Tag: art workshop

Not All Who Wander Are Lost | JRR Tolkien

Angela DiGiovanni ArtAngela DiGiovanni Art{some say i am a lost soul. but just because i wander, does not mean i am lost. in fact, nothing has ever made me feel more found.}

I am the seed of my mother and father.
I am the progeny of the ages of my ancestors.
I am the end of the line – my nieces and nephews left to carry the torch.
I am the contrarian, so says my dad affectionately, and I embrace it.

Outside of the cocoon that I call home, I much bolder and brighter than I really am, coming home, exhausted, to gently fall back inside myself where it is quiet.

To date, the most exciting thing I’ve done is to challenge the way things are – anywhere, all the time. How did it get to be the way it is? And why should I accept that?  I won’t, oftentimes, preferring instead to move to the music already inside me.

I have far too many rooms in the place I live, cold storage spaces for things I don’t need and which weigh down my soul. How would it be to get rid of it all? To dare live simply with little? I intend to find out.

I should like more windows than I have walls, if that is any indication of how much I crave the natural light, whether sun or moon. What would it be to live under these ruling lights alone, without the constant background noise of buzzing lightbulbs? It would be beautiful, I dare speculate.

I have been dubbed the black sheep, affectionately, whether spoken or unspoken. I am sometimes viewed as a lost soul. But just because I wander, doesn’t mean I am lost. In fact, nothing has ever made me feel more found.

I am forever. The cells of my body have always existed. If matter cannot be destroyed, only broken down, then I dare say it has always existed on the corollary.

I need truth. I crave it in all things. In relationships, in philosophy, in religion, in ideas, in art, in the food that I eat. I want everything pure and true. I want to have no room or tolerance for synthetics in my life.

The world needs love, but first, a swift kick in the pants.

To live is to grow – your garden, your intellect, your soul’s estate, your heart. To live is to understand, and be in harmony with nature and the laws of God.

It is one of my deep frustrations in life that I shall never get to read all of the books that line my shelves. There are many good choices, but there is only so much time. I could spend my lifetime studying and really understanding perhaps just one section, instead I dabble, here a little, there a little, never committing or excelling in one area.

I would choose to live in an agrarian society, where people depended on the work of their hands in the dirt to toil for their own food. I would live in a day without industry, which has only made our lives more busy, and less rewarding, I presume.

Before falling asleep, I think about all the things I’d rather be doing that I am simply too tired to do. As much as I love my bed and laying next to my love, I am frustrated by all the time lost. I need a lot of sleep.

Right now I am happily wearing a silk robe with Geishas on it. My dad brought it home for me from a business trip to Korea he took in the 80’s. I was just a young girl, and remember wondering why he brought me a big robe fit for a woman? Now I couldn’t be happier that he did.

As early as 4th grade I have kept the secrets of my friends who often seem drawn to confide in me. Regretfully, I have kept my own secrets, mostly born of shame.

My sister makes me laugh. More than anyone – well, other than myself. I really do crack myself up, and I noticed actually just over this past Christmas that my father does the same. He really cracks himself up. I like that I get that from him. But, when I get around my sister, it usually ends up in a fit of giggles over everything, over nothing. They are some of my favorite times.

My favorite time of the day? Usually afternoons. I dread getting ready for the day, what a waste of time. I dread that time just before I surrender to evening before bed, I don’t want the day to be over. Any afternoon I allow myself to indulge in leisure – a good book or a good painting, is a good day for me.

Silence. It’s music to my ears. It’s golden. It’s warm and embracing. It’s freedom. It’s a cold snowy day when I’m out feeding the animals and all stay warm inside, leaving only the sounds of the snow crunching beneath my feet.

When I leave this life, I want to remember that I tried with all my soul to know truth, to live truth, to be truth, even at the risk of losing everything.

*art and journaling exercise for Face to Face by Misty Mawn. It’s not too late to sign up!

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Are We to Paint What’s On the Face, Or What’s Behind It?

Illustration by Angela DiGiovanni

Lately I’ve been insanely inspired by fashion illustration (and just plain illustration) after discovering Danny Roberts and his amazing work.  After looking through all of his work and hours of illustration images, my brain was so full the other night I simply could not sleep.  Though my body lay tired, my mind created wild illustration art.  Finally in the wee hours of the morning after getting only 2.5 hours of sleep, I surrendered and went into the studio to try my hand at the images in my head.  Thus, my first illustration piece was born.

I’m deeply fascinated by drip watercolor after seeing images from the likes of Petra Dufkova and Agnes Cecile.  Watercolor is not a medium I’m used to working with, but I’m really pining to learn how.

It’s a journey discovering who I will be as an artist.  Sometimes I feel the pressure to establish what sets me apart, and what my style will be.  There are so many artists like Misty Mawn, Juliette Crane, Lisa Ferrante, when you see their work, you know whose it is immediately.  I want to get there.  But right now I’m enjoying the journey of discovering and playing with different mediums and styles.  I’m pretty sure I’ll always be a portrait artist, mainly.

Pablo Picasso Portrait of a Poet Quote

Which brings me to discover the quote by Pablo Picasso that I’m in love with…

“Are we to paint what’s on the face, what’s inside the face, or what’s behind it?”

There is so much a portrait can emote, whether realism (not my forte), impressionism, or expression painting.  Are we trying to capture the details of what one looks like, or are we trying to capture the essence of them?  I’m in love with the idea of the latter.

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~ I Am Here Poem ~
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Not All Who Wander Are Lost | JRR Tolkien

Shadow and Light | Opposition Equals Beauty

Impression Girl Painting

Impression Girl Painting

I may not be the best, but I’m having fun painting!  We were instructed to do an impression portrait today, which I’ve never done before, and I cheated some.  The biggest difference to achieve impressionism is to dab your brush on, not pull it or scrub it to move the paint around.  I did about half and half.  Many times through the process I wanted to throw her away, telling myself I suck and who do I think I am trying to be an artist?  In order to get the end result, many ugly layers must go down first, to build up color and depth to make it interesting.  If we just painted one flat color (like the color of flesh) it would not be interesting and would have no shadows or light.

Kind of like life, I guess.  All of our shadows and all of our light make our beautiful selves.  Often the most interesting people are full of adventure and bumps in the road – interesting in life and art.

painting process

I started out with a simple contour drawing – a clean slate, new to life.  Next I built up the dark areas to create shadows – the bumps and bruises along the path of life.  Then came the the light, though by no means pretty sitting right on top of the darkness.  Yeah, at this point I wanted to cry and forget about the whole thing.  How could these two worlds of shadow and light make anything pretty?  It’s when you start adding even greater light (white) to keep pulling out those highlights and blending with the dark areas.  We don’t want to cover up the dark, because we need it as a part of us forever, to make our light noticeable and brighter.  Even after, we still have to go back in and shade the areas that have become too washed out.

It’s a constant process of making sure our shadows aren’t too heavy to let any light shine, but also to make sure that we don’t completely cover up our shadows with light, because we need opposition in all things to appreciate beauty.

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The Tapestry of My Life

Woodland Adventures

close up of journal page girl

close up of my last journal page girl

texture sketches

journal exercise

snow storm in the woods

on our way to church Sunday

snow storm in the woods

the road less traveled

The last week we’ve had our first glimpse of the challenges of living at the top of a mountain in the woods!  While absolutely beautiful when it snows, we really do get buried.  Thankfully we’ve worked it out with our neighbors to clear our long, steep driveway when they clear theirs.  Although, that does not guarantee that we will make it up the hill if we leave and the snow dump happens while we’re gone.  A few nights ago, we could not get up the last street to our house in our two wheel drive car (why didn’t we take the truck?!) and were at the mercy of a very nice passerby who led us to a safe place to leave our car and then drove us home.  This, after helping a couple of others before us.  I love how people pull together when needed.

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~ I Am Here Poem ~
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Not All Who Wander Are Lost | JRR Tolkien

Art Journal Page of a Highly Sensitive Person

Art Journal Page | Angela DiGiovanni
Art Journal Page

Today’s art journal page is a combination of two assignments from Misty’s workshop.  I’m really happy with the color palette and some of the new techniques I tried.  This did not stitch together very well at first attempt in GIMP – but it’s too time consuming to try to get it perfect!  Down the trunk of the tree it says ‘worthy’.

After seeking out and reading some materials on the subject, I have learned that I’m a Highly Sensitive Person and subsequently found this quote by Pearl S. Buck, which I’ve incorporated in my girls wind up thingy behind her.

“A human creature born abnormally, inhumanly sensitive.

To him… a touch is a blow,
a sound is a noise,
a misfortune is a tragedy,
a joy is an ecstasy,
a friend is a lover,
a lover is a god,
and failure is death.

Add to this cruelly delicate organism the overpowering necessity to create, create, create – – – so that without the creating of music or poetry or books or buildings or something of meaning, his very breath is cut off from him. He must create, must pour out creation. By some strange, unknown, inward urgency he is not really alive unless he is creating.”

Everything in me resonated with this so much.

See if you are a highly sensitive person, and learn more about it by taking this Are You Highly Sensitive quiz.  I score 24 out of 27!  Being a highly sensitive person does not just mean you are hurt by people or offended easily – it has more to do with over-stimulation of lights, noises, smells being overwhelmed by too much going on around you, sensitive to violence and other people’s moods (and taking that energy on), having a rich inner world and feeling everything very deeply.  If you or your child are a HSP, it would be good to know so there is understanding and ways to set things up in life differently to assist.  HSP is often mistaken for being shy or overly introverted.

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Are We to Paint What's On the Face, Or What's Behind It?
{ Out of Your Bone Weary Soul }