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

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. 🙂

 

 

Blogapology…

cobweb with spidey

Hello Bloggeritos and Bloggeritas!  My blog literally has cobwebs all over it.  And i think i can hear crickets.  So for that, i apologize.  I know you are supposed to keep these things going… otherwise people are like, “wow, she just vanished!”… or worse, they don’t even realize you are gone.  (I have been loving reading all your posts though!)

cobweb_2

…Meanwhile, my Instagram and Facebook accounts are on fire, and i have been making lots of art.  I have recently been accused of having a “problem” with Istagram.  It’s like 30 years of a unrequited love for photography, and failed attempts to learn how to operate a camera… all spewing out on Instagram, because I can actually say what I meant to say with the images I am able to create with smart phone apps.  I am not ashamed of my skillz with Instagram Filters. (-:  Besides, it gives me time to focus on other things too.

Land of Misfits - Instagram Earlybird Filter

Land of Misfits – Instagram Earlybird Filter

In the past several months, I felt that needed to super-focus my energy on creating, drawing, painting, etc. Oh, and don’t think i have gotten very far.  Baby steps made in stolen moments… a few paintings almost finished, some tattered sketchbooks.  Some of which, I post pictures of here and there, some that will get banished  to the basement probably. Much of my journey expressed in glimpses on Instagram.

Being home on vacation this week, with time to really stew in my creative juices, I realized how much I really miss writing.  It really is not separate from my art.  It’s all, entirely, intertwined.  I have probably said that before, but i need reminders once in a while.

Well I think i will ease myself back into it with a reblog of this link, celebrating Instagram Artist, Jeremy Veach and his sweet dog Norm.

Photographer Scores a Viral Hit with His Instagram ‘Pug Shots’ of His Dog Norm.

xo, skyblue

There will be art… (maybe)

The more I blog, the more I get away from the reasons I thought i wanted to publish a blog.  My first attempt, Dancing Rapunzel, was pretty much started because I had some time to kill when chemo was kicking my ass.   I thought I should take advantage of my down time & learn something productive.  Blogging was a perfect way for me to keep busy and think creatively… from the couch.  I started writing with all intentions that it would motivate me to finish my art projects and that it would help me gain some confidence putting my art “out there”.  I posted just a few leather pieces and unfinished paintings here and there.  I soon discovered the unexpected extent of therapeutic value.  Overall, I continued hoping it would help me grow artistically, creatively, emotionally… regardless, I was supposed to be posting some art! 
After DR got hijacked, i had all but hung up my blogging hat (yes i actually have one), and suddenly I had a spark of energy to start over again with Sky Blue.  I thought that blogging again would help me put my creations out there in an anonymous world without too much discomfort.  As I continue my blog-therapy, I have been reminded how much I also love to write and take photos.  Since I can give you every excuse in the book why you haven’t seen much of my “art”, there will probably be a lot more words and amateur photography…at least for now.
I am working on my goal setting, and 7 Habits, blah blah blah for 2012, so my plan is to post some art this year!  I did a little painting this weekend, and that made me happy happy happy!  It’s hard to pick a painting to work on when i have so many in progress, and so few hours of daylight.  But I am trying to just focus on one at a time.  I’m working on a series of 3 paintings for my big blank brown living room wall – I wanted to do something insanely colorful and bold.  They were inspired by a blog post I saw about the Neon Bone-yard which I am completely obsessed with… I am dying to see that place if I ever get to Vegas so I can take my own photos, but for now I must paint from other people’s photos.
I hope I can share some paintings and sketches – finished or unfinished – in the near future. Until then, here are some more (sorry) cat photos.  My subject here is Olive on a sunny morning…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

e.j.l. xo
 

Christmas Happens

I am a hot-HOT mess during the holiday season.  Every year this is so.  I do not adorn my house in lights.  I do not put up any trees or tinsel.  i do not even send out cards anymore. I am just not good at what has become “Christmas”.  Trying to find the energy to go to work every day, when every moment of your free time becomes – shopping, baking, wrapping, frosting, traveling, coordinating, buying, cleaning, planning, rushing, organizing, mailing, cooking, standing in obnoxious lines… I long to simplify this madness.

I am not saying there is anything wrong with the madness.  I am just simply not good at it, I can’t seem to find the energy for it, and I have not figured out how to not go into debt more and more every single year because of it.  I know it is not healthy when I start worrying about it in August, only to become paralyzed from about November 15th straight through until January 1st, just before the New England winter really starts to suck and I start to stress out about tax season. (-:

Regardless of my obvious aversion to this red-green-and-glitter covered-money-making-machine mania we call Christmas, I am blessed beyond words.  Much of my trouble keeping up during this season, is self-induced drama, stemming from procrastination, poor planning, laziness, and forgetfulness. Looking through my photos today, i realized i am easily distracted… by the most ridiculous things.  It is a wonder I get anything done.  I tend to fall in love with the most random moments… i want to draw them, i want to write a poem about them, I want to take photos of them.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

In between my hot flashes in the mall…are the fantastic surprises, delicious food, family gatherings, and sweet moments.  This is the only way i know how to even slightly express my gratitude to the universe…

e.j.l. xo

Angel

“I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.” 

Michelangelo

______________________________________

I had this piece of wood.  I knew i wanted to paint a picture on it. it took me about two years to figure out just what i wanted to paint on it…

It was the best part of the morning, when the sun starts beaming warmth into my studio.  It was a Saturday, my favorite day.  I grabbed the piece of wood, sanded it for a while, and made a decision.  There i was, with all my best shades of purple, red, orange, and blue, ready to paint some random abstract sketch i found in one of my art journals…

And then i saw her out of the corner of my eye, right in the swirls of wood.  she was twirling around and around, her hair flowing, wearing the prettiest skirt.  i honestly couldn’t believe what i was seeing.  i looked away for a minute, but when i looked again she was still there.  i left the room to get some water, came back, and there she still was, kind of sad, twirling and twirling.  at that moment, i knew the abstract “whatever” could wait.  I quickly traced her silhouette with my graphite, before she could vanish.  then i just started painting.   When she emerged, I was her.  She was me… the dancer inside me.  She was so lovely and happy to be dancing, and a much better dancer than i ever was.  But there was some sadness in her eyes.   i named her Daisy.

i have danced on and off my whole life.  Ballet, tap, jazz, modern… In my late twenties i thought i was done for good.  I stopped altogether, and it went on that way for a few years, but i always felt the void.  In my 30’s i discovered belly dance, and thought i would be doing it until i was 80.  For many reasons in 2009, i stopped belly dancing and life went on with all its usual ups and downs…  just no dancing.  I was surely never going to dance again.  i was tired, my bones were creaky, i couldn’t even do a grand plie without groaning.

It seems Daisy came into my life just in time.  She reminded me how good it feels to dance…and that i was not yet finished dancing.  I realized that i don’t need to go to classes, or perform with a troupe, in order to continue to be a dancer.  i could dance right there at home, in my little orange studio, and i could do it my way.  Each plie, at my own pace.  Every hip shimmy, as gentle or as intense as i chose.   I could do ballet, belly dance, even yoga and aerobics, whatever the music made me feel like doing.  it would heal my body.  it would heal my spirit.  and i might even wear a bikini again!

Well, I didn’t wear any bikinis this summer, almost two years later, but to this day I dance and do yoga with Daisy.  My body is finally starting to feel stronger and the movement finally feels good again.  I intend to be dancing with her until i am 80, or more.   Daisy has been hanging on the wall there now since the first day i found her, another unfinished painting, another project procrastinated.  Someday I will take her down off the wall, and give her the attention she needs and deserves.  But it doesn’t really matter when, or if, i finish her.  What matters is that she was there, just when i needed her.  And now she is free.  Still a little sad sometimes, but free.

e.j.l. xo

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

p.s. before the comment is posted… i am of course aware that my Daisy is not even in the same universe as Michelangelo’s angels.  I just liked the quote. (-:

Have you ever seen an “angel in the marble”?  Did it effect your life in some way?

Dancing Rapunzel has a new dress…

and new boobs.  You see, DR never dreamed she would be getting a new size 34C pair for her 40th birthday (should she have gone bigger? hmmm, maybe something to contemplate at a later date), but that’s exactly what she got, like it or not.  One would have to read another blog, about that dancing rapunzel girl, to get the entire background, but long story short for now, she did get new boobs, saline actually, very real feeling… so she’s been told.  But first she underwent a bilateral mastectomy. She was pretty bummed when she got a stage 2b breast cancer diagnosis as a sort of belated 39th birthday gift… October 30th, 2009.  Well maybe she was not bummed so much as freaking out and hysterical.  You know, crying for days, planning how to spend her last days, thinking about how embarrassing it will be when people read her journals, looked in her sketchbooks… you would think a fairly common reaction to “you’ve got cancer, we might be able to save your life, and we’ll be chopping your breasts off in order to do so”.  This is somewhat dramatic, maybe way too graphic, and the doctor was much kinder about it. but it was kind of like that, in her own head. And her family came right along for the ride, making sure she never felt alone.

This is where i admit, it would be terribly exhausting (for you and me) if I were to continue writing my own story in the 3rd person, so yes, hiii, that’s me, rapunzel.  Not my real name of course, but again, the other blog explains a bit about that if i recall. as i write going forward, my intent will be to document my creative journey, share what inspires me, and hopefully grow as a person.  I have probably gathered much of my recent inspiration from having breast cancer, and i guess it has been a huge wake up call for me to get serious about taking care of some things, i’ve been putting off, or entirely put aside for the last 5, 10, 35 years.  Specifically, things, goals, and people, that are really important to me.  i haven’t always been the best daughter, or grand daughter, friend, cousin, wife, kitty mama, coworker…and so on, so i hope i can really get my act together in that area of my life. And my rockin belly dancer bod (maybe just to my husband), well it’s not so rockin anymore.  more like blockin [out the sun] no, i’m totally kidding, i just start rhyming sometimes.  what was i saying?… oh yes, so i would like to make a few changes in my life basically.  Kind of like new boob resolutions, or something.  Is it Brian Tracy? or was it that 7 Habits guy?…well one or both of them said something about making To Do lists to make positive changes in your life, or was it to become successful?  Well whatever it was, i’m sure it can’t hurt my life or my success.  So I guess here’s my list:

To Do.

1. be a better daughter, wife, auntie, etc…

2. get in shape, eat healthier . maybe do a little more belly dancing  (-:

3. paint more, create more, take lots and lots of pictures.

There’s definitely more to this list, i just probably won’t blog about it.   By the way, in case you were wondering why Dancing Rapunzel ends her blog abruptly on May 19th 2010, and why there’s a stupid square thing embedded in the middle of all the text… it’s because my password got hijacked, or something, and after about 35 hours of trying to get back in or get some type of account support, i gave up and was never able to get back in it.  I don’t exactly know why that square is there, but IF I COULD GET IN, I COULD FIGURE OUT HOW TO GET RID OF IT.  well, i don’t think anyone at the other blog hosting site cares or is listening, but i’ve decided i’m very happy this happened because it is a brand new beginning for me.  I can still go back and read some of my old posts, as a guest.  But for now it’s new boobs, new job, new life, new blog.  whoa… my blogging is like mirroring my real life.  trippy.

anyway, about that new dress.  it’s sky blue, with daisies all over it. It’s the one i wear in my most beautiful dream… the dream where i make art and take photos all day, every day… where David Bromstad, Antonio Ballitore & Chewy have all collaborated to design my home, where I like myself and i love my body (rockin or not), and where i’m surrounded by the people i love.  oh and there’s cupcakes, lots of perfectly delicious cupcakes.

here is a sketch in my journal.  i started making these portraits a few months ago. some are self-portraits, some are portraits of other women i’ve known, and most are a combination of both.  Sometimes i do get bummed because i’ve gained some weight, or because the chemo claimed my long pretty hair.   i draw the portraits when i just want to feel pretty again, and lipstick isn’t helping.

e.j.l. xo

picking daisies in the rain

picking daisies in the rain

p.s. please self exam and get a mammogram! … and don’t forget to ask the doc if you’re dense!