Forgotten Sketches – What’s in your old sketchbooks?

Do you ever thumb through an old sketchbook, giggle a little, and wonder…what was I thinking when i drew this or that? or I had fun making this. or i’ve really improved since then, or maybe i should burn this. 🙂

I remember when i found this little critter and thought, I should totally burn thisBut first I’ll color it.  I photographed it and colored it on with an i-phone app.  Sometimes i do this.  It relaxes me.  🙂

Now i love this little purple guy! What’s in your old sketchbooks or journals?  Grab a cup of tea and find something that makes you smile.  Pick up some colored pencils or your favorite photo editing app (I like PicsArt) and give it new life with color or shading.  Did it make you smile?  Maybe it will make us smile.  Even if you do decide to burn it later.  🙂

Feel free to post about it on your blog, and add a link in the comments if you’d like to share!  I’d give away the original, but i seriously think i burned it.  🙂

xo skyblue

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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.  🙂

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Plain Super – A Superhero Story

You’re much stronger than you think you are.  Trust me.  ~ Superman

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This is a sketch I did a while ago, when i decided i wanted to do a series of “girly” superheros.  I often use the word “girly” to describe my art, design and fashion aesthetic.  The word “girly” can mean so many things… but it is often perceived as describing someone who is the opposite of strong, courageous, tough… and i think nothing could be farther from the truth.  It can also have negative connotations when using the word to unaffectionately describe a male who behaves or dresses more “female”.  This is unfortunate.  Whether you are male, female, or anywhere in between – “girly” can be used against you as one of those shaming words.  Bummer.

img_6965Someone might say to me, “…Well Girly is a horrible word to use, because that is non-inclusive and doesn’t consider males who love pink, or wear glitter, or who paint daisies on everything.”  I’ve thought about this. a lot.  …because I actually think it is tragic that we as a human race have developed such hard and harsh gender rules for people.  It’s shameful we have created a world where we inflict shame on others that don’t fit in those “rules”…  where to be on the outside who you are inside is taboo, and simply dangerous.

That being said, I believe the word “girly” will and should live on.  For centuries there have been certain aesthetic themes that have been more commonly demonstrated by males or females.  This is across continents and cultures, and while it may be considered a “man-made” or regrettable societal outcome – i believe there must be some biological component as well.  I have always felt drawn to very feminine, colorful, flowery, flowing, glittery, pink&purple-y things.  I have no idea if it’s because of society, or because i have a vagina.  Hopefully someday it will be the right of everybody to enjoy those things if they want to… Vagina, or no vagina.  I dream of a world in which all genders can proudly flaunt their “girly” achievements, creations, and outfits.  Girly may be your greatest superpower!

Back to my “girly” superhero sketches.  The “girly” imagery is fun and unexpected when juxtaposed with traditional superhero outfits.  My drawings aren’t typically meant to be anything political or social-awareness-y… they are just for fun and love.  I love to make “girly” girls, i love superheros, and i was having fun with that. Hopefully I’ll share more superheros soon, but I’m currently on a mermaid kick.  🙂

p.s. You  are my superhero.  You who have felt different, awkward, uncomfortable in our skin… and who fell in love with every inch of yourself as you are… while always loving others (including animals) even more.  You, are just plain super.

see more superheros here!  I haven’t written much lately.  I’m trying to post week, maybe every day, but unfortunately I’m always slipping.  Thank you for the challenge and inspiration WordPress 🙂

xo skyblue

img_6961p.s.  If you are a cosplayer and want to make yourself into one of my superheros… feel free… first i’d fa-rEEEEK OUT!  and then i’d send you a Fa-rEEEEE print!  🙂

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.”

DuckFacePeaceOut

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.

FashionDiva

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. 🙂

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.  🙂

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What would we find in your sketchbooks?

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

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