trying to redeem myself from the Tree of Life fiasco, i decided to forget it for a while and catch up with my list of projects. there was something disturbing me a couple nights ago and that just let me sleep after I grabbed my sketchbook and filled up a page with an almost mediumistic sketch. that was Vali Myers.
this preparatory sketch was made yesterday morning, and during all day long I dedicated myself to the labor of attempting to represent that mesmerizing woman. when Julia Inglis introduced me to her, some time ago, I was preparing material for my workshop "The Sun's Pathway" and recognized the synchronicity, because Vali was the perfect representation of the Sun in its full force (not mentioning that she was a Leo, sign ruled by the Sun.) leaving the comforts of her homeland to follow a remarkable trajectory, she was a true hero and left us lessons on freedom and living according to what our spirit inspires us. this has always been my philosophy of life, and this is the main reason why Vali 's figure touched me so deeply.
i used acrylics for the initial washes. the first idea was to put a mask with stylized sun rays above her head (Vali was a performing artist), but the mask was gradually transforming in the Sun itself. i love this stage showed in the 5th picture, with only the thin washes and the face rendered in graphite.
i felt so energized by that painting that i could get into the night doing it until having it completed. never worked so fast in a 15 x 20 painting before. before going to bed, at almost 1am, I still stayed for many minutes only looking at her, in a silent talk to her eyes. for a while, Vali was myself.
and for the 5th time i rejected my Tree of Life project. the reason: not being able to achieve the desired transparency. i am not feeling secure with acrylics. i am picky, perfectionist. i cannot lift the damn paint off the board. i have to cover it every time I make a mistake, because it dries so fast. after 3 or 4 layers, you have a thick thing that cannot be redone. it creates disharmony with the rest of the painting that came out fine. and there you go try to find a solution for it. and then you have a snowball of problems. and all your vision goes down the drain. is that the end of my love affair with the acrylics?
guess it is time to hold my ambition and experiment more before going for huge 20 x 30 paintings.
my plan: come back to my old technique with watercolors and using acrylics for glazing and highlights.
now a little thing I made yesterday:
Sunflower and Moon
Watercolor and graphite on paper,
5 x 9.5
Sunflower and Moon was created to be the symbol of the Artessence project. The idea was to represent the inner world, emotions and the feminine polarity (Moon) interacting with the Spirit, expression and masculine polarity (Sun). The sunflower represents creativity blossoming.
two announcements today. first, is about the Creative Astrology workshop. I've been receiving inquiries from people interested in the workshop but unable to commit to 7 straight weeks of classes. I then decided to split the program in shorter workshops, of 10 days each -- same as the first one, Living the Four Elements. to start, I am releasing two workshops: The Sun's Pathway (starting on Feb 8th) and The Moon Within (starts on March 8th.) Workshops' content will be richer than in the first version, since we'll have more time for each one, and the price dropped: $30 per workshop. by signing up for both classes, you pay only $50. spaces are limited to 12 people.
Haiti Relief help. UPDATE: yes, my design was accepted yesterdayon the CafePress Haiti Relief Store.happy here. they didn't give me the credits (maybe because I have no store set up there?), but it doesn't matter. the good thing is that they have more marketing power and i hope that they are able to sell a lot of stuff. as for the RedBubble products, I'm afraid I'll have to put them on hold now. pity, since the t-shirts are so lovely!
since my design was not accepted on the CafePress store (they got too many submissions and were unable to use them all), i decided to release it on my RedBubble store. it is available as greeting cards, prints and those adorable t-shirts (I particularly love them.)
all the profits I get from those products sales will be donated to a Haiti Relief organization. it seems they will need it for a long time, situation is critical there. of course, RB profits are not that amazing, but every bottle of water bought with donated money counts, so, let's help, folks, even with your minimum. thank you!
I spent most of my day preparing this painting. it is a hispaniolan trogon, the national bird of Haiti. CafePress is accepting donations of designs for a store they set up just to help Haiti, and I made the painting with that in mind. painting a sweet symbol like this cute bird helped to fill up my heart with love and send it to the brothers and sisters in Haiti, who are passing through that terrible probation. everywhere people are mobilizing to help in every possible way. the world is becoming more fraternal, in spite of some idiots that still insist in sowing intolerance and hate. thinking about it I wrote the word "hope" in many idioms around the painting to compose the design.
here's the design. I hope they select it for the store.
the original painting is for sale. money will be sent to one of the organizations that are providing relief to Haiti.
I hope your New Year had started well, folks. although I think that changes must happen everyday, I end up sharing the feeling of fresh start with others and I'm here shining with plans and optimism for 2010. and a lot of energy to work and make things happen.
I began the year with 2 short term plans in mind: losing the Christmas weight (too much cheesecake, eggnog and all those amazing seasonal beers) + organizing my emails and messages and stop procrastinating. the first plan is doing well and in a little more than one week I got back to the pre-Xmas weight (want to drop a few more though.) second one is a bit tougher and i've been miserably failing so far. i have a slow rhythm and i'm always busy with other stuff, and when i finally get to relax to write, at the end of my day (i.e, around 11pm), i am already tired and sleepy. got to try a little bit harder though.
art. i am more and more in love with the acrylics versatility. my only complaints so far is not being able to lift the paint off when I make a mistake -- I have the option to repaint and fix the mess thought, but it's not the same, because the transparency goes away. the second problem -- not really a problem, just an inconvenience -- is having to get everything very well cleaned after each painting session. you can reuse the dry watercolor in your palette in the next day; but not the dry acrylics.
I decided to start the Tree of Life for the 4th time. f-o-u-r-t-h. and bigger too: 20 x 30 inches. I am surprised with my own persistence. it was starting well, but at a certain point... I screwed up very bad. i could go on if I was using watercolors, but this time I had no choice but abort the work. for the 4th time. I need to learn how to plan my work more carefully and stop being so eager to get to the finals.
some shots of the experience:
my idea is to use those white peacock feathers as a representation for sperm. there's also a big peacock in the center of the painting, and the tip of its tail goes right to the tree "womb" -- the tree is composed of bodies of tree women that represent the tree aspects of the goddess (Virgin, Mother and Crone.) it's been a while since I started to get drawn to the peacock symbolism, and here it evokes renewal, the Great Round of life.
I love the concept for this painting and I'm not going to give up on it. so, let's get the paints ready for the 5th attempt. Happy New Year everyone.