Tag Archives: Art

The butterfly effect

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!

 

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Sketching in the woods: An online watercolor painting lesson with Danita

Let’s paint a beautiful watercolor version of Little red Riding Hood. I decided to film the video on location to show you how fun it can be to just whip out your paint, your brush and some paper and enjoy nature. It was a relaxing afternoon, and you can hear the birds and insects chirping and buzzing around was I work. Like a mini holiday to the forest!

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Don’t admire, enjoy your art supplies.

This weekend the mail arrived with a big box of Caran d’Ache Classic Neocolor II Water-Soluble Pastels. I have a small box that I use in my mixed media paintings and I really wanted to give the 30 color set a try, so I patiently waited all week for them to arrive.

Danita Art Uses Review Caran d'Ache Classic Neocolor II Water-Soluble Pastels

 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.

Danita review art supply Caran d'Ache Classic Neocolor II Water Soluble Pastels

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.

Danita Review Kids Use Caran d'Ache Classic Neocolor II Water-Soluble Pastels

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.

Making art.

Ever After 2017 – A blog hop and give away for my latest online class!

I am super exited!! I will be teaching an online class on the collaborative online workshop “Ever After” this year!

“Ever After” is a mixed media art & style development course with a fairytale theme hosted by Tamara Laporte from Willowing Arts. I will be joining Tam and 11 mixed media art teacherson this class. Together we will share beautiful fairy-tale inspired lessons with you and we will also share our hints and tips on how each one of us developed our own style and how you too can find your own unique voice as an artist! 🙂 Yay!

My chosen fairy tale for the class will be Alice in Wonderland, one of my favorite themes to explore and develop in my artistic adventures, and i will show you how the tale has inspired me to find my style and creativity while I show you the mixed media techniques I use as you watch me create a painting with Alice and her wonderland companions.

Ever After Danita Online class 2017 Alice Wonderland Learn How To Tutorial Techniques Painting Online

Registration opens on May 17th, 2017 and classes begin on July 1st, 2017.

 

 

 

So if you want to start your summer drawing and painting fairy-tales, exploring your own personal story and style and hang out with a wonderful creative community of like-minded souls,be sure to join once registration opens! 🙂

And… I have another surprise! I can give away 1 space on Ever After to 1 lucky winner on a class giveaway!

So, what do you say? Do you want a  a chance to join this amazing class with me and 12 more mixed media artists?

To enter the giveaway, you need to

  1. Share this giveaway on Facebook or Twitter.
  2. Sign up to receive my newsletter.
  3. Leave a comment on this very blog post, letting me know why you’d love to join Ever After this year.

The winner will be announced on May 15th.


And if you follow the blog hop (see below for links and dates) you can up your chances of winning a space by entering all the other give-aways also! 🙂

2nd May 2017 Tamara Laporte willowing.org/blog
3rd May 2017 Andrea Gomoll andrea-gomoll.de/blog
4th May 2017 Danita Art blog.danitaart.com
5th May 2017 Effy Wild effywild.com
6th May 2017 Kara Bullock karabullockart.com/2017/03/happily-ever-after
7th May 2017 Karine Bosse kabostudio.com/blog
8th May 2017 Katrina Koltes katrinakoltes.com/2017
9th May 2017 Marielle Stolp mariellestolp.wordpress.com/blog
 10th May 2017  Micki Wilde  thesecrethermit.blogspot.co.uk
 11th May 2017  Roberta Laliberte  prairiefairydesigns.com/blog
 12th May 2017  Sarah Trumpp wonderstrumpet.com
 13th May 2017  Stephen Lursen  http://stephenlursen.com/blogs/stephen-lursen-art
 14th May 2017  Tiare Smith  tiaresmith.com
15th May 2017  Toni Burt  toniburt.com.au/blog
16th May 2017  Ivy Newport  graceandivy.wordpress.com


Good luck, and see you in class on July 1st!

 

What art materials should I review next?

I wanted to be more active in sharing my art experiences with my friends and fans, and a few weeks ago I wrote a review for the wonderful Derwent Inktense color pencils I use on my paintings and dolls.

 The review was very well received and a lot of you sent emails requesting me to review more of the products and materials I use on my studio, so I am reaching out to you to see what you’d like me to review next. Leave a comment here on my blog, or send me an email with your thoughts on what you’d like to see next. 

If the reviews get enough interest, I may start a regular feature where I review my favorite art supplies, along with new products that pick my interest.

I’m waiting to see what you’d like me to try out!

Fluffy bunny art doll; A self portrait

Danita Art Making Dolls Why How To Make Dolls Tutorial

I like to read old doll making books because they have techniques for doing everything by hand (I’m old school like that) and I came across this quote.

It really hit a string for me, because it encompasses everything I believe about making my own dolls. Mass produced items have a perfect quality about them, but to me, they are soulless and nothing more than a pretty thing to look at.

That is probably the main reason why I very rarely repeat an artwork, not even if it’s a commissioned piece because someone missed the original work and they would love to adopt a piece just like her.

Danita Art Doll Process Dollmaking Techniques Vintage Dress pattern handmade

That refusal may sound as stubborn or pretentious at first sight, but there is a real practical reason why I can’t do it. Not even if I wanted to do so.

You see, I put a piece of my soul on every single doll I make. A tiny drop of my awareness and my mindfulness goes on each of them, and with that, all my emotions, feelings and thoughts will shape them. That’s why I can’t do it. It’s impossible to reproduce the moment that inspired them, they are a little moment of my life , frozen in time.

That is why I love my process, where I get to choose every single detail of the dolls I make, from the fabric of the dress to the buttons that hold the doll’s arms.

I set out to make this one a very pretty girl, but I really wasn’t aware of what I was making until the very end. All I knew is that she was going to be very special.

Danita Lace Vintage Doll Paperclay Handmade How To Process Dollmaking

Each element is carefully chosen with the doll’s personality in mind, and I can swear to you that they talk to me about what they want to wear, how they want to look and everything they want to be.

I knew that I wanted her to be vintage looking, and when I found the bunny rabbit fabric hiding on my closet, I knew it was perfect.

Danita handmade Wool Felted Hair Doll Handmade OOAK

We tried different hair colors, different clothe styles and different haircuts until we were sure that’s what we want. It’s an exhausting and repetitive process sometimes, because the doll is not sure what she wants to be, and I am known for starting all over again if I am not satisfied with an idea.

Danita Doll Art Handmade Hair Wig Dollmaking Techniques Tips Doll Making Eyes

Other times, everything just flows, the doll and I are sure of what we want and it’s only a matter of finding the right materials and textures for each personality. This little girl was just that, perfect.

Felted Wool Danita Bunny Rabbit Ears Black White Fluffy Cosplay Miniature Handmade

But… Something was amiss, and suddenly I knew what it was. She wanted to be like me, and I realized I was making a self portrait, so I used wool to felt fluffy bunny ears and she was ready.

Danita Art Handmade Art Doll Paperclay Ceramic Toy cosplay Anthropomorphic Toy

See what I mean? She’s perfect! And so lovely, that she got adopted right away.