The Alices are restless.
They want to be released into the world, so here we are, tumbling down the rabbit hole into a story of multitudinous meanings and a heaping helping of malarkey. The combination is quite irresistible.
Congratulations to Dotty, Robyn and Niki! Your comments about transformation landed you in the winner's circle, where Wonder Mike and Lilly insisted you all win an original piece of art. Hooray! Send you mailing address to the shipping hounds at firstname.lastname@example.org and your treasures will be on the way. Thank you so much for your participation!
There is a new Reader Giveaway each month this year...stay tuned for June's giveaway - coming soon!
I have always been dazzled by transformation.
Whether it was rearranging the living room furniture as a kid (which my mother, for some reason, never minded), painting a wall, cutting off (or growing out) my hair, even simply pulling weeds to make a patch of the garden look better - something about transformation makes my eyes light up. I understand Marie Kondo's desire to tidy. Except I see it as magic. Perhaps it is the hope that accompanies visible change. If I can change this small thing, maybe I can also influence that big thing to be different. And by different, I mean better. Safer. Happier. Rut-less.
And, well, if you want to go all out, you can always change your name. :)
It's time for the May Reader Giveaway! Leave a comment below describing a moment of transformation (or the hope of one to come) in your life. One (or more) lucky reader (s) will be drawn at random by the giveaway team of Wonder Mike and Lilly to receive a small piece of original art. Hooray!
Coming soon! A Song for the Hunted, a new collaborative on-line show with the amazing mosaic artist, Helaine Abramson. Details and sneak peeks coming in June. Get ready to get WILD!
I have blamed my own mother for many things. In fairness to me, she was an abusive and critical alcoholic. In fairness to her (the benefit of hindsight, information gleaned after her death, wisdom and the passage of time), she was doing the best with what she had. I now imagine her somewhere being loved, encouraged and held; smiling and content. She might have loved me, had she herself been loved.
As for me, I was not a perfect mother. Not even close. There are many (so many) things I would do differently had I known what I know now. But I loved (and still love) my kids. Fiercely, strongly, over protectively, probably. As the pendulum swings from one extreme in one generation to the opposite in another.
But it makes no difference, I realize, the mothers and their methods. In the case of my mother to me, and me to my own children, she simply must be to blame.
As with most of the pieces that emerge in the studio, I had no idea what this one's story was at first. She stared at me from the wall of finished and drying pieces for over a month. That gaze, that hair, those odd beings hovering near here. What the heck? And then she whispered modor....and I knew.
About the art: beginning with an AI bot image from a prompt of "peculiar, naive, whimsical girl" and jumping off into this BIG canvas - toned with oil paint, painted in layers, then (oooooooooh then!) for the hair, big, big BIG oil sticks and big arm movements. This one took several weeks, but was worth every second. She's a force of nature.
The May Reader Giveaway is coming! Stay tuned next week for a reader question and the opportunity to win a piece of original art! Hooray!
About the art: the AI bot has given me a stack of Little Reds to play with. Something about this fairytale resonates with the bot, while others do not. In this version, she's calm and pensive, eyes closed, flanked by protective beasts. A little older, a little wiser, perhaps.
Beginning with a piece of yupo toned with oil paint and Liquin, then lightly sketching the shapes with a colored pencil. Slowly adding thinned paint layers, and then carving back through the wet paint with a chopstick (the yupo is amazing for this - exposing the paper down to the white. Yum). Adding successive washes of darks and lights to create value. Using paint diluted with Gamsol to allow the edge of her dress to run and drip down the paper. As a final step, carving back through the paint with a palette knife to expose the highlights on her hood. Lots of drying time with the yupo, but it is totally worth the wait.