Mermaids with Daisies Folk Art Timelapse in B&W

Mermaids have been on my mind a lot more than usual this year. I’ve always had a love affair with their images and mythologies, but not enough to study or create them in numbers.  Suddenly I can’t stop thinking about them.   And this summer I swam in the ocean for the first time in years… Twice!

Something Merm-ish is certainly going on.

Another summer season has come and almost gone, and yet again i failed to make my long-intended journey to Coney Island for the Mermaid Parade.  But lately I feel mermaids all around me. Here’s one I’ve been working on… She had me completely stuck where the first video begins.  When you’re stuck like that, eventually you either have to paint over everything in lime green (not that i have ever done that), or just commit to whatever is going to happen and start dipping your brush in some paint.  I started this mermaid a few weeks ago… the second in a set of two mermaid canvases, and i just could not get past her mushy stage.  Just when I was about to start rummaging for my juiciest tube of key lime, i decided she deserved more effort from me.    So for fun I started recording Instagram videos…  and then I just did stuff.  with paint.

img_6729I joke with my husband that whenever I’m stuck with a painting and feel like giving up, I just start adding daisies here and there until I can move on. This is half true, and half because I love 💛 daisies.  A lot.  I actually think they should be on everything. Seriously. 

I hope you’ll enjoy some time-lapse speed painting!  (Real time would be intensely painful to watch).  She got some daisies of course, and a bit more clothing than originally planned.  Follow along to see if she makes it all the way to her varnishing ceremony (and see her in color!), or if she is fated to meet a lime green demise.

So long for now, Summer

Happy September!

XO ~ skyblue

Follow SkyBlueWithDaisies on Instagram for more art and whimsy.


Creative Juices… Evaporated.

Paralyzed.  Completely paralyzed by, I’m not sure what… fear? lack of talent? winter blues?   Whatever it is, I can’t get the paint from the brush to the canvas.  I can’t type a single word without being consumed by doubt and negative voices in my head. Even now, as I type my first blog post in months, all I hear are the bullies in my head telling me, give it up.  Nobody cares. 

I know I’m not the only person to experience this,  yet I find myself feeling very alone on this island. Mostly because I know the obstacles I face are all within me, of my own making.  There is no inspirational book, website or video that can help me.  There’s no friend I can call for encouragement.  There’s no psychedelic drug I can smoke, although that would be groovy.  I know at some point I just have to put on my big girl pants and do the work.

But for now Little Orange Studio sits cold and empty, an occasional paint stroke here or there.

I’ll see you around sometime… hopefully soon… covered in glitter and paint.

xo skyblue

IMG_2084

Daily Prompt: Money for Nothing | Believe

If you have been a regular reader you might be able to guess my dream job. Many might not call it a job…being a full time artist.  But there are indeed many people out there that do call it a job.  Because it is.  And work hard they do. Especially so, when the money is depended on for health insurance, food and shelter.  Art doesn’t often come with a weekly predetermined pay-check. Some artists of course have the wonderful fortune of someone supporting their basic needs while they get started and build their work space and body of work.  Art of any kine, can be very time consuming work… so time is certainly helpful.

However many, many more artists (as today’s WP challenge suggests) are in the position of needing to maintain a full time job (or two), and a great percentage of those are also caring for children, elderly parents… the challenges can be endless.  It may be a little more difficult, and take much longer… but I am a believer that it is still possible to become a Professional Artist, making a living partly or solely with their art. I didn’t always believe that… i didn’t have any idea that was possible.  But while not easy, I do know it is certainly possible.

In whichever form the art comes (musical, visual, literary…) the artist is also likely to be a very visual person (or hyper-sensitive in one or more of there 5 senses).  In other words… the environment and all it’s elements can play a huge part in your work and how it flows out of you.  Again, many artists have an ideal environment to blossom as an artist… while others learn to adapt and put stuff out there no matter what their surroundings might be like.  I have a very good fortune of a modest space in my home to devote to my creative habits.

At this moment I make art purely because it’s my passion… was since a very small girl… I just veered off that road when it was time to become a “responsible” adult.  And not having been able to have children, it is my therapy and somewhat fills the spaces in my heart that i had intended for motherly purposes most of my life.  (If that makes any sense).  So sure, it is painful that I am not a mom and/or full time artist, and I definitely have challenges with maintaining the energy to give what I feel is necessary create in the capacity i wish to.  However as I mature a little, and see how delicate and short life is…  it’s more important to focus on which part of that i can participate in.  So I do art, and feed my creativity whenever I can, in whatever way i can.  The more I embrace that concept.. the more I feel I am coming closer to the fulfillment I long for.  I will always have days that I just can’t deal with the thought of not being a mom… but more often now, I can embrace the fact that I don’t have kids, which means I have no excuse not to find time for some art.  Even if it can’t be every day.

I love to write as well.  Also a big time sucker.  So you might see spurts of blog posts and spatters of art, and then nothing for a while.  But hopefully you will always continue to see it, at least now and again.  Because if you don’t, I either gave up… or I’m part of a piece of pottery on somebody’s mantle.  And an artist, deep down, always hopes someone might like them… before that happens.  🙂

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Is there anything in your life that you may have put aside for a while… but that you would love to get back to… and dream of even doing full time someday?

See more thoughts on this prompt, and share yours, at The Daily Post.

xo skyblue

Cheer! Happy New Year!

I never thought I would do a painting of a cheerleader. But there she was on my art table… she came out of nowhere.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Cheer ~2013

… and the adorable note from the young girl who inspired her.

photo-2Since putting the finishing touches on Cheer in mid-December, I have not touched a paintbrush.  She made me super happy though while I made her, and looking at her brings back those butterflies.

What will 2014 bring?  And what will I bring to 2014?

Cheers!  Happy New Year!

xo skyblue

Brave Girl with Pink Handbag – Where are you?

I’d love to know where she ended up.  If she ended up anywhere.   I’m sure I’ll find out Monday.  Maybe no one would want her.  But I believed that at least one person would.  I had to believe it, or I would never succeed.  She was such a joy to create.  I was literally in another world when i made her.  Especially her hair.  I started drawing her two weeks ago today.  It was Sunday.  A sunny, cozy, Sunday.  Her top and bottom half were drawn on two pieces of scrap paper, and attached at the hips.

Just to clarify… when I say draw, I mean draw, erase, draw, erase, erase, erase it all, draw erase some more, erase the whole thing, start over, almost finish, erase the entire face 14 more times, look at the clock, realize its 3:30am, draw it once more, and…. done.  Well… as done as a person who makes art can feel.  Basically, I knew I had a deadline and the pressure was on.  In fact, she started as an entirely different painting, an entirely different girl, which I worked on all day Saturday, only to toss aside.  That canvas now stands with the other misfits and orphans that lean against the studio wall, wondering if they will ever be loved again.  They will.

But for now, I am focused on Brave Girl.  She was still just a flimsy drawing, detailed with colored pencils, carefully cut out, sprayed with fixative and set to the side, while I began to create her ground… her world.  Paint, glue, tissue, little scraps in my studio… Three canvases later, one milky blue, one awful pea green, and finally it started to emerge.  The whole time I was trying to stay away from a Pink background for a few different reasons, but I eventually I gave in.  Red, White, a little Titanium Buff, and off I went into her world.  Layer after layer, more red, some orange, lots of yellow… a little purple.  Cutting, gluing, drawing, gluing, painting… until the world was ready for her.  She settled in perfectly, with some minor gluing drama…OK… it was a disaster.  I am a mess with the glue.  How do I get it in my hair?!! Luckily I was able to overcome the glue monster… I took a deep breath, followed the gluing protocol, and laid her in place.  I knew she was home.  Still bald, but home.  I loved her. I didn’t “love my drawing”.  My drawing skills are mediocre at best.  A little shadowing and perspective I learned from Miss Mailette, but still drawing with the skill level of a first grader.  No, I didn’t love the drawing. I just loved her. And it didn’t matter to me if anyone else did.  It didn’t matter if she wasn’t perfect.  She was loved.

IMG_5844

During the week, I worked on her here and there.  The circles of text and music were originally cut out to be hair.  Crazy, quirky, pretty, bubble hair.  I thought about leaving her bald… she was pretty that way.  I do sometimes leave my girls bald, but she was going to have hair.  I arranged the shapes in dozens of ways.  The bubble hair wasn’t working for her though… I was trying too hard.  And I hadn’t even thought about the flowers yet.  There’s always flowers.  I was running out of time.  So I moved the bubbles of paper down to the bottom and i just said, heck, I’ll just make these into flowers.

IMG_5902

The flowers emerged, different sizes and colors…nothing too crazy.  I tend to get overly involved in detail, and I don’t really have time for that now.  But in no way did that mean the flowers didn’t have to be right.  I just had to work differently than I usually do.  I had to just go with it.  I groomed her flower garden for a few hours during the week.  And then Saturday… my favorite day of the week since I was four (in my day you could only watch cartoons on Saturday).. this day I would now go back to her hair.  No thinking, just grab your sh*t, fill the water and today we are going outside. 

IMG_6003

There’s nothing like working in a colorful, sunny studio surrounded by art supplies, furry friends and books.  But working outside with the sunshine tops that by far.  The morning light shows you colors you never saw before.  I set up my easel and all my supplies, and got straight to work.  The voice of my nerves tried to creep out of my brush.  Your running out of time.  Tick Tock.  You only have two days.  What if you ruin it?  You don’t know what you’re doing. What if you can’t finish it. You should start over.  This is cr*p. 

“Shut up”, I told the voice.  So I just sat there and got to work.  I played with the flowers, mushed colors around in the background.  I was still procrastinating a bit, not sure what her hair was to look like… the hair is important.  I started to sketch around her face in yellow chalk.  A little curly, a little stringy, down pasted her waist.

I sat, I listened, I looked, tilted my head.  Nope, that’s not it.  Listened some more.  And then the wind came out of nowhere.  It was probably there all morning, and I just hadn’t noticed it, but when the wind blows in my yard the trees make some serious noise. I am certain it would register on my husbands trusty decibel meter.  I stared at the painting, I looked up at the trees for a while, closed my eyes, then I saw her hair blow. This would be her hair. The hair that evolved over the course of the day was trying to capture that moment.  That obnoxiously (but beautifully) loud gust of wind that almost knocked her over but she stood firm with her handbag.  Everything she needed was in that handbag.  Her strength, hope, family, friends, love, creativity, courage, cats…a little money for food, coffee and health insurance…  they were all right in there.  The wind was powerful.  She was definitely more so.

My parents came over and hung out while I worked, and then I finally packed it in for dinner.  One more day.  She was getting there.

The next day I woke up and I was pumped.  I couldn’t wait to spend the day with her.  First things first, coffee and couch time.  Then I put the music on, I got my yoga on, and we did our thing.  Brave girl and me.  Girl time!  We hung out all day and well into the night, until there was nothing left to talk about.  Later girlfriend. She was complete.

I don’t usually write play by plays detailing my paintings in progress.  This is possibly the first.  Photos are easier to share since you can always say “I know it sucks, it’s not done yet”.  It’s definitely strange putting this side of my art out there though. I guess some people will think I am utterly weird creating the way I do, but this is pretty much how it goes every time.  Except for the “finishing” part.  Signed, sealed, varnished, ready to hang.  Very. Rarely. Happens.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

There are two jewels that were added at the end, which had their own separate gluing challenges.  Apparently gravity is still stronger than mostly dry glue (meaning, you must lay the painting flat until glue COMPLETELY dries, or her ruby necklace might end up as a belly button jewel).  But it all worked out in the end, and I was ready to let her go.  Let’s do this. 

I boxed her up and sent her out into the world.

xo skyblue

**********************************

Brave Girl was created for a fundraiser which would raise money for breast health initiatives including the Beekley Center for Breast Health and Wellness, and a free mammogram program, in Bristol CT.  I couldn’t make it to the fundraiser this year, but my heart was definitely there.  Literally. She hopefully went home with someone last night.  🙂

Update ~ Brave Girl ended up going to a wonderful home and resides with a private art collection in Bristol, CT.

 

***

Connecticut Folk Artist Skyblue is Erica Lubee (formerly Erica Moreland).  She writes this blog from her studio in CT to share her love of art, creativity, photography, nature and all creatures big and small, real and imagined.  Her passion is for mixed media, whimsical folkart, illustration and the feminine portrait.  Visit Skyblue’s gallery for more of her paintings and artworks.  Some prints available at Redbubble.  Original drawings, paintings, and more will become available soon!  Follow or subscribe here or on Facebook for updates and more artsy fun. 🙂

 

 

Yoga Gypsy – Art and Inner Peace

When I drew Yoga Gypsy, I was coming off of a year of some serious health challenges… I knew I needed to be creating art again, but i just couldn’t find the energy to do much at all.  I pressed on the best I could, doing daily(ish) yoga and gentle exercise in my studio… I was not ready to let my body fall apart. It was absolutely amazing how much better I was feeling, just using the most delicate movements from yoga and belly dance.

YogaGypsyPalePinkPencilGlow

Soon I became stronger, and sketches started to emerge from my journals as I started to find energy in the art.  I used that energy to get more energy and I remember feeling some of that energy in my yoga.  It was at that time that i realized that both of these parts of my life were not separate… they existed within each other… because of each other. I knew movement and art would heal me.

Yoga Gypsy was one of the first drawings I knew I wanted to share… in hopes she could help someone else find strength and inner peace.  And she is now available at my RedBubble store, in several colors and designs!  Kind of a big deal!!  🙂

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Greeting Cards, Prints, Framed Art, Canvases… Enjoy! and Thank you!

http://www.redbubble.com/people/skyblue32

xo skyblue

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

Link

Recently I had the opportunity meet some really nice people at an art gallery in CT and check out the space where they work and get creative.  I heard about the Freight Street Art Gallery a few times and and got interested in a show/fundraiser they are putting on in March.  I wanted to see if i could contribute to it it some way, but i don’t really go out and socialize too much.  I am more of a solo flyer, an introvert that loves the comfort of solitude, animals, and yoga, and the company of my dearest friends and family. I am drawn to the anonymity of the internet and the possibilities it provides artists to learn and find success doing what they love.

IMG_0527

IMG_0497

But one day i was just like, screw it…try something different once in a while, erica.   i stopped in to the gallery a few times to learn more about the upcoming fundraiser show, and see what else they do there.  I would consider submitting some art for a fundraiser, because hey, that’s worth a try if it can be part of something like that.

But then i start thinking about why i make the things i make.   I would love to make money from art, but mostly so i can have an excuse to do it all the time.  I am not in a reasonable position to quit my job to pursue my passion full time, so the only way for me to achieve that possibility, is to figure out a way to make money from it and other creative endeavors.  Maybe i will make that happen, and maybe i won’t.  but during what’s left of my week i must commit to working in my studio, taking pictures, writing, or learning about something… taking any step toward achieving the life i long for.  I have to force myself to devote the time to it, even if I am tired, or busy, or lacking inspiration from the past 20 years of uniforms or a cubicles.  I have to commit to it, or i am not OK.

Whenever i have a chance, I’ll go in my studio, get cozy and just see what comes out.  For the most part, I make art that simply makes me feel happy.  I make things that i would want in my own home.  Freight Street put on a show last night, and when i heard about the theme… Pizza…  i knew i would be going.  Cheesie Dream was going to be right up my alley. (food art… my crazy obsession).  I didn’t plan on submitting anything, even though the people there encouraged me to try it.

One evening,I started a sketch for the heck of it, laid it out on a piece of wood, and then instinctively added it to my floor sculpture of unfinished paintings before i shut down the studio.  I was quitting again.  But i then i realized i just had to finish it. This once, i had to finish something.  I picked it up again, and there was no turning back.  I was finishing it.  I stayed up the entire night, and nearly finished the painting, but then i had to take a shower and go to work. (wah).  When i got home that night, i put on a few finishing touches, knowing it still wasn’t truly finished, and terrified to put my stuff out there to be seen and judged (or worse, not noticed) by art enthusiasts.  Again, i almost stuck it back in the pile of works in progress.  but then i finally talked myself into bringing down to submit.  I asked myself… do i like it?  Would i put it in my own home?  Sure. So I humbly brought it down to gallery… and handed it over.

The next evening W made some pizza for dinner and headed over to the show.  It was amazing. Not the pizza (that was definitely edible)… i mean the art show.  I don’t find a lot this artsy stuff where i live, but if you are always on the lookout for it, you’ll find it. We made our way inside the old factory doorway, and it was like magic.  The main gallery had transformed from a state of chaos and creative madness, into a warm, magical space filled with fantastic live music, wine, interesting chatter, art and of course… pizza everywhere you turned.

With all the talk about guns and violence lately… with all the road rage in the wake of storm Nemo… i just had bring some color and peaceful vibes to the world.  That’s how my pizza art evolved.

IMG_0802Thanks for the good time, Freight Street.

xo, skyblue

Coffee and Daydreams

IMG_9306Some afternoons, when I just sit with my thoughts, and breath…IMG_9190I find myself in little orange studio, sipping a perfect cup of coffee from my favorite mug… sunbeams raining on my two sweet purring cats.   My road rage is replaced by thoughts of those i love.  I realize i am pretty. And all at once, i remember a thousand of my happiest childhood moments.  I get a glimpse of what i ache for most in life.

I suddenly realize how much of it I already have.

thank you to everyone who believes in me.

xo skyblue

IMG_9213

skyblue sunday

well, we finally took the i-plunge…complete with his and hers Otters.

IMG_9299

Besides Pandora, a few word games and texts, i am not attached to it much. But when i  have some free time, it’s all about the camera apps.  As my handful of Facebook followers (who may or may not have been bribed) may have noticed, i can get a little carried away with the Instagram sometimes.  I don’t post anything for weeks, and then i go ape-Sh*t.  I can’t help myself.  Especially on Sundays, or days off when i get a chance to be home doing skyblue stuff.  Morning coffee, cats lounging, heaps of pancakes… real exciting stuff, i know.  I basically don’t have a meal without capturing it in Toaster.   It’s just a fun way to say “thank you” to the universe.  I am sure i could get a lot more art done, and a lot more housework, if i didn’t spend so much time Instagraming.   But since i did, you might as well enjoy…

http://instagram.com/skybluewithdaisies

Happy New Year.

xo, skyblue.

Let’s stop for a moment, as Autumn light fades.

Summer is long gone.  Fall is nearly devoid of all color.  New England is known for its breathtaking foliage and autumn wonder, but the window is small.  It feels like i blinked and the color was gone.  Last weekend, I knew it would be my last chance of the year to enjoy the warm sunshine and colors in my yard.  Tiny still-lifes everywhere. I didn’t want these moments it to go unappreciated and forgotten.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Sure enough, here it is the following weekend, and the grey veil has settled upon us.  The sky is drab, the blossoms are shriveled, and the trees are almost bare.  Sandy threatens to wipe out what remains.  It will be cold and grey for the next five months.  Goodbye color and light…for now.  This is where art comes in.

“Dawn’s Garden” sky blue

Stay safe in the storm.

xo skyblue