectly. She doesn’t believe that something that will bleed and move around on its own could end up in all the right places creating a beautiful piece of art. I’m working on proving her wrong. I think I made a beautiful start at it today.

Feel free to leave a comment if you feel moved to do so.

~Patti

Choosing a style…

Style has always eluded me, no matter the category. Whether it is clothing, hair, makeup, or even art. I can look at someone or their art, and if someone has a rather unique style I can usually see it right away. I often wonder why it is I can’t seem to find my own style.

I can choose clothing that looks good on me, but style always eluded me. I had nothing cohesive. My wardrobe was all over the place. Makeup was similar except I preferred a look that was natural and not bold or brazen.

My art is a different story. I have been all over the board in regards to learning different techniques, emulating other artists styles, and not landing solidly upon any particular medium of choice, which is probably why mixed media appeals to me. And yet style continued to elude me.

The other day, I had an idea that maybe style is just about doing what I love most from all the techniques and mediums I’ve been learning. Could it be as simple as applying those things which I go back to time and time again? While at the same time, incorporating new things to see how they mesh?

I decided to give this a try.

I’ve been doing a challenge called Daily Minimoley. It is simply working in a small journal to create small pieces of art. This enabled me to do a small piece of art each day and be able to experiment with different techniques and mediums. Doing this helps me to discover what I like most. Like bright colors for one, and flowers for another. I’m learning more and more every day.

Time and again I return to mandalas though I never did any in my minimoley practice. My mandalas usually are just ink drawings and no color.  I want to add color, but how to do a mandala on an art journal page and add color is a challenge because I like to use precision when I’m doing my mandalas. I start with pencil to draw in the grid and some of the design before I move to ink.

Pencil doesn’t always work well over paint, depending on the paint or mediums used. Erasing pencil can be even more problematic. I wasn’t sure if I could draw it in ink before laying down the color. Depending on the medium for the color it could completely obliterate my ink or pencil lines.

I am determined to find a way to do this and decided my minimoley would be a good place to start even though it is a journal meant for writing with pencil or ink and not art mediums.

My first go at it came out much better than I expected.

I started like I normally do, using pencil on the untreated paper to draw out my grid for the mandala. Then I used Sakura Pigma Micron to draw over the basic shape of the mandala, then erase the pencil lines. I continued with the micron to draw in more details until I was completely satisfied with the whole page. I had added some doodles and tangles for embellishing the open areas of the page. Even though the lines from the lined paper showed through the design they were light enough to not be distracting from the overall design. This is where I stopped on the first day. I had at least done a mandala in my minimoley using the method I normally use.

The next day, I created my second page. These pages are facing one another so I used the same process as before, then added some of the same embellishments as on the other page so it became a 2 page spread instead of 2 separate disjointed pages. Now was the time for color.

When I first started out drawing the mandalas, my idea was to try and use watercolor. However, I was concerned the amount of water required for watercolors would cause my pages to breakdown, so I opted for trying Inktense pencils. I have about 8 of them in various colors, including blue, red and yellow. Using a minimum range was going to be challenging but also encourage me to try blending to produce other colors. Here is the result:

20170308_09 mandalas

I did use light blue craft acrylic paint for the background, but otherwise, I only used the Inktense pencils, Sakura Pigma Micron, and White Uniball Signo pen. I went over the black lines after adding the color to make them bolder again since the color dulled them a bit. I used the White Uniball Signo pen to add highlights. I like the result, even with the craft acrylic wash for the back ground. Mandalas will start showing up more in my work. I have no doubt about that now. I have some ideas brewing which I hope to work on soon.

The next experiment will be to put down color, either watercolor or acrylic wash for the background before drawing the mandala.

Here are the flowers I did a while ago with colored pencils over watercolor I think or it was an acrylic wash. These are easy to do over either because I’m not trying for precision like I am with the mandala. So, I just draw using a micron pen or permanent ink and accept any “mistakes” that happen and work them into the piece.

18&19 MiniMoley

This is probably my favorite page so far in my minimoley. I think I need to create an index of my flowers so I can flip through it for inspiration when I’m not sure what to add and know I want a flower.

Both flowers and mandalas can also be used for wonderful collage items. There are no shortage of ideas brewing.

~Patti

Changes…

I’m working on updating my website. Changes are needed. I never liked how it functioned from the time I created it which might be why I’ve been so absent.

I’m a perfectionist trying to learn how to be a non-perfectionist. Imperfections can be beautiful, endearing and creatively brilliant. This is why I do not throw away any completed art work even if I don’t like it. Looking back I will see how my journey has changed not just my skills but me as a person.

For instance, I’m working on creating art journal pages from Journal52 prompts. The below are from Week 6 Dream and Week 7 Dawn. I’m working in mixed media which is a challenge because it involves learning how all the different mediums respond to each other in all their various combinations. Sometimes you just go with it to see what happens.

wk6-dream

Dream was made with watercolors, and water soluble crayons and a bit of acrylic paint, paint pens and gel pens.  I love how this one came out. The bright colors are beautiful and it is probably one of the best I’ve done so far of skin tones. This was all layered over a collage of text paper.

wk7-dawn

Dawn was done with acrylic paint, all except for the collage of text paper which was layered on first. I am fond of this one when I look at the actual painting. When I look at pictures taken of it, then I’m not fond of it. The picture shows a definite need for learning how to blend acrylics and also how to achieve a ‘glow’. For my first attempt, I think it isn’t bad.

I have been learning on my own about mixed media art which started with true intent about a year ago. I’ve been very selective about paying for e-courses that would give me the most high quality instruction and supplementing it with free video instruction from various artists.

In 2014, almost 3 years ago, I started just trying to awaken my inner artist by doodling, learning tangle patterns and putting them together to make designs. I started with things like this…

dsc_0010

Which eventually moved into mandalas, like this…

Eventually adding color…

I have to admit that mandalas have become something I love to do and I go back to them again and again when I’m seeking inspiration.

I heard someone the other day, talking about taking a class and given the suggestion to use a reference photo. She said the problem with her using reference photos is it brings out the perfectionist in her. Using a photo and her perfectionist wants to recreate it in all its fine details, perfectly.

I get this.  Every time I use a reference photo, I feel the same desire come over me. The Dawn art journal spread was created from a reference photo. It will never be comparable to it in likeness and my perfectionist finds it very difficult to appreciate its roughness and imperfections.

Can you believe living like this in every day life? Do we chastise ourselves if we place our foot down imperfectly upon the ground as we walk to the corner store? Do we dislike our hair if we brush it back from our face and every strand isn’t perfectly placed?

The point is, what I want needs to be functional and pleasing to the eye. Therefore, I selected a different theme for the website. As I try it out, if it doesn’t serve me well then it may change again. It may morph over time, just as my art will definitely morph.

This is my place to talk about my creativity. What I love to do. I want to express my joy in what I create. Please feel free to comment, ask questions, and share your own creativity.

~Patti

Beginnings

This is the beginnings of Purple Tulip Art Studio. A place for all things art and crafting.

I needed a place which was strictly for my arts and crafts. Where I can talk about what I do, how I do it and post the process and final images. This is about my exploration into my inner artist and if others enjoy exploring their inner artist, then I would love to hear from you.

Art isn’t about perfection. It isn’t about mimicking real life. It is about expression.

People express themselves in many ways. Some by just word of mouth and by their body language, others in written word, others in song and dance, and still others in arts and crafts. This by no means is a complete list. The point I’m making is, whatever you do is how you express yourself and for me art is a major part of that.

For years, I was unable to connect with my art. Picking up a pencil just to draw was very difficult. Circumstances have made me realize my inability to connect with my art was a reflection of my inability to connect with a major part of who I am, my inner artist. Those circumstances helped me to re-connect and this is where I plan to share that journey from where I am now.

I hope you will join me on this journey and share your own with me. Comments are welcome as long as they are respectful.

The beginning of my journey involved editing one of the pictures I took of a tulip in my yard earlier this spring. This is the edited picture, planned to become an Icon representing Purple Tulip Art Studio.

PurpleTulip with name

Patti