I've not been sleeping well and am going through a creative slump, so here is a bit of writing from today's newsletter:
Dear child self,
After years of denial, you are going to realize that your art hobby is the only thing you really care about. You'll try to think of safe alternatives but it won't happen because
a) you never put effort into stuff you don't want.
b) in the 21st century, nothing is safe.
Art is so unbelievably reliant on social skills. You will spend years holed up in your room, listening to grump rock, drawing fairies and being as socially skilled as a bucket. Milkshakes don't literally bring all the boys to the yard unless you are handing out flyers for free milkshakes. For the love of cake, be good at making friends and having conversations.
Just like getting a good job, having a friend in the business is crucial. Even on the internet, your art will be buried by millions of others. It's kind of like throwing a birthday party and not a single kid is there to enjoy it (You should probably cancel that, btw). It would be a waste of good cake. And you will probably be a 30 year old minimum wager with very few friends and a side business that will barely pay for itself. Just saying.
PS: Challenge your parents, and learn to cook and buy clothing please. You're a mess.
As predicted, I'm really missing my usual watercolour journals right about now. The coloured mists are gathering dust off in the corner and it is making me sad. But I've got probably two months left of this scrappy journal to go so let's pick up the speed!
Today, I recorded a bonus journal video for my newsletter folk who will receive it on Wednesday. If you're not on the list, you can sign up here.
Otherwise, enjoy the photos! The watercolour/acrylic butterfly sticks out from the page... what was I thinking??? As if I needed to make this journal thicker!
I'm super happy that this painting ended up here. I wasn't sure where it was going and for a moment I definitely thought I had ruined it but it happened. 3D bits make me so incredibly happy.
Femininity in a patriarchal society.
The expectation of personal sacrifice.
The image of being irrational 24/7.
There is small difference between a butterfly and a moth,
yet the former is celebrated while the latter is often feared.
As usual, this painting is available for purchase here. I offer inexpensive photo reproductions as well, I just haven't been scanning my artwork much lately.
Wandering through this doodle painting and wondering when the fire in my spine will go out. Also, I emptied a bag of sand outside and it was TOO MUCH SAND and it is very obvious that someone left a pile of sand right next to a "no dumping" sign and tried to bury it in leaves in the dark at 1am and I'm worrying about what to do with the second bag of sand I've got hiding in the trunk of my car, and it's annoying that I find things like this to worry about when I'm pretty sure no one cares about freaking SAND.
The black aphids have taken over the first wave of nasturtiums and it's gross. I just learned that they are meant to be sacrificial plants that divert all of the awful stuff away from the "real" plants. Well I guess it's good to know the fruit trees will be happy in their schaudenfreude.
Nastis: you are real, you are loved.
Online art journal classes are multiplying like CRAZY, and they're kind of tempting because: marketing. And then you sign up for them and sometimes they're inspiring and useful and sometimes you realize that you really just wish you could have that person's life or at least be a small part of it somehow and those dollars you spent didn't get you any closer to your life goals.
A few years ago I felt like I was part of an online community. It was fantastic, easy and fulfilling enough just to know that there are likeminded people out there. But things change and I've been finding online communication to be quite lacking. If I didn't like making videos and throwing photos and words into the black hole of the internet and never knowing if they're hitting anything, I would have quit ages ago! But that's how it is.
What has been really enriching is waiting in line with a bunch of skilled strangers, waiting to be rejected from a show. It's a buzzing reception with more skilled strangers, nibbling strawberries and looking at each others' art. It's painting and journaling with some new friends in a colourful studio. It's sitting quietly in a dim, overly air-conditioned gallery listening to artists talk, and listening to the audience click its tongue in agreement. It's bonding with a bunch of other vulnerable sellers at a dismally slow craft fair (but making a few small sales in the progress)!
Online journal classes rarely come close.
I'm running out of regular gel medium! The white flake medium is interesting I guess, but I'm not sure what kind of things I should be doing with it! What is it meant to be for?
In the meantime, look at these cool stencils (ahem... "masks") that came in the mail today!
Here's a tiny painting of some pretty flowers at full bloom, just before they begin to fade away. Some of the flowers "pop out" to add some visual interest.
I like these mini paintings because they are low-pressure study for me and an inexpensive option for you to own a piece of original art.
Hello! I'm Melissa, and here you'll find some behind-the-scenes footage of an artful life. Won't you join me?