Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Years Eve

I have recently posted a new addition to my shop being a watercolor portrait of my daughter Isabella. I was short of sources of inspiration from which to make portraits and realized that I could do a number of paintings focused on Isabella's face. I do prefer to make portraits where there is no emotional attachment to the subject so that I can add to it my own emotional interpretation as it comes. So it is New Years Eve and Sam and Isabella are sitting at the table doing their art after eating homemade chili while Mabel, our rabbit is nibbling away at the Christmas tree. I never do see New Years as being a fresh start into a new year or have I given credence to making resolutions but I will give it my best try this new year. I find it difficult to break from any habit whether I believe it to be good or bad. I have only found new ways to structure my time to devote to conquering bad habits or constructing new ones. Life draws away my attention and distracts me from my aims unless I am mindful enough to do something about it. I suppose I would like to make two resolutions concerning creativity: 1) sketching for 30 minutes a day 2) looking at life differently each day by viewing something beautiful, or by altering something common into something new that wasn't there before. This morning for example I had the urge to draw in brush and ink a face on our honeydew melon.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Front Page Onetindrum

A fortunate day for Etsy treasuries. My treasury made it to the front page! I chose an assortment of white treasures that had a tint of blue hue to add the feeling of cold. The theme was snow which I do very much miss being that I live in sunny California but yet I remember those times back east on wintery days and lounging about in snowy stillness. Sam's work takes center stage in this treasury.

Below is Sam's vibrant treasury full of mossy and yellow greens which also made it to the Front page of Etsy and it features one of my own creations, the strange elephant with the unicorn horn on its head. A wonderful collection of works that complimented one another well.

I have a fondness for elephants but I had the idea of mixing various animals together though I didn't want to come off too hokey. I decided to mix in a bit of rhino together with possibly a lop-eared rabbit and unicorn. I hand inked this work with a brush and then hand painted the body with watercolor. I would like to try some more of these imaginary animals in the future which might lead to something rather different, like perhaps a cow mix with a walrus, etc.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Listening to ones own voice

We all had a wonderful Christmas this year. Isabella awoke to the surprise at finding a gigantic sized Totoro waiting for her Christmas morning on the couch. Sam, my wife was able to sew the Tortoro together once we got the necessary fabric and she made a few sketches of the design. I am still amazed and intrigued by what Sam is able to do with a sewing machine. I have spent several days reading and lounging about doing odd sketches of future things to draw or focus in on. Often it is difficult to know where to move forward on an idea until it is drawn over a few times. I know that Etsy appears to lean towards a certain look and it's very tempting for an artist to stray to what is apparently fashionable or popular in the way of art. Despite all urging to draw or paint what I feel will sell, I will continue to follow my own process wherever that leads me. I have recently worked on two very subtle and charming watercolor portraits of children, one of a former student and the other of my daughter. I am discouraged in the process of creating a digital reproduction of my work for viewing on the internet, as my home technology is somewhat obsolete. Watercolor pictures I find are so very difficult to scan. However, with much fiddling around on photoshop, I am able to create the closest likeness to the originals as possible. Tonight I will have submitted two new works into my shop: the first being a portrait of Eddy and the other a surreal drawing of an entangled armed figure with the aim of eating pie.

I will post them here on the blog for viewing. I will be sad to see our beautiful tree go with its twinkling lights and the amusement it gave the cats who chased around it at morning and the bunny who napped beneath it at night.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

December 23rd, 2008

This will be my first entry in what I hope to be an ongoing process to route out and eradicate unproductive or unwanted habits and hopefully channel new paths to creativity and self realization. I was as slothful as a cat on this day filled with idle staring, intermitten moments of reading interspersed with naps and TV watching of Mr. Bean. My life is now currently in the service of cats, both my own and those of two different residents within my building who have gone away for Christmas. Scooping cat litter is a humbling and present minded experience and does cause one to slow down and pay attention. This may sound absurd but there are so many things within the day that happen without my full attention. Though I dread doing the dishes, I find that it too is an experience that slows me down and gets me present oriented.

I have awaited this lengthy Christmas break with thoughts of all the productive things to be done, namely new art posts for Etsy, looking for a job abroad, reading and more reading. I have been sketching out some ideas for some new drawings and I am looking forward to doing some new watercolor portraits of Isabella my daughter. I also have been reading a really wonderful book called The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins and I am enjoying it immensely. I feel pretty timid to write this evening but I am forcing my way through it with hopes that I will get more comfortable writing as I get in the habit. I will close with a picture of one of my cats named Blue who loves licking soap bars.