A sparrow's journey through this crazy, beautiful life...

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Dancing Queen

Dancing Queen
16 x 20 on Canvas
This new painting is my current all-time favorite. I love her. The song Dancing Queen has been stuck in my head ever since I marked out her hair! She feels like a turning point for me somehow, but I can't quite put my finger on exactly how yet. Her hair is done with a technique called negative painting. Basically, rather than letting your background layers be in the background, you paint all around it and make it an element in your painting. I've seen this technique a lot, but I really wanted to try it when I saw it on artist Kim Ellery's work. I finally came up with a background that I knew would work perfectly.

I paint intuitively rather than going in with a plan. I actually never have a plan when I begin and for a while, I was frustrated that I was stuck on painting faces... girls with red curly hair. I finally decided just to drop the frustration and let this phase run its course and now I'm enjoying it. It is obviously something symbolic that I am working through in my heart and soul. I think the red is for power and strength - that I have the power over my choices and the strength to make the tough choices. The curls have been a part of who I am for my whole life. I tried straightening it for years - and it was pretty - but just wasn't me. I've battled and struggled with my hair. But, for the last 10 - 12 years or so, I've just embraced it and tried to do my research to learn to take care of it. (I have naturallycurly.com to thank for that!) Now, I'm just thankful for it. I'm learning to embrace ALL of who I am and the way God made me - learning to love myself. It's a long and winding road.

Linking up with Sunday Sketches!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Lady in Red

Friday marked the 10 year anniversary of the passing of my former mother-in-law, Pat. I still have so much grief, even after all these years. It seems like yesterday that she was here. It probably took me a year before I quit thinking, "oh, I should call Pat and tell her..." I called her to tell her the most mundane things and talked to her nearly every day. She was like a mom to me. She encouraged me constantly and respected me and my choices even when I was just a teenager. Her guidance was always gentle and never forced.She loved me unconditionally and never talked negatively about me. I was too young and immature to understand the deep impact she had on my life. The older I get, the more I understand. I was going to go on and on with memories, but I think it's sufficient to say simply that, I miss her. Can't wait to see you on the other side, Pat.

I painted in her memory this weekend. Her favorite color was red.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


It feels soooo good to paint from my gut. :D

At first I was going to paint over her. Then, I decided to keep her and re-do her hair. Then, I decided to keep the hair with only minor adjustments too. I love the imperfection of her nose. It was the first part I saw and the most important feature. I built the whole face around the nose. I couldn't keep her lips from having a hint of a smile (and I definitely tried). The background seems to be chaos. The hair... pink with the deep red.... pink is innocence and youth... deep red is strength, wisdom and maturity. She is serenity surrounded by chaos.

16 x 20 inch stretched canvas 
mixed media over collage