Guilty of intent.

One word… come on, Thorsen— just one word…

If I am to continue to commit to this artist life, answer to my gift, I must at least scratch out one word a day… just one word.

Maybe it is this long winter, or old age, or plain old fatigue from getting up at 5 every day, or maybe it is the rubber band pulling back, preparing for something big…

Maybe it’s not the season of output, but the season of preparing.

But alas my journals have been neglected except for some tired one word chicken scratches.  But I shan’t despair.  Even if I don’t do any journaling every day, I must at least intend to write—

If I carry the book with me, at least I can be guilty of intent.  Mens Rea.

So—

No matter where the journal is— on the table—

On the tub edge—

Or in the shelf in these somewhere— at least the intent is there.

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Input –> process –> output –> rest –> intention –> input –> process –> output –> rest –> intention…

 

The permanent analogy of things by images which participate in the life of truth.

 

Autopsy

“I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am, I am, I am.”
Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

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What am I trying to convey in my work?  Is it of value?  Does it matter?

I remind myself that it doesn’t, that it CANNOT MATTER how I “fit in” to current zeitgeist or if my work has “value.”  I just do it.

It is a biological function.

PROCESS is my art form, obsessive ongoing process, either when teaching it, facilitating it, doing it.

So there in lies what MATTERS.  The PROCESS.

Process art is an artistic movement as well as a creative sentiment where the end product of art and craft, the objet d’art, is not the principal focus. The ‘process’ in process art refers to the process of the formation of art: the gathering, sorting, collating, associating, patterning, and moreover the initiation of actions and proceedings.

Process art is concerned with the actual doing and how actions can be defined as an actual work of art; seeing the art as pure human expression. Process art often entails an inherent motivation, rationale, and intentionality. Therefore, art is viewed as a creative journey or process, rather than as a deliverable or end product. – Wiki

I have come to terms with the fact that my particular imagery is a stream of consciousness process.  I suppose I am interpreting text in my illustration projects, but it seems more that I land on a particular word or phrase and play from there.  So the resulting image becomes a type of riff or image play.

Fleshy Tomb

I have tried other ways to work, but only my personal stream of consciousness expression makes me feel authentic.

I am thoroughly enjoying Caroline Spurgeon’s book, Shakespeare’s Imagery- and what it tells us (1935) as she contemplates the evidence of Shakespeare’s thoughts in his imagery.

The bare fact that germinating seeds of falling leaves are actually another expression of the processes we see at work in human life and death, thrills me, as it must others, with a sense of being here in presences of a great mystery, which could we only understand it, would explain life and death itself.

Babes in the Wood

For me, drawing and embroidering the drawings is to lie down into life and take time to look at the PROCESS as it slowly unfolds.  It is about TRUTH.

I would actually argue that the current art period is PROCESS.

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… the permanent analogy of things by images which participate in the life of truth… – Percy Bysshe Shelley

Check out:

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And which is what I think the thing that we call the Arts contains something that’s kind of alive. And I, I think image is the right word for it, and what the biological function of this thing we call the images or the arts might be. Because my argument is we wouldn’t of dragged it through all our evolutionary stages unless it had a biological function. So, that’s kind of what I’m going to be talking about. And then, work that I’ve been doing with students and scientists about this very thing. Weinman so I think, you know, when we’re little all of us are really connected to our inner artist and then the majority of us, as we get older, cut that off. – Lynda Barry

And:

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And:

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LIFE AS A FREELANCE CREATIVE. #rentcheque

LIFE AS A FREELANCE CREATIVE

Holy shit- let’s be honest- being a freelance creative is tough.  It’s a bare cupboard lifestyle and yet there it is- that inexplicable drive to keep creating– knowing that you somehow do not have the option to stop.

WTF is up with that?

You need to create.  It’s so fucking weird.

And you need to help others create.  You feel and you see everyday the power that art has to heal, to empower.  You want others, who haven’t experienced that, to experience that.

You are two personalities: the solitude-mongering hermit and the engaging group facilitator.  All your actions are always about the act of creating.

But why the drive?

Without art you do not die.  But without art you do not live.  

Hmmm.  Wise words from a student.

So there you are.  You:

EAT SLEEP CREATE.

EAT SLEEP CREATE.

It’s a bare cupboard lifestyle.

You take small teaching jobs and revel in the gorgeous therapeutic act of sharing the joy of creative expression.  You are good at it.  The results are wonderful.  But it’s not consistent.  Nor regular.

So you hustle and hustle.  Wake at 3 AM and churn churn churn.  Use your creative mind to come up with how to fill the cupboards.  How to pay the rent.

You may take low paying contracts well below your skill set.  Then you reach a certain age where that is no longer an option both for your stamina and mental health.  And you have bigger fish to fry.

You network and develop bigger programming and have several hopeful irons in the fire.

But you’re still in bare cupboards mode- you are used to it.  No Frills for no name products.  Dollar store for art supplies.

So you hustle and hustle.  Wake at 3 AM and churn churn churn.  Use your creative mind to come up with how to fill the cupboards.  How to pay the rent.

You apply for and– HALLELUJAH!– receive grants to implement those teaching opportunities.  You feel valued for your experience.  Woohoo!  OMG- THE MONEY IS IN, they say!  Woohoo!  The grant will help you survive for several months as you prepare to share the gorgeous therapeutic act of creative expression.  And you can take a break from 3 AM wakeups and you can focus on the project.

But wait— shit…

Not so fast.

You are all of a sudden hostage.

The grant money won’t be paid till after the program is completed.

Um… but… but… you are a bare-cupboards-freelance-creative  who does not have several months of income to be able to develop and implement the program before getting paid.  Oh shit.

So here it comes.  The sense of fear and defeat.  So you beg.  You plead.  But the answer is no.

So embarrassing.  The mind and heart ready to go back to old patterns of self-attack.

But you are you, so you hustle and hustle.  Wake at 3 AM and churn churn churn.

Use your creative mind to come up with how to fill the cupboards.

How to pay the rent.

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The panel above was created as I sat in the shit met it with love and humor.  And yes, the story on the panel is painful reality.

But…

I am not ashamed any more.  And fuck it, I am not holding back.

I am embracing that this is the path I am on…

and I’ll keep walking it for now because it is actually quite beautiful and hopeful.

And I seem to have been born for it and am maturing into it.

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Make sure to check out:

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But back to reality… it is rent cheque time-

So I am taking custom orders for embroidered portraits through my blog store.

IMG_4354 You can also check out other offerings!

YOU CAN SUPPORT MY PERSONAL CREATIVE WORK VIA PAYPAL HERE:

DONATE

Or via email transfer to britakatarina@gmail.com

Donors will be listed in acknowledgements of the graphic novel

Thank you blog readers for all your support.

Lots of love

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VanCaf reflections Part 3 of 6: Emily Cowan, comic artist

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Fabulous afternoon at VanCaf Day 1- the Vancouver Comic Arts Festival last Saturday!

I have broken down some highlights from my visit into 6 blog posts:

1. Julian LawrenceDrippy the Newsboy, Conundrum PressBLOG LINK

2. Kat Verhoeven, Towerkind, Conundrum Press BLOG LINK

3. Emily Cowan, Boundary Comic

4. Jasmine Schuett, Spaceclub Comic

5. Inspector Pancakes

6. Erica Moen, Boumeries and VanCaf takeaways/notes

3.  EMILY COWAN, COMIC ARTIST, BOUNDARY COMIC

I adore this artist.  For so many reasons.  It has been such a joy getting to know her more and more this past year!

Emily has an impeccable eye for character study and environment.  Her comics also drip of authenticity.

I was elated to see her set up at her VanCaf booth (table C4), displaying her delicious product.

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I learn so much through my interactions with Emily and her art.  We are certainly soul-sisters when it comes to our desires to work fulltime on our art as hermits in our personal caves, riddled with anxiety and self-doubt, but driven nonetheless.

I do love that Emily demands honesty and exploration of identity in her own work.  Be it the gentle, masterful strokes of her pen, the quirky aspects of her characters, the conversation with environment or the metaphoric imagery of inner angst.

Indeed, she has inspired me to embrace and really explore my own identity.   Identifying as an asexual, pan-romantic, cis-woman artist at age 53 is fabulous and LIBERATING!  Bad ass, even!

    

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BOUNDARY is a long-form comic about being stuck, difficult families, changing friendships and the different kinds of boundaries in our lives.  Mostly though, it’s about adolescent frustration and the unbearable tragedy that is being fifteen.  

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The worst part of being fifteen is the monotony.  That’s what Paige thinks anyway.  Doing the same things, seeing the same faces, hearing the same opinions and going to the same places: day in, day out, forever – it’s driving her crazy!  Add a teacher’s strike that completely stalls the school year, friends who don’t seem to think monotony is a problem, and parents who think EVERYTHING is a problem and Paige feels ready to tear her hair out from the restlessness.  She can’t wait for a few more years to pass so she can finally DO SOMETHING – because after all, once you grow up you can finally make things happen for yourself.

…Right?

      

Check out Emily’s experience at VanCaf in her 365 Project:

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Delightful local Vancouver artist: Amy Tom

I am delighted to introduce an extraordinary Vancouver artist, Amy Tom.  I was introduced to her through my friend Anne Banner, owner/curator of Vancouver curiosity shop and paradise: Salmagundi West.  Amy’s whimsical and magical style inspires me to no end!

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Check out her ETSY shop!

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I create postcards, magnets and art prints reproduced from my oil paintings and hand drawings. I am inspired by pop culture, literary characters and anthropomorphic animals, drawing and painting these themes in the Pop Surrealism style, with my own twist and wherever my imagination takes me. Everything in this shop is hand made by me in Vancouver and printed at a print shop in Vancouver. – Amy Tom

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"Ice Owl,"  November 2014, by Amy Tom
“Ice Owl,” November 2014, by Amy Tom
Amy Tom as Frida Kahlo with Anne Banner of Salmagundi West
Amy Tom as Frida Kahlo with Anne Banner of Salmagundi West

Michele’s Happiness and Joy Lessons for Parents and Teachers

I first met Michele Lilyanna in 1996 at Roberts Creek Community Elementary School.  

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PHOTO COURTESY: MICHELE LILYANNA

Through luck and serendipity, Michele taught both my kids.  

She and I quickly bonded over a mutual and voracious love of the creative process.  

We eventually taught art classes together to all ages.  I learned so much from co-facilitating with Michele- how to hold a vibrant empowering space, how to allow us all to get messy and how to lift everyone’s spirits.  

I cherish our sessions creating together.  We worked big, large, wild.  So much fun!  I also loved spending time in Michele’s garden…

PHOTO COURTESY OF MICHELE LILYANNA
PHOTO COURTESY OF MICHELE LILYANNA

Life events and relocation have separated us physically since 2003, but our hearts stay intertwined.  I love watching Michele continue to blossom and continue to share her incredible gifts with her community and the world.  

PHOTO COURTESY: MICHELE LILYANNA
PHOTO COURTESY: MICHELE LILYANNA

Michele loves life and all of its complexities. She is a zealous creator of living lessons for children, parents and teachers, translating leading edge research and practices in neuroscience and compassionate communication.  It is her intention to teach children these practices so that can become more resilient, self-regulating, self aware and joyful. Her own personal growth has led to travel all over the world and to practices that led her deep inside herself. It is through these practices that much of her teaching stems… 

READ MORE AT: HAPPINESS AND JOY LESSONS

I am delighted to share with you her website and latest curriculum:

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Make sure to check out her amazing curriculum!

PHOTO COURTESY: MICHELE LILYANNA
PHOTO COURTESY: MICHELE LILYANNA

Many times students and adults cannot begin to tell you how they feel and when they can it can be very difficult to express verbally.  Allowing students to access their feelings from a different angle can be very enlightening.  No words- just paint. – Michele

 

PHOTO COURTESY MICHELE LILYANNA
PHOTO COURTESY MICHELE LILYANNA

NEWS: Michele just got back from an exciting week participating in Rick Hanson’s The Foundations of Well-Being.  

I just returned from a week of learning in Colorado with Dr. Rick Hanson. I am continually amazed by the way he gets his work on mindfulness and neuroplasticity across with such ease. Truly, I have never been so inspired to create lessons for my students and change my own hardwiring. He has so many practical applications and ideas and you should see the line up of guests he has this year!!!!

READ MORE AT: HAPPINESS AND JOY LESSONS

She encourages you to take a look at the offering!

I love Michele’s delicious, unabashed creativity and how she shares it:

PHOTO COURTESY: MICHELE LILYANNA
PHOTO COURTESY: MICHELE LILYANNA

I love to let the students to go wild and jump outside of the “lines.” – Michele

By Michele Lilyanna, 2010
By Michele Lilyanna, 2010

What I learned in 2013: honor your gift.

Yesterday I posted what I learned about myself in 2013.  I was going to write a long list of words and concepts I embraced in 2013.

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But I stripped it down.  Stripped it down to the bare essence:

ARTIST

So what I truly learned in 2013 is that I have the right, or more accurately, the duty to pursue the gift I was born with FULL TIME.  Being a creative is not an option for me.  It’s a way of life.

My father died an artist.  In his final years, he pursued his passion and worked on his innate gift every day.  Truly, his dream of living and dying an artist came true.

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We are all born gifted.  And no matter what we may choose to believe, we constantly nurture the gift by simply living and experiencing.  But when the door presents itself to truly pursue the gift fully and develop it (ever-changing and evolving and never-ending development), we must go through the door.

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“I’m filled with burning passion to experience life as fully and as madly as I can and I’ll always, always follow my heart. I am constantly evolving, learning, growing — life is a series of adventures tied together with the thread of friendship, experiences, lessons and love.  I am listening to my heart, I am noticing the subtle ebb and flow of my life as it unfolds before my eyes. I am open to change, I am vulnerable to the call of my soul but above all I have absolute faith in where I am going.  I am a firm believer in noticing synchronicities and letting them guide you on your path — noticing ‘signs’ directing you in a certain way can be magical in transforming your life. I also believe people come into your life for a reason, and that chance encounters can change your world.”

Zoe Quiney

My new obsession: artist Lisa Cinar of “Draw Me A Lion”

I had the pleasure of finally meeting Lisa Cinar at her Draw Me A Lion booth at the Strathcona Winter Craft Fair yesterday.  What a beautiful person!

Lisa Cinar is an illustrator, writer and overall enthusiast of picture books and all things related. She grew up in Germany, then moved to Boston Massachusetts, and then to Vancouver BC where she attended the Emily Carr University of Art & Design.  She has written and illustrated two Picture books: ‘The Day it all blew Away’ which was nominated for the Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Prize in 2008, and ‘Paulina P. for Petersen’.

I am a huge fan of Lisa’s work.  Her art brings up such immensely pleasurable memories of my childhood in Sweden, artist Lisa Larson and my favorite children’s books.  I was lucky to purchase a sampling of goodies.  I am tempted to color them, yet also want to just leave them untouched!  But no, I plan to color the masks and the cards as her pieces simply invite interaction!

LISA’s BLOG!

LISA’s SHOP!

LISA’s FREE DOWNLOADS!

LISA’s SKETCH BLOG!

LISA’s FREE PDF COMIC!

LISA’s BOOK!

LISA’s PORTFOLIO!

LISA’s VIDEO!

LISA on TWITTER!

DRAW ME A LION ON FACEBOOK!

A day of creativity with Darcy Glip!

Spent an amazing day with Darcy yesterday creating and chatting and eating in his beautiful new space.  Reconnecting with old friends is very healing.

Darcy prepping delicious treats in his new kitchen!

Darcy made these extraordinary tarts.

Find the recipe at:

I added a few things, Tandoori spice to the onions near the end of cooking as well as crumbled pecans. Instead of dijon mustard I used a good Stone ground mustard. Added a thin orange slice for looks and the rest is verbatim. I doubled the recipe and it made enough for 2 doz+. “Tartlets”. – Darcy

Darcy’s eye is always roaming for beautiful moments:

Darcy is a talented and inspiring artist specializing in art brut style paintings and collaging.

Collage, by Darcy Glip
Collage by Darcy Glip
Birthday card by Darcy! I LOVE IT!

And of course- Darcy makes sock monkeys!

The first sock monkey Darcy ever made! He has made MANY since this one! He is a sock monkey ambassador, spreading the love! I am so proud!

 

He was guest speaker in my journal yesterday:

Thanks for a beautiful day, D and N!!!

Jessica Chau’s delightful Glitch Series 1-5 (2012) at UBC’s annual BFA/BA Visual Art graduating exhibition

Jessica Chau's Glitch Series #1-5, 2012 (wood, glue, paint)

As featured in the Dorothy Somerset Studios at

  TOO DEEP FOR YOU | UBC 2012 BFA/BA Visual Art Graduating Exhibition

This year, UBC’s annual BFA/BA Visual Art graduating exhibition is TOO DEEP FOR YOU. The exhibition showcases the ambitious final projects of graduating Visual Art students. Materially and methodologically diverse, artworks in the exhibition are representative of  students’ heterogeneous areas of inquiry and of their on-going negotiation of critical thinking and material artistic practice.  

Come see the work of emerging young talent in Vancouver! 

Opening Reception: April 19 2012, 6-9 PM

Exhibition runs April 19 – May 5th
Monday to Saturday, 12-4 PM

My portrait of Jessica Chau:

Jasmine Schuett’s glorious painting ‘Pack: Not All Wolves Run On Four Legs’ (2012)

Pack: Not All Wolves Run On Four Legs, 2012

As featured in the AHVA Library Gallery during

  TOO DEEP FOR YOU | UBC 2012 BFA/BA Visual Art Graduating Exhibition

This year, UBC’s annual BFA/BA Visual Art graduating exhibition is TOO DEEP FOR YOU. The exhibition showcases the ambitious final projects of graduating Visual Art students. Materially and methodologically diverse, artworks in the exhibition are representative of  students’ heterogeneous areas of inquiry and of their on-going negotiation of critical thinking and material artistic practice.  

Come see the work of emerging young talent in Vancouver! 

Opening Reception: April 19 2012, 6-9 PM. 

Exhibition runs April 19 – May 5th
Monday to Saturday, 12-4 PM.

Artist, Jasmine Schuett. I am endlessly inspired by Jasmine's work and I adore her!

 More Jasmine treats:

Jasmine at my art event March 10, 2011, creating her usual magic!

Team Stomp (Jasmine, Sam, Hannah, Ashleigh) by Jasmine Schuett
My hand-painted ceramic collection by Jasmine Schuett!
Jasmine Schuett’s “Fred”! Too die for!
My portrait (china marker) of Jasmine

Weekly artist series final: Week 10/10 Part 4/4 LUCIAN FREUD: Your self.

Week 10 Part 4 Lucian Freud

The subject matter is autobiographical, it’s all to do with hope and memory and sensuality and involvement really… Lucian Freud

Write in your journal whatever comes to mind as you focus on yourself:

Draw a self-portrait.  What happens?

 


Next, I will be transfering this self-portrait to canvas with mod-podge and will be mailing it to Art House Co-op Self-Portrait Project:

As you may have noticed, I study artists by ingesting them and regurgitating into my journals whatever comes to mind.

I  hoped you enjoyed this series.  What’s next?  I’ll be focusing on my graphic novel, portraits, an art event and a conference.  Stay tuned!

See also:

35 PART daily journal exercise

Weekly artist series: Week 10 of 10 Part 3 LUCIAN FREUD: your self-portrait sketch.

Week 10 Part 3 Lucian Freud

A self-portrait is a representation of an artist, drawn, painted, photographed, or sculpted by the artist. Although self-portraits have been made by artists since the earliest times, it is not until the Early Renaissance in the mid 15th century that artists can be frequently identified depicting themselves as either the main subject, or as important characters in their work. With better and cheaper mirrors, and the advent of the panel portrait, many painters, sculptors and printmakers tried some form of self-portraiture. [source]

Caterina van Hemessen's 1548 self-portrait

Lucian Freud’s portrait penetrate the soul of the sitter and the viewer.  His self-portraits are awesome and awe-inspiring.

It’s challenging to look at yourself with that same penetration.  UGH.  But, necessary.

Today, we draw ourselves in preparation for Art House Co-op Self-Portrait Project:

Find a photo of yourself.  Or use a mirror.

Photo of me by my student, Melanie. Hands are covered in spray paint- not blood!

Oi.

Ok.  Start sketching.

Well, that was painful!

Next time:

CANVAS!

See also:

Weekly artist series: Week 10 of 10 Part 2 LUCIAN FREUD: Self-portrait prep. Exaggerate.

Week 10 Part 2 Lucian Freud

Freud's Self-Portrait with Black Eye
Freud's Girl in a Dark Jacket

As we prep for our Freudian self-portrait, let’s practice exaggeration of features.

Choose a face that inspires you.

Draw it without exaggerating the features:

Now exaggerate the features slightly to better illustrate the subject’s character:

Next time, we draw ourselves in preparation for Art House Co-op Self-Portrait Project:

See also:

Weekly artist series: Week 10 of 10 Part 1 LUCIAN FREUD: Let’s be honest.

Week 10 Part 1 Lucian Freud

Lucian Michael Freud (8 December 1922 – 20 July 2011) was a German-born British painter. Known chiefly for his thickly impastoed portrait and figure paintings, he was widely considered the pre-eminent British artist of his time.  His works are noted for their psychological penetration, and for their often discomfiting examination of the relationship between artist and model. [source]

When did you start getting honest with yourself?

I found my old 1981-84 journal and it illustrates well the moment I really needed to release pain through drawing.

It starts with a composed mask…

… but as my life entered a very difficult time, I used the sketchbook as a place to release despair and a place to be honest with myself.

In our exploration of Lucian Freud, we will look at revisiting the self-portrait and digging a bit deeper.

See also:

Weekly artist series: Week 9 Part 3 of 3 SUE COE: Portrait of Truth. Who do you celebrate? I celebrate Sabrina.

Week 9 Part 3 Sue Coe

What draws me to Sue Coe’s work is the freedom in her truth telling.  Her technique reflects the message and there is an ease to how she produces her work while at the same time she hammers her message home.  She is her art.

From Americans Who Tell the Truth, Portraits by Robert Shetterly

We despair for the fate of animals, the senseless cruelties inflicted upon them by our species, their and our own helplessness in the face of mass slaughter — all this is true. And if we could really see what we have done to the earth, we would go mad.

Alongside that is yet another truth: there is a palpable goodness all around us, even in the most terrible times, that all things point to, like the north star. – SUE COE, Dead Meat

Who, in your life, would you like to celebrate as a truth teller?  Who is transparent and daring and willing to bare their soul, and simply live in the truth? 

I am choosing my former student and now my artist-colleague, Sabrina LaLonde.  This young artist is monstrously talented and conveys a truth in her art and her life that inspires me to no end.  I want to be better when I am around her, I want to draw more honestly like her, I want to be my art like she is.
By Sabrina Lalonde

Sabrina Lalonde Artist Story:

I think that some people are born with a special talent, and some people have to take an interest and work at it.  When I look at my artwork from when I was little, it is the same as the other kids.  But then I took an interest and I have worked at my art every day. 

When I first started kindergarten and we had a choice of activities I always chose art.  My dad wanted me to be artistic because he was, he didn’t force me, but he did encourage me.  By grade four my enjoyment of art had become a need.  I didn’t fit into any cliques and so I would stay inside and do art all the time.  My teacher started noticing how much I liked art and how I took to it.  My parents came to school and saw my art and said ‘wow – this is turning into something’.  My mom has always valued, and respected my artistic need.

It felt nerve-racking because people had high expectations of me.  It still feels like that – people will compliment me, or make requests – and I put pressure on myself. 

This is just who I am, this is what I do, I don’t think my work is any better or worse than anyone else’s.  Art is essential to my survival.  It is my way of expressing my feelings, and how I look at life, and if I don’t get that out it’s like an implosion.  If I’m not creating I will get frustrated with everything because I can’t get my voice out.  When I can’t get my voice out I feel horrible, I feel as though I have pent up energy and I’m tied to a couch, it’s like a feeling of helplessness.  Drawing is my zen-zone where I find myself.  It is peace to me.  It is my way of connecting with myself

Check out Sabrina’s work and other extraordinary youth art at the YOUTH ART AND SALE at Keith Lynn Alternative Secondary School in North Vancouver, BC, April 19!
Sabrina created this invite:

My portrait of Sabrina, June 2011 at the Savary Island Art Retreat:

 
And I scratched out a drawing of her in my journal last summer during a café meetup:

Weekly artist series: Week 9 Part 2 SUE COE: A mother dying

Week 9 Part 2 Sue Coe

The Last 11 Days is a group of charcoal drawings Sue Coe created from July 20 to 31, 1995 depicting her mother as she lay dying with cancer. The drawings reveal Coe’s private struggle with her mother’s illness and eventual death. [source]

I’m not a big fan of the word “resonate.”  The meaning is OK, but the word irritates me for many reasons.  But I have to use it when describing Sue Coe’s drawing of her dying mother.  These pieces resonate with me as I feel such connection to my own experience.

From the series ; Charcoal on paper; 11 x 13 in.; Gift of Patti Cadby Birch; © Galerie St. Etienne, New York

From: BROAD STROKES

Unlike her other work, The Last 11 Days were created without the intention of being shown and reveal Coe’s private struggle with her mother’s illness and eventual death. Sue Coe is inspiring in every form, supporting issues that plague the world and refusing to sit quietly in their wake. She continues to be a magnetic force in the complex world of contemporary women artists.

One day, I will revisit  and draw from the photos of my mother‘s declining body and the photo after she passed, but not yet.

What do you want to process eventually?

I know the process of drawing mom in her last weeks will be an important and necessary one for me personally.  I hold onto her purse, her wallet, her phone, her trinkets, her perfume, even her last umbrella.

Before I went to San Francisco, I visited mom’s memorial leaf and just cried and cried.  It’s not about needing to work on something unfinished.  I’m working.  It’s about not shying away from the processes of life.  I don’t want to shy away.

My daughter can feel the presence of “Mormor” in her daily life in San Francisco.  We often talk about how Mormor flew right down to Anna in San Francisco when she left her body.

Anna sees Mormor at the SFMOMA in the portrait by Matisse.  I love that Mom also had green eyes.

The Girl with Green Eyes, 1908
Henri Matisse

See also:

35 PART daily journal exercise

Weekly artist exploration/journaling series INTRO

Weekly artist series Week 1 parts 1-6 FRIDA KAHLO

Weekly artist series Week 2 parts 1-6 PICASSO

Weekly artist series Week 3 parts 1-5 LISA LARSON

Weekly artist series Week 4 parts 1-3 GEORGE GROSZ 

Weekly artist series Week 5 parts 1-4 FAITH RINGGOLD

Weekly artist series Week 6 Parts 1-3 BASQUIAT

Weekly artist series Week 7 Parts 1-4 deKOONING

Weekly artist series Week 8 Parts 1-3: OTTO DIX

Weekly artist series Week 9 Part 1: SUE COE Life in a Day

Mom's parrot, Asterix, lives with me now. I love when he does her belly laugh and answers the phone in her Swedish accent.

Weekly artist series: Week 9 Part 1 SUE COE black, coffee brown, white, slap #lifeinaday

Week 9 Part 1 Sue Coe

From my post Jan 27, 2011:

I first came across Sue Coe’s work in the 1988 Annual Edition of Gallerie Women’s Art.

“The work is in a series, a narrative, a novel or document in pictures.  It records injustice and cruelty, and attempts to perform the role of witness.  Art can be a weapon for social change, and at its most powerful is a reminder of our humanness.”

Ripped pages from a magazine publication that I keep tucked into the 1988 annual:

From Wikipedia: Sue Coe (born 1951 in Tamworth, Staffordshire) is an English artist and illustrator working primarily in drawing and printmaking, often in the form of illustrated books and comics. She grew up close to a slaughterhouse and developed a passion to stop cruelty to animals. Coe studied at the Royal College of Art inLondon, lived in New York City from 1972 to 2001. She currently lives in upstate New York. Her work is highly political, often directed against capitalism andcruelty to animals.

Source

In this 9th week of my weekly artist series, we’ll focus on Sue Coe’s imagery, her message, her brutal honesty and her power.
In your journal today, test out Sue Coe’s “slap on the face” visual style by painting with black and with coffee on postal paper.  When dry, highlight with white.
When I was born my mother worked in a doll factory, painting doll faces. She went to art school when she was very young, but had to leave when she was fifteen because of economic reasons, to get a "proper job." - Sue Coe

Before we continue our exploration of Sue Coe’s journalistic illustrations, drench yourself in the imagery of LIFE IN A DAY:

 See also:

35 PART daily journal exercise

Weekly artist exploration/journaling series INTRO

Weekly artist series Week 1 parts 1-6 FRIDA KAHLO

Weekly artist series Week 2 parts 1-6 PICASSO

Weekly artist series Week 3 parts 1-5 LISA LARSON

Weekly artist series Week 4 parts 1-3 GEORGE GROSZ 

Weekly artist series Week 5 parts 1-4 FAITH RINGGOLD

Weekly artist series Week 6 Parts 1-3 BASQUIAT

Weekly artist series Week 7 Parts 1-4 deKOONING

Weekly artist series Week 8 Parts 1-3: OTTO DIX

Weekly artist series: Week 8 Part 3 of 3 PORTRAIT POETRY #OttoDix #arttherapy

Week 8 Part 3 Otto Dix

 

 I adore this portrait by Otto Dix.

Let’s simply revel in reproducing it and adding poetry to it.

Firstly, write in your journal for 10 minutes without interruption.  Just about anything that comes to mind in the moment.

Secondly, circle every third word.  Isolate those words and create a poem from them.

I got:

Writing minutes

In the morning

Despite changes in

Me and I really want

Just days of already

Hanging disappointment

Draw Sylvia loosely, freely, spontaneously and add your poem to her book.

Next artist next week:

Sue Coe.

I’m off to San Francisco to visit my daughter and I plan to visit SFMOMA and see what Sue Coe-isms I can find!

See also:

35 PART daily journal exercise

Weekly artist exploration/journaling series INTRO

Weekly artist series Week 1 parts 1-6 FRIDA KAHLO

Weekly artist series Week 2 parts 1-6 PICASSO

Weekly artist series Week 3 parts 1-5 LISA LARSON

Weekly artist series Week 4 parts 1-3 GEORGE GROSZ 

Weekly artist series Week 5 parts 1-4 FAITH RINGGOLD

Weekly artist series Week 6 Parts 1-3 BASQUIAT

Weekly artist series Week 7 Parts 1-4 deKOONING

Weekly artist series Week 8 Part 1: OTTO DIX

Weekly artist series Week 8 Part 2: OTTO DIX DECONSTRUCT CONSTRUCT

Weekly artist series: Week 8 Part 2 DECONSTRUCT CONSTRUCT #OttoDix

Week 8 Part 2 Otto Dix

As with George Grosz, I’m using the book LUSTMORD as my main resource this week.

Look at Otto Dix’s paintings.  See the cartoonish exaggerated style.

DECONSTRUCT

Pull off the cover of an old hard cover book:

Horizon publications are wonderful for this.  And the contents are perfect for collaging.

Find a photo that you want to recreate and stylize:

On the back of the hard cover, deconstruct the image into its simplest shapes:

CONSTRUCT

Construct the figures with Otto Dix’s style in mind:

Otto Dix is one of modern painting’s most savage satirists. After many artists had abandoned portraiture for abstraction in the 1910s, Dix returned to the genre and injected sharp caricatures into his depictions of some of the leading lights of German society.

FROM: THE ART STORY REVIEW: OTTO DIX, COMMENTARY ON HUMANITY

See also:

35 PART daily journal exercise

Weekly artist exploration/journaling series INTRO

Weekly artist series Week 1 parts 1-6 FRIDA KAHLO

Weekly artist series Week 2 parts 1-6 PICASSO

Weekly artist series Week 3 parts 1-5 LISA LARSON

Weekly artist series Week 4 parts 1-3 GEORGE GROSZ 

Weekly artist series Week 5 parts 1-4 FAITH RINGGOLD

Weekly artist series Week 6 Parts 1-3 BASQUIAT

Weekly artist series Week 7 Parts 1-4 deKOONING

Weekly artist series Week 8 Part 1: OTTO DIX

Weekly artist series: Week 8 Part 1 #OttoDix

Week 8 Part 1 Otto Dix

OTTO DIX:

Wilhelm Heinrich Otto Dix 2 December 1891 – 25 July 1969) was a German painter and printmaker, noted for his ruthless and harshly realistic depictions of Weimar society and the brutality of war. Along with George Grosz, he is widely considered one of the most important artists of the Neue Sachlichkeit. [source]

 

I adore the figures of Otto Dix.

I’ve posted about the following interactive art piece, Apologies to Otto Dix (Frida Kahlo/Otto Dix study), before.  Its journey continues.

I started the piece awhile back and first allowed people to add to during my March 10th event, the April 3 outdoor art market, then my June 23 event, then with Tracey Bell and lately at ART HEALS!  It’s still in progress.

Dustin Jones at March 10th art event

     

As of Jan 21:

Look up Otto Dix images.

Simply copy/interpret your favorite one.

Inspiration:

Barbie by Jocelyne Grivaud

Photograph by Larry Fink, Homage to Otto Dix, September 2001, from the Forbidden Pictures Portfolio published 2004:

See also:

35 PART daily journal exercise

Weekly artist exploration/journaling series INTRO

Weekly artist series Week 1 parts 1-6 FRIDA KAHLO

Weekly artist series Week 2 parts 1-6 PICASSO

Weekly artist series Week 3 parts 1-5 LISA LARSON

Weekly artist series Week 4 parts 1-3 GEORGE GROSZ 

Weekly artist series Week 5 parts 1-4 FAITH RINGGOLD

Weekly artist series Week 6 Parts 1-3 BASQUIAT

Weekly artist series Week 7 Parts 1-4 deKOONING

Weekly artist series: Week 7 Part 4 of 4 Allusions and Changing Standpoints #deKooning

Week 7 Part 4 Willem de Kooning

Excavation, 1950. From Abstract Expressionism, Barbara Hess, 2009, Taschen GmbH

Find a de Kooning in nature:

Draw something or someone in your environment:

de Koonify it:

Allusions and changing standpoints born out of cubism

Next artist:

OTTO DIX

See also:

35 PART daily journal exercise

Weekly artist exploration/journaling series INTRO

Weekly artist series Week 1 parts 1-6 FRIDA KAHLO

Weekly artist series Week 2 parts 1-6 PICASSO

Weekly artist series Week 3 parts 1-5 LISA LARSON

Weekly artist series Week 4 parts 1-3 GEORGE GROSZ 

Weekly artist series Week 5 parts 1-4 FAITH RINGGOLD

Weekly artist series Week 6 Parts 1-3 BASQUIAT

Weekly artist series Week 7 part 1 deKOONING: A Woman’s Mouth

Weekly artist series Week 7 part 2 deKOONING: erasing

Weekly artist series Week 7 part 3 deKOONING: Elaine

Weekly artist series: Week 7 Part 3 ELAINE #deKooning. #husbandsandwives

Week 7 Part 3 Willem de Kooning

Artists do not work in a vacuum.  I am fascinated by artists in relationships.

Frida/ Diego

Camille/ Auguste

Lee/ Jackson

Sophie/ Hans

Elaine/ Willem

How did they feed each other’s art?  How did they harm each other?  Influence each other?  Who was more powerful?  Are they inseparable?

Self-portrait by Elaine de Kooning, 1946

ELAINE de KOONING [SOURCE]

In the autumn of 1938, Elaine’s art teacher introduced her to the 34-year-old Dutch emigre Willem (Bill) de Kooning, but there is little evidence to suggest any romantic connection at their initial meeting. Elaine was with Resnick at the time, who had supposedly commented once to her, “Bill is going to be the greatest painter in the country.” 

Shortly after their introduction, a friend of de Kooning’s took her to Willem’s studio. Later in life, Elaine recalled, “It was the cleanest place I ever saw in my life. It had painted gray floors, white walls, one table..one easel, one fantastically good phonograph that cost $800 when he was only making $22 a week, and one painting of a man on the easel.” 

Elaine and Willem de Kooning endured a long and, at times, very tumultuous marriage. As much as each artist benefited from one another’s paintings and teachings, they mutually suffered due to constant infidelities and struggles with alcoholism.

Photo of Elaine and Willem de Kooning in studio, Parrish Art Museum.

The paintings of both Elaine and Willem were exhibited at the Sidney Janis Gallery for the 1949 show Artists: Man and Wife, along with the works of couples like Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner, and Hans Arp and Sophie Tauber-Arp. 

An Opening Egan Gallery (Portrait of Betsy Egan) by Elaine de Kooning

“There’s now way of looking at a work of art by itself.  It’s not self-evident- it needs a history, it needs a lot of talking aout; it’s part of a whole man’s life.” from de Kooning- an American Master, M. Stevens, A. Swan

Draw “the relationship”.  Where do you go with it?  Simple or complex?

Charcoal, oil pastel, olive oil, water
My interpretation of both my marriage and Frida and Diego's.

See also:

35 PART daily journal exercise

Weekly artist exploration/journaling series INTRO

Weekly artist series Week 1 parts 1-6 FRIDA KAHLO

Weekly artist series Week 2 parts 1-6 PICASSO

Weekly artist series Week 3 parts 1-5 LISA LARSON

Weekly artist series Week 4 parts 1-3 GEORGE GROSZ 

Weekly artist series Week 5 parts 1-4 FAITH RINGGOLD

Weekly artist series Week 6 Parts 1-3 BASQUIAT

Weekly artist series Week 7 part 1 deKOONING: A Woman’s Mouth

Weekly artist series Week 7 part 2 deKOONING: erasing

Weekly artist series: Week 7 Part 2 ERASING #deKooning. #arttherapy

Week 7 Part 2 Willem de Kooning

To read about the erased deKooning, click ERASED deKOONING

Look up de Kooning in images.

Copy a favorite with charcoal.

Now erase it.

See also:

35 PART daily journal exercise

Weekly artist exploration/journaling series INTRO

Weekly artist series Week 1 parts 1-6 FRIDA KAHLO

Weekly artist series Week 2 parts 1-6 PICASSO

Weekly artist series Week 3 parts 1-5 LISA LARSON

Weekly artist series Week 4 parts 1-3 GEORGE GROSZ 

Weekly artist series Week 5 parts 1-4 FAITH RINGGOLD

Weekly artist series Week 6 Parts 1-3 BASQUIAT

Weekly artist series Week 7 part 1 deKOONING: A Woman’s Mouth

Weekly artist series: Week 7 Part 1 A WOMAN’s MOUTH #deKooning #arttherapy

Week 7 Part 1 Willem de Kooning

Willem de Kooning 1904-1997

Willem de Kooning Woman 1949

That ferocious woman he painted didn’t come from living with me. It began when he was three years old.

– Elaine de Kooning (wife) [source]
Find a photo of a face.
Cut out the mouth.
Around the mouth, draw a de Kooning style figure.  Be loose.  Be free.  Be ugly.  It’s therapeutic.
Tomorrow:  Erasing de Kooning.

See also:

35 PART daily journal exercise

Weekly artist exploration/journaling series INTRO

Weekly artist series Week 1 parts 1-6 FRIDA KAHLO

Weekly artist series Week 2 parts 1-6 PICASSO

Weekly artist series Week 3 parts 1-5 LISA LARSON

Weekly artist series Week 4 parts 1-3 GEORGE GROSZ 

Weekly artist series Week 5 parts 1-4 FAITH RINGGOLD

Weekly artist series Week 6 Parts 1-3 BASQUIAT

Weekly artist series: Week 6 Part 3 of 3 THE DOOR #Basquiat #arttherapy

Week 6 Part 3 JEAN MICHEL BASQUIAT

Draw a door.

Take out the words you wrote in Part 2:

Pull out some words.  Make a poem.  Write the poem on the door.

Invite a guest through the door to do an entry in your journal.  I was so honored to have my dear friend, Darcy G., add a page reflecting on Basquiat.

You are very welcome. Thank You for inviting me through your door and into The Wonderful World of Kat, The tea, The cheese cubes and crackers and the entertainment of cats and bird and Tobey the great! The basket and buttons that sent me whirling back to when I was a foster child stealing moments in a strange room. So many doors we have passed through only to stand in another. I wish the view were the same on both sides. – Darcy

Next artist:

Willem de Kooning 1904-1997

See also:

35 PART daily journal exercise

Weekly artist exploration/journaling series INTRO

Weekly artist exploration/journaling series Week 1 parts 1-6 FRIDA KAHLO

Weekly artist exploration/journaling series Week 2 parts 1-6 PICASSO

Weekly artist exploration/journaling series Week 3 parts 1-5 LISA LARSON

Weekly artist exploration/journaling series Week 4 parts 1-3 GEORGE GROSZ 

Weekly artist exploration/journaling series Week 5 parts 1-4 FAITH RINGGOLD

Weekly artist series Week 6 Part 1 BASQUIAT: A list of musts

Weekly artist series Week 6 Part 2 BASQUIAT: Downtown 81