Monday, July 30, 2012

Five Words Musing - July

July's Musing is up and ready for your reading pleasure.

I know... I posted it late again.  Luckily, my two partners are very forgiving and understanding of my tardiness.  It must be the ebb and flow of summer.  Or maybe it's all the over committing my husband claims I am doing.  (I am.)  Doesn't it always seem that you have more time than you actually do?  I just need to remember to occasionally breathe and make time for the things that are important.  Until then, I have quite a few art opportunities in my future --  A mural.  Office art.  A fall arts festival.  Lots to do.  I think all of my commitments inspired this month's drawing.  A hammock and some time would do me some good right about now.  How about you? 

July Musing

"The time to relax is when you don't have time for it." ~ Sydney J. Harris

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Five Words Musing - June

I'm late in posting this... Really late.  In fact, I was late in submitting my contribution to the June publication of Five Words Musing... But it's there now, ready for your reading pleasure.

June started off by saying goodbye to my friend's mother, Cree.  With no warning or reason, on May 31st, she passed away in her sleep.  The news was unreal.  She was an extraordinary lady who welcomed me into her home any time I came to visit and treated me like I was one of her own kids.  She had the biggest heart and loved dotting on my little Izzy as if she were her own granddaughter.  She spent her time volunteering for her church and helping her community.  As a piano teacher, she taught endless children the joys of music.  She was a devoted mother and wife and a good friend to those who were lucky to have known her.  So when someone like that suddenly disappears from your life, shock is the only word that comes to mind.

After Cree's funeral service, I had some things to distract me from my June Musing assignment - a week long vacation in Corolla, a painting commission for a friend, and planning my daughter's first birthday party.  Life just continued on -- but the image of what I wanted to convey in Cree's memory continued to linger.  As July peaked its head around the corner, I knew I couldn't put off saying goodbye in my own way for too long.

So for the past week, I have been slowly bringing the image in my head out onto paper.  This was the result:

June Musing

I was inspired by the stained glass window at Cree's church during her service --I found myself getting lost in it as the tears came just thinking about her.  I wanted to capture its colors and beauty and incorporate transferred images of Cree and her infamous roses in this June tribute to her.  I also wanted to remember her as the mother she was and will always be to my friend, Shannon.

We miss you Mama Cree...

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Five Words Musing - May

The May musing is up for your reading pleasure.

As you may know, I recently lost a childhood friend last week.  I think you will find her influence on my May submission.  Sometimes something beautiful can come of something dark... The loss of my friend was definitely a dark day, but I know the brightness of her spirit never left.  It was all around last week - in the tears and smiles of those who knew her who gathered to say good bye to her, in the vibrant mural and paintings she created as her legacy in Charlotte because it was her destiny to, and in the hearts of those who loved her and would never forget her.


I know I will never forget her.

May Musing

"Rainbows apologize for angry skies."
- Sylvia Voirol

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Celebrating an Amazing Life

Inochi.  Sometimes amazing things happen.  And other times... the most unfathomable of events occur.

On Sunday, May 20th, a friend and fellow artist I have known since junior high school, passed away from complications related to a hit and run car accident that occurred on May 1st.  Carlleena Ieasha Person, known in the artist community as Savnac, left behind a beautiful legacy.  Though her life was cut much too short, the incredible journey she traveled on her way of becoming an established and respected self-taught artist has always harbored a sense of pride and amazement for me.  I was honored to know someone who was so passionate about her craft and who had a relentless and admirable work ethic.  Celebrating and finding the beauty in imperfections, she hustled every day to seize every opportunity to grow and work as a non-starving artist.  Many hearts have been broken this week and will be for a long time to come.  A celebration of her life will be held on Thursday -- it would have been her 33rd birthday.  (Details about the memorial event can be found on Carlleena's fanpage on Facebook under SAVNAC MURAL DESIGNS art of Carlleena Person.)

To get a glimpse of the beautiful soul that I knew, please view the links below.  And, if you have a moment to spare on Thursday, celebrate her life by finding beauty in the world, no matter how big or how small.  She would have loved that. 

“An artist cannot fail; it is a success to be one.”
- Charles Horton Cooley

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Dreamers Don't Sleep

Yesterday, my friend's group art show, Dreamers Don't Sleep, Volume 1, opened for the first time in Charlotte at Espada Bicycles.  I wasn't able to attend, but I know for my friend, it was an important night, and not for the reason you may think.  You see, my friend, Carlleena, who has been working non-stop in her studio (a.k.a. the color lab) to prepare for the event, was in a serious car accident this week.  Though her car was totalled, she survived.  Battered and bruised, she was determined to make it to her show on Friday... and she did.  I think Carlleena described it best on her fanpage on Facebook:
So many people said, "Wow! I'm surprised you are here tonight?" or "Why are you here?" Lol. I say when you are in a situation such as I was a few days ago where the opportunity might not have been the same...pain is a reward for making it out alive. I knew that my artwork, the guys' artwork deserved me being there. When I say art is my life, it is!! It saved me when I was younger, and it saves me everyday. I teared up a bit tonight but know they were tears of joy and gratefulness because I still breath air in this realm and still have the opportunity to make dreams a reality. All this resting definitely has me thinking, reflecting, regrouping mentally. I am not one to make excuses or complain because I witness everyday so many who are and will be worse off than I, in more pain than I. I will continue...I have the opportunity to continue only becoming stronger, even more humbled and determined. Everyday is truly a gift and that will always be how i embrace the world. Many thanks to everyone who allows me to share and chooses to invest. You will be glad you did a few years from now. Until next time...I am enjoying my rest ;)
 Her passion for art and for life inspire me.  Just her outlook on life became the inspiration for my painting I created for her back in 2010.  In exchange, she gave me this beautiful piece, entitled Butterfly Wishes.

My @savnac original

My @savnac original

Butterfly wishes by @savnac

When I look at this painting, it makes me think of how Carlleena rose above the chaos in her life.  To make an appearance at her show on Friday night after something so traumatic -- it's inspiring.  Above all, I could feel her gratefulness for being alive.  Her attitude is beautiful, much like my treasured painting, a Carlleena original.

@savnac butterfly

"If nothing ever changed, there'd be no butterflies."
-Author Unknown

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Juriko Kosaka and the Desk Project

Back when I participated in the Sketchbook Project in 2011, I discovered the art of Juriko Kosaka, a fellow participant in the project.  Through Art House Co-op's online forum, I learned about her art and her life in mainland Japan.  One of the projects she started is a project called the Desk Project.  For the project, Juriko asks willing participants to send in pictures of their desks so that she can draw them.  Intrigued, I sent a request for Juriko to draw my desk:

This is what she created from the iPhone picture of my work desk (isn't it AWESOME?):

Diana's Desk

In corresponding with Juriko, I learned that both of our mothers are from Okinawa.  (Small world, huh?  I loved that we had that instant bond -- uchinanchu's unite!)  She spends her time sketching and creating beautiful drawings with inks and acrylics and posts them often on her blog.  Many of her subjects are people she sees during the day - strangers going about the city, running errands, sitting on the train, walking through Tokyo.  If you would like to be a part of her project, visit Juriko's Desk Project link to read instructions on how to participate.  (Just make sure you send a picture of your messy desk -- she likes them better that way.)

"Then there's the joy of getting your desk clean, and knowing that all your letters are answered, 
and you can see the wood on it again."
- Lady Bird Johnson

Monday, April 23, 2012

Five Words Musing - April

April's Five Words Musing is up for your reading enjoyment.  We were all a little late in posting this month, but we all had a good excuse.  (Our Shannon got hitched last weekend and had a gorgeous beach wedding in Ocean Isle, and Jim and I were invited.  I think we may still be recuperating from our mini-vacations!)

The words for April were:


These words made me think of the honeymoon phase of a relationship - when you just want to spend every waking moment of every single day with the one you love.  Eventually, that feeling evolves, and love turns into something else other than infatuation.  You begin to grow together and apart - and that's a good thing.

But, oh, that honeymoon phase is a sweet time.  It's an intoxicating feeling that you wish you could just bottle up and savor forever.  With the right person, it's an opportunity for you to feel alive and truly understood and loved.

April Musing

"Love must be as much a light, as it is a flame."
- Henry David Thoreau

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Friends and Family Show and Third Friday in Durham

On Friday night, I trekked to Durham and headed toward the Scrap Exchange to attend the Friends and Family Show.  My friend and coworker, Monique, had some pieces entered into the show, and I wanted to show her my support.  I brought Izzy and Alfonso with me for a night of art.

The show was held in what the Scrap Exchange lovingly refers to as the Green Gallery.

The Green Gallery

Friends & Family Show at the Scrap Exchange

Like the sign says, the mission of the Scrap Exchange is to promote creativity, environmental awareness, and community through reuse.  For artists looking for affordable materials, this place is heaven!

Here were some of the pieces I enjoyed in the show:

Mixed media pieces by @moniquealexis . Awesomeness - and I own one!

Monique's Masterpieces - Gorgeous!

Right on!

Woven beauty

Momma says...

Hungry like a wolf?

Izzy & mommy

After leaving the Scrap Exchange, I noticed a building of artist studios across the parking lot of the Scrap Exchange.  Lucky for us, it was Third Friday, a monthly event in Durham that encourages visitors to come and see all things art.  Cha-ching!  Jackpot!

Upon entering the artist studios, I met artist, Helen Griffin.  Right away, she greeted me with such kindness and told me a little about the artist studios known as Room 100.  She said that the space has been in existence for about four years.  I never knew this jewel existed, but I'm so happy that I know it about it now.  One of the things that drew me to Helen were her socially aware themed pieces.  In fact, I bought several copies of her poster to give as gifts to peeps on Monday.

Griffin Works Art - Right on, sista! #votenoNC

Room 100 had so many talented, working artists creating under its roof.  If you are local and haven't been to the Scrap Exchange or Third Friday, please consider it was your next Friday night activity.  You won't be disappointed!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Five Words Musing - March

A little late in posting this, but March's Five Words Musing is up for your reading enjoyment.

The words for March were:


When I created the accompanied picture for the post, I was inspired mostly by the word dreams.  Lately, I've been having a lot of dreams where I am falling, leaping, or diving.  In researching the possible meaning behind these dreams and consulting online dream dictionaries, it looks like my subconscious has been dealing with feelings of failure (falling), finding emotional balance (diving), and taking chances (leaping).  Aren't we all?

March Musing

"Dreams are illustrations... from the book your soul is writing about you."
-Marsha Norman

Monday, February 27, 2012

Five Words Musing - February

The new post for Five Words Musing is now up for your enjoyment.  This month's words are:


When I created the painting for this month's entry, I decided to use a painting that I had started last year and never finished.  The painting had dark black lines and dots of rainbow color splashed all over the canvas.  It was a rainbow forest waiting to be finished.  But as you can see, that's not how it ended up.  As I tried to put a kissing couple in that space, I made the mistake of trying to hand write the words I ultimately ended up with on the final painting -- as a result, I had a lot to cover up, hence all the yellow and gold.

I'm not sure why, but I am finding this new project more difficult (but equally as satisfying) as the My Moon, Your Moon project.  In the moon project, I used primarily watercolor and ink.  For this project, I am using primarily acrylics and origami paper.  Though I am comfortable using both mediums, I think it is the assignment that is tripping me up a bit.  The subject matter just feels more expansive.  It is the expansiveness I am finding challenging (and that sometimes means I am not always pleased with what I end up with), but I am letting go and letting what becomes, be.

I guess art is a lot like love.  I may have expectations or romanticized thoughts in my head of what it's supposed to be like and find that it's anything but -- and I have been pleasantly surprised by it.  It has been the unexpected that has been the thing I never knew I wanted.  Opening myself up to new experiences and new challenges opens me up to the possibility of something wonderful.  And that, in and of itself, is amazing.

February Musing

"In the measurement world, we set a goal and strive to achieve it.  
In the universe of possibility, we set the context and let life unfold."
- B. Zander, The Art of Possibility

Friday, January 20, 2012

Five Words Musing - January

Today marks the day of a new collaborative project I am participating with two colleagues and friends.  After our collaboration on the My Moon, Your Moon project, we just couldn't bear to think that that was the end of our work together.  Our desire to continue our creative connections spawned a new project called Five Words Musing.  The premise for the project is simple:

Five words presented on the 5th.
Two musings, painted and written, on the 20th.
The reasoning behind the choice of words for the close.
Twelve months in a row.
One year.

 Like the moon project, we create our pieces independently and put them together on the agreed upon due dates.  It's always nerve wracking to see if everyone's pieces will mesh together, and, like the moon project, we remain pleasantly surprised.

Here is my contribution to January's collaboration:

January Musing

The five words for January made me think of my mother's homeland and their beliefs about death and rebirth and the afterlife.  In Okinawa, when a family member dies, they are cremated and placed into a family tomb.  These tombs, known as ohakas, are sometimes shaped like a turtle's shell (a symbol for birth).  This design of the tomb has often been compared to the shape of a woman's womb, the place where life originally begins.  So when you die, Okinawans believe that you return to the place of your birth to live again in the afterlife.  Every year in April, Okinawans celebrate their ancestors during shimi.  It not only serves as a time for families to honor and remember those who have passed, but it is a joyous occasion that brings families together.  It's a different way to look at life and death.

With the arrival of the new year, I've been thinking about those I have lost and about my own mortality in getting older.  With a new baby, it's hard not to let your mind wander and think about the future - the one where you will both exist and not exist in her world.  Oh, don't forget about that dark cloud looming over my head about the end of days that is allegedly falling on my 34th birthday this year...  Death seems like a scary state of being, but I think the Okinawans got in right.  It's nice to think that it isn't an ending but a new beginning.  So here's to new beginnings.
Source: via Diana on Pinterest


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