SkyBlueArt4U – Art and Illustration lovers, please join me on Instagram! 

Dear Friends 💛

I hope you are having a great year! I have been  offline for the past year, just trying to spend more of me free time drawing and painting. I miss writing here, but The online world overwhelms me a bit, and sometimes I need to log off and turn inward… not great for promoting art, but healthy nonetheless. 

One online place I can’t seem to break free from is Instagram. The photos, art, beautiful videos, so little drama (at least where I go)… since I rarely have the opportunity to travel and see art, Instagram images help fill that void.

I have hesitantly shared my art over the past few years, here on WordPress and on Instagram, trying not to concern myself too much with harsh judgement.   I am now feeling ready to send more of my art and handmade creations, out into the world.  

I hope you will join me on Instagram to enjoy a little whimsy and maybe even bring home some original art! I promise Mermaids, Fairies, whimsical beings, and lots of Daisies! 

Find me on Instagram – @skyblueart4u if interested in available artworks for purchase directly through Instagram and PayPal. 

You may also follow my more personal account which also includes artsy moments, works in process, etc. – @skybluewithdaisies 

Thank you for your support and best wishes! 

XO SkyBlue ~ Erica 🌼

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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.


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

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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

 

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

Selfie:A strange phenomenon in which the photographer is also the subject of the photograph, in a subversive twist on the traditional understanding of the photograph. Usually conducted because the subject cannot locate a suitable photographer to take the photo, like a friend. ~Source: The Urban Dictionary

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I started this post last year and just never quite completed it.  Seeing this week’s photo challenge reminded of it, so I thought I’d finish it up.

I don’t personally take many #selfies.  The photos you see here are a few that I have.  The truth is, I just really like #selfies.  And for some reason, I can’t stop studying them.  I see them from an aesthetic, expressionist, perspective… as an inevitable product of the digital, media-centric age.  i don’t take them too seriously, yet i am visually fascinated by them.  I am intrigued by the phenomenon and its creative evolution. #selfies are a form of self-portraiture… an artistic genre that has been popular since roughly the mid 1500’s.

selfie shadow in the grass

selfie shadow in the grass

While I would lean toward views of an underlying, or outright narcissism in regards to the #selfie, this quality can be healthy and beneficial, when practiced in reasonable and relatively limited doses.  I have always been curious what it must feel like to have the confidence to look in the mirror, or at a photo of myself, and actually like what i see – physically… like it enough to blast it all over Facebook and Instagram.  That type of confidence is foreign to me.  I really have no idea what that feels like, since it has quite literally never happened.  Friends and family, and even kind strangers would tell me it’s purely a lack of self-esteem.  And in response, i would say… “yes it is about 50% that, and about 75%… “i do not have the looks or the body to even think about putting myself out there without being pummeled with insults”.

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But a #selfie taker, at that moment they are snapping and posting their photo,  must be experiencing some level of that confident feeling.  I imagine one’s personal thoughts at that moment might range anywhere from:

a.”look at me, I’m not creepy, I have good hygene, hire me” to…

b. “look at me having fun, drinking heavily, looking tan!” to…

c. “don’t act like you don’t want some of this…!” to…

d. “duck face.”

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I initially found myself unwillingly surrounded by #selfies as I patrolled Instagram for art, and photography (The social media site that has had my undivided attention since the introduction of high speed internet and mobile devices).   But more recently, i am drawn to them as a form of creative expression.  As inspiration for outfits and gestures for the naive-portraits i draw.  I also ask myself honestly, if it was possible for me to like what i see in the mirror, would i engage in the same activity?… If I answered honestly, I would say, Probably.  Why not? In fact, I have (extremely hesitantly) engaged in at least level a., if not occasionally in level b.  And most of us who have any type of online presence probably have at some point. I know and love many people who practice full on level c and d. #selfies. And I am not ashamed to “like” them. My photos and art, whether specifically self-portraits or not, are just as much “about me”, as any #selfie photo i see on Instagram.  It just took me longer to make it and it’s slightly more anonymous.

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My purpose in writing this post, is not to express any judgement of the #selfie or what anyone shares online. It’s simply to light-heartedly notice those that succeed in catching your eye… regardless of the perfect six-pack and the number of hottie-hearts it generated.  What is the photo really capturing?  What comes through?  What are they hiding? I have always been fascinated and inspired by portraits, and self-portraits… of all styles, genre’s and mediums.  I have also always loved beauty and fashion… but don’t expect to see me wearing the latest designs and hairdo’s.  I did enjoy some of that in my more youthful years, but these days fashion is a painful afterthought.  As a hopeless introvert, I am very comfortable as the wall flower, the people watcher, the voyer to fictional personas.  I am happy to be a humble observer in this #selfie mania… to imagine what the person could be thinking, and who someone is behind the mask of that image.  I find #selfies to be among the many (while quick and easy) forms of self-portraiture and creative expression… an expression of sometimes deep and inward, sometimes practical, and often times shallow and self-centered motives… but regardless it is capturing a moment of a person’s existence.  It’s important to that person for whatever reason, and that’s fascinating.  And, it is out there in front of the entire world… forever.  Powerful.

I began sketching a lot of naive portraits and #selfies without thinking about it much.   I do my best with the little formal education I have to capture facial expressions and gestures, while embracing my lack of skill and artistic knowledge and just have fun with it.  It wasn’t until I saw some of my sketches laid out and in print, that I thought about why I chose them as a subject and decided to write about it.

Share your #selfie thoughts and photos!  Get crazy creative, and as dolled up as you like!  Nothing wrong with feeling pretty… and flaunt it whether you’ve “got it” or not!!

Join in the challenge here!  http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/02/07/weekly-photo-challenge-selfie/#more-68713

xo, skyblue

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~selfies by me.  Sketches by me. 🙂

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

Hot Air and Meatballs

If you were hoping for meatballs, i apologize for the false advertising.  There are no meatballs here.  I just didn’t know what to call my post, and I’m hungry… so meatballs came to mind.

But I hope you will stick around because I have plenty of hot air.  Just some photos taken a few weekends ago at a local festival.

I can’t believe I have lived in Connecticut all my life, and never knew the festival existed or that they had these early morning launches once a year… but a friend at work mentioned it.  Often on my lunch hour, I go walking at Norton Park down the street from our office. The event takes place at this park.  The park is nice enough… I really enjoy my walks there.  But that morning it was transformed into one of the most amazing places I have ever been.

I rolled out of bed at 5am on a Sunday (which would typically be unheard of for my lazy ass) and decided I was not missing my opportunity to witness the annual balloon launch. My husband opened one eye wondering where the hell I was going at this hour, and begrudgingly, but surprisingly offered to join me.  (I hadn’t really invited him since, not in a million years, did i think he would get up that early to go with me.)  It was still dark as I rushed him out of the house, my heart racing that I would miss the launch… but we got there and hadn’t missed a thing.  One by one, two by two, they came to life… and floated away.

There are really no words I can write to share with you how amazing that morning was.  I felt like I was in a cartoon.  My pictures might explain it a little better… and yes, that little white dot is the moon.  But you have to see it with your own eyes to really get it.

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It was so worth getting out of bed.

xo skyblue

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Tree at Norton Park

Please learn more about the festival here!  I think you can even sign up for ride!!

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!)

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…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

Light, Sound, Voices, Art…

One week ago today, a group of talented artists and friends at The Freight Street Art Gallery were adding the finishing touches to an art show and fundraiser in Waterbury CT.  I tried to help out here and there during the weeks before the show, but it was apparent from the beginning i was in a bit over my head.  I love art, but i have no clue how one goes about organizing a fundraiser, or art show.  The friends made it look easy… recruiting volunteer musicians, readers, artists… gathering donations, scheduling the evening’s events…creating the overall atmosphere of the event. I was like a dear in headlights. I had no idea how i could contribute.  But I did the best i could to help and hesitantly donated some art.

Ollie at Freight Street

As the hours before the event unfolded, the tables of food and raffle items were tidied and fluffed, the art was arranged, and the space was seamlessly transformed.   I had no idea what would happen, or what the evening would bring… and I didn’t know how powerfully it would resonate.  The evening was a huge success, i met some of the loveliest people, I learned a ton, and I experienced one spectacular, magical evening.The people, the cause, the light, the music, Ollie, the voices, the art…

Thank you again Freight Street. Awesome. Cheers!

x.o.

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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.

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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

skyblue sunday

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

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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.