Arting for 365 Day 141: Religion and Morality

Day 141 (9/16/12): Religion and Morality

9 x 12″ Watercolor and ink on paper

Yesterday I was able to get out and enjoy the amazing fall colors with some really great friends. I’ve always felt that when I am outdoors, especially when I am somewhere that is secluded and away from the buzz of the city, I feel most alive. The experience rejuvenates me and makes me thrilled to be a part of life. I am not at all religious – I’d call myself agnostic actually, but when I’m experiencing nature, I definitely feel I am in a spiritual place.

I began reflecting on spirituality which got me thinking about a conversation I had recently, with a really amazing person, regarding religion and morality. We talked about the fact that you can be moral, work to find good in others, and forgive simply because it is the right thing to do.  While religions may promote these things, I believe humans’ moral compasses were around long before our current-day gods. I like to think we as humans will help people and work to be honest and thoughtful because we care about people.

I’m not one to talk about my religion – or lack there of – often, and you’ll probably not hear a peep about it again. But as killings and conflicts and wars erupt over religious beliefs; as gays and lesbians are persecuted for being who they are; as some of you become angry at me, or sad for me for questioning whether God exists; I can’t help but think we all might be better off if we focused on believing in and working for the betterment of each other rather than a god and religion.

If you love this piece, you can buy it! Please contact me if interested in prints.

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Arting for 365 Day 139: Rain in Blue and Green

Day 139 (9/14/12): Rain in Blue and Green

8 x 10″ Watercolor on paper

Goal: To create one piece of art each day for 365 consecutive days

For the last fourteen years or so I have lived in pretty cool climates. Summers have had high temps of about 80 degrees and winters frequently dip below zero. Coming in from the cold with a coat of frost on my eyelashes was commonplace and I was never without mittens.

Moving to Fort Collins, whose summer temps have certainly averaged a billion degrees, has therefore been a bit rough for me (although I have been assured these high temps are not the norm.) While you can layer yourself up infinitely in winter time, there is only a certain amount of naked you can get without being ticketed or arrested. So imagine my joy when, this week,  temperatures stayed below 70 degrees for a few days. On top of that there was rain! It was pure heaven.

This piece is an homage to the rain and coolness that cheered my overheated spirits.

Arting for 365 Day 137: Adapt

Day 136 (9/12/12): Adapt 2

5 x 7″ Watercolor and ink on paper

Goal: To create one piece of art each day for 365 consecutive days

After creating day 135’s more emotional piece, I decided I wanted to focus on something much less intense for day 136. I pulled out the watercolors with the intention of creating something bright and visually interesting.

Originally these pieces were one, 9 x 12″ watercolor. As I worked on the original, I felt pretty good about the red and orange design and felt equally satisfied when I was completely certain it was done. My certainty faltered a bit when later in the evening I pulled out my day’s work to share with the boyfriend, and realized I was not a huge fan of the piece. The bright reds and oranges that I thought were so obvious in the painting earlier now seemed overtaken by a lot of pink. What I first thought was a great painting now appeared cheesy.

5 x 7″

I realized that salvaging the piece was my next clear goal and could probably be accomplished if I cut the work down and approached it as two new pieces. I pulled out my always reliable ink pens, hoping they would save the day.

I feel like the ink pens came through for me as I am pretty pleased with these two 5 x 7″ works and may even turn Abstract 2 into a larger painting.

Adapt 1 and Adapt 2 are both available for purchase.

Arting for 365 Day 135: Familiarity

Day 135 (9/10/12): Rocks, Leaves, Grass

~8 x 11″ Watercolor

Goal: To create one piece of art each day for 365 consecutive days

Yesterday was one of those days in which I was feeling pretty darned uninspired. This a bit of an issue when you’ve committed to doing a project a day, but it was nothing that couldn’t be overcome. Here is why:

Even when my brain feels completely blank, there are still things that just feel natural to draw and paint. Repeated circles, lines and leaves are all very familiar and comforting to me. I suppose I could liken them to a t-shirt whose years of wear have made it incredibly soft. The difference, I hope is that while the t-shirt might eventually need to be tossed out, the familiar elements will simply be adapted and used in new ways.  Or perhaps like the old t-shirt, I simply save them for the days when comfort and familiarity trump the need for much else.

This piece available for purchase.

Arting for 365 Day 113: River Abstraction

Day 113 (8/19/12): Flowing Abstraction

4.75 x 4.75″ Ink on paper

Goal: To create one piece of art each day for 365 consecutive days

I dig abstract work – both looking at it and creating it. There is something fantastic about morphing lines and forms to create a new visual representation of the original. The abstraction takes on a personality and energy all its own.

The viewer interaction that goes along with this type of work is also interesting to me. The “Oh! That’s a ____” or “It kind of reminds me of a ____” moment is always fun. It can be even more entertaining when the viewer sees something unintended by the artist. Perhaps a person asks whether or not I purposely created a face within an abstracted bird. Or, I remember one time, after working diligently on a drawing, someone asking me if I meant for a certain area of the drawing to appear phallic. “No,” I said. But after she’d pointed it out, that seemed to be all I could see. I think I even ended up changing it because it was so obvious.

For day 113’s piece, I created a water/stream/river abstraction. As I worked on it, it morphed into something less water-like. New shapes and forms finished off the piece.

I hope you enjoy letting your mind find new and interesting things within the drawing. If you’re lucky (or not) you may just find a penis.

Day 113 8/19/12): Flowing Detail

Arting for 365 Day 112: Nature

Day 112 (8/18/12): NatureGoal: To create one piece of art each day for 365 consecutive days

Yesterday our friend hosted a gourmet camping party to celebrate her 40th birthday. It was about as far from hard core camping as you can get, but was oh so lovely! We had delicious food, paired with some amazing beers – thanks to the slew of home brewers in the group – and wine. If the shindig wasn’t awesome enough, we topped it off with some forest croquet.

Being out in nature is always inspiring. And as it came time to create my day 112 project, my friends suggested I use a bit of nature. -A brilliant idea. We pulled out some pens and got busy drawing on leaves.

I love the simple designs. I also love that the leaves started out flat, but as they dried overnight, curled. Because I like the new form so much I decided I’d take a crack at resin again – coating them before they got too brittle.  I feel like I’m going to turn them into necklaces.

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Arting for 365 Day 91: Post Enduro Reflection

Day 91 (7/28/12): Budding Abstraction

8 x 10″ watercolor and ink on paper

Goal: To create one piece of art each day for 365 consecutive days
Along with some friends, we volunteered to help out at the Laramie Enduro ( a 70+ mile mountain bike race that brings riders from all over the US to little ‘ol Laramie, Wyoming) yesterday. This has become an annual event that we love to take part in.

This piece was created after returning home and thinking about the wonderful day spent in the wilds of Wyoming.

Arting for 365 Day 89: Cut Paper Abstraction 4 aka: First Official Project in New Studio Space

Day 89 (7/26/12): Cut Paper Abstraction 4Goal: To create one piece of work each day for 365 consecutive days

It is official. I am lucky enough to have landed some studio space at Rendition Gallery, a local joint here in Ft. Collins! I got all moved in yesterday and am super excited and a wee bit nervous for the opportunity to work and show there.

The downside to this big move is that my time spent working alongside Box (the cat) will be greatly diminished. I do, however, gain significantly more human interaction – with really great artists, no less.

My first official, completed project in the new space was this cut paper design. I feel like choosing to do a cut paper piece was a great decision for yesterday. With nerves being a bit high, it was a good way for me to relax and just enjoy the process of creating.

As for Box; his crying upon us getting home leads me to believe he is not as happy with the situation as I am.

Oh – If you’re in Ft. Collins, CO, over the next six months, stop on in. I’d love to see you!

Original piece available for purchase.

Arting for 365 Day 86: Berry Fields in Cut Paper

Day 86 (7/23/12): Berry Field Cut PaperGoal: To create one piece of art each day for 365 consecutive days

Back roads under cloudy skies

Birds in mid-flight discussion

A cool breeze welcomed through a rolled down window

We travel on, while fields of blueberries ripen

Original piece available for purchase.

Arting for 365 Day 65: Foliage and Dew Abstraction

Day 65 (7/2/12): Foliage and Dew Abstraction

14 x 42″ Acrylic on canvas

Since this whole, making art every day for a year thing started, I’ve barely put brush to canvas. For day 65’s work though, I pulled out the acrylics with an aim to create a large scale abstracted piece.Two things in particular inspired the work:

1. I recently sold one of my favorite pieces. I LOVE that this happened, but the bare wall where it once hung seems, well, really bare. I was missing the work a wee bit and so it felt good to create something with a repeated circle pattern:

2. I really liked day 64’s delicate little piece. There was something about the stippling-esque approach that appealed to me. I wanted to explore something similar, on a larger scale.

I gotta say, I am super happy with the way this puppy turned out. It combines both painterly and drawerly (made up word) approaches.

Side Note: Some of you have wondered if I actually get these big pieces done in one day. The answer is sometimes. I started this one late Sunday afternoon, worked on it all day yesterday and put finishing touches on it this a.m. I create smaller pieces as well on those days to use as my daily work.

This piece available for purchase at https://www.etsy.com/listing/103540907/foliage-and-dew-abstraction-acrylic or by contacting micah@azzlsoft.com