WIP Painting – It Began With A Bear…& the Post Office.

I was thinking about Christmas and what the season means to me. A painting I had created some time ago came into my mind. I still had all of the progress images, and thought it would be fun to share the progress of how it developed, and what I had learned. As usual I did not have a finished image in my mind when I began this painting. I simply trusted a painting would develop itself as I worked. The painting arrived in three stages, so I will be posting each stage over the next week. It began with a bear while pondering Christmas, “Believing in all that is good,” choosing faith over fear, and delighting in the cheerful anticipation.

Example; this morning I left my home early to arrive at the post office almost an hour before they opened just to get parking. There were a few spaces were available when I arrived. As I trundled my self and my heavy package into the lobby, the line of people were laughing and commenting how they thought they would be the first. Suddenly, the interior door opened. The postal workers had decided to open for business 45 minutes early for all of us! How great was that? Cheerful good will to all.

 What surprised me about painting the bear was that it was a minimalist application, yet appears to have so much detail. I used limited brushes, a broad wash brush, a smaller fine brush, and a brush called “nail.” Now for the friend.

Thank you

From Painting to Book Cover & Design.

A while ago I created the painting “Night Owl,” and then
it flew off!

“Night Owl” 24″ x 36″

Night Owl became licensed to Candace Lienhart and Kahuna Kindergarden, to be used as the cover art for her book SoThere Excerpts & Quotes.
While the painting was horizontal, the cover art needed to be in a vertical format.

Painting, Book Cover and Design

Continuing the painting into a vertical format was quite a challenge, and I enjoyed this project very much. Once the cover was completed within the book specifications, I also created the full book design, layout and graphics.

Back Book Cover and Inner Pages

I loved working with the information of this book. It’s wonderful, and I was able to read it page by page. The text was delivered to me in an editable word document by two people who had been collecting and compiling the information.

I used Adobe InDesign to create the book formatting and file. Originally InDesign was used for magazine and book layouts allowing continuity, and creativity with image placement and wrapping text for many, many pages. This book had 147. Now InDesign is used for many things, brochures, banners, eblasts to name a few.

Adobe Photoshop is the go-to for all image work. Images need to be formatted for clarity and size. Since the book was to be reproduced and bound by a professional printer, the images also needed to be formatted in CMYK for the colour process used by printers.

Adobe Pro DC is used for many steps of the process. From InDesign I can create a pdf file, edit, and rearrange pages. This file can be emailed to the client for proofing and review. It is also the program that the final “production ready” book file is created in for the printer. The whole book production process can take place in three different cities, without leaving home! But I like to meet my printer, they are an encyclopedia of “how to’s” and best cover and text paper choices. I like to make sure it feels good in my hands.

All three of these programs require some training by experimenting or online courses. YouTube is my main go-to, there are some creative problem solving geniuses out there, and I am grateful to them all! I have been using these programs since their infancy, I changed their diapers so to speak, and they just keep evolving and becoming more amazing.

That is the story of the painting becoming a book cover.

Are you designing a book or calendar? Questions are welcomed! If you ever find yourself needing digital assistance, an image formatted for web or print, or anything requiring text or design, email me at Liza@northlizalane.com, or go to my services page. Some tasks require as little as 15 minutes!

Thank you

Artist Anarchy – Work in Progress – Tufted Titmouse

Recently, I find myself working backwards.

Artists learn a lot of “rules” along the way. We keep some, and hopefully we break as many as we can, discovering what works for us in our creativity. Artist Anarchy can be really fun. Over the last year my paintings have been showing up in my imagination as “pieces.” Background, foreground, and main focus or character arrives at random times, and not necessarily in order. I paint or draw what shows up, and then sometimes that’s it. I just save it and move on. Eventually, all of the pieces do come together. The strange part…..is that they fit together perfectly, as if created at the same time.  My most recent work titled “Listening,” arrived in just that way. The foreground and background were painted months apart from each other. However, this tends to create very few posts, so I have decided to post all of the work in progress as it arrives. Hopefully once a week as opposed to once a month, and I will follow along with the story as it arrives!

To get started then

I saw an image of a Tufted Titmouse. Gotta love that name, and there it was, “me, me, draw me!” So I have. I sort of have an inkling of a bigger picture, and hopefully that will be arriving into my imagination soon. For now, I drew the Tufted Titmouse and hopefully these stages will be of interest. We all work differently, and I have learned a great deal from others, so this is “Share and Tell” time. Let me know!

 

The eye was created with watercolour. This might be a Christmas image, but I am trying not to get in the way. Check back next Wednesday and we will see what turns up over the week to come. – Thank you!

Conte Crayon & Pastel – “Listening….simply listening”

Listen

This drawing is about choosing moments of stillness, and listening.

Detail – LISTEN

There is a space between each thought. Try it. Stop and listen for the next thought. When you try this, you will find a space, a stillness, a few moments of peace. Try for another moment, and then another, and you may realize that you are no longer in your head, but listening within your chest area, and in your chest is your heart. Listen into the space, and in this space if you ask for the truth, it will arrive. It is the only place it can arrive. And this is peace.

Try this when waiting in any line

at traffic lights

or while washing dishes

while looking for a new job

or how to “make ends meet”

vacuuming

when the mind is chewing on a past conversation

when you are trying to fall back to sleep

I chose a black background to represent “the unknown”, which can frighten most everyone who has learned being in control equals safety. Once we begin to listen, we soon realize the unknown is simply pure potential. A choice to turn left, or turn right. It is the window of all change for the better. The unknown is where dreams begin to become possibilities. Why fear your possibilities and your hearts desire? I chose the bird as a messenger. The Messenger arrives in the stillness we create for it.

We create so much of our lives with our thoughts. Mostly, we are busy “thinking” that we need to defend ourselves from life itself. But life is pure potential, not an enemy, and if life is being created by your thoughts + emotion, then choose your thoughts from a place of peace. Listen to it.

– Thank you.

 

 

Painting – Time Out

Joy in Time Out.  36″x36″.

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”
– Pablo Picasso

Along the path of creative discovery in art and in life, I have been very busy…and, I have not added to my portfolio recently. I am currently working three paintings at the same time, experimenting. It’s a new way of working and feels balanced, so I am pursuing it.

Today, as I prepared this painting (created some time ago), to be printed on a large canvas,
I thought of the experience that inspired it.

I am fortunate that I live close enough to my day-job, that I can walk or ride my bike to work. One warm evening as I walked home contemplating a challenging situation, I chose to give myself a “Time Out.” I chose to stop thinking and simply focus on the walk. Quieting the mind and emotions requires me to let go. I know the challenge will still be there when I am ready, unfortunately. I began to focus on the comfortable weather, the trees, my groovy bento box I carry, my home, my sons, and the list began to grow, including all of the beauty around me. I immediately felt gratitude. Joy began to match my gratitude with each step I walked, and with my growing list. There is a lightness of being within joy and gratitude, my sense of humor returned, and I felt the renewed energy of being twelve years old, on a beautiful day. I felt like skipping (but I didn’t, sorta). No sudden good news, no surprising change from the outside. But a change from within, changed everything. Later, and not so surprising, along with my gratitude, an inspired solution to my challenge arrived as well.

That was the inspiration for this painting; the energy and inspired solutions that arrive with having a little “Time Out” for gratitude and joy. A daily walking meditation, all day, every day, even if I am just vacuuming. I try not to ever forget this valuable lesson, although sometimes I do. I will order a print for myself, and place it so I can see it each morning, and remember to begin each day with gratitude.

Thank you.

 

 

 

 

Magical Realism – Painting Retrograde

Every Storm has a Key to Wisdom

Retrograde Detail, holding steady.

I painted, and then repainted this piece six times, and then I quit counting. I would give it up and then come back to it many times. The little bird with its fine feathers lifted by the winds of the storm is the only part that remains intact from the original. This is how the piece finally received its name; Retrograde.

A great deal of information about mercury in retrograde can be found on several sites. During a retrograde I try to find the customized clues within the storm of confusion. If the universe is putting in a great deal of effort, then shouldn’t I as well? Just short of dressing up and with the best of intentions I approach retrograde as a grand yet uncomfortable opportunity. I vow that my sense of humor will be my perch. I try to remain steady (and laugh), knowing the clues will arrive like random puzzle pieces smacking me in the forehead. After a lot of bruising the pieces will begin to assemble themselves, just about the time I find my perch being torn from its roots and I am not laughing anymore. Note; trying to force or reshape the puzzle pieces to fit together and into an insight is not recommended; I have tried. And then…it happens, the pieces become a key to a valuable revelation about life and I didn’t die! Yea Mercury in Retrograde.

Magical realism is a natural and favorite way for me to create. I have always wanted to see beyond what we perceive with our eyes, and paint what is occurring behind the scenes. My definition of magical realism is painting life through a mysterious lens, revealing an “interior” mystery using magical elements to make a point about reality. This is my painting illustrating mercury in retrograde. It will end on August 2nd. The next retrograde is October 31st through November 20th. Oh goody, we do get to dress up!

Thank you.

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