Bowled Over

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I have quite a few good-sized bowls coming out. Thought I’d share.

I’m also plugging away at another big watercolor.  They take a ridiculous amount of time…I’m trying not to ask the question if they are quantifiably “worth it”.  If I were to be paid by the hour, these paintings would be incredibly expensive (like Trump might hang them up next to his golden toilet expensive).  Whether I get paid at all is the hard part of justifying why I do what I do -ever.

I just have to quiet my mind and say “don’t think… don’t quit… this was the gift God gave you.  God didn’t give you accounting skills, corporate feistiness or amazing memorization… All you can do is show up everyday and use what God gave you… have faith… have faith… Listen to your inner voice… there has to be a reason you intuitively know how to do all things artsy… don’t quit… don’t quit…

Yes. Yes I do.  I talk to myself all day.  You don’t?

I also tell myself to shut-up all day too…  What, you don’t?

Ha.  OK.  On with the show…

Here are some pieces that came out of the kiln this week.

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As I look at these, I am reminded I should make some more of my own stamps.  I like how soft and non-mechanized they look.  They make my work more personal. Note to self – make more stamps…

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Here is the new painting I am working on.  I challenged myself to quite a funky perspective.  I am looking down on the subject matter.  I hope I can pull it off… still so much to fill in/block off… boy that’s going to take A LOT of time…

It’s been cold and wet for well over a week.  I find it so hard to motivate myself. I am going to have  to revert back to talking to myself just to get myself out of this chair.

…Get up.  You don’t have that much time…If you don’t work on this thing you’ll never finish it…   No.  sitting on the couch wrapped up in a blanket bingeing Netflix is totally out of the question…You’re an adult right?  Adults do responsible things all day?  Go do something “responsible”…

What? Oh come on. You do talk to yourself too right?

I thought so. Totally normal ;)

I’m walking Away

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 I’m at that point.  The point of giving up.

I’ve been incredibly frustrated lately.  Mainly, the ideas in my head aren’t matching up with what’s physically manifesting on my canvas.

After six months of painting abstract acrylics,  I can look at this body of work and say:  It’s not translucent enough (the pieces are kind of muddy in color) and they don’t really communicate a significant message to my viewer (I don’t know what they communicate!).  These were some of the goals I had set for myself and I sort of fell short of them.

With that said.  I’m ready to walk away.  Throw in the towel. Maybe even create a giant pyre and throw all my paintings in it.

Ok. That might be a little dramatic.

I’m not feeling that bad, but I am frustrated darn it.

I am walking away, but really I’m just walking into a different room.  A room filled with watercolors and paper as opposed to acrylics and canvas.  My hope is that if I walk away, I can let everything I learned in the last 6 months synthesize into my brain somehow.  I’m hoping with time I will be able to mentally separate the processes I liked from the ones that didn’t work for me.  Or who knows, maybe with a little bit more time I can simply check acrylic-abstract-painting off my list.  – Check.  That one’s not for me.  Let’s go try something else.  That could be the case.  I don’t know.  Hopefully time will tell.

I do know that I love painting.  I can’t quit.  I won’t quit.  You’ll have to pry that paint brush from my cold dead hand.  I do sure hope I figure out where I shine technically before I am cold and dead.  Gulp.

So here’s to another go.  A different go.  Wish me luck :)

No. Seriously.  I mean it. Right now.  I wouldn’t mind a little prayer.  You could send me some positive Ju-Ju.  I’m a believer of that kind of stuff.  Send it my way right now I’m waiting!!!

Here were the last paintings I finished in this series:

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These canvases were roughly 16×20 – 18×24.

It’s hard.  I feel like I would NEVER bring one of these paintings to a gallery or art association for exhibition.  Mainly because they don’t look like ANYTHING I see on their walls.  Mine are playful and crazy where as everything I see there seems so serious.  That definitely weighs into my cruel critique. I don’t feel like these are “show”-able.

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I do have to say though, when I hang them in my house, I very much like them.  They are colorful, happy and create a cheery atmosphere.  That puts me in a strange conundrum.  I want to make art for the world not simply for myself.  Will I ever get there??? 

Deep exhale….. I hope so.

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As we speak, my brand new set of watercolors has arrived.

My old set is probably ten years old.  It’s been on rocky car rides where the pigments got mixed all together.  It’s filled with cat hair, mainly because my cat won’t leave me alone! It’s a complete mess.  Ta Da.  A new set with new paint brushes.  It’s like artist Christmas.

Well here I go.  Off to give these new puppies a try!  Hee Haw! Yipee!

Two more Summer Seaside Cards

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Two more South County, RI notecards.

My daughter just looked over my shoulder and told me the seagull haiku above has only six syllables instead of seven in it’s center verse.

Oh great. Just terrific! I’m glad I sent them all out to print a week ago!

I sure hope there are no poets or English majors hanging out on the sea wall this summer!

;)

Crazy Hair

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One more project for you as school is about to begin…

I don’t know how much the parents appreciated this project, but since I’m still 89% kid at heart, this project made me laugh my head off!

While the kids were busy working on another project, I asked to take their pics.  I told them to look at me as if their finger was stuck in a light socket.  They had no idea what they’d be doing with the photos, but like all good kids, they simply did what they were told!

I took the pics with my phone and at home converted them to black and white. I printed out a full page image of each kid and then carefully cut everything away from their faces -hair and all. I then glued each kid to the center of a poster board 3-4 times the size of their heads -a blank slate.

When I unveiled what we’d be doing for the day, for an extra laugh, I gathered the kids around and said “let’s take a look at what everyone in the class looks like bald”.  Oh their were some red faces and some really loud laughs… all good sports though!

So it wasn’t hard to get them to want to fill in the posters.  1-make yourself not bald 2-have fun creating something out of this world!

I think it’s a great thing about camp.  Sometimes teaching people to not take themselves so seriously can be just as useful as seriousness.  It’s a great lesson in releasing control.

I find the 7 year olds draw with reckless abandon while the 11-14 year olds sketch with pencil, then erase, then erase, then erase…. the session is done and they never got past sketching.  Which reminds me.  I gave the kids a black sharpie, not a pencil.

Such an early age and everyone is already worried about being perfect.

If I can leave the kids with anything from Art Camp, it’s this.  Laugh –period!  Don’t take yourself so seriously –it will ruin your creativity!  And finally, KEEP ART FUN. If you can manage to do that, art will be your friend for life.  You have to work at this though, society has a way of wanting to suck the joy and spontaneity out of one’s creativity.

Laughing is the key!

 

 

Art Camp 2016 D.O.D.

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By far the most favorite project of camp – Oversized Day-of-the-Dead Skulls!

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Because time was limited, I cut out the outer skull.  The rest was up to them.  Ready…Set…Grab your glue guns!!!!

I showed them the trick to making the facial features 3-D.

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We dowsed them in white paint to give ourselves a blank canvas…

And then the fun began!

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I’m pretty sure many a tween bedroom will now be adorned in sugar skulls!

The Elephant’s Trunk

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Have you ever been to a REALLY GOOD flea market? 

The kind that’s worth driving miles and miles to be there for 6:30 am?

The Elephant’s Trunk Flea Market in New Milford CT is one of those places.

 

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Forget even going there in search of finding something.  No need.  Looking at the juxtaposition of all of our societies odds and ends randomly spewed across a farm field is a reward in itself.  And then there’s the people watching… you’ve never seen so much eye candy!

If you’re an antique-er, you know that Brimfield is the mecca of all antiquing.  But the Elephant’s trunk is the perfect size.  It’s big, yet you can still tackle it in 3 hours.  The quality is really high and it’s nestled in one of the prettiest areas of Connecticut Valley.  It’s a New England must!

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So, my mom went home with a 4 foot purple flower cascade…

My daughter scored a new Swiss Army Knife and a pair of vintage Doc Martins…

My husband invested in a 10 piece set of induction cookware…

We all devoured a loaf of homemade Italian Olive bread…

But…but…what could Mary possibly find to take home from the Elephant’s Trunk???

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 A 5 foot West African crocodile tribal mask …duh!

Of course it had to be good… but I’d define my find –as greatI love it!  It’s going to hang on the wall alongside all my crazy paintings :)

What I love about flea market shopping, is it allows you to surround yourself with really interesting stuff that you can generally guarantee no one else will have.  Uniqueness is the best.

I mean the tennis sneaker leg lamp was a close second choice, but I’m pretty happy with my crocodile :)!

 

Normal is So Overrated

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Quite sadly, my last bike was stolen right out of my yard while filling our moving van.  It wasn’t the greatest bike, but it was still my bike.

Very kindly, my mother-in-law offered up her old bike.  It’s a gray old Mongoose.  Nothing fancy, yet quite functional.

I’m at the point in my life, where I really don’t want a fancy car (that can be broken into), I don’t want an expensive bike (that can be stolen right out of my yard), nor do I want precious materials throughout my home (that would make me lose sleep and want to buy an alarm system).

I simply want comfy things and well thought-out pieces that I can enjoy every day. And yet, if they were no longer in my life, it wouldn’t  cause me any angst. In fact, it would bring me joy because then I’d have a reason to hunt for a new well worn-out treasure!

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My little girl thought it would be a great idea to take those new duct tapes on the market and decorate what she has termed my ” ugly bike”.

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She just so happens to have a not-so-normal mother who thought this was a flipping splendid idea!

We duct-taped my bike.  It now looks like Pee-Wee Herman’s flower garden and I simply love it.

If it gets worn-out, I’ll pick new tape and if someone tries to steal it, well good luck riding this bike through town.

I think we all shall know who it belongs to!

http://www.becreativemary.com

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DAY #338 – CHRISTMAS PUKED ON MY HOUSE!

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I’m a little cynical aren’t I?

Can you believe that someone was willing to part with this giant Santa?  They actually left it on the side of the road with a “free” sign on it – in August of course.

Luckily I could see its potential and I snatched it up.  It’s like a little part of my 1970’s childhood right here in my dining room!  I found another Santa with a full sleigh of reindeer on the side of the road in July.  It’s still in the garage.  I have to add it to my plastic palace.  I have no idea why people would want to throw away such amazing junk?  Their loss is my tacky Christmas gain!

Now I have to tell you, I’m very proud of myself.  It’s only taken me 8 years, but I am finally able to release control over Christmas decorating.  I am a mad collector of vintage Christmas stuff.  Mostly from the 1950’s – 1970’s.  I have six giant computer boxes filled with all sorts of things I find – in August!

 Here’s where I confess: For the past 8 years I have allowed my kids to “decorate” but when they weren’t looking, I moved it all!  My inner control freak just couldn’t handle it.

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You know, it’s like when the kids add all the Christmas balls to the bottom of the tree all on one bough….You just can’t help but want to fix it!

I think I am at the point though, where I realize I have only one or two more Christmases where the kids decorating will actually be entertaining.  They are getting older and a little more savvy, so I better cherish their crazy ideas of Christmas splendor before they wind up OCD and overly methodical about presentation, like their mother!

With this said, I opened the proverbial floodgates. Cardboard boxes actually and let them have at it.

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There is not a surface of my down stairs that doesn’t have something Christmasy on it. I have to say, I secretly kind of like it.  All of my stuff is EVERYWHERE! I feel like my home is a really cool thrift store.  I have to search around and find cool artifacts amongst the piles of Christmas rubble.

It’s not the way I would have done it and after 8 years of the same old same old, I LOVE IT!

Christmas has hit the Walsh house with a vengeance and we’ve only gotten started…there is quite a bit more to bring forth.

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As for art, today was one of those days I dreaded coming to fruition.  A day when I had way more planned than time.  This upcoming month is going to be one big bowl of too much planned in a short duration.

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I began a watercolor at 8 am and left at noon to volunteer at my kid’s school.  The art teacher needs some extra hands with the younger grades.  That brought me to 3pm.  We came home, puked Christmas all over the house, ate dinner and then we were off to the official dress rehearsal for The Christmas Carol play my daughter is participating in.  It was awesome to see my kid singing and dancing.  She’s already braver than I ever was at that age!

We were home by 10:30pm which brought me to blog writing and now hopefully I am close to hitting the “publish” button.

Is it Christmas or Ground Hog’s day?  Something tells me that I’m going to fall asleep, but when I wake, I’m going to do this all over again!

Mom is doing a 365 Day Creativity Challenge and her daughter will be participating in 15 performances in the next three weeks.

January 1st seems so elusive, but something tells me it will be here in a blink of an eye… I just pray I make it to the finish line!

http://www.becreativemary.com

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DAY # 328 – LUCKY DUCK

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Today I was a glutton for punishment.

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I still need some key pieces of driftwood to complete some of my sculptures, so I decided to hit the beach.  If you are not from New England, then let me fill you in on the weather.  It was about 20 degrees today but with the wind chill, it was estimated to feel about 9.  Great day to go to the windy beach!

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I wised up this time and brought a wagon.  My arms are still sore from lugging driftwood.#328- Lucky Duck (5)

The beach I went to was an absolute disappointment.  I came home with a headache and an ear ache from the wind and only about 6 small pieces of driftwood.  None of which were what I needed to complete my pieces.  It was so windy I thought I was going to blow over.  I love having the beach to myself, but there was a reason I had it to myself today, it was nasty!

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I came back home and it seemed like all my wooden sculptures were waiting for me.

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We got back down to work, my daughter and I, we had wood shavings, nails, wood and saw dust all over the place.  There was absolutely no way we could work outside in this weather, so we moved it all inside.

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I have to say my 9-year-old daughter was way more productive today than I was.  She tells me all the time how much she doesn’t like art and how she has no interest, what a liar!  On her own, she decided to create some Christmas decorations.  I just love this snowman see-saw.  The snowmen are corks.  She nailed them all together and created a functional lever and fulcrum….show off!

I, myself, was all over the place today.  I couldn’t figure out what I wanted.  I started with painting the block orange and the duck magenta, but from there, I didn’t know where to go.  This is what I started with:

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I wound up adding a log for visual interest and I’m glad I did.  The faux-bois log is my favorite part!

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I had also found this rusty wheel shaft on the beach.  I thought it would be great for an eye. Unfortunately, I thought I could drill two small holes in it which I couldn’t, I wound up cracking about 3/4″ inch off the side of it.  That stunk. It was absolutely perfect, but I went with what was left and it still adds some visual interest.

You know, originally I was thinking of painting this bird to look like a seagull, but then I thought about how many people in the world have painting a seagull out of driftwood.  My second thought was to go with something wild from my imagination which I think was a good call.  My driftwood duck is wild, over-the-top and oh-so very colorful.  It ties in with all my art kicking around the house.   I have to say I am truly digging the 3-D element to these pieces as well.  With all of the paintings I’ve been creating, everything winds up being some form of a rectangle.  These pieces are adding some dimension to the room.  Who knows, some of these creatures might wind up permanent dwellings in this place.

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I plan on tackling my goose tomorrow.  I’ll have to dream up some crazy color combinations tonight.  I already have a fun idea for the neck.  It’s going to be crazy!

http://www.becreativemary.com

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Day 319 – PATTERN HILL Completed

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Pattern Hill  30″ x 36″ gouache painting on 140 LB Cold Press paper.

What a fun painting! Well, I had fun painting it for what it’s worth!  It has all my favorite components:

Color, pattern and I was even able to sneak in some of my hand-made stamps.

Did I mention color?

I love the movement created by the curvy black and white fence.  I like the herringbone pattern sliding down the hill.  I love the way the sky just says hallelujah gosh darn it! I just want to put on some running shoes and take to the road like Forrest Gump!

Well, that’s sort of it.  Quite plainly.

This painting makes me feel happy and energetic and don’t we all need a little of that?

Happy Friday everybody!

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