Thursday, April 30, 2015

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Dear Departed Drawings ~ Alice 11

Darkening the space between Alice and Vayda was the main focus.  I worked on Vaydas hair and the beautiful sunshine shining down on her and Alice.  I fiddled around with Alices fur, tones and getting them where I want them.  Some touch ups here and there.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Dear Departed Drawings ~ Lucia 31

More work on the blankets today.  Smoothing out lines and jagged edges, bringing up the tones to the proper shade.  The crisp smell of linens was in the air today.  I can almost hear the sweet sounds of babies sighing.  Gentle whispers of their breath.

Lately I can't shake my memories of my past, long gone but still fresh, bubbling to the surface.  The feelings I felt of despair and loneliness in my youth.  My short but educational stay in the mental health ward for four days.  The phone call, my counselor, the hospital, the patients....the straps on my bed.  I don't believe I've ever spoken a word to anyone about my experience in there.  That place.  But maybe its time I get it out.  Shed myself of it forever.  It's not a happy story, but it is part of who I am, shows how far I've come and reminds me of a place I never want to be in again.  If I can summon the courage, I will tell the story.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Dear Departed Drawings ~ Lucia 30

Darkening tones here and there.  There and here.  Adding depth, moving all around the portrait.  I can smell clean blankets, earthy clay and feel the stillness....

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Dear Departed Drawings ~ Alice 10

Last night I toiled away on Alice and Vayda.  Worked mostly on adding detail to Vaydas hair.  Started to fill in the dark space between them and adjusted some shadows on Vaydas forehead.  Feels good to get back in my groove. 

Started my first batch of Kombucha last night.  Pretty excited about it.  I found a culture at my local health food store with a baby SCOBY (Symbiotic Colony Of Bacteria and Yeast) and about a cup of tea to use as a starter.  I brewed a gallon of Oolong tea, added 2 cups of sugar, let it cool and added the culture to my glass one gallon jar.  Covered it tightly with a tight woven top and put it in my cupboard to "brew".  I will taste it in 7 days and report back.  Kombucha is going to feed my carbonated beverage addiction.  I've always had a thing for Coca Cola since I was a kid, able to make an entire 2 liter disappear in a day or a matter of hours).  I've since cut all sugar out of my diet since last summer and switched to Zevia Cola.  Zevia is sweetened with Stevia which is my sugar replacement.  And Zevia is twice as expensive as soda.  So here I am brewing my own carbonated beverage that I can flavor how ever I desire and it is very tasty.  So here goes my first fermented beverage adventure.  It's time to quit procrastinating and doubting myself.  If you can dream it, you can do it. 

Dear Departed Drawings ~ Lucia 29

Focused on adding the knit texture to Lucias hat - not sure how much of that detail will translate to visibility in the photo.  Still more shading on the hat to accomplish.  Not happy with the bedding yet.  I want to darken the tones on the clay mama as well.  Really felt pulled to get back to drawing today.  Hoping the momentum continues through the night.  I'd like to get back on track to drawing at night.  Alice is waiting for me.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Dear Departed Drawings ~ Alice 09

Today I concentrated on Alices face and brow, adjusting shadows and tones.  Still in the very beginning with this portrait, lots more love and light to embed in this portrait.

I attended my Mothers of Preschoolers group today.  So happy to have this fellowship of mothers in my life.  I am so blessed by the friends and support I have found there.  Today was extra special for me.  My group collected pajamas for Conners Comfy PJs Program through The Conner M. Holland Foundation.

"Children who receive inpatient hospital care for cancer are typically limited in their ability to play, often times spending most of their days in bed. We believe making a child comfortable during their stay is important to their overall well-being. We created the Conner’s Comfy PJs program to meet this need. Each year during the month of May, we collect new pajamas that are distributed year round to pediatric cancer units at The Penn State Hershey Medical Center and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). During our first year, we collected over 700 pairs of PJs."

I was able to hear Conners story and all about the collection of PJs from his mother who was thanking our group for helping to collect the sleepwear.  As soon as she started talking I was overwhelmed with emotion and knew he would be next.  I didn't even question it or think twice, I am familiar with this feeling after a over a year.  I approached her as she was leaving and was able to talk to her about Conner and Dear Departed Drawings.   Conner will be after Lucia if she accepts.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Dear Departed Drawings ~ Lucia 28

Worked mostly on Lucias hat today.  Filling in lines, adding darker tones and figuring out the knit aspect.  I live for details.

I am so in love with this baby.  Taken with every feature on her face.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Dear Departed Drawings ~ Alice 08

Still working on Alices fur, lots of tones to get right.  Going to look funny until I bring all the shading up to where its supposed to be.  I felt Alice needed a turn in the daylight and haven't been able to make enough time for her at night yet.

I revisited my initial intentions today.  When I decided to start drawing portraits for people.  I knew it would be free.  I want people to know their loved ones aren't forgotten.  I just want to draw.  When I think of my loved ones in heaven my hearts starts to ache, my eyes water and sometimes they gush, I miss them.  I miss them so much.  So if I miss mine that much then others must miss their loved ones too, even more maybe.  That's when I decided that I could draw my loved ones anytime.  I wanted to do something for others. And I noticed others.  I noticed their stories, pictures, pouring out of emotions, even the suffering when silent.  I don't know who's next, I know the list in my head of the order I prefer - but that is not always THE PLAN executed.  I trust the timing is right and I will draw them as I am led.   I did not intend to charge for my art.  Many people have asked me how much I would charge to draw their loved one.  I didn't ever have an answer.  When I meditated and prayed I didn't really get an answer.  I do charge for prints of my drawings since there is a cost involved in getting them made.  I'd be getting prints made no matter what, otherwise I would have no record of my art.  I don't mind not being compensated for my art.  God pays me for that.  The universe sends me everything I need.  And I wouldn't have it any other way.  I don't know if I will take commissions again.  For now that avenue is closed.  Maybe it was never meant to be.  I'm okay with that.  I like this.  I like doing this for karma exchange.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Dear Departed Drawings ~ Lucia 27

Worked more on Lucias brow today.  I also worked on the bedding.  I see that the clay mama needs darker tones, bedding needs lighter tones and there is still more work to be done.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Dear Departed Drawings ~ Alice 07

Worked more on Alices ear, shading fur.  I'm really enjoying working with Alices peaceful, calming energy.  I also feel challenged as I haven't worked on fur for years.  There is so much love and sadness in this photo mixed together. 

Dear Departed Drawings ~ Lucia 26

Making minor adjustments to Lucias eyelids.  Bringing up tones on the clay birthing mama.  Lots of shadows and tones to adjust - but she is so stunning already.

Been working through a bunch of past issues that have been "bubbling up" lately.  Kind of not feeling myself, its time I dealt with my own demons.  Far too long I've ignored them.  If you want to reach the higher consciousness, you must first remove the blocks.  I participated in a Native American ritual of making medicine bags under the New Moon and setting intentions and releasing blockages in March.  Serious work.  Very serious. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Dear Departed Drawings ~ Alice 06

Decided to work on Alice and Vayda today.  I have not been able to work on Alice lately.  Getting my 4 and 2.5 year old back in their routines have not been easy.   You don't realize how much something impacts another until its gone and/or reintroduced.  So there is clearly a readjustment period.  I will say that the kids are super excited about starting preschool homeschooling!  I let Grace flip through the books when they arrived and she is full of anticipation.  Asks everyday to start learning, we already do learning around the home.  I take every opportunity to explain, teach and allow the girls to discover.  I am very pleased with the quality of curriculum, workbooks and resources included in my kit.  I chose the Horizons Preschool kit from  Really happy with the whole kit.  I feel confident in our new adventure this fall with Grace.  There is Bible reference suggestions in the teacher curriculum but its not entirely bible based (like every single workbook page or activity).  I really like that.  The kit has a clear direction but allows you to interject your own spin on activities, field trips and projects.  With my husbands 3 day, 12 hour shift work schedule we will be allowed family field trips and learning experiences together on the other three or four off days. 

So with furry family members on my mind I set to work on Alice, shading her ears a bit more.  I worked on Vaydas hair a bit too.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Dear Departed Drawings ~ Lucia 25

I adjusted shading and shadows on Lucias lips, smoothed out some tones on her brow.  I worked on the clay mama, smoothing out tones.  The portrait is coming along nicely.

As I finished my new batik crystal grids I was reminded of how that came to be in the first place.  February 2014 I was told I would be doing tie dye with spiritual symbols and even selling my wares to holistic and wellness centers.  I contemplated it but most symbols are not easily foldable or symmetrical.  Later that year I was told the symbols would be ancient and involve circles.  Again, I searched ancient symbols and nothing made sense.  I had started seeing the flower of life symbols here and there but kinda ignored it.  Seriously the flower of life started showing up everywhere, I asked my husband if he had ever seen this symbol before (and he had not previously heard about it) and I did a little research. 

Turns out the flower of life is sacred geometry.  According to Wikipedia: In algebraic geometry, the root system of the Exceptional Lie Algebra G2 forms the Flower of Life, and it is the only root system in which the angle pi / 6 appears between two roots, or 0.523598775598.  Drunvalo Melchizedek has called these figures symbols of sacred geometry, asserting that they represent ancient spiritual beliefs, and that they depict fundamental aspects of space and time.  Melchizedek claims that Metatron's Cube may be derived from the Flower of Life pattern, and that the Platonic solids within it were "thought to act as a template from which all life springs".  Melchizedek has been teaching the Flower of Life at workshops since 1985.  Again, no big deal.  Have you seen the flower of life?  That is not going to be a foldable symbol for tie dye and lots of work.  Flash forward to 2015 when I attended a few crystal workshops given by Lucias mother at Alta View and saw this flower of life symbol being used on crystal grids.  At the same time the owner of the wellness center told me she would love for me to sell tie dye in their little shop.  Then a few weeks later I noticed my trivet for hot foods.  My trivet.  The trivet I purchased from Target over 7 years ago, I absentmindedly purchased it because it wasn't a rooster or teapot shape.  Not seeing any significance until now.  My trivet is the flower of life. 

Here's your sign.  I set off to figure out how to tie dye this design.  After trial and error I finally decided to try batik.  Batik is the process of painting with wax.  Tools and supplies didn't break the bank and I really enjoyed learning to control the wax.  Essentially I was drawing with wax.  Now the possibilities are almost endless.  I've been meaning to try batik since I was in high school but was afraid to fail.  Everything happens for a reason and at the right time.  Timing is spot on.  My new crystal grids for upper chakras turned out great.  You will be seeing more of them soon, all different chakras and designs.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Dear Departed Drawings ~ Alice 05

I added more shading to Alices fur and adjusted existing shading.  Still lots of basic lines and shading to get on the paper. 

Drawing time was shorter than normal, at least its not an artists block.  Children were needing extra attention at bedtime.

Dear Departed Drawings ~ Lucia 24

Adjusted shading on Lucias face, namely around her eyes.  I also worked on the bedding, smoothing out lines and shadows.  Completion is not too far off now.  Mostly happy with Lucia, bedding and blankets need the most attention.

When I see Lucia I remember the painting I first saw of her.  I was so taken with artistic talent and the celebration of the Day of the Dead or Dia de Los Muertos.  Other religions, celebrations and history have always fascinated me.  I am sharing these snippets and photos with permission from Lucias mama, Angie.  Beautiful talent.

Angie even made sugar skulls and decorated them.  I love, love her altar.  I am a big fan of skulls and the stunning Day of the Dead skulls are soooo artistic and pretty.  I am formally attracted to skulls and skeletons.  If you know me, you know my favorite tie dye has a skeleton with a crown of roses. 

Dia de Los Muertos is so interesting.  The bloggers at published an informative post about the holiday. "Celebrated on November 1st and 2nd, and is a traditional Mexican holiday dedicated to the memory of the loved ones lost.  The idea is to celebrate and remember them with joy, cheerfulness and colors.  Altars are made in honor of family and friends that have passed away and are decorated with their pictures, personal objects or mementos and candles.  Their favorite food and drinks are also placed on the altar, along with a trail of marigold flowers to create a path so their soul can find its way back and join the celebration for the day. The idea is that by placing these artifacts, flowers and foods the person will be remembered and celebrated for who they were in life and this will encourage them to pay a visit.  The concept might sound spooky, but it really is celebrated with so much positiveness towards the inevitability of death, and in such a festive environment, that the feeling of being scared will rarely creep upon you."

Of course this holiday intrigues me, I love to celebrate and remember our loved ones on the other side.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Dear Departed Drawings ~ Alice 04

Slowly adding the foundation.  I prefer to work in layers, laying a base first, then slowly darkening tones and finishing off details.  The way the sun shines down in this photo on Alice and her owner Vayda is stunning and heartwarming.

We had dogs growing up.  Ours were rescues from the local Humane Society.  Unfortunately none were meant to make our home their forever home, but I haven't forgotten them.  Ginger and Peaches. 

Dear Departed Drawings ~ Lucia 23

After a week of not drawing I am super happy to get back to creating.  I had my in-laws for the week staying with us, a visits with my family and hosted Easter dinner.  We renovated our kitchen with new counter tops, ripped out the old back splash for new painted walls and lots of small imperfections to repair. 

Spent some time meditating before working today.  I adjusted shadows on Lucias face and on her blankets.  Alice is on schedule for tonight.  Missed the girls.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Dear Departed Drawings ~ Alice 03

Decided to take advantage of the natural light for Alice today.  I haven't been able to work at night on her much lately and a bit of daylight is what was called for.  Still getting basic lines and shading on the paper.

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