Happy birthday, mama!!

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I love this picture!

I love this picture!

My mother is literally one of the most beautiful and bravest women that I have ever met. And today was her 54th birthday.

Years go by and yet she still remains as beautiful. I am so thankful for all that she is and all that she gives. And I just can’t wait to see her again!

I initially came up with three different ideas in my sketchbook of what I could paint for her. But since I couldn’t make up my mind on which to choose, I decided I would simply paint them all and then pick the best out of them. I had enough time on my hands and of course, I could definitely have used more painting practice!

Last night, at around midnight, I finally completed all three paintings. But, with my tired eyes facing my beautiful creations, I still couldn’t pick one. So I figures, since it is my mom’s present, I will let her pick.

And so, this morning, I call her to wish her the most happiest birthday and I present to her the three 20×20 paintings and tell her that she’s free to choose whichever she prefers. And so, my mom finds it hard as well to choose one and therefore decides that she wants all of them!

Haha So that’s the story behind them, now here’s all of them with some details. It is all flower themed and somehow ended up more like an under water theme…

It was really fun to make! And I really enjoyed working on three at once which allowed me to switch freely from one to the other whenever I felt like I needed a break or while one needed to dry before a next step.

She loved all of them and I am proud of them. So, it’s a perfectly executed job!

I just can’t wait to see her again!!! ❤

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The Fool, acrylics on canvas, 05.25.18

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Still listening to City of Stars on repeat. Painted this last night. I was still trying to practice some floral moves for my mom’s birthday present, but I lost all control. The song drove me there. I love my story behind this painting, but I won’t share it out loud, just so you have all the room for your own interpretation! 😉

I’m not as proud of it as of my last painting(click here if you haven’t seen it yet), but like I literally just said, I love what it tells and it’s pretty colorful which feels good to look at. And yet, there’s still a little bittersweetness that linger in the back of my mouth when I look at it.

Until next post, keep dreaming through the storms! ❤

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ESTHER

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(this is not going to be a long post because I’ve already written her a long enough letter hehe and also I don’t have much time to write right now)

Today is Esther’s birthday! She is turning 19!

I’m really happy that she is my friend. She is so daring, caring, intelligent, funny, beautiful and much much more. She inspires me in many ways and just, really brings smiles to my face and warmth to my heart all the time.

I always rejoice in her presence, so much that, every week a part of me spends all its energy longing for the weekend when we finally meet again. We do the silliest things together and we open up our hearts too, sometimes all at once! And it’s a lovely bloody mess!

This is a beautiful thing that we have and, even though it is not my place to make a wish on this day, I surely hope that this friendship lasts and lasts and lasts…

So, anyway. Like I said, she got a letter already so I must cut this short!

I’m only here to share her birthday present which is, I quote, “the best present ever” and equally, possibly the most amazing piece I have ever created so far. Jk.

The reality of it is that it is a monstrosity that can only be appreciated by the two of us since it is a mash up of two of our inside jokes/homemade memes.

Behold, the painting:

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It is what it is. I won’t explain anything. We know and that’s what matters. Ha ha.

I spent a mere three hours working on it. Might have went faster had I not been laughing every step of the way! I swear, I was going for a simple thing and then the idea of our joke hit me and I was like “No…. YES!”. And I laid down the base for it on the canvas. And then the second one hit me and at first I was scared of what power was inspiring me such daring combination. And eventually I gave in.

It was such a fun painting to make. It’s always fun to make things for the people you love, anyway. But I mean, that one was literally funny to make! And, since she loved it so much, it makes it all even more worth it! I’m proud of it and I’m proud of us!

A couple years ago, hell, last year even(!), had you told me I would become friends with a Spanish girl I would’ve screamed “Get out of my face!”. But Life has a way to scratch you right on the itch… weird way to put it i know My many years of school had me develop a small aversion to the Spanish language so, of course, in my mind it would have been impossible. Yet, here we are. And she even has me wanting to learn Spanish again!.. Boy, if that ain’t love, I don’t know what is! 😉

I love you, Esther, tu vales mucho a mis ojos! ❤

BONUS: happy little deer with her love-infused monster

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fav person in fav coffee place with fav humor

2017 Christmas paintings!

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Just as it happened last year, this year’s Christmas presents were… uhm… rushed for a little bit? And almost lead to a mental breakdown and coffee overdose. Good times. All in the name of love! Ha ha

No charcoal this time. All acrylics. On small canvas. Don’t remember the dimensions but pretty tiny squares and then a bigger one for my Irish family.

So, I made a portrait of my little nephew for my sister. And then painted two pictures from this year’s New Year’s celebrations for my mom and brother (on which they look nothing like themselves). And finally, I made a portable peaceful shelter for my best friend so she can always have a place to turn to when stressed out/depressed/in need for more dreams and less life.

My mom is a beautiful woman and my brother is a pretty silly boy so I felt terrible while painting these because their faces were so distorted. But it was made with so much love and they loved it in the end so that’s what matters. And my bf just received hers as I write this and she told me she shed a few tears. Soo… Mission accomplished! Not perfect work but intense love for sure!

Then, for my Irish family, I painted that one picture of us that we took on the night of the Late Late Toy Show on December 1st. Which is the only picture of all of us together we had at the time I started it. I wanted to make the smiley faces at first but I must admit that when I laid it down at first, I decided to go for the actual faces… However, since I was exhausted and running out of time, I ended up covering them up with the bright yellow smiley faces in the end.

My host parents loved it so much and it makes me SUPER DUPER happy! The real big gift was being with them this whole blessed season of Christmas. A home away from home. I have so much love and admiration for them.

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Although I am not a 100% satisfied with the end results, I am delighted that my love got through and that they all appreciated the fruit of my hard work. And that is what truly matters in the end, to hell with perfection!

That was a lot of hard work in such short time. I’m glad I didn’t actually lose my mind to it! And it was actually a very condensed practice for my drawing and painting skills also which will, I sure do hope so, prove to have been very efficient in the future. I don’t know when I’ll try to paint again because that was a lot at once and I might need a looooong break before the intensity and bittersweet aftertaste fade out in the echoes of their thank yous and smiles.

Also, I’d just like to let you know that trying out new techniques, new things, straight onto a project that is important and to be finished fast is not really a super wise idea. But if the pressure gets you off, who am I to judge? 😉 I had never used a palette knife before doing my nephew’s portrait and I have zero experience painting people, but I jumped right in. Sometimes leaving yourself no choice is the best way to take a leap and learn to fly??

Until next time, keep the love flowing! ❤

My sister’s birthday present!

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It’s about time I share with you the painting I did for my sister’s birthday back in September!

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I was a little late since it was on the 29th, which was five days after Adam’s birthday and I honestly FORGOT. First time it ever happened to me to actually forget something so big! But I was just so focused on my little boy’s birthday present and also my whole au pair experience that I literally forgot about my amazing sister’s b-day! I remembered the night before and I knew I was fucked…

So, as the thought brutally hit me and the Universe reclaimed my heart back since I didn’t need one anyway, I jumped on my sketchbook (that she gave me btw) to find the best idea. And, thank G*d, I figured it out almost instantly; it was pretty easy.

My sister had been harassing me for the past few days with a tutorial video she found online about how to paint a tree using acrylics and she was like “I want a blue, a green, a red, and also a yellow one” or whatever. And I told her, “Well, you better get to work now!” And she insisted “But I wanted you to paint it for me… *puppy eyes*”. And so did I, “I gave mom a few brushes and nice acrylic paints too the other day. You should borrow it from her and practice for the trees.” Of course, in the back of my head I was thinking of making one for her eventually one day but little did I know (I should’ve!) that her birthday was just around the corner…

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Sacrifice ALL THE SLEEP WHO CARES?

Of course, just the tree seemed a little too “basic” for me. Like, “you’ve asked, there you go”. And that’s not how birthday presents should be. Sure, it’s more than okay to give what a person actually expressed orally that they wanted. But is that really enough? Not for someone that matters this much to me. Happy birthday means thanks for existing (still) and I’m thankful to have known you for so long. And my sister has practically raised me alongside my mom. She was my second mom as I used to call her, or more like my dad since I used to give her the school’s presents for Father’s day haha So I had to bring some more symbolic in there and make her feel something more intense when she’d look at it!

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February 1997 (a 5-month-old piece of fat)

And so, I thought about this beautiful picture of her holding me as a baby. It’s one of my favorite pictures ever and since I have it with me, I figured I could easily blend it in the painting of the tree; some way, somehow. And so I did.

Blended her body with the tree’s trunk and roots because she is my roots and solid ground. She carried me along the way, lifted me up and made me into the strong woman I am still becoming. She is my mom and my home. And so here we are in the center of the painting, hugging and glowing together. Her favorite color is green and one of mine is yellow. And the reason I went for blue for the leaves rather than her favorite color is because it is my mom’s favorite color and the ocean’s and it has always been for me a motherly color. A strong and warm(yeah I know it’s not technically but to me, yes), comforting color, surrounding us, holding us together.

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Sure, I was late and I got the idea really quickly, didn’t put a large amount of thought into it. But I put lots of hours working on it and lots of heart into it also! There’s a lot of meaning in there and it’s also very pleasing to look at. And most importantly, my sister loved it! What more could I ask for?

Until next post, love, love with all you’ve got! ❤

P.S.: If you’re reading this, je t’aime Lucie 😉

My first evening art class, 09.26.17

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Last Tuesday, I attended my first evening art class at the community school. It was 3hours-ish long but it went by so fast. We were a small group, I would say less than twenty, and only three of us in our twenties (I felt it coming to be honest, I guess it’s the hours). And, long story short, I had a lovely time!

Since I started taking drawing seriously a year ago, I can say that I have greatly improved already. This first class was focused on taking the pressure off of drawing by looking at things from a much simpler point of view. We worked on three different things (although some people just worked on whatever over thing they actually felt like; chill, I swear, chillllllll atmosphere).

The first exercise was to copy a drawing which the teacher gave us, but upside down! That was so we weren’t focusing on the drawing as a thing but rather on the lines and their thickness and shapes. And it is amazing how just turning a piece of paper upside down can help! For the first quarter of the picture, I actually thought I was drawing a flower… This is what I spent most of the class working on, because I am very slow when focused (I realize that now and will work on it!) and I really wanted to finish it — I didn’t. I barely copied half of the picture by the end of the class so I finished it at home. Also, I ended up giving up after a while because I really wanted to move on to the last exercise!

 

I loved that exercise because it helped me be really focused and the final product really isn’t that bad! I know that if I had tried to copy the image the “regular way”, I would have struggled A LOT by allowing myself to get scared of the hands and face and overall size of the person. And that was exactly the point of it! I was so focused on getting all those lines to match the original ones and it was all I cared about. Seeing it as a person is a scary thing but shifting your perspective and seeing the picture as only a bunch of lines is not scary, it’s just technical and precision work.

Looking at the problem from a different angle to realize that in fact, it isn’t a problem at all, rather a slightly challenging hill to go down on. We’re not climbing, we’re rolling down. After all, that’s what a drawing is: a bunch of lines put together in a certain way to create a bigger thing. Do not see the mountain as a humongous rock but rather thousands of small rocks and pebbles. That’s the lesson this first class taught me and it shall help me through art and life in the future.

The other two exercises were all about exploring the different grades of our pencils. I barely spent a few minutes on these although I don’t think it is any less important than perspective. Know your tools!

My first impression of this class is a really good one. I love the calm and artistic atmosphere. I feel like this teacher is going to be one that I actually learn from and enjoy listening to. The two people I have talked to are the reason I enrolled in the first place; to make friends with the same interests as me. I don’t think that I can get an actual opinion from just one class (and the first one, that is!) but I honestly believe that I made a good choice and that these Tuesday evenings are going to bring me lots of joy and art clouds in my heart. And also, you know, I’m just in love with watching people being passionate about what they’re passionate about (yes sentence) and looking at old people just doing their things.

Help, there’s so much good happening in this life of mine now I’m afraid I won’t have enough room for all the happiness!

I’m looking forward to next Tuesday to see Rosaline again and get to know more of these people and work some more!

Until next post, just go for it; come on, go on! ❤

P.S.: Today, I have painted on a small square canvas a beautiful picture for my sister’s birthday (09/29) as a belated gift (cos yeah, I forgot….. BUSY WEEK I’M SORRY TTwTT) and I shall post it later, after she receives it in the mail! 😉