Passions of an Odd Chick

Monday, August 30, 2010

Call Me a Crazy Dreamer

No. 13 She Speaks For Herself

She's been in my dreams for awhile. You may see a little different style, I call it my painterly style. I notice that I try to stretch myself a little, and then I go too far, and then I go back to my old ways and then I start over and try to stretch myself again. Do you do that? It seems a safe way to proceed.
What I see in this portrait is a prototype of things to come. In my dreams, she's a large oil painting- painted from a live model standing by a camilla bush. She's only a twinkle of that but it will come to me someday.
I've given myself until 70 to be famous. I figure I will need the extra attention by then. So in the mean-time, I'm just making my way to stardom one painting at a time. I expect that there are 1000 paintings between this one and the one that will hang in a museum.
If you live long enough, you may see it too.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Chill Out- No. 12

No. 12 She Speaks For Herself
I was finishing up on this painting while I was talking to my daughter on the phone. She was describing how hard it is to know when to push her boys and when to let up. They are excellent parents, but both are driven in their own ways and now they are trying to translate that motivation to their sons and it's frustrating because the oldest is very laid back, slow, and day-dreams alot.
I told her to chill out. That his drive would come and his motivation would come - that he's just a little kid. (I'm grandma remember), that he's not suppose to think like a 30 year old.
And there I was still trying to get her to think like me even though there is 20 years difference.
Isn't it funny how we return to being laid back, slow and day-dream a lot when we're 50 or so?
This painting was boring and I had to add some bling and snow and chill this baby out a little. See? I'm motivated- it just comes after the day-dreaming.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

No.11 She Speaks For Herself

She and I did not get along. She was a hard Princess to be around and therefore she's not one of my favorites. But I showed up! I am proud of that. I committed to the painting until the end.
I'm reading this amazing book, "The War of Art" suggested by a friend and an amazing artist who has consistently inspired me.
This book describes what happens to an artist to discourage them and the author personalizes it in the name of "Resistance".  I loved this passage:
If you believe in God (and I do) you must declare Resistance evil, for it prevents us from the achieving the life God intended when He endowed each of us with our own unique genius. Genius is a Latin word; the Romans used it to denote an inner spirit, holy and inviolable, which watches over us, guiding us to our calling. A writer writes with his genius; an artist paints with hers; everyone who creates operates from this sacramental center. It is our soul's seat, the vessel that holds our being-in-potential, our star's beacon and Polaris.
Every time we don't show up to the page or the easel because of our critical internal voices, we have lost the spiritual battle within us.

God has given each of us a gift, a calling. Our job is not the viewer, not the critic, not the encourager. Our job is to show up and give our gift to the world and let God do the rest. It may not change the world, but it will change us in the process of aligning ourselves with His purposes.
Fresco style of No. 11
I like this one better for some reason.

Saturday, August 21, 2010


No. 10 Courage
Yes, I need a huge dose of it. I'm still trying new things. It's like a baking a new recipe for an important party that you've never tried before, never tasted.
I envy people that work in studios with other artist and can bounce things off of them.
I have no clue what I'm doing. Everything has to be learned from a book, a video or I have to drive 200 miles or farther for a workshop. Or I beg for tips, comments, critiques, anything to help.

And then I think of the people I know right now who are dealing with chronic pain, heart-ache, financial difficulties.
One sweet man I know has a hernia, and every time he stands up, he has to hold his stomach in because it has been pushed out somehow by this hernia. This is after surgery for a bleeding ulcer.
One beautiful woman I know has been separated from her husband for 3 years and still loves him and prays for him to return some day and yesterday they found an "unusual" lump in her breast. She just waits to find out how that will change her life - alone.
I can count 10 people right now that I know are dealing with cancer!!
Two single women I know are going through bankruptcy- losing everything and starting over and the economy crisis just won't let up on them.
Honestly, I don't really need courage when it comes to art.
Art is a privilege. A necessary luxury.
Wouldn't it be great if our art could actually give someone a reminder of courage in a moment of crisis?
Art can heal. It can bring beauty into some one's life that is parched and tired and sick.
I think it's definitely worth the endeavor, and whatever struggle I try to make it.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Scare Yourself at least once a day.

I'm crackin myself up over here. Not because I probably just did one of the craziest portraits of my series (She Speaks For Herself, No. 9), but because I scared myself to death and loved every moment of it.
I needed to do something different. Really different. (And should you paint when you have PMS???) I was getting bored with myself. My bad twin was just eeking to get out after making some nice girls. Whenever I want that crazy creative part of me to come forward, I just think of my daughter. If you've been around here for very long you know that she has always been an inspiration in my art. You never know what color, what style my daughter's hair will be or what she will have on. She can look like pageant queen or rocker dude. She has always made me smile with her sense of wacky style and design.
I've also been listening to some creative voices that are encouraging me to loosen up my out-lining, tighten up my drawing skills, add HANDS (this was such a challenge and scary) and other elements,  and push myself a little further every time I show up to paint. SCARY!!
Thank you Lady Gaga for helping with the hands! Isn't she an inspiration to step outside your comfort zone??

This painting was like going to a really good scary movie that finished with a funny ending. And you walk out thinking, "that wasn't a scary movie after all, but it was a fun little drama!"
Let's go see it again.

Now I wonder, if by the time I finish 20 - if they will even look like a series by the same artist. I hope not. 
.... that would be really scary......

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Bloomin away over here!

If you're following this journey and so many of you generous souls are - this is No. 8. I think I'll name the series: "She Speaks For Herself".
I felt like I had a lot of big sisters who flew to my rescue when you found out I had taken some negative comments. Thank you so much for the wise words and encouragement. I go back and read each comment again and again to pull out the treasures left there.
I'm sure the fear (that I'm not good enough) will come back - that's the way it is with creative work. I totally recommend Art &Fear. You can buy it used for around $5.00 and it will be the best tool in your art box.
I love this paragraph from the book regarding fears about ourselves as artists and how we fear that we just don't have that "magic" element you see in other artist's work that you admire or that we don't have any real talent:
Admittedly, artmaking probably does require something special, but just what that something might be has remained remarkably elusive- elusive enough to suggest that it may be something particular to each artist, rather than universal to them all.  The important point here is not that you have or don't have- what other artists have, but rather that it doesn't matter. Whatever they have is something needed to do their work- it wouldn't help you in your work even if you had it. Their magic is theirs. You don't lack it. You don't need it. I has nothing to do with you. Period.      
So my work is being laboriously nurtured and somewhere along the line, as long as I'm not waiting for perfection, my real "magic" is going to emerge along the journey.  I'm good enough- today. I hope you feel the same way about your creative life.
I sent my first 7 girls to a professional printer to be scanned properly and to find out what cards will cost me. But GE--willies, I have to buy 100 to get a good price.
I'm also thinking about making some glass pendants too.

I took 3 girls to have them matted. WOW! I did not realize how much it cost to double matt with 4 inch matt on foamboard! (probably around $50.00 a piece) She said she would give me a discount because I was bringing her several. I know I should learn this process myself, but it looks sloppy when I do it so far.
I'm trying to keep it simple. This is fun, light-hearted art and shouldn't be taken too seriously. But it does deserve a fun, light-hearted setting to shine in. I have several places in mind and I will present by priority until I receive an acceptance. I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

It's getting harder and harder to come up with fresh ideas that really excite me enough to want to paint. She's #7. Did I really say that I was going to do about 20????
No. 6 took some hits. You all are so kind here on my blog. But Facebook has brought out some negative comments, some honest, some really makes you question yourself. And at the same time, the negative comments are just as helpful as the nice ones.
I know this is not serious art- fine art- and I don't expect it to be taken too seriously or everyone to get IT.
For me, these are like (not anywhere close in talent of course) Rosie the Riveter - that great portrait that inspired women during WWII.

Women have always needed these.
I need this one today.
For one thing, I have to accept that if I stick my stuff out there for the "real" public- that it's going to take some punches. It's ridiculous to think everyone will like it.
Some will even hate it, make fun of it, disrespect it.
It will be hard not to take it personally.
But I know who I am.
My value does not come from my art.
It comes from the One who gave me my creative spirit.
If I don't try, I will have to answer to Him.
In the end, it's just between me and Him anyway.

Friday, August 13, 2010

I gave in.

I have no idea who she is or where she came from. All I know is that this is getting harder, not easier as I expected. She is the 6th in a series.
She had a story to tell, and would not leave me alone until I told it her way.
She was suppose to be Asian, a soft portrait with green and purple, with maybe some leaves and bamboo.
But she would not have it.
I went to bed last night feeling like I had been in an intense argument with a loved one. Unpeaceful. Agitated.
And there she was this morning. Still being stubborn. I didn't want to mess with her so I went for walk, picked some green beans from the garden, paid some bills. 
When I came back, I picked up my big brush (I remembered that when you feel frustrated, your brush is probably too small).
I began to sling some white paint at her to cover her up and then her crown and veil began to appear. She hated the green so I covered it up.
Are you predominantly warm or cool? Geez.
She finally got her way, and in the end I like her better than I did when we started.
And we are friends again... now that I don't care who she is or where she came from.
I know it sounds a little psychophrenic. But this is the way my right brain and left brain wars with itself- until I give in to the process. It's beginning to be a real wrestling match, tortuous as I get further into this. You would think I would figure out a way to give in sooner. I'm expecting more from myself with each stroke.  I hope you're seeing more.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Fly Baby Fly

5th one! I wish you could see this up close - she has globs of texture on her because I painted mostly with my hands in big ole pools of paint -so luxurious!

My hat goes off to these girls who make a living doing their art. It is SO HARD to stay in the process and not get caught up in the paint-for-sale mode. I want each of these women's faces to have strength and presence, and a piece of my heart and it is JOYOUS LABOR, my friend.

Sweet Farmer reminded me last night that I can still go to Italy, whether I sell any paintings or not but I told him that it's not the same- that I want my art to fly me to Italy. He just looks at me quizzically and I love that clueless, albeit a little sad-puppy-dog look that says-"why is she driving herself crazy when I just want to give her time to paint because she loves it and it makes her so friggin happy, and I can take care of the rest". He actually said that last night in so many words. Ahhhhh. I do love him for it but I truly think that promoting this art will strengthen me and give me presence and increase my heart capacity- do you see a theme growing here??

It is already working something different in me.

Thanks to those who encouraged me to make cards. I think I will. OMG ooodnesssss.

Tell me if you think I'm beginning to slip. PLEASE. Sometimes, just a little suggestion/critique, like, "I would move the words down and to the right" can really, really help. (thank you Tinnie Girl, check her out- fabulous art)!

I love hearing those comments about favorites. (Thanks Buffy for choosing "Nobody's Fool". No one had picked her as a favorite and so far, she's mine too) It helps me know what is universally pleasing.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

AWAKE... and still moving forward.

Still working. 16 more to go. (Read about my plan here.) Scary, but exciting little path I'm taking, I must say. Thank you all for your honest encouragement.

Once I get about 8-1o finished, I would like to present them to the owner of this gallery setting option that I have in mind to see when and if he would consider them. (I have a very close friend who works in this shop who has encouraged me to do this- a foot-in-the-door as some would say.)

I'm not sure if I should make a notebook/portfolio of prints to show him or show him the originals. Should I show them to him framed or just professionally matted? They are all about 11X14. I think I should matt them all the same, that they will have some kind of collective impact- whatever that means!

Does anyone out there have experience with this and would you be willing to share some tips? I would love to take Kelly Rae's Flying Lessons. And I still may because I think I'm ready. But I really want any profit I might make to go toward my trip to Italy. I know, I know - sometimes you have to spend money to make money.

You would think I wouldn't be so clueless about this as many artist as I follow in this blog world. But I can't remember anyone ever talking about their presentation/ getting-yourself-in-the-gallery-stuff.

Do you have a favorite so far? It's always fun to see what's most appealing to others.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Passion and Pain of Frida

This is my rendition of Frida Khalo. She was a strong woman who had great passion, yet lived with great pain so I didn't want a smiling portrait. She was strangely exotic with her dark eyebrows that went clear across her forehead and some photos (and even her own self portraits) show a slight mustache above her lip. She had a turbulent, but passionate love affair with her husband, Diego.

I'm not sure why, but I've always been fascinated with her and I've done her several times, and never been quite pleased, including this one. It seems as soon as I told you about my plan, I began to freeze up and have been barely able to draw or paint and nothing has flowed. But I'm going to act like a real artist and suck it up and keep working through it.

Only 17 more to go in case you didn't read about my plan, you can read it here.

I cried when I read all of your comments. You can't imagine what your support means as I'm fairly isolated and have no one besides Sweet Farmer to bounce these off of- and he doesn't like portraits with big eyes or words. So thank you!!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Reclaim Yourself

I have a secret wish -but I'm going to share it with you even though it scares me just to type it out to the universe.
My plan:
To make about 20 of these girl portraits to encourage women to be strong in their lives and to value themselves.
Then, I want to have a little show at a darling little gift shop here that does that sometimes for new artist.
If I sell them, I will add it to a long-time dream to TRAVEL to Italy in October of 2011 and take my mom and daughter or at least help them go.
If I don't, I will pay for a booth at our art gallery in hopes of selling them.
If they don't sell there, I will give them away for a silent auction for our food pantry in our little community, of which I'm on the Board.
I will make prints and maybe calenders for friends and family.
I cannot fail with this plan. I cannot fail with this plan....
I keep telling myself I must value my art enough to promote it and sell it.
Now that you share my secret wish maybe somehow it will make it grow.
What is your secret wish?
(This is a mixed-media piece with acrylic and watercolor pencils and charcoal. What you're looking at is actually a 8 X 10 print, rather than the original.)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

A Girl With Attitude

It feels so good to see some progress.
  • I'm learning how to blend my acrylics! THIS IS HUGE PEOPLE!! I'm so happy about that!
  • I'm learning that I can use good paper to paint on and not just canvas and that they don't take up so much room (under the bed) and it reminds me of my journal which feels very comfortable.
  • I'm learning to let my attitude show- that it is okay that I'm not SWEET, like some people I envy- that I have a EDGE-y-ness and I can let it show in my art.
  • I'm learning that if I can't get a desired affect with one medium, then I can with another. The world is MMMIIINE in art supplies MMMMAAAHHHH.
  • I'm learning that I can make it any darn thing I want it to be and that I don't have to show it to anyone if I don't want to - that I paint until I like it- period.
  • I'm learning to use my hands in the paint and to rub charcoal in for drama, but wipe it off for goodness sake on the end of your fingers before you go back into it!
  • I'm learning that consistently working, leaving a mess in your kitchen, everyday, does produce results and you can still cook with half a counter.

You can't imagine how much your encouragement has spurred me on.

One thing to ask- I haven't actually painted the words in - I only digitally placed them to see if I like them (another lesson). I would really like your honest opinion about the left side of the painting. Any better ideas?

  • OH, and I've learned to ask my friends when I get stumped.

Monday, August 2, 2010


con.vic.tion :
1) the act of convicting
2) the state of being convinced: strong belief
One of my favorite authors, Oswald Chambers, said, "It is easy to be determined, and the curious thing is that the more small-minded a man is the more easily he makes up his mind. ..... The difference between an obstinate man and a strong-minded man lies just here: an obstinate man refuses to use his intelligence when a matter is in dispute, while a strong-minded man makes his decision after having deliberately looked at it from all standpoints, and when opposed, he is willing to give reasons for his decision."

I have had many strong convictions and beliefs. I have been a person of strong opinions and never afraid to share them. And I've lived long enough to see many of them shot down and left to die a slow, tortuous death.
I have learned that there are very, very few real convictions that are worth more than relationships.
We should chose our convictions very carefully.
and the hill we chose to die on.
Or in the end we can be become a convict of our convictions.