Last weekend I finished the Book Thief and read how dangerous it was for German citizens to do anything against the Nazi’s because they would be killed. Then I watched Schindler’s List which 20 years ago I somehow missed. The Beauty of Ralph Fiennes, (prounounced Reif, I never knew that), made it difficult and confusing. There is a reason I don't trust myself to date anymore.
I know about the camps, you know about the camps, but we don't feel it. Watching this scene, it began to feel real. A guard took caveliar shots at prisoners as they were running around working. Slow ones, fast ones, it didn't matter.
Then I watched a Documentary where I learned how it started and what it was like. And then I remembered Anne.
Anne would have kept a hell of a creative journal wouldn't she? She'd run the best FB group. Look at her journal.I didn't realize how large her journal was. It's like a giant scrapbook. I love how wide the pages here. Anne would have LOVED all the mixed media and paper documenting we do today. She was the first. And I looked at her room.
Look at her humble little desk. The generic little light. Little Anne sitting in the corner writing in her journal, just like you and me. Not like you and me, we aren't hiding from Nazis, but still, a girl alone in a tiny space writing down here thoughts. She could have not written them down, she had no way of knowing for sure she would get out of there, but the limitless hope of a little girl is something powerful.
Her diary ended in August 1944 and I never knew exactly what happened to her. Here we are, living in her journal, a very private place to be. I needed to know what she went through after that. Did you know she did not die in the gas chamber? That she was sent to Auschwitch but moved to the Bergen-Belsen Camp where they stopped feeding prisoners. We have to know this. This is our history and it happened while people right now were still alive. It was worse than the movies tell you. Here is a woman who grew up with Anne that was with her at the final camp. Anne was one of us, so imagining yourself as her makes it easier to imagine it happening to you. And you have to imagine it, because genoicide still goes on today. It can't be another news story that you have to push out of your mind because it's all too much. Yes, it is all too much, so we have to recognize it when it starts early. You have to look at this, look at how Anne lived and then where she died, this little journal girl. She wasn't gassed. It was worse. And why? Because she was a minority.
With the endless choices of art tribes available to join, I am honored and blessed that you chose to be a part of mine. We are women of-a-like-mind storyteller and alchemist, dreamer and stay-at-home gypsy, wildflower and art warrior princess!
I may not be the most talented artist, but I am the most innovative, especially in mixed media. In 2006, I was the first to grab a camera and begin documenting my art in a way that would transcend physical distance - it was me and you in my living-room via a line of communication that was allowing artists all over the world to connect. Everything was possible, and still is.
It is near the end of 2017 and I am more passionate about mixed media then ever. I still find art materials to get excited about like the way Color Shift is purple and the it is blue, or the way mulberry paper is like sculpture when it gets wet. I live for this, all of this, for the art journals and the fairy-tales and the telling you about my life and then learning about yours. There is something much more important in all of this then just art lessons, this is healing. Yours, and mine.
If you liked Paint & Chronicle you will love Creative Recovery, because it’s the same thing. I changed the name chronicling because it sounds like you are documenting what you had for breakfast. I want our journals to be more meaningful than that. I also believe we are all recovering from something.
In my Weekly Retreat I post one (or more) new HD Step by Step Video of a mixed media painting. You can join at anytime and see all the videos that have been archived since July! There is also an active Facebook group. My goal is to create a space each week that gets you excited about art materials! You can choose a 30, 60, or 90 day stay at my art retreat.
' November Rain' - a highly textural 12x12 painting, is still available for viewing 24/7 In the retreat room, as well as all the paintings made since July!
Our Next Theme is: Matryoshka Dolls! My intent is to take the traditional Russian folk style of the nesting dolls and bring it into a more realistic faced mixed media painting. The art lesson will involve combining floral patterns with the figure of Mary, but there may be two female figures. I am thinking about an 18 X 24 Canvas Panel.
This one-year workshop is on-going and you may start at anytime! In November we began Chapter 1: collaborating on writing a fairy-tale story. (It’s about dark fairies and secret underwater societies.) In January we begin Chapter 2 - monthly videos exploring how to illustrate with mixed media. If you ever wanted to write and paint stories and really use your imaginations and PLAY, this is a hell-of-a-lotta fun!
January 1st begins the illustrative portion of Fairytale Forest. I am offering an Early Bird Sale exclusively to my members that may be interested in writing and drawing stories with me.
I used to be an actress in D movies. They weren't even B because they weren't just bad, they were unbearable, unwatchable, and horribly boring. They were low low low budget indie horror movies that gave me no script, just a general sense of how to act and, most importantly, how to die at the end of our scene. I was painting then, during the days we were't filming. There was no internet back then, and the only person I showed my art to was my 2 year old cat Pooh.
One day a little man was on set with a camera and snapped photos during my shoot. I was split in half by a table saw made out of cardboard (Hey, I got paid) The scene was cheesy, but his photos were amazing. He did this thing where he flicked his arm that held the camera while he pressed the shoot button. What resulted was a photo of a blurred figure with her mouth open in a scream. It was horrifying. He got a gallery show from that shoot and invited me to go.
Billy Corgan is really fucking tall. In the sea of people packed into the warehouse/gallery in Soho, his circa 2001 bald head floated above us all. I dont remember what he was wearing, only the sparkling light that came from his superstar aura, but everyone else wore black. Well, not me.
I wore a yellow and white floral blouse and an orange chiffon skirt, mismatched from the thrift store. I am from suburban south jersey and even though New York is only 2 hours away, it costs 40 bucks to take the train so I never go. Plus traffic, and, people. (If you live in San Diego you know you never go to LA. Don't pretend you do.) I was excited to meet real artists and people like me who were in love with painting.
If you live in Wisconsin you may not know that in New York there is no such thing as personal space. All of the people there will touch you all of the time. And even though it's weird, after a day on the street, on line in the deli, in a cab, in the subway, you will become numb to strangers rubbing against your clothing. So it was the same at the gallery show where people in minimalist black outfits crammed together while Billy Corgan's sparkling bald head floated like a beach ball.
I wasn't shy and talked to whoever was near, about painting and trying hard because I was in love. I was devoted. "What kind of art do you do?" Sometimes they took 2 sentences to tell me before shuffling away. Sometimes I got a smile, I think. Mostly, I was ignored. The guy who bought the photo I was in came up to me and told me it was going on his wall, and I felt creepy. Artists in New York.
6 years later and my isolation and creative excitement exploded on the new site, Youtube, and today as I write this post, I am surrounded by a sea of colorful creative women.On Friday I read this article; and so I have been thinking. With the release of my newest workshop MIXED MEDIA MARIE, I am thinking about what it is about Miss Antoinette that has some of us so enamored?
Isn't it interesting that what is considered an acceptable androgynous silhouette is minimalistic and masculine. Ruffles and glitter and dangly things and CURVES and color are seen as girly, and girly is seen as frivolous, as over the top, as emotional. As weak.
If you listen to big cities, serious art is minimalistic too. You dont see much glitter in New York galleries unless it is on a 6 foot penis making a political statement. ( Ref: Actually it was Portland Oregon, 2016). Glitter as a deliberate and enjoyable aesthetic? Never.
"And speaking of clothing, that's a very unusual shirt you have on."
You also dont see serious men wear frilly shirts, but that wasn't always so. In the late 1700s Baroque and Rococo was the norm, in music, theater, fashion, art, hairstyles. Pastels, graceful curves, ornament, MORE WAS MORE.
Until 1836 when depressed poets started to call frilly style 'frivolous' and in 'poor taste', and replaced Rococo with a return to Neoclassicism - those Greek loving minimalist lines. Democracy comes from the Greeks, but do you have any idea how they treated women? Men went to school and were politicians and women were not allowed to leave the house, except for a funeral. Our love of democracy is deeply tied to the enslavement of women. https://www.ancient.eu/article/927/women-in-ancient-greece/
That is why Marie and her frills are so important to me. No, I dont want a Queen living the high life while I starve, but femininity needs to be injected into all of our attire.
Minimalism as an ideal, "represents a threat unique to women... .and with this masculine, minimal ideal for style, also often comes the masculine, minimal ideal for what a womans body should look like. This body should have little to no curves and should also preferably be flat-chested. Anything that would hint at a feminine curve should be subdued and pushed in. I've taped my boobs to look rightfully minimalistic." - Amanda Brohman
Like Brohman, I too like to wear grey and straight lines once in a while, but frills need to be equated with importance and respect. We need boobs and curves and bows and afros with combat boots. Its okay my ruffles get dirty, I can role them up to change a tire. This is about claiming something. My art is the same - it is layered and complicated and has GLITTER. I don't care if it isn't taken seriously, I know what it means.
The tutus and tiaras are not for me to look pretty for men, they are for me.