Eureka!

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Well sort of. What's it called when someone else gives you an idea or suggestion but it still leads you to a "eureka" moment? Well I have no idea but anyway...my wonderful friend Art, came up with this.  I will now be sharing my work in progress so you can see the paintings I'm working on. I will photograph each layer or big part of the progression. But to still give you some element of surprise when you see the actual pieces at my next show, I won't show the very last part of the finished piece. Unfortunately I don't have too many pictures of some of my newer pieces so this will be going forward with the one I just started last week.

So, here's the first 5 parts of the my current piece. Tada!




New sketches!

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Here's a few new sketches. The new painting is in progress. I'm very excited!

Let me know which one you like! Hopefully I've made it a little easier for you. All you have to do is click on a little button to your right! Update - Voting closed. Sketch number 2 got the most votes. Thank you to all who voted!



The Chase

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Chasing sleep
Chasing lights
Chasing shapes
Chasing life

Chasing dreams
Chasing love
Chasing fun
Chasing joy

Chasing right
Chasing truth
Chasing strength
Chasing good

Chasing quiet
Chasing calm
Chasing peace
Chasing sleep


This is dedicated to my fellow blogger, companion in the insomniac world, Diane.

Stuck in green

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Please imagine that sound of a suction cup plopping off something. You know, the cute sound something makes when it's stuck to something and it comes off. Wish I knew how to spell that sound. Anyway...that's the sound I made today, not literally of course. The thing is I was stuck and didn't know it. Although it's obvious now (hindsight yes) that something was holding me back from actually starting my next piece.

Wouldn't you know it, it's another thing I obsess about. I have some unwritten RIDICULOUS rule that I'm not allowed to start a painting without finishing the current one. The last painting I had started back in September I think, was 90% done or done. I wasn't sure. And that's the thing, I wasn't 100% satisfied with it yet but I wasn't sure what else was missing. And then that stupid ass saying about knowing when to stop before you ruin something kept creeping up. So I left it alone for a while. Well, turns out it wasn't finished. Also turns out a decision I had made about the painting when I started is what was keeping me from knowing what was missing. It needed another color!!!! Big freakin' duh huh? Well I had decided that other than the background color of brown/beige it would only have green, in whatever shade/tone I needed. Again, a stupid rule I decided for the current series I'm working on. Have only one color represented in each piece. Well, as my painting has now clearly proven to me, rules and art simply don't lead to creativity. Rules stifle, rules inhibit, rules suffocate. Rules get you stuck! There always has to be flexibility and freedom. Guidelines are good to have some kind uniformity but don't necessarily produce the best work.

So while the "green" painting held me back, I could have started and finished at least one if not two paintings by now. So, lesson learned...hopefully!

Here's the sketch that is about to be my next completed "green" piece.


Twist, twist, twist...glue!

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So here are the first 3 I've made. My goal is to make at least10, ideally 12. Once I'm done I'll probably add some glitter to make 'em sparkle!

Can I stay focused?

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I'm almost finished with the new canvas and although in the first round of votes I got a pretty good response, I thought I'd put these out just in case! Let me know which ones you like out of these and then we'll see. If you have any color suggestions, requests or ideas, please let me know.

Once I do start on the new piece I'll be taking pictures of the process and sharing so you can see how it happens. If I get stuck along the way with color choices, shading etc. I may ask for your help with that too!

Although the holidays will soon try to get in the way of my progress, I'm hoping I can stay focused. I have been a tad obsessed in the past few days with making paper snowflake ornaments. They're awesome!

Enjoy!!!!

The Art of Preparing a Meal

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So its one of the things that has given me quiet moments of joy and satisfaction. I remember back when I was making a lot less money, struggling on my own to make ends meet, trying to get the latest video game for Alex and still having to figure out every day, what the hell where we going to have for dinner. Some days I'd get lucky and Mom would have something for us. Some days I'd leave work way late, get through traffic and then have to settle for some fast food crap. But some days, many really, I would have the time to make us dinner. Dinner was never elaborate or fancy, it was what we liked. I remember while we sat and ate, how proud I would feel that my son and I were eating a meal that I had prepared. Even if it was just pork chops with a side of mac and cheese, he loved it! I felt mostly grateful and blessed that I could provide for us, even it was just a simple meal. I felt honored and privileged to have a life that allowed me to make dinner happen for us.


So these days, although my situation is different, I still enjoy it all the same. And more than enjoy it, I feel lucky. On the days I make dinner for the four of us now, it makes me very happy to see them finish their home cooked meal. Knowing that I made it with love, knowing that its good for them because it's not fast food, knowing that their bodies will be better for it.

So all of you who cook for your loved ones, do it with pride, do it with joy and know that you are doing something good. For those of you who had food served to them, thank the person who has prepared a meal for you. 

Provecho!

No aggression or pressure this time...ok just a little!

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I never was good at sales. I rock at customer service but hate "selling". I guess it comes from my heritage. Mexicans (especially women) are very much into serving, taking care of people or just being accommodating. In many ways and especially for the people close in my life, I am here to serve! And yes, sometimes I take on more than I can handle without going nuts but...crazy is fun!

So this time no contest, no prizes. Just tell me which one you like, if you like, if you feel like it. It is interesting to see ya'll pick the one I didn't think you would. I am excited about making my next piece because it will be created because some of you DID tell me what you liked.

This whole sharing thing and having other people help me pick the next sketch is very cool. This time if you have color ideas or preferences they are welcome too.

Thanks everyone for participating and being with me on my journey!

Obsessed!

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I obsess about being productive. I obsess about things I need to buy. I obsess about finishing/starting a painting. I obsess about my progress as an artist. I obsess about my gray hair.

I've been obsessing and obsessing my entire life I'm sure. Oddly enough though, I just realized it! Whats most amazing is that its my obsessive personality that has given me my art. How or why else would I be able to fill entire pages with nothing but dashes? Why is it that I get an image/design in my head and can't let it go until I see what it will look like once I've sketched in my obsessive style? Because I'm obsessed with my technique, style, visual/artistic addiction! So, it is thanks to my obsessiveness that I can create what I do. The day I stop obsessing, I'll stop creating. Doubt that could happen because it is who I am. And even though we are mostly made up of the sum of our experiences, what we do, what we think and how we process those experiences ultimately makes who we are. So now that I know one more little thing about myself, what do I do with it? Hopefully I will choose to obsess about positive things. Obsess about things that will benefit me. Too many times I obsess about things that hurt or can otherwise distract me from current goals. Not smart.
So, for now, I'll stop obsessing about obsessing and focus thoughts on all the good in my life.

Here's an example of how from one thought, after some mild obsession...I end up driving myself nuts!

I had no idea that I was illustrating my obsessive mind, when making this. What a nice surprise!


Disappointing numbers but I have an idea on how to improve them! - Vote on the previous post below please.

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So, my first stab at getting participation has not been as successful as I thought it would be. But it's ok...I'll keep at it. Patience, perseverance and creativity will eventually get me results. If I can get 50 votes by next week I will give away 2 signed prints.



OK, those of you who know me know that the patience part is bullshit. I want and need results now! I will not be ignored! - Saying that in a Fatal Attraction psycho voice. Not much of a stretch from my normal voice!

For the 8 people who took the time to vote for me, I have a way of saying thanks AND an incentive to encourage, coerce, suggest, bribe, etc. other people to vote. I will have a special drawing for a signed print for only the 8 that voted IF, they get 5 people to vote. If only 3 of the 8 can do it, I'd say the odds are pretty dang good. The most though will be the initial 8 people for this drawing. Then next week I'll have another drawing for another signed print from everyone who's voted. That gives the first 8 people another chance to win.

So...Ranga, Lee, Ravi, Maggie, Babs, Liz, David and Mike E. thank you and show me some more love! Once you know that 5 of the people you've harrased into voting have done it, email me their names at iheartfrida@gmail.com.

And in case you were wondering...no, I have no shame and will continue to self promote until I am more famous than Oprah! Haha! Made ya laugh!

Join in the creation of my next piece!

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Now that I've shared more about my process and hopefully helped you experience my sketches/paintings instead of trying to "figure them out", I'd like to introduce the next step to my new direction. I'd like to invite you to participate in the creation of my next piece. Your participation will be in choosing the next sketch and in choosing the colors or color scheme. I of course will execute the piece and document each step so that you can follow my progress and see your choices come to life! 

During the following two weeks I'll be posting some of my recent sketches so that you can vote from a grouping, that will then give us the finalists and the from there a final voting for the sketch that I will then paint. Before I start the painting though, there will be a similar yet quicker process to choose the colors or color scheme based on your ideas and votes.









To vote for your favorite sketch, please reply with a comment and vote for 1, 2 or 3 accordingly in the order in which you see them. Please only vote for the one you like the most.
If I get enough participation I will be doing a give away of a signed print, details to follow in the next post.

Thank you all in advance and please help me get more participation by doing one or all of the following:

1.Share it on the right hand navigation bar and choose Twitter or Facebook...or both!
2.Send this blog post to all your email contacts.
3. Follow me on Twitter (http://twitter.com/MonicaMelgar) and RT the update about this post.

My heart aches

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About 9 years ago I found this tiny newborn kitten, crying, squirming, dying. She was covered in dirt and fleas. I brought in her inside, washed her, plucked all the fleas off of her and wiped the puss off her eyes. Ran to the pet store, got some tiny bottles and milk. Since that day, she was mine and carved a place in my heart that is now in pain. She got sick and I had to let her go. It had been long coming and I thought I was prepared. I had in a strange way become distant with her as if I resented her slow departure. She was slowly becoming a cat I didn't recognize. She no longer pulled at my cereal bowl, she no longer knocked things off the counter, she no longer was the crazy dog-like cat that I knew. We would never again share corn on the cob.
It is amazing to me how this tiny furry creature could make me both so happy and now so sad. I wonder if she knew how much joy she brought me.Silly thought I know, even for me. A part of me thinks, its just an animal! And yet the pain is real and the sadness is deep. Death, loss, pain...all a part of life that gives us the ability to feel alive and true joy. Necessary I know, but still sucks! For those of you that have never loved a pet, this probably sounds ridiculous. For those of you who do though, well I know you're with me.


For all the time I had with her, for her entering my life and bringing me laughter and many happy moments...I am grateful. Frida...I will always heart you!  

She left us at about 3pm on October 20, 2009


P.S. For those of you who have my number, please no phone calls about this.

Not that kind of penetration!

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The title to this piece is "Penetration". When I initially showed this piece in San Antonio in 2007 the title alone drew some attention. It can be taken in a literal way and being that graphically speaking there is some insertion of sorts going on in the painting, it's about so much more. What I really love about this painting/sketch is that it came to me without me knowing what it meant. It was only as I looked back at my life and took notice that it all made sense. These kind of subconscious surprises are what really gets me excited when creating anything. When we can allow our minds to disconnect in a way in which just our creativity flows through us and produces something without thought its actual magic!


I've now realized that this sketch and painting represent how I feel when someone new enters my life in a way that I am forever changed by the new feelings that have been born in me. How someone's energy joins yours to make something that didn't exist before.How someone leaves a print on your soul forever becoming a part of you. It is an amazing gift when you are lucky enough to connect with someone at this level and I am forever grateful when someone gives me this gift.

From ink on paper to paint on canvas

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I've been asked before how I come up with my paintings. I start with a sketch like this one and then paint it! I doodle all the time and not all of my sketches make it to the canvas. Soon I'll be posting some new sketches and maybe you can help me pick the next one to paint!

Abstract art...what is it?

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In my effort to elaborate on what you may already know about abstract art or explain to those who don't know about it...here's some info and thoughts!

Abstract art uses a visual language of form, color and line to create a composition which exists independently of visual references to the world”. - Wikipedia.

In other words, what you see is used to create something that does not exist already in the world you are used to seeing and relating forms to.
There are two main categories of art, representational and abstract. Unless a painting is obviously or even in an abstract way representing a recognizable image, then it is abstract. Abstract art does not seek to imitate or re-create physical objects that our mind can relate to from the world we see.
To some, abstract art can seem meaningless because of the need to relate it to something we recognize. On the other hand to others it may seem intimidating because its meaning is elusive or altogether beyond comprehension. However, abstract art is not meant to be “understood” in the traditional sense. There are no clear intentions with images of death, political oppression, freedom or any other of the human conditions artists strive to represent. With abstract art there are titles that have no meaning or no obvious relation to the piece itself. Many times when viewed on screen or in print, an abstract piece is hard to appreciate to its fullest extent.
And here in lies the uniqueness of abstract art. It is meant to be an experience. The piece is created so that you may disconnect your conscious mind and just see the whole painting without relating it to anything logical. See the colors, the composition, movement, textures as a group of items coming together to give you an experience, a feeling.
It’s been argued that to give an abstract painting a title influences the viewer’s experience. If an artist tells you what they meant then where’s the individual experience that the viewer should have? How is it then the viewer’s experience? Then it is as if the artist is telling you what to feel or see. The title can then replace the relation of objects and take away the abstract intent.
However, it’s also been argued that to not give a title separates the viewer from the artist. Perhaps it seems pretentious or even selfish. If the artist’s intent is to share something from within, then why not give it a title that represents either the intent, the inspiration or circumstances that lead to the creation of the piece?
So, do I let you figure out for yourself what my pieces mean on your own without any influence? Do I give you an idea of what it meant to me and then see if you can relate to it as I did? Or…perhaps we figure out a way to meet in the middle.

New direction

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Today I start a new direction for my art. Because I haven't figured out exactly all the steps or defined what the overall turnout should look like, I decided to start this blog to document the process itself. My intent is to engage the audience in the process and that new work is created in collaboration with people via this emerging phenomena of social media.

Stay tuned and you can join the fun!