Friday, August 28, 2009

Deeper Roots

Deeper Roots
Originally uploaded by Anna Maria Stone
The final lesson in Kathryn Antyr's online vision journaling workshop had to do with making a collage or mixed media piece about nurturing our passion. I haven't really had time to get into this class very much (I'm into too many things at once, as usual), but I had made a card for the first lesson and wanted to make something for this last one. My dilemma, however, was "how can I work on nurturing my passion, when I don't know what my passion is, and when it is constantly changing?"

Since Kathryn's suggestion was to more or less start putting together images almost unconsciously and then seeing what meaning might develop, I did just that. I tore a piece of a page out of a pamphlet, glued it down, painted over it, and when I had finished the background and face I looked to see if anything jumped out at me. The words I saw most clearly were the ones I darkened with a pen: the letter "M", "deeper roots" and "garden". So I added roots and branches. I thought about it and decided that this meant that I needed to quit flitting from passion to passion and drop my roots down deeper so that the plant, which may be drawing and painting, or something else, can grow and flourish. I need to think about this some more.

I'm finally learning how to play around a bit with Photoshop Elements (the cheaper mini-version of Photoshop), so the image above is the result of adding an effect called "dark strokes". The original scanned version is below.

P.S. The style of the face owes a lot to Suzi Blu, and the idea of drawing and painting over the glued down printed page to a Tamara Laporte video.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Canvas Cover in the works

Canvas cover
Originally uploaded by Anna Maria Stone
It's Saturday, so of course after walking Eden in Golden Gate Park I'm home messing with paint.
This is acrylic paint and spray paint on canvas and will be the cover of the journal I am making in Mary Ann Moss' Stitched and Stenciled class.

Below is a mixed media Madonna (maybe) on paper, attached to a wood panel. I don't know if she will recover from the orange mess on her forehead, created by matte medium brushed over some Prismacolor pencils that bled. I plan to do more with her, hopefully a lot more. I say "hopefully" I always seem to get to a point where I have a difficult time taking the next step.

Think I'll take a nap. I always say that, but I never do.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

How much can I fit into a Saturday?

Before anything else, I took Eden to Golden Gate Park for our Saturday morning walk.
When I got back home I made myself a delicious breakfast of pancakes with blueberries and walnuts on top, then I decided to work on a mixed media painting I started in one of Suzi Blu's workshops, but not wanting to miss the chance to enjoy some sun since I spend most of the rest of the week indoors, I took my redhead into the garden and sketched a wolf in the background.

I somehow found myself watering and cleaning up around the garden, when I suddenly remembered that it was Saturday, the only day during which I could set up a spray painting station in the backyard and add stencils to the painted backgrounds I had made for Mary Ann Moss' Stitched and Stenciled workshop.

When you find yourself thinking the stencils look cooler than what you're working on, that's when you realize you've been wearing your mask around your neck instead of on your face. I won't be doing that again!

My favorite ended up being the one I "messed up", when the black paint sprayed sideways and went where it was not supposed to go, so I tried to cover the black with red, then stenciled on top of that.

As if I hadn't done enough damage to my body, I had a glass of wine with my neighbor while we sat in the sun and discussed plants and life.

OK, it's almost 4 p.m. and I've still got more painting to do, a podcast to listen to and some reading to fit in.

Monday, August 10, 2009

A Sunday in Ordinary Time

My Sunday started with the 10:30 service at St. Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal Church - as always a technicolor experience for the eyes, the ears and the heart. I don't know why I flipped the camera at the end. Obviously, I'm no videographer...

An excerpt from the church brochure describes the artwork, "A 2,300-square-foot iconographic mural encircles the rotunda walls .... The Dancing Saints Icon depicts 90 saints chosen by the congregation, larger than life and in dancing poses that model a distinctive feature of our worship." Some of the saints of whom you can catch a glimpse in the video are Lady Godiva with her horse, Sadi with tiger, John Coltrane, Francis of Assisi with wolf, Martha Graham, John Muir, Teresa of Avila, Sojourner Truth, and Seraphim with bear.

After the service I walked to Pizza Nostra, just two blocks from church. The Potrero Hill neighborhood is generally sunnier and warmer than the rest of San Francisco, so it's always a treat for me to be able to enjoy lunch at an outdoor table.

After lunch it was back to the church for the ongoing icon workshop, where I am slowly, very slowly, making progress.

All in all, a good day.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Sunflowers are amazing

They are SUNflowers, and yet they bloom even in my back yard in one of the foggier neighborhoods of San Francisco.

Next year, if I still have a patch of dirt available for gardening, I want to plant a forest of them!