Hashtag #MiVida #SelfieTime – Life Imitates Art

Weekly Photo Challenge: #LifeImitatesArt

I grew up before there was such a thing as a selfie.  But today, it’s a part of every day of our life.  Whether it is because we need validation in the form of likes and shares, or we simply want to capture a memory for friends or families, ourselves… it is a lovely medium that draws me in for whatever reason.  They come to us in the form of friends, family, strangers, celebrities… they are candid or staged, sometimes both.  I am not an art scholar.  But I believe they are a form of portraiture… however flat, sexy, creative, narcissistic, innocent,, annoying, ugly, pretty… I will be hated and booed for my opinion but i stand by it… in my eyes, these selfies are art.

So many questions form in my head when i see a selfie.  I have questions on everything from how they got those facial features to what they had for breakfast.  Selfies inspire a lot of my art.  Some of my faces are free form from a vision, others are loosely inspired by an photo i see. Then as the piece comes to life… i have even more questions.  How is that not art?

See also: Weekly Photo Challenge: Selfie| Don’t Hate my Duck Face

image

In a portrait, you have room to have a point of view. The image may not be literally what’s going on, but it’s representative.

                                                                            ~  Annie Leibovitz

xo, skyblue

 

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

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

 

 

 

 

Art is my child. It’s a girl!

You don’t have any children… you couldn’t possibly understand what it’s like.  You have no idea what tired is.  You have no idea what stress is.  You have no idea what responsibility is.  You have no idea what pain is.  You just have no idea…

These statements, have been shot my way now and again… and while in my 20’s and 30’s, it didn’t sting too bad.  I still had time.  It’s what I wanted most in life but I still had plenty of time. But now as I approach my mid 40’s, health issues have claimed my fertility, and there is little to no chance of adoption.  And that hurts. Bad.  I often have thoughts that I deserve it for breaking off my engagement at age 24, to a guy who couldn’t wait to knock me up, several times over.  He was a really amazing guy who wanted lots of kids.  And I wasn’t sure if I was “in love” with him.  So I left to see if I could find my true love.   Being the “awkward” girl who couldn’t just bat my eyes to get any guy she wanted, it took me a while to find another one who could compare.  And when i finally realized I had found him… i wasn’t letting go.  Eight years younger, he wasn’t exactly ready for fatherhood, and I never wanted him to feel pressured… by a certain someone’s biological clock.  I knew in the back of my head, every day I stayed with him my window was getting smaller.  I knew I might be choosing him over possible motherhood.  And before I knew it, the window was closed.  Not locked, but seriously closed.  And I chose this, with zero regret.  I would not trade my beautiful husband.  But, it still hurts.  Especially knowing the man you love might never have the chance to be a father.

As a childless woman, do I know what tired is? Yes.  For reasons other than parenthood, I absolutely know what tired is.  But lucky for me, it might not last eighteen+ years.  Do I know what stress is?  Yup.  Been there, done that.  Again for no reasons related to hearing the word “mommy” 3000 times per day, or keeping a teenager out of trouble.  Responsibility?  Sure.  I am responsible by choice… it just didn’t take parenthood in my case.  Pain?  Yup.  I’ve lived in the world of “excruciating”, or more than I thought I could possibly bear.  I obviously haven’t done the whole childbirth thing, so I’ll give anyone that whole-heartedly!  That business, preceded by the 9 months of pregnancy business, and proceeded by 2+ years of painful breastfeeding? I can’t say I ever really longed for those experiences specifically.  But the chance to be someone’s mother?  I knew I would absolutely, and gratefully suck it up for that opportunity. And when cancer takes your breasts, you become acutely aware you will never know the joy, or pain, of feeding your child.

Sad Girl in the Rain with Daisies

Sad Girl in the Rain with Daisies

My whole life has been void of any confidence, except when it came to the thought of being a mom.  Would i be clueless about things like diaper rash and breast feeding?  Of course.  I wasn’t going for any mother-of-year awards.  But I always felt confident that I could be a good mom.  I just knew I wanted to be there for someone, like my mom was there for me.  I wanted to give someone life, or a home, and show them how to be kind and make art. I wanted to tell someone they could be anything they wanted to be, and they could do anything they set their mind to.  I wanted to know the agony and elation of watching them grow up, and setting them free to start their own family.  I know I was hoping for a lot, but nearly everyone I knew was or was about to be a parent, so I naturally thought it would just happen in my life too when it was time.

I am sure it’s very difficult being a mother.  And I certainly can’t imagine how challenging it is to be especially to be a single, and/or working mother.  But what I’m trying to say is that it is also really difficult not being one, and being surrounded every day by people who are, who constantly remind you of what you are not, and what you now know you likely will never be.  You know that inside, you are a mother too, but you have no child. There is nothing.  No one.

Of course none of this is intentional, but people who have kids, mostly talk about their kids.  And understandably…I would too!  Kids are awesome!  And I LOVE all the kids I have been blessed to know.  When you are in these shoes, you’re genuinely happy for all of the parents and their beautiful parenthood stories, and you genuinely feel for them when they are faced with the challenges of parenthood…(i really can’t imagine what some parents have gone through!),  but simultaneously you feel a stabbing pain every time kids comes up in conversation, and everywhere you go surrounded by parents, children and families.  You feel a thousand times more pain when you see a child that is mistreated, neglected, or considered a nuisance by their own parents… and you would have do anything to have been a good mom to that same or any child.  The pain never goes away.  Or at least it hasn’t yet for me.  And I expect it only gets harder as you age… to get old and never know the joy of meeting your first grandchild either.  What are you supposed to do with all this love you were dying to give?

Lately though, I have decided to pull my shit together and move on.  I will still, no doubt, have my moments sobbing in my cubicle or the supermarket… it really SUCKS not being able to have a child.  But it’s time to change my focus entirely and let go of that dream.  I don’t have to spend money on diapers, school supplies and college tuitions.  So I can spend it on books and art supplies… and that’s a lot of art supplies!!  Art is definitely my other passion in life, and it somehow got lost along the way.  I think I had the twisted belief that once I became a mom, then I would go back to my art.  Silly.  So now I intend to pursue it like the dickens!  And so far it’s working.  I’m doing it.   And I feel better!  I haven’t sold more than a handful of things…  I may never be able to leave my day job to spend my days working on it, but I do it whenever I can.  My chest feels less constricted.  I’m learning more than ever.  And I’m putting myself out there for the first time, knowing that it’s OK that I didn’t go to art school, and that I can still be an artist. It’s ART for heaven’s sake!  I don’t agree with some of the formal definitions of art… I believe it’s whatever comes out, in whatever medium, with any level of skill, applied with varying amounts of emotion, thought, instinct and effort.

That is the beauty in my story.  Maybe if I became a mother, I would have forgotten about art entirely.  And that would have been superb… because hey, there would be an amazing little person in my life whom I would be happy to sacrifice everything for.  But I must believe there is still much good that can come of my life, and I am learning to find “meaningful” fulfillment in other ways.

Art is my child.  I’ll create it.  I’ll nurture it.  By art, I mean painting, drawing, sculpting, dancing, writing… Sometimes I will keep it tucked under my wing.  But then I’ll send it out into the world and hope that it lives on and will make others smile.

And if somehow that window opens again to let a child in, I hope I can be half the mom that my own mother is, and I know that we will do lots of art, together. Lord knows I have the supplies!

I hope that this writing will not offend any of the beautiful moms out there who have given everything selflessly for their children.  I do hope it will touch someone else in shoes similar to mine, and help give them the strength to move past the pain and toward a truly fulfilling future.  Love can be given in many ways.

me and my mum.

me and my mum.

… i wrote this post in October 2013, when i was having an especially hard time with this whole subject, but was feeling afraid to put myself out there in this way.  My husband sent me this article today, that had me thinking about it again. The article made me feel less alone.  I thought maybe i should just put this post out there, in case it, or Melanie Young’s article, can make just one more woman feel less alone.

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

Scribble Your Cares Away

… sometimes I do these little random scribbles, on paper or in the Paint program… whether it’s meditation or procrastination… I get something out of it.  I think I enjoy the simplicity of scribbling, and in Paint it’s easy to pour in an endless rainbow of colors.

Many I never look at again… the meditation/procrastination is simply in the scribbling.  It’s freedom in one of it’s most authentic forms.  Seriously… where could you possibly be more free?  But when it’s over, what appears is sometimes quite interesting.  Here’s one I like to stare at sometimes.

you are loved… you should try it.  In Paint, or on paper.  Who cares.

It’s what freedom feels like.

xo skyblue

When the Gypsy first got all Zen. (and other gypsies!)

If you would like to know who won the Yoga Gypsy calendar, please have a look over at the Skyblue Facebook Page!  (you can go straight to the announcement post here.  You’ll enjoy my goofy video.)

…That whole contest thing was a little stressful.  Any time I do something new or outside of my comfort zone, I pretty much freak out.  Hives, burning ulcer, sleepless nights… it’s not easy being me.  But how terrifying, to put my art out for everyone to see, offering it for free! … and knowing only like 2 people would care.  But those are the type of thing I must do.  Hopefully you will be a witness from my humble beginnings to my wild success!  LOL

And art is one of the many things I do to combat the paralyzing anxiety i can get.  Anxiety, depression, blah, blah blah.  There… now you all know.  I’m a hot mess.  Besides the yoga, dance and all that jazz…the art has been some of my best medicine.  It’s helped me on my darkest days, and it definitely beats any prescriptions they put me on.

I’ve always been drawn to gypsies… specifically what I imagined they would wear, or what I would wear if I could be a gypsy of some sort. Coins, hip-scarves, long flowing skirts… and then I got to drawing these awkward figures, with their quirky belly dancer outfits and dangly jewelry, and well… the only thing I could think of that they were gypsies.  Anyway, I just found some photos of the original Yoga Gypsy drawing… before she got glued and painted into the painting seen on the December page of the calendar.

YG December

Also you’ll find some of the other gypsies from my sketchbooks.  I hope to get some of my other drawings out there and available for your collection.  🙂

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

What would we find in your sketchbooks?

xo skyblue

Let it Snow – Featuring Mabel and Hootie

Soooo ready to get snowed in with Scofield, Olive and Stew… I think it will be an Instagram weekend.  Maybe some new art.  Who knows.

Mabel and Hootie are getting frisky by the fire in this little video.

Will you be snowed in this weekend too?

Have a good one!

xo skyblue

Hootie loves Mabel

Hootie loves Mabel

win skyblue’s art!

So I have been struggling with this Facebook thing.  The whole, get a fan page, and get as many people as you can to “like” your witty posts.  I mean, what is that?  It could be rejection on a silver platter.  Ain’t nobody got time for that. 

skyblue fb page

But I went ahead and I started a page despite my fears. It’s all very new and uncomfortable for me. I enjoy making art. I make it to hopefully share it. Facebook is a pretty reasonable place to find people to share it with.  It will be lovely if people buy it someday, but the beauty of the internet, whether you are on Facebook, WordPress, Instagram…  is the opportunity to share  it with the world… right then and there with a little button.  Someone might see something I make and smile, and that alone is awesome.  I think about all the art I’ve had a chance to see, that I would not otherwise in my daily life.  If it were not for the internet, the only art I would see is the occasional crayon ravaged Sponge Bob ripped from a coloring book in my neighbors cubicle. No, I’m exaggerating.  There’s actually one coworker’s 6 year old I’m hoping to commission pretty soon.   There is nothing better than kids art!  i just really enjoy variety and you don’t get that in the middle of Connecticut.  Facebook has been one of the many places online that has offered this variety and opportunity to get a glimpse of the most amazing art, writing, and photography.

Simply stated, I love art… I love other people’s art, and I love to share my own art.  I love what art does for people, dwelling spaces and communities.  I’ve been sharing my art, writing and I-phone photos here on this WordPress blog for a few years now, and this is really my home online.  People are nice here.  I love to find other writers and artists on Freshly Pressed and the tag cloud. Checking my Facebook has typically been pretty random for me, as opposed to being a daily ritual.  But I hope the page will be an extension of sbwd somehow.

YG June

I am offering to give away a calendar to my Facebook visitors this week.  It features the super sweet Yoga Gypsy in a rainbow of colors.

Would you like to win a free Yoga Gypsy calendar? It’s easy..

1. Visit my Facebook page.

2. Like the December 9th Yoga Gypsy Post.

3. Check back on Thursday December 12 for the winner announcement.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I hope you win!

… more art coming soon.  I’ve been busy!  🙂

xo skyblue

Peace, Love and Facebook

I know you have all been sitting by your computers dying to know where I’ve been and what I have been up to.  I’ve been here, and there, not sure if I’m coming or going.  I probably have a dozen half finished posts and I can’t seem to finish a single one.  It’s always a photo I’m missing, or a paragraph that makes no sense.  Sometimes I just lose my nerve and I am afraid to post..  Afraid?  That’s silly.  Maybe my post is stupid, and nobody cares… but no one has ever really been mean to me on WordPress, or anywhere online for that matter. In fact most everyone has been super nice!   And I’m pretty sure I’m not going to cause much controversy or ruffle anyone’s feathers with my silly little blog about dragonfly’s, kitty cats, daisies, flea markets, cupcakes, holding hands, ice cream, willow trees, sunrises, dancing, cups of tea, love birds, rainbows, best friends.   Actually… i haven’t written about at least half of those items yet, so I better get to work.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Speaking of getting to work… November came and went and I still haven’t posted the giveaway for the Sky Blue 2014 Yoga Gypsy calendar.  I’ve spent way too much time trying to make sense of the Facebook rules, trying to figure out if i need to use a third party app, worrying that only one person will enter… what i need to be doing is making some art.  Writing, and making art.  But unfortunately these are all necessary evils, part of sharing your art with the world.  I’m just going to do the best I can and get done what needs to be done, and hope I don’t get kicked off Facebook.

Tomorrow, Monday December 9, I will be posting a Facebook giveaway for the Yoga Gypsy calendar.  Does Yoga Gypsy have healing powers? I’m pretty sure she does. The longer you look at her, the more at peace you feel.  How did the calendar come about?  One day, I thought it would be fun to play with the original pencil drawing in my photo edit software, and I couldn’t stop looking at her in every shade of blue, and orange, and pink, and on an on… each color making me feel a bit different.   I thought others might enjoy her zen-like presence in many colors as well, and a calendar can offer that.  Besides… once the year is over, you are left with 12 adorable prints, with which you can make an Andy Warhol-ish collage, give to friends, or keep to enjoy her peaceful glow in a rainbow of colors every year.  Read more about Yoga Gypsy’s story from this earlier post.

I hope you will visit (and Like if I’m lucky!) the Sky Blue With Daisies Facebook page, and tomorrow, I hope you will be on the lookout for the giveaway post.

The winner will be announced later this week!

xo skyblue

2014 Yoga gypsy Calendar Image