As I’ve said in previous posts, when I create art it imitates where I am in my life, so it makes sense for me to share in my art blog what personal things have occurred in my life that will greatly influence my art and have influenced my most recent artistic expressions.
Recently, I feel like I’ve been walking through life as though I am striving to keep beautifully promising books on my head. As I move along some of the books tilt and threaten to fall off, and I adjust those as necessary to keep going. At times I place those metaphorical books on a nearby shelf to come back to the next day. What are the latest books of my life that I’m currently focusing on?
One of the books of my life happens to be my own love story. My boyfriend not only surprised me with an unforgettable trip to Santa Barbara, Monterey, and Carmel; he also shocked me with something beautiful and sparkly. He got down on one knee and proposed to me on May 22, 2013 overlooking a stunning seaside cliff in the Point Lobos State Reserve of Carmel, complete with sea lions and sea otters below us, and even a squirrel walked in front of us and looked at us curiously after I said “Yes!” like something out of the movie Enchanted.
To say that I am completely over the moon to become his wife is a huge understatement. I am so rich with blessings in my life, and I really think that new development, along with other developments in my life, will affect my art in a very positive way.
But let me back track to before all that happened. The month of May was responsible for added chapters to my life, and was also responsible for a bit of fresh artistic execution. May this year was a time when life was incredibly fruitful with celebrations. For me, it was a month of not only the greatest surprise of my life; it was also a month that celebrated many people in my life that I dearly cared about, and thus, fueled creative fires for me. To start, my younger sister turned 16.
At the young age of 16, my sister has received numerous accolades and awards for her acting abilities, and has a wealth of opportunities in her future. I am so proud of who she is, and what she has accomplished already. I decided for her birthday this year to create jewelry for her that honored her and the actress she has become.
When I created her earrings, it was the first time I had ever made jewelry. After I finished both pairs I gained a tremendous amount of respect for the time, effort, creative energy, and calluses that are needed for the creation of jewelry.
I purchased drama mask charms and Oscar charms from a local bead store and then went to work. For the drama mask earrings, I attached the charms with gold colored metal rings to the bottom portion of the pink and gold metal pieces so that the earrings hung vertically.
I then painted over the main pieces with gold leaf and bright pink acrylic paint to brighten the appearance of the earrings and create a very youthful color combination. I also attached brand new gold hued hooks to both pairs of earrings, and sprayed acrylic spray finish on both sets of earrings to not only protect those, but to make those incredibly shiny.
Then I worked on the Oscar earrings. I gold leafed all parts of the earrings except the new gold hooks before I attached everything, and I also removed pearl like stones from the main pieces and painted over those in gold leaf to give a very sleek Hollywood feel. Lastly, I connected the Oscars to chain links with small gold colored rings, and then I attached those to the ornate metal gold pieces.
After I completed my sister’s gifts I mailed those off to Colorado, and then Mother’s Day charged around the bend of my calendar like a runaway train. For such a day, I decided to do what a lot of daughters do. I made a card for my mother that accompanied her gift, except I created something artful for her that she could keep to remind her of how much I loved her.
I decorated her card organically, with feminine shapes and brush strokes, assorted paper, and, of course, glitter. I used paper and different styles of texts in combination with acrylic paint as means to create a lot of different textures, including magazine clippings, and a series of different types of paper with varying font styles, along with photos to create interest and a certain message in the card, which was “I appreciate the things you do, love the way you care, the way we laugh, and the way you have always been there.” A blank card was used as the base of the card, and watercolor paper was used to create a flat, sturdy surface to apply the primary message that was placed on the inside of the card.
Shortly after mother’s day, my mom thoughtfully gushed over her card and placed her card on her mantel. I’m glad that’s where she put it so it reminds her every day of how much I care. My anniversary with my boyfriend quickly followed after Mother’s day.
At first I wanted to do something artistically for him with a picture that was taken of us when we first connected at the place where we worked, but the pixels were too limited. Instead I decided to play with another photo that we took together five years ago at Disneyland. In the photo, I gave him a kiss on the cheek in front of the ride, Splash Mountain.
I told him for the first time the day we took that photo that I had feelings for him while we watched fireworks light up the sky, and happily found out he felt the same way. It was a Disney day in every way!
I decided to upload the photo to photo shop and I changed it to a black and white photo and added subtle amounts of blue to the black elements. Then I brightened it, and changed the filter system in Photoshop to film grain to make it look more like an old photo. I then took it to a local Costco photo center to have that image reproduced on a stretched canvas, which turned out even more beautiful than I expected.
His card was next. I saved a magazine clipping for an art class years ago, which was a picture of a plastic dinosaur toy at the feet of a glamor girl in sandals and odd colored socks. Funnily enough, dinosaurs fascinate my fiancé. At one point in his life he wanted to be a paleontologist, so I knew it would be a great creative element in his card.
I learned from the creation of my mother’s card that it was important to attach watercolor paper not only to the inside of the card but also to the outside so that the card had structure in which I could attach other pieces of paper and it would not make the base paper curl. Then I used a paper trimmer to trim the sides of the magazine photo, and then pasted that to the secured watercolor paper.
As for the front of the card, I decided to write out in pencil “5 years later” and I also drew a heart in pencil to create some contrast. Then I used colorful pieces of paper as accents around the heart that I drew, so that the heart looked like it beamed like mine does every time I see him.
Then I decided to use my own handwriting along with some magazine clipped text to create a very corny but cute message which was, “You’re still the raptor of my eye.” I also printed some words diagonally and vertically and used that to frame some of the words in the card. The message, along with some other paper accents, were then pasted to a piece of watercolor paper that I drew a playful eye on.
As for what the primary message was that I wrote inside the card, it was a message from the heart. As Meg Ryan adorably said in the classic movie You’ve Got Mail, “Whatever else anything is it ought to be personal.”
In every painting I create, gift I construct, card I make, and in everything else I do in my life I share pieces of myself and I give what I can from my heart. My heart has never steered me wrong, no matter if it’s been bruised, or, like at this moment, overflowing with love. I wouldn’t be where I am without the support of people I love in my life, of which I am very grateful, and I’m so happy I could celebrate some of them during the month of May. Because of their love, and my abundance of hope and optimism, my appetite for life is ravenous.
I’m hungry for more.