Sunday, March 27, 2011

I had a dream...

Do you ever dream about art? I mean clearly: either a visual that is so strong and in focus that there is no mistaking it?...or words, like a message? That happened to me this morning (it was the last dream of the night I guess) and I wanted to blog it because I plan to draw it and don't want to forget. Already after two turkish coffees it becomes foggy. So here's the visual/audio.
...who knows what happened earlier in the dream but at the end, I was leaving a room and a friend shouted out that the important thing was what was happening between the two images on the drawing (she was commenting on a drawing laying in the room I was leaving) and so I went back to look at the messy vague roughly drawn pencil crayon chicken scratch in between the two birds on the page, and realized that NO, THAT WASN'T IMPORTANT, WHAT WAS IMPORTANT WAS THE OPEN DOOR THAT WAS WHERE A HEART WOULD BE ON ONE OF THE BIRDS AND THAT THE OPEN DOOR HAD LIGHT SHINING OUT AND THERE WAS A SMALL HOUSE ON A HILL AND A TREE THAT COULD BE SEEN THROUGH THE OPEN DOOR. So there's my visual and what a nice gift this dream was...

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Dawn arrives with Changeling friend

Well here's "Dawn" who arrived during an early morning snow storm with her changeling friend. She took a long time to arrive but at long last she did, and so she will now go to live with my swap partner.
A few posts back I talked about problems in art. 'Dawn' gave me a huge seemingly insurmountable problem but I found a way to solve it. In the end the doll is one of my favorites and certainly one of my strongest visuals.
The problem was with her skirt and especially at the bottom. I'd wanted to introduce the idea that dawn was coming in the early morning sky of her skirt so I decided to dip my brush into a strong pinky color and even though it was quite diluted the color grabbed and I mean grabbed and wouldn't let go. No amount of washing and scrubbing (literally) would release the tint of the darkish really, hue. I wanted pale pale. Then I decided to cover it by introducing a dark blue so as to maybe suggest a storm. It became a muddy mess. Ruined. Drat!!
But then I reminded myself that art is problem solving. How to solve this mess? Cover it yet again by a darker color. Black!!! So I dreamed up a black bird and started painting and let me tell you...putting the first tiny brush stroke of black was an act of faith. It was scary. I painted the pupil of the eye and then painted in pure undiluted gold from my favorite sparkling H2O watercolor pan, the iris. I knew I was off and running. The bird eye was ferocious. So I made the whole bird a bit wild and the result is that not only did it cover the muddy mess but it tells a much more interesting story than just plain sky. So I enjoyed the pleasant surprise.
This is an a.t.c. doll and so folds down into itself to fit the standard 3.5 X 2.5 inch dimensions. I am glad to let go of this doll because holy cow there are a lot more ideas I have brewing inside this brain of mine. Next I am thinking about doing a tutorial that Monica presented on her blog. I am getting my head around it as we speak. So have a great day everyone.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Bird Angels and Submarines and the full moon...

I was just out looking at the moon and enjoying the beauty and wonder of it and remembering magic and how somehow it seems that the moon and magic are tied together and I don't know how this is but it just seems like it is. So here's the magic part. About three weeks ago I passed up a book, a funny little book that I would never in one thousand years find myself interested in. Nonetheless I noticed it right away in the stacks of hundreds and hundreds of spines at my local thrift store, and found myself leafing through it. I couldn't put it down. I did this twice during two different visits. You know, if I was paying attention I should have known that this was an important book for me. But it is so out of character (subject wise) that I just didn't know what to do so I put it back. And then went looking for it the next time I was there and it was gone and I've been chastising myself for not buying it ever since. This went on for days. I even go back still to that same rack hoping for a miracle. Nope, somebody else got it. Dang. I had no choice but to let it go, forget about it and move on. So today, a full moon day, a day of magic, I'm enticed to walk two miles to a second hand book store (different from the thrift store) and you know what's coming, right? Right. This book store is undescribeable. I was there only yesterday when I combed the stacks. There was absolutely no reason for me to go there today. You cannot imagine the mess the books are in. It's one long wall in a dimly lit back room and say 30 feet long of floor to ceiling books that are in no order and shoved in sideways, etc. The draw is that all books are either one dollar for anything paperbacked and two dollars for anything hardcover. Obviously I have scored major finds in that back room. But anyway, today I waltzed in there just to have a peek at goodness knows what and the book jumped out at me in under a minute at eye level in the very first shelf I looked at. The book! It was the book! I grabbed it, pressed it to my heart and immediately went to the checkout as obviously that was the sole reason for my going in there, of walking two miles to go to a bookstore I'd just been in the day before. This time...the third time I held the book in my hands, I bought it. What is the book? SUBMARINES OF THE WORLD a fully illustrated with superb side-view artwork of the vessels and weapons. I don't even know what to say. Only that I am not into war machines let alone boats of any description. My muse is up to something. This book was very important to her (I think my muse is female [but now that I think of it maybe it's male].) So now the muse is happy and who knows how it will appear in my work. It'll be as much a surprise to me as anyone. But the point of the whole story is that this little bit of magic (my finding the book in the way I did) happened on this full moon day.
So in the spirit of magic, I dug out an old photo of a little papier mache beauty I made years ago and who does much magic herself. She is a bird angel and her job is to help sick or wounded or dying birds in garden areas of the city and to find their family and bring them back together. This doll was a prototype and her woolen dress has been attacked my moths and her papier mache parts have been eaten by mice and so she is looking very very bedraggled. But she is a cutie hey?
Well, happy full moon day to everyone! Actually, it is night here now. Make a wish!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Happy New Day

Here's the completed paper doll wishing you a happy new day each and every day. Her bff, a warbler, sings for you.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Paper doll: New Year's Child with friend

Well the paper doll is slowly coming along. You can see the earlier version in one of the photos of my studio in a closet a few posts back. The girl (who is a New Year's Child) is still at the beginning stage but I've completed a watercolor of a warbler who is her bff and is now accompanying the child wherever she goes. You see she was on her way to the New Year's celebrations when she came upon an injured bird. She stayed with him to nurse him back to health and since then they've been joined at the hip. So she will be attending the New Year's celebration but will be very very late this year. Made for my swap partner at:

It's Nice to be Nice...Pay It Forward!

This idea caught my eye just now and so I am on board before it slips my mind! Thanks to Sharon at from my heart primitives, I am joining in and giving away 5 handmade things (birds) to the first five people who leave a comment on this post. In turn each person agrees to blog about this on their blog and give away five items that are hand made, and so on it goes! A grand and lovely idea.
Yesterday I came across two sad birds that I made a few years ago. My technique has improved, although I must say these are pretty great right out of the gate. I'm going to pick apart their tails and add more volume, reattach bead eyes and string a brand new hanger and these two will be ready to fly. They look much like starlings although they are primarily white. One has a quote: Without constancy there is neither love, friendship, nor virtue in the world! Addison; and on the other side of the same bird is the word 'aspire.' The other bird says "We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey." Kenji Miyazawa.
So leave a comment and be in the first five to do so and you'll get a bird. I will make 3 new ones as well (they are already half way made).
Creative hugs to you all, Norma

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Studio move

My under 600 sq. ft. studio apartment was getting a bit cramped to say the least. As the years rolled by and my arty/crafty life rolled along with the years, the lines between living space and creating space blended wholly. I couldn't separate my life-life from my arty/crafty-life. They both suffered consequently and so when a few weeks ago I found myself crafting on my bar (of all places) because every other inch of space had been taken over with my art stuff, I knew the time had arrived when I had to make a drastic change in the way I live. I had crystal decanters mixed in with bottles of modge podge and glitter glue mixed in with bottles of liqueur alongside ornate metal candle holders and cocktail shakers from Turkey. Balls of tulle lay nestled in between wine stem glasses and the wooden carved masks from India and other far away places competed for space in the midst of it all. Jars of glitter demanded their own spot and when finally there was not even elbow room (to work) I knew the time had come. Soooooo...I now have a separate studio work space (in a 3' by 4.5' closet) and I am carving out, or reclaiming actually, my living space. Then I plan on having a life. Inviting people in for eats and socializing. Here is my studio closet. I can work in the blink of an eye and just as quickly leave it behind, shut the door, and live.


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