I hope you had a wonderful thanksgiving with you and your loved ones!
I cooked a turkey and went to the movies to see the latest in the Harry potter series. I loved it!
You may be wondering why there is no turkey on my pic…. My son is learning to do embroidery at school and he made me this pouch. It’s a peacock (His favorite animal!) and he made it for thanksgiving because they are related to turkeys, so he thought it was a very appropriate gift…. Gotta love him!!
I just wanted to let you know I’m so very thankful for being there and supporting my work. I would not be there without your love. It means everything to me and I am forever grateful for the opportunity you give me to continue doing what I love.
I’m still adjusting to the big change that we had to go over last year. As you know, I had to sell my house and after a huge amount of problems and situations, I moved back to my old home.
This house is old, has a lot of issues that need fixing and it’s not as nice as the one we had before, but I like it. It’s the place where I brought both my kids when they were born and when’re they took their first steps and said their first words. It’s got family history.
Unfortunately, now that I have two kids and one of them is on the brink of being a teenager and the other one an incredibly active first grader, we don’t have a lot of space. I had to give up my former studio to give each one of them a room, and I took over the living room as a makeshift studio.
That means we are still living under a lot of unpacked studio boxes, containers and who knows what else. I am missing half of my materials because I have nowhere to put them, but art calls and I need to work.
My creative brain needs to work, my bills need to be paid but I don’t have a lot of space… What to do?!?
I had to take the situation with a little humor and remembered one of my favorite books, “It’s not easy being a bunny” (Believe me… it’s not!) where he wants to be a lot of things besides a bunny.
Like P. J. Funnybunny, I said to myself… Now I want to be… A WATERCOLORIST!
And you know what? I LOVE IT!!!! I had worked on watercolors before, it’s one of my favorite mediums and I even teach an introductory online class, but I never took it as my main medium because there are so many things to work on!
But I am so glad I took this detour in life. Having to work in a little space and with limited resources has made me appreciate the magic of water and pigment doing their work even more than I used to, and letting my artistic soul take over my brushes and paints and do it’s thing. It’s magical. And loving the process has allowed me to take my time, improve and experiment even more.
I am so happy with the process that most of the pieces I have been making find homes before they are even finished. And that fils my heart with joy. As an artist, it’s one of the greatest honors.
My style is also taking a new direction. More detailed faces and different themes. They still have the same melancholic eyes and mysterious faces, it’s just a new different me. What do you think of them? Do you like them?
Finally, I am able to sit down and paint on a makeshift studio.
hope you had a good weekend and you had a great time if you are a Football fan. I’m not a fan myself and we used the time to try to clear out the clutter and make the house a little bit more livable.
When we had to move everything, I mean EVERYTHING was packed and crammed into boxes and containers, and the studio takes a humongous amount of space. Finally, this weekend we managed to unpack a TV and a couch. You can see it in the back before we unwrapped the couch to have a place to sit in. We have been living without a TV for who knows when. Weird.
I managed to complete your super generous orders (Finally, down to the last packages of the 200+ orders!) in a very very tiny space. Fishing some of the originals that got boxed is a challenge. My deepest apologies for the delays, It’s really inexcusable but the circumstances were extraordinary but I really thank you for your understanding. From the bottom of my heart. Now the last packages should arrive by the end of the week.
Still, in the midst of the chaos, I managed to create a few things. An oil painting that was half done when I left and now a royal princess has come to existence on a beautiful background.
And a few small watercolors on paper because that’s all I have space for right now. It’s really, really tight and I have to move around carts to sit down, then surround myself again when I sit to work so I can reach for the materials. It’s comical actually because now it looks like I build an art supply fort when I work and I have walls made out of paint tubes and a watercolor moat.
I have to pull the carts, move my chair, pull the carts back in and then surround myself with them again. It’s definitively a challenge!
But the show (and the art!) must go on. I am now seeing this as nothing but a bump in the road in life and I will welcome the challenge. After this, I am coming stronger, wiser and a better artist, you’ll see. Well… Enough rambling. Would you like to see what I have been up to? Here they are!
All of them are original Danita watercolors, they measure 5 x 7 Inches on thick watercolor paper. Just click on each painting and it will take you to the link on my online gallery and shop for you to adopt them.
This year has been very tough for me. Really bad this time.
Bad as in having to put everything on sale just to get by.
You may be wondering why, on the busiest season of the year, instead of being burning midnight oil creating, I am almost silent on social media, not posting anything and not showing off my latest creations.
Well, there’s a reason for that. And it’s definitively not a good one. It’s so bad that I have to put everything on Sale. Keep reading to know what I’ve been up to.
Due to very unexpected and difficult circumstances, I was forced to sell my home and move to my old house. Moving is a very difficult decision, and for an artist with a studio in their home even more so. Boxes and boxes of stuff have to be packed and put away.
On the busiest season of the year, no less.
That, I can deal with. I have moved before and although is very difficult, annoying and complicated, it can be done.
My Son and Daughter have to be dismissed from school and we had to look for a new school that will take them in the middle of the school year. Definitively not easy either.
Then, we get contracts signed, paperwork done and we’re getting ready to ask the people renting our home that we will need it so we can move back in. Lease has to be terminated early and we need to handle that. Expensive, but again, it can be done. And that is strike One.
My studio is just an empty room now. It sucks.
And then, we discover our renters wrecked out our hose. Big time. Damaged carpets. Non working bathrooms. Filthy and moldy kitchen. Broken stove and fridge. Everything is left on a very sorry state. I would show you pics but they will make you cry. And they are gone and in Mexican law is not easy to sue your tenants, and the move is going slow. I even had to get my parents to come over and help.
Mr. Danita now has to take time off work to get things going, fixing everything so we have a decent place to move in when closing date comes, ripping out carpets, fixing windows and many other things. I also help but I need to pack everything.
The proceedings from the sale of the house now need to be used in fixing up what we expect it to be a livable home instead of the use we had for them. Bummer. We’ll work it out. That really made things harder, but we will recover. That’s strike Two.
And then, today we get a call from our real state agent with the worst possible news we can get. Buyers are backing out and they are not signing. Without an explanation. On closing day.
We really are at a loss here, no idea what to do next. I’ve already moved my stuff in boxes and they are in Mexico, waiting to be unpacked at our home in the middle of an emergency renovation.
And now, we have no money to pay for the renovation because there is no sale. And on top of that, the mortgage payments will continue if we can’t find a buyer soon. That’s strike Three.
So, I am humbly asking for your help.
I will need to scramble whatever I can so that we can get back on our feet, but I have no studio to work on, no house to move in with my kids (Who luckily are now with their grandparents 4 hours away from where we live) and on top of that, on Christmas season.
That’s depressing me a lot, because on top of all my problems, the magic go Christmas is not home this year. We don’t even have a tree setup this year, and even if it sounds cliche, it’s making me depressed and crying. I really don’t know what do do.
I will be having a sale from today until the end of the year where everything on my shop will be discounted. If you were thinking about a handmade gift this Christmas season, would you consider one of my creations? Please? Anything will help me.
Believe me, I would not ask for your help if my situation was not so dire, but I am at a loss on what to do next. Hopefully next year things will get better.
As soon as my house is in a livable state I’m going to use a temp room and a table to start creating again, and I’ll keep you posted on the progress of things. Once I am back on my feet, I will make my studio nice again, and I’ll share the progress with you.
But for now, it’s time to figure out what to do. There’s a saying in Spanish, Uno pone, Dios dispone y llega el diablo y todo lo descompone. (One plans, God decides and then comes the Devil and messes everything up) So true now.
Some say that inspiration cannot be beckoned, it’s sacred and you have to wait for it come to you, and always ready to read the subtle signs that will tell you when it arrives. I have proof of that now.
I had been totally dry of ideas and I had this girl on my desk, waiting for inspiration to arrive, but to no avail. I kept on sketching on her, but none of my ideas really convinced me.
My last sketch turned out to be some kind of wings on her back, maybe butterfly wings, but I was not really sure what I wanted her to be.
I got frustrated, so I got up from my table and got out of the studio earlier than usual to pick up my kids from school. Maybe a walk could help me gather my ideas.
And just like that, I found it, right on my doorstep. It was a beautiful butterfly, flapping it’s wings on the sidewalk. It looked like it was hurt and trying to fly again but was not succeeding.
I thought about it and I carefully picked it up and took it inside. Maybe she just needed some water and food and she will be ready to fly again.
I put it in a box so it would not get hurt with a little sugary water in a bottle cap, and set out to pick up my kids from school.
I showed the butterfly to my kids and they took turns looking after it, they love animals and they were fascinated with it. My son took his art supplies and started sketching it, and my Daughter took a magnifying glass to study it while it was in the box.
What they didn’t know, and I really had no heart to tell them, was that the butterfly was not doing that good. It looked like it was her last day.
Next day I went to the box to see how it was doing, and as I expected, it didn’t make it.
And it got me thinking, it was alive one moment and the next, it was gone. Poof, just like that. After that, a tidal wave of thoughts and emotions flashed trough and I knew what to do.
I did art. It’s the best way I have to explain all my emotions and ideas and pour them out to the world. I painted the same butterfly wings on the girl I was working with, and I knew it was the right thing for her.
I had been depressed lately, with this feeling of uncertainty about my future as an artist and wondering if I really should continue this path or not.
After seeing this fragile creature hang on and bringing beauty to the world until it’s very last day, I knew I could not give up.
I painted that uncertainty I was feeling on the girl’s face. She is pondering about the future and knows she is fragile, but she is also beautiful.
She stands strong, because she knows that while she exists, there are things to do, places to explore, art to make.
even if you did not know her story, she is still a powerful image. I love the way she is standing, ready to take flight and explore the world.
and now that you know her back story, I think it becomes a much more intimate image. One that speaks of my hidden fears and how I overcome them day by day.
And of course, you know me. Once I start, I cannot stop, so I kept on painting all my feeling and emotions onto canvas until I ended up with a beautiful series of new paintings.
Some of them have my recurring themes, like the obsession I have for twins. You know, two minds, one body. I find the idea so fascinating.
I love the face on this girl, defiant yet gentle and sweet. I like to think that she is my self portrait.
Then I was thinking of the blue fairy from Pinocchio and the movie AI, and the beautiful butterflies I saw in Costa Rica, and I made a blue butterfly.
And last, a girl with a chrysalis on her back. She is waiting for the change that will come. She is not sure when or where it will happen, but she knows it will be one day. It’s a matter of waiting.This was a very emotional series for me, finding that butterfly really got me thinking if this was just a strange coincidence, or if there’s something looking after me and sending subtle messages and letting me know I should keep on making the world a beautiful place.
What do you think? Let me know on the comments section!
Remember I told you I was working to get ready for my upcoming class, EVER AFTER 2017? I am joining 15 amazing mixed media artists to talk about our personal styles and how to develop your own, our art and we share our secrets in a series of video classes where we create a painting just for you.
I chose Alice in Wonderland for many reasons. One of them is because it is my favorite fantasy story, non sensical and surreal as the things that go on my mind, and I love the anything can happen there.
Another reason is because I am in a transitional phase. If you have been following my art for the past couple of years, you will see that lately I am focusing on more realistic and surreal images, I am evolving. And every time there’s an evolution, Alice in Wonderland comes into my art to help me move along. I talk a lot about that search in the interview in style development that you will be able to watch when you sing up to EVER AFTER 2017.
The whimsical, childlike images are changing into more mature and realistic faces, and I am working very hard on this transition, I want to be come a bigger, better artist than before. It’s taking time and that’s why you don’t see me as active as in other years and with very experimental themes and materials.
It’s been a very difficult journey, some of my fans do not like the change I’m going trough and, to be honest, I am struggling to keep my neck above water, but I must continue in the exploration of myself and my expression as an artist.
One of the things I talk about in my interview is precisely that, how a having a personal style is good because it makes your art recognizable, but you can paint yourself into a corner if you are not careful. Evolving is a necessity to grow, and there are growing pains associated with that, but I really hope those pains are worth it.
Here’s a tiny preview of the things I talk about in EVER AFTER 2017. I really hope you can join me there and we can share what it takes to have a personal style and then sit down for a painting demo.
In the meantime, Alice in wonderland is ready to be adopted on my online shop, as I keep on evolving and changing as an artist. Your positive words and constructive criticism are really appreciated, and believe me, that’s more true today than ever. If you have a minute or two, leave a comment telling me what do you think of my latest work in the comments section, and share this article to anyone who will be interested in the class 🙂
My kids love to color with crayons. And when I mean love, I mean LOVE. We have a bucket full of any imaginable color and type, and they use them when they feel like drawing and coloring their own creations.
The problem with crayons is that as they get used up, they get stubby, and sometimes dirty, and the tips are not so usable any more and they get neglected because they do not color as they used to.
You can buy a new box, but then you end up accumulating more crayons and there’s the environmental cost of not recycling and reusing what we have.
So we decided to recycle our crayons and learn a few lessons about color mixing, doing things by yourself and being good to our planet. All in one afternoon!
First, let’s see what you need. It’s not a lot and probably you will find everything you need right at home.
Okay, you have everything you need? Let’s get started!
Pour the hot water into your plastic container. The water should be hot enough to peel off the paper from the crayons, but not too hot. Hot enough to take a warm bath should do the trick.
The paper will start coming off the crayons and they will be cleaner now. The idea is to get all the grime off of them so they are clean and ready for the next step.
Let the crayons dry up, and you can throw away the paper wrappings on the recycle bin.
Start breaking up the crayons into small chunks so they fit in your silicone mold. Let your kids experiment with the colors that will mix on each try and get as many combinations as you can.
You can try different colors that will mix, or maybe different hues of the same color and encourage your kids to guess what will the final colors be.
Fill the trays and try to leave as little space as possible between the colors, but don’t overfill the tray. The idea here is that when the colors melt they will mix and they should not overfill the tray.
Take your silicone mold full of crayon chunks and put it in your oven. It’s time to see the magic start as you create your rainbow crayons!
The melting process took about about 30 minutes with the oven at 250F. , but keep an eye on the oven, the colors will start to melt and as soon as you see that they are melted and filling the molds, it’s time to get them out. They have a tendency to burn if you use a very high temperature so don’t leave your oven unattended.
Let the mold cool down undisturbed so the different colors mix and harden as they get cooler. It should take an hour or so for the crayons to be ready to be taken out of the mold.
Carefully try to get one out. If it’s soft, leave it alone for a bit. Once they come out clean easily, it’s time to have fun!
The crayon chunks mix and create very interesting patterns depending on the color combinations you chose. If you use lots of small chunks, you get a rainbow effect.
If you use larger chunks, the crayons will have larger areas of color, and if you used the same hue, it will be a very nice solid color.
Time to enjoy your creations! My kids had a great time testing each one of the chunk crayons that turned up from this DIY recycled rainbow crayons!
They are perfect for kids. Their little hands have no trouble grabbing the colors, using and testing how they start changing colors as you use them. And adults love them too…. I had a blast making and using them too!!!!
And they can be stacked and used for building too!
I had lots of fun while me and my kids worked on this DIY project, it’s perfect as a summer activity, or an after school project. give it a try at your home!
I am so happy to be part of EVER AFTER 2017, a collective effort put together by the fantastic Tamara Laporte with me and an A list of amazing artists.
Together we will guide you through lessons on creativity, using fairy tales and fantastic stories to teach you our secrets and techniques on video tutorials.
I will talk about my creative process. Where my ideas come from, how I develop them from a simple idea, an event or an emotion and how I turn them into beautiful mixed media art.
Using my favorite story, Alice in Wonderland, you and I will work on creating your own personal style and I we will tapthe endless well of ideas that awaits to be unleashed in your mind.
Once we are done talking about creativity, personal style, idea development and more tips on your art, it’s time to practice what you learn!
I will teach how I work with my mixed media materials as we create an original painting from a blank page. Once we develop our character, together we will draw, paint, stain and shade using my techniques and secrets.
It will be like sitting with me for an hour on my studio, working and laughing while we do what we like to do best. Make art!
Are you ready to join me on this beautiful journey?
I admired them when I got them out the packing box and opened the metal tin that holds them, and I really did not want to do anything with them because they are so perfect and new in their box.
But this being a family of artists and creative fellows, it’s a known fact that when the mail truck drops something in our doorstep, it’s going to be something interesting to explore and my kids immediately come to investigate the contents of the boxes.
I turned around for a second and my son took over the box, ordering the colors so it looks like the rainbow and announced that I got very neat crayons in a very nice box.
And right after getting them ordered neatly, he went to his room, picked up his paper pad and asked my daughter if she could draw him so he could color the drawing, and after getting his portrait, he set off to work.
I really was not paying attention until I turned around and saw him working with them. My initial reaction was shock. He was using the very same expensive artist’s set of colors I was so afraid to use because they were new, perfect and just out of the box and he was using them to color the art of a six year old.
But just like that that, It dawned on me how careless he was using them, just enjoying the process and not caring at all what pedigree they have or what they are supposed to be used for. He just got a new box of colors, so he did what seemed natural. Use them and enjoy them! By the time he was done, two of them were broken, all of them were blunted and with the paper peeled and clearly showing signs of use.
He colored himself with blue hair, the T-Shirt and shorts he was wearing and eating (One of his favorite activities!) His drawing is free, careless and just for the thrill of watching the colors run on the paper.
He was so proud of what he accomplished that he gave it to me, so we took his work and placed in the art gallery that also doubles as a fridge.
And you know what? I realized I was very much OK with him using the watercolor crayons. He taught me a very important lesson about my art supplies and what I’m supposed to do with them.
They look perfect in their boxes, neatly arranged in piles and drawers, a heaven of order and perfection. But my studio is not a window display. It’s a place to create. Having my material sitting there, pretty and perfect because I’m unwilling to use them because I will mess up their perfection is not what I should do with them.
I must get messy, create, tear, break and stain my things to show them I want to create with them. I will no longer be afraid of a new box of art supplies because they are pristine.
I will see it as an opportunity to begin a close relationship with them, feel them glide over paper and canvas and enjoy them fulfilling their purpose. Because that’s what are supplies are for, to create, to let us unleash our creativity and let our beautiful world of ideas into the open, where we can enjoy what artists love doing the most.