Saturday, July 12, 2014

Babes in Wonderland~ Welcome to our Mad Tea Party 2014

 WELCOME
 I am so very glad to see you here today!

Happy Mad Tea Party day!

I would like to thank our host, the illustrious Vanessa Valencia of A Fanciful Twist.
Thank you dear for 7 years of delightful madness and wonderful spots of tea from all over the world! 
Such fun indeed!


Did you ever wonder when the first mad tea party was? I don't mean the fanciful twist kind but THE actual FIRST ever Mad Tea Party? With Alice and The Mad Hatter himself?  Did you ever wonder?

You did?

GREAT.

Feast your eyes on some very antiquated photographery of the most fantastical kind! 

BABY PHOTOS

Yes that is right! Alice and Hatter go way, way back! 

You don't believe it do you?

Well seeing is believing, so take a gander below and gawk and gaze and be amazed at the utter cuteness that no one can resist!

Ladies and Gentlemen I present to you...

THE

VERY

FIRST

MAD TEA PARTY


Sometime in Wonderland...


Alice and Hatter sat to tea for the very first time. 
"Goo goo, ga ga" They said. Which meant "How splendid this is!"

Umm... I think I should just translate the baby talk from here on out. :-)


"Good Day, Alice." Said the super cute Mad Hatter, as he kindly tipped his hat.
  

 "Care for a spot of tea, Alice?" asked Hatter and before Alice could say anything he began
 to pour the tea. 
(His mother was securing his hat for a moment there)
 "...and more tea, and more tea and more!" shouted hatter as he began to furiously fill every cup on the table with tea.
"Oh poo,there are no more cups." said hatter with a little pout.



 "Hatter you are quite mad, are you aware of that? I think I shall call you the Mad Hatter from now on because you are simply mad about pouring tea!" said Alice with a chuckle.

Hatter gave her a look...




Alice quickly thought and said "Though I have never had such fabulous tea, Mad Hatter. I can see why you love it so!" she said, in a loving way as to not offend her companion.


 "Mmmmm... such good tea and sweets" Said Alice. "I think I shall relax a bit now, since I am in the company of a friend. Isn't that right Mad Hatter? Can I call you my friend?" Asked Alice.
 Hatter was very moved at such a notion of friendship that he removed his hat and gently wiped the confectioners sugar from his face. He had secretly hoped that this would happen.
"Why, nothing would make me happier my dear Alice" He said in a faint voice, for he was very moved indeed.






"Wonderful!" said Alice. The she whispered "I think you shall be my very best friend, Hatter."



"Oh how splendid that is my dear Alice!" Said hatter, "Now let us celebrate our best friendship with more tea, shall we?"



"And cakes! Don't forget the cakes!" said Alice.

 
Then Alice proceeded to not forget the cakes.



"More tea please?" Asked Alice.


"I'm working on that now." said Hatter
"Hmmm....how does this work? How do I make more tea? Oh I know, simply pour all the old cups of tea into the teapot. Yes that seems to have made some fresh tea." mumbled Hatter to himself.

"Fresh tea at last!" said hatter as he continued his mad pouring of tea.



"My hat feels a bit heavy, let me adjust it a bit" said Hatter as he fiddled with his extraordinary hat.


"Uh oh. Alice! Alice! Its gone dark, Alice!"



"I do believe I am lost inside of my hat, Alice." said Hatter calmly. "Would you mind helping me?"



"Oh dear, Mad Hatter. I do believe you may need a break from that hat." suggested Alice.


"There. Oh I like how it feels on my head." Said Alice, "How do I look?"



"Silly." said Hatter "You better give it back and have some more tea and cakes!"




So she did and they continued this way happily for quite some time. :)





The End.

Thank you for attending our little party today!

We are so happy to participate in the 7th annual Mad Tea Party.

You can see our past Mad Tea Party posts in the links below 







A very special thank you to my very good friends The Bordeau's, for lending me their 2 youngest children for this special photo project. I do believe we all enjoyed watching this pair of young siblings enjoy the delights of tea partying! :-)
 I am blessed to have great friends.

{My husband and I have a small but thriving photography business. You can see our website here . You will see these very children there quite a bit! The little girl{Alice} is just one year old and her brother {Mad Hatter} is just over 2. They are the most busy, smart, and the sweetest pair of little humans that you will ever meet! :-)}





Thursday, July 10, 2014

Working on the shop on and off...

Right now in my art shop I have a few things, I feel like I used to have a lot of things but somehow, they have sold or were destroyed by my leaky studio roof after a lot of rain came some years ago....

 So slowly I am rebuilding a new body of work. No prints since my large format printer died. I really need to find someone to print my art prints for me! I will. Soon.

 Anyhow heres what is new and old in there...

This is one I painted in 2009 I think. Not sure, its been a while but it was always a favorite! I've decided to part with it. I have big plans and illustrations on purses wasn't as diverse as I had hoped. Or I just got tired of it. Can't remember...lol I move through art projects so much.

Click on the photos to visit them in my shop! Or click HERE to go there! 

https://www.etsy.com/listing/49181646/cherry-fairy-original-illustration-on?ref=shop_home_active_3

https://www.etsy.com/listing/49181646/cherry-fairy-original-illustration-on?ref=shop_home_active_3


And Original pieces from my mixed media on wood period. Which I still think I will visit with again, just not at the moment.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/96870831/mothers-sacred-heart-original-mixed?ref=shop_home_active_2

https://www.etsy.com/listing/96917829/curiouser-and-curiouser-original-alice

Well that is all the new/old pieces I have in there this week! I have also added a few more and will be rebuilding the shop as the summer comes to an end.

 With that I leave you and turn in for the night. Sweet dreams my friends, sweet dreams....


xoxo
Gigi

Monday, July 7, 2014

The meaning of things.



 How has your summer been so far? That is if you are in North America like I am, I do hope its been good! Days seem to be just flying by here. Its been a very good summer for me and my children. We've been going all over town every day that we can. This is our last summer that my son, my oldest, will be under age and still in High school. Yes my young man starts his Senior year of High School in August. I have felt a rush of emotions and really am trying to seize the day with him in tow. He has his first job this summer and so time has become more precious with him. We're halfway through our summer break and I still have lots of plans for us as a family.

 In other news, I've had ups and downs this summer with this Anxiety thing. But I tell ya, I have learned a LOT about what triggers it and how to stop it with my thoughts and words. Amazing stuff, our thoughts and our words. They can create and kill anything, whether we acknowledge it or not. They are a powerful force. They determine the meaning of everything we experience.

 I've been painting again! Yes I have a few I am working on or re-working on at the moment. I had a hard time moving forward after my family accused me of painting them like a political cartoon of some sort. I explained that in this post if you want to know what I am referring to.

 I sat and really dug deep and asked myself the question "did I intend to paint my aunts? and did I intend to do it in a harsh manner?" I mean my twin aunts really REALLY got pissed at it along with their older sister my other aunt that I once lived with at age 15 when my mother didn't want me for a spell. So naturally I think, "It must be me that doesn't see things clearly." Or at least I thoroughly sit and reflect within to make sure what my motives were. (How I wish I wasn't the only one to do that in my family) 

 The answer I found within was and still is and has always been NO. It definitely was not about them. At least not in my reality. However remember, thoughts can change from person to person. I am not in control of how something I do is perceived. That is solely other peoples responsibility. It bares no weight in my perception. Well, Not anymore anyway. :-)



This piece above was, is and always will be about me! I think my twin aunts must really believe that they are the ONLY twins in the entire world to me. They also think that they hold much more importance in my life then they really do. Its not sad, its just the way things are.  I never felt very close to one of the twins, being that she lived in Michigan most of my life and I lived in New Mexico and she never really cared what was going on with me. The times I was with her she was rude and disrespectful because she thought that was what being older than someone in your family was all about. Knowing my family dynamic, you cannot really fault her for holding that misguided belief.

 The other twin, now that was a different story entirely. I loved her very much as a child because she would get silly with me and my sister and have fun and always seemed to be happy. She came to live in New Mexico to be near us when I was 14 (which now, looking back, explains a lot of why my mom sent me away at 15). I thought it was going to be great, and for a time, it was. But that time is over. I kept getting kicked out of her life, without notice, and without reason given. Then after a time she would welcome me back, without reason and I would go. Hoping to find that "fun" aunt I used to know. But I think she died somewhere inside that flesh of the person she is now. The last time I interacted with her, she had my grandfathers widow visiting her from Indiana, at her house and there was NOT ONE person in our family that she didn't verbally tear apart in front of me and my grandfathers widow! Not one family member! I mean gossip, gossip, gossip and playing the victim of EVERYONE in the family, don't you know that EVERYONE hates her and is jealous of her? Oh yeah, and hoping to find wisdom in my grandfathers widow, she just sat and shook her head and added to the conversation. Not gossiping, but adding fuel to my aunts victim fire. I felt so let down. It hit me that day that there was truly no wisdom was to be found in my elders. None.

 I remember leaving her house, in total disgust of my aunt, my grandfathers widow and myself for sitting there so long, listening and trying to point out anything good to stop the ranting. The evening ended with them purposely ignoring me while she showed my grandfathers widow her online farm game. Literally not looking up at me when I would try to talk or engage with any kind of communication with them.

 I promised myself that day that I would NEVER enter that house again and NEVER sit through that kind of talk again. It was hard because it really meant not being around my aunt ever again. She has an INSISTENCE on dwelling on the negative like no one you have ever known. She has a way of manipulating you into agreeing with her so she can feel loved. I mean you REALLY want to validate her so she can be happy even a little! Looking in from the outside I see now that she is very sick. Mentally sick in fact. She needs a lot of help that I just can't give. Though I have wanted to in the past, I know now, the help she needs is far beyond human capacity. So I have had to let her go. That was about 4 years ago. At first she didn't even notice that I was gone. I thought that was a good thing, that it would be easy to slip out of her radar once and for all.

 But I was wrong.

Well there is so much more I could add to this. Telling you the terrible things she has done, convincing herself and others that she is justified because I wasn't there to be abused whenever she called. I could tell you SO MUCH more negativity..... but I won't.

That is the ONE thing I have become ever watchful for. I mean my aunt didn't just get this way overnight. Its many generations of negativity that she is carrying. For that I feel a deep compassion for her. But I have to focus on my own thoughts and words, both spoken and written.

 For it is in your power to create your world. Your perception IS your reality. Whatever way you choose to perceive life (and YES it is a choice) is in fact your reality. Negative or positive, life itself is no judge of that only you are. So YOU create what you experience.


Think on that while I show off some of my new photographic artwork:


"Incompatible"

"Unfulfilled"
YES! Finally with the help of all that I have learned with photography and Photoshop I am FINALLY able to get some art out of my head that I didn't have to paint! I mean I LOVE painting but sometimes I get so absorbed in an idea that I can't wait very long to get it out, much less as long as it takes me to paint a piece! lol

 So If I could paint more realistically or shall I say surrealistically, I would have painted these photos above. Oh yeah there is that "Twin" thing that will most likely have my twin aunts egos set a flame. But the truth is about my painting and these photographs is that to me, in my mind, they are not twins, in fact they are not even sisters. They are one person. A duality if you will. I have some plans go bring them together slowly but for now they float and remind me of what I know of life.

 Incompatible- is me in a sense. I had a void in my heart and attempted to fill it with the love and affections of others but it never even made a dent in the loss I carried within. Not once.

Unfulfilled- is again me in a sense. And really everyone. Have you not, ever once, gotten what you wanted or tasted the fruit of perceived success and not felt what ever it was you expected to feel?
 I have.

So that's what these pieces say to me. That is what they are in my reality. To others, though they may see their unnecessarily large egos in it.... well that is also a reality I suppose. But that has absolutely nothing to do with mine.:-)

You can find my prints for sale here in my art shop on Etsy. 


On that note I leave you with my weeks musical muse. This song.... SO MUCH inspiration for me! I can't wait to show you...:) soon. {yeah I like to tease}







XOXO
Gigi



 








Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The 7th Annual invitation to Wonderland...

So for the past 4 years we have participated in the most wonderful blog party on the planet...

I would like to formally invite YOU to this ever so fanciful shindig, hosted by the illustrious Vanessa Valencia of A Fanciful Twist!

Please do come. Will you?

Won't you?

See you down the Rabbit Hole!

xoxo
Gigi

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Growing, grounding and saying goodbye




      I have shared on here previously that I suffered from extreme Anxiety and nervousness. I have never made that a secret. I will tell you that it came at a time where I had the most financial success that I have ever had with the work of my own hand. It was a time of good things, new things and fun things happening. Suddenly, one day, a slight nervousness came over me after an adrenaline rush. These began to increase until suddenly I could not sleep, nor rest for even a minute. My body was stuck in a fight or flight moment and nothing I could do, say, think, drink, take or make would ease the severity of this feeling. This went on for weeks, then months, then I began to lose track of reality. I prayed for death at one point, if only to make it all STOP!


  But I did not die.

What did help? Well it was a combination of these-
Finding the right doctor to help me chemically.
Finding the right guru to help me spiritually.
Finding the right way to think.
Changing my focus.

Ok so a year later, I sleep. Though I wake with my heart pounding sometimes, its nothing like it was!

Now add something else to that.

Family Confrontation- This has very nearly CURED ME! No I am serious! My heart pounding issues are very weak now, I mean barely there. I sleep HARD now, much like I did when I was a child. I wake with lines on my skin from the bed sheets and drool! Which has not happened to me since this whole strange "anxiety" thing hit.

 Recently I shared my artwork with family members. Remember, my artwork is my therapy. I find things hidden within that I did not know I was carrying in my work. Thus, working through things and healing! Its fabulous!
 So upon sharing this personal healing piece I had 2 relatives take my work personally. I mean you would have thought that I put their names on the characters that I painted! LOL
  There being, the opportunity for me to stand up for myself, you see, the old family dynamic is that if one relative older than you gets offended, even if you didn't intend to offend them, then you must admit your wrongness and they have every right to treat you in the most disrespectful manner because we are of course "Family".

   Well though it rattled my anxiety at first, I was able to be loving and attempt to calm the feathers that were getting ruffled in these sisters of my mother. But that still wasn't good enough. they saw venom in my words and are now playing the part of the wounded victim, hated by me, and my art.

 Then they ran to their mother, my grandmother whom tried to say I worked for the devil in my painting.... which is beyond ridiculous... but knowing the religious fanatic that she is I knew she was trying to insult me. Then she tried to backtrack, then she just said in so many words "I have to choose sides because your aunts wont feel that I love them otherwise so I'm sorry, they have money and that is what I worry about most"

Me and my grandmother in 2012
 So I have had to let my grandma go. I mean really let her go. I've spent the last week mourning her. Though she is still breathing and now lives very close to me after years of living in another state, I have had to let her go.

 The surprising thing is that I was able to. Quite easily which is shocking to me. But I don't feel that childhood void anymore, I suppose that was due to my painting.

But either way my anxiety is gone now that my highly insecure aunts and  well meaning but misguided grandmother are gone.....

  WOW!

Also during this drama, MY MOTHER saw me for ME! She couldnt deny it, she really couldnt give in to the insecure relatives of hers this time, as she always has, she just could NOT and that alone has been amazing!

Also, my SISTER whom usually lashes out in a rage or stays quiet out of anxiety, did not stay quiet and did not lash out in rage! She really REALLY surprised me and I feel so wrong for ever doubting her but she showed a beautiful strength and ability to love during this whole thing, while also supporting my mother and I in our mourning of these relatives.



 I think it was HIGH time to let all this crap that really doesnt affect my daily life in the slightest really, but it was time to let it GO. To say NO I WILL NOT BE MOVED. To say I KNOW WHO I AM AND NEED NOT EXPLAIN WHO I AM TO YOU SO THAT YOU CAN FEEL BETTER. Especially after they came at me in the most disrespectful manner possible. I mean really, just because we share similar DNA does not give one the right to rudely cast assumptions and say that ones artwork is offensive. I think they could only SEE offense because it struck a cord within them that they have been running from or trying to hide all of their sad lives.


 So today I feel nothing but love and pity for them. I am hoping the pity will fade because I think that is out of the hurt I felt at being so misunderstood. But I still love these crazy relatives of mine very much, though I know more than ever that they have no more places in my story.




But the Anxiety is gone so this is a more sweet than bitter bittersweet chapter of my growth.
 I am more grounded than ever and in fact more creative. Oil paint is being used up at a high rate these days.... I have much to work through....

Can't wait to share!


With love and a whole lot more understanding of life I leave you.

xoxo
Gigi




Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Adding works to the shop....

 I am selling some originals. Yes its time. I have had these works only a short time but my walls are filled, and I have to take everything down to paint my bedroom anyway so I see it as the time to let some pieces go.

 For sale at this moment is

  Mina in the Moonlight 








  

 You can find her here in my Etsy shop

Also I will have some smaller versions of my works for sale in Jewelry form!
 Right now I have a lovely Marie Antoinette necklace listed in the shop!

 Click here to see it...

 There will be more pieces to come! check in again soon!

xoxo
Gigi


Friday, February 21, 2014

365 Days of Art & Healing

So I have challenged myself to 365 days of art....sometime back in December and I have been showing my progress on Instagram and have found that LOTS of artists out there have also done the same for this new year!  I am in Instagram heaven! lol

      So here are the two pieces that I have just completed this week...

 The first is a whimsical story of a girl with unusual but trustworthy friends....


 Here is the progression....



 Here she is complete....


 Oh I just love her. I want my work to inspire stories, wonderful, whimsical stories! I have been told that I should be a book illustrator. I don't know how I would fare in that field, since, when I sit down to paint something it SELDOM comes out as what I had planned. It evolves. It almost tells me as I go what it wants to be.
     Maybe someday I will gain more control over that but for now it is what it wants to be and I think its wonderful!

      And here is another, more personal, and a bit dark of a piece. but I LOVE IT. IT tells a tale...


                                                           At first, as I painted I thought of young girls, to represent innocence, vulnerability... etc. Ready to give up their hearts, offering it even, so desperate to make someone see the value in their hearts... I see myself in these I see my sister and I at one time in our lives, I see my mother in these girls.
  
   But I did the unthinkable, as an artist, born to see the truth in people, dying to paint it. I showed my work to my family. Proud as I was of this finished piece. So much relief and tension was released upon these brushstrokes. I thought I could see any kind of meaning in this piece and was glad that it was so diverse and spoke for so much in my life..... But to my surprise, when blood relatives took one looke at it, they saw another tale...  
A personal and very TRUE tale....

So this turned out to be more art THERAPY than anything. 

You see I had the most unfortunate luck to have been born a month early.....



 Which just happened to fall on a pair of twins 10th birthday.
These twins were my grandmothers youngest children and I was her very first grandchild.
Though my grandmother was a wonderful and nearly perfect grandmother to me, she wasn't much of a mother before that.
I mean it wasn't all her fault. Grandma had been orphaned when she was just 2 years old and grew up in a home or from relatives homes to another relatives home until her sister was old enough to have her come live with her at which time, not long after, they married her off to a nice young man in the church. Then came babies and no natural instincts came with them. Well she fed them and kept them clean but everything else was made up as she went along.

So not idyllic to say the least, these two twins were left with black holes for hearts. Demanding donations of love from every place and every one but nothing ever quite fills the void.

Then there was me. Stealing their birthday AND their mother.... the nerve.

*smiles huge*

So as you can imagine, this was a painful road being born into such a tangled web, but here I am and I am NOT sorry. I am glad for everything that has made me who I am. I am also glad that I have let go of the feeling that I owe any offerings to the sad twin black holes anymore.

I no longer feel responsible.

I am nearing 40 years of age now...

 so... 

GET OVER IT!

:-)




 Until next time I leave you with these songs that inspire much.... including bringing me back in time. A time when I actually let people make me feel less than worthy of goodness and love. A time that I sought so much approval from those that would never give it and listened and heeded to every word they said as if they would guide me wisely out of love or even out of at least respect .... Yeah I can hardly believe that I was ever that girl once... but I was and there is some art that wants to be made because of it.
   And each time I hear this song....







Yeah....each time I listen to the words of this song I remember. I remember when my girlish dreams died and suddenly my grown up self found quite a pit to get myself out of, and had only myself to be held accountable....

 I remember a time when I "woke up" in the midst of the terrible bed I had made myself and was determined to lie in it and then suddenly something said "YOU CAN DO BETTER!" and so I did.

 Oh that was ages ago it seems. I can't begin to tell you how much has changed. But I am glad that it did.

 So I am not sure if this will be a painting or a photograph. Since I am also a photographer and am just now falling in love with the world of fine art and fantasy photography, but I have some images in mind that this song brings up.... not sure if it will do it justice in paint or in print. Perhaps I will do both!

There is no wrong way to make art.

Until we meet again,

xoxo
Gigi




Thursday, January 16, 2014

In the works for January 2014

I have LOTS of wonderful things going on at the moment but what I am MOST excited for is my own personal 365 Days of Art challenge that I have given myself for 2014. The goal is to do SOMETHING each day that is art related. Each and EVERY day! Which at first seemed like a real challenge but has turned out to be the BEST thing I could have given myself! I am sharing my progress on Instagram and I am not alone. just search the hashtag #356daysofArt and you will see that many other wonderful artist are doing the same and sharing lovely works! Its SO exciting!

 Here's some that I have been working on for January...

https://www.etsy.com/shop/PortraitOfMyHeart?ref=si_shop
The 3 pieces that I ushered the New Year in with...


https://www.etsy.com/shop/PortraitOfMyHeart?ref=si_shop
She started as just an experiment in eyes and she developed before my eyes! Its called "Mina in the Moonlight" and I LOVE her!

https://www.etsy.com/shop/PortraitOfMyHeart?ref=si_shop
One that I have yet to title but she started in October, hence the pumpkins, and has evolved and is complete and drying now.

I have finished TWO oil paintings already! WOW! I am just waiting for them to dry, with oils it can take months for it to completely dry so once they are I will be getting them ready for print and sale in my Etsy Shop!

 I have two more that I am working on currently. You can watch my progress on Instagram if you have an account there. Here is the link to my account, won't you join me there? This account is also where I share my husband's and My photography adventures. We offer photography locally and it has been a wonderful medium of art! I do so enjoy the whole process and especially enjoy that I can share it with my husband, whom is also my very best friend.

 Well I hope that this New Year has started off well for you, I wish you nothing but the best for 2014 & beyond!

Until next time,

xoxo
Gigi
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