"What we see depends mainly on what we look for." ~Sir John Lubbock

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Thursday, July 29, 2010

I'm Sure He'll Grow Up "Normal"

I'm sure you've figured out by now that my style of art is well...not the norm? I like humor, death, birth, the unexpected, whimsy, nature, critters...you know, life stuff. I like weird and mysterious. I think my son is starting to pick up on that...he is 3 weeks shy of 4 years old now, and a highly sensitive little one (to sound, overstimulation, people, lots of "unknowns" and the like)--but with an eye for the strange. 

For example, I have a Dia de los Muertos piece where I shaped and painted skeletal dinosaurs--he digs them, "I really like your triceratops mommy, they're really good dinosaurs!" Most recently, I have a spider that I think will become part of a larger something or other, but in the meantime I've placed it in the car, on the dashboard--positioned so it would be looking right at my son when we drove to his swimming lesson. I wondered what his reaction would be to our macabre little hitchhiker:

His first reaction was, "Mommy, what is that?" Fifteen minutes down the road he was trying to get me to agree that he should have him. "I like that spider's face, mommy. He's funny." He named him Skele-Spider by the way, but he apparently goes by Spider Bones too.

My son quickly adopted Skele-Spider and insisted that his new friend wanted to learn how to play his video game and wishes to be added to his bed (stuffed) animals... "Mommy, I promise 'kay? I heard you, he's not a toy, I will be careful mommy, pleeeeease." I agreed that Skele-Spider would probably love to learn how to play MarioKart but I didn't think he should be with his toys. After much negotiating, Jeffery agreed show him the games then return Skele-Spider to the car to go on trips with us instead.

Jeffery can't really hang out with me too much while I'm working on pieces because, 1) I work with dangerous, sharp and crusty metal objects, 2) he's usually asleep anyway, and 3) there's just not a lot of room for him to do his own creative thing while I'm doing mine. One of my sooner-than-later dreams is to create a better space in our garage that is safe, with more room, and more inviting for both of us to be out there together. I want him to witness a variety of creative processes while freely developing his own.

I watched both of my parents creating wonderful pieces and projects while growing up, jointly and individually. I was always encourged to create my own things verbally of course, but equally important I remember that I always had plenty of space and materials to do so! I want to make sure I provide the same for my little one...surrounded by skull beads, fantasy bugs and creepy creatures made of found junk--complete with skeleton spider friends. You know, "normal."

"Skele-Spider" made with skull bead, scrap telephone wire, copper wire, medium x-mas light bulb. ~4 1/2" leg span.

Monday, July 26, 2010

My First ATC Swap: NATURE

Recently I participated in my first artist trading card (ATC) swap. It was a great experience and I absolutely love the treasures I received in return! Participants were from around the globe including US, England, and Australia! Each artist was asked to choose one word as their individual theme. Mine was nature. I chose to go the APC route (altered playing cards), here are my contributions to the swap:

Nature Opens Doors To The Hidden Parts Of Ourselves

Quote on back of ATC: “Nature gets into our souls and opens doors to hidden parts of ourselves.” ~Pamela Heyda.  Photo(s) are actually one and the same ATC.

Made with 5 cards total, from recylced cards and Bicycle Pink Deck.
3.5" x 2.5"

Nature Has The Ability To Connect Us To The Spiritual Realm

Quote on back of ATC reads (I think): “Patterns, cycles, rhythms... nature has the ability to humble, simplify and connect at a level that goes beyond the physical and into the spiritual realm.” ~ Judy Lalingo. I liked that quote because I liked the simplicity of this card and the idea that owls are spiritually significant for many.

Made with 5 of hearts from Bicyle Pink Deck of course, and punched/embossed owl, floating above card :)
3.5" x 2.5"

Life & Nature Are A Constant Stimulus For A Creative Mind
Quote on back of ATC reads: “Being inexhaustible, life and nature are a constant stimulus for a creative mind.” ~ Hans Hofmann
Made with Jack of hearts from Bicycle Pink Deck, layered with two old postcards (flying scientist—from a movie perhaps(?)—and green trees). I just love the imagery; and I’ve always wanted to be able to fly like that :)
3.5" x 2.5"

...It Became A Butterfly

Quote on back: “Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly.” ~Anonymous
Made with 3 of spades from Bicylce Pink Deck and left-over spades from another, recycled deck, also scrap wire, glass tear drop beads. Butterfly floats.
3.5" x 2.5"

Here are the treasures I received in trade--all a surprise until the moment I opened the package! Very fun! In image order from top to bottom: "Silly" by Lori Pilla, copper "Delight" by Mary Hicks, "Easy" mini-canvas by Jean Foley...

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

It Really Is That Hot...

Living in the southern California desert, we're pretty used to hot summers. Lately, it's been unseasonably hot with temperatures well into the 100-teens. We hit those temps every year, we're just getting it earlier than usual, along with some humidity we are normally blessed to be without.

Needless to say, the stifling desert heat is what inspired this dead bug. Made with a piece of scrap metal, wire, glass beads and a great skull bead (from my mom) that adds that extra touch of the macabre. Approx. 5" long.

Friday, July 9, 2010

CED Challenge: July theme "LIFE"

Inspired once again by Leah Piken Kolidas' Creative Every Day Challenge, where this month's theme is LIFE.  "LIFE" immediately awoke my inner doodler! Here are three doodles I had a chance to do over a weekend getaway with family.

"OCEAN" emerged as I doodled away, initially thinking of a star (star=sun=life). It quickly morphed into a more organic, fantasy sea star which, for me, gave this doodle a very marine feel--and an alternatively fitting expression for LIFE--oceans are teeming with life both known and yet to be discovered.

"OCEAN" doodle

"LIFE" was inspired by the curly lines rooted above in "OCEAN" doodle, I liked the idea of drawing prolific life germinating from a huge seed. It also reminds me of a microscopic peek into a pollen grain, something of which plays an important role of new life in itself! The tendrils grow out of its space, reaching out to nearby anchors for more growth. When I was almost finished, I quickly realized this looks more like a dozen sperm penetrating an egg. I went back and forth between "germination" "conception" and landed on "life" as both are represented, depending on what you see ;) I added a tiny leaf, symbolic of the germination of new ideas, and a message to protect new life now threatened in so many fragile environments. This led to me think about the BP oil disaster, and how these black circles could just as easily be oil drops suffocating the new life struggling to emerge.
"LIFE" doodle

From "LIFE, the black circles made me think of oil drops suffocating the struggle for new life depicted in the previous doodle, so naturally the "BP DISASTER" came about as I started to doodle a third page. It started to remind me of an APC I made a while ago, with contrasting pink and black/white flames and I began to think of the burning of the oil on the ocean, and the ongoing loss of marine life and beaches of which the dark ugly masses of oil are encroaching. I doodled a dead sand dollar in the inevitable path of oil about to engulf another pristine beach.
"BP DISASTER" doodle

If you have never doodled, or haven't in a long time like me, bring it back into your life! It requires no "talent" as that is the creative liberation doodling brings! No pressure, no expectations, no directions, no worries. You draw or write whatever your pen guides you to create. I have found it to be very much like a creative meditation (in fact meditative doodling is what Zentangle is all about!).