Friday, January 15, 2016

Fashioning My Cyber Microcosm: A Secret Code Carved.

The past week was a strange mixture of elation and a touch of melancholy; I spent the last 10 days accompanying my husband on one of his training workshops out of town which was held in Phoenix AZ, in an attempt to allow myself to "get out more" for the new year. I was listening obsessively to Pagan Poetry by Björk that it turned into my unofficial theme song.

I took the opportunity to plan the weekend with one of my friends I met while living in Holbrook; we packed as much into the weekend as humanly possible-- we took a tour at Taliesin West, watched a piano duel, tasted a cheese platter, went to the zoo, rode a camel, fed giraffes, experienced a "4D" theater, shopped at the mall, and I tasted sushi for the very first time. Actually, there were a lot of firsts this past weekend, now that I think about it... You see how tiny the rock I lived under was? It gets even smaller, trust me.

The spider rolls were my favorite

That's right, up until the past weekend I had never tasted sushi or anything like it at all. To be frank, the idea of sushi sounded repulsive-- raw fish? Kinda crazy, I thought. However, seeing as I am forcing myself out of the proverbial box, I said to hell with regression.
I have never been so totally wrong about something in my entire life; it was, without a shadow of a doubt, the single most exquisite dining experience I have ever had. The explosion of flavors and sensations were borderline intoxicating.
And I used chopsticks... awkward, but certainly new and refreshing for me!
It's funny to have such an experience in a place that was slightly commercial, heh. Regardless, I certainly can't wait for the next time I have sushi again!

At the zoo, I took the opportunity to get up and close to the large animals; again, up until that point I have never even seen a horse up close.

So, they were offering camel rides... I heard the familiar voice that told me that they're all dangerous, and that's why I've never tried going up to animals unless there was several hundred feet or reinforced glass between us. I ignored that voice again and rode the camel. It was surreal.

The giraffes were ready for snack time, so we did that too; I would have never guessed that a giraffe's tongue is almost dry-ish and spiky, like a cats. I was guessing it was more similar to a dogs, slobbery and slimy. It took several snacks to get a few good shots because it kept nabbing it from my hands rather quickly, hah-- what a tongue!

After the weekend with my friend, I settled into the next hotel with my husband and that is when I found out Bowie had past; it set a rather melancholy mood for the next couple days, as he was an inspiration to us all. I stewed a bit in that gloom and grabbed my sketch pad, and began to draw...

There are few things that inspire art like loss does... it sounds like such a cruel reality. I'd like to think it is through the creation of art after loss that we as artists carry the memory of those we respected and appreciated during their life.
In one of his last videos, Blackstar, there was a scene of the floating headless skeleton drifting towards an eclipsed star-- I kept thinking, and thinking about it after the news.

I don't know why I decided to reattach the head... I simply felt like I needed to after the news. Progress stopped Wednesday after deciding I needed to give it an india ink and watercolor wash for the background, while adding the finishing touch to it-- all which required masking fluid, which I didn't/don't have a designated brush for yet...
I do have plans to finally go shopping for more supplies tomorrow-- I'll need it all for the watercolor class I signed up for coming up the week after next, heh.

There is definitive change coming in 2016, and it is felt indirectly through the passing of some of our greatest and most beloved icons. Though is saddens me to see them go under the nemesis cancer, it is a reminder to continue living life with little apprehension, and a surplus of passion. Death doesn't care about tomorrow's and some other times.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Fashioning My Cyber Microcosm: Developing The Horizon.

A new year a new canvas, right?
When I look back at 2015 it's not with a particular reverence; last year was a giant listless fog. I may have been my most productive in my sewing room, but there was a passion lacking in my efforts; I seemed to have misplaced it along the way to now.
As I went through 2015's archives, I frowned some. I lacked something, and it just got worse over the year.

I remember when I lived with my mother I had this insatiable hunger to create; there was nothing I didn't wish to dabble in, and my mother encouraged and supported each endeavor-- whether it was jewelry making, film photography, painting, sculpting, creative writing... I tried and loved so much!

And now, now I'm an adult and my running excuse is that I would rather focus on a sole hobby then spread myself too thinly.
I've had enough of that excuse, I haven't felt any growth as an artist and have reluctantly cringed at the word. That is not right; I remember being a teenager and attempting to find my artistic niche through a plethora of mediums... and looking back at that time, I believe I resembled an artist closer then, than I ever have in my adult life.

So you know what, I decided to get back into the things that made me happy: 2016 will be the year I resume my position as a jack-of-all-trades (circa 2003), for whether through pyrography, sculpting, or sewing... I have always loved manifesting my heart and dreams through my hands.

To ring in the new day of the new calendar year, I bought some flower wire and mosaic tiles to reacquaint myself with one of those long lost friends; these supplies are cheap and abundant, perfect for the purposes of practice unlike the costliness of actual jewelry wire and cabochons. Oh beloved wire work... how I have missed you.

I realized that you can most certainly forget how to wire work (lol), and this is especially true of your flesh. My index fingers were a nice shade of purplish red having worked 5 pendants in a night-- the best of the bunch being the two pictured. I practiced different forms of wire weaves and twists. Rebuilding my skill set means rebuilding the savage callouses I used to don.

I practiced on the less pretty pieces in my bag of tiles; I set aside the pretty ones to practice a little painting on. I used acrylic paints and then took a thick sewing needle and scratched out finer details.

I am going to glaze them with a layer of modge podge dimensional magic to prevent the design from being worn off... once I buy a bottle that is, heh.
When I eventually feel at home with wire again, I will purchase some black wire and make what I hope is going to be some pretty snazzy pendants.

After painting these couple of tiles it also got me to thinking about painting in general, too. Last year I purchased a palette of watercolor cakes from Micheal's which I used to paint a witch as a part of a Halloween swap, and I haven't touched it since.

In the eerie hours of yesterday's morning, I busted out my pad of paper and began sketching one of my furry muses... little Khan. I had no particular goal for the sketch, I merely doodled for lack of a better word.

Khan seemed content sitting at the table and creating with me; what a sweet little tot. We stayed up just basking in all the supplies I had dug out. I had bought a bottle of masking fluid from walmart to experiment with some time ago, and this piece seems like the perfect one to try it on. However, I don't want to use any of my new brushes for the stuff, so this drawing will have to wait for the color wash and inking until I can buy some rubber tipped brushes.

I don't think he sees a resemblance.

After a few days of just playing with art supplies it is clear what I need for myself in 2016, and it is with all of this in mind that I was able to compile what I will achieve in the coming year.

Expanding Myself:

  • Take a watercolor class: I'd like to make friends while learning and expanding myself. Watercolors is something I've always had an interest in going to a class for, so it clicked together-- now that there's a community art school at my disposal with which to fulfill this desire.
  • Begin learning how to crochet: I taught myself how to knit, so why not crochet? They say it's easier to catch on to... so we'll see. I've managed a chain stitch and a very rudimentary edging finish to some knitted pieces.
  • Continue learning tatting: I had the basics down with a shuttle once upon a time, my momma even found me some vintage ones that seem really neat but I never used. I have let up on my education so I don't remember how to do it. A little ironic because I had purchased some tatting needles because I was lead to believe it was easier and more intuitive than the shuttle.
  • Sew more in solids and luxury materials: I've been feeling trapped in the materials I've been using in my sewing. As cute and awesome as Halloween prints are, I think it's about time I resume making more decadent pieces of attire for my closet. Pieces that have a little more maturity and class in mind; laces, velvets, and dark colored solids will be incorporated into my future projects.
  • Sew a waist training corset: I've made fashion corsets in the past, all for friends. I buy fabric for corsets I keep saying I'll make for myself and it never happens because what I actually want is to delve into legitimate corsetry.
  • Explore the city: while I lived in Canada, I had the luxury of a pretty boisterous art community, and a nice range of live jazz lounges to pick from. I took that for granted; moving South of the border, there hasn't been a lot of art and music of my tastes for me to experience because of the rather small and rural nature of the places I have lived in. I've gotten so used to not having places to go to that I even forgot what it's like to go out for something other than going to and from work and the grocery store.
  • Self-date: My husband refuses every one of my invites to see things that seemed cool. I missed a myriad of events and historical sites for years because he didn't feel like going or it wasn't his thing, and in return I didn't want to go alone so I stayed home sulking. Yet, when he desired to go to sporting events I went along despite absolutely abhorring everything but the food. I wonder how I got used to this... I used to go on self-dates all the time while I lived in Canada; it's time to get that independence back.

Refining Myself:
  • Purge my wardrobe: having a hobby in garment sewing, one has a tendency to accumulate an inordinate amount of clothing. I feel it's about time to let go of pieces I've had for years years and haven't worn even on an irregular basis.
  • Maybe get a haircut: I've been sporting long locks for many years now... perhaps it's time to change it up a little? This is one I constantly say I'll do and never actually do it lol, that is why there is emphasis on the 'maybe'.
  • Invest in platform shoes and boots: I no longer like stiletto heels. I mean they're pretty and I'll probably keep my absolute favorite pairs (ones passed down from my mother), but it's torture and as I get older the less I can justify the pain I endure for the sake of vanity. Totally not saying heels are wrong for every woman, though... just so we're clear, heh.
I am just fed up of wishing and hoping things will change or I'll eventually get a chance... Nope. I am legitimately fed up of my stagnation; it's gone on for too long now.
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