Sunday, January 26, 2014

Full Circle With Misty . . .

I cannot remember the last time I took pencil to paper.  I used to sit with my drawing pad and graphite for hours, always keeping it close by.  That was quite a while ago.  I am talking maybe 2 years.  Since I got an iPad last summer that has been replaced with digital drawing.  

I signed up for my 3rd class with Misty Mawn, an artist who inspires with her amazing, raw, soulful artwork.  If you have not yet experienced a workshop with Misty it is definitely worth it!  There is always something for everyone from drawing to painting to photography to writing and more.  I am always amazed at how much she packs into a class!  Check out her latest class HERE.  

I worked on this charcoal sketch last night upright on the easel.  I forgot how messy charcoal can be.  I tried not to think to much as I went along.  Tried to silence the inner critic who is ever present threatening to ruin my art!  She is messy, a bit dark, but has a message of love.  

Sharing today over at Sunday Sketches!  

Click HERE to join 


Thursday, January 16, 2014

Novel Excerpt

Today I thought I would share some writing.  I am continuing to work the novel I started back in November during NaNoWrimo.  So from time to time I will be posting snippets here on the blog.  I am making headway and it is exciting to watch this story come to life.  I mocked up this cover art using my own photography and of course filters.  Once had the visual it kept me going. 

The following excerpt is a memory that my narrator Carly is recalling about her alcoholic father.  

Hope you enjoy today's snippet!

I would hear his footsteps coming up the stars.  Heavy footsteps, a hard clunking sound.  A very determined sound and this sound would slowly get closer and closer to the bedroom door.  The door would fling open as I listened to it almost come right off the hinges.  And there he would be standing like a shadow in the light of the doorway bracing his stout drunk frame on the door holding onto the knob for dear life as if it could ever hold up his weight.    He would stumble over to the edge of my bed.  As he got closer so did the smell of beer on his breath.  I pretended to be asleep.  Sadly that never worked.  The smell of his beer breath turned into a warm breath I could feel on my face because he was so close. I’m sure as warm as the alcohol felt pumping through his veins.  His eyelids were heavy but still open enough to see through to his bloodshot eyes.  I closed my eyes tight in a futile attempt to protect myself wishing with my whole heart that my mom was there to save me.  He reached up to touch my face and my toes curled in anticipation of the horror I would feel.  

I felt the weight of him denting my mattress as he reached his cold scuffed hand up to my cheek.  The cement from a day of work was still decorating his fingers.  The smell of cigarette smoke was wafting off of his crew neck t-shirt.  As he looked into my eyes I noticed the tears.  His eyes were welling up.  His bottom lip began to quiver as he spoke.  

“I’m so sorry my little girl.  I promise I will never do this again.” he said as he cupped his head in his hands.

“Don’t worry daddy, it will be ok.”  I responded in my little girl voice as I wondered why my dad was crying.  Dad’s aren’t supposed to cry I thought to myself.  He didn't even cry when my mom died.  Why cry now.  

“I am gonna stop drinking I swear.”

“Yeah, I’ve heard that one before” I thought to myself.  

“You are the most important thing in my life.  I never wanted to hurt you. I wish I could bring your mom back but I can’t.  I miss her so much, everyday.” he said with a shaking in his voice.  

My mom Connie Milanti died of breast cancer when I was 10 years old.  They say that when people get sick that it can stem from emotional trauma.  Each area of your body holds significance to a certain emotion.  I read a book recently that tied breast cancer to love, or more significantly lost love.  That hit me like a ton of bricks.  My mom fell in love with an alcoholic, an abusive alcoholic and spent her time with him just soaking up the negative energy like a sponge.  What else could happen?  Nothing good was ever gonna come of that relationship.  Not even me.  

Even when my mom was sick she hid it from us.  She always put on a happy face no matter what.  She tried to smile through her tears always.  A stiff upper lip was a trademark on her once pretty face.  Her mocha colored eyes with soft, long, perfect lashes adorning the edges were chronically filled with sadness and fear.   My aunt had to drag my mom to the doctor when she was so bent over from severe back pain that she wouldn’t even move from the couch.  The doctor immediately admitted her to the hospital where they quickly traced the back pain to cancer that was ravaging her young 35 year old body.  It was in her blood, her bones, it was everywhere it could find to hide and eventually to kill her.  During all of this good ‘ol Vito just used it as a reason to hit the hard stuff.  As if it were even possible he began to drink heavily becoming more and more useless.  If it weren't for Aunt Angie, my mom’s twin, who knows what would have happened to me.  I think my mom died of a broken heart.  No doctor will agree to that theory  but it is what I  know deep within my soul.  "

For a synopsis of the novel click HERE!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Sharing The Love . . .

Hello my friends!  
What I love about being an artist  is the community of like minded creatives that I have come to know as well as learn from on this journey.  Kelly Berkey is one of those people.  I met Kelly early on at the beginning of my art journey.  She was and still is lovely, supportive, and encouraging.  I have enjoyed watching her soar as an artist.  I am excited to share the news that Kelly is hosting her very first online workshop!  

If you would like to learn to paint portrait in oils then this is for you!  The workshop begins on January 24th (which just happens to be Kelly's birthday!) It is super affordable at only $55 but if you sign up before January 25th then its only $45.  Check out the video above! 

And then be sure to click HERE for all the details on "Love's Memory Portrait Painting Workshop"!!


Friday, January 10, 2014

State of Confusion . . .

I was pretty startled when I realized today that my last post was 2 months ago.  You may be wondering where I have been.  Let me tell you I have wondered the same.  With facebook and instagram it has become very easy to just post my art and daily musings on those sites however it encourages me to neglect my blog space.  This blog has been super neglected and I am hoping to change that!  

I have been continuing with my art not as much as I would like though.  Digital art has taken the place of paints these days but at least it is something.  This past year was filled with lots of ups and downs however this new year is starting off with yet another family crisis that I am trying not to get consumed with.  

And that is where art comes in.  The journal page you see above was something I quickly worked on late the other night.  I only used watercolor crayons, titanium white paint, and my super cluttered mind.  It always seems that what is going on inside my head during times of stress spills out onto the page.  Hopefully it is a good thing.  I started out drawing a face and then it went crazy from there!  But I do like her.  Maybe because she is a piece of me.  

In other news I am continuing to work on my novel.  I will be sure to post excerpts here from time to time.  You can check out details in my last blog post.  

Wishing you all a good year!  And I am hoping to be here much more often!  Miss you all!