Thursday, June 28, 2007

My painting buddy

How do you like my painting buddy?
Only cats can jump in your lap when they feel like it... He plopped himself over my hand (the one that is holding the tray) and didn't mind a bit that I had to practice some acrobatic movements to get the paint on the brush and on the tray. Funny cat! He is lucky that his gray fur didn't turn into pink...In case you're wondering what was I painting... my MIL asked if I could paint roses on something that she can display and show to her friends. I was more than happy to. The only difficult thing was to refrain from covering half of the roses with paint, adding bits of collage and pretty much making a decent mixed media piece from it...

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


Mark Twain said (or maybe not - some say he didn't say it): "The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco''. Today was a day like that. We wanted to show Golden Gate to my in laws... but the weather wasn't cooperating. My poor mother in law froze from the extra cold wind from the Pacific. I couldn't see anything from the hair that was constantly in my face. Still - I love the bridge and love crossing it even if the weather is so fierce. One man lost his cap to the wind and we all watched it fall into the ocean. The funny thing is that when it touched the water a dolphin showed right beside it... like he was checking what it is. He disappeared as soon as he concluded that it's not that interesting.

We drove through the famous Lombard Street and admired the beautiful houses and flowers.
After that I had a great idea that we should visit Jack London Square and admire the boats there. We took a picture of this lovely statue...

But the truth is that I wasn't thinking about the boats or statues... I wanted to visit Barns & Nobles to buy the new "Cloth Paper Scissors" mag. Misty and Chrysti have wonderful articles in it. I read them in the car on the way home... I couldn't wait. Both articles are great! I can't wait to try the techniques they shared. The only thing I need is a little time for myself and for art...

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Back from Yosemite

For the last two days I've been thinking what to write on my blog... I finally figured out that my writing is not good enough to express what I saw and how I felt, so I'll just write whatever comes to mind...
Where to start?
Wherever I turned there was absolute beauty...
I couldn't stop wondering why are we (people) on Earth... it (she) doesn't really need us. It was this beautiful before we showed up...
The sights of water... spectacular!
I literally stopped breathing when I saw the first giant sequoia in Mariposa Grove. What a privilege to be able to walk in their shadows...
Two photographers in action.
We probably have thousand photographs... and I love them all.
I can't forget to mention my new friend - Stellar's Jay. He kept me company wherever I turned. I couldn't have been happier!
I have traveled a lot and am lucky to have seen some extraordinary places in many countries, but this may be the most beautiful place I've ever seen. And I want to go back... soon.

Saturday, June 16, 2007


I'll be breathing the fresh mountain air for the next five days. We're off to explore the beautiful Yosemite park. This is the first time that I'll be in that area and I can't wait to see it. I hope to have some beautiful photos to share.
Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Colorful mess

A week has passed and I have almost nothing to show. I don't have any "me" time and I find it very difficult to be in company and pour myself into an art project at the same time. I carry my sketch book around and draw some marks on the paper when I can, but it's nothing really 'showable', just simple drawings.
I was completely blown away with the color combinations that Michael deMeng showed us last week and wanted to reproduce them. I found a big particle board and placed it on my table. During the week I added textures and color washes. It was easy to pick up a brush, paint a transparent layer here and there and move on to other things. Now I have no idea what to do with it. It is so heavily textured that I can't paint over it... or collage... stamp... I really didn't like how the middle part turned out, so I had to cover it somehow. Butterflies are a separate canvas (that lives on my wall). I didn't attach it to the color mess (yet).
This is a 'making memories big time' period for our family and I'm enjoying it. It is wonderful to see the kids interacting with their grandparents, my husband's happy face when he hugs his Mom, or teaches his Dad the abc of computers... The last time we were together was many years ago. Still, the little selfish voice inside is complaining that it needs paper and paint and glue and some solitude... Sometimes I wonder how I ever lived without creating...

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Michael deMeng's workshop

What a wonderful day! I felt so completely out of my comfort zone that I wanted to run away from the class. Just ask my friend Connie... I threatened more than once that she'd have to hike her way home (we came with my car). She couldn't have cared less... she was having a blast, pounding metal and singing at the same time. Her piece turned out to be one of the best (and got high praises from the teacher). This is her soda can:
We had a chance to look and hold and explore Michael's art.... There is a glow and strong energy that you feel from it; very unique. After looking at the originals, no wonder that it was intimidating to create something from junk and crushed cans.
I had a feeling that many people in the class knew what they were doing. At least they seemed to jump right into it without any concern. I wasn't one of them... When I pulled out my little 'make mistakes' box, it helped me to relax and start assembling things. My soda shrine looked sad.... then ridiculous... then a little bit better but still bad...
At the end, after layers and layers of paint and some very clever suggestions from the teacher it turned into a piece that I like. I decided not to finish the back side, I love the fact that it is a simple crushed soda can and I want to be able to see it.
It was an amazing day! I often say that workshops are very important. There is always something to learn, something to inspire, something to push your limits... all the good stuff. If you have a chance to attend Michael deMeng's class - grab the opportunity. He is helpful, knowledgeable, funny, ultra creative and super cool. I learned a lot and I'm sure you'll see some of it in whatever I create in the future.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

She felt rested and happy

This journal page is a result of having fun with my new Golden paints in the middle of the night. I wanted to try them out, so I painted layers over layers, then picked one of the birds that chose to live on my desk, drew a face on the right side with a white marker, hated the way it looked so I changed it, found the fish in an Anthropologie catalog, words in a favorite 'phrase finding book'... At the end I was rested and happy - just as the words say. Tomorrow I get to go to Michael de Meng's workshop and I'm very nervous about it (and looking forward to it).

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Illustration Friday - Your Paradise

Anywhere is paradise; it's up to you. ~Author Unknown
Paradise. Happy place. Sometimes it is enough to close your eyes and find it. Sometimes it is the only way to shut out the things you don't want to hear or see.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Thank you for the kindness

She thanked her for the kindness.
I thank you all for the kindness you show in your comments! It is hard to find that kind of everyday support in 'real' life. I appreciate each and every one. They make my days brighter and happier. I often feel guilty that I can't respond to all of them... To help me feel better, I thought I might offer one of my collage sheets as a gift. If you click on the following picture, it will open as a much larger image. If you like it - please feel free to print it, use in your art and share links for me to see (if you want to). Have a wonderful weekend!