I can’t believe this will be my first post for 2016. Time has been flying by with all the usual things that families encounter during the school year. J
So I learned more about Chinese astrology this year. I heard this was the year of the Monkey but if you look a little closer, this is the year of the Fire Monkey. Turns out, each year of the Chinese Zodiac is associated with an animal and one of the five elements. So if you have a baby born this year, he or she, may just turn into an irritable adventurer. J
I was also born in the year of the Monkey, an Earth Monkey. Apparently a person born in the year of the Earth Monkey is frank, optimistic and fearless. Yes, well, I do prefer plain speaking, which I’ve sometimes had to curb to avoid getting into trouble. I live in a state where saying what you mean is almost an art form - and by that I mean, you say everything in a round-about fashion, without ever directly saying what you mean. Do you follow? I don’t like wasting time and for me taking five minutes to say something indirectly would be wasting my time. Of course, I’ve learned the hard way, that the art of indirect speaking has its place. I use it as seldom as possible but sometimes it does need to be deployed.
Yes, I’ve always been optimistic and while I was definitely fearless when I was younger, I would have to say I’m more cautious as I mature.
So have you heard the saying, “Earth without ‘art’ would just be ‘eh’?” Well, in my Earth Monkey heart I’m bursting with art and this has become the year of art for me.
I’m expanding my horizons, learning new techniques, and honing old skills. I took a colored pencil class (new to me) at Craftsy.com, a watercolor class also at Craftsy.com and a mixed media class from Brandi Dayton. I’m loving every minute of it. Here are a few of the things I’ve done.
Here is a Maine Coon Cat in colored pencil. This was an online class and great fun. I particularly loved doing the eyes.
I still have a boxer dog to do for this class but the beauty of online classes is you do them when you can and the videos are always there.
Next I did a water color class which is something I haven’t touch for over twenty years. I’m also doing a 12 week course of mixed media – acrylic, watercolor, colored pencil and ink. Here is the birch trees I did for my purely watercolor class.
With my mixed media class, I usually do the assignment, perhaps tweaking it to my preferred colors or something to make it uniquely mine. Then I often take it a step further and create my own. Here are a few of my favorites from the four lessons we’ve completed.
I loved doing this dove. I think adding the old music behind it was so inspiring. There is a verse right behind the dove, “charm from the skies”, which I thought was so appropriate.
The most recent lesson was doing this art nouveau butterfly. I loved the technique but wasn’t in love with my butterfly.
So I had to do it again and make it my own. Instead of softening the edges as we did in the lesson, I made this one more stained glass like in appearance. I choose a peacock for their vibrancy in color and well, to be honest, the peacock was calling to be to be painted. Like an author often feels the pull to write a character or a story, so do artists get called to paint or create specific items.
So as we have entered the Chinese New Year and we celebrate a leap year with an extra day this February, my wish for you is a peaceful year filled with beauty and all those things which make you happy.