I got these amazing Caran D’ache Luminance Colored Pencil Set some time ago. They are some of my favorite and most cherished color pencils. I love their creamy texture and how I can create color gradients with them.
But there’s a huge problem. I love them so much that I don’t want to use them. So they stayed in their box, and I only too them from there on special occasions. Kind of like the Good China our grandmothers used to get out of the cabinet on Christmas.
But no more. I decided that color pencils should be used, not staying on a box waiting for the perfect moment to be used.
So, I was brave and I took them out of the box and into a container I made for them. Now they are available for me when I need them, and I will use them! Oh yes! Just wait and see!
I’m an anxious person. There’s no way around it. Sometimes it’s easy to manage and we get along quite well. I know it’s there, sleeping and tiny and I have a great day.
And then, on other days, my anxiety grows and overwhelms me. Thoughts of failure and self hatred creep up from the shadows and make my day miserable.
Life for me is like this color palette. Sometimes the colors are very bright and happy, sometimes are meh and life moves along, and then some other days I see everything in hues of darkness and sadness.
But you know what? I am learning that in order for colors to blend and be beautiful, we need both. We need bright, bold colors to lead the way, and we need the darker colors to mute and control that brightness, to give us delicate shades of subtle colors that make everything beautiful, because we cannot have one without the other.
Life and art have shown me that I can do something with those negative emotions and then turn them into something beautiful, with meaning that once it’s on paper, it’s mine to control and to own, and to give it the direction I want.
That’s why I say that I art away my depression and anxiety. I found an amazing way to show myself that even in the darkest hues, there is something to learn and to celebrate, and that by combining it with the bright colors of the good days, a beautiful mosaic of the hues and colors that paint my life emerges.
One day I was having a terrible, terrible day and nothing could lift my spirits. I know that painting and putting color on paper always brings me up, but that day I was just not feeling it. I really wanted to just end the day and put an end to the terrible day I was having.
So, I took my watercolors out of habit and put a streak of color in the paper. And then, I combined it with a very different color and I had an amazing revelation.
They did mix. I know, it’s painting 101. Watercolor will mix when you put them together and apply water to them. Of course I knew that.
But the meaning was deep. My experiences also mix up. The good and the bad. And I cannot have a totally dark day as I cannot have a completely fine day. There will be mixes, just like the colors. And it’s always beautiful.
This sheet is made with very very few colors, they are just mixed in different amounts and with different techniques. The colors are the same but the way they mix makes them unique and special, each color that comes along, just like good days and bad days in our life, combine to make beautiful things.
And now this became a ritual for me. Every time I am down and depressed, or anxious about the future because sales are low, or because my kids acted up, or because I am still a struggling artist… I do the same thing.
I pick a few colors and mix them up. And it is so therapeutic. It’s just like meditating to me. The world and my troubles disappear into the paper as I pick one color, then just a tiny bit of the other and put it on the paper.
Then again, now with a little more of the new color, and it goes into the paper. And then a tiny bit more. And then more, and more, and more until what started like one color becomes the other one, with many shades in between.
See what I mean? Two colors here. Only two. Mixed in different quantities, just like happiness and sadness in our days. Isn’t it beautiful? I think it is!
Knowing so much can be made with just two colors makes me so happy! So I keep doing it, over and over again until I feel better. Sometimes I can fill page after page of this and to others it may seem like a waste of great materials, but to me, it’s the world.
And you know what? It works so well that once I am done with that, I feel my creativity recharged so I usually start painting something right away. It may be an old sketch, or maybe an entirely new idea, I never know. I only know that I will love the result.
Like my dear friend the witch here. She has a beautiful contrast of yellow, golden blonde hair against a dark purple and burnt orange robe, with little moons inside.
And since she is a witch in Halloween, she has a jack-o-lantern where she will put all the candy she will get when she goes trick or treating on Halloween night.
You can meet her on my online shop if you want, along with other Halloween I’ve been working on.
I hope this advice helps you out as much as it helps me. I’ve learned a lot about myself and the materials I work as well doing this, and I hope that if you doit it helps too.
And if helps, don’t forget to share your results with me on my social media, tag me on a Facebook or Instagram post, or send it to me on email if you want. I will be super happy so see what you did!
Finally, it’s time for the new batch of moths, faeries and angels to fly out to the world and find their forever homes! They are available on the Healing And Transformation Auction event on Facebook.
Each little doll is hand made by me. I transformed humble materials like Avocado pits, Eucalyptus leaves, Rusty nails, Old rugs, Cotton fabric and clay into beautiful one of a kind soft sculptures.
They have painted faces with alchemy symbols, blooming flowers and astonishing, life like eyes that will mesmerize you as the heal and transform your life when you hold them in your hands.
Want to meet them? Of course you do! Scroll down to your favorite doll and click on the image, it will take you directly to the auction page where you can place your bid as a Facebook post comment. Good luck bidding!
I have some wonderful & exciting news! Tamara Laporte from Willowing Arts has written a 2nd book! It’s called ‘Ever After: Create Fairy Tale-Inspired Mixed-Media Art Projects to Develop Your Personal Artistic Style’ and I get to give away a copy!
Let me tell you a bit more about Tam’s new book in case you haven’t heard about it yet!
Let the wisdom and enchantment of timeless fables and fiction help you achieve your creative goals! From celebrated mixed-media artist and author of “Create Your Life Book” Tamara Laporte, Ever After is a rich collection of step-by-step mixed-media art lessons inspired by fairy tales, folk tales, and classic fiction.
Based on one of Tamara’s popular series of online classes, Ever After addresses the most
frequently asked question she receives from her students: “How do I develop my own creative style?”
In addition to the beautiful art lessons created especially for this book by Tamara and eight other noted mixed-media artists, each chapter offers creative exercises that invite readers to explore stories, their symbolism, and a specific aspect of style development as they work toward and
ultimately achieve their artistic goals.
• The Story of You. Explore the experiences, feelings, and ideas that stir your passion, and
how to adapt and change motifs and other visual elements to make them your own.
• Inspiration: How to Find It, How to Use It. Examine how to stay open to inspiration,
incorporate it into your art practice, and integrate it into your artwork.
• Comfort Zones & Productivity. Learn strategies for working through your fear and
dedicating time to your artmaking.
• Dealing with Challenges & Deepening Your Voice. Find guidance for starting a
mindfulness practice to help you deal with harsh feedback, and for allowing yourself the joy of continually evolving your story, your message, and your style.
Ever After will teach you to tell your own unique stories through artmaking so that your wish—to become the artist you’ve always wanted to be—is sure to come true!
Guest Teachers Includes lessons and tips from these renowned mixed-media artists:
• Kara Bullock
• Lucy Chen
• Danita Art (Me!!!!)
• Andrea Gomoll
• Annie Hamman
• Mariëlle Stolp
• Effy Wild
• Micki Wilde
Fairy Tales, Fables & Fiction Featured stories include:
• Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
• Beauty & the Beast
• Goldilocks & the Three Bears
• Peter Pan
• Sleeping Beauty
• The Little Mermaid
Now then, onto the give-away and blog hop! 😃 I can give away 1 copy of Tam’s book to 1 lucky winner, yay! 😃 And if you follow the blog hop (see below for links) you can up your
chances of winning by entering all the other give-aways also! 🙂
to enter the give-away:
1. Share this give-away on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram
2. Sign up to my newsletter (click here)
3. Leave a comment below letting us know why you would love to get a copy of Tam’s book!
I will announce the winner on August 27th 2019.
Here is the list of the other people on Tam’s Book Launch Blog Hop – they too will be giving away a copy of Tam’s book so go check them out and enter their give-aways! 🙂
Have a great time following the blog hop! 🙂
After the amazing feedback I had from my latest dreamy ink paintings I knew I had to make more paintings like this.
Working without a care is always a delight and now that I am feeling creative I wanted to make a few more of these lovely paintings.
The crispy vintage paper lets the ink flow in a very unusual way, creating images with a ghostly quality.
They are perfect for the ideas that I have on my mind now, combining memories from a distant past from my family and friends.
Life experiences and ties between our ancestors make us what we are today. We stand on the shoulders of the ones that came before us to be what we are today, and even tough they may be long gone, their memories still live within us.
I wanted to remember that we are all connected, we are all belong somewhere else thanks to our connections from our pasts. At some point, our families were migrants too. They arrived to new places, they were received with love and respect and thrived into what we are today.
That is why I chose to divert from making realistic, detailed faces. They are like the memories of our ancestors, faded in time and space but still with us, on what we remember of them, our our family traditions, on our culture.
Even after all this time, lest us not forget that they came before us, some from distant places, always looking for a better future for themselves and their descendants. We admire them for their courage, and thank them for taking the risk of leaving what they knew to try to make a better world for us who came before them.
Lately I’ve been in search of new ideas, new horizons and places to expand by artistic self, and in the process I’ve been experimenting a lot.
But also on that exploration, I’m going back to my early roots. It’s always a source of comfort to be back where one started.
Remembering my skills.
So… My sewing machine was busy doing lots of things for a project I’m working on (I’ll tell you very soon about it) when I decided to give free motion stitching embroidery a go after a looooong time without doing it.
I took some of my Japanese handmade paper that one of my beloved friends and fans sent me as a gift and I set out make art. Starting with a sketch, I trace the outlines on vintage papers, and I use my sewing machine to sew layers of paper to create a beautiful image.
Once the sewing is done… it’s time to paint! Adding watercolor details to these vintage looking images is super fun, and I sure enjoyed bringing the initial free motion stitching sketch into full life with colors.
And I loved the results! It’s always so satisfying to see my ideas come to fruition just as they were in my mind. I love the texture of watercolor over the paper, and how leaving loose strands on the illustration make theme live and dynamic.
I am getting A LOT of positive feedback on these new works! I love working with this technique, you can create a lot of different effects with it and it’s easy to learn. It has a very special place in my heart, because it was one of the first classes that I taught.
That made me wonder if you would be interested in a class to teach you how to make them?
Inspiration arrives when you least expect it.I love it when inspiration finds me on the least expected places. This time I was found by it while I was browsing trough a collection of vintage pictures that begged me to turn them into watercolor paintings.
The importance of playing with your materials.
I used to save all my good materials for a time when it was worth it using, and in the process, I let a lot of great materials go to waste just because I did not want to risk using them in something that would not be epic.
And in the process, I learned that the best time to use your materials is NOW. I used my best watercolors to create a couple of images inspired by the voices of ghosts from a distant past.
Inspiration can find you anywhere.
You better be ready.
I was looking to be found by inspiration on my studio (Which, according to my family, has an uncanny resemblance to goofing off) and I started looking at vintage images. They have always fascinated me, little snippets of lives in a distant past. It’s like hearing the voices of ghosts telling me about their days, their friends, lovers and more.
That’s when my inspiration goddess hit me. I got my watercolors, my brushes and I started to work. I wanted to play with that idea, and watercolor was going to be the perfect medium for it.
I set out to draw them with just shapes instead of copying their faces. The pictures I was looking at come from 100 years ago or more, so the life stories from every person in them are now diluted in time, blurry between legend and facts and I wanted to reflect that on the paintings.
Success! I love them!
And it worked! I loved the way they look, and how with a little paint blotches and stains I was able to keep their expressions.
And you liked them too! I got a lot of comments on my Instagram and Facebook telling me how you love them, and how they remind you of your own history.
Both paintings are now available on my official website (And my Etsy shop if you prefer it) and ready to be taken home by you. I will be definitively making more.
Now, go find your own inspiration!
I hope you liked my new paintings. They were fun to make and I love sharing a bit of the process with you, I gives a little backstory to each painting so you know more about it when you take it home.
And I too hope that sharing a little of the process helps you find your own inspiration to create beautiful things!
If you need some help with that, why don’t you join me and 17 more amazing artists on Ever After?
It’s an online collaborative class sponsored by the Amazing Tam Laporte from Willowing Arts.
We will use Fairy Tales as prompts for developing your own artistic style, learn new techniques and unleash you inner creative self. The class is already on session now and my own lessons will come on September. Take a look! You’ll love it. I promise.
As you know, I have been super busy exploring the forests Danita Land, collecting new mushroom, moth and butterfly specimens and preparing them for adoption. And I found BEAUTIFUL specimens of Mushroom Girls and Butterflies, along with new species I had not seen before, like the Grey Moths.
Each specimen has a very unique look and personality, with their faces made with air dry clay, hand painted and customized for each doll. Their bodies are made of soft fabric and their arms and legs can be posed in any way you want. They look beautiful when they sit on a shelf!
And on my journeys, I found a beautiful surprise where the ocean meets the woodlands… MERMAIDS!! YES! MERMAIDS!
All of them will be ready for adoption on a special Facebook event hosted by the amazing Stephanie Gagos. She will be our host and all the specimens will be available for adoption on her 2019 Spring Event.
Here are all the pieces up for adoption so far. Click on each picture to go directly to the auction event!
This event is different than the way you usually adopt from my shop, this time we will have an auction format, so let me give you a few pointers:
You will need a Facebook Account to enter the event, so once you are logged in and click to go to the EVENT PAGE, make sure you click on DISCUSSION to see the latest auctions.
Once you are in the EVENT DISCUSSION section, you will see all the bios for today’s artists, including me! Just scroll down until you see one of my dolls. I am listed as IDANIA SALCIDO instead of DANITA ART (Why? Facebook does not allow to tag Fan Pages on the adoption posts so I am using my IRL profile. But don’t worry, it’s still me!)
Keep scrolling until you see one of my specimens and click to see more. Inside every post, there is a small description of the specimen, with size, prize and everything you need to know. If you want to bid on her, just write a COMMENT with your bid. Something like BID: [YOUR $$$ BID] and Stephanie and I will take note that you are bidding on that specimen. Please remember that each bid is a contract to adopt the piece!
Feel free to comment and say something nice about if you feel like it!
Once the auction is over and YOU get to adopt a beautiful Danita Specimen, Stephanie and I will contact you for Shipping details, payment and any questions you may have.
That’s it! Thanks a lot for joining me on this wonderful event! I am looking forward to seeing you in the event, and I really hope you can adopt one of the beautiful doll specimens waiting to go to their forever home!