It's been a busy end of the year for Mizzle Adventures. I did an artist talk in November at the Huntington Beach Art Center, where I introduced my latest project. The sad part is that Periscope froze so I couldn't get the talk online for others to see. And I've been meaning to re-record my presentation, but life as an art teacher ending a semester, a flood of commissions, and my nephew being born has prevented me to get to it. I will get it up soon! I promise. I introduced my latest project, a follow-up to the Remembering Dad Project. This time it is focused just on kindness. Today, I finished one of the paintings for the project and realized something delightful. I realized that I'm painting the love and bond my friends and I have. I am blessed to have such a tight group of friends and we compliment one another so well! We all have the right amount of creativity, passion, compassion, love, and weird. We always find a way to have fun and are always laughing. We love to be silly together and think up ridiculous things together. They are clearly part of my inspiration for this new project. I hope and wish everyone has friends like mine, who bring constant joy to my life!
Finding just the right venue for your art is never easy. I always participate in the Huntington Beach Art Center member shows. Every once in a while, I'll participate in a Raw Artist showcase. For the past 2 years, I've had the honor to have my work hang in the Orange County Creatives Gallery in Laguna Beach. A few weeks ago, their doors sadly closed. So, now I'm at a place of much needed reflection about what to do with my art. It feels like there are 2 paths in today's art world. One is the tradutional, yet difficult to get into, path of the art gallery. The second is the path of the pop-up show. I think it's fair to say that I've been a part of the 2nd path. I have to admit that I do enjoy the pop-up shows because it forces you to get creative with your display. It is, also, a great way to meet people and make new art contact. You just never know who you might meet at these one day events.
Being an art major, you become familiar with the various names of color (hue). So, when I began hosting paint nights with friends, who are not artistically trained, it caught me a little off guard when they had questions or humorous comments about a color's name. One that had become an inside joke is Hooker Green. I thought I'd get some background on yhe color to share. Here it is: Hooker Green is a dark green color created by mixing Prussian blue and Gamboge. It was named after the botanical illustrator, William Hooker (1779-1832), who first created a special pigment for leaves. (information is from wikipedia). Here is more info on the artist:
I don't know why this popped into my mind, but it did. Art heals. It really does. I was thinking of my art meeting tonight and which painting should I take for judging. I think I'm taking one of my Rise paintings. As I was thinking of the painting, I remembered how it made my mom tear up. This led to me thinking about the Remembering Dad Project and how healing it was for me. Then, instantly, I thought "wow, the Mizzles have helped me heal before." These characters have been with me for quite a while now. They have grown just as I have. And when my brain and heart needed an escape from the pain, they were there to distract me with color, curiosity, and adventure. I never intentionally used them to heal. It just happened naturally and I'm happy it did... both times. The added plus is that the second time they helped heal others, as well.
If you feel life weighing down on you, or you are going through something I recommend giving it a try. Even if you don't consider yourself as artist, I feel it is important to find something creative to lose yourself in to help you find your way through whatever life has thrown at you. Whether it's doodling, crocheting, drawing, sewing, telling stories, or performing, there is something for everyone. And don't be afraid to try something new! You never know what it might lead you to next!
This week I finished the Remembering Dad Project. I have been working on this project for about a year. I had mailed out the last of the mizzle boxes to random addresses. But there was a part 2 of the project that I had shared with only my mom and sister. As I mentioned in my project, I wanted to honor the memory of my dad, but to also honor all of the people who were there for me and my family. So, part 2 of my project was to send those specific individuals a painting or mizzle, as well. They began to receive their packages a few weeks ago, but the majority of them have received them this week. During that painful experience, my mom, sister, and I had what felt like an army of people support us. It was something truly spectacular and gives me comfort knowing what a great support system we have around us. Dark times are never truly dark when you are surrounded by people who care.
My neighbor pointed out that the project has come full circle. I was inspired by the Rise Festival that my mom, sister, and I went to after my dad passed away. This weekend, we will be returning to the Rise Festival and the project was completed this week. She had asked if I did that intentionally. I didn't. I didn't even make the connection until she mentioned it. The timing of it all worked out perfectly. Now, I need to reflect on what I want my goals to be, and what I want to reflect on at the Rise Festival. I might just let the experience inspire my next journey. We'll see.
I just want to end with this... There are many people who make a positive impact in my life. Not everyone got something. Please don't think you don't matter to me because you didn't get something. I simply wanted to thank those specifically who were there during this event in my life and to those who had to deal with me the most during my grieving. The grieving has not completely ended, but they helped me get through the worst of it.
Now, go hug someone you love!
I know it's been a while since my time lapse video. I finally got around to editing the other parts together. This is the full length, from beginning to end of the painting. At the beginning, I'm working on two different canvases so that I am being more productive during drying time of each layer. I apologize for some of the off camera work. When I was working I didn't notice the camera moving. It's all a learning process. This painting took me 5 hours to complete.
I mailed 25 paintings yesterday. I know it is weird, but I was suddenly extremely nervous. It's not like an art show, where I can see the reactions of people immediately. So, questions are swirling through my head. (What if they think this is weird? like, in a bad way, weird? What if they don't like it and throw it away?) I'm trying to just focus on the positives of the project and not worry about those things. It has been a long, exhausting, but fun project. I am not completely done with it. I need to finish a few Mizzle dolls and begin mailing those out. I've been pretty lucky on this project to have students who love my work and ideas. There are 3 who have been such a great help to me on this project. The final part of the project will be coming up with a way to thank them!
During the Raw Artist show and the time since, I've been asked a lot about my process in creating the lantern paintings. I had a few blank canvases waiting for me, so I decided to create a few more for the Remembering Dad Project. I used the Framelapse app on my phone to record this time lapse video. In the video, I am working with 2 different canvases. The reason for this is because there are many layers and I have to wait for each layer to dry before moving on to the next step. Also, it prevents me from getting impatient during the drying. This video is just part 1. I was interrupted by a phone call from a friend. I'll be working on the remainder of the process soon. Hopefully with no interruptions.
Sometimes my favorite side projects are the paintings I'm giving as gifts. I think they become my favorite paintings or dolls because I truly love the people who I make these items for and I know the smile that will cross their face when they receive it. I just recently did a painting for friends of mine, who are expecting their first child. I knew they would appreciate the gift, but I had no idea I was going to get the reaction I received. Their excitement was like none other. It made me unbelievably happy to have created that for them and their baby. My friends are huge fans of the Seahawks and Dodgers. I needed a third sport, and when I asked them what that was I had learned that there are Cadillac Racing Cars. It was actually the perfect third item I needed for the painting.
This painting is 15x22. It is watercolor paper stretched onto stretcher bars. I used ink to draw the image onto the paper, and used Daniel Smith watercolors to create this painting. I love the texture that is created when using Daniel Smith watercolor paints. They are my latest art medium obsession!
Now I need to get back to my #rememberingdadproject and get ready for my upcoming art show!