Holidays are O-V-E-R!

I don't have my own family (as in marriage/kids),
but the gift buying/wrapping/driving 9 hours/spending time with family
is tiring and emotionally draining.
This year, I had the 4 paintings for my Aunts that needed to be done
by Christmas as well.
The pressure I put on myself was too much.
I kept thinking and worrying about what my aunts would want,
what they would like.
What would look good hanging in their house,
even though I haven't even been in all their houses,
or feel like I know them as well as I "should" to be able to paint them something.
Brooklyn Bridge
This one, for my Aunt who lives in NYC took me the longest,
was the hardest, and was the most rewarding in the end.
She is SUCH a New Yorker through and through
and I wanted that conveyed through the painting for her.
My original plan was to do a NYC skyline, 
with the Brooklyn Bridge in front of it.
The lights aglow at night, with them shining into the water.
I did sketches, and realized how much I can NOT draw.
But after many sketches, I got a vague hint of how I wanted to draw it.
Translating onto canvas worked out well enough.
Then I tried painting my "vision," and I hated it.
It just wasn't me at all. I was trying to make
this painting look more realistic vs abstract,
and I just am not good enough to make it look well-done.
Next, I worked on my Aunt's painting who lives in Arizona.
Somehow, I forgot to take a picture of this!!! GRRRRRR.
Lets just use our imaginations, shall we? :)
I had a thought that I would have a flower as the central focus,
but with fun, happy colors. 
Colors that remind me of Arizona, and my Aunt,
who is bubbly and happy and positive.
Since my "vision" was more abstract,
I decided to just throw down those colors that reminded me of her and AZ.
Crimson. Teal. Orange. Yellow. Red.
I poured paint on a canvas, smooshed it around
and already loved it more than the other painting I had been laboring on.
*I wish I had the picture. I am going to hopefully get one from my Nonni*
I immediately loved this painting because it involved my favorite colors,
more abstract technique and I thought,
"Hmmm...maybe I need to stop worrying about what they will think,
but what makes me happy."
This is hard for me--but it was irrefutable proof that it made my artwork better.
The painting above is the result of that.
1,000 times better than what it was.
A little further onward, lend thy guiding hand to these dark steps
a little further on--John Milton
For my Aunt who lost her husband to cancer in May.
She's going through such a hard time, that I hope this quote can ease her pain a little.
For my Aunt that I feel like I know the least.
Hers was hard, and this was the first one completed--
before my ephiphany; therefore I like it the least.
My cousin told me she likes pinks and browns,
so that is all that I had to go on.

I am happy the holidays are over.
I am hoping 2011 will resolve in more focus on artwork
and what I want to do with it,
and less on spiraling into depressions and avoiding art when I should be embracing it.


Failing at Creativity

You wouldn't think someone could fail at creativity,
but I am pretty sure I do.

These paintings are for my aunts, for Christmas.
My Nonni asked me to do them in OCTOBER.
They should have been mailed like 3 days ago.
I bought the canvases about a month ago because I felt so guilty
for not having started.
A few weeks ago my Nonni told me I should probably unwrap them.
A week later, I did.
I did these paintings in the various forms as they are in 
one inspired saturday.
Every single day this week, what did I do?
Oh, laid in bed. Because THAT is the productive
way to spend my evenings.
Also, not to mention my Sketchbook, for the Sketchbook Project.
I still have about 40% left to acomplish before Jan 15.
yeah right.
My peak with that was when I traveled to Kansas
to visit a friend. I've half-drawn some stuff here and there,
but blech. I was so excited for this, and now I want
to throw it in the trash.


No more Haul-idays

Chronicle books announced their winner today,
and sadly it wasn't me.
Its ok, because I wasn't really expecting to win.
I've been a bad blogger, I'm sorry.
I am working on paintings for my aunts
which seem like they will NOT be done by christmas.
I finally actually started working on them last week,
and I'm in progress on all 4, but they probably need to be
at my Nonni's in two days. That is so not going to happen.
I also need to make a journal for my little cousin.
I'm not sure how I should do it, and whenever I make my own journals,
the stitching is always way too loose--no matter how much I pull
the strings taught :(
Plus, its so cold out!!!
All I want to do (and it usually wins) is curl up under my covers.