Where Has the Time Gone? – Weekly Photo Challenge: Time

Where has the time gone?  I go through periods when i can’t face the keyboard, my thoughts, the world.  I doubt my worth and convince myself that i shouldn’t waste space on the internet with my words and photos.  I make myself appear all artsy, and whimsical online, but in real life i sit in a cubicle all day, do my chores and go to bed most days.  Nothing artsy or whimsical going on here folks.

But when i go back and read random old posts, i realize what’s here is exactly who I am. Writing here helps me connect with that person when i feel so far away from her.  I can go back in time and revisit my happiest, saddest and most whimsical moments any time i want to.   The time i spend doing what i love is rare and fleeting, but in those moments i have hope… hope that someday i will live as the me that i am.  True North.  Someday. Before my time is up.

I recently said goodbye to a very fine man, who really made the most of his time in this world.  He was on this earth for a very long time, and he touched so many people… did so much good.  I wish i got to know him better.  My husband, this man’s grandson and namesake, was recently given some boxes of his old papers… a glimpse of the people he touched, the work that he did.  Old letters when stamps were 15 cents.  Old documents created before computer was even a word.  He painstakingly gathered and documented his family tree, rivaling anything you could find on Ancenstry.com.   I look forward to learning more about this man as we delicately explore the treasures he left behind.

I hope we will find that he lived his True North.

We are so grateful for the time we had you with us, Pop.

“A thousand times we die in one life. We crumble, break and tear apart until the layers of illusion are burned away and all that is left, is the truth of who and what we really are”

~TEAL SCOTT

Goodbye Poppy Time

xo skyblue

Ode to Orange… and a Father’s Day Wish

Ode to Orange

Some would argue the best color in town is red, or blue, or green.

Others might say its yellow, pink, or purple… or in between.

But as a self-proclaimed color whisperer, i dare place one color above them all.

Orange, you have won my heart.  When I’m with you, I have a ball!

You are the color of my favorite soda, my favorite scarf, my favorite room.

You’re always warm and cozy, and in the fall you glaze the moon.

You are the color of Hostess cupcakes with that delicate white filling.

When red is too tired, and blue is too blue, you are always willing.

You are the color of so many of the delicious foods we chew.

Carrots, peppers, pumpkins, and Cheetos… just to name a few.

You are gentle when you need to be, always energetic and brave.

You are the color of the sun that brings us each new day.

You feed us, protect us, sooth our soul…   depending on your hue.

Flowers, butterflies, basketballs, and that fruit they named after you.

You’re a fashion diva, a style icon… all the bloggers say so.

You are right at home with any other color of the rainbow.

The love child of red and yellow.  They made magic…  and you were born.

And who could forget, that you are roughly one third of candy corn.

There are some that think you’re crazy, too bold and much too loud.

But there isn’t another color out there that makes me feel more proud.

So now you know my secret, I love you, Orange hue.

Orange you super glad I wrote this little ode to you.

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Mini Ode to My Dad

There’s this guy they call Captain Orange… and everybody knows

that he and Orange go way, way back.  He and Orange are bros.

Captain Orange is my hero, my rock, my heart, my home.

He is the reason that I have been blessed with life.  So no matter where I roam.

He is always there to save the day, even if we are miles apart.

I hear his voice, he holds my hand, he encourages my art.

He’ll say say he didn’t do enough…  he’s a humble, hard-working guy.

But truth be told, he’s the one who taught me how to survive.

I see my dad in every orange sunset, flower or mushroom.

Past the sky… Happy Father’s Day, Dad.  As long as I have Orange, I have you.

xo skyblue

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY, TO ALL THE DAD’S!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Work of Art| Lions and Tigers and Pancakes, OH MY!

My niece came to stay overnight last weekend, and we had the nicest time.  At least I did, and I hope that she did.  We don’t have her over often enough, but each time we do I adore her a little more.  I admire her energy, her sense of humor, her maturity, her heart.  I’m pretty sure she thinks I’m a kook… but I don’t care. I am a little kooky. I just like to see her being a kid, and discovering things, and having a good time.

mariah at the lakeOur weekends with her are usually much more active than we are used to, but it is invigorating.  I love how tired I am when she goes home.  She’s like a personal trainer!  LOL.  I love to look back at the pictures of our weekends together.  She really enjoys being with Uncle Wes… playing video games, learning how to chop wood… but I was elated when she asked if she could paint something.  She was hesitant… wasn’t sure what to paint or how to go about it, or even if she wanted to.  But she got past that (with a little nudging) and what emerged was the most beautiful painting.  She has loved tigers since I can remember… now she has one… her own work of art.

Mariah painting TigerShe also made chocolate chip pancakes for us… each one it’s own adorable work of art.

mariahs pancake artWhat artsy types of things do you do with the little one’s (or not so little one’s) in your life?  If you’d like to show us… join the challenge!

xo sky blue

 

 

 

 

Thoughts of Mom and the Matryoshka Dolls

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I am not sure why I keep thinking about them lately, but those little Russian nesting dolls have me captivated lately.  Their faces, colors, little aprons…  I have such a fond, but vague memory of them being in my life somehow when i was small… but i loved them then, and i am so glad to be revisiting my childhood through them.  They make me think of my mom, and that feeling of being little and safe in her care.  I am pretty sure we spent almost every day together until my first day of Kindergarten.  That was not easy… for either one of us.  But she got me on that bus and sent me out into the world, and it was great… Kindergarten had lots of crayons, and snacks!  But it still was never easy, leaving my mom.

me and my mum - sketch

It didn’t get much easier as I left her again and again, for school, life, and marriage… but we will always be part of each other, wherever we go.

That’s what the Matryoshkas remind me of.

xo skyblue

me and my mum.

me and my mum.

* artwork originally posted yesterday in my post: Art is my child. It’s a girl!

* Dolls photographed above can be purchased at worldmarket.com

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Juxtaposition | Toolbelts and Daisies

My husband loves this word… Juxtaposition.  And by “loves this word”, I mean… he mostly likes to make fun of it’s common use in the artsy realm.  He’s got nothing against this realm.  He would just much rather build robots, or make stuff explode with his pellet gun.  And he likes to find any silly reason to use the word “juxtaposition” in his sentences and daily banter.  It’s part of his funny way of entering my world for a few moments in his busy day… where he might stop and hug me and make me laugh.  We bicker a lot, like any couple would, but it always comes back to laughter.

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We, him and I, are in fact… a juxtaposition… of epic proportions.  We couldn’t be any more so.  Him with his power tools, technical savvy, and “guy” stuff…Me with my paint brushes, and belly dancing, and “girly” stuff… we are just that.  Juxtaposed.  Our personalities are very distinct, but somehow complimentary spices in our recipe… our relationship.  It’s peanut butter an jelly.  It’s apple sauce and pork.  It’s red wine and pizza. It just works.  I am not sure if it works because we are opposite, or if it works in spite of it.  Maybe it’s because he can cook. And I am terrible at it.  🙂  But don’t get me wrong… this little juxtaposition we have going on here can be incredibly frustrating and utterly exhausting. 

PB & jellyIt terrifies me knowing that someday… one of us will inevitably go.  Yup… that’s just part of it all.  Morbid, I know.  But I hope until then, this juxtaposition will be strong enough to withstand life’s tumultuous, yet so very delicate nature.

In the end, it’s the one that matters most.

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IMG_5595xo skyblue

This post was inspired by this weeks WP Photo Challenge.

Graveyard Photos: walking with my friend, also my belly dance teacher, in a cemetery near her house… Probably taken with one of my digital cameras. 

Other Photos: stuff in my house.

T’s Birthday Wish

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Hold a treasure close to your heart.

Close your eyes.

Then…

Make a wish..

Say a prayer.

Sing a song.

Twirl around.

Tell someone Thank You.

Tell someone I Love You.

Tell yourself I Love Me.

Believe in Peace on Earth.

Know that you are loved.

Then…

Go out into the world and follow all your dreams!

Happy Birthday Sweet T

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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

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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.

 

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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. 🙂

 

 

…make sure you wear a flower in your hair

Not feeling very pretty today.  Don’t feel like doing much.  Feel frustrated, ugly, trapped, stressed, fat, lost.  OK, so that’s my deal today.  It’s definitely not like that every day.  Many days I feel this way and I can just roll with it. Who doesn’t feel this way sometimes?  We must suck it up and move on.  And most days I do.  My life is full of much, MUCH more good than bad.

Today I just need a little extra boost.  So I will do what I often do to help me snap out of it. I will go in my basket, pick out a flower, and stick it in my hair.  Then I will just move on, and get going.  And I will say, holy crap… what is wrong with me?? It’s Saturday, my favorite day, and the sun is out.  I have a job, a home, food, decent health, two sweet kitties, a beautiful family, amazing friends, and coffee. That is what I’ll focus on today.  Everything else will come, and if it doesn’t… it’s not the end of the world.  (-: 

sky blue, xo.