DAY # 266 – SERENITY NOW

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Finally Finished.

It feels good.  There were so many steps and layers to this painting, I didn’t think I’d ever finish!

The final measurements of this hand stamped acrylic painting are 37″x57″ inches.  Roughly 3 feet by 5 feet.

The painting is a tribute to my everyday routine.  The craziness that pursues in trying to be a mother, wife, and artist.

My true intent was to find some excuse to create an image using hand-crafted stamps.  I used craft foam and recycled elements to create the stamps.  I also wanted the painting to be so busy and so crazy, you’d have to look around for a while before you saw everything.  The painting is absolutely crazy!  I like it in real life better than on the screen.  You can’t grasp how large it is.

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Here are some of the final stamps I created today.  A feather for the feather duster, an argyle print for my sneakers and a star for my high-tops.  We all know what that is a nod to!

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I did forget the red shoelaces, I will have to add them in tomorrow.  Man…never ending!

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The first funny tid-bit is my text to my husband.  It says “Hi sweetie I can’t pick up the kids cuz I can’t find my keys”.  I’d like to think that this is an unusual text, but not in my life.  Oh and I can add “locked myself out of the car…however baby still in car” and “went sled riding, now freezing, randomly using someone’s phone to ask you to come get us…keys locked in car”. Yeah, many texts about keys and my car.

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This supermarket bag is a dig on the whole “organic movement”.  Boy do I get ticked off that we have to pay a lot extra for what is common sense.  If you don’t want poison in your food, then you’ll have to pay for an “upgrade”. really?  Thank you lobbyists.  So this is what I wrote on my faux bag  “We promise High Quality food grown in nature with no chemicals. The way all food should be grown but we will charge you four times the amount for it. ENJOY!”  As a mom or should I say as a human, I constantly struggle to figure out the balance between healthy and affordable.

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My third poke is a detergent bottle called “TIDY” instead of Tide.  I am a complete failure at laundry.  First of all, I never do it, then I STINK at folding and finally, the worst of all is getting it back into my drawers.  Now let’s add two kids to the already failing process!  So I wrote on this bottle “TIDY Helps clean -clothes, snot, dirt, pee & poo, paint, stink, sauce, berries & coffee – GUARANTEED!  Yeah, I call that mom humor.

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To top it all off, yesterday was DAY #265.  That means as of yesterday, I had 100 days left.

Today, makes it 99!

I have pottery tomorrow and then I’m on to something new (that doesn’t take so long!)

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DAY # 265 – FAUX BOIS

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Faux Bois in French means an artistic interpretation of wood.  Sort of fitting for today.

I REALLY thought I was going to finish this painting today.  I worked so hard, but it wasn’t to be.  The faux wood floor took so long!

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You see, first I hand stamped the shape of each board.  Below in the photo are foam rectangles attached to cardboard necklace boxes.  the trick was I had to cover every item in the adjacent area with newsprint before I stamped.  Think about the shoes, feather duster and grocery bag…so many curves and angles!

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If that wasn’t enough, I waited for it to dry, carved faux wood grain out of the existing stamps and then re-stamped each floor board.  Again, all those curves and angles!  I like how it turned out though, so it was worth it.

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Next I created a pentagon and hexagon stamp to tackle the soccer ball.  You can’t be a proper “soccer mom” without a soccer ball!

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I painted the background of the ball a dirty brown color in hopes that when I added the white over it, I’d get some contrast.  It’s not perfect, but I think it communicates “soccer ball” so – good enough!

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I then got half-way through the clothes detergent bottle.  I also added gesso to the paint brush and phone so they’d be ready to work on tomorrow.

This means I still have the paintbrush, phone, grocery bag, feather duster and sneakers to finish tomorrow.  At least they are contained which means I won’t have to protect too much around them….Oh the finishing details!

Please be finished tomorrow.  I really, really want to start on something new!!!

That’s a Gemini for you!

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DAY #264 – PLAYING DRESS UP

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I tell ya, today brought me back to playing with my Barbies as a kid.  I LOVED creating outfits, mixing the patterns, colors, fabrics and then ripping everything off and doing it all over again!  Man that was hours and hours of entertainment for me.  I would create my own paper dolls as well.  First I’d create a mannequin and then tons and tons of outfits using wrapping papers, markers and fabric remnants.

That is what this project reminds me of; Playing.

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I had so much fun “playing” today.  This hand stamped painting keeps getting crazier and crazier!

All I have left now are all of the hand props and a faux hardwood floor I’m going to try to “install” tomorrow.

Looking forward to completing this 3ftx4ft painting.  I can barely walk around it!

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DAY #262 – WALLPAPERER

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Ok. Not really.  I made faux wallpaper for my painting though!

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First I had to design and cut out a custom stamp.  This is a nod to the Indian Pomegranate motif.  I love how the positive and negative spaces of this shape fit so nicely.  It’s great for wallpaper!

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I also made two leaf stamps as well…I didn’t get to apply them today though.

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I also started to add some pattern to the dress today.  I plan on covering everything with pattern, so it’s going to take a little bit longer….

I also finished up all the hands today as well.

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Here’s a picture of newspaper I cut to cover a particular area before I begin stamping.  This way part of the stamp prints onto the newspaper giving the illusion the wallpaper is behind the woman.  I rip and tear tons of little pieces of newspaper throughout the entire process.  There is always some area that needs temporary protection.

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This is my painting of a multi-tasking mom as of today…

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Well, at least my cat’s enjoying it!

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#259 – MAKING “HEAD” WAY

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I’m finally getting to the fun part!

That’s the stamp-making part of the painting I’ve been working on for over a week now.

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I use recycled objects like jewelry cases, cosmetics lids and wood remnants to create the stamp bases. Next, I cut craft foam into the desired shapes, glue them to the recycling and PRESTO! I have custom stamps ready to use on my artwork. My theory is to create a paint surface that is half traditional painting and half rudimentary print-making.

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So what I plan on doing with this giant 3ft x 4ft painting I am working on, is to stamp every surface with patterns.  Even the background.

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The face took me some time today, but the rest should move fairly steadily from here.  The sketching and under-painting were miserable, but the COLOR and pattern design is so much fun!   I don’t know what possessed me to try this, but now I’m finally starting to get excited about it.  I feel like I created a lot of movement in the head area today.  Just wait until I start on that dress!

I plan on creating my own paisleys, Ikats, chevrons & florals.  Each arm will have its own fabric print and of course wallpaper for the background!

I’m finally coming up with my own artist technique and it’s very uniquely-Me!

Ah, this is such a blast!

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DAY #255 – LAYING DOWN THE UNDER-PAINTING

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OK. Making a little progress here.

I’m glad to have today’s photo because the paper I’m working on is so large it is hard to gain perspective. It measures 37″ x 57″. I now see that I’d like to lose the skirt and drop the black down to create a dress.

My plan is to paint an under-painting and then I am going to create hand-made stamps to create a top layer.  I will make stamps of eyes, nose, mouth, hair, plus fabric patterns for all the garments.  I may even create a wallpaper for the background.  I love making stamps and I love the print-like quality they can bring to artwork. I’ve never done this before, so I can’t say with any accuracy how well it will turn out.  Either way, I will enjoy the ride and call it one big “experiment”!

Here is the progression thus far:

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The subject matter is a commentary on my life.  The many things I am juggling at once during this 365 challenge.  It’s kinda funny, so far to me, it looks like a cross between a Hindu deity and Charlie’s Angels!

It will take some time to iron out the kinks, but at least I feel like I made a little headway today!

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DAY #252- DEVELOPING THE CONCEPT

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Sorry, nothing visually impressive today.

Instead, today was a formulating day. I was attempting to develop a concept.

You see, SOUTH COUNTY ART SUPPLY was so helpful in special ordering me this GIANT roll of watercolor paper

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It’s like 5 feet x 25 feet.  It’s giant.  It comes in a big roll.

Notice the pencil in the photo above.  It gives you an idea of it’s size. I cut off a piece today that measures 4 feet x 5 feet.

I got this giant paper because I wanted to work large, but when the day came (today), I had no idea what I wanted to do with it.  I just hate that!  So, I sat around doodling and looking at some of my inspiration files… and then I decided I’d kind of go with what I know.

I thought about the concept of attempting many things at once:

ART + SOCIAL LIFE + SOCCER PRACTICE + LAUNDRY + COOKING + CLEANING

Yeah, I ran out of room for sleeping.  Such is my life.

That made me think of that famous Seinfeld episode where they scream “SERENITY NOW!!!”

Hence the Namaste position in the center.

Serenity = Finding peace in an absolutely crazy time in my life

So that’s the concept, but really I am just looking for an excuse to play with pattern and color.

The technical focus of this piece will be to use hand-made stamps and hand-cut stencils and templates.  I like the look of a print but with each area of the painting subject to change, overlapping and interweaving.  If this doesn’t make sense, follow the rest of the week and I’ll show you the ideas I have bundled up in my head.

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I began cutting out certain elements today and roughly sketched out the entire woman.  Like the boobs? hee hee hee:)

I then forced my poor daughter to be my reference model.  I needed all different hand & arm positions.

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Tomorrow I should be ready to sketch out all the arms and get started on all the different stamps I will need to create for this piece.

You know, for many years I suffered from a serious anxiety disorder.  It crippled my art making.  In fact for almost a decade I didn’t create a thing.

I mention this because my chronic problem would be that I would get an idea, I’d work on it for about a day, I would look at it and think “this is ridiculous” or “why in the hell do you need to put this out into the world”….crazy critical thinking…I’d become paralyzed and walk away…never to complete anything.

Today’s concept is giving me this vibe.  It feels absolutely ridiculous.  I have no idea why a 5 foot homage to my life needs to come into the world.  In fact, it really could be a serious flop.

That is why this 365 is so special to me.  I have created this strict code for my practice.  I can’t say something stinks until I’ve actually accomplished it.  Whenever I hear the domineering negative critic, I sound a bell off in my head that says -JUST DO IT!!!

Even if I fail, I will learn.  The alternative produces nothing.

Producing SOMETHING/ANYTHING is better than nothing. I don’t want to look at another decade of NOTHING.

It’s empty.

So, I shall plug ahead.  I will experiment, I will mess up a bit, I will learn, and at the very least, there will be an “Ah-ha  moment” which will lead me to my next experiment.

Doing what I have already done no longer interests me.  Experimenting with different mediums and concepts will open my mind.  This is what I seek in being creative.

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