Artistic Inspirations: Kahlo, Dali and Kandinsky

I got into watercolor painting when I saw a video on how to paint a realistic apple.  From then on, I kept on practicing and I usually do that by finding inspirations from famous artists and their paintings. I am always attracted to paintings with pretty colors and beautiful subjects like flowers and landscapes.  However, I came across artists whose paintings evoke their emotions and struggles.  There are those paintings that make you think and process what the artist wished to convey.  Here are three artists with thought provoking masterpieces:

Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo has painted many self-portraits in her lifetime. These paintings reflect her life story and the pain that she endured. Art must have been a good outlet for her to express her emotions. In my case, I have only done one self-portrait and it vaguely resembles me! It was not an expression of anything but a practice on skills and I came on a realization that I need to practice more.

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This is my self-portait. Not Frida Kahloesque. Not thought provoking. ha!

Salvador Dali

 

Salvador Dali is a Spanish painter known for his surrealist painting. Surrealism is a movement that tries to connect  dream to reality.  An example of  a surrealism by Dali is “Persistence of Memory” which showed soft clocks against a landscape. There are many symbolisms in the painting that reflect his thoughts. Some objects are incorporated together that does seem to relate to each other.  The painting makes you think and you can just be engrossed in it at the same time.

Wassily Kandinsky 

Wassily Kandinsky is a Russian abstract painter. He is known for his colorful masterpieces. His early works were  impressionistic which gradually transitioned to a period of abstract painting. He is know to have immersed himself into art theory which explains his use of colors in his painting. I love colors and I must admit that I do not understand abstract painting. But there is a something about Kandinsky’s work that makes you appreciate the artist that he is.

How about you?  Who are your favorite artists?

The Art of Writing

My aunt is a retired elementary teacher and she has beautiful penmanship.  She told me that back then she would know a pupil’s grade 2 teacher by the penmanship. It was in Grade 2 when students were taught cursive writing.  I don’t know if there are still handwriting classes in grade school especially with the existence of mobile phones and computers.  I am still lucky because I was able to enjoy the analog world. We used to write notes instead of texting.  These are my friends notes for me in college. They left me written messages in my table in the dormitory when I am not around.  Priceless!

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It has been years since I have actually written a letter and gone to the post office to mail them so I welcomed Fozzy‘s invitation to write her a love letter.

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Well, I poured my heart out like a giddy fan! It was written in my regular pensmanship on a card I made myself. I painted watercolor flowers.

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I got my reply back and I also got another letter from a friend. Sweet!

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I finally bought myself a calligraphy kit for beginners from The Craft Central.

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I tried writing using the calligraphy oblique holder with NikkoG nib. I need more practice.

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Have you mailed a handwritten letter lately?

New Hobby: Lettering and Calligraphy

If you happen to read my list of 25 things I plan to do in 2015, you know that 3rd on the list is to learn lettering and calligraphy. I had to start somewhere. I have a calligraphy pen staring at me, waiting for me to do something creative. I started practicing but I was an impatient creature. So I googled and googled on different styles which led me to Abbey Sy, a letterer extraordinaire.  I figured that I would just practice freestyle lettering since I still do not own the type of calligraphy tool that can give the kind of beautiful calligraphy I wanted. (Yes, excuses, excuses.)

I found an opportunity to experiment with my greetings for my cousin, Ghia.  By the way, Ghia is an excellent instagrammer that the Columbus Museum of Art included one of her photos in an exhibit there.

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I found another opportunity to explore the art of lettering when Fozzy Dayrit, my calligraphy idol, started #10daysofcrushing.  You need to post on instagram lines for songs  or quotes that you would dedicate to a crush. It is easier to practice with the lines from the songs since you do not have to think of cool words to practice on.  I started with this one.

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On the second day, I want to use a different style to the lines. I came up with this one.

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I got a lot of ribbing from my friends for the “in love”  quotes.  Yes, I am in love…. with lettering!

I thought of using watercolor so this happened.

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And to avoid the teasing and still enjoy lettering, I made one with one of my favorite bible verses.

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You can see that I am really enjoying this. These are more of the #10daysofcrushing I did.

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I did a lot of practice and planning to come up with the ‘designs’.

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There is so much to learn. I am just trying to wing this one. I get ideas from Google, Instagram and Pinterest.  My friend also recommended a classic calligraphy book and I still need to look for a copy.  Calligraphy is a little technical.  There are measurements  and consistency of  strokes to look out for. Lettering is a bit more  flexible but I noticed that the output is cleaner and impressive when one incorporates the techniques of calligraphy into lettering.

I am off to do more!  The #10daysofcrushing is not yet done. For more lettering, follow me on Instagram.

More Art, A Poem and A New Craft

I am still not done with my friends’ requests for an artwork (which also doubles as my Christmas gift). My friend, Ernelyn, wanted a bamboo painting with a bird.  I thought this was an easy task since the first watercolor lesson we were  taught in high school was painting a bamboo. However, the artwork I took inspiration from was a thicker bamboo. I used to be able to paint the trunk with one  stroke using a thick brush. Now, I had to use multiple strokes and it required a certain amount of water to make the strokes unnoticeable.  It was challenging. This is the final artwork.

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My friend liked it and that matters most.  (Or she had no choice! hahaha I did my best with this one.)

My friend, Wela, wanted a lighthouse with a sea and some rocks. I let her choose from different pegs. I had trouble with making the rocks look like real rocks but I have to settle with a ‘cartoonish’ version.  I’ll practice more. This is the final artwork.

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She was happy with the artwork that she made me a poem.  My friend (who happens to be a cousin also) writes beautiful poems. She often does this when someone close to her celebrates a birthday.  I requested for a poem on my next birthday and, in exchange, I’ll record a song for her.  No, I am not a good singer. I do not sing when we gather together for a night of karaoke.  I have stage fright. I sing averagely okay when I am alone but put someone to listen to my voice and  no sound would come out.  Thus, I will just send a recording.  Hehe  But when we gathered for breakfast early this January, they urged me to sing which I obliged because a friend who is a very good singer sang with me.

This is the poem she made for me:

A song to sing,
A joy you bring,
To this morning gathering,
Of friends who are truly caring.

A friend since nineteen eighty six,
A gal who’s a wonderful mix,
Of talents and wit,
Of a genius that’s only fit.

Grateful to God for having met you,
A friend who is loving and true,
May you never be blue,
For in His perfect timing your prince
charming will be due! 

Yes, your parents may have gone ahead,
And left you longing instead,
But always remember, in this life there
are no accidents,
Things happen for a reason and not just by mere
coincidence.

So as you welcome the year two thousand fifteen,
Whatever may happen in between,
Stand still and be strong,
For with the Lord by your side, nothing can go
wrong.

What a nice gift! I really have sweet friends.  Thank you, God!

Now back to more painting. These are three different cherry blossoms-like painting which I will ask my friend to choose (if she likes any) since she wanted something similar to what I previously did for another friend.

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Yesterday, I finally tried my pastel dye.  I bought this last Christmas as gifts for my godchildren and I bought one for myself.   When I painted bougainvillea last year, my friend, Mau, wanted the artwork but she is a wanderlust. I told her she would just leave behind the painting in her house which she only visits a few times a year.  I told her I’ll put it in a t-shirt.

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I thought of printing the artwork on an iron-on sheet but I cannot find a sheet here. I asked about t-shirt printing and it was a little expensive which I was willing to pay for but when I asked about it, they cannot deliver at the time when Mau is in town. I have totally forgotten about t-shirt until I saw the pastels in a store.

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This is what  I did. I drew the design using a marker on a white sheet. I taped the sketch on an illustration board which I inserted inside the t-shirt. Then, I began tracing the design.

This is the finished work.

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I really enjoy creating something with my hands.  I am off to do more. I still have some requests to fulfill.  Bye for now!

Bedroom Makeover Tips: How I Redecorated My Room on a Budget

I have always said that I am my father’s daughter. We just loved to keep things simple. (Eat, sleep and watch TV were our routine.) My mother was of a different breed. She kept herself busy by making our home beautiful. She could move furniture at a blink of an eye. There were times when my father left for work and came home to a completely different house.  Hahaha If my mother had a choice on what she wanted to be, she would have been an interior designer. But they were poor and she worked her way to college so she finished a degree in commerce.

I am blessed that my parents left me a roof over my head. Ever since they passed away, I always feel guilty for not taking care of it as well as my mom did. This year, I had the home repaired. We were infested with termites and we had to replace several walls. I also had the roof fixed. I asked my uncle to repaint my walls. One thing led to another. I decided to redecorate my room.

This is how my room looked after I cleaned it last year.

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This idea of redecorating my room has long been in my head. I have collected photos of home interiors in my Pinterest. When Ikea released its catalog this year, I fell in love this layout and color.

Source: IKEA Catalog-2015

Source: IKEA Catalog-2015

After seeing this spread in the IKEA Catalog, I wanted my wall to be gray. I asked my uncle to paint the wall gray. Well, not just gray but dark gray to which he initially protested because he said that dark gray would … well, make the room dark. But I insisted. He was not even convinced even if I showed him the IKEA catalog. He had no choice. It was my room.

I knew my accessories and sheets would have to be white to make everything lighter. I was planning to hang a painting of mine to make the room truly my own. However, I cannot find a canvas large enough to use. Beside, I do not know how to do oil painting. I do watercolor painting which means I need a large thick paper which is not available here. My next option was to have one of my black and white photo printed and framed. I asked for the quote and it would cost me a lot since large format printing is priced per square inch. Good thing I found these picture frames for Php 1K. I think it is a perfect contrast for my wall. I also picked photographs that I like.
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I knew I need cabinets as storage. I used to  have those plastic drawers which, I think, do not look good with my gray wall. I found 2 black and white cabinets for  Php 1.9K and Php 1.4K.  I bought plastic boxes to organize my things.

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I also wanted a lamp for the room. Good lighting creates drama in a room. However, I cannot afford the lampshade I saw in a home store. I found this star being sold as Christmas decor. Since it is white, it fits into my color scheme. I just added the Christmas lights. I was glad I found this star; it has better outcome than the expensive lampshade. The other lampshade was a gift from my cousin.  It was a little bit small for the room . By adding the star, it looks larger.
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I notice that the key to a good makeover is to keep the space clutter-free. I know I have to do something with the cosmetics I use. I found these black and white dustbins (those on top of the computer table).
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Those dustbins hold my grooming stuff.
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I put everything together and this is the final look of my room.
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Oh, the huge K is a DIY project. I got the idea from this photo.

I do not think I can jigsaw a wood to form the letter K. Instead, I bought a 1-inch styrofoam board, cut the shape and wrapped it with a cloth using a staple gun.

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I am happy with the outcome of my room makeover. I vowed to maintain the cleanliness of my room. I can now say I am my mother’s daughter. I hope I made her proud.

Here are some tips in planning a home makeover:
1. Find home photos that you like. My favorite sites are Apartment Therapy, Pinterest and Dwell.
2. Go window shopping. My aunt and I were hopping from one home store to another. It took me weeks to decide on buying the cabinets. I opted for affordable ones.
3. Innovate. Since I cannot afford the lamps, I used Christmas lights.
4. Re-purpose. One product may have different uses. Dust bins are turned into cosmetics holder.
5. Find alternatives. Try the DIY route.
6. Have fun.

 

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