Wednesday, August 28, 2013

brothers not forgotten

I painted this on a 9"x12" canvas board on May 27th.

That was Memorial Day, a day for all of us to remember the all of the heroes who sacrificed their precious LIVES so people like you and me can write about whatever we feel, follow whatever dreams we may have and live a life the way God intended--with freedom from control.

My husband Patrick served in the United States Marine Corps Reserve from 2003 until 2010 and was deployed to Iraq in 2004 and 2009. During the time he served, his Nashville-based unit lost five brave men during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

I painted this for Patrick to thank him for his selfless service and the pain and sacrifice of all the men and women he served with, in honor of the five souls who live on in our memories:

SSgt Marcus Golczynski 3/27/07
Cpl Brad McCormick 8/19/04
LCpl Richard Buerstetta 10/23/06
LCpl Tyler Overstreet 10/23/06
LCpl William Spencer 12/28/06

Semper Fi, Marines. RIP.


Thursday, August 22, 2013

inspired dawn for unknown soldiers

this painting is inspired by my father-in-law. he is a songwriter, & quite honestly, a wordsmith. on memorial day this year, he played us a song he wrote entitled 'unknown soldiers.' 

he told my husband & i what had inspired him to write the song. he was by himself, walking through stones river national battlefield & came into the cemetery, humbly paying his respect to all of the fallen unnamed soldiers from the civil war.

it was there, under a beautiful magnolia tree, jim penned a beautiful song.

my favorite part of the song is the last stanza--  

                                                 'but rest in peace in knowing,
                                                 that your names are known to God.
                                                 your names, unknown soldiers,
                                                 are known to God.'  --jim linam


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Zoo Time in Elephant Land

This is my attempt at an elephant,  based on a personality information page regarding Patrick's personality (ESTJ).

I had some trouble with proportions here as well as positioning body parts correctly...

I like this style of learning, though, in regard to practicing other artists' techniques to learn the concept of things like shadowing and detailing.

What do you think?

Sunday, July 28, 2013

And...My FIRST EVER Portrait!

Once again, I'm new to this whole drawing thing...I am thanking Patrick (the hubs, ESTJ) for being my sweet subject. :)  This is on sandy-colored drawing paper...



My FIRST EVER Sketch! A Unicorn For Me, an INFP

Okay, this was my first attempt at sketching.  ANYTHING.  So please be nice. :) 

I have been reading a lot on my Myers-Briggs personality type, INFP.  On one search, I saw the "animal" associated with the INFP personality type...a unicorn :), because we can sometimes be so caught up in our inner fantasy world (AKA, our "reality" of sorts), people perceive us as almost mystical.  And I'm proud of that. 

I knew I had to draw it the minute I saw it.  I gave it to my husband as a symbol of me, the person he loves on my good days and bad, when I'm in the clouds and when my feet planted right next to his. :)


Friday, July 12, 2013

Columbus Liked Change Too

I'm feeling a little light on motivation in regard to finding a vocation I can exercise my creativity more. But I can't quite pinpoint the reason for this uncharacteristic lack of motivation. As you might have read in my last post, I feel like I'm always wanting some type of change in my life, because without change, well life just seems flat.

Which brings me to this analogy I thought of...
Most of us know the Christopher Columbus story, albeit partly a myth--but to summarize the story:  Chris sailed the ocean blue in 1492 to prove the earth was round (not flat) and that's when he 'discovered' America for the Europeans. It took courage and an adventurous spirit to go on such an ominous voyage without really knowing what was out there. The payoff was huge--um, earth=rOund (so many NEW possibilities!); unknown territory=later known to be America (again, so many NEW and exciting possibilities!).

My point is, if we don't get out there and challenge ourselves through change and discovery, life will always seem flat.  And I believe change opens our minds and helps us deal with the unexpected better than if we stay with what we know--a ball can bounce back from anything way better inflated (round) than flat. You can see my extraverted intuition is in full swing today like a true INFP...which means I still haven't figured out my lack of incentive for the job search process. But it's okay because life is still beautiful!!

How do you feel about change? Is it something you welcome or do you shy away from 'different'? I would love to hear your thoughts. Until next time...

xo
elly

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

"Always starting over....but somehow I always know where to begin." -Jim James

"Always starting over....but somehow I always know where to begin." -Jim James

Ah...Those words elicit so many feelings in me when I hear listen to experience the song Where to Begin by My Morning Jacket. I tend to find myself 'starting over' in many parts of my life for reasons I haven't figured out. Starting over is exciting and scary, yet there is a sense of comfort in knowing where to begin again.

I believe we are all working toward a common goal in this life--to get some sort of understanding of it in our own way. And to maybe have some fun while figuring it out. I have tried (what seems like) innumerable times to find an occupation (the word "career" is a little stifling for me) that makes me feel alive. I'm not there yet and that's okay.

I have tried a taste of the corporate world (mouthwash is still not washing out that sour taste!), recreation--you know, we work so you can play...well it was hard for me to work when everyone is was playing!, and now I'm working in fitness as a Health Fitness Specialist, which is a fancy name that means I train and teach group exercise classes to people.

It has just been recently that I'm realizing I need some sort of creative outlet. Writing workout plans isn't cutting it. Not that I'm not into helping people, I just feel I can help people more if I'm passionate about what I'm doing. Maybe music is my outlet...

The essence of me is my walk with God. And love. And music. The introspection it takes to create such poetry, like Where to Begin, is nothing short of courageous. And finding the sounds to match the feel of the words is much like matching a glove to a hand...you know when it fits. You just know.

And I will continue to start over until it fits.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

passerby

My second painting's inspiration came to me in a dream.

I am just getting into painting and am loving it. I want to get good. Really good. (And I want to learn how to draw but I'll save that for another post 😉). I do, however, need to learn how to chill out on my harsh self-criticism, which I blame partly on my Myers-Briggs Type Indicator(R) personality type- INFP 😊

Rewind to a couple Fridays ago...my husband, Patrick, and I were at a book store just enjoying caramel macchiatos and browsing good reads. I passed by a book of the greatest photographs taken for National Geographic magazine and saw the famous green-eyed Afghan girl photo on the cover. I quickly gave my appreciation for that photo in my mind, as I have seen that  

The next day, the hubs and I were at a local (support local!) art supply store and bought some more paint and some nicer brushes. I felt somewhat out-of-place there because I'm not some professional or even serious hobbiest with anything art, but that was all my mindset; the employees there were extremely helpful and supportive of my trying new artistic ventures. 

When I took a nap later on, I dreamt about being back at that same art store, this time I was doing the underpainting on a (12-foot long!) canvas there. While working on it, I saw a couple employees talking quietly behind the cash register. I couldn't help but think they were talking about my lack of painting skills. (Underpainting is–in my case–the foundation of a painting to get toning and a rough draft, so to speak.)

I went back to use the restroom, and in there was a shadow-y rendering of the green-eyed Afghan girl; her silhouette was dark with a lighter area shaped like an eye, yet it was clear to me who it was in the painting. it was my lightbulb moment—those workers weren't discussing my lack of skills, I had only done the underpainting! I am simply too critical of my own work (read: self) and realized people simply don't care.  We all have the same goal in life—to live it with no regrets. People I pass on the street, or even come to know a little, are not going to remember me with the clarity that photograph demonstrates. At the end of the day we look in the mirror at ourselves, no one else.  We are all simply passers by in others' own stories of life.


                                     
 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

be like the bamboo

This is my first (ever) painting bigger than a 3x3 canvas...and if you count the 3x3 canvas's, it would be my third.

A friend of mine is going through a difficult time.  She was born in Japan and her dad used to recite a Japanese proverb to her to remind her to be like bamboo, even through times of strife.  My loosely translated version of what she had recited to me is:

"Be like the bamboo
Bend with the wind
Shake with the quake
And never break."

I can't find an author to give proper credit to, but those are not my words just to clarify.

Anyway, that poem was my inspiration; I just went with it.

Hope you can find/interpret in your own way.

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