I offer you only a couple blurry, badly photo'd images of the work in progress. Why? Because it's still top secret. Because I want to show you a sneak peek, but not give too much away. Because, yes, this is a bit of a tease. More sneak peeks to come of my secret solo show.
During November 2017, I got into a group art show about "Self-Care & De-stigmatizing Depression" (at Ford Gallery). I had to write a statement about my experience with depression and how my art has helped me take care of myself during it. My child-like/fairytale-like art is always telling the stories that guide me out of the hell of giving up, dying and self-loathing----or in other words----the hell of depression.
Below is my artist statement for the show. You can view all my paintings closer-up in in detail at this link to my online gallery.
You know that feeling----your stomach has butterflies----you can't eat----because you're too excited for a date or a gift or a holiday or something really special to happen? Well, that's what it's been like for me before the release of the Spring 2017 issue of Faerie Magazine. I can't believe my artwork is in this beautiful publication!
I created a special warrior goddess paper puppet that you can cut out and create yourself when you get the magazine. It's only for those who pick up a copy of this magical quarterly magazine. But here is a little peek of it before you go out and grab your very own copy of it.
Her sword actually comes out of its saber and she has a magical companion in her waist pouch when you open it. She also becomes a magical white wolf. How? How is that possible? Well, you'll see when you get your Warrior Goddess issue. It's waiting for you to uncover the secrets.
Carlotta and Katrina were not born from the same mother, but when they found each other at the ripe age 7, they felt like they had finally become whole. They were both born blind and both had naturally light blue hair. It was like they were sisters. How could it be? It was magic.
Before they met, it was hard being blind. They could hear people's pity when they spoke to them, like they were as broken as a bicycle without wheels. Their mothers would protect them like they might shatter if they fell, not letting them stray far, not letting them go out and explore the world. Didn't their mothers know there was so much to smell and touch and taste and discover?
By chance or magic (or is magic chance?), one day, they bumped into each other (because sometimes that thing happens whether you're blind or not). Like a blind person who thinks everyone she meets must be able to see, they both exclaimed, "Hey, watch where you're going! Can't you see I'm blind!" To which they both started laughing. They were best friends after that. They had to be. It was too remarkable of a coincidence to do anything else.
The strangest thing, besides these amazing coincidences though, was that when they held hands or were in contact with each other, they could actually sense everything around them. I cannot say it was the same as seeing, because I have never experienced this kind of extra sensory perception. But it allowed them to move unencumbered in the world. In fact, they were able to negate almost any terrain like a cat who can see in the shadows and the dead of night or like an owl who can spot her prey several yards away.
Of course, no one believed them. And being daring despite all the dangers of the seeing world, and only being 10 years old, they set out to prove it. Their first test was to go to the deepest, darkest, creepiest place that anyone ever knew. That was the Devil's Swamp because once you went in, you were lost forever in a hellish maze of vines and murky waters. It was said that all manner of monsters and demons dwelled in there and only lived to suck away your soul.
It sounded perfect to them. They got their top hats, packed an extra dose of courage and set out to the swamp. They would make it through. They knew they would. It was not without some trial and error, but they did make it through.
I will have to tell you that dark fairytale another time.
Recently, I discovered an enchanting magazine called, "Faerie Magazine". The title was the first thing to attract me. When I opened its cover, I saw the gorgeous pictures and spreads and was smitten even further. Finally, I read the articles and couldn't believe how well they were written and how there were actually people who believed and felt similar things to me about magic and fairytales.
I had to write them a letter of appreciation....but not just any letter.....a very special letter to let them know that they had touched my heart and they were special to me.
When they received it, they loved it so much they asked if they could share it with their newsletter subscribers. Below is what they shared and what they wrote.
You can also email us just to express your love, of course. Reader Melissa Kojima of Dark Fairytale Art went a step further and sent us this gorgeous handmade card with a beautiful note inside about how moved she was by our autumn "vintage & Victoriana" issue (and gave us permission to post it here)
When we got in contact with each other, we also discussed some kind of collaboration. We were both excited to do something magical together. I gave them some ideas of what we could do. They chose one and you will see it in their next issue, March 2017, The Warriors & Goddesses Issue. You will have to wait until then to see what magic we brewed up together. Let me just say it will be a special gift for everyone to play with.
Once upon a time, there was a bunny girl. Everyone looked at her like she was strange. So what if she had big ears? So what if her clothes didn't match theirs? So what if she couldn't play the same games they did? She didn't care. She turned away, wandering down a hill into a pretty garden.
Maybe, she did care....a little.....she crossed her arms over her chest and huffed. That didn't mean she was going to change to please the likes of them. She caught sight of her reflection in a bird bath. She caressed her long ears. She liked them. They were good enough for her. She looked down at her dress. She liked it too even if it was a little old fashion. It hurt that they didn't see how she was fine just the way she was.
She decided to go on a magical quest to find more creatures like her. Did she mean more bunny girls? Maybe....yes....perhaps. But really, she meant more creatures who understood her and who looked at her like she was perfect the way she was. She imagined that she'd find dazzling creatures who might scare her a little....well....because she was little. But she would brave going out and exploring. It was worth it to find these magical creatures....and also....to find where she belonged.
Quickly, she packed to set off on her quest. She didn't know how long it would take. She would prepare for as long as necessary....a week.....months....years? Who knew. She packed a magical tote bag with a soft pillow, a magical clock and a set of stationery cards to write letters home about the incredible things she would discover. Of course, she couldn't forget her magical pouch to put in stamps and pens...and maybe some lipstick too.
She was ready to explore, slinging the tote bag over her shoulder. Off she went around the corner and down the hill. She walked further than she ever walked before. She passed the neighbors who had a big estate with gates to lock everyone out or maybe everyone in. She kept going when the sun went down. Why not? Her feet still felt fine.
When she finally needed to rest, she found a big smooth moss covered rock to sit upon. She plopped down and took off her shoes. Rubbing the balls of her feet felt good. When she looked up. She saw a door in a tree. She gasped. Where did that come from? It wasn't there a second ago. Or was it? Did someone live there? She had to know.
She slipped her shoes back on and knocked three times on the door. It opened...just a crack. She took that to mean to come in. Her adventure would begin now.
I just learned The Secret Society of Magical Creature's first secret message will be available on November 30th, 2016. I've heard there is a secret list to be a part of it.....I mean a list so you won't miss any of the secret messages to come......so you can learn how to discover your magical creature. I have so many questions. Are you dying of curiosity too? Do you want to know the secrets now? Don't you love a mystery? You might be able to learn more at this link. I'm not sure. If you check it out, let me know what you uncover.
Before I learned that the Pacific Northwest of the United States (where I currently live) was an area full of ghosts, the supernatural and has a long history of serial killers, I often thought this would make a great setting for a horror story or a dark fairy tale. I mean, the woods which surround this region are thick, dark and full of mist and mystery. The rain is oppressively grey and the clouds hang suffocatingly low which can last for weeks straight. There are dark ravines where you could easily trip and fall, be knocked unconscious and leave no trace of where you were. I'm saying it's creepy and spooky....and well....I love it.
To say this area was the inspiration for my latest chalk drawing, "Claire and Dare's Secret Garden" could be true, but it's more than that. When I started learning more about the Pacific Northwest and all its spooky tales, folklore and history, I stumbled across this creepy story about two masked, little girls (I imagined as bunny girls) who were spied skipping through the forest.
I wanted to know more.....where were they seen? How long had this been happening? Did it go back for years? When were they first spied? Did anyone ever talk to them? Were they blithe spirits or did they seem malevolent? I had to know. I decided to look into it further and see what I could discover.
I will tell you what I can uncover, letting you know if I get any answers or if it just leads to more questions. This is the beginning of my ongoing investigation to solve the mystery. Stay tuned for more.
Yessiree! When you watch this how-to-video, you'll discover how to create a secret, magical garden----out of chalk---in 9 easy step (okay, maybe, it wasn't so easy).
On a misty, grey October morning, it bloomed to life. Click on the video to see it unfold before your very eyes.
It really did unfold before many eyes because I was invited to the Beaverton Art Mix where I drew my heart out for 8 hours in front of whoever stopped to watch (Thank you friends and fans who came to watch).
I created this magical garden complete with 2 ghostly looking bunny girls. In my upcoming blog posts, I'll tell you more about the bunny girls, Claire & Dare (they have a very mysterious story). Yep, stay tuned and I'll reveal more secrets and magic to you.