Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Portrait of Jane

For as long as I can remember, I think I have been drawn to things that are old and unique. Those with quite a bit of history in them. Antique wooden chests had always sparked up my curiosity, the same way old dusty books seem to call out my name every time I visited the library. Somehow, I can't help but imagine all the wonderful stories these things must carry with them throughout their long years of existence.

Which is probably why, I like to incorporate "age" into  my art. There is something very delicious about tinting and rubbing colors to make my work look aged and worn out. Each effect seems to add a little bit of character to the piece. Just like this portrait I made, based on one of my all time favorite books, Jane Eyre.

It all started with a simple black and white sketch...a little smudging here and there...

...followed by layers and layers of paint, each one light in consistency, to achieve a more deep and solemn finish.

And of course, what's a painting session without some coffee staining? I know, I know. I use too much of it sometimes, I think it's just an excuse for me to have my studio smelling wonderfully of coffee. :)

And lastly, the most anticipated part of the whole process. Detailing. This determines the final look, adding even more depth and dimensions to the whole piece. Now, no matter how enjoyable this part may sound, it usually is the one phase where you tend to keep adding and adding, not knowing where to stop. Sounds familiar? I think we've all been there... :)

So anyway, I hope you've enjoyed that brief peek into my studio life. I know I haven't been much of a blogger lately, but I've had quite a few requests from some of you to share previews of my work process. So there you have it. Until next time, lovelies! :)

Much love,

Note: Portrait of Jane is available at The Wish Forest.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Sunday Blissful Sunday

Sunday morning is here, and I can't help but dread tomorrow. I don't know if anyone out there can relate, but starting a new week always seems to pull all the strings inside me and I never fail to end up a bundle of nerves. I blame myself for listening to Manic Monday from such a young age. Somehow the song left a mark in my head and now I can never see Monday as any ordinary day. :)

I suppose having three children to take care of makes it a tad bit harder (and a tad is a mild way of putting it). It's not the same as waking up in the morning and rushing to get ready for work. I would say more like having a tornado swirl pass by you and when it does go away, you're left stunned for a very long time. But of course, after every tornado, there's always peace. The kind that you cherish and hang on to, hoping that it would never go away. Here's a little peek into some of my peaceful moments, before the mini tornado winds come home from school...

As you can see, other than my art, doll making has been a lifeline for me these days. There's something very therapeutic about sewing with your hands, just the way women used to do it back in the old days. The rhythmic movements seem to pull you into such a calm state of mind and I can't be more thankful that I found a whole new world through it.

Well, I'll get back to my precious Sunday now while the children are still fast asleep, because there will be no slowing down after they're all awake. So I hope you'll have a wonderful one too, and hopefully tomorrow when Monday comes, we'll be lucky enough to see only clears skies and no tornado in sight. ;)


Note: All my dolls are available at Whimsylandia

Sunday, 21 September 2014

When All You Need is Silence...

...close your eyes, and let your wings take you away.

Wishing you peace and serenity this Sunday to get you through the coming week.

Much love,

Note: please click on the images to visit the links.

Monday, 4 August 2014

A Wonderful Disaster

You know, one of the toughest things about my profession is being a mother at the same time. Sometimes combining the two seems almost impossible to do, and most days, frustration hangs above my head like a stubborn migraine. That alone, I won't conceal.

If you ask me what sort of things I have to deal with, I think I can tell you a million and one stories that have made me kicked and screamed inside. Tears are very often involved, and there were even times when I found myself in a downward spiral. Exhaustion is always the biggest issue. And you know how badly things can go when you are sleep deprived. Add in the all the bickering, the shouting and a ton of house chores to do, then you end up with a sour and cranky mommy artist. Think of my poor, poor husband. :)

This particular drawing, for example, has a story of its own. Like many of my stories, it started with a lovely day and I was all excited to start working on a new idea that popped into my head the night before. As I worked happily, music blasting away, ignorant of my surroundings, I got up and turned away from the table for a couple of minutes. And when I turned back, my two year old son was already on my chair, a sharp pencil in his hand and a huge smile on his face. He had left scratches here and there on my drawing and I remember feeling the blood drained away from my body as I saw it. Two hours work, ruined. Just like that. I wanted to tear my hair out and on the verge of throwing away the drawing. I had big plans and by then I couldn't even look at it. So I took a deep breath, let it out and walked out of the studio.

Half an hour later, I came back, ready to face the catastrophe. I grabbed my "tools" and started Operation Detour. It was time for a change of plan. I spent the next couple of hours drawing, shading, smudging and scratching like never before. Everything I imagined about this drawing was gone and I was surprised to see how it was shaping into. Something new, something very different.

In the end, I must say, I found great satisfaction and utter peace as I looked at my drawing. I pushed myself far enough to do something out of my comfort zone and I owe it all to my little boy. I suppose circumstances took control that day and I'm glad I didn't completely lost my head and threw away the drawing. It's something I'm still training myself to do, with three growing children, I'm sure it's going to be a long process.

So the moral of the story? Always remember to keep check with your surroundings when working, never underestimate a curious two year old with super fast hands, and above all, stay calm in every studio-child related disaster. Remember all that, and I think we'll survive. :)

Much love,

PS: No child was harmed during the making of this drawing. Only a little stunned when his mommy let out a scream after seeing his "masterpiece'. The drawing was sold a few days later, so it was a happy ending after all. :)

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Happy Workaholic

Keeping busy has always been the best remedy to help me get through tough times. I'm sure many of you would agree. If there's one positive side of being a workaholic, I think it's the chance to put aside all the tangles in your head and channel your energy into do something useful instead. Not that I'm a workaholic, of course (Ha! LOL :D)

Anyway, here are some positive results I achieved after the joyful hours of labor...

These are are now available in my shop, Whimsylandia. And to add a little bit of sunshine to the end of my hard work, I'm having a SALE with 20% discount on ALL ITEMS! For those of you who always plan ahead with your Christmas gifts, then this would be a great time to start. And that's not all... I will include a little surprise with each purchase until the sale ends at the end of the month! I'm sure that will bring a cheer to all of us. :)

Well, I hope you're working hard and enjoying yourself in the same time. There's nothing more satisfying than ending the day with a job well done.


Friday, 6 June 2014

The Storm

My dear lovelies,

I can't even begin to apologize for being away far too long from blogging. So much have happened in the last couple of months that I've been having difficulties trying to put everything down into words. I kept coming here to start writing, but failed at every attempt. The truth is, something happened that suddenly put a halt to my life altogether. My father had a heart attack and had to be hospitalized.

Yes. I know too well about the pain of losing the one you love, even more the pain of overcoming the loss. I must say that even the thought of it could leave my heart broken into little pieces, which was exactly how it was when my father was ill. I just kept thinking, what if?, what would I do then? Of course, all I could do was pray, be there for him and hoped that everything would be all right at the end.

I spent most of my time visiting him, and when I came home, I worked like a zombie, trying to put aside all the worries and horrible thoughts that occupied my head. My work is the only remedy I know for troubled times. In the past, I have tried turning my back on ugly situations and pretended that my heart would be better off if my head would try to rationalize things. But the truth is, I'm not that type of person. I can't suppress my emotions and block them with logic. Instead, I embrace everything, breathe them in and let them live in me. Dangerous, I know, but it's the only way I know of enduring.

I'm just relieved and glad that my father survived the storm. The experience left my heart bleeding, but the wound will make me stronger and braver at the end. Eventually.

Much love,

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Wishful Thinking

So the weekend is here again. Any exciting plans on the horizon? Work has been quite a heavy load this week, so I'm super excited to do pretty much nothing. Of course, that sounds like the perfect plan...that is, until I pop into the studio and end up getting my hands busy. I guess the best thing to do would be to lock my studio and ask my kids to hide it for safe keeping. :)

It's wise to get away from work once in a while, especially as an artist, where projects and commissions are basically on the top of the priority list. It's not easy to find time to actually create your own personal work. Which is bad, because your personal work helps you build a solid portfolio to help you find work in the first place.

Anyway, I eventually made time, and here are a couple of fruitful sessions in the studio... I've gone an extra mile and decided to splash some paints around!

The Great Escape, graphite and acrylics on paper.

The Giant Picnic, graphite and acrylics on paper.

Well it sure felt good to paint in this much details after such a long absence of painting at all. I must admit that I don't do enough of it because of the little time I have. Sometimes I wish I could clear away an entire week and just paint to my heart's content. :)

So tell me, what have you been up to?


Wednesday, 9 April 2014

The Muses Within Us

Have you ever thought about your art recently? What inspires your work, what drives you to create what you do? What evokes the emotions that lie far beneath your soul? If like me, you tend to portray your moods and feelings through the characters in your art, then I'm sure that you have muses who linger within you each time you pick up a pencil or a brush. Many artists do, and through this, they manage to successfully deliver masterpieces out to the world.

Here are a few outstanding works of art that will evoke your emotions and awaken the muses inside you...

Art by Lori Earley

May you muses shine and live in you forever.

Much love,