I have several pieces of those inky drawings I did last week that just didn't work and that I decided to cut into pieces. When I started painting again last year, it was really thanks to the work of Flora Bowley. She is one of my favorite artists and I just love her style...vibrant colors, organic imagery, they are so lovely (and so is she...I had the pleasure of meeting her twice since she also lives in Portland!). Having fallen in love with her work, I of course just had to learn how to make art like hers. I bought her book and made a very lovely painting (that actually looks nothing like her work, the second image below). Then I took her online course and made another lovely painting (again nothing like hers, the third image below). I just really struggled with the imagery part. Her process is amazing and there are definitely many aspects that I continue to employ but I have come to realize (and have posted about before) that her style is simply not mine and I can't force myself into that hole. But I decided to try again with imposing imagery on top of the abstract work but not worrying about laying color over color...just focus on the images and making them stand out.
I picked out one of the leftover drawing pieces and just started drawing in flower shapes on top of the dried ink/paint with pencil. Then I added in the stems and vase. With a brush, I painted white acrylic ink around the pencil marks. I used the ink because I wanted to keep it fairly transparent so you can still see something of the abstract patterns underneath it. Once the shapes took form, I used green acrylic ink for the vines and to outline and shade the stems, and pink acrylic ink to give the petals more definition. I also used some diluted acrylic inks in a couple of colors to make the vase form more cohesive. Finally, I added in the white details/highlights on the flowers and vase. I'm pretty pleased with how this turned out. Like most of my projects, I had to employ a lot of trust, perseverance and persistence. It's so easy to let that critical voice win and to just stop/give up but once again, I prevailed and the result is pretty much how I imagined after I had drawn in the objects. I think I'll have to make more of these...maybe with different colors to cover the background..
Today was my first day alone here in the house...and I mean truly alone for the first time in 12.5 years. To say it's been rough is an understatement. I've cried harder in the last 2 days than I ever remember crying before (no offense to all of the loved one's/people I've lost in my life). My sweet little pup meant the world to me and I'm finding it hard to believe that she's gone. Prior to Kagero becoming ill earlier this year, I had been on a mission for self-growth, to become the authentic Kierstan. I'd been at it in earnest for almost 2 years when she got sick in December 2013. I had decided last year to leave a job that made me miserable to pursue my dream of being an artist. I launched that dream for real on October 1, 2013. For almost 3 months, I had the pleasure of the constant company of Kagero. She was my studio buddy, meditation buddy, my best companion before we knew she was sick. We got worse news in March 2014 that her amazing light would likely be snuffed out and there wasn't any damn thing we could do about it. I freaked out for a few weeks as I resisted the inevitable. I soon found some level of acceptance and just let her be...and it seemed like she was getting better. The next several weeks were amazing and included 2 weeks of pure bliss with her...she seemed puppy-like at times. But alas, there was no way out and now I'm without a huge chunk of my heart.
When we got the news in December that things were amiss and she was likely to have a shorter life than we had expected, I really wanted to view this as another opportunity for growth and personal transformation. I don't drink or use drugs...my vice is food. I've used food for much of my life to stuff down or numb the feelings I didn't want to experience. I knew I couldn't let that happen this time. So, here I am, alone in the house, feeling my damn horrible feelings instead of eating them. I really understand why we (people) are so inclined to seek numbing...because feeling what I'm feeling really sucks! But I know that in addition to sitting with these feelings, letting the tears flow, the anger bubble up, the sobs wrack my body, I can channel them into my art. Now, that's what I'm trying to do. Not to wallow but to create in Kagero's honor.
Today's drawing/painting was inspired by the fact that today is National Doughnut Day. Since I won't be partaking in any free doughnuts since I'm trying to feel those effing feelings, I opted to draw/paint some instead.