Monday, December 28, 2009

the acrylics odyssey

now that Christmas is over and 4 extra pounds magically showed on the scales this morning, it's time to think about all the work that i planned to finish until the year is over. i am happy that i took a picture of "The Mirror" after almost having the penciling done...

... and having messed it up really bad with the acrylics - which i don't dare to show it here.

I am always doing stuff like that - trying something without a previous study or experimentation. shame on me.

acrylics are a very versatile medium. today i learned that it can reach the same transparency of watercolors, with no need of hundreds of layers to make the colors to pop out. besides, watercolors tend to get muddy when you want to build opaque areas, and acrylics can give you beautiful areas of solid color without struggle. at first, it was a little difficult for me to handle the vigor of my new paints, since i am so used to the delicacy of the watercolors; but with a little bit of patience and caution, i began to feel more at ease.

starting over from scratch:

this time, leaving the penciling for last.  i also loved how the underpainting came out vibrant. will this be the end of the watercolor era in my career?

some of my school mates used to find it funny that i use a white tile as a pallette. white tiles are the best, very easy to clean and work great with the acrylics!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

in progress: The Mirror

i still feel sick. i have moments in the day when i feel more energetic; in others i just want to lay in bed. feel sick to my stomach. still the pressure inside my head. the sad thing is that i totally know why i am that sick - just don't have the resources to fix it and the people that could help me are miles away. so, i stay strong. i always do. i am a warrior. but i don't know for how long though. there's a limit for everything.

but anyway, concentrating in art is always a big help - when you have the energy to do so - and right now i am trying to work in the last illustration for Liquid Dreams. it is called The Mirror. 

the poem, entitled Chasing After Light, suggests a love poem, but not directly. my understanding is that there's something emotional in it, but also sort of rational, like a suave battle between two opposites.

I’d chase after you at the speed of light,
but what’s the point?
You’re already ahead of me.

Instead I’ll pace my self,
continue to move forward,
knowing that at some point in time,
you’ll come across a mirror
and reflect upon it.

i see laws of physics, which is something so interesting to work on... i love this idea of a mirror, which expresses well the duality, and also the velocity and light the poems suggests. so i initially put this female figure like being reflected in a mirror, but she can very well be penetrating another dimension of reality to escape that guy, who knows... i'm very thankful to Ricardo for giving me this poem to work on, because it really made my mind travel.

i currently work building a preparatory sketch and then, when i am sort of satisfied, i transfer the sketch to the illustration board - only the main lines, in order to suggest where the figures should be placed. then i apply this watercolor underpainting, which is a very random and intuitive process, using the basic colors of my palette of choice - in this work, blues and yellows, with a little gray to help toning it a bit. i do the transfer the most primitive and old school way you can imagine: using tracing paper and transferring the graphite lines by applying pressure on them. i know it's ridiculous, time consuming and all, but it's how it works best for me. there was a time when i tried to do the sketch right on the board, but when you're working on paper, even on a sturdy surface like illustration board, you don't have a lot of margin for mistakes. so i returned to the preparatory sketch method, which can, in a long run, save you a lot of time - and materials.

here you can see two stages of the figures in the "mirror", in the process of shading. i use white pastel for the highlights and love it.

in my paintings, i am free from commitments with reality, although my figures follow a more realistic style. i want a blend of materiality and unreal, of flesh and spirit. so nothing besides the human figures are subordinated to the physical laws as we know it - and even my figures, sometimes, suffer a little distortion in strategic parts of their bodies (my favorite body parts to distort are neck and the curve of the waist when it connects to the hips. i think those are beautiful curves and i love to elongate them!) elements like animals and plants i like to make in a mid term between the real and the abstract, maybe because i find them so pure and uncorrupted, almost like a connection between the two worlds. working in the realm of the surreal is very liberating, but sometimes a true challenge. it will all depend on what you want to achieve with your painting, what sensations you want to trigger. technique here plays a big role and even when painting the "unreal" you need to sound convincible enough, which will only happen with training and learning the ways of your materials and dominating them... they are like raw nature forces!

The Muse

The Muse

Graphite, watercolor and gouache on board,
6 x 6

that's a small commission which has not been claimed by the client yet. it is a cute little painting in a tile shape, and maybe i'll start doing series of these to revitalize my Etsy store. they won't take too long to get completed and won't cost much either, so it's a good idea of art for people with a tight budget.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

another great feature + encountering Vali Myers

2009 has been a very prolific year and it will also be remembered by the wonderful, special people who have been crossing my path. one of these persons is Julia Inglis, Australian Tarot reader and teacher who recently featured my work in her beautiful newsletter. that made me feel so happy! just click in the images to check it out.


Julia also introduced me to this fantastic artist: Vali Myers. Vali was an Australia born dancer, who decided to move to Paris in the post-war period. without a job, she became a street artist, until moving to Italy and then  to New York, to get concentrated in selling her artwork. she finally came back to Australia where she set up her studio and started to regularly show her work, until passing away at age 72, after battling with cancer. I got so mesmerized by Vali's image and by her story, which resonated so deeply inside me... maybe her hunger for living life her own way, or her past as a bohemian artist, struggling to survive on her art (that somehow feels so close...) or even her amazingly beautiful and magical looks... i decided that I'm going to paint a tribute to Vali Myers.

"I've had 72 absolutely flaming years. It (the illness) doesn't bother me at all, because, you know love, when you've lived like I have, you've done it all. I put all my effort into living; any dope can drop dead. I'm in the hospital now, and I guess I'll kick the bucket here. Every beetle does it, every bird, everybody. You come into the world and then you go."


Golden Flower


sick and working

have been sort of sick these last couple days. a little lethargic, dizzy and with a weird pressure inside my head. this afternoon I felt a little more energetic and could almost finish a portrait I've been working on these last weeks. better go to the doctor if this thing continue on. if I had some help around here it would be so great... sometimes feel just too exhausted.

Portrait of Lucy
Portrait of Lucy - work in progress

I'd like to have a place far from home only for working. work has been getting more intense in the last few months and it's becoming very difficult to harmonize it with house chores. when you work at home there will always be something that will take you off from your work, and that bothers me a lot. I've been thinking for a while in finding somebody who wanted to share a studio, so I'd have a place where I could almost exclusively focus on work (and on my baby, of course, at least until she is able to go to school.)

Monday, December 14, 2009

new look

it's past 1am, but I had to definitely change my blog layout. after experimenting with a lot of colorful headers I'm finally very happy with this clean and simple result, as I like. next step it will be to redesign my website. thinking about using this same style on it.

gotta go to bed now... December has been a totally busy month, and I'm trying to wake up earlier than usual in order to get at least all commissions done before Christmas. didn't I tell you that I am going to experiment acrylics? they arrived today and I can't wait to start.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

finally released...

starting on February 1st, with 7 exciting weeks of discoveries and much creativity! come join us in this journey! spaces are limited!

STARTS: February 1st
DURATION: 7 weeks
COST: $80.00

The steps of the journey:

Week One: 
THE SUN'S PATHWAY: myself as the hero of my own story

Week Two: 
THE MOON WITHIN: revering the child and the feminine in me

Week Three: 
FROM WHERE I CAME, TO WHERE I GO: the Moon Nodes and my life purpose

Week Four: 
FOLLOWING SATURN'S STEPS: facing fear, building growth

Week Five: 
URANUS CALL: the art of reinventing myself

Week Six: 
THE WATERS OF NEPTUNE: going with the flow of my spirit

Week Seven: 
PLUTO, THE PHOENIX WITHIN: healing and transforming myself

Click here to learn more and sign up!

Thursday, December 3, 2009



Mixed Media (Watercolor, gouache, pastel and pencil on board),
11 x 14


Illustration for the poetry book "Liquid Dreams", by Ricardo Blancas.

Artemis Hair
The beating heart on my sleeve,
is tightly secured by the hair-band
you placed on my wrist.

Day and night,
I wear a single strand
of your hair wrapped around my finger.

Eco-friendly ring,
symbol of love.

(Published under author's permission.)

Monday, November 30, 2009

blue me + workshop preview

when I got home last weekend and signed in to my Facebook account, I came across to this beautiful thing:

this artwork was made by my lovely and powerful FB friend Lyse Vaille, using one of the pictures of myself I use as a reference for my own work, and that I posted on my page some time ago. it's so delightful and interesting to see ourselves through the perspective of other artists. I particularly enjoyed the blue skin and being surrounded by birds, it's so me! thank you again, Lyse!


focused on the Creative Astrology workshop. initially I was planning to run a different workshop a month, approaching different themes, but after putting some things together I realized that the best to be done is a whole workshop lasting several weeks and covering different, sensitive and important areas of development. each person will have then the opportunity to participate in the whole process and watch his/her own creative development, instead of opting for separate themes. we want wholeness and not fragments.

then this morning I finally got to build the main structure of the workshop, which will last 7 weeks. sounds juicy to me!

Week One:
THE SUN'S PATHWAY: myself as the hero of my own story

Week Two:
THE MOON WITHIN: revering the child and the feminine in me

Week Three:
FROM WHERE I COME, TO WHERE I GO: the Moon Nodes and my life purpose

Week Four:
FOLLOWING SATURN'S STEPS: facing fear, building growth

Week Five:
URANUS CALL: the art of reinventing myself

Week Six:
THE WATERS OF NEPTUNE: going with the flow of my spirit

Week Seven:
PLUTO, THE PHOENIX WITHIN: healing and transforming myself

besides the lessons and usual discussions and art making, I'm also planning to make videos, so you'll have the chance to spice up your lives with a bit of South American accent and eventual broken English. :) hopefully starting this January. excitement!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

back home...

...and finally catching up with my work. here are some pieces in progress:

in progress: Artemis

in progress: Artemis (detail)

Illustration for the "Liquid Dreams" poetry book, by Ricardo Blancas.

in progress: Portrait of Lucy (detail)

Lucy (detail)


Saturday, November 21, 2009

out of town

out of town for one week, no internet. Happy Thanksgiving everyone. give real thanks for your gifts, not only now, but everyday. take care.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

"The Peacock" on the RedBubble home

today was my third appearance on the RedBubble home. have been there before with my Totem #2 and The Divine in Me (below, found by chance around the web... i myself totally ignored that feature.) that's pretty cool!

(i know, I need to post more art on this blog...)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Busy busy + feature feature

A long absence, I know. I've been busy with commissions + workshop, and already planning the next ones! Very refreshing being back to my teaching activities after so long. I must say that I am very very happy and feel very gratified and energized. Thank you to wonderful group for the great energy and insights! I'll be soon posting the mandalas the group has been preparing on my workshops page.


My piece The Divine in Me was featured in the new edition of the Presence journal. Thank you to the publishers, I'm very proud to be part of such an inspiring magazine.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Self Portrait With Flaming Heart

Self Portrait With Flaming Heart

Mixed media (watercolor, gouache, graphite and pastel) on illustration board,
10 x 15,

Monday, October 19, 2009

Solstice Giveaway + Workshop

my next Solstice Giveaway is going to be a little different from the last one. prize continues being a 8 x 11 color portrait, but from now one I'm asking for a symbolic $3.00 for your participation. why? because I decided to make of this a good occasion to collect donations for a charity organization or even a person in need. so now you can buy as many numbers you want, increasing your chances to win, and also transfer the prize to another person, as you wish. :)

charity still to be announced. it may varies between a donation in money to an organization and a bag of groceries, depending on the amount of money I will be able to collect. again, overseas winner will have only the digital version of the portrait, at least willing to pay for the shipping (sorry for that once again, folks..)

I will be soon placing a link on the blog's sidebar to my PayPal account, so numbers can be safely purchased.  drawing will happen on December 8th, so you have plenty of time to participate.


If you enjoy astrology and have interest to know a bit more about how it works,while finding out more about yourself and  yet sparking your creativity, you may enjoy Creative Astrology. this workshop was designed to help you understand the astrological language in an intutitive way, taking your own birth chart as a reference, and learning how to recognize the astrological symbolism inside yourself and in the world around you. this workshop is not intended to be a complete course on astrology, which would demand many months of apprenticeship and a different learning approach, but to give you a glimpse of how it is based upon and how you can see it in action in your life. as a complement you'll learn how to build a mandala journal and connect the mandala imagery to your chart and personal experience. more details here.

Creative Astrology is an online workshop, and can be attended by anybody with a computer connected to the internet and a device for capturing images (camera, scanner, cell phone, etc) The first edition will approach the four elements in astrology, and, as it is an experimental workshop, is being offered for free. however, only 12 spaces are available. if you are interested, please leave a comment here with your name or alias and an active email to enroll. workshop starts on November 2nd and lasts 10 days.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

surprise of the day

Inside Solo is an online magazine for members of the Solo Exhibition group on RedBubble. It's extremely well done and well written. I am in awe to find out I've gained a feature in this week edition, with (totally breathtaking) reviews of 3 of my works. gonna post them soon! now let me drool on them a little bit more.

a break from the Tree + good news

sometimes working in a large, detailed piece like the Tree of Life becomes a little overwhelming. your eyes get sort of tired from continuously looking at the same stuff and end up needing a little refreshment.

in progress: The Puppeteer

in progress: The Puppeteer

in progress: The Puppeteer

The Puppeteer, work in progress. mixed media on illustration board.


I was invited to collaborate with 3 illustrations for Liquid Dreams, a project by California poet Ricardo Blancas. along with Blanca's beautiful poems, the book will bring color illustrations from different artists, ranging from pencil to oils works. all the earnings from the book sales go to charity. I'm pretty proud to be part of this project and sure that the final result will be a pearl of beauty. have seen the other artist's illustrations and got in awe by their talent and sensitivity.


also proud to let you know that 14 of my works will be published in a 2011 calendar by a Spanish publisher. this is specially important to me since it will be my first time in a publication featuring exclusively my artwork. and in Spain, land of my ancestors - although born in Brazil, I am of Spanish heritage. some of my relatives of old may have done something from the other plane.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Tree of Life - close shots and insights

I'm very pleased with my new camera. although is not a professional one, I think it works fine enough for my needs. I have to learn how to deal with it though; it has more features than my deceived one. I'm happy for being now able to show details of my stuff.

the Tree of Life is starting to show its truth and my ideas are flowing more freely with the progress of the work. now I know what's that all about: organicity, sperm, fecundation. it's about contacting the Divine through pleasure, celebration of the body, fire and transmutation. the idea of placing a peacock on the tree is an old insight of mine, which later found some synchronicity with the ideas of a friend. the feathers started to resemble sperm to me. and that's just beautiful.

the end of the peacock tale represents a womb. this is all about fecundation. the peacock as a symbol of renewal is here also linked to the idea that we are born again when we generate life.

detail of the hand of the "tree". the three women intertwined represent the cycles of life, or the triple aspect of the Goddess - Maiden, Mother and Crone.


this morning I was notified that my work Flourish will be part of the 2010 Art Wanted Calendar. happy happy.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

more Tree of Life shots

I was taking some reference pictures for future works when my daughter knocked down the tripod and the camera hit the floor. needless to say I no longer have a camera, but another one was already ordered and its on its way. while the new one doesn't arrive, please enjoy my last progress shots of my Tree of Life.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

in progress: Tree of Life

so far, so good. 25 x 20 inches, and using white pastel for the highlights instead of colored pencil. I am really enjoying to work in a bigger format.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tree of Life: third attempt

guess what: I rejected the second attempt of the Tree of Life.for some reason I found the background a little too messy and thought that the figures should occupy more space in the picture.

here's my new sketch, subject to further improvements:


I didn't pay too much attention to the size of the sketch, and it ended up too large for the boards I have available around here. had to order larger ones. that will be the largest painting I ever made so far (20 x 30 approximately.) hope I don't screw up again.


an almost act of impulsiveness made me open a basic store on Ebay. the first and only experience I had with them was not very positive, but since I am a persistent girl, I decided to give it another try. no auctions his time, though. it's hard to compete with artists that are practically selling themselves out.


mandalas are now my new thing. I have always enjoyed them very much, and got to run a few workshops in Brazil in geometrical mandala making. however, my experience with them was purely intellectual. but since I decided to try it in a more emotional level, so to speak, they have been pretty much intriguing me and I decided to start a production of mandalas. it's just the beginning and we'll see if they keep my excitement going like my regular art does.


speaking about mandalas: I'll be very soon running an online workshop joining astrology and mandala making. first edition will be experimental and free of charge. space will be very limited (only 12 persons), so stick around for new announcements!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

sneak peak at the workspace

i love to see other artists' workspaces but was never able to show mine. when I was pregnant I had to transform my studio room into a nursery. as a result, I've been in a kind of limbo, setting up my stuff anywhere I could work in. our house is not very big and the basement and attic are just inhabitable. finally I set up everything in a corner of the dining room. with time I was needing more and more space and taking over the dining room like a disease; finally the dining table was occupying a minimum space in a corner. so last Monday I decided to officialize my conquest. I covered the cheesy wallpaper stripe (left as a heritage of my hubbie's first marriage) in white, put some shelves on the walls, and in less than a couple days I had a decent workspace, worthy to show off. with time I'll be adding more colorful details, plants, and other stuff I like. :)

drawing/painting corner (she had to be in the picture.)

computer corner. a shelf on the wall works as a place for my laptop. goth tendencies in the Bauhaus poster I love. old hubbie's English style chair was going to the trash, so I rescued it and covered with a throw. I don't really like the chair since I'm not fond of big and museum-like things, but I decided to keep it for being really comfortable. I'll probably make it a funky cover in the future.

the shelves.

the shelf with my art supplies, finished and half-finished paintings are by the other wall; the view is not very nice so I decided not to show it. the dining table? it is squeezed in a corner of the room. we don't really need a lot of space for meals. :P


and since too much work made me forget my manners these last days, I'd like to thank to all the new followers for finding me and joining the blog. also, many thanks for all the ones that took the time to leave comments. many blessings to all! 


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