I’m Back!

I know I’ve been gone for a while.  Ok, fine.  I’ve been gone for a year, but I’ve got something new for you.

Drum roll…

My Box

Tada!  This is a digital art piece.  I had lots of fun with it.  I have an idea for an new series, and no, I haven’t completely abandoned my previous idea.  It’s just on the back burner for now.  I’m not explaining the meanings of my paintings until the series is complete.  You’ll have to wait for that.  In the meantime, take your best guess, and anything you see in it, and put it in the comments below.  I love hearing what other people see.

Shabbat Glow

I was happy to actually be able to do this one since I wasn’t sure if I had enough paint thinner, but I found a method of recycling paint thinner that worked pretty well.  I may make a video showing you how to do it.  It’s definitely very useful.

I started this one with an underpainting in burnt umber as usual.  I wanted this painting to be more about emotion and the atmosphere of the painting, so I focused on the color and the contrast.  I LOVE contrast.  This is also another one in Compassion Project series.  I want to get high resolution photos of my paintings and then I hope to be able to sell both the original and prints.

Here’s the story that goes with this one, which is my own:

I’ve learned to never get my hopes up when I go into an interview.  Even if they like me for the job, they still have to get past a few things before hiring me.  Before I started covering my hair, everything would start out normal and friendly, but once I mentioned that I would need to leave early on Fridays because I’m Jewish and observe the Jewish Sabbath.  I need to be home before sundown on Friday.  I’ve of course can come in early or stay late during the week to make up for it, but that doesn’t seem to matter.  I can watch their body stiffen, the blood drains from their face, and the mood of the interview changes.  All of the sudden, it’s no longer friendly, but very formal and business like.  They assure me that they don’t discriminate based on religion, but they just don’t know if they can accommodate this and will need to talk with their supervisor.

At that point, I’m pretty sure that I won’t be called back for the job, or if I am contacted, it will only to be to tell me that they are very sorry, but they went a different direction, but they will of course keep my resume in case anything shows up in the future.  If I am ever hired, I know that I won’t have the job for long, so I make sure to have the resume updated, and keep an eye out on craigslist.  Soon enough, I’m fired from some lame reason that we all know isn’t the real reason.  I leave early on Fridays.  I have weird holidays.  I don’t eat their food.  I don’t celebrate their holidays.

I love Shabbat.  It’s my wonderful day of the week where we light candles, have dinner together as a family, sing songs, spend time together, learn Torah, and many other wonderful Jewish things.  It’s my Jewish bubble for just one day.  I’ve had non-Jews who don’t understand ask me if I can flex the time a little.  Christians and Messianic Jews have quoted parts of the Bible to me as proof that a job should be more important than Shabbat.  Things they quote usually don’t have context, or have a different meaning than they attribute to them.  I typically don’t see the point in correcting them, because they will always be right and I will always be wrong.  So I leave it alone and go to, “This is my religion, and this is important to me.  Shabbat is the beloved gift from G-d to the people of Israel.  So I can’t just abandon this treasure.”

In a way I’m thankful all the jobs that fired me, because it launched me into becoming artist, which I would’ve never done otherwise.  Since no one was going to employ me, I was going to employ myself.  I’m very happy with what I’ve chosen to do.  I haven’t gotten it to where I want it yet, but I see the potential and I will get it there.  So I want to thank the last place to fire me and upset me so much as start this!

Since Shabbat is something I love, I decided to paint candles and have a Star of David as one of the reflections on the candles.  This story will go along with this painting.  If you feel that you might have a story that might go along with this project I’m doing please message me and we talk about it.

The Golden Coffee

Recently I’ve been trying to figure out this Ampersand Aquabord I have.  It took me a few tries, but I think I got it.  Here’s a few tips for you.  Get your drawing on the board first, before you ever get it wet.  You need to flush the board before you start painting, but trying to use transfer paper when it’s even slightly wet, DOES NOT work.  If you’re going to do wet into wet painting, just make sure you use more water than you’re used to.  This surface is very absorbent and you may have to rewet areas.  Overall, I think this was pretty good considering I’m still getting used to the surface.

Those of you who’ve been following me lately know that I’ve been trying to get a new project started.  In order to do this, I need stories from people.  I haven’t had luck obtaining them, so I thought I’d do one myself and show you what my idea is.  I wrote this piece myself, and created this painting to go with it.  The painting is more of a still life representation of myself.  At least how I feel about myself.  I made this to help you understand all the little meanings.

golden-coffee-exp

I’m currently trying to get this scanned so I can offer prints.  This piece that I wrote to go with it, would come with each print that is brought.  I also have an idea of making a calligraphy version of it to go with the original.  Then, once I get a book together, a photo of the painting, the explanation of it, and the story will all be together in that book.

 

My head covering makes it very obvious that I’m different.  I don’t mind being different.  I don’t have a problem meeting the standard of what society would consider “normal.”  However, what I do mind are the negative reactions I get sometimes.  Sometimes, they’re very subtle, like the nervous stare that I ignore, the pale stiff face during a job interview, and looking back and forth between me and my husband because I’m not talkative.  These things are a mild annoyance.  I roll my eyes and ignore them.  I don’t have the time or the energy to deal with it.  What bothers me more is when I have someone come up to me and spit in my face and say, “Go die you fucking kike!”  Or perhaps when a man who looks to be in his mid 30s walks off the back of the bus, takes one look at me, and then yells, “Stop religion!” as he walks by.  There’s also the Muslim couple that yells, “Death to Israel!” and something else in Arabic that I don’t understand.  When there’s a protest about the war in Israel, I do my best to avoid it because I get people yelling things at me like, “Hitler was right!  You need to go find an oven!”  Then they start chanting, “Nazi Jew!  Nazi Jew!” as I finally get to cross the street to my bus stop.

At least I don’t work downtown anymore and am spared this, but what did the others around me do you ask.  Nothing.  None of this was important to them.  What I want to say to these people full of hate, I can’t, because it doesn’t matter to them.  I love being Jewish, and I love covering my hair with scarves.  According to Orthodox Judaism, I could wear a wig, and there are many opinions that I don’t want to get into.  I only wish to discuss my feelings.  I wear scarves because of how they make me feel.  I feel like royalty, and they remind me of my commitment to my faith.  When I wrap a scarf around my head, I feel like I’m wrapping myself in beauty and glory.  It feels like putting on a crown.  I don’t get that feeling with a wig or a hat.

Instead of asking me this, they just hurl insults without even knowing what my scarves, and what my Judaism means to me.  To them, I’m different, something to be hated.  I do my best to be compassionate to other people, so I find it disturbing when others seem to feel the need to treat others with cruelty.  I find it strange that my life is so offensive when they obviously know nothing about me.

None of this has ever dissuaded me from wearing the scarves I love, because, at the end of day, they hold more value than these ignorant and hurtful things people have to say to me.  I can deal with the stares, comments, insults, difficulty with jobs, and ignorance.  What I can’t stand for, is apathy.  I can get over someone’s issues and box that away in my mind, but other’s silence as it happens in front of them, or the silence as I tell them, I can’t deal with.  Perhaps it’s not even silence, but minimization, like it’s not such a big deal because of “fill in the blank.”

Perhaps you feel like you don’t know what to say, because you relate.  The wonderful thing is that you don’t have to relate to have compassion.  I live in a very liberal state, which has worked well for me in certain jobs I’ve had.  When I’ve explained some of my experiences, the best responses I’ve received were usually surprise and disbelief, followed by a phrase along the lines of, “I’m so sorry.  I guess some people just have problems.  Does that happen often?”  I understand the inexperience with what I deal with, and I don’t mind explaining.  I also tell them about all the times when people stop me to tell me how beautiful I am and ask I tied them.

What I wish I could say to all the people who every said something hateful to me, or fired me (for something else that we all know isn’t the reason), is imagine if you were me.  Imagine if you walking along the street and someone came and spat in your face and yelled, “Go die you fucking scum bag!” or having someone tell you that you should go kill yourself because of your ethnicity.  I’m pretty sure you would feel threatened.  As children we were taught to treat others as we would want to be treated, but somehow as adults that seemed to have gotten lost.  No matter your religion, race, gender, country of origin, that is something that should be universal.  Remember to keep that and perhaps we can make this world better.

If you think you might have a story that I could for this project, please message me and we’ll see what we can come up with together.  My dream for this project is to have art pieces and books that can carry stories that evoke compassion in others.  If this something you believe in and want to support me in, I set up a page for you to do that.  I do need certain supplies to accomplish everything, but if you can’t, please don’t worry.  I would be happy to just have you be a part of this journey.

The Coffee Scarf

coffee-scarf
11×14 coffee on 300lbs Fabriano Artistico soft press watercolor paper

I’ve been trying to get to this blog for a while.  I was really pleased with how this turned out.  It was an experiment.  I can’t help it.  🙂  I used acrylic gloss gel medium as the binder for it.  This didn’t work so well on canvas, but it worked wonderfully on watercolor paper.  I ended up with some grittiness in some of the more concentrated darker areas, which I’m not sure if I like or not.  It’s just from the coffee not dissolving completely, and I think it’s just a personal preference.

I wasn’t going for complete realism, but I also didn’t want it to be too abstract like the paintings I’ve done recently.  This seemed like a happy medium, and I was much happier with the results.  I focused more on getting a high contrast since I only had one color to work with, which is actually very freeing since I only have to think about lights and darks without the added aspect of color.

I also did more planning for this one than I did for my last two.  I did a concept sketch, then sketched it on tracing paper, and then transferred the image onto the paper.  The nice thing about having my image on tracing paper, is that I can recreate it as many times as I want, and I’m currently working on a watercolor version of this piece.  So make sure to check out my social media pages for updates on those.

As always, this one will be up for auction until Thursday, December 15, 2016 at 12 noon PST.  Leave a comment below with your offer.  The starting bid is $10 plus shipping, and any amount I get from this painting I will use for business needs, such as supplies, social media advertising, website fees, etc.

Confession, I just made an Instagram  account and I think it might be my favorite.  If you have one,  you should find me.  What are your favorite social media site and why?  I’d love to know.  Just leave a comment below.

Little Bird

little-bird
8×10 watercolor on Fabriano Artistic soft press watercolor paper

For this one, I wanted to play around with some different techniques.  I knew I wanted to do some wet-in-wet with dry brush over it, and some expressive strokes and splatters.  I also wanted it to be very colorful without necessarily conforming to the correct colors.  I ended up choosing a roller bird for my reference image since it already had lots of color in it.  If I had it to do over again, I probably would’ve chosen to mix a more vibrant purple, but I don’t feel that it ruins the piece.

What I also discovered with this one was that while I enjoy seeing the more expressive sprays and splatters in others paintings, it felt unnatural to me.  I enjoyed the bird much better when he was just bold and contrasted against the white background.  So I’m not sure if I’ll do something like this again, but I had fun playing around with it.

My last painting has sold for $20 and is off to a wonderful new home.  Thank you all so much for all of your support and kind words.  Same as last time.  This one will be available for auction here until Thursday, December 8, 2016, at 12 noon PST, just leave a comment below with your offer.  I do need to open a separate bank account for all my art business stuff.  Just to get it started off, we’ll say $5 and the amount I get from this, I will use to set that up.  Shipping is only available within the USA at this time.

Butterfly Coffee

Sorry I’ve been gone for a while.  Rather than get into a long explanation, I’ll just leave it at medical stuff and BABIES!  They’re super adorable and consume much of my time so we’ll see how much painting I get done.  I recently got some money for my birthday from my grandmother-in-law.  Happy birthday to me!  So of course I had to go on dickblick.com and find something.  I ended up with some Chinese watercolors that I’d been looking at for a while, some Ampersand Claybord, and scratchboard tools.  The first thing I did was make this color mixing chart.  Everyone should do this.  I know it’s time consuming, and you don’t want to, but do it.  This lets you know what your paint is capable of and how it mixes.  You may think you don’t have a color when you actually do.

Many people are sometimes surprised by how few colors I have in my palette when I enjoy such a wide range of colors.  The reason is because I prefer to mix my own.  I have more control this way.  This small set gives me a wide range of vivid intense colors to softer more muted ones.  I prefer chromatic blacks and greys to pre-made ones.  With this set I did notice that it didn’t disperse into the water as well as most traditional Western watercolors.  I had to work harder to achieve that effect.  Wet-in-wet and lifting still worked well.  This paper is cold press and not what I’m going to actually paint on, but I just wanted to get an idea of the paint.  I always do swatches of the color on separate pieces of paper before hitting my actually project anyway.

I also recently did a color chart for my inktense.  That allowed me to redo this painting and take it from this…

Piano Rose (c)

To this…

dads-piano

Obviously I improved in other areas as well, but you can see the difference in the depth of color.  I was more easily able to mix and layer color without being frustrated.  This one was a birthday present for my father.  Happy birthday daddy!

On to testing the Claybord.  My first attempt didn’t go so well.  I couldn’t layer colors like I’m normally able to, and it ended up blending together and creating mud instead of getting the detail I wanted.  Scratching out highlights was working so well either.  However, I did like the translucent effect on the shadows under the bowl and the drips and spray.  I did like the blending in the shadows under the bowl though.  As long as I didn’t over do it, I could move color to where ever I wanted.

I tried again with a different board.  This one went much better.  I knew I wanted a coffee cup and some sort of steam thing, and butterflies happened.  If you except that colors will blend together on this board, then things go much better.  You can put down color and have it not blend, but it is difficult to do.  The problem for me is that I like to glaze colors on top of each other.  I haven’t found that to be possible with this board.  I also had to scratch significantly into this board to get the highlights.  However, that may be due to the unique binder in my paints.  When I scratched into the ink, that came off much easier.

colorful-coffee
5×7 watercolor on Apmersand Claybord

So for this board, I’ve decided that I’m going to put it up for auction here.  Whoever offers the most gets it.  Payment can be done through a check or PayPal, whichever you prefer.  Since this ended up being a more whimsical painting we’ll do it as anything I get from this painting will go straight to anything I need for my children; bottles, diapers, a new stroller, etc.  Feel free to share this post with your friends.

The auction will go until Thursday, December 1, 2016, at 12:00 noon PST.  If you win it, we’ll go over the details of shipping later privately, but it will have a tracking number, and I am only able to ship within the USA right now.

Seattle Coffee [Coffee Painting]

Seattle Coffee (c)
5×7 coffee painting of Ampersand Gessoboard.

This was my first experiment using coffee and acrylic mediums.  I think it came out decently enough for the first try.  I didn’t like the gloss medium as much as I thought I would.  I may try mixing both the gel and the gloss next time to see if I get more of what I was looking for.  I’m also not sure if I like the gessoboard or not.  It’s a very smooth surface with was nice for the first layer, but I found it difficult to work with for the top layers.  I’ll have to try it again and see.  I may need a canvas with more texture.

Anyway,  I wanted this to be a little bit more of a looser painting and have something to do with Seattle.  So, I thought of a cup spilling out into a cityscape of Seattle.  My first wash wash really watery, and when the drips happened I kind of went with it.  Seems to have added a nice little touch to it.  Some of them went a little longer than I wanted, but oh well.  It was a fun little practice piece, and I have some ideas for next time!

Other Paintings You Might Enjoy:

Piano Rose [Inktense]

Snowy Squirrel [Coffee]

Frozen Lady [Coffee, Tea, & Wine]

Pansies [Tea]

Clock and Daisies [Coffee]

Sip of Coffee [Coffee]

Megaman Painting and Fan Art Issues

So I spent yesterday painting a 5×7 inktense painting of Megaman for my husband’s birthday.  First, it was hard to do because of how small it was, but I wanted it that small so he could take it to work.  It was difficult keeping myself out of the camera.  My next problem was the paper, while the soft press I normally work with is great for how I paint, I didn’t allow for the smoothness and tiny detail that I wanted.  If I was to do it over again, I would probably choose a hot press paper.  Those of you who have followed me for any length of time know that this not something I typically paint so painting smooth shiny metal was an interesting experience.  Overall I think it turned out pretty well.

Now for the issues of doing fan art.  The general rule is that it’s ok as long as you’re not making money off it.  You’re basically painting a copyrighted image that someone else created.  Yes, you painted that one, but the original artist spent time creating the character.  Some artists can be very protective of their work.  Other brands will create a whole page for fan art of their work.  So just be careful with it, and don’t sell any of it.

I’m not selling this one since it’s fan art and it’s for my husbands birthday, but you can enjoy the video of it.  Sorry my hand takes up so much space.  🙂  The speed video is at the top and the full length video is available on my Patreon page.

Megaman X (c)
5×7 inktense on Fabriano Artistico 300lbs soft press watercolor paper

Other Topics & Paintings:

New Coffee Painting Plans

Piano Rose (Inktense Painting)

Snowy Squirrel (Coffee Painting)

Inktense Review and Tutorial

Are You Violating Copyright?

Pansies (Tea Painting)

Piano Rose

This paper was much easier to work on.  I was able to get much more layers with this paper.  I think I need to get a board that I can tape my work down to though.  I actually found that I liked using the blocks right on the paper more that I did on my other pieces.  I think having the stiffer brushes helped.  I was able to get rid of the grit normally left over.  They are a soft synthetic, but they’re still stiffer than my natural hair watercolor brushes.

Since I play the piano I enjoyed painting this piece.  I actually love the black keys in this painting, which is funny since they’re not really perfect, but for some reason, they’re my favorite part of this painting.

This piece is now available here and the full slowed down version of the video is available here.

Piano Rose (c)
9×12 inktense on Fabriano Artistico soft press 300lbs watercolor paper.

 

Other Paintings You Might Enjoy:

Snowy Squirrel

Sleepy Kitty

Pansies

Mother’s Day Cards

Handful of Tea

Sleepy Kitty

I finished up this one this morning.  I may be a little slow on things for a while right now because of all the Jewish holidays, but I’ll get out what I can.  I wanted to do another mixed coffee and tea painting.  I think I need a heavier weight paper.  Hopefully once I figure out which paper I like from the samples Blick sent me, I can get some 300 lbs paper.  Maybe that will work better for my initial washes.  The 140 seems to work fine for watercolor, but not so much for doing washes in coffee and tea.

This one is now available here, and the full length video is available on my Patreon page.

8x10 coffee and tea on 140lbs watercolor paper.
8×10 coffee and tea on 140lbs watercolor paper.

Other Paintings You Might Enjoy:

Frozen Lady

Pansies

Clock and Daisies

Handful of Tea

Sip of Coffee