We live in a world of funny juxtapositions. From oxymorons like jumbo shrimp, to the acceptance and melancholy that comes with all things bittersweet. Whatever side there is, there is always the other side, and all of what’s in between. Often, I find that it’s what’s in the middle of two extremes that’s the most surprising.

I haven’t had much time to dedicate to crafting in months, but my office hosted a pumpkin decorating event last week and I jumped at the opportunity to join. It brought me so much joy to play and paint this spooky scene:

Drippy and Gooey Spooky Pumpkin, still drying!

The older I get, the more I realize how important it is to make time for play.

Rise and Shine

It rained yesterday morning, a welcome cleanse from an ever-present tense, palpable heaviness.

A couple of my friends joined me at my place for ladies’ brunch and an afternoon spent painting.

I decided to recreate a drawing I made a few years ago while looking out my window. This drawing, originally left simple—intentionally barren—came to life in this updated version.

Rise and Shine

art imitating life imitating art

Today after work, I decided to combine two of my favorite hobbies—gardening and painting. I’d been growing a pineapple top since late last year, and it’s sprouted more than double the leaves it started with. To celebrate, I gave its planter a new look.

I present… meta piña:

A pineapple in a pineapple.

This was a fun, low stress project and a perfect way to close out a number of stressful weeks.

Dream of Flight

What does it mean for you to fly?

I was speaking to my partner about a painting I recently finished, which I titled, “Dream of Flight:”

Dream of Flight, acrylic on canvas

I spend so much of my time day dreaming. My head constantly in the clouds, an eternal optimist, for better or for worse. I often laugh with my partner, who is the pragmatist out of the two of us, that I spend so much time in my thoughts that the line between earth and sky becomes a blur.

In the times when I’m much more invested in my inward world, I ask myself if I’m trying to escape something. Truthfully? Yes.

A play on power, passion, peace, and balance

I’m experimenting with a series of paintings. I finished the first of these today as a gift for my best friend, whose birthday was earlier this month.

Happy birthday, S!

Planning a peaceful afternoon of painting, I finished this piece after responding to my ex, who recently reached out to me for my birthday, which just passed this long weekend. I said that we should cut contact. I was in tears.

While contemplating this piece, I channeled power and passion. Today as I wrap up, I seek peace and balance.

Capturing bursts of gold

I haven’t painted in a while, and I’ve taken a total pause on my pet portraits. I’ve been dreaming up some ideas that I’d like to get on canvas, and this weekend is the first in a while that I can devote to just makin’ stuff.

I whipped out my sketchbook to rough plan and try to capture those amalgamations of hazy images in my mind. More structure? Less structure? I’m teeter tottering between something definite and defined while allowing enough space and wiggle to produce something spontaneous and abstract.

I flipped through some of my sketches to jog some flow back into my wrists. Though I add dates to every sketch, I tend to jump around, with sections of book covering some dark days over varied time frames, others doodles of strangers or landscapes, and others covering mutations of my favorite shapes.

In flipping these pages, I’m looking for bursts of gold. You know, those little nuggets that are buried in sand but glimmer just enough that with the light angled just right, reflect a ping of something novel?

The last thing I drew was a tree. I always struggle drawing and painting trees, and I feel like mine always feel so forced.

A fantasy bonsai from Hell

There is something wild about trees that I have not been able to capture. How does one capture something so wild?

Signed, sealed, (and soon to be) delivered

I just finished sealing my latest pet painting! Here’s a photo of Ponyo’s portrait:

I’m planning to deliver it next week.

If you’re curious about her name, this corgi was named after Brunhilde, daughter of the sea wizard Fujimoto, in the Ghibli animated film Ponyo. Early in the film, she declares her preference to be called Ponyo, and we follow her reclamation of her identity and sense of purpose throughout the film. I’m not doing this film any justice at all by how I’ve described it, but I won’t say more so I don’t spoil it. I highly recommend it if you’re looking for something to watch that’s got a mix of tenderness, adventure, and sprinkles of magic and mysticism.

Personally, I think Ponyo rolls off the tongue much easier than Brunhilde. What do you think?