Bloom as only YOU can Bloom!

The art prompt in the online art class I’m taking was to find a famous still life and paint your own copy of it, then play with digitizing and embellishing your painting.

Okay. Time for the Inner Critic to show up big time.

First, the voice tried to convince me that I don’t even like still life paintings as I spent hour upon hour browsing through the still life works of the masters (Cezanne, Degas, Picasso, Van Gogh, etc, ad nauseam).

What the voice was REALLY saying, though, was something along the lines of, “That one’s too hard. You’ll never manage all that detail. Find something simpler. Good luck! You’ll never be good at this. You can’t paint,” etc, ad nauseam.

When the really cool thing about this project is that whether or not the painting itself turns out amazing, you can completely transform it through all these fabulous ipad apps with filters and glazes and painterly textures. Now THAT is right up my digital alley!

So, I told the Inner Critic to take a hike. I picked a very modern abstract still life . . .

Monestier’s Autumn Blooms II – the original painting I chose to copy

and I did my best to paint it . . .

My version of Autumn Blooms – acrylic on gesso board.

Not fabulous, but not horrible. A kind of weird mix of abstract hard lines with a more impressionistic rendering of the flowers – certainly not the beautiful abstract crispness of the original art. But all in all, not bad. Now for the fun part . . . I scanned it in and got it loaded on my iPad for some digital play. Kept a number of iterations, but here’s the one I continued on with – a watercolor and ink version rendered through the Waterlogue app.

Painted in Waterlogue
Painting watercolorized through Waterlogue app with “Fashionable” filter.

I liked the way this was softened – it took on a nice glow. The black “ink” lines gave it a funky cool look, too. So, I printed this version out (on matte photo paper) and did a little embellishing with Caran D’Ache Neocolor II watercolor crayons and Prismacolor paint pens.

Printed on matte photo paper and embellished with pens and watercolor crayon

Now, that washed out blank area to the bottom right was just begging for a caption, so one more time into the scanner for some final text editing in Photoshop. There are iPhone and iPad apps that can add text, like Over, but I’m more familiar with the options in Photoshop and I have tons of fonts there already.

The final piece, with caption.

So here’s the final piece: “Bloom as only you can bloom!”

I’m trying to do just that . . . by learning new tools and techniques, asking my Inner Critic to be quiet while I play, not worrying too much about results, trying lots of different possibilities and, finally, creating something uniquely my own.

Sing It! The World Needs Your Song

Sing It! The World Needs Your Song

I’ve been working with a client on chakra exploration and healing through Expressive Art. We are learning about the energies associated with each chakra, then exploring and clearing blockages and imbalance through collage and journaling activities.

Tomorrow we’ll explore the 5th Chakra, which is the throat chakra, and relates to the right to hear and speak Truth. This chakra is all about authentic expression. Many of us – and, perhaps especially women – struggle to claim our true voice, to speak up and out about what we need and want, to speak from our heart, to be who we really are rather than who others expect us to be. Sometimes we become so practiced at saying what others want to hear and being who others want us to be, we disconnect from our true essence. We forget who we are.

But deep within each one of us is a song that only we can sing. This beautiful song from Oleta Adams says it all . . .

My wish for you is that you will rediscover and reconnect with that sparkling, unique, amazing essence that is the True You. That you will find your voice and sing the song that only you can sing. This is urgent, not just for you, but for the world. When you connect to the deepest Truth of who you are, when you sing that out with all the passion you possess, you sing a new world into being.

I can’t wait for you to sing your song.

The Sound of Creation, created on Polyvore:
The Sound of Creation, created on Polyvore: