Passions of an Odd Chick

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

One of the things that happens around here besides Odd Chick painting flowers in her journal is that I have to get back to work. For those who don't know it already, I cut and plant crops this time of year on our farm and other contracts. Sweet Farmer and I only pass each other on the country road once or twice a day, and we fall in bed together awake just long enough to tell each other quick stories, and work out tomorrow's schedule. There are no complaints. We are glad to have the work and it will be steady until the end of October. I've had a wonderful winter hibernation with my art and classes, trips and family. Now I will listen to art lectures on my IPOD.

I have more good news! My daughter has started a blog called Crazy Consuela! Please check it out and comment to let her know you've visited. We all know how it feels to start a blog and think that nobody sees or hears at the beginning and that we are just visiting with the universe for awhile. You will get to hear funny stories and see her art which she has just begun and it is already awesome!

I offer up some Spring blossoms to you in hopes that your hands finds something useful to do and that your heart is in it and that you have someone to love who loves you and that your soul is in bloom.
"If you've never been thrilled to the very edges of your soul by a flower in Spring bloom,
maybe your soul has never been in bloom". Audra Foveo

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Art and Pain

Artist don't get down to work until the pain of working is exceeded by the pain of not working. - Stephen DeStaebler

Does anyone feel my pain?

I am struggling with the 3/4 face. I make faces with big noses, crooked noses, woompie eyes, crazy shapes on the chin- they look like apes half the time. I start and then work and work and, throw it away because my eraser won't even erase the bad lines anymore. Just when I think I have something down like the eyes- oh my- here comes the ear or the nostril......
But the book I'm reading "Art & Fear" says : "Basically, those who continue to make art are those who have learned to continue- or more precisely, have learned not to quit".
Basically, it's a test. A test of my will. Something has to give here and it won't be me. I have an expectation that I WILL MEET. But I have to realize that that expectation is always ahead of me, just ahead and all I can do is go back to Journal (1) and realize that Journal (6) is miles ahead. That I have made progress and I will make more progress in time.
I hope you feel progress in your life, your writing, your art. I hope you won't quit and I hope we will stumble over the finish line, together, completely devoid of any talent that we were ever given because we used up every ounce of it while we had the opportunity.
But there is some pain involved in the pouring out of it, don't you agree?

Sunday, April 18, 2010


okáy ... it's official.


I'm filling up this 6th moleskin so quickly that I need to get another one on order.

This is my first "looking down" face.

I'm taking an on-line class with Suzi Blu- called "Piety & Passion" because I love, love Tudor history and this class combines learning the 3/4 face, with Tudor portraits, colors, textures, and she even has Tudor history to get you into their heads so that you can paint with imagination and with knowledge of the times. SO FUN!!

But in the meantime, I'm practicing faces from all different angles and noticing new things about them that I've never seen before. (oh dear-googly eyes as Suzi Blu calls them)

Also, another thing that has triggered this whole fACE MANIA thing is that I watched a master body painter, Mark Reid (mild caution- adult images also on this site) paint children's faces at an event in our small town. He was born here, and loves the little kids in his hometown. This is no simple face painting- this is wild, crazy wonderful art. And I watched and and listened as he spoke about using the body and face for a canvas -something that never crossed my mind really. But watching him interact which each child who was absolutely delighted for him to paint their face- well.. it was the coolest thing. Not only would you get to paint faces but you get to talk to the face your painting!!! And talk about the JOY! You've never seen so many beautiful HAPPY, HAPPY faces. He teaches classes and I'm dying to take one.

Of course, I had to come home and paint a butterfly face in my journal to remember the day and capture some of the images I saw. Now it looks kind of pitiful compared to what he was able to produce in minutes. But then he's had a life-time I tell myself.

This was my feeble attempt of trying to re-create some of the magic I saw in Miguel Martinez's art. His stuff blows me away and he's in my part of the country- and everything about his art touches me.

These images say to me, "Paint you wild wonderful crazy woman! Time is running out and there are so many portraits to paint! AND PAINT WELL- and you're not getting any younger! carpe diem!

I thought you might like to see my last painting of faces I posted earlier but this is after I completely finished and added a few more details.

I hope that I have infected you with some FACE MANIA! Please share yours with me and feed fuel to my already raging fire of passion about this subject.

Friday, April 16, 2010

A Good Reason to Keep Trying

I will always love the face. I did these faces with Shiva sticks, which for me has been a wonderful way to work with oil and to experiment and practice with the creaminess and wonderful blending qualities you get from oil. The background is acrylics. I also layered flowered napkins for the background with matte medium and it helped to make my faces stand out.

This painting was specifically made to be sold at a silent auction at my church wherein they were raising money for the youth and their summer camps. Happily, it did sell and had several bidders. (I'm always afraid that it will sit there with no bid on the page).This is another great reason to continue to improve in my art as others will purchase them for good causes and then the gift keeps on giving.

I know that I'm growing up because previously I could never give anything away or sell things that I painted because I figured the good things were a fluke and that I would never be able to make another good painting. But now I know they are only stepping stones to the next project. It helps that my stepping stones are being loved and accepted by others, and helping others.

I look forward to the day when I can raise the big bucks for my favorite charities simply by doing something I love to do.

Monday, April 12, 2010

A Warrior's Heart

This is a new little watercolor that I painted in my journal last night. I had tried several things but they were all too "heavy-handed". Portraits that turned out to be clowns because I put so much darks in, teeth too big, hair too garish. Watercolor isn't very forgiving once you start adding the darks. And the more I try to fix them, they just get darker and more heavy-handed. I look forward to the day when my touch has more finesse in it. So I just went for the bold color here in this abstract piece and I like it.

I get the bold strokes from both sides of my family. Let me just say that God did not give my folks the spirit of timidity. No soft spoken, gentle soul among us. You could hear my mother in the kitchen from clear across the house because she actually stomped her way around, and slammed cabinets as if she were mad and she wasn't. She's a trooper- and a loud one. We always knew she could run a company or be chairman of the board if she wanted to. You put my Dad on a project and he will die on that hill before he quits it or gives up. I have two brothers on either side of me that make up the brick fence that is my original family. We are loud and strong and bold and sometimes over-bearing. We are not shy about anything. We are like a bull-dog if you sick us on something. We pull ourselves and you and everyone around us up by their boot straps and slap you on your butt and say, "keep moving - no pity party today. We don't give up easily and we don't give in as soon as we should. It's not something I'm proud of.. but it's not something I'm necessarily ashamed of either.

It's true that I must learn to control my bold strokes with more finesse and my color to balance out my compositions and my life. But I won't give it up, I won't resist it. For it is a huge part of how I am defined and who I am. I expect this art thing to take me into my 90s. If you follow me there, you will see an old woman with a bold painting because I will still have my warriors' heart and my vibrant spirit. Life will fade my color a little bit, I accept that - and I should be just right by the time I hit and paint my last wall.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Some days when I walk out on my front porch here in southeastern New Mexico, it's all I can do to walk back in the house - and some days, I don't for a long time.
The birds were chattering so loudly in the pecan orchards that it sounded like a documentary of monkeys living in a rain forest.
My view, for as far as I could see, were green fields of tripecale (a blend of oats) that is now knee high. It is an awesome green - a green like deep emerald velvet - and it waves and rolls like the sea with only the slightest breeze.
My journal and my travel pack of watercolors seemed a good place to stop later in the morning and express the beauty that was literally wrapped around my heart like the hand-painted silk scarf I wrapped around my neck. It's just a regular day. No need for fancy, dress-up stuff.
But it seemed to fit the day and the mood. It oozes the luxuries of life to me like the morning view of this beautiful farm and the chance to arrange flowers from heart to my journal.
(hey Red, these tulips are for you because I know you love em too)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

4082 miles of smiles

I went to Charleston, South Carolina and every state in between from New Mexico -back in 10 days - driving 4082 miles, and had an absolute blast with all this family of girls. My niece, Hollie, on the far right is who we went to see and she was an awesome tour guide.
We saw old houses and

and old trees (this one is 500 years old)

and old gardens. You know, the kind of things that grow old gracefully.......
We saw scary things, like haunted jails and alligators, and each other without make-up and morning coffee.

we ate GREAT food (this is Mammy's Cupboard outside of Natchez, Mississippi. We sat on beautiful private beaches and played in the white sand at Destin, Florida! and met incredible people along the way. This is Isaac. He has lived on the Magnolia Plantation all his life. His great-grandfather was a slave on this place. And his father is a camellia specialist. Isaac has lived long enough to see his family honored for the incredible contribution his family gave and suffered to prosper the South. We shopped and shared our lives and laughed and peed in a hundred different bathrooms.

A girl's road trip - the best of times, the best memories to place in the pocket of my heart. Thanks for riding along.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Fantastic Road Trip.

Originally uploaded by chapped_chick
This was the wonderful bunch of girls that traveled to Charleston, South Carolina, excluding the third beauty from the left that was my niece, and our excellent tour guide.
I'm having a terrible time posting my photos so bear with me.