Monday, December 29, 2014

Last Art of the Year

2014 has been a very fun and interesting Year of the Horse.  Although there have been some downs, I am truly blessed and am happy. Looking back at my fairly long journey here on earth, I've been reflecting on what was not apparent back when I was much younger - those things that just happen for no apparent reason but by some odd twist of fate there it is and it affects you deeply for the rest of your life.  At the time, you're completely bewildered, but then you get a glimpse of why it may have happened.  With that in mind, I thought I would explore some of these life experiences with handmade art journals as well as my own interpretations of certain subject matter.  2015 will not only be a year of artistic discipline, but of venturing out and exploring new themes and ideas.

I sincerely need to find more balance in time management with the making of art and what kind of art to make (as well as jog and walk my dog and yoga and maintain a social life!).  I didn't paint on a large scale as much as I had planned this year, instead I had a record year in making mail art to trade. Because I am such an introvert, I thought I would get out of my safe box and try to get to know the other artists that I've been trading with even better through their art as well as meeting some of them in person.  I've made and traded something like 275 art cards, art dolls, hearts, mixed media art this year.   It was a lot of fun, but I do need to continue to push myself in paintings using all mediums and to further develop myself as an artist. I have several goals for the year and one is to be juried and accepted into several big International shows for 2015.

That said, it was a blast to make different things for both of my Secret Santas on IATCs. The first was a mini gift was for an artist who is a genius at turning flea market items into fun objects of art and for crocheting adorable cute monsters. She and her partner also have the most wonderful contests of turning the ordinary into the extraordinary at Wonderstrange .  Because she is into Henry VIII and his assorted queens, I thought she would like some nesting dolls.  I made a mistake and ordered the 5 doll set instead of the 7 doll set, but I made it up by making the last two wives with ATC cards.
Henry VIII with Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves Nesting Dolls

Catherine Howard

Catherine Parr
 My next Secret Santa is an artist I've not had too much interaction with in the past, but it was fun getting to know her.  I love her very expressionistic way of painting subjects and the Secret Santa portrait she painted of her own partner's dog is amazing.  I hope she gets me next year, I would love another portrait of my sweet dog, Roxy! Apparently, she also works as someone who delivers knives to various companies and loves themes with women and knives, skulls, and Day of the Dead!  Here are some of the things I conjured up for her.
Day of the Dead wall plaque painted with acrylics in her favorite colors and embellished with cut tin cans

Skull hand with articulated finger blades

"Kill Bill's" Beatrix with O'ren Ishi articulated dolls ready to sword fight. Wish you could see the glittery swirls in O'ren's kimono.

I also finished a few swaps - "Snow Queens & Goddesses", "Whimsical Robots", and Portraits of Men.
Snow Queens & Goddess' are always fun to do!  Some of them are cold and calculating and the others are more of the sheltering type for the winter animals.  One is a little sad because she really hates fox hunts.  For the Whimsical Robots, I love humanizing them and letting them be a bit naughty.  A couple of them like to try on human personas and the other two like to indulge big time! 
Snowflake Crowned Snow Queen, Snow Goddess with Snowy Owl, Snow Goddess with Red Fox, Yuki-onna - Japanese Snow Goddess

Candy-Bot, Rockabilly-Bot, Sommelier-Bot, Cowboy-Bot

And finally, for the "Portraits of Men", I chose to do some of my favorite rock icons.  Musicians have the most expressive faces that I particularly enjoy doing.  I always love to do portraits and in doing so, being a shy person, I always feel like I can get to know and understand a person better.  Here they are in simple graphite.

Thom Yorke

Kurt Cobain

Keith Richards

Lenny Kravitz
I would love to show the gifts I received, but some artists are very sensitive about publishing their art online, so all I can say is that I received the most wonderful gifts! One of my favorite things is to make and receive art from other artists and I've had a bumper year.

So as I write this, I have that giant colored pencil piece of the koi in an underwater lily pad garden scene to finish and I have two side-show circus freaks drawn out. I haven't committed myself to the swap, but rather wanted to find the time to complete the cards first and then commit.  So far, I have a sexy bearded lady and a fire breather.  I'd like to have a twin double-headed persons who share the same body but have dual natures (think Tea Party and very, very Liberal).  I'm still thinking about the last freak and may have to refer to American Horror Story for inspiration.  

I hope the coming year brings many wonderful things your way and may all your dreams come true!  

Blessings and Happy Creating!
Rhonda