31 July 2010

"I don't want to die! I want to stay here in the beautiful sun..."

_Charlotte's Web_ by E.B. White
This book changed my life. ♥

This is a mixed media ATC (2.5" x 3.5") created for the monthly Art Trading group at willowing.ning.com. July's theme was Favourite Children's Book, so of course I was doing this book!

It's titled : "Radiant (Wilbur & Charlotte)" and made with paper collage, ink, graphite, coloured pencils, and acrylic paints on paper and cardstock.

_Charlotte's Web_ is my all-time fav book from my childhood... I made my mom read about a million times, and when I learned to read it myself, I read it a million more! I still have the well-loved and rainwaterstained paperback copy , a childhood treasure.

And yes, it really did change my life...

16 October 1980, my 8th birthday, sitting in a touristy restaurant in Niagara Falls, Canada, it occurred to me that my slice of Canadian bacon used to be a living, breathing, loving animal... it used to be Wilbur. And Wilbur certainly didn't want to die. I sat there starring at it, thinking, "If I eat this pig, that means I murdered it." Honestly folks, that didn't sit well with me at all. From that moment on, I swore off eating pigs, because I could not, in all good conscience, bear the pain and guilt of having murdered Wilbur (or any other pig who might as well have been him.)

That day was the first day of my journey into vegetarianism, and now I can say, in all sincerity and with jubilation: Today, I didn't murder anybody's best friend.

If you don't own it already, go get it! You'll be so glad you did (^_^)



Ginkgo : portrait of a dryad

29 July 2010

Portrait of a ginkgo tree dryad
watercolour and coloured pencil on paper
July 2010

In Greek mythology, a dryad is a tree nymph/spirit, who not only lives in the tree, but is also part of it. This particular dryad is part of a ginkgo tree, a tree of memory, grace, and tenacity.

I've had the image of this painting in my head for several weeks... she appeared, and she waited, patient, but ever present. The painting first came to my mind while I was walking Ola by the park, where there is a cluster of tall, gorgeous ginkgos. I saw some of the delicate leaves on the pavement, morning sunlight trickling over their veins, and then POW, the painting appeared. I'm happy to say that her portrait came out exactly as I saw her in my mind's eye.


23 July 2010

I've been trying my hand at a more whimiscal style lately, thanks to the teachings and inspirations of the wonderful Willowing (Tamara Laporte,) and her World of Whimsy 2 art course. Yay!

Here are two of my sketches from the first week of the course:

I'm loving the WOW2 course, everyone's wonderful, sharing lots of artmaking and possitive feedback -- so good for the heart!

I like to experiment with different art styles, which keeps my mind and my work fresh, motivated, and constantly evolving. Simplifying my lines, and focusing on a more childlike/playful way of making art has really lifted my spirits during this rainy, gloomy week, and I've had a really fresh surge of artistic inspiration!

A few of little whimsy-ish things I've done since yesterday:

(Pomme, which means apple, in French)

(Hathor, an Egyptian Goddess)

(heart beats, a tiny portrait of Björk)

Inspired. Motivated. Pleased as punch. (^_^)

Hathor, mixed media painting

" Hathor "

For this painting, I used :watercolour, coloured pencil, ink, and acrylic paint on medium grain watercolour paper.

(The size is 4" x 6" )

I wanted to add some hieroglyphics, so I did some searching online, and I found how to make the symbol for Hathor's name (which is a hawk (Horus) in a square (temple), with a smaller square (temple hat) to the side, representing the sounds of her name Hat-Hor, which is a compound of Horus in the Temple.

I also managed to find several sites for translating my own name, which was a little tricky, because I had to omit most of the vowels and double letters. I thought adding my own name, as a kind of signature, would be a nice touch. Originally, I intended to add a cartouche around my signature, but it just didn't work well with the composition, so in the end, I left it out.

The hieroglyphics on the left spell:
Goddess Hathor (followed by her Hathor's name symbol), beauty, power.

On the right spell:
Bonnie Rose (followed by the symbol for "woman", which comes at the end of a woman's name)

Although the scanner didn't capture it, I used metallic gold acrylic paint for the golden details on her necklace, hair, and sun disk, as well as on her upper eyelids.

The Egyptian Goddess, Hathor :

Often depicted with a cow's head, she is a Goddess of : the sky, love, beauty, music, alcoholic drinks, joy, and motherhood. She rules the direction West, and holds great power in the Underworld.

Female counterpart and wife of Thoth.

In a complicated relationship Hathor is at times the mother, daughter
and wife of Ra and, like Isis, is at times described as the mother of
Horus, and associated with Bast.

In some myths, she is another incarnation of Isis, as Isis is
decapitated by Horus, and her head is replaced with a cow's head.
Therefore, Hathor is sometimes considered to Isis-in-death. When humans
died, women became a form of Hathor, while men became a form of Osiris.

The Ancient Greeks identified Hathor with the goddess Aphrodite and the Romans as Venus.

a self-made chameleon

15 July 2010

Today, I said to Dax :

I think the multifaceted nature of our human existence, the ability to self-express as a self-made chameleon, can be one of the most wondrous things about our humanity. We are all confined in these bodies, but we go to extraordinary lengths to modify, redress, and recolour them, so that they may better explain to the world "this is how I feel, this is what I think." Awesomeness.

Onset... dealing with Doggie Dementia

12 July 2010

Ola's showing signs of Canine Dementia Syndrome, which is akin to Alzheimer's Disease. She'll be 12 years old in September, so it's not really surprising that she's showing signs of senility, but it doesn't make it any easier to deal with.

For four days, she's been experiencing periods of irrational terror, paranoia, possibly hallucinating, wanting to hide in tiny, dark, and secluded places, seemingly lost and confused, not responding to her name or simple commands like "sit" and "come", exhibiting a drastic increase in her OCD, and refusing to accept her favourite treats.

Ola goes through phases of absolute terror (the like of which I've only seen in vet offices, moments before the doc puts a gloved finger up the doggie's bum,) sometimes lasting for 10 hours. And then, just as suddenly as the fear and confusion had come,they're gone-- *poof* she's happy and responsive again. Today, she's doing a lot better, and has been (mostly) her usual happy self, with the exception of 10-ish minutes, when she wanted to hide under Lucien's desk.

We think the heat is a contributing factor... We've been having a heatwave, with temperatures inside reaching 82°F, and humidity of 71%. It seems that when it's hotter, Ola's loopier. Thankfully, the heat is supposed to break today, and mellow out into the high 70's through the rest of the week. I'm hopeful this will give her some relief, and allow happy-sweet Ola to take control of her body again, because petrified-dementia Ola is a very unhappy girl.

We'll see how it goes... for now, I'm happy that she's happy, dreaming her dreamy doggie dreams on the bathroom floor, and I hope when she wakes, she'll know who I am, and she'll know that she's safe in her own home... in her own skin.

One for sorrow

09 July 2010

One for sorrow
(acrylic, graphite, coloured pencil, and ink on canvas)
20 x 20 cm

One for sorrow
Two for joy
Three for a girl
Four for a boy
Five for silver
Six for gold
Seven for a secret never to be told

(Traditional rhyme about the magpie)

I've had magpies on the brain lately, so I'm certain there are more magpie themed paintings to come.

For this particular painting, I had the idea in my head, clear and certain, before I sat down to make it. I'm happy to say that the finished work is remarkably close to the way I pictured it in my mind's eye! It's always nice when that happens. (^_^)

The rhyme, which has origins in the Ireland and the British Isles, is one of many similar versions. I find it intriguing, almost mesmerizing, as it speaks with a slight hint of esoterics, fundamental human truths, and mysteries.

Peacock Painting

07 July 2010

I started this (acrylic) painting in the late afternoon, took a break for dinner, and then picked up the brush again... Overall, I think it took about 4-5 hours. I'm really pleased with the finished work, which is a big surprise! Usually, I'm horribly self-critical when it comes to my art, but every once in a while, one surprises me.

Tomorrow morning, when there's better light, I'll take a good, clear photo for the site gallery (^_^)

There's no official name yet... I'm loathed to call it "peacock" . I'm all for litteralism, but, it tells me that it wants something more imaginative. I'll have to sleep on it.

8 July 2010