Musings from the Moonroom

Thoughts on Art, Inspiration, Creativity and Spirit


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Birds of a Feather

During the Angels Among Us workshop, the first 6 weeks were devoted to each guest artist teaching a new lesson each week. For the second half of the workshop, each┬áteacher was paired with another teacher. They were asked to use each other’s lesson as inspiration to create a new lesson.

I decided to jump ahead to the week 9 bonus lesson with Brandi Dayton. Brandi’s lesson was inspired by Stacha Conboy’s week 3 lesson. In that lesson we created a watercolor angel.

Brandi’s lesson was quick and fun. A nice break from the more detailed lessons with longer videos. She enjoys birds so that was the focus of her bonus lesson. Materials used included watercolor, ink, marker, and pen.

BrandisBonusLesson_BirdsOfAFeather

Birds of a Feather

 


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Watercolor Angel and Angel for Paris

The second lesson in the Angels Among Us Online Workshop was created by Stacha “The Daydreamerie” Conboy. Stacha is a watercolor artist (watercolorist?)┬áStacha has an easy-going demeanor and her art is simple and beautiful.

I’ve always admired artists who work in watercolor. To put it plainly, it’s a medium that can be a PIA. Watercolor has its own mind. And it will let you know just that as it meanders across your paper, flowing into areas you don’t want it to go. (Sometimes that is a happy accident. Sometimes it’s an “Oh S***” moment.)

Anyways, I was happy to give this lesson a go. I knew it would be a challenge. It took a while for some old memory yarn to kick-in. The last time I really worked with watercolors was back in high school. Eghad.

Watercolor Angel

As always, we begin with a sketch straight on the watercolor paper.

Next I worked on her wings and hair.

At this point, I wasn’t crazy about her wings. The purple was too saturated. The watercolors ran every-which-way. I just wasn’t getting the hang of using watercolor paints. This was definitely the ugly stage for me.

But I kept plugging along…

Adding color to her face. Now she was starting to come together. It was tricky painting a face on such a small scale. I admit that she does look a little shell-shocked.

From here I started to work a little quicker, adding words and paint to her torso and adding finishing touches to the wings.

7WatercolorAngel_FinishedFull

8WatercolorAngel_FinishedFaceClose

Overall, I’m mostly happy with the way this angel turned out. It was a bit frustrating not to get the hang of working with this medium until I was about half-way finished with the piece.

What I learned was the type of watercolor paper used, the format of the watercolor paints (tube or “cake”) and even the paintbrush all contribute to the quality of the painting. And practice, practice, practice.

Angel for Paris

In the aftermath of the bombings in Paris, I, like many artists, was compelled to create something as an expression of our sadness and empathy for the victims and the citizens of Paris.

The day after the attack, an image came to me while I was getting ready for the day. I picked up a small sketch book, put a rough idea on paper, and transferred it to Bristol paper a few hours later.

The piece below, “Angel for Paris,” is the final result. It incorporates Micron pen, Caran d’Arche pastels, and watercolor.

AngelForParis_1

AngelForParis_FromiPad (1)

 

 


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Imbolc and Feast of St. Brigid

Imbolc, also known as Candlemas, begins at sundown on February 1 and ends at sundown on February 2. It also runs concurrently with the feast of St. Brigid.

There is much to read about Imbolc and the feast of St. Brigid, so I won’t add more to that. Except to point you to one of my favorite descriptions about this holiday by Waverly Fitzgerald on her School of the Seasons website. And a post I wrote on Imbolc back in 2008.

I also came across this lovely song about St. Brigid by Celia, which prompted me to put together this post.

I listened to this song a couple of times and danced around the studio while it played. Moving the body is a great way to invite the creative muse to come and play. It also seemed appropriate because Brigid is also associated with creativity and creative ideas.

After dancing around the studio, I created this watercolor painting of St. Brigid in honor of her feast day.

St. Brigid Keeper of the Flame

St. Brigid
Keeper of the Flame

Working intuitively, this painting came together in less than 2 hours. I love when I can dive in and let the creative flow happen. Sketching comes easily. Choosing colors of paint is less stressful. The negative voice becomes quieter when it knows I’m not listening to it.

If you enjoyed Brigid’s song above and want to sing along, the version below includes the words.

Brigid so beautiful. Brigid so powerful.

Goddess Brigid, peace weaver, healer, poet, queen. Melt the snow and bring the spring.