Art Mentor

I have a wonderful, wonderful family.
A few weeks ago my aunt, who lives in NYC
and is a New Yorker in every way possible
AND works with artists as her career,
e-mailed me.
The title: "Art Mentor."
I was intrigued, and she basically said that she
has decided that I need an art mentor if I am going to sell my work...
(she holds steadfast to that about me, even if I don't)
She told me to stop doing my art journal pages
on both sides, basically told me that I need to get my shit together,
and that she was sending me a book to read.
I laughed as I read it, and wrote her back telling her she was QUITE bossy,
so now I am calling her Dictator MB.
A couple of days ago, I received this book.
I am about halfway through it and unsure how I feel about it.
It most definitely is interesting to read about artists
and the people who inspire them, especially Lewis Carroll.
Except, I don't know how this is going to inspire ME.
I wrote my aunt today telling her my thoughts so far,
and she wrote back "Its ok not to feel it.
What I want you to get from this is that you need inspiration,
to allow yourself to be eccentric if needed, or at least
be selfish about doing your art. You don't have to relate to any of them
but you do have to start immersing yourself in the pursuit of art.
So sayeth, MB"
I love this woman! Wise words, huh?
Also, my Nonni (my aunt's mom) is COMMISSIONING me!
Ok, so its my grandmother...but STILL. 
It is quite a project she has bestowed on me.
My family has gone through some rough times this past year,
and she said The Aunts (her 4 daughters) motto is "Onward,"
and she wants me to paint each of them a painting with
that word on it, and signed by me. lol.
She has explicitly stated that I am to keep track of how much
it costs for supplies and my worth because it is not an argument:
it is a sale.
I have some bossy women in my family!
I love, love love all my aunts.
They have all been mother figures for me in many different ways all my life.
This is such an honor.
Now if I can actually finish a project for another person, we'll be all set.
I have about a zillion unfinished projects that are for other people.
I can't do it. Fear? Probably.
And she wants this done in time so she can mail them for Christmas.
Help! I need inspiration, a kick in the ass, hugs, motivation....belief.
Oh, now that I've rambled for so long (sorry), here are a few things I 
have done in the past few days.
Oh Music Book, I've forgotten all about you.
You've sat on the shelf, sad and dusty.
Don't worry, I didn't completely forget--I have just been having a hard time.
Forgive me?
This is the first "piece" I have done in quite some time.
And in just a couple of evenings.
Record time.
I was browsing through Flickr and was inspired by
Bostinstuff's awesome work, which led me to Rettgrayson's awesome work.
Oh, the joys of Flickr!
Inspired by their use of color, and grid formatting
and a spontaneous idea to try and draw umbrellas (?)
this is what I came up with.
I needed it to be light and simple, so I took out my watercolor crayons.
Just a plain pencil and watercolor crayons and I kinda like it.
I am hoping oh so much that I am crawling out of that black hole.
I kinda need to...I've got family members bossing me around over here!
So please...I need some motivation and inspiration and belief that
I can pull off these paintings for my family.


  1. Dawn, trust your Aunt!! Sometimes (a lot of times) they see stuff in us that we don't or that we don't want to claim yet!! They wouldn't commission you if they didn't think you could do it. They like your work.

    I LOVE those umbrellas!!! Love them!! Just start anywhere, do NOT wait for inspiration to come.....cuz it's a tag-along :D

  2. Your aunties rock! Great advice. And I am so glad to see you making art again! Yay Dawn!

  3. Bossy, supportive, cheerleader family members are wonderful. You are very lucky to have your aunt ! But just remember that this art making needs to be all you. Trusting your voice. Trusting your gut and expressing what you need to express. And above all, making art that is for you, what you love, and not what others want it to be. Hard for people pleasers...believe me this I know !!! I have started just saying no when a friend or family member asks me to make a piece of art that matches their sofa or that reflects our friendship. I say instead "Here are the piece I have done lately. Is there something here that speaks to you ?" If I can part with it, I do and if not, I make a really good copy of it and frame that for them. Just some thoughts...
    Whatever you do, Creative One, don't let your joy at creating get dimmed by satisfying the needs of others !
    Keep on Arting, Wonderful Dawn !

  4. Women are amazing people...and these aunts of yours are in your corner. I love that! Try reading "Creative Is A Verb." Patti Digh writes about creativity blocks and about how we diminish ourselves. To echo Kim, be true to yourself. Just play, and I bet that out of that play comes some really cool stuff. For me, when I'm trying to "please" someone, I pretty much mess up. Usually big time. I love the umbrellas...light, whimsical, and cheerful!