Going through old photographs and sitting here amidst a million wonderful memories, as I listen to Christmas carols......oh wait..........I'm missing the hot Chocolate, or should I make it a Hot Toddy????  Either, or, ~ ideal, considering the fact that it is 50 degrees or below here in sunny south FLorida........yikes!!!!  I love it.
It totally gets me into the holiday spirit as is evident here in this photo of my little girl, taken in 1976, and a scan of an embroidered piece I've been working on today - a copy of her first letter to Santa, written by Stacey herself in 1978.  She was barely four years old and so was still confusing her N's and M's.   Sorry Santa.

Today she's a mommy encouraging her own child to write his first Christmas letter. The only difference is...... his list is already TWO pages long!!!! 

my minds eye

"It is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth -- and listen to the song of that siren, till she transforms us into beasts. ... For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it might cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it." --Patrick Henry

Happy Thanksgiving

May gratitude reign in our hearts this day and every day!!!!  We are blessed.

and then the light went on!!!

The man who makes everything that leads to happiness depend upon himself, and not upon other men, has adopted the very best plan for living happily...Plato

Words to live by

"I have been absolutely terrified of every moment of my life, and I've never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do"  ~ Georgia O'Keefe
My Aunt Mimi at her Social debut...........Me lower right hand corner, five years old

Sketching faces for Towers and Turrets.  Why the Alice theme you may be asking????  Thank Johnny Depp for that.  Does he not possess THE most gorgeous face (well second most gorgeous, next to my Jake) !!!!!!
who's still................. loving those '"BAD" boys.

Keith by the way, another favorite.  OMG these alluring free spirits......must they move me so!!!!!

This mornings journal page.   I'm still hanging with Alice and her peeps!!!

Writing from my soul

It's been awhile, I know.  The hours in the days have seamlessly melded into weeks as I continue to enjoy the simpler things in life.  Family, friends, new babies to cuddle, creativity.  Freshly made Pizza's, my cousins homemade pastries, laughter, and even a few tears..... mostly those that come from joy.

I'll share todays journaling here, with you.  Rather than a sketch, I wrote....(it's actually more of a prayer) which I often times do, and more often than not, it takes on a life of it's own. hmmmmmm

Seasons of my Life

Nearing the end of summers youth I learn,
I’ve blossomed, grown. 
I’ve eagerly turned my face towards the sun.  
Smiling eyes, wide open.  My flesh-exchanging fragrances with that of the earth.  Inhaling, exhaling... each breath with unabashed greed.

Now, joyfully approaching the next cycle, I begin
the third quadrant of my well seasoned life.
In essence, similar to that of a freshly made dough. Able to rest gently inside a lovingly carved wooden bowl, rising slowly, like a beautiful harvest moon.
The Fall of my life, the rise of my life, the rest of my life.

Full, round, resplendent in it’s glow, casting prayer and praise,  while feeding multitudes through intention.

Yet... like the grand Oak tree,  I watch in awe as my leaves, still saturated with life, flutter to the ground, hugging at it’s roots. Exposing vein like limbs that tremble with excitement...while colors change from vibrant green to red. From gold, and russet to violet, then,  finally, skeletal silver.  Imitating the glistening gray silken strands of hair reflecting back those same colors~like a mirror to the soul.

In the vulnerability of those naked branches I come to know God.

And yes, through the weather of life, I remain.  From clay, to dust,
my spirit safely nurtured inside the immortality of my soil, experiencing divinity. Infinitely - as intended.    
Breathing love in accordance with nature, mankind, spirit, and the million other forms we do not yet recognize as one with the other.

I bare it all,  resplendent.  Moving between solace and anticipation.
Understanding how much more there is;        
even unto my winter, and thereafter.

Gloria Martin  8/29/2010

I dedicate this to my Aunt Gladys, who just yesterday journeyed a peaceful transition from this world into the next.  During that miraculous space in time, she touched my soul, even in the absence of my conscious knowledge, as I sat writing this piece~ peace~ prayer..

Fuego #2 in series

I"ve once again used the torso (below) in this piece; "fuego" #2 in the series. Below are scans of my personal art works.... used in combination with several gradient levels, backgrounds,  hues in blue, gray and sepia tones, effects, along with lots of burning via the dodge tool.
I have been invited to participate in an Artists Trading Card swap, and am leaning towards this one as my contribution, with still more handwork to be applied, for additional dimension.

I must thank JoesSistah  for the use of her turquoise background, which I implemented in order to create the illusion of a dress with texture. The background titled "Smoke" 0117-3-L, also courtesy of Flickr.

*The two backgrounds above....."Reflections", and "Conversations with God" are my own.

This female form (face and torso) is a photocopy of the one I created for my "Conversations with God"
piece; which I donated to the Pink Artists Charity event.  I've recycled it to fit into this digital collage - that still needs tons of work.....aside from the obvious feathering of edges ;-))

The wings and the background stage textures are from Flickr, thanks to Playing with brushes.  Thank you PWB xoxo

My Andy Warhol take on todays sketch.  Posterized, and painted..... all done digitally.

Gitana 2

I scanned my Gitana mixed media painting into the PSE8 program.  I then applied layers with background textures, some brushwork, levels, and the doge tool to create a burned and aged edge to the piece.
The background layers are courtesy of Shadowhouse Creations, as follows....
Anarchy 2
Cracked Mask
The frame was found on Flickr.....one which I failed to label.  So sorry about that, but thank you sincerely.

I've been playing with my 'Wallflower' sketch again using different background techniques. Everyday something new registers (thanks Marie),  akin to a light-bulb turning on in my brain, but it takes lots of practice, and patience. For instance,  the clock on the wall.........should have been added prior to the crackling, and antiquing.  But that is a welcomed oversight; now I need to do it over again - so more practice.

*Most importantly.!.!..!.   I must remember to include the names of those most generous artisans who lend their free backgrounds on Flickr.  Unfortunately when I download them, that information is not automatically saved. I have to remember to go back, find each, and label. I become so deeply involved during the creative process, so much so that my organizational skills, and protocol are completely forgotten.  Ooops :-/

Therefore, since the window and the clock are not originally mine:  My sincerest appreciation to ALL who took the time to share.  I will find you, and share with you what I've done with your art.


Another week gone by......oh goody!  Always something new to look forward too.  I'm just having myself a blast!!!!
Here is another digital experiment.  It combines my recent "Industrial strength" sketch (hidden way in the background,) and several layers borrowed from Shadowhouse Creations.  He offers tons of free textures and inpiration.  His information is on the right hand side of this page.  Just click on the button.

FYI....Marie Otero is offering her Digital Magic class again in August. For those of you who missed this first one..........  I would recommend you RUN, not walk to sign up.  She presents an overabundance......(I mean that in the highest of compliments) of knowledge, techniques, and her undivided personal attention, during this 6 week session.

As for myself, I have no doubt that this newly acquired form of expression will open many creative doors for me. 

My dear girl,

are you the Lion or the Lamb????   Well, my daughter has finally dragged me into the Vampire craze.  I've only just begun to read the first book, Twilight.  I'm quite sure I will NOT become a TWI-hard, but it's a good read just before turning out the lights. 
Wouldn't you know ~ during my journal sketching I channeled something/someone, from Forks, and here she is in all her splendor......."My dear girl"      

Wall Flower

As I've mentioned numerous times on this blog....I journal in pictures for the most part.    Sketching for me is a means of relaxation, meditation, purging, blissing out.........   If ailing, it's my spa, my shangrila,  and my cure. This simple act renders me whole.
It is in actuality, as reminded to me ~ by a new friend, the most ancient, and primitive form of language.  So whether it be good art, or bad art, what's most valuable, is that the creator is communicating to their very own soul in this universal, omnipotent  tongue .  Personal, and social judgment mostly falls away.  The cherry on top of all of this.......the 'humble' possibility that....someday, somewhere, someone will interpret,  reinterpret, understand and be inspired by sharing in these personal, simple renderings done in pencil with a bit of color...."stories."

"HIStory,.....HERstory, then and now, parallel messengers.

Of late, I've been blessed with the opportunity to begin learning more modern technology through my friends on the Internet, and oh my.....what a world it has opened up to me.  Thank you all!!!

In any event....... here's more evidence of yesterdays visual "soul" conversations with myself.
Oh, and these sketches are drawn directly into my journal book, then scanned from there, and enhanced using those same original, unedited images. Again, primitive in method, but that's how I like it as well.

True grit

.A journal sketch I've titled "Industrial Strength"..............for many reasons!!!!!!.  The before.. Top photo.
Industrial Strength.........after... applying sepia tones and texture layers.

Free spirit

Attempting to loosen up!!!  The minute the paint brush goes in my hand I freeze. I suppose it's partially due to 12 years of Catholic school....I feel as though the Nun is still standing over me holding the ruler in her hand ready to strike at my knuckles, and that was just for penmanship!!!!!! :-/
fugettaboutit!!!!!!!! ;-))

And a big shout out to "gypsy purple".   Thank you so very much for your comment,  and your generous mention of me along with the photo/link of my Gitana on your beautiful blog.  
To those of you,  like me, who love it all, and lean towards the bohemian side of life, take a few minutes to visit gypsy. Loads of inspiration and great links.
Thanks again ....my kindred spirit!!!!! 

BLACK......fit to be.........TIDE

Getting out  my frustrations, so forgive the redundant theme, but I MUST express, lest we forget!

Tomorrow I'll attempt more color.

This is my two page journal for today. The title is.......Forsaken.
the brown paint behind the mermaids head is my rendition of the crude oil, gas, and death that continues to gush into the Gulf coast.
Here is a story told to my imagination by my barefoot muse, "La Gitana".  She came to be, in my minds eye, approximately ten years ago.  I describe her below as she truly is.  My constant, spiritual, creative, companion.
And so...... let the tale begin......
          La Gitana,  the barefoot muse,
dwells in a beautiful gypsy wagon, far, far away from the caravan. Here, in this magnificently bejeweled, tiny but regal,  most honored temple, she enjoys her consecrated life.  This is her shrine. A place decorated by the fairies themselves. Gilded through and through in the spectral colors that are the northern lights, and if you listen closely, you will hear the music of the spheres wafting melodiously from inside.  At night, this hallowed wagon gracefully transitions into a mystical silhouette, displaying itself fantastically against the moon....a moon...framed within an onyx black, diamond studded sky.

When morning arrives, my muse takes leave of her abode to stroll along the shore, savoring oysters, collecting the pearls from within, picking shells, driftwood, and flowers, seaweed and coral. She takes such delight in her chores. Her eyes memorizing the intoxicating hues of a turquoise sea. She inhales the perfumed air, the warm, baked smell of summer. Her oxygen extracted from the brightly scented emerald greens that shimmer on an ocean in accordance with the Sun.
Here, in this land of abundance -this land of enumerable treasures, where gifts from nature form a plethora of miracles, all  for the taking.........
here, the place where she was born.

A marvel to behold, disguised at first, as veiled, prismatic smoke, rising up from an intricately chambered, multi spiraled nautilus.
Her mere existence....an embodiment of all those things that bring forth perfect harmony 
and........ she breathes into me.

She wears the sheerest of linens and lace.  So light are they, the fabrics whip and dart like sails, or kites playing about with the laughing wind.
She sings lilting lyrics, as she sacredly performs her rituals, glorifying the dawn, blessing the night, painting the day, and...........
she breathes into me.

Her bracelets, her earrings, her anklets, all conducting a cosmic symphony that deaf ears can hear; whose musical notes blind eyes can read.  She swirls, she spins, and she dances, always in her bare feet.........and.......always......
she breathes into me.

She urges me to taste the tangy salt of the waters, from whence we all come. It collects on my lips, brought by the mist, carried by the the breezes that so gently caress my face with the flavor of deep blue velvet.

She amuses herself as she blows sparkling glitter, those minuscule crystals that form the sands that created the shores,  back during a time before time..... into my mind, into my eyes, into my heART.........
she breathes into me.

For my ornamentation, she weaves coronets.  Crafted from the finest gifts born of the heavens and the earth.  She entwines into them the highest knowledge, and wraps around them the beauty and the honor of  living true.  She places these upon my head, and.........
she breathes into me.

Onto my very own feet she rubs oils pressed from roses, gardenia, and jasmine,
sweetly scented by the petals, a potpourri of all that is pure,
and.... she breathes into me.

My hands,  my hands.  Those she convinces me are butterflies in glorious attire. They flutter about tickling my imagination with their wings; releasing a magical pollen while penetrating my senses, my soul, my being.  I watch, fascinated, enchanted, enthralled,  I am captured in awe beyond worldly comprehension.............and all the while...................
she breathes into me.
The gypsy wagon photos were found on flickr, Auguskirk photoslides

the muse who does not need eyes by which to see...........mine.

                                                                     la gitana

Fire and Ice

Today, I decided to paint yesterdays journal sketch.  Once I started adding color - it's meaning became altogether different.  I looked at it and thought..............hmmm........ "fire and ice",    how me. 

Yesterday it was created in love and support of someone else.

Now with a bit of drama added, it expresses a whole new vibe. Don't you just love that about creating?
          A bit eccentric, but hey..........that's what makes my merry go round!!!!!!!

Express yourself

Here are two sketches I did today.  I've mentioned several times, on this blog, that I prefer journaling in pictures rather than words, and so there is alot said in these simple pen drawn portraits.
They are dedicated to someone whom I love very much, and who is desperately trying to find his way.

The colors of Springtime

This was yesterday at Butterfly World here in Ft. Lauderdale.  I had this happen twice in one day  (a butterfly landed directly on my finger).  How often do we get to whisper so closely and lovingly at these amazing creatures. Then to top that off, I was blessed to share this experience with my daughter and grandsonHe was in awe......................so was I

For the love of Chocolate

Since my last post, I've been busy enjoying myself through many different activities, social and educational, that is, until a bronchial infection decided differently for me. Obviously I was biting off more than I could chew, and so for the last couple of days I've been home bound; with no energy to even get out of bed. ......except for the trips to the freezer, which is where I've stored my Hershey kisses, hoping in vain, that freezing them would derail me from eating them faster than usual.  NOPE.  If anything, they are better tasting and more enticing than ever!!!!  Of course, for me, there is nothing better than chocolate. From.... Hershey's  to Godiva, whatever, whenever, let alone - when I am under the weather.
Now frozen chocolate kisses.........to ease my burning throat........ , thanks Mom for that suggestion. OMG the BEST!

YES, I am also having the soup, hot tea, and lots of herbal supplements.  I'm smart enough to appreciate the best of both worlds ;)))  

I'll be back soon with a couple of sketches and a thing or two for my etsy shop.

Mystic Circle

I'm done with the acrylics............... at least for a few days ;-)

c'est moi...........2030

"Time and trouble may tame a wild young woman, but a wild old woman is uncontrollable by any force."~ Dorothy L. Sayers..........  today's self portrait. To be continued...................;-)))

Amazing Grace

This is Grace. She is my self portrait for today. Although she may not look very much like me...sometimes during those rare and fortunate moments, I'll catch a glimpse of her looking back at me through the mirror of my soul.

The wing, background and flesh tones have to be finessed. I just did a quick color wash here, with aquarelle crayons.

Quote for the day

"Be who you are, and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind." 
                                      ~Theodore Seuss Geisel aka Dr. Seuss

Another self portrait

On this one I actually used paint!!!  I printed a photo of myself onto watercolor paper, but I forgot to set the ink from the printer prior to painting....so had some smearing.  I let that dry, then went over everything with Shiva oil sticks. That step saved the day. Now after it's all dry, I'll go back in and do some shading, although without the smile and frown lines I look sooooooooo much younger.  You know what.........I'm gonna leave it like this.
It's who I am, not how I look........better yet, young is how I feel!!!!!

getting to know you (sing along, for those of you old enough to remember this tune, GREG)

 A self portrait...............self explanatory...........I hope.
Well understood by my artisan friends and family. All of whom are only too familiar, in the deepest sense, that creating opens up a wellspring of every emotion known to man ~ since the beginning of time.
Below you'll find my self portrait, along with a comment from such a friend, clearly expressing....my expression, even better than I can ;)

"i love this sketch, Gloria... we all have darkness and light inside of us... taken together this is what makes us whole... and the truth is... there IS angst, struggle, frustration, fear, and sadness right alongside the optimism, brightness, and joy... and at any one time we take a snapshot of ourselves in self portrait we have an opportunity to ...  get to know all those parts of ourselves and each other that much better... what a wonderful thing!... i welcome all those parts of you... this is beautifully done... i'm very glad to be getting to know more of you... :)"

Joanne...I hope you don't mind.  It's just that we relate so well, in words, and in pictures. Thank you for that.

I could say I've been super busy and hard at work, but that would, in part, be a fib.  I have been busy, but not with work  ;)

Art is not to do with the practical side of making a living.  It’s to have a fuller human life---Henry Moore

Well after many attempts at painting Mystic, I've put it aside.  Making my own flesh tone colors using the acrylic paints ends  up looking muddy.
So instead of giving up entirely,  I went on to complete another one of Misty's assignments. This one was to sketch and paint a portrait using only monochromatic tones.  I used raw umber, titanium white, and a tiny bit of paynes gray. This was great practice, because of the amount of shading involved, having to create the effect of light and dark, and reaching for 2dimensional features - with actual paint that dries sooooooooooooo quickly.  That's where I'm getting stuck. 
Pencil on paper now seems like a piece of cake.  Eraser in hand, and you can change anything.  Acrylic paints.....not so much.   hmph
Anywayssss, not a total loss.

Mystic Circle

That's the title I'm going to give this piece.  First off.......that's how I feel about this group of artisans that I'm taking this journey with.  There is so much energy, creativity, passion and goodwill going around... I can't quite put it into words, so I'll put it into heART work.
She is my interpretation of "The head of a young girl" by William Adolph Bouguereau.  I've taken the liberty of adding a halo...to represent the spirituality of speaking through art, and the unity and new friendships established in this circle of tremendous talent.
                                      Here is the sketch.  Tomorrow I'll paint.......using acrylics.
                                                   Mystic circle

Painted Lady

I SHIVAD at the thought of using the SHIVA oil sticks and all in all........it was a darn good time. My fellow classmates are creating amazing portraitures, but our site is private, so I can't share anyone else's work, or at least...I don't think I can.
Anywhoooo.........shout out to MISTY for bringing us all together.

new assignement

The photo, provided by Misty. The sketch, done by me. Tomorrow the finished painting...done using Shiva oil sticks.  I had more oil paint on my hands than on the canvas ;-)