Tuesday, December 11, 2018

not much art lately, what I've been up to, and freebies I've found

hi there.  just touching base.

I've been in a stall with my art since last I've posted.  what I've posted is what I've created with paint.  last entry in early September with a background and sketch of grandma and me for a class that I never finished, and some sketches hoping for a comeback of some creating.  not so good.  not so good.



I had been very busy organizing my sweeties 50th birthday bash that I held on November 3rd (a full month and a half before his actual birthday, hehehe).  that took a ton of creative, mental and physical energy out of me!  I was working on this 2-fold event for him for 5 months, and keeping something this huge from him was wearing me down.  I tell him everything, and the stress and worry with no outlet and not getting comfort from my rock was a bit more than I could take.  I was SO ready for it to be over and done with, but was getting pretty creative with finding lies at the drop of a hat.

the first surprise that got sweetie out of the house that morning so I could get the hall ready was one of our kids faking a car issue an hour away that needed his "help".  in actuality it was the bunch of them getting together to play laser tag.

here are some photos of things I worked on to decorate the hall (I deleted my photos of works in progress, concerned he might find them);

50 years of memories collage.  I cut out the numbers out of foam board and collaged the photos onto them, hot glued thin wood strips to the back of the collages to stabilize them, covered a plywood board in white fabric and stuck on the sticker letters to say 'years of memories'.  my sister in law attached the collage to the board for me at the venue while I worked on getting the rest of the details delegated and finished what I could.



I had many old photos of him over his many, many years, so made two more collages on foam boards.  one of them wasn't photographed.



I had 50 quartz crystals for party favors



a dr. Seuss book as a guest book



candy, quotes and photo centerpieces

"nothing better than an old nerd"

other candy/quotes;
- skittles; "marks 40's skittles away"
-chocorocks; "50 rocks!"
- smarties; "mr. smarty is 50"
- fun sized halloween candy; "marks humor is fun sized in a big way"
- jellybeans; "mark is full of beans"
- starburst; "happy 50th burst-day"
- hersheys kisses; "mark kisses his 40's goodbye"
- peanut m&ms; "celebrate the nutty guy"
- milk duds; "this dude is no dud"


we had a dessert table with cupcakes and a sundae bar which was a huge hit with about 30 toppings to choose from



and a "pin the 'stache on mark" game




everyone had a great time!  sweetie was surprised twice in one day and will never trust me again.  the only bummer was I was so stressed and swamped with too much to do and not enough time that I didn't eat from 5 am until 5 pm and by then I was in the middle of a hypoglycemic crash and didn't realize it.  I went to the car to rest, as my head was pounding and felt nauseas, and thats when I realized it was going to end badly if I didn't get back inside and find some protein.  I nibbled on a meatball and was able to enjoy a bit of the rest of the evening.  we had a lot of help cleaning up, thank goodness, and then the kids all came back to chat about the laser tag event and how we 'got him good'.  and I learned my lesson to never plan something that big as a surprise and by myself!  and to eat, no matter how stressed for time I am!



shortly after this event I was planning for a small working vacation for hubby that he was bringing me along on, just to get me out of the house.  he had a 3 day class to go to in Austin texas, and decided to drive there with me and Lucy pup, as he knew with the christmas season upon me I would not be good with him away.  I started my list making for the 30 hour drive with pup in the car, and it all went without any issues (except for boredom and travel weariness from driving 12+ hours each of the 2 days there and back).  our pup, who hates the car, was a trooper!  she had anxiety meds in her, and needed them (we tried without), but was still 'with us' and conscious thru the drive.  she amazed us with how well behaved she was!

pit stop somewhere on the drive home

we left for Austin from Massachusetts Saturday December 1st, at 3am and travelled two days, stopping only to gas up, pee breaks, and over night sleep.  we had Monday 'off' (sweetie was still on call, though) to rest and get food for me for the few days at the hotel.  we found a cool 'island' that day that is an off leash dog area, and Lucy enjoyed herself through allergy issues and anxiety meds.  



Jerrys artarama was on the other side of the highway from the hotel, but I was too tired the one time we had free for me to explore it (alone, with mark in the van with Lucy.  traveling with a dog is HARD!)

sweetie had class Tuesday-thursday, and pup and I rested at the hotel.  it's a big city and I dont drive in our small town, so was fine staying and recovering, even though it felt strange being in Austin and not doing any sightseeing!  we were up at 3am leaving for home on Friday, December 7th.  the ride home was just exhausting, we were all ready to just be home already!

and, now we're home and it's cold.  I'm itching to do some art but it's way too cold in the studio, even if I were to have the heat going.  I'm also in the christmas depression, even while anticipating my son from California and his family visiting for the holidays.  I'm trying to decorate the halls with boughs of holly and all that jazz, but I'm sad and anxious and cold.  

so, in the spirit of wanting to art, and in between my lets face it 2018 class and 2019 class (which begins January 7th!) I've been watching some free art videos.  

- Katrina koltes has several free tutorials on her site
- shel c does paper collage on youtube, I like this one of a pup
- anything by flora bowley
- Michelle kral has this intuitive mixed media piece I love
- Betty krause has many mixed media videos on youtube

hopefully I'll be able to get back to painting/drawing soon.  I bet I'll be bringing my mess upstairs to the main house shortly after the holidays.  if not, it could be a very long spell without any creativity for me!

in a much warmer texas

until later,
Jenny

Monday, September 10, 2018

class work with vintage photo, and sketches to date

a new-to-me artist has a style I love and has recently opened a class called Vintage Hearts.  her name is ce duff, and she layers her canvasses with paper and different mediums to create lively portraits, but she utilizes her family's vintage photographs as her reference photos, so she winds up with lovely heirlooms.

as soon as I saw she had a class, I had to jump on the early bird price.  I watched the series of videos for the first lesson and was immediately inspired to find a photo I loved out of my meager stash of old family photos.


I found this one of my dad, sister, grandmother and I at ocean city, MD, and knew I wanted to crop the iconic image of grandma in her scarf to protect her hairdo.




when cropping, it became a blurry mess with no real detail for me to follow but I wanted to depict this sweet moment between grandmother and grandchild.



I created my background and sketched my subjects as well as I could with the information I was given 




and then I hit a little wall of weekend plans and a health hiccup.  but I've been still sketching, so theres that!  you saw my first sketch of the afghan girl, here are the rest so far;

this was a loose single-line sketch, barely looking at the page




so, there has been artistic movement, and for that I am extremely grateful!  I cant wait to get back to the painting of my grandmother, hopefully I can get the paint to work it's magic so I feel it represents her a bit better.

until later,
Jenny

Sunday, September 2, 2018

slight progress

I have not done any creative work for about 4 months now, but I can feel some lifting in the creative mood at times!  a couple of days ago I found myself on unsplash.com looking at copyright free images to hopefully bring the muse out from hiding.  that was the moment it seemed I might be trying to feel the urge to create.  it was a little step, but for me it made me tear up.

I've been dreading picking up the pencil and paintbrush again.  thinking that I might have lost the talent I have acquired in the last few years.  that I would have to struggle to gain any ground again.  I became more depressed thinking that I might not get it back.  it might have been a fluke that I had been able to paint something that resembled what I was going for.  I had been circling the drain for too long, and I couldn't find my way out of danger.

going online to even look at reference photos was a minute of celebration for my creative urges!  I couldn't say I was back, but I was tip-toeing my way there.

and, today, the urge struck!  I got out my journal and pencil and sketched out 'the afghan girl', which is a favorite subject of mine.  this was a quick, loose sketch, with my hand at the end of the pencil to make it even more loose.  my sweetie even noticed the new pencil hold.  and it worked!  it was a fun way to put feeling into the paper.



it's not perfect.  thats not what I was after.  I needed to play with it, to not care about the outcome but to feel the creative juices flowing in me again.  to see where I stood.

did I lose anything while in my artistic deep freeze?  I lost 4 months of flow.  I lost some self esteem in the moment.  but talent?  no, I didn't lose my talent.  it's still there.  I dont have to worry.

I might not get out the brushes and canvas tomorrow, but I am yet another step toward that jumping in point.  I put my toe in, and it felt good!

we'll see how this season goes.  September is when I normally go downhill, only to come back up when spring lengthens the daylight again.  this year, what is usually a short depression in June/July turned into this huge dark scary storm.  I'm hoping that this years SAD depression will be slight, but I'm still roughing it.  it's still scary at times.  the depression and anxiety get to be this living breathing being that sits beside me on the couch with my pup.

today I beat it!

( this post is not perfect, either.  I'm being loose with my writing, too, I guess.  I'm getting it out of my head, and thats good, so I'll leave it be.  'done, not perfect'.)

until later,
Jenny