anonyrrie: February 2006

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Illustration Friday & Inspire Me Thursday - Tea & Me

I am in the process of getting some work together to exhibit in a show called "About the Earth" at a local gallery - finishing up a painting and printing some pieces so I can take them to be framed, so I had to do a quick one this week. In fact, this is blatant double dipping - it is a self-portrait for this week's Inspire Me Thursday challenge, and it has a tea motif (that's a Camellia Sinensis behind me, and I'm holding a cup of tea) for Illustration Friday.

This was created by throwing together a little bit of everything - acrylic, collage, marker, colored pencil, and some photoshop.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Connecting the moments

I'm five. It's early April, a watercolor day with the grass long and yellow from a winter under snow and the sky full of grey-blue clouds scudding along the horizon. I stand on a small rise in the back yard wearing nothing except a few of my mother's silk scarves knotted at my shoulders and waist to make a little tunic. My mother is hanging laundry, sparring with the wind that snaps the sheets from her hands as she tries to fasten them to the line with wooden clothespins. There is just a hint of warmth in the air. Light and playful, the wind asks me to dance, so I raise my arms and twirl into the breeze, the scarves fluttering against my body, lost in the pure sensation of the moment.

Im sixteen, and it's the spring after my January graduation from high school. I've driven to the country instead of going to the college art class I signed up for. I feel guilty about skipping class, and upset that I have been doing this on a regular basis, unable to explain it to myself and afraid to tell my parents why I feel so awkward in a college class. I kick my way through the needles on the pine forest floor, pondering my plight and my uncertain future. Suddenly, I find that I've come out into the open at the top of a sweeping, grassy hill. The sun is shining through intermittent puffy clouds, a hawk glides across the sky, and my heart starts to lighten. I lie down in the grass and close my eyes, feeling the coolness of the earth press its fingers into my back, loosening my tension and calming my anxiety. It happens slowly, almost imperceptibly, but I begin to sense the motion of the planet beneath me, and I am lulled into a state of perfect peace. I've found my "spot," and I know things will be just fine.

More moments through the years....climbing a Vermont mountain on a fall day when the air is sharp and the leaves burn against the acid blue sky....riding with my friends in a red VW beetle along a twisting road on the north side of St. Thomas listening to The Pretenders....holding my son for the first time and having no words to describe the feeling....silently sharing a song across the miles, separate but completely together... the first kiss with my truest love... moments here and there, then and now.

Bliss comes in moments...learning to connect those moments brings the realization of happiness.

The above illustration is acrylic, collage, and marker on paper. It is the piece I did for the February pages of Sylvia's Subconscious Dreamscapes book which is one of eight traveling artbooks for the Journeys project.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Inspire Me Thursday - Tiny Flowers ATC

I had no idea that something this small would take so long to do! My hat's off to all you prolific ATC-ers! Anyway, here's my feeble attempt at Misty and Melanie's Inspire Me Thursday challenge. Check out their site for links to more ATCs.

-acrylic and marker on cardstock

Friday, February 17, 2006

Illustration Friday - Song

Last week's snow is almost gone, revealing mud, rotted leaves, and the tips of small green shoots pushing tentatively through the earth. The promise of spring is a welcome song to me...

Spring Song
- Paul Laurence Dunbar

A BLUE-BELL springs upon the ledge,
A lark sits singing in the hedge;
Sweet perfumes scent the balmy air,
And life is brimming everywhere!
Is Spring, Spring, Spring!

No more the air is sharp and cold;
The planter wends across the wold,
And, glad, beneath the shining sky
We wander forth, my love and I.
And ever in our hearts doth ring
This song of Spring, Spring!

For life is life and love is love,
'Twixt maid and man or dove and dove.
Life may be short, life may be long,
But love will come, and to its song
Shall this refrain for ever cling
Of Spring, Spring, Spring!

Thursday, February 16, 2006


Sometimes it feels like there's too much to do, and too little of it being what I want to do. I find myself craving time and space to unclutter my thoughts and focus on the things that are important - I want to spend relaxed quality and quantity time with my sweetie, I want to bring to life all the images I have swirling about in my head, I want to just be able to breathe in the air around me without feeling like the other shoe will drop at any moment. That poised "shoe" hovers over me throughout the day and into the night. It saps my energy. It makes me toss and turn and lose hours of sleep. It makes me doubt myself. I start to see only what's wrong and not what's right. I try to fight it.... and I lose. How can I learn to let go, to ride it out, to trust it's simply part of a cycle that will bring me back to equilibrium?

edit 2/18 - I submitted this to Penelope's The Best Advice I Ever Got project. Now, I'm just trying to follow it! Check out the other submissions - lots of good advice!

Friday, February 10, 2006

Illustration Friday - Simple

What could be more simple than a hug and a kiss? Sometimes that's all it takes to make everything better - from a scraped knee to a broken heart. In fact, research shows that affectionate contact with a romantic partner in the form of hand holding and hugging greatly reduces the effects of stress. In a 2003 study, researchers found that couples who spent ten minutes holding hands followed by a twenty second hug not only had lower heartbeats during subsequent stressful situations, but also had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol and higher levels of serotonin and dopamine, neurotransmitters associated with pleasurable sensations.

In honor of St. Valentine's Day, I offer you some photoshopped Hugs and Kisses with nods to Robert Indiana and Andy Warhol.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Illustration Friday - Chair (almost finished)

For Phase 4 of the series below, I decided to make a print of my original and experiment with colors. I colored this with prismacolor markers and did some shading on the skin with faber-castel colored pencils. I think I will just put in a light watercolor wash for the sky and the dress. I don't know if this is actually what I want to do with the original, so I suppose I can just keep printing copies and playing around!

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Illustration Friday - Chair

I was inspired this week by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres' Grande Odalisque to create a luxurious reclining figure, but in an outdoor setting. Above is the first pencil sketch I did before starting the line details with micron pen.

The term odalisque refers to a female slave or concubine in the harems of the Middle East, especially in that of Turkey's sultan. The odalisque was a favorite subject of many 19th and early 20th century artists, who were intriqued by the exotic sensuality of the imagery they associated with the East. Artists such as Eugène Delacroix, Jean-Léon Gérôme, and Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres painted many representations of indolent odalisques, and Henri Matisse continued this tradition into the 20th century.

This fascination with the Orient is also evident in the other arts of the time. Poems such as Kubla Kahn by Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley depict great Eastern rulers of yore, while tragedies such as Salome by Oscar Wilde, the opera Madame Butterfly by Giacomo Puccini, and the musical The King and I by Rogers and Hammerstein all depict Eastern characters and themes.

The above illustration shows my almost-finished pen work. I may add some detail in the dress and background, and then add color with a combination of marker, colored pencil, and acrylic... after which I'll post the final piece.

2/7 edit - I posted the almost-finished piece above.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Postcard Swap

These are some of the postcards I will be sending out for the Postcard Swap organized by Christina. I did some recycling to create them – I printed pieces of old illustrations, collaged them onto colored cardstock, and added some doodled patterns to finish them off. I'm happy with the way they turned out - although I did multiple versions of the same design, each one is a little different.

I want to take a moment to thank all of who have stopped by and left me such encouraging comments. It means a lot to me. Creating art makes me feel vulnerable, and sharing it always has the element of risk. I get so immersed in what I'm doing that by the time I post it, I can't see it objectively. The feedback helps me step back and see things through the eyes of others. Thanks so much for your support!