Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Still Winter

Every year - since I started paying attention - we have what I like to call a January Spring. The nights may still be cold but the days are sunny and clear and can warm up to almost 70. And it's a trick. Because it is not spring yet. It feels like it... but more cold weather is still to come. 

Each year, even though I "know" it's still winter, I want to get busy... take on this, take on that, plan here, plan there, schedule stuff, get it done! ... and then I am reminded, no, it is still winter. SLOW DOWN. Not yet!

This week it is my son getting some nasty bug that is going around to help me remember. We are on day three of the cold, but day two of staying home from school. Usually he's a perpetual motion machine. To see him curled up on the couch asleep during bright daylight hours tells me how badly he's feeling. Poor bug. If I end up with it, well then that will be a further reminder: STOP with the leaping forward into plans! Fine. I'm listening.

(Side note: Why do I feel guilty for missing work? Like somehow I am an irresponsible person that is abusing the system? Seriously? I know I am not alone in this. THERE is a story that must change.)

So I've been busy here carting the kleenex box around, fetching water, giving hugs, and tending to my little guy. What this is doing is slowing me down from completely revamping my website. I would like to offer a way to buy my art directly from the site, which includes adding prints of the originals to the mix. Which means I need good quality photos of my art. Lots to do! 

But I am hindered from doing this myself because 1. I have a phone camera and not a fancy DSLR. and 2. Even if the phone camera was okay, it's so gosh darned bright this week I can't get a good photo of my art because of the glare in every room of my house. 

Such a problem, I know.

I ended up giving into the energy of the week and letting it all just be. Forget the great photos. That will have to wait until another time. Or they will have to be taken by someone else.

For now, here is the latest painting. WAY too dark. But the colors are accurate compared to other versions that were brighter and washed out. The detail below gives an even better idea of the colors.

Acrylic on Canvas, 16" x 20"

 
Close-up detail.

It's all good. I'm learning a lot about light. And colors. And paying attention to quality.

I'm also drinking lots of tea. And painting. And repainting. And having a little tiff with one of my paintings. Interesting dance. Will share more about that later.

Stay well my friends! And if you end up not well, use it as a chance to slow down. 

It's still winter.

PS: You can read what I have to say about staying sane during the winter months over here, where I was honored to be a guest last week.


Thursday, January 24, 2013

WInter Harmony

For those of you in the northern hemisphere, it's still Winter. And that can be a tough time of year for many people. With the excitement of the holidays long gone it seems all we are left with is gray skies, cold weather, and a shortage of daylight. Jill Marie & Michelle over at Inner Alignment Mandalas are doing a Winter Harmony series on their blog. They have gathered a wonderful group of women to share their secrets to harmonizing with winter. You can click here to check out my contribution. 


 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Surprises

Sometimes I am amazed by the transformations my paintings go through from start to finish. I sit down and start, just playing, pushing paint around the canvas. No plan, no map, no preconceived ideas. Just exploring with how the paint moves across the canvas. Or how colors combine. 


That's how this one started. But with a little different technique for me. I used a lot of water with the acrylics, starting slowly, leaving much of the white canvas exposed. My go-to technique until this one has been to slather gobs of paint on the canvas, mixing and moving it in all directions, quickly covering the entire canvas, ensuring that the "blank white canvas" fear (ie: WHAT in the world to paint? HOW to get started?) would not take hold.

Yet this one reminded me of when I first started painting, taking water color classes just after I had moved to Amador County. I was only 30 or so, in a class full of mostly retired folks, who seemed to know SO much more than me. I was so intimidated. And I will never forget the comment that one gentleman made upon seeing my work, "You need to paint bigger, and I'm not sure water colors are for you." I cringed at the time, taking it as a criticism of course. Then, slowly, oh so painfully slowly, realized he meant it as encouragement! And gosh darn it. He was dead on right! Bigger! Bolder! And I seemed to have listened...

For this painting, I found myself harking back to those water color class days, exploring how watery paint moves into wet or dry spaces, the blending, the dripping, the merging of colors... Of course, I still go bold, as you can see above. No pastel landscapes for this girl. The way I approached this canvas felt quite meditative. Quiet energy. It was the space I was in that day. My mood set the mood of the painting.

Well, at least the start of it.

What I ended up with? 

Squeeeeeeee...!!!



I LOVE her!

And I'd say my go-to technique, how I "usually" express myself through paint, came shining through loud and strong.

But how interesting to see that no matter the technique, it is all me. 

Looking back through my paintings the past couple years I definitely see me. My voice. My palette. My subject matter even.

My style.

Wow.


~~~


If you'd like to see my work, you can do it here: my online portfolio.

Or here, on my website, which I'm hoping to "monetize" soon (that means you will be able to buy my paintings directly from my website, you know, with a shopping cart even!).




 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Flexing My Faith

If you've been reading along here for a while you know that I have developed into quite the Francophile over that past couple years. Not sure where this stems from. It could be their deep appreciation of art, the fabulous food and wine, the beautiful language...  or it's been suggested that in some past life I was French. I kinda like that one. Whatever it is, I'm not too worried about its source. I'm just delving into the fun of it. 


My dear Soul Sister dared to suggest the other day that THIS be the year we actually go there. You know, for real. We've both been before, but it's been ages. Time to go back! 

Wow. This year? So soon? I mean, I still can't speak more than 6 words of French. Could I be so far away from my son. And what about the money? Where will it come from?

As you can imagine some fear gremlins (thank Ms. Connie for this phrase, LOVE it!) jumped in and were all too ready to sabotage the plans before I could even Google "cheap flights to France." Thanks a lot you little buggers.

So I sat them down and had a little chat and told them to chill. Why NOT make this happen? Why not believe that it's possible? Why not cut back on those frou frou coffee drinks and save a little extra cash? Why not believe that I actually can make my dreams come true? It's not like I haven't done it before. Right? I seem to be someone that is able to make things happen. A little reminder is sometimes in order.

Et voilĂ . Just like that. I decided to change my mind. From "There is no way it could happen." to "Yes, I'm going to make this happen!"

It's quite a leap of faith. And will take action on my part. But dammit, I'm ready. Enough dreaming, time for doing.

Thanks for your encouragement!

And, until I can get there, here's an amazing video - it took more than 100,000 photos to create it!  (Thanks to Sion at paris (im)perfect, which is where I came across it.)





Oh, and I don't want to forget to update you on the dryer haps. It's in my house! I'm coordinating hook up. (It's a gas one, a little more complicated than just plugging it in, and I have no desire to start messing with gas, thank you very much. I've waited this long, a couple more days won't bother me.) Then I'll be drying clothes from the comfort of my own home! 
 
Woo hoo!


Dream big folks, and don't forget to make those dreams come to life. If you need some encouragement or butt kicking (as in support of course), call me!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Nostalgia?

 

Last night ~ while coloring my mandala, my favorite way to "meditate" ~ I found myself listening to an 80's Alternative Rock station on Pandora. Now, I have not been someone to spend much time romanticizing the past or my youth. Especially the 80's. Please. But the 80's alternative rock scene did define my teenage years. And while doodling I was of course leapfrogging along with each song through memory after memory of that particular time of my life.

And this is one place it took me. Who says time travel isn't possible?

Sometimes I can't believe it took me over 20 years to claim the word artist for myself. I am gentle with this, there were many layers of "can't-ness" and "not-worthy-ness" to peel away first. However, when I was only 18 and just starting college, I painted this album cover on my dorm room door. (The dorms at this time still reflected a lingering trace of the free-wheeling 70's, by the time I had graduated this was replaced by a more stark clean 80's remodel, painting the walls and halls of the dorms was no longer an option. A huge loss for creative expression to be sure.)

Echo and the Bunnymen. Songs to Learn & Sing. (give a watch/listen here...)

What I can't believe is that I don't have a photo of my artistic masterpiece. It was of course long before iphones and the daily photo-documenting of our lives. (If you were in or anywhere close to UCSB in 1987, the Santa Rosa dorm, second floor, and happen to have random pictures... )

And so I what I found myself reflecting on is this long slow arc of my artistic self emerging. What a journey it's been. The signs were there. Way back when. I'm glad I paid attention. I'm glad I didn't give up on my inner artist. I'm glad I listened to that quiet muffled voice and have finally given her free reign at last! 


Hope you are listening to your inner creative self too, and giving it full expression.

~~~


My website:  indigomoone.com
My online portfolio:   indigomoone.crevado.com/#162840






Wednesday, January 9, 2013

More Than Enough

Yesterday I raced and swirled around in circles and spirals trying to make something happen.

{Picking up a dryer , if you must know, something I've gone without for about 6 months now - I need a gas one, not as easy to come by as electric. And it needs to be used, because my finances are not at the place to support a brand spankin' new one, nor not sure I'd want to spend that much money on something I can find nearly new if I'm just willing to drive a few extra miles. Anyhow...}

Everything was conspiring against me. Yet I wanted to get it done SO much. I was willing to drive very far, to a stranger's house, by myself, and figure out how to unload it all by myself somehow when I got home.

Crazy.

Yep.

And finally, at some point, some deeply recessed common sense eventually surfaced. Along with some brilliant insight.

If this doesn't happen today, if I miss out on this dryer...  there will be others.

Wow. Really? You mean, I don't have to buy into the scarcity story? You mean, I can actually believe and trust that there are other dryers out there in the world?

Yes.

Ha.

Once I shifted my story? 

I got an email from someone about a dryer closer to me, for a cheaper price.



LOVE when this happens! 

Will let you know how it all turns out.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Epiphany

Today is Epiphany. This is a holiday I have never celebrated, but now know more about only because of my obsession with everything France. There happens to be a cake associated with today, galette des rois, and THAT is how I learned about it. Those twelve days of Christmas? They come AFTER the the big J's birthday, and lead up until today, when the three kings actually delivered those fabulous gifts. You can read more about it here, and the cake, here.



However, a few days ago I also had my OWN epiphany (no gifts appeared, nor did three handsome kings, bummer ~ although I suppose the epiphany WAS the gift, so I'm not complaining mind you). It was regarding my art. Specifically, how to get my art out into the world, to start earning an income from it (a steady one) ~ basically, marketing. Ugh.

I've been fretting and stressing about this for a while. Doing nothing, of course, about it. Because I just wasn't sure where to start. There is the traditional world of art galleries and knowing the right people to send your work to. But then there is this whole other world of online forums and social media, also now proving a viable way to market one's creative ventures. What was right for me? Did I need to learn more about the online approach? Would my art fit into more traditional methods? Should I be doing both? Or should I just keep asking questions and running myself in circles accomplishing nothing?

Then the epiphany came! 

I need to do what is fun. What I enjoy. What fits me and my personality. That calls on my strengths. And what fills me up. 

Wow. So simple!

If I turn my art adventures, which I love creating, into tedious to do lists of things that bring me down and fill me with dread, then how long can I possibly sustain that? The idea is to eventually make a living doing what I love. That is, creating art. And if I start off right at the beginning of this venture filling my spare time with things I don't enjoy doing, then why bother? Why quit the day job to pour my heart into work I loathe?

Now, I'm not sure exactly what this means yet. What exactly fills me up? (Besides the actual putting paint to canvas.) But it sure makes for a more exciting start to the year. 

By changing the question from, "How do I market my art?" to one of "How do I share what I love with others?" I open up a whole new world of possibilities.

It's very exciting!

So, I'll keep you posted. 

However, in the meantime, if you have a hankering for some art that just perchance speaks to your soul, you can find it both here at my website, and here at my online portfolio

Thanks for supporting the arts (and me)!