This was the main lesson in Week 1:
I took my time with her, but that’s fine. I used gesso and water based markers for her face and hair (I bought Koi Coloring Brush Pen some time ago and wanted to try them out). It worked pretty well and I am quite happy with what I could do with the markers. I made her dress out of washi tape. She was supposed to have a basket full of stars next to her left side, but I did not feel like it and just filled the empty space with some doodles. I am quite proud that I managed to give her hands that actually look like hands.
I know I am terribly late with reading your blogs. I will get to it today and tomorrow, I promise. It looks like I have more time when I am working. That is impossible, but somehow seem to be better organized maybe. Ah well…
I was pretty sad yesterday again thinking about all the things in my life that did not really work out the way I would have liked. I am trying to make peace with the past that cannot be changed and opportunities that were not realized. I know that I must make peace with all that in order to stay healthy and happy, so I am working on it. Whenever negative feelings overcome me I try to repeat some affirmations to counter the negative feelings. I am not sure if they really work or is it just that my mind starts paying attention to affirmations rather than the negative feelings. Whatever it is, it is helping me to go through the day feeling much better and going to bed with the thoughts that the day was a success, which is a step forward definitely.
Today we travelled to Slovenia, so there was no time for art at all in the morning, but I plan to squeeze some mandala time in the evening, after blogging and before Netflix. I can show you now a work in progress, the one I started yesterday:
It was very cold in the house when we arrived, so we just quickly unpacked, got the heating going and left to have lunch and spend a couple hours in a local mall until the house temperature reached life supporting level. Of course, there was a visit to the local art store and I got me some pearl pens and black gesso (I want to try twinkling H2Os on black, as a part of my Black Book challenge and the paper in my book is too thin, so I plan to cover watercolor paper with black gesso and see what I can do, I’ll do it tomorrow and let you know how it goes). And then I also got some metallic pain markers which are supposed to work on black paper, so I will also try them at some point. Lots of plans, as you see. In addition, I need to try to catch up with course work this week. I cannot believe I am actually saying this, the year has just started and I am already behind. That is obviously because I am doing so much of my own drawing, so I am wondering why I needed all those classes again.
Anyway, detachment… also from stressing about course work I cannot manage. Last year I challenged myself to do all Life Book lessons, and it pretty much worked, but I ended up not finishing a few pieces and doing a couple that I did not really enjoy. This year I am not doing that. I will concentrate on doing lessons I really like. There will be less done, but that’s ok. Do I sound like I am not stressing about it? Today, there was no time for quiet time and examining my feelings, so tonight I will try to have a bit of reflection time before going to sleep. Speaking of which – I will finally have my room all to myself and I hope for a great, deep and refreshing ZZZZZZ….
I have finished another mandala today:
This one was quick and easy. I used Sakura gel metallic pens and white Uni Ball pen. I was sitting by the swimming pool and drawing. It was a great day: swimming, sauna, art and resting all day long. I really needed it. I also started some meditation exercise to practice detachment – it basically consists of exploration of my feelings and attitudes towards things and people that are causing me pain. I knew before that it’s all in my head, and consequently it should be easy to dismiss. However, I notice that whenever I am actively observing my feelings, I am fine, but I don’t seem to keep it up. Once I slip, I am on a downhill slope and if I do not make a serious effort to contain the emotional spillage, it all gets messy again. So, obviously what is needed is constant attention. Let’s see if it is possible…
It’s our last night here. I am happy in a way, because nights are hard. I am not used to sharing a room with another person and I am having troubles sleeping (Mother snoring, coughing, tossing, breathing, just being there…). My sensory antennas are so finely tuned that nothing escapes me even when I sleep. And that’s never good, not even during the day, because it’s so exhausting and distracting. So, I am gladly giving up sauna and pool for a good night’s sleep in my own room.
There is this lady I painted actually last week, but it patiently waited its turn to be blogged about:
I used a reference photo online for shading, that’s why it is a bit unusual. I quite like the hair and background kind of merging together. I used watercolor and colored pencils on gessoed background. I like how watercolor behaves on gesso – it’s very forgiving, stays wet longer, does not get absorbed and can be lifted easily. Very handy if you make a lot of mistakes 🙂
It’s Wednesday, which means that less than a half of working week is left to face, which is always a nice feeling. The weather is warm, it was raining last night and this morning everything smells like dry leaves. The air is clean and it would be beautiful to take a long walk in a forest. Alas, I am closed in my office, using my lunch break to write my blog. Yes, I know, it could be worse…
One more girl in my ‘She Thinks Positive’ Journal. She is 30 out of 120, but I did skip two pages which were gessoed before and I did not want to use colored pencils on them, so the numbering is a bit screwed up.
Done with watercolor and colored pencils. I finished her yesterday.
It’s Monday again and my internet is not working since yesterday. I called the provider last night and they could not do anything remotely, so today they should come and do whatever they need to do here. I am connected through my mobile data plan, which is not bad at all, but no Netflix and no YouTube and no Vimeo… BAH! How used I am to having internet all the time! I felt positively lost last night without the ability to watch Netflix. I had to make a conscious effort to implement ‘disaster recovery plan’ and find a movie on the TV. Isn’t it weird?! Tonight I will go out to the movies, just in case :). LOL! Joking! I go to the movies every second Monday, because it’s ‘two for one’ day. But I do hope they will fix the internet during the day… Sigh…!
I had another 30 minutes last night and this morning, so I could finish my girl.
Her look said that she knows herself, so that’s what her message is. I really enjoyed my new pencils. They blend so well and you can layer and layer and achieve this wonderful smooth look. The only little thing is that it gets quite shiny at some point, but in this case I am not bothered because it’s in a journal, but if it were meant for hanging on the wall, I am not sure what I would think. That’s one thing that you do not get with Polychromos.
Here’s a detail:
Overall, I LOVE the pencils. I love them more than Polychromos, I have to say. Next week I am going to try them on better paper. This was in Fabriano sketching journal, which has rather thin yellowish paper. I have some white cartridge paper at my other place, so I am excited to see what happens there… And tomorrow, I think, it’s back to watercolors and doodling…
As with most other lessons in Life Book, I struggled to make myself start this one. Once I started however, it went great.
I managed to draw the face of my ‘muse’ with a marker without drawing it with a pencil first! And it looked totally ok! YAY! This lesson was not meant to be focused on learning a new skill or painting something pretty. It was about the self-healing.
On the left hand side the letters say: I am overcoming that I am not doing enough (meaning for my self-improvement and education, but also for the people I love). And this is a negative thought pattern, which I need to overcome. On the right hand side it says: I am doing my best. I am as perfect as I can be. (self-forgiving affirmation which was supposed to break the negative thought pattern on the left hand side. In the middle is my artistic muse who I saw in the meditation and the symbol I saw integrating with her as her eyebrows. It means noting probably. The unreadable part is her letter to myself. It’s ok, I know what she wants to tell me.
I am sorry that the video I posted yesterday did not work. I will have to use YouTube for videos obviously. I don’t know why there is an option on WordPress to upload videos if they won’t play. Ok, I give a slight chance that I did something wrong 🙂
Anyway, here’s the doodle from the video:
It’s in my Play Journal, done with crappy colored pencils and ink. I ordered very expensive colored pencils and they should arrive next week (when I will be away), so in two weeks time I will post a photo of my new treasure. I am in as much love with colored pencils as I am with watercolor, so don’t ask. Yes, I do have Polychromos 60 pieces tin and I love them, but I also wanted to try Prismacolors. Now as everybody’s saying that Prismacolor quality control is crappy, I did not want to buy them and in addition they cannot be easily found where I live, so I opted for something even better: Caran d’Ache Luminance, which are… um… very expensive… I thought to myself: WTH my dear, if you have that money, spend it on something you really want. Not that I needed much persuasion… So there we go. They are on their way to me. They say that they can draw on black paper too, so one reason more to try them!
And yesterday I started a new watercolor doodle in my Strathmore Journal:
I planned to doodle around the painted shapes, but this morning I changed my mind because it looked so pretty as it is. So I will leave it. I used turquoise Ecoline and new gamboge from Daniel Smith. I think they are beautiful together.
Migraine is definitely gone. I went for a run this morning. The weather is still great, weekend is coming and all is good. Have a happy Friday!
Ok, now this is too much. I had to get up at 4 am to take painkillers. And then more just a couple hours later. One could argue that I am lucky to still be able to function, so it’s not that bad. I haven’t lost a day of work (couple hours yes). I get nervous about time wasted lying in the dark staring at the ceiling. But that’s what my body needs, so I have to accept that it’s not wasted. Do I make sense? My mind is blurry and I am not sure to what degree I still function. Gets a bit scary driving to work and back. Anyway… I started the supplement again. No choice. I do not want to have migraines every month again. No.
Here is the doodle from this morning:
I am not so happy with it, but that’s fine. I cannot be happy with everything I make. Listening to Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic while driving to and back from work. It’s interesting. Have you read it yet?
I did not tell you, but my migraines are back. I stopped taking the herbal supplement that I was taking for more than 6 months and now I have to deal with pain again. Anyway, they are not as bad as they used to be, so I do not need so many painkillers and I can almost function normally. So, hope to be ‘normal’ tomorrow…
Here’s the one I did yesterday:
Now I see that it’s a bit out of focus, but it’s too late to take another photo. I will have to live with the imperfection. LOL!