New Blog

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So, it has been awhile.  The second half of 2016 became busy and crazy, filled with tremendous change – in my own life and in the world around me.  I moved, simplified, and changed my name.  (The official change is still in process, but soon…)  My new name is Artemis, and with it I am starting a new blog.    You may find it here: artemisoconnor.com.

I will still continue to post my art and my creative process, but I will also be writing more – philosophical musings, poetry, and even an occasional political rant.  I have been too quiet for too long.

Above is my latest painting entitled “The Red Belt”.  I found an image of a woman in the 1930s standing in this pose.  It looks like one of those depression photographs that were done to document the hardships everyone was enduring.  She looked so strong and intense.  I was intrigued by her pose.  Why do you think she is standing like this with the backs of her hands facing outward, looking somewhat defensive and resigned at the same time?  Your interpretation is as good as mine…

Please follow me on my new blog,

Anne/Artemis

 

 

Who’s That Girl?

I wonder if authors are surprised when a character flows out from their pen or keyboard a fully developed personality with a complete life history. I know the usual process is to agonize over every detail and change character traits until it gels into the person which fits the story.  Sometimes, or so I hear, the character just flows, as if it wants to be born.

When I started drawing the girl below, I did not have a reference, nor did I have a vision of what I wanted her to look like. She just came to the paper, fully developed.

GirlI look at her now and start to image the details of her life, her likes, her dreams, her personality.  It is like having a baby (OK it is not really, but stay with me for a moment).  You put something of yourself into the creation, but in the end, they are their own individual entity – marvelously unique.  I wish all drawings flowed so easily!

I have some exciting changes going on in my world.  I am downsizing from an 1100 square foot 3-bedroom house, to a tiny 500 square foot (or so) 1-bedroom apartment.  Yes, I will officially be a tiny house dweller.  I will also be renting an art studio in a building with other artists!  I am sad to leave my home that I love, but I am looking forward to more financial freedom, less stuff to take care of, and my very own studio space!  I will post pictures as I make the move.

Light Spirit

It has been awhile since I last posted. Work and life has been busy, although that is not a very good excuse I know. I have often let life get in the way of my creative expression.  I am currently taking steps to free up more of my time and energy to redirect towards my painting and creative work.

Since my last post I became a member of the Hyattsville Community Arts Alliance and have been exhibiting my work in my area.  Currently, my newest painting, Light Spirit, is hanging in the Doctor’s Community Hospital in Lanham.

Light Spirit 12"x12" Acrylic

Light Spirit 12″x12″ Acrylic

A friend I met last year at Squam Into the Mystic has purchased the painting!  It brings me so much joy to know others like my work enough to want to own a piece.  This painting started as a much more controlled (and boring) figure.  Then I started playing with blurring the edges between the figure and the landscape, as if they were part of each other.  It became impressionistic and much lighter in mood.  I may play with this method more in the future.  I love the result and it felt a more open and freeing way to paint.

My wish is that more joy and lightness of spirit is brought into all our lives.

A bit obsessed, really

It seems as if I have become obsessed with the portrait.  I continue to practice for the elusive likeness.  This week, some success, I think.

March 18, 2016

March 18, 2016

This is me, but prettier!  My eyes are not as large and my chin is larger.  Still, this is cheaper than plastic surgery!

March 19, 2016

March 19, 2016

This is practice from an Craftsy class I am taking: Drawing Facial Features.

March 20, 2016

March 20, 2016

My sister’s sweet little dog, Mariposa, died this week.  I think I put too much focus on the collar!  I hope to give her better justice in a future effort.

March 21, 2016

March 21, 2016

Charcoal self-portrait.

March 22, 2016

March 22, 2016

I really like this one.  Not an exact likeness of the person I was drawing, but I like the result – particularly the line work in the shadows.

March 23, 2016

March 23, 2016

Owl from a photograph on my calendar.  I love owls, although they are not easy to draw.

March 24, 2016

March 24, 2016

Another one I like.  Older faces have so much character.  It may be hard to capture, but so much more interesting for practice.

March 25, 2016

March 25, 2016

Finally – a likeness!  I think taking a famous face like Einstein may be easier to achieve a likeness, because of the great features.

March 26, 2016

March 26, 2016

Another self-portrait.  I think I almost have it correct.  My nose is a little bigger, otherwise this is by far the closest I have yet achieved to a likeness of myself.

March 27, 2016

March 27, 2016

I don’t wish to do portraits every day, and love natural elements.   It is cherry blossom time here in the DC area, so these flowers were on my mind.  It was nice to play with a little color by adding colored pencils.

The Birds are Singing…..

I love Spring. Who doesn’t?  The birds are singing, the squirrels are chasing each other around the tree trunks, and everyone is sneezing.  Ah well, we must take the good with the bad.  This lesson been a recent one for me.  I now know that even when difficult and even tragic events are touching my life, I can still find moments of joy.  I just need to remind myself to slow down and pay attention.

Here are my recent daily drawings:

February 27

February 27 – pencil

I missed my first daily drawing (since January 1) on February 26, so the next day, I made two.

February 27, 2016

February 27 – pen and ink

February 28

February 28 – pen and ink

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

February 29

February 29 – pencil

March 1 From a drawing by Raphael

March 1
From a drawing by Raphael – pencil

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mar_2_2016

March 2 – pencil

Mar_3_2016

March 3 – pencil

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mar_4_2016

March 4 – pencil

Mar_5_2016

March 5 – pen and ink

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mar_6_2016

March 6 – watercolor pencil

Mar_7_2016

March 7 – pen and ink

Mar_8_2016

March 8 – charcoal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mar_9_2016

March 9 2016 – pencil

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Poem on Fear

Working my way through Misty Mawn’s book, Unfurling, has been a wonderful opportunity for me to experiment with different mediums. I have been leading the Book Club on Art Journal Emporium throughout January and February using this book. This week is the last chapter, and it focuses on poetry.

I have been spending the last couple of years living with fear and this week I wrote a short poem about embracing fear to transform it. Then I included it in a journal page.

Week-9The poem reads:

Fear, an old enemy
Lock the doors –
Bar the windows –
Keep away!
All my time spent
waiting and watching…
ready to defend or to attack.
One day, I decided
to invite fear in.
I gave him tea.
We talked and cried.
I embraced fear and let him leave.
The door remains wide open –
He stops by now and again,
but not for long.

Here are my daily drawings:

February 21, 2016

February 21, 2016

February 22, 2016

February 22, 2016

February 23, 2016

February 23, 2016

February 24, 2016

February 24, 2016

February 25, 2016

February 25, 2016

I have been playing with scribble drawing this week, and I think I like the scribble hand best.  I also tried drawing the planes of the face today.  It was so much harder than I expected!

Catching Up

Drawing every day, I have not only been learning how to draw better, but I have also been learning a bit about myself.

February 12, 2016

February 12, 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

February 13, 2016

February 13, 2016 

In the past, I have only created art when I felt like it.  I had to be in the mood to draw, or paint, or do one of the many crafts I enjoy.  I had, and still have, a lot of resistance to the act of creating.  This is mostly due to my fears and judgement of the potential outcome of any creative project.  Will it be good enough for the time I spent on it?  How will it compare to other artist’s work?  Will it look childish and awkward?  Well, very often, my drawings and paintings do not look as I had in mind when I started the piece and I am frequently disappointed in the outcome.

The point, I have discovered, is that I need to make myself draw anyway.  It is obvious in my mind that is the only way I will improve, but, my anxiety often keeps me from actually putting pen, pencil, or paint to paper.  By making this commitment to myself to draw every day and to post on Instagram, and here on my blog, I am forced to draw sometimes when I am tired, when I am distracted by life, when I just don’t feel much like drawing.  Most the time though, once I begin the drawing, I lose myself in the lines, the shape, the form of whatever I am drawing at the moment.  My daily drawing becomes a meditation in seeing – a practice, not a product.

February 14, 2016

February 14, 2016

February 15, 2016

February 15, 2016

February 16, 2016

February 16, 2016

February 17, 2016

February 17, 2016

February 18, 2016

February 18, 2016

February 19, 2016

February 19, 2016

February 20, 2016

February 20, 2016

Like most things in life, it is the tiny little acts we do each day that make the most difference, not larger gestures.  Each drawing is a tiny step forward in my journey as an artist and in my soul journey as well.  That thought helps me to stay committed to this practice.