August 16, 2013

the piece of paper that traveled far and wide

dinner is almost ready (leftovers and rice), babies are napping(still), i made coffee (decaf is a poor substitute, but otherwise my baby will go nuts), and i can finally write about what i did earlier today.

years ago, when i was going through yet another "creatively challenged" period, i decided to try painting on paper grocery bags. i cut a piece out and sewed a border around it. i am not sure why i did that, i remember enjoying the meditative state trying to sew a straight line put me in. i made only one of those and had no idea what to paint on it. so my useless exercise in trying something new made me creatively stuck, a level or two below that of being challenged. but i liked the look and feel of that small brown rectangle, and didn't have the heart to throw it away. and i always kept it near me just in case inspiration struck. so the piece of paper was in one of the many boxes that waited with us for my husband's student visa before moving to england. it was in my carry-on bag on the plane to london. it stayed in my sketchbook for a year and a half, returned with us to boston, still in the sketchbook until our daughter was born. it moved from one sketchbook to the next, from one apartment to the other. it's been on my desk between pieces of scrap paper since our son was born. and today as i was getting ready to take a mini-brain-vacation and paint, it stuck its tiny corner out, as if saying "hey!". luckily for the recycled piece of paper, my daughter had hidden my ruler, and i wasn't able to measure and cut the usual small rectangular piece from my bristol pad, so i thought "whatever", and painted this.

bag painting - front

bag painting - back

now the paper is on my wall. i would say that's a few levels above being stuck on my desk.

August 2, 2013

on a negative note...

hmmm...where do i start? i have been feeling overwhelmed and a little stuck and all that stuff. busy, exhausted, and very behind on my to-do list. i feel like i need a vacation. i want to be away from this laptop, inbox, blog, pinterest, facebook, all those virtual accessories that clog my life. i need to reboot my mind. so today i decided to take a break and paint a little.

to watch the paint flow, mix in a drop of water with my brush, look at the paint breathe through those little bubbles, spread the gouache on the soft piece of paper, all of these never fail to clear up my busy brain. i even enjoyed picking up the normally annoying pieces of lint that seem to appear from nowhere. it's not that i am not happy when i work digitally (i need to write about how much i like that some other time), but the lack of physical contact with what i am making feels toxic after a while, and painting acts like detox. it's like reading the news online for months, and then picking up a newspaper at a cafĂ© and realizing how time slows down when you touch a piece of paper.

anyway, above is a snapshot from this morning. it's the concept for the second pattern in fresh!, a collection i had started a few weeks ago and which was still where i had left it, until today.

to end on a negative note (why not?), the surface pattern design project for the kids products i was working on fell through (blogged about it here and here), so that didn't feel very good. on the flip side, i am free now to use those designs anyway and anywhere i want. they are now on my website. there's a positive to every negative.