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Toy Box Whale

Hello Friends,

Yesterday I spontaneously decided to paint!  AND…this is not watercolor;  it is acrylics.  I have not used acrylics in a really long time!  They are more challenging and frustrating to me than watercolors.  AND…it is my first whale painting!  So why did I call it “Toy Box Whale”?

Well, there is a reason for my madness.  This piece of WOOD used to be the bottom of our son’s toy box.  It measures 28″ x 16″.   For years it was filled with all of his stuffed animals.  When he moved out last year,  the box and stuffed animals stayed where they were.  A couple of weeks ago I decided to pack up the animals along with other stuff in his closet.  Some things were packed, but some were sent to Goodwill.

I didn’t want to get rid of the toy box, though.  Years ago I stenciled and painted our son’s first and middle name, a teddy bear, and hearts when he was about two.  (That was before I began teaching myself to draw and paint.)  My husband suggested keeping that part, so when I took it apart, I decided to keep all the pieces.  So I disassembled it and kept everything except the lid.  A long time ago the lid broke and couldn’t be fixed.  Each piece is thin white plywood.  The side and back pieces are framed in a light wood.  I am trying to decide what other ocean creatures to paint on those pieces.  Perhaps a sea turtle and a jellyfish on the small ones and maybe an ocean scene on the longer piece.

The smaller pieces can be easily hung on a wall because of the cut out handles in the wood frame.  However, the whale piece will be trickier to hang, because it is just a flat piece without any wood framing.  So until I figure out how I’m going to hang it, the whale is sitting on our keyboard in the living room.  (I haven’t played it in a long time.)

Our son’s old room is painted a light blue, so I am thinking of repainting it the same color and then making the room into a sea creatures room.  It will most likely take me a long time since I am not done with my writing class yet, though.  I really hope to be done with it in a couple of months!  I had to ask for an extension on the due date of my story.  I added and subtracted text as I was editing it for what I hoped would be the last time, but…now I have to retype it.  I am probably going to finish it tomorrow.  Then I also have to write the cover letter for an editor as the other part of the assignment.  So after days of writing, I decided to paint for a change!

I hope everyone is having a great weekend.  We are having beautiful spring weather here.  We had a pretty good rain a couple of days ago.  It is sunny but cool.

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug.  🙂

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Frida Kahlo-Painter of Pain

frida-kahlo-2

 

Hello Friends,

Recently I decided to look into the biography of Frida Kahlo, the female Mexican artist who definitely painted her pain.  Above is my personal favorite picture of her.  Most of her paintings have always felt a bit unsettling and disturbing to me.  I never felt comfortable viewing them, but I think it was because I never researched her life to find out why she painted the things she did.  I really didn’t know anything about her until I watched a Biography DVD about her that I checked out from the library a couple of weeks ago.  It was then that I learned about the horrific bus accident she was in when she was just 18 years old. This accident changed her life in many ways.

Frida Kahlo was born on July 6, 1907.  Her full name was Magdelena Carmen Frieda Kahlo Calderon.  She later changed the spelling of her first name to a less Germanic spelling. Her father was Wilhelm Kahlo, a “German-Jew of Hungarian descent who had come to Mexico as a young man.”  He first worked in the jewelry trade which was his father’s business, then took up photography after marrying Matlde, his second wife.  Then he changed his last name to Guillermo.

Frida’s father was a positive influence in her life.  When she was six, she was stricken with polio.  Guillermo encouraged her to swim, participate in sports, ride a bike and keep herself physically active.  However, her right leg remained disfigured and much thinner than her left for the rest of her life.  She mostly wore long skirts and long pants to hide it.

When Frida was 15, she was admitted to the Prepa, or National Preparatory School.  She changed her birth year to 1910 and claimed to be 12 instead.  It is believed she did this because she wanted to be more closely associated with the Mexican Revolution which began that year.

September 17, 1926, was the day that changed her life forever.  Frida had been shopping with her friend Alejandro Arias.  As they were walking along they decided to catch a bus that had benches along the sides for people to sit on. As the bus driver tried to pass in front of a turning streetcar, they crashed and Frida was thrown from the bus. Alejandro found her lying in the street with the rod of a metal handrail impaling her left hip and exiting through her female organs.  She also suffered several fractures in her third and fourth vertebrae, pelvis, and right foot. Her left elbow was dislocated and the rod also caused a deep abdominal wound.  She spent a month in the hospital and never went back to school.

accident-by-frida-kahlo

“Accident” 1926 by Frida Kahlo

After she went home she was confined to bed for much of her recovery.  It was at this time that her mother gave her a small lap easel to use for painting.  So Frida put a mirror in the canopy of her bed and began painting her self-portraits and still lifes.  When she was able to get up more, she also began to paint larger portraits of people she knew.

frida-kahlo-with-easel

Frida Kahlo painting in bed

Frida suffered through many operations, several body casts, and a great deal of mental as physical anguish.  Her friend Alejandro went away to Europe for two years and they wrote to each other, and he visited sometimes, but their relationship was not meant to become anything more.

Frida fell in love with and married Diego Rivera on August 21, 1929, a famous, overweight, middle-aged artist, when she was just 19.  She relished the attention she received in being his wife.  They had a rocky marriage and both had affairs; the most devastating one for Frida was when Diego had an affair with her sister, Christina.  Diego and Frida divorced in 1939, but were remarried a little over a year later and stayed married until her death on July 13, 1954.

She painted over 150 paintings in her lifetime but only had one individual exhibition.  It was held from April 13 to 27, 1953, in Mexico at the Galeria de Arte Contemporaneo.  She had also suffered through many more operations in prior years in attempts to fix her spine and leg which had both been so badly damaged in the bus accident, but the last operation she had was in 1953 when her right leg was amputated below the knee because of gangrene.

There is so much more to know about Frida Kahlo, but I don’t want this post to be too long.  If you would like to know any more about her life and paintings, you can read more about her here:   http://www.fridakahlofans.com/biocomplete.html.

I also would recommend the book “Frida Kahlo, The Brush of Anguish” by Martha Zamora, which is the source I used for this post and where the quote in the second paragraph came from.  I found the pictures on Google.

I have often thought about trying to paint about some of the painful things I have gone through in my life, but then when I sit down to paint, I find I would rather paint beauty, because focusing on flowers, landscapes or beautiful sea creatures is what has helped me through the last few years.  I appreciate everyone who loves the sea turtles I have painted.

I am currently working on doing illustrations for a children’s story I wrote quite a while back (not Larry, the Lonely Leatherback, but a different one.)  I have been trying to get the characters to look the way I have them pictured in my mind, but sometimes it is difficult to figure out how to draw them in certain poses!  However, it is a challenge, which is what I love and keeps me going.

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug!  🙂

“Painting has to get back to its original goal, examining the…”

Art of Quotation

“Painting has to get back to its original goal, examining the inner lives of human beings.”

— Pierre Bonnard, French. Painter


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Chinese Brush Painting with Moon Bear World!

 

Hello everyone!

This is an amazing video to watch if you want to see Chinese brush painting!  This woman’s voice is relaxing and she is incredible!  I did have to turn up the volume a lot to hear her clearer, and the person taking the video gets a little shaky and noisy at the end, but I still enjoyed it!  I definitely plan to practice her techniques.  Her YouTube videos can be found under Moon Bear World.  Check it out and enjoy!

Have a great day, and give someone you love a big hug!  🙂

My First Fairyland!!!

Hello everyone! WordPress has been being a stinker at my house for some reason so I haven’t been on as much as I used to be. Every time I try to check comments, nothing loads. And I have not had time to get online when I am in town, because I try to go to the gym while my daughter is in classes. That’s another reason I haven’t been doing quite as much painting lately. The school year makes it harder to get to.

But this week my husband is off and he and my son are sharing the load of taking my daughter to her classes this week to give me some free time to work.

Soooo…….here is my latest painting. I realize this is a Spring scene, and we are less than two weeks away from Christmas, but this is what I have had in mind for a long time and didn’t want to wait until Spring to post it!

This is my first fairyland. It is done in acrylics. The pictures of it were difficult to take, though, because the canvas is long and skinny. It has been sitting with the drawing on the canvas since last week. I began painting it three days ago and finished with the last touches today. So bear with me as I sort of give it to you in pieces!

Here is a full shot as best as I could get. The “panoramic” feature on my camera is weird so I didn’t use it.

Fairyland

Close-up of the far left of the canvas…..

Fairyland far left

Close-up of the middle of the canvas……their dog resembles my dog, Brownie, I think. 🙂

Fairyland Middle

And…a close-up of the far right of the canvas…

Fairyland far right

There will be more fairies to come maybe and perhaps what I have in mind for a member of the family which is half sketched. I don’t know if it will be done by Christmas, but it is what I will be working on next. Can’t tell ya what it is though, just in case that someone in the family sees this! 😉

I hope everyone is having a relaxed Christmas season this year. Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug. 🙂

Rogue Character….watch out for him!

Hello everyone. Here is an acrylic painting I did one day. It isn’t exactly like the drawing I did first, since it appears that he has a very large neck! Anyway, I decided he is a rogue character that could easily be in a Dungeons and Dragons game! But he doesn’t have a name. Perhaps Long-nosed Ned?

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug! 🙂

Rogue

Rogue Dagger Nose

Dwarf Warrior

Here is a dwarf warrior I fashioned from my own crazy imagination when I was thinking about Dungeons and Dragons one day! He’s in the middle of an attack!

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug! 🙂

Dwarf Warrior

Dwarf Warrior 2

Dwarf close-up

Spooky Moonlight

Moonlight in the Fall

Hello everyone. Halloween is almost here!

Here is an acrylic painting I did a couple of weeks ago. I didn’t even have the holiday in mind when I painted it. I was mostly thinking of Fall and wanted to post it then, but never got around to it.

What I had in mind was what the road I drive every day looks like when it is brightly lit at night. The full moons here are always beautiful, but on the butte which is a road winding around an inactive volcano, it can be especially beautiful. There is a section where some trees are overhanging the road from both sides which is kind of scary if it is really windy or rainy. I am always afraid I’ll drive under them right when a tree branch decides to fall off! But it has been 14 years that we’ve been driving it now. So far, so good! (Plus, if I am on it at night, George is usually driving!) 😉 And of course I made the sides of the road look like there was something mysterious billowing up to get whoever is on the road!

I haven’t been drawing or painting much lately, but I plan to work on some things this weekend. Our kids are going to a friend’s house on Halloween, and our son gets to drive them, so George and I can stay home! Out where we live we have never had kids come to trick-or-treat unless a neighbor drops by with their younger kids before they head to town to go out. And for many years, we had no young children here except ours! So it is usually quiet. This year could be a little different, but we’ll see.

I like watching the movie “Halloween” (only the first one which is the best in my opinion) and maybe “Psycho.” I love the music in both these movies which is what gets to me the most! I actually find them both pretty comical so it’s like suspense and comedy all in one to me. But this year since it will just be the two of us, and we don’t have to drive the kids anywhere, maybe we’ll spend the evening talking without any interruptions! One can only hope.

Keep your little ones safe this Halloween, and watch out for all the things that go bump in the night! (Especially Michael…..and Norman….)

Have a great day, and give someone you love a big hug. 🙂

Art, Life and Physical Therapy

Hello everyone! It seems like it has been forever since I’ve been able to post anything new! I have missed my WordPress friends so much over the last month. Unfortunately, I still haven’t done much art lately because of my shoulder, however, I have drawn a couple of small dragons which I hope to post soon.

I am back in physical therapy but only once a week because of my crazy schedule these days. My physical therapist gives me plenty to do in between sessions, though. He knows I will faithfully do the exercises. The problem they found on the MRI I had done is that there is a lot of calcium build-up in the front of my shoulder. But the good news is that I don’t need surgery…yet. The doctor is hoping the physical therapy will be able to hold that off for quite some time like it did before. I am, too!

MEET LUKE WILSON. HE IS MY PHYSICAL THERAPIST. Shasta Orthopedics’s physical therapists are all wonderful, kind, and funny people. I really have missed going there, but I will be glad when I don’t HAVE to any more, too.

Luke

One thing that has been a benefit of my daughter’s new school schedule is that I actually get to the gym four days a week now! Sometimes I can’t go on the day I have physical therapy, though, depending on the slot I get. I am also able to exercise more at home now since replacing my stationary bike with a really good used one I bought a while back. I have all my rubber band thingies that I use for my shoulder exercises there, too, and my light weights, etc. So I have been trying to work out at home the rest of the days. I have to force myself sometimes, though, because there’s other stuff I’d rather do like read or eat!

I was talking with someone today about the fact that the only time in my whole life that I can remember I ever had a schedule that included consistent exercise was when I lived in Georgia from ages zero to 10! We had a close-by public pool, a ballpark where I played softball and did cheer leading, and of course P.E. at school. After that it was just P.E. at school until I graduated. Or riding bikes after school and roller skating on weekends, but once I became an adult, I never really found a sport I liked to play. I worked various jobs until I worked eight years at a newspaper. That is when my life became very sedentary. So I have struggled to get a consistent exercise routine incorporated into my life ever since.

I think staying physically active is very important for me especially since when I am not physically or creatively active, I have a tendency to become depressed. And that sucks! So……here and now I am deciding that I can’t allow myself to fall back into that sedentary lifestyle. I like to do art, write, and stay in shape. I know these are all things I NEED to be doing. I want remembering to exercise to become like remembering to brush my teeth!

As they say….today is the first day of the rest of my life!

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug! 🙂

Ballerina With Sheer Outfit

HERE IS THE 9×12 ACRYLIC I DID OF THE BALLERINA IN A SHEER, FLOWING OUTFIT. THIS WAS A LOT OF FUN. THE BACKGROUND IS ALL BLACK, BUT THE LIGHT I HAD ON WHEN I TOOK THE PICTURE KIND OF HIGHLIGHTS IT. NICE!

Ballerina Looking Up

Ballerina Looking Up Close-up

HAVE A WONDERFUL DAY, AND GIVE SOMEONE YOU LOVE A BIG HUG. 🙂