Friday, July 30, 2010


It is mind-bedazzling to me that 30 days has transpired since I last posted here. I have been doing a ton of work. I guess that is part of the stupid reason. I am so dang busy.

One thing I bought while restocking the paper bins in my art studio was an actual moleskin watercolor journal, which is so friggin awesome. I am in love with it and want to figure out a way to carry my watercolors around with me all the time. I had something like ten commission paintings in the last three weeks, and it was a good way for me to play with the design ideas for them, and make small paintings before embarking on the larger one.

My lovely friend ShantiMama asked me to paint a picture for her doula, and this was an early draft. We ended up painting one with cool colors because of her calming spirit in the birth room. We also tried out an experiment, which I think worked which was to cut a frame in a 5"x7" watercolor card and tape the piece to it, so it can be a card, and then be framed or displayed later. This doula is a babylost mama too, so I represented her baby with a star pendant. The baby delivered is named Violet, which is what she is holding in her hands, and the vines with red flowers represent all the babies delivered and guiding her spirit as a birth companion. She is meditation because she is intentional in her loving support of these women.

 I also was asked to paint some jizo cards for another babylost mama's support people in delivery. I love them.

She also asked for a meditating mama and a large piece. She originally said 20"x30", but I didn't have anything in my studio that big and gave her an option of trying a watercolor canvas I picked up (16"x20"). Here is the little sketch I have in my moleskin for the piece. Then I started it and ugh, painting on canvas with watercolor blows. It really is not a good thing. The watercolors just sit there, they are unsaturated and washed out. I have something I sent to her for approval, but I am really thinking about buying a huge piece of paper and redoing the whole dang thing.

None of it works and I am embarrassed at the painting on this one. I also have no idea why I am sharing it here, but I am. Mainly because of the canvas not absorbing the water readily, even though it is supposed to be prepped for watercolor. She wants a gorgeous poem on it as well, and I haven't even gotten to that point. Still, I think it is good to learn these things by practice, rather than just dismissing them handily. I love canvas and don't work with it often because I mostly work in watercolor these days.

Well, I also have some more pieces to share. I made this for my Mami while we were sitting by the kiddie pool drinking wine. She needed a bookmark, so I made one with my family and my sister's family with a flag that says, "We love abuelita."

I ended up laminating this and making a little tassle for it out of sock yarn.

I am starting to plan for Christmas and what to work up for the Etsy site. Any suggestions on things you might want? I am thinking of bookmarks. Many bookmarks.

Thursday, July 1, 2010


Anatomical Heart. Watercolor. 

I had this idea for a painting/mixed media thing. I had painted something using the e.e.cummings poem i carry your heart. But I wanted to use an anatomical heart, antique it after watercoloring it, then hiding it behind kite paper and pinning it to a canvas, so it looks like it was dissected out of a body and covered, inside one of the veins, I was going to hide a little drawn cartoon-y heart. I wanted to cut the lines of the poem out and use them in the paint of the underneath canvas. I found some medical books of my husbands and began sketching and painting. This is the first anatomical heart I did. You will see the second later. This just was not good enough for what I wanted and too detailed to be interesting in a graphic way. TOO LITERAL. I did this earlier in the week.

Trying again, I made quicker sketch and used marker to color it in so it would be very graphic. Then I gessoed some foam core board that I had laying around and painted it with a combo of black, grey and blues, with red in there. It looked awful. Ditched that idea without putting the poem into the paint.

This morning, I let my daughter paint on my grey background and she did some cool bright colors on there. And I pinned my heart onto it.

Anatomical Heart. 17"x20". Acrylic and marker.

Not exactly what I was going for in the beginning, but I love doing art with my daughter and it was fun for her to pin it in there and do a piece together. Plus, it is pretty big for a three year old.

From art journal. Audrey and Bea Swim. Watercolor.

I carry your heart. ATC. Mixed media.

I love the last stanza of this poem. And so I cut it out and mixed my mod podge with gold paint and stuck in atop an anatomical drawing of a heart made by da Vinci. (Hell might as well steal from da Vinci, if you are stealing art.) This was in response to Kara's call for small. I had already done part of this painting larger, and thought of how it might look small. I love this one the best, perhaps because I drew nothing in it and I am full of self-critical words right now.