I will braid my sadness

A beautiful mixed media painting by Danita Art
One of my favorite paintings of all time, a self portrait made when life is giving me many reasons to braid my hair.
This painting is very special to me. I love the beauty of her face and her soulful eyes. She is me, and I am braiding my hair.

I wanted to share with you a bit of the process, how she started from a rough sketch on the canvas into a full fledged painting on this timelapse video, and the inspiration that brought me to paint myself like this.

The inspiration for this painting came from a poem by Paola Klug that reflects my life situation now. I am battling a lot of fronts at the same time right now. This past year life has delivered me and my family so many blows that our life has been turned completely upside down. In Spanish, we have a saying, Llover sobre mojado , “It rains on wet ground”. We use it when things just keep on piling up, just like rain over a flooded garden.

This situation has put me into a constant battle against the dementors of my depression. But I must be strong, if not for myself, for the sake of my family. Escaping from the dark clutches of sadness and sorrow is getting increasingly difficult, but I must prevail. I must braid my hair, and when the time comes and the stars align, I will be able to let it down once again.

When life just keeps coming at you… What do you?

Here is the full poem, “I will braid my sadness“, it’s beautiful.

“My grandmother said that when a woman felt sad the best thing she could do was to braid her hair; in this way the pain would get trapped between the hair and could not reach the rest of the body; you had to be careful not to let the sadness get into the eyes because that would make them rain, also it was not good to let it go into our mouths because that would make them say things that were not true, don’t let it get between your hands- she would say- because you could over roast the coffee or undercook the dough; and sadness likes a bitter taste. When you feel sad, girl, braid your hair; block the pain in the skein and let it escape when the north wind blows real hard. Our hair is a net that’s able to catch everything, it’s strong as the roots of the bald cypress and soft as the atole’s foam.


Don’t be unprepared if melancholy takes a grip of you, my child, even if you have your heart broken or your bones are cold due to some absence. Don’t let it getinto you with your hair down, because it will flow cascading through the channels that the moon has drawn between your body. Braid your sadness, she always said, braid your sadness…


And tomorrow when you wake up to the sparrow’s song, you will find it pale and faded in the loom of your hair.”

– Paola Klug

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Making friends is REALLY HARD


I read this article about the difficulty of making friends and it totally resonated with me. I too have a very difficult time making lasting relationships and finding new friends I can trust, not just for chit chatting when I walk out of the house or while I wait for my kids at school.

I mean, REAL friends, the kind you can call at 2:00 AM because your dog ran away and your friend will be calling out your dog’s name in the streets in pj’s with you.

I guess it does not help that I am an introvert. I like interacting with people, but I prefer to do it on my own terms, and when it has a meaningful purpose besides commenting on the weather just to remove the awkwardness of silence some people can’t stand. I rather just read the news or look at inspiring images on my phone than having to submit myself for interacting for the sake of interacting.

Then I see my younger kid, he’s a natural extrovert and has absolutely no problem making friends when he goes to a new place, and how natural the interaction between small children is.

They do not judge you based on the clothes you wear, what kind of car you drive, what kind of work yo do or how much you make. They just like you and think you are cool because you play with them.

It made me wonder at what time did we loose that ability to just be friendly and open up. I miss those time when I made my best friends and wonder why I have such a hard time.

My career choice does not help either, I chose a difficult one to accept after all. I am an artist, and to a lot of people, it means I spend my time goofing off and doodling on sketchbooks while I see the days go by, waiting for “inspiration” to reach me. And then, what do I do with that? Just paint and make dolls when I could be changing the world by filling report after report in an office cube?

Since answering like Jack Black “I service society by rocking” is not an acceptable answer to the question “And what do you do?” When I meet someone outside the art community, I did what an artist would do. I created a painting about my best friends! 😂

I am thankful for the internet and social media. I am happy to have found friends that understand me, that like what I make, friends I can trust and talk to online and the phone, but sometimes I wish I could drop by and say hi with a bottle of wine just to goof for a while.

Does that happen to you often? How do you deal with it? What do you do when you are in that situation? Tell me in the comments! I’d love to hear that I am not alone in the world!

Time for a change

I am re-designing my websites. Can you take a look?

Well, I have been very busy creating art and experimenting with new materials, and I am getting ready to launch totally new content on my website, my blog and my classes website in the coming months.

But since Danita Art is a very, very, very small operation (Basically me doing everything) most of the time it will mean that being busy with something will make something else to be neglected or put aside, depending on the magnitude of the project, and how big my obsession is with whatever I am doing at the time. I guess it’s the curse of being such a curious bunny.

Saying that, I realized my websites were outdated and I’m in the process of improving on the design and usability of them, so I set out a renovation project for them. Things are looking go so far, and now I need your help.

If you can visit my websites and tell me what you think of the looks, I will really, really appreciate it. It won’t take a long time and a good honest opinion from my generous fans and patrons is what I need. Will you help?

www.danitaart.com

My official website, find everything about me here. Artwork, News, Social Media. Everything under one roof.

blog.danitaart.com

My one and only blog, with posts about my art process, my most important events and my occasional ranting when life gets hectic.

www.danitaartclasses.com

Do you want to find inspiration for a new project, or maybe you’d like to learn my art secrets? Then my online classes are the place to be.

Thanks in advance for your help, please post your opinions here in this post, on my Facebook page or send me an email to let me know what you think. I hope you like how things are looking now, and stay tuned because new and wonderful things are coming soon.

The evolution of Alice

Every time I want to experiment and evolve, Alice in wonderland comes into view. There’s just something about Wonderland that entices me to create.

img_2811Everything always starts with a sketch from my sketchbooks, then I transfer it to a blank canvas that will be the home of my next creation.

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Blobs of color start appearing all over the space, defining shapes and deciding what will this painting will become.

Usually I only work on a painting at a time, but this time it just felt right. I wanted to test out new techniques to give my faces more depth and detail and working with both paintings together was just what I needed.

img_2819You can see that with time, the faces start getting more and more detail. By fusing and diffusing color strokes with my brushes I achieved a smooth, dreamy quality on their faces.

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But no face looks quite right without eyes, so that’s the next step. Adding the basic shapes to these new beautiful faces was a welcome challenge to my skills, and a lot of fun to make.

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Almost done here, the detail on their faces is deeper and smoother than my previous work. The faces have a more three dimensional appearance and they seem to jump off the canvas like they did not do before.

Alice falls trough the white rabbit's hole to wonderland on this acrylic painting by Danita Art
Tumble down the rabbit hole with with Alice in wonderland.

Alice tumbles down the rabbit hole on the finished painting, slowly floating down towards wonderland. [shopify embed_type=”product” shop=”danitaart.myshopify.com” product_handle=”freefall” show=”button-only”]

Alice and the caterpillar original acrylic painting by Danita Art
Adopt Alice and the caterpillar and travel with them on a journey towards wonderland.

And here is Alice and the caterpillar, she holds him with great care as she is ready to travel in wonderland with her new friend. [shopify embed_type=”product” shop=”danitaart.myshopify.com” product_handle=”alice-and-the-cartepillar” show=”button-only”]

So, what do you think of the style I used on them? Do you like where I am headed now? Let me know with a comment, I’d love to hear what you think!