Tag Archives: sycamore

Winter Depression….Just Deal with it!

The title is a note to myself, not to those others who are suffering from SAD.  It makes one third of the year horrible, so I have tried many techniques through my art to …just deal with it!

So, one year, I did a drawing each month to make peace.. An example was making peace with December:

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Last year, I searched for Paradise and signs of hope:

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This year?  I’m slipping into depths again…and I’m thinking maybe I should just look and celebrate the beauty in the starkness.

Perhaps, that’s a strategy for dealing with depression in general.  As an artist I once knew said, “I prefer to find beauty in ugliness.”  So, for now, that’s how I’m going to deal with it this winter.

December’s Over…so is 2014

A good way to start the New Year is to finish what you start, and no, I don’t mean the bottle of vodka.  I finished “Making Peace with December”, this morning.   Here ’tis.

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So, one more month of the dreaded winter, gone.   Happy New Year, everyone.  May your 2015 be awesome, fabulous, fantastic…and any other superlative you can think of.

On the subject of New Year’s Eve, I made virgin pina coladas for my Special One and myself.  Somehow, we managed to act as silly as if I put 100 proof rum in them.  But when I woke up………….No Hangover!  Maybe I should sell the recipe, I bet I’d make a fortune.

But back to the subject of healing themes and making peace with wintertime.  Now it’s January, so it follows, that the next drawing should be “Making Peace with January”.

I did do a January piece a couple of years ago.  It’s called January 2nd, because it was my second try at creating it, the first being consigned to the circular file of unsuccessful projects.  Also, January 2 sounds as if it’s a significant date…..the holidays are over and back to regular life.

In case you haven’t seen it:

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Oh, and by the way, you can always see my complete body of work at roxannebaldwin.com

Another Wip…………and I LOVE computers <3 <3 <3

Yes, computers are awesome…but I’ll get back to that in a minute.

It occurs to me that I have done many drawings (including the one I’m working on now) of the sycamore tree out front.  I have however, never posted a photo of it, so you can see it’s beauty for real…so, here’s the view of the tree from my window, Queens row houses and all.

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So, now computers………..

I love the fact that I can go into a desktop publishing program, or even these days, a good word processing program, and come up with something professional looking by scrolling and clicks of the mouse.  Such a difference.

When I was your age (Yes, this is one of those) cut and paste was done by hand.  My parents enrolled me in a course in it, figuring that if I was going to be an artist, this would provide me with an income.  I was really sure that by the time I was 25 I was going to be rich and famous….but I went along with it anyway.

It was a matter of taking little printed papers with letters on them, and lining them up perfectly so they could be photographed for print.  Of course, if you drew a line in regular pencil, that would show up to the camera.  If you erased that would look even worse.  But there was a solution…..

Non-photo blue.

This was a color that was invisible to the black and white camera.  So, graphic artists used it to painstakingly line up letters.  Did I mention the pain in painstaking?  BTW, I completely failed at cut and paste.

I’m sure there are very few, if any, graphic artists who do cut and paste manually.  However, Prismacolor still makes the color.  I think because it’s a beautiful, clear, intense color.  It’s perfect for skies, imho.

So, here’s a detail from “Making Peace with December”to give you a taste of what I’m working on.  Also, a good example of Non-photo blue.

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December Blues

I guess the title of this should be “Making Peace with December”, perhaps I should carry on that theme.

But in other news, I actually spent real money promoting my page on Facebook. I was skeptical since I tried Google Adwords, and all that happened is I lost a lot of money.  But this Facebook thing really works!  And welcome to you new visitors and gratitude to my old and true followers.

Here’s the progress of “Making Peace with December”, chickadees and all.

 

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Got this darned shadow….

Anyway, I looked at this picture, and realized it also resembled a spider’s web.  Which brought to mind, along with new visitors of the interconnectivity of the internet itself.  Which echoes the interconnections of humans, and natural forces, and atoms…..and here I go off into modern physics.  Honestly, I do read about quantum physics for fun.  I was reading a biography of Einstein when it occurred to me that I was reading for fun, what was probably a textbook for some worn-out college student.

 

And here’s a chickadee…..

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It’s about the process, not the product…….or something like that

So, here’s the sketch…another with the theme of making peace with winter.  I finally did the skeleton of the sycamore’s pale branches against an bright blue sky.  Voila (sorry, I’m working for a French company, it sneaks into my vocabulary now and then).

Scan

So, now the promised topic………

Every so often, art work is done that is labeled “It’s about the process, not the product”.  Such a philosophy has ended up in some excellent abstract art….and also some really bad abstract art.  Just check out the Craigslist artist section in your local community, you’ll find plenty of examples there.

So, once when I was burned out as hell doing my usual……..I decided to do art about the process.  The result was my “Love it or hate it” Namaste series:

 

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I was very proud of myself…..until I went to the art reception of an acquaintance, a mixed media show.  There a  young woman, just barely out of high school, effused enthusiastically how the work in the show was “About the process, not the product”.  I nearly spit out my bad Chardonnay!  I had fallen into a cliche, artspeak trap.  I hung my head in shame.

So, back to representational art.  I enjoy doing it anyway, the ability to use symbolism, and the fact that people can bring their own emotions and associations to it.  But damn, it can be tiring.  Art for the process is like fingerpainting, joyous and messy.

But…I found the best of both worlds.  I found I could do representational art, with areas that just flowed with the process (another, more esoteric term for this is doodling).  It worked in, for instance, “Tiger in the Jungle”.  I just played with the leaves and had fun.

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So, I’m going to do this sycamore picture going with the flow…..and see where it takes me.

Down and Dirty

Time to get down and dirty, back to the nitty-gritty, and other last generation cliches….

Wasn’t my art supposed to be about healing?

As I rush around producing merchandise for shows, and feel the angst of the approach of another Christmas Rush in retail….

Something stopped me, and told me to get back to my priorities.

I’ve been saying an affirmation in the morning that compassion and love will guide me, and that I be in alignment with the flow of life.

So maybe it’s time to do affirmations that my artwork is also in alignment with compassion and healing.  So, I will start….in addition to my charity donations.  So, I’m starting another leg of the journey.

Oh, and yes, no holiday drawings yet….but here’s some of my best spring/summer art to bring back good memories….as we approach the winter solstice.

 

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"Guardians"
Guardians

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That’s enough for now.  Stay warm.