Having a more leisurely week! I've been meaning to make a few sketchbooks recently, but it's hard to find paper of a certain weight and of a certain size for a small enough price to sell them without working for free. This is the best stage - the tearing and folding of pages is behind me, and shiny copies of my journal pages are hot off the laser printer. It's very tempting to tack them all up onto the wall!
There's something really exciting about negative painting. It's like doing an acrylic painting backwards. It's a bit tedious and requires a lot of care, as you can tell by my jagged edges. Some of the heart shapes no longer look like hearts. I did a little practice using photos of bokeh. It's a bit more challenging than I'd thought.
Speaking of art journals and sketchbooks, some of the journals in the shop are taking holiday trips this year! The value of the Canadian dollar has taken such a sharp dive lately, and I'm sure it's related. If you live in another country, you could really clean up at a time like this. If you've been eyeing something in the shop for a while, now is the time. It's like a huge sale during which we can BOTH benefit! :D
I love those moments where you think to yourself - how can I bottle this feeling? I had a destress day: I wrote some morning pages, took a bath with some Lush products, and went to bed early. We had our snuggly winter blanket set out and the window was open just enough to hear the rain. Total peace. It feels weird, but great to have quiet thoughts.
I'm sure the dinosaur seems pretty random, but I've been doing up more dinosaur party t-shirts for friends and they keep turning out kind of fun! Also, I was hoping my hand would heal up a bit later in the week, but it's only gotten worse so I "decorated" myself with washi tape. It's not a weird fashion statement, promise! Believe me, it's ugly underneath. Sometimes I actually feel bad because most people who make videos that include their hands keep their nails painted and beautiful, and then you come over to my little square of internet and it's All Reality, All the Time.
"Puttin' on the Rex" is available here.
I've had some practice drawing portraits in graphite, and I've had lots of practice drawing portraits in acrylic/oil paints, but watercolour still intimidates me. It's challenging to not only try to get the tone right, but there's also colour muddling the whole thing up. While all of that is happening, there is the underlying pressure that many people feel with watercolour: you cant just paint over a mistake.
Except that isn't exactly true. You can't tell, but there was a point in this sketch when I'd placed her eye just a little bit too high above her nose and it looked perfectly normal but not true to what I was seeing. It bugged me. But even on this thin, drawing paper I was still able to wipe it off and start again. It seems that you can, in fact, paint over a mistake even in watercolour.
Truth is, I used to draw people all of the time. A lot of what I paint, is human-centric but with all the humans replaced with other animals and bugs and things. I rarely take photos of myself and don't necessarily want to paint myself either. For this practice, I used a stock photo from Deviantart. It took me as long as whatever is the running time in Die Hard, ha ha ha.
This one's a little... weird. I feel rushed. Distracted.
People talk about the importance of creative expression when it comes to mental health. Art therapy is a thing. One person's doodle is another person's "morning pages". Art is supposed to take all of that excess energy and all of that icky and stick it on a page. Make it pretty or burn it, just get it out there. It's hard to argue the benefits of playing (or writing) in a journal.
The longer I go between paintings, the less focused I become. It gets icky. And I've been feeling pretty icky lately.
I think I've been experiencing anxiety attacks.
Mental health issues is pretty old hat, but these physical manifestations disturb me. Why now? November really cast the world in a pretty dark light. Maybe it's all been just a little too much. I haven't written and I haven't done much expressive painting. See what happens if you don't paint enough? You get sick.
So I took a bath with our new robot fish. I wrote a letter to a friend, and then scribbled out some of those "morning pages". I did whatever I could do to convince myself that at least right now, everything is as it should be. I don't have to worry about work or to fix my car or do any of the other bajillion things that need to be done.
Last night, I was able to sleep without experiencing the illness or heavy dread, my thoughts completely silenced. Now I just need to overcome these feelings of inadequacy so I can actually create something.
Hello! I'm Melissa, and here you'll find some behind-the-scenes footage of an artful life. Won't you join me?
Monday, June 5, 1pm PST