Monday, January 25, 2010

Ticket for a magic carpet ride !

Welcome, welcome to the Magic Carpet Ride, part of  the One World, One Heart event. I am so excited to be a part of this International event designed to bring together blogggers and blog readers from all over the world. The Red Queen has joined us with her winged friends to help us along on our journey through the blogosphere. To make life even more exciting, she is the giveaway here at Paintdiva !

She is acrylic, collage and oilsticks to give her a creamy complexion, all done on archival heavyweight watercolor paper. Don't you love her jeweled bodice and gold leaves on her skirt? She has quite a queenly demeanor, but not quite as threatening as our friend alice's legendary Red Queen. This one is a bit more benevolent.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Houston, we have ignition !!!!!

Well, maybe we don't have an intergalactic traveling device ready for take-off, but I do have a brand spanking new Etsy shop up and running. I still need to connect to paypal, but I am connected to this blog and facebook so it is a start. Very fitting for my "Begin and Begin Again" theme for 2010. I've been dancing around the entire process for two weeks, finally deciding this is time. So although I have posted views of my beloved studio, I have yet to get up there and work on any of several projects waiting my attention. It does take courage to begin anew, putting yourself out into cyberspace for all to see and hopefully enjoy in their own real worlds. I have to admit a little heart tightening every time I thought of taking this final step, but I was getting bored telling friends and family what I was "gonna do" and not having anything to show for it. Now I say "Ta-Daaaaaa"

Do hit the Etsy widget in the right margin and visit the shop. I am very excited about all of this. My goal was to have it up and running by Monday to be in synch with the One World project. " Ta-Daaaaa"

Do stop back on Monday. I have a wonderful giveaway planned. I am as excited about that as anything. We are running on caffeine and dreams here in Middle Earth. All of this coordinating and fingernail biting seems to be coming together. Making dreams into real stuff is hard work, hard work, I tell you, but worth every single second. What else is there to do on a very grey Middle Earth kind of day?
This is what it is all about. This lovely mess that makes my heart sing and my fingers itch. Chaos wanting to become something wonderful and weaving all of this stuff together into what you see in the Etsy is what makes life worth breathing. Such fun.

Well, there is a pot of potato bacon soup in crock pot, a Waldorf salad chilling to go with it. No reason to be anywhere but either here at this magic box or deep in the mess you see in these photos. Lots of goodies to share if you should drop by.

Visit me on Monday to see my exciting giveaway and find the rest of the participants in our project !
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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Pencil Play

Going back to just straight drawing as a discipline is a bug step for me. Part of was sure I forgot everything I ever learned or did as an art student but it really is like getting on bicycle. You just hop on and away you go. The big changes for me with this piece was the concept of using the graphite like paint with the erasers and stump as brushes. Once I got rolling on that mindset I was off and running. The class, with Misty Mawn also suggested some great books on portrait drawing and my nose is glued into those. Once you get into this it is just so absorbing and rewarding you want to quit eating and just draw. Unfortunately my husband still wants to eat so there are various inspirations to get into the kitchen and do something. I'm still in the middle of setting up the Etsy shop, getting a phone line and other business duties that it almost seemed like I wasn't getting any art time at all. I am grateful I signed up for this class and have this commitment in the back of my mind and on my drawing board.

I wandered into Dick Blick's to pick up a few pencils and walked out with over $50 worth of supplies: I decided that if I was going to do this at all , I would get some pencils with artist grade graphite...smooth stuff that didn't skip and scratch, then, of course, I saw these really cool tortillons for blending..yep, I needed those. Then I saw that drawing boards were on sale $7!!!! My dear husband borrowed mine years ago to shore up a desk top and I never got it back. He's cute so I let him keep it and added the drawing board to my stack...some stick charcoal, a pad of colored paper. SIGH. It's just too easy ! I had to put down the extra tinted charcoal pencils, though I have since discovered my white charcoal pencil has a shattered lead and I'll need to go again. Luckily I have a coupon for another local art store..ArtMart.
I loved her crooked smile. My goal was to get more expression into my drawings and this was a nice step forward in that direction. I also want to do more ethnic faces...I want some variety...My heart knows that when I look out at the world faces come in all kinds of shapes, sizes and colors...I want that it my art. I've always loved Da Vinci's drawings of characters and expressions. My next splurge will be a decent book on Da Vinci's art. I really don't have one and Misty has suggested one that I want to hunt down.

Speaking of books, if you are looking fora wonderful tale of a spiritual journey told by a mother-daughter team, hunt down "Traveling with Pomegranates" You can click on the Amazon description using the book on the right. It is a hundred times better than I can tell you, so just read it and thank me later.

Don't forget to stop by on Monday for the OneWorld One heart event !!!!!!
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Friday, January 15, 2010

Traveling with wonder

If you have been here before, you may notice a few changes and there are more on the way. I am traveling a new path, not necessarily an easy one, learning new computer tricks, figuring out time and space, trying to make a home office work. I've done this before, but never with someone else who is also working from home. It is a strange variation, still having to please someone else and deal with their needs while trying to meet one's own schedule. There are bound to be a few bumps.

The good news is that the very first week it snowed and iced and froze and I could stay right here and still get things done. This was a very good thing as I am still a desert flower not happy driving on all that slippery white stuff at all. My desk sits right between two corner windows which is a bit drafty, but I love being able to see the world outside. That first snowy day I opened the blinds to find a fluffed up robin sitting in the holly tree right outside the window. He had found a place out of the wind and so had I.

I had two project goals this week. The first was to create a painted banner for my church service, which is a contemporary service. It was actually the third in a series I've done on sheer scrim. I use house paint and just my hands to drip and throw paint and create a specific design. The previous designs were a cross for Easter with a very subtle form of Christ and the other a symbol for the trinity. I think it was Greek. this one is for a four part series covering Christianity as it relates and compares to four other ancient religions: Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and Judaism. Each was represented by a symbol and placed to create a cruciform in the center. One of the really neat things about the process is that I use a paint that has a color name of "Mysterious Light". I didn't pick it out fact I didn't even see the name until they mixed the color, I just chose a good color from those chips they have at Home Depot. When they mixed it up, they called it out to let me know it was ready and I didn't even realize it was the color I had ordered.

My other project was to set up an Etsy shop. Technically, it is set up. It's just empty and not yet connected to this blog, which it will be in the very near future. The high point of doing this sort of work is that you can do it at any hour on any day, so I get a bit done here and there and then get off on another project. I am very excited about getting the shop filled and working and at this point I am waiting to get the approvals from paypal so I can accept credit cards. However, I may open up and connect before then just accepting checks. anyway, the week-end will be filled with pricing, matting and figuring out postage and handling.

You may have noticed the button for the One world One Heart project. I am also psyched about being included in this. what will happen is that beginning January 25th I will post my offering to the project, which will be a painting, of course. Visitors to my blog must leave a comment in that day's entry and anyone can do that through February 3. at that point I will collect all the names and hopefully they have left a way I can get in touch with them all in a hat and allow my husband to pull a single winner and that lucky person will receive the painting. there will be more exact details in my post on the 25th. The point is for folks to visit each others blogs, as we will all be connected. You can visit all the other participants, leave your name and contact info and win multiple prizes while learning about other bloggers and artists. Last year there were over 900 participants so you have a very good chance of winning and even if you don't, you are sure to have a wonderful time wandering the blogosphere meeting new folk.

Well, there are many more projects for this day alone, a birdie pie to bake, some drawing to do and a painting to finish for a magazine call. The week-end will be busy and maybe a bit warmer. I'm hoping for some sunshine.......
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Monday, January 11, 2010

Begin and Begin Again

This is my mantra for 2010. Begin; Begin Again. So many new beginnings for this year. The last evening of the year, at sunset, I went for a walk. I so needed the fresh cold air and repetitive, meditative movement of the familiar path from my own door through the pretty little neighborhoods that surround me and back again to my home. We live in a pretty place..not the drama of my beloved Sangre de Christos or the hard edged glitz of the Vegas Strip; not the familiar nascent song of the Atlantic Ocean that sang me to life or the mystery of the forests or any of the other worlds I have lived in ...a pretty neighborhood with well kept homes on well kept streets. The blessing is you don't have to think much about where you are putting your feet as you waves or cactus or rattlesnakes...just your mind is free to wander where it will in time and space.

Sunset. The last day of the year. The last light of a decade. I mentally said good-by to people, places, even my own little mindsets, marveling at how thoughts and opinions had developed and either helped or hindered the path I walked this decade. I released as much as I could, feeling lighter with each step, growing wings with each whispered word. My spine even itched slightly as if those wings wanted to burst forth, but it wasn't just wings, there were antennae as well that began to reach out for that which is now, for the blessings of the present place, this strange Middle Earth, with its gift of snow and Spring and Autumn. this place of Sacred Spaces and Angel Folk; this time of growing awareness and calm. As yet unimagined blessings glowing like this setting sun.

Fear has choked my sleep several nights. Fear of the changes this night of the fullest of full moons brings. My marriage, my career,my daily path through life are all changing this year, this decade. This fear, is only change and I, who so honors change, am overwhelmed by too full a plate. I will lose a parent. I will grow a business. I will adopt a life with less of what was previously there and more of something else. It doesn't really sound so bad as a written sentence.

So, any other year, I would write a long list of goals, specific in dates and dollar amounts and there may yet be an exercise in that sort of organized thought. My goal for 2010 is my mantra. Begin and Begin Again. On my walk that last night of a decade, the last night of the year, I said good-by to my 40's and thought about how I had turned 50 and would see 60 in this next decade. When I am feeling overwhelmed I often think I am too old for all this nonsense, too old to begin all over again for beginning is just so BIG, but as I watched the soft edged orange ball of the sun disappear below the horizon, I gave thanks to God that I could, in fact, begin and begin again.
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