Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Here I am as Frida Kahlo. I finally finished my felted flower crown, and my eyebrows, and my earrings, and here is the ensemble. Happy Halloween. I feel like a peacock.

Day of the Dead Swap.

I participated in an amazing swap this month for Dia de los Muertos.  The wonderful Ines initiated and hosted, and each piece that came in took my breath away. Gorgeousness. I photographed them together this morning, but as it is Halloween and we are having a block party/fire pit for Samhain, I don't have time to do everything individually. Sadly, I somehow lost all the photos on my camera of our pumpkin carving, and this morning we woke to find our two largest pumpkins smashed in front of our house, and our cars sprayed with shaving cream. YAY, Mischief Night. That was rather mischievous. I thought Beezus would cry, but she said, "They got your pumpkin and Daddy's pumpkin, Mommy, but my pumpkin, Thor's, Lucy's and Jack's are safe. They didn't hurt the kids."

Saturday, October 30, 2010


I already posted the polymer clay hands I constructed for my Frida Kahlo costume for Halloween. I actually went to Joann's today looking for some jewelry making stuff. And eh, voila. I have some cool hand earrings to match the necklace I purchased on Etsy. I kind of stupidly did not bring the necklace with me to the store, but somehow Mr. Magoo-ed the exact match. (Yay, me.)

My daughter and I have a few children's books about Frida. We love her. Beezus thinks she looks like me, except for the eyebrows. And she also is a painter. She asked me if I laid in my bed to paint when I was sick and sad, and I had to tell her no, but I would in the future. And we decided that is who I am going to be. Picasso made Frida some hand earrings.

I made me some as well. It wasn't nearly as hard as I imagined. And I actually really love using polymer clay. I am seeing sushi earrings in my future. Huzzah.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


Hand Earrings.
Polymer Clay.

(For my Frida costume for Halloween. I am making a felt flower headband tonight to complete the ensemble. I actually cannot believe I haven't been Frida before for Halloween. I feel like a bad artsy Latina.)

Frida Muerto.
Polymer Clay.

Monday, October 25, 2010


Custom Mizuko Jizo.
6" x 9"

I was in a pie baking contest on Saturday, so I spent an inordinate amount of time on baking. Then we made a full Thanksgiving type dinner on Saturday just because we were feeling cozy. I also have been developing the lost spread for the Sketchbook project. Then I have to clean them up and final photograph them and then mail it off. WOAH.

Friday, October 22, 2010


The Last Sketchbook Project Spread:

I am sorry I forgot you.
(also the theme.)

Thursday, October 21, 2010


I had a really scary night last night. After dinner, my one eye went all strange and distorted. My vision twisted, and I had a massive headache on the other side of my head. It was pulsating and I was afraid. I held my babies and told them I loved them, because I am apparently THAT dramatic. I was convinced I was having some kind of stroke-like situation. My nurse husband calmed me as best he could, took my vitals, and checked me for all the symptoms of stroke/aneurysm. When we determined that I was not having a stroke, after the eye thing cleared up, and was replaced by a massive, debilitating headache, I went to bed. I was in bed by 6:30p with all the lights out listening to meditation CDs, since I could do nothing else. I did paint, sadly. I mean, my painting was very sad. Not that it was sad that I got to paint before the crazy migraine thing. I did the next spread, which was envisioned as a four elements and a radioactive symbols to the words, "Your half life was your full life. And you never seem to break down in me." To go along the theme of the periodic table of elements. Yeah, the painting sucks, and I am blaming my massive pre-migraine addled brain for its horridness. I am going to gesso the whole damn thing and start over. I have no idea what I am doing. If you have any superduper ideas of how you illustrate "Your half life is your full life, and you never seem to breakdown in me," please feel free to leave a detailed comment (I am actually on my knees begging the internetz for inspiration on that one).

So, I skipped to showing you that one. The spread I worked on today was mostly blank, except for the words, "I did it again. I made your death about me." I had no idea how to illustrate that. So, I decided to really make it about me. Lots of different markers of the word "Me" and variations on uses of the word "me". This was a fun one, and a hard illustration. Me in a hospital gown staring at my stillborn daughter. Hopefully, the juxtaposition works.

Sketchbook Project X:

I did it again. I made your death about me.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Sketchbook Spread VIII:

But I want you to drench only me, Daughter. I hate the sea.

Sketchbook spread IX:

In the Periodic Table of Elements that makes up my life now, you are the first element. The most basic parts of nature (regret and grief) are contained in U + I.
O + U + I in its most basic form are the weight of all sadness (and love).

Monday, October 18, 2010


Sketchbook Spread V:

And those other explanations I came up with about how you were taken away because I don't deserve happiness really were big fat lies that I have been hearing for a very long time.

Spread VI:

I have a cramped heart and a stiff soul from sitting in meditation with this grief.

Spread VII:
I once read that the soul is like a raindrop and when you achieve enlightenment, you fall into the ocean. Still you, yes, but part of something powerful and inseparable from everything.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Sketchbook Spread:

Maybe you really are a Buddha. Just like she said. Maybe this was your last life.

Still trying to decide if I am inking this sketchbook or leaving it all watercolor without ink. mmmm.

Monday, October 11, 2010


I love block printing, and I used to block print often after Beezus was born and before Lucy was conceived. That was the only art, really, that I was doing in the first few years of her life, before Lucy died. I was asked to be in a Day of the Dead ATC swap, and was psyched to do it. I feel Day of the Dead deep within me, and not only that, but it also marks one year of connecting with other artists via Mother Henna's swaps. I took two of her courses in the spring, and loved them and her, and was still finding my artistic footing, or lack of artistic footing that became my footing. (Does that make sense?)

Anyway, I had been wanting to try a block print for this swap, and then I saw Ines doing one, and Kara herself used an amazing stamp. I know nothing about stamping, but her work is amazing. My first instinct is to say, "Well, they are doing printing, so I won't copy." Or whatever you say as an adult that boils down to that sentiment. But having had a busy busy weekend, and not got to paint, I thought that I would just love to pursue this. My first idea. I'm going for it. So, I sketched out a 2.5"x3" skull with minimal design, some, but minimal. I wanted to give my calavera a tear and a heart, for obvious reasons. (Well, obvious to me, at least.)

I had my camera near since I was taking pictures earlier, and I was also spread out on my kitchen table for some reason that annoyed my husband. So, I took some during picture. Burnishing, then printing on card stock, then I lined them all up like a Warhol except the one messed up one I turned to the side. Then I used some cool markers and decorated them like sugar skulls. Though the orange were difficult to use markers on, so I left them just printed. Then the lining up of the ATCs made me think of doing a full sheet of skulls for my sister to frame. She collects Day of the Dead stuff for her house, and has my art in almost every room, from practice still life watercolors, or illustrations of her children, to block prints I did years ago. She is my biggest fan, so I am hoping she isn't peeking over here to see her surprise.

Thursday, October 7, 2010


Sketchbook project Spread three:
Maybe you lived your heartbreakingly short life exactly as it was supposed to be lived.

Bea decided to co-opt my practice binding project, and use it as her sketch book. I asked her if this was a picture of trees in the grass with the sky, and she said, "No. Just lines and dots and squiggles that are brown and blue and green." Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


I have actually been working on the Sketchbook Project sketchbook for the past few weeks most intensely. My theme is, "I'm sorry I forgot you." I have sketched everything but the last two pages. A few months, I wrote a poem based on the theme and began thumbnailing the page layouts. I rebound the book with watercolor paper, then bound a little wee watercolor book to practice with layout and painting. Now, I am finally working on the full piece. I finished mostly sketching it out (except the last two pages, which are mindbogglingly unconducive to illustration.) Anyway, I finally painted the first two sketches. I cannot believe that my lettering still ended up being not straight. I measured, lined, and wrote a sketch under the painting, and still managed to get it all whopperjawed.

Spread one:

 I made your death about me.

My mistakes. 
My karma.
My deflated belly.
My anger.
My dead daughter.
My goddamned fucking grief.

Spread two:

Perhaps the five buck fortuneteller was right.

Aren't you excited to see how it will end?

Here are the original sketches. I was going to insert a fake notebook paper like a little high school poem with doodles on the side, but it didn't seem right. I decided on drawing myself as the only person in the universe, because grief feels so fucking isolating, and having a little person saying, "Are you aiming at me, universe?"

I changed the word psychic to fortune teller, because it seems more mystical and odd.