Tales of My Personal Art History 2: Goddess Paintings

I moved to Austin, TX in the spring of 2013, and it was definitely a time of adjustment and healing for me.  I mustered up the courage to leave an unhealthy marriage, and a week and a half later I hitched a ride with my best friend who was already moving to Austin.  She needed a travel buddy for a long trip- I needed a change of scenery and a fresh start.  I had packed some clothes, toiletries, artwork, and art supplies because that’s how I roll apparently.  You can read the post I wrote when I first arrived and the one about healing to get a glimpse of that time if you wish.  But soon after, I had stopped writing my blog.  So much had happened in between feeling like a phoenix and posting again the other day.  A lot more healing was needed than I ever imagined and I had struggled with repairing the damage for several months.  My challenge was to rediscover who I was and to “unlock my inner goddess”.  Even though finding inspiration to create was hit and miss, my art became a form of therapy for my soul.  With these next two paintings, I had a blueprint of what I wanted before I stood at my easel.  I had looked to old sketchbooks to rediscover images I had done when I felt whole.  It was fitting that I chose images of powerful and magical women during this time; I time when I was trying to regain my own power.  I may have had a planned composition in mind before I put brush to canvass, but I still let the painting “choose” how it formed.  These works are a combination of free style and formulation.

 

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The Star ~ 2013 ~ acrylic on canvass ~ 30 x 24 

 

This was originally a doodle on my Galaxy Note

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What a difference a change in materials can make!  And on canvass she became more of a powerful celestial figure…. controlling the chaos rather than being captured by it.  The imagery also reminded me of The Star card in a tarot deck, hence the title.  This piece was the first one in which I built up a series of washes and drips in the background; a technique I would continue with later on.

 

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One ~ 2013 ~ acrylic on canvass ~ 24 x 24

 

Here’s the original idea in my sketchbook:

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This shows the difference the change in scale can make.  She did lose the lunar goddess imagery of the original, but I believe she gained something in the painted version.  I’ll explain in just a bit, so bear with me.  I had this original sketch, but still wasn’t sure what direction the painting would ultimately take.  I liked the contrast of the rectangular forms against the curves of her hair and body.  I originally had painted the orbs in her hair to be planets in various bright colors.  But I wasn’t feeling it.  It was only after I painted the shapes white and silver, did it seem to make sense.  She was ONE with the universe; the universal goddess of all.  There was now a feeling of calm that the work radiated.  She evolved from a lunar deity to a cosmic force.  Quite an awesome transformation to inspire me during my personal reconstruction.

So this was my 2nd art period.  A short one perhaps, but part of my artistic and personal journey.

Adventures in Bus Riding

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So far my travels via bus have been fine.  Yes, public transport does lend to some interesting people watching, but so far so good.  Yesterday, was my first true glimpse of the colorful cast of characters that ride the CAPmetro.  While waiting at the bus stop, a young guy in his early to mid 20’s walks up with his bike.  Following him was an older fellow in his mid 60’s.  This old man “screamed” crazy-homeless with his muttering, ranting, slurred speech and his disheveled appearance.  He then became agitated and began shouting at the kid for leaning his bike against the fire hydrant.  At first, I thought there was going to be a confrontation, but then the two sat next to each other and started chatting… this pair seemed to know each other.  The younger one asked if I knew what time the #7 was to arrive.  I looked up the bus schedule on my phone, and after telling him that they had another 15 minutes or so, the older dude left for the convenient store.  That’s when the kid started talking to me.  He told me not to mind the old guy for he was “a 65 year old Hawaiian”.  So being a Hawaiian is what’s causing this old, crazy dude’s demeanor?  Very strange logic.  Then it was revealed the source of this awesome deductive reasoning…  the guy informed me that his Power Aide bottle was really filled with wine (white zinfandel from it’s pink appearance) and that he hopes his friend picks up a box o’ wine while at the store.  The old guy soon returned empty handed and the 101 had arrived.  “Rock on with that dude”, is what I thought as I boarded my bus and left the drunken duo to their day.

Later on I had another bus stop chat with a slightly hyper gentleman who was new to the area, was going to walk to the library, is there a library on Guadalupe?, and he was going to fix business signs for money, he needs to find the Groovy Lube, he talked with the dude earlier and may be able to clean the sign.  All of his information ran together into some sort of large sentence snake of doom.  In the same breath, just about the tail of the snake, he asked me what the Groovy Lube sign looked like.  So again I looked up shit on my fancy ass phone.  Then he went on about how their color scheme wasn’t “hippie” enough and other crap I started to tune out.  Perhaps I should stop engaging in conversations with people at the bus stop.  A the dude’s bus arrived to which he informed me that his bus would also get me to downtown.  This was true; there were a few buses that ran to my next transfer, including the one the man boarded.  I thanked him, but opted for the later one.

On the last part of my journey home, a kid in his late teens/early 20’s wearing headphones boarded.  He was listening to rap.  How did I know this?  Because he was singing/wording alone to his music audibly.  Not sure if you’ve been around someone who has done this… we outside people do not know what melodies are being played, just the awkward phrase or vocalization from a clueless headphones guy.   At first, he just muttered the lines of his mystery lyrics.  If you didn’t see the headphones, you might assume he was a bit mental and talking to the voices.  Then his rapping got louder.  Then he whipped out his drumsticks… YES, this dude had drumsticks!  And he was kind of chair dancing/ rocking back and forth (again, if you didn’t notice his head phones, this could have been another symptom of crazy).  So the only thing all of us passengers heard was:  ‘words, words, *CLICK*, words, *CLICK*’ as the kid was banging his sticks together and singing along in his own little world; a little world that was invading the personal space of the lady sitting right next to him.  Wow, did she have the patience of a saint to deal with this… not sure if I could.  Finally, the kid exited the bus, to which the lady chuckled and sighed at the ridiculousness of it all.

So what did I learn from this?

1- Perhaps I shouldn’t talk to every person who rides the bus.  Not that I haven’t had sane, pleasant people chat me up in transit, but yeah, being more discerning would help.

2- I may get a shit ton of blogging material while using public transportation, and this is not necessarily a bad thing.

On The Mend

Well, it’s been a little over a month since I last wrote- about a month and a half since landing in Austin.  My mind has becoming less fragile and I feel more like my awesome self.  Still searching for a job and welcoming any prosperity the universe wishes to bestow.  Whereas uncertainty abounds, I’m no longer freaking out and am looking forward to letting the city know of my existence.  It’s a process, like all things, and needs a lot of patience before and benefits are reaped.  Patience. Yeah.  The universe does know I’m an Aries, right?  Patience has traditionally not been my strong suit.  And especially since the past few years were a huge exercise in it, I think I have had my fill please.  But yes, steady income will put the last bit of worry to ease, but I’m ready to explore, to create, to captivate Austin with my sparkleness.  I want to explode into a fireball of awesome!  So this is what a phoenix feels like…

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Jumping Off The Cliff

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(I am such a fool)

So much time has passed where I felt I couldn’t be myself… that I had so much on my mind that I couldn’t share… that I was a shell of my former self.  I had to make some tough decisions.  I’m not going into detail about my marriage woes.  I still respect my husband despite any problems we’ve had.  Beside, my blog isn’t a tool to bash or bully anyone.  It’s about ME.

So in the past few weeks, my life’s journey basically came down to staying in a situation that I was used to, although unhealthy for me, or run blindly into the unknown, hoping I had a better opportunity at happiness, but not knowing if I would succeed.  I was the Fool card in a tarot deck: the smiling, idealistic traveler who is about to walk of the cliff to either his doom or to new vistas… the quintessential Leap of Faith.

It’s been one week since I tagged along with my best friend who was moving to Austin, TX.  So far, I’m relying on the kindness of friends and acquaintances.  I’m staying on someone’s couch and receiving help with food/ groceries occasionally. It’s not bad- the weather here is great:  sunny, clear, in the 70’s.  This is a much welcome change from 26 degrees and snowing (the climate that my friend and I were in whilst loading her U-Haul).  But the fact remains that even though I am adapting to my new town, new living environment, and new relationship status, I haven’t been able to explore the city or feel totally at ease because I have no income.  I’m depleting my small amount of savings.   I needs me a job!  I have sent resumes galore, contacted various temp agencies and job postings, and have written enough cover letters that I could list creative writing as one of my proficient skills.  So far not much luck.

This lack of certainty is making me very nervous, but I’m trying to focus on the positives of this experience.  I’ve been very brave.  At first I didn’t quite get this.  Friends, when told of my decision to leave my husband and then also travel 1130 miles away, were astonished by my courage- thought I was doing something that they could never see themselves having the balls to do similar.  I knew my decisions weren’t easy by any stretch, but wasn’t convinced of my bravery. I think I’m starting to get it now as I sit in a strange apartment complex, in an unfamiliar town, in a cloud of uncertainty.  I do have friends here… I couldn’t have kept sane without them.  But ultimately it comes down to me- my self-reliance to push me forward, earn money, and take care of my life.  My friends will make sure I don’t starve or die in a ditch, but I need them as a balanced support system, not as a crutch or people to mooch off of.  Also, I’m not good at accepting help from others… can you tell? Perhaps this is another lesson to be learned while staying here.

This is the year of me blazing my own trail.  I want to create, spread my wings, and be my sparkly awesome me again. Can’t wait to get some money coming in so I can begin.

The point of this tale:  I’m excited, but extremely nervous!  But at least it makes for a good blog entry.  Until next time…