“My Latest Art Piece and Its Meaning”

This past week I have been working on my latest painting and posting daily work in progress pictures throughout the process and started up an art journal to keep track of progress.

The title I gave my painting is “A Fragile Bird Held in Large Unseen Hands.” The medium is done in acrylics and on an 11″ x 14″ canvas.

There is a meaning behind this piece that I hope resonates with you in different ways.

Here is my first art journal entry:

Dear journal,

To put it simply, I painted hands holding a baby bird. Not just any hands but God’s hands. I painted this to convey a deeper feeling and root of what love entails. Painting is a nonstop experimentation process. Blending various shades and hues were used to create a sunset setting into twilight. White gives an ethereal spiritual light behind the hands. The yellow-green and darker shades of green add to the natural aspect of the bird and creative nature of God such as the creation of animals and plants and life in general. We are fragile tiny beings like this bird in His hands. The piece brings a mixture of fear, resignation, peace, relief, and happiness all rolled up into one. It is a bit of an extreme combination of emotions but there is a reason behind them. The reason being is a long story in itself but is summed in one of several poems that I wrote four years ago titled, “Facade of Vulnerability.” The hands were painted with the colors burnt sienna, cadmium yellow, permanent red, and titanium white. The names are a mouthful to say, but each one was combined to give a darker earth and sun-worn appearance. The tiny bird is painted in light green and yellow. Again, it adds on to the natural beauty and fragility of life. Think about it for a second. Anyone can pluck a bird from its nest or the ground and slowly crush it snuffing out the life it holds. it holds the same for us. We in our youth live as if we are invincible, impervious to sickness, pain, or death. It is until we experience something life-altering that your perspective changes and you hit a brick wall. Your own fragility and vulnerability are unveiled. That is where faith comes in…the art of letting go and letting God carry you.

Love,

Hannah Naomi Quintero

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“Artsy Handmade Valentine Gifts and a Bit of History”

Happy Valentine’s Day, Single’s Awareness Day or Anti-Valentine’s Day, everyone. However, you all choose to celebrate or not either on the day itself or later, kudos to all and do your own thing.

Aside from making Valentine gifts and goodies, I’ve been looking up a wee bit of Valentine history. We all know of February 14th as being a day of love filled with hearts, candies, flowers, and cards. But did you know that the actual backstory is very morbid? There were martyrs both named or called St. Valentines who were persecuted in Rome in the years 169-270 A. D.

It was originally a feast to celebrate two martyrs decapitation. Talk about grim I say. There were many more martyrs that were referred to as “Valentini” that were persecuted years prior to these two, but not much is known about them.

Well anyway, you get the picture. This is just a bit that I read. Here’s a link to an article that I found if you want to read up on it for yourself. If you’re like me that has random sparks of curiosity from one time or another, have at it and enjoy:

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/gory-origins-valentines-day-180968156/https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/gory-origins-valentines-day-180968156/

Now on to the happy, bubbly stuff I wanted to show you. It’s a bit late I know, but better late than never as I always say. Also in the light of recent events, we all need faith and positive vibes in our lives as difficult as it may be at times.

The main reason I’ve been holding back on posting this is that I was making these gifts for my fiancé. Plus, I wanted to keep them a surprise until we saw each other.

Yes, it’s just a variant of the sugar cubes variation that I made back during the Christmas season. The only difference obviously is the heart shape. There was a bit more experimenting done this time because of the new shapes. For some of you that are probably reading my post for the first time, I have the directions to make them in my previous handmade gift post.

The second part of my gift is a bit artsier. It involves a collage book so it’s more of a mixed media touch than an ordinary Valentine card or a step above handmade Valentines that we are used to seeing with cutout hearts and such.

It started pretty much like this in the beginning of the project.

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Ok, I know what you’re probably thinking. “What is with all the cutouts? It just looks like a jumbled up mess.” I can assure you that there is a method to my madness. But my method is not your method. You have to use what works for you.

It is pretty easy to get started and you can use what you already have laying around the house. For just a basic collage, you will need these things:

  • Magazines of your choice
  • Rubber cement (Glue sticks will work just as well.

Mod Podge (This you don’t have to have, but if you want your pieces to stay in place more securely or if you want to add clear texture, this is what you can use.)

  • Cardstock or construction paper of any size to use as a firm background to paste your pictures Note: Regular computer paper or notebook paper will not work very well because rubber cement will cause the paper to warp and it won’t dry flat.
  • Scrapbook Scissors (They have a thinner and sharper point so they’re easier to
  • handle than regular scissors.)

Begin with a subject that you want. It can be as simple as dogs or cats. Cut up pictures or images that relate to it or words that you feel can add descriptions to the subject. You can do a collage based on emotions, politics, and family. Anything really.

You can cut out any pictures or images that you want to include. Cut out as many as you want and randomly. The best pieces come from the most unlikely of pictures and subjects. The choice is yours.

If really you want to add dimension because you can and you want brownie points, you can make it into a flipbook.

This is the cover of my flipbook.

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This is the cover page of sorts and title. The rest of the pictures on here are meant to tell a story through images and words. It is up to the person to interpret it however he or she wishes.

I hope you have enjoyed the steps and images of my latest piece. If you would like me to post more ideas of the step by step process and how I go about it or if you have any questions, leave me a comment. Also, I would love to know what your interpretations are for this piece.

Until next time. Take care and God bless you.

“First Bullet Journaling Adventure: How to Get Started”  

I am not the most organized person in the world, yet I am extremely punctual with appointments and outings. When it comes to my art supplies, I’m a stickler for how they’re stored and where. It’s as contradictory as a starburst I know but it is what it is.

If you know exactly what I’m talking about, you have maybe tried writing down memos while having them within easy reach to read daily or instead keep a planner. Some people enjoy planners for the sheer repetitiveness and can keep up with them and that’s ok kudos to them.

I’ve used planners for a while and can never keep up with them from day to day. I usually see it as something to fill out if I have things to do or scheduled that day. If there isn’t anything, it’s left blank.

Don’t get me wrong. Many of them have beautiful designs and weekly quotes to keep me motivated, but I feel there’s not much room for anything else. Even trying to be tech savvy and leaving reminders on my Google calendar on my phone doesn’t really help. By this point, you know it’s really bad.

As a sort of New Year’s resolution, I’m trying something a little different with my art and blog organization, well with everyday life mixed in it of course. We can’t forget that now can We? If you keep up with YouTube and Instagram, then you’ve seen a bunch of beautiful spreads and notebooks just gleaming with different colored calligraphies and ink.

Bullet Journaling is apparently now “a thing”. Well, it has been for awhile, but silly me just recently stumbled upon it looking for organization tips. Check out Boho Berry and several others on YouTube whenever you get the chance. Boho Berry’s journals, in particular, are absolutely stunning!

In this random makeshift journey, I’m going to give bullet journaling a try. After several videos and articles trying to figure the format of it later, I have come up with my own. Granted it’s not that fancy or detailed, but I feel it’s getting the job done at this point.

Join me on a bullet journal journey. Get yourself a notebook of your choice: lined, dotted or blank. Your next item is a good fine point pen and a few colored gel pens for variety. Some people add stickers to their pages, but again that’s up to you.

The second thing you need to do is set up your Index and Key. The index helps you stay on track with pages which will be a lot of and the key is a basic sign system to keep track of appointments, chores etc.

This is what I have done so far. So let’s get organized together and learn along with me.

Until next time.

 

“True Art: What is it?”

Everyone is familiar with Jackson Pollock. If the name does not ring a bell, you may have seen one of his more famous works briefly in movies or shows. Pollock’s work was extremely abstract. Still nothing? Here’s a picture to jog your memory.

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This is one of his more famous works which is titled “Convergence.” I do not intend to give a full analysis on his piece (I will probably save that for later.) What I am really driving at is what we all perceive as appealing and beautiful when it comes to art. Someone may see this piece in person and say that it speaks volumes to them while another may see it as just a bunch of paint splatters. I will have to admit I thought so at first until I saw one of Pollock’s pieces in person at the Dallas Museum of Art a few years ago. There is a lot more precision that went into his paintings that meets the eye.

What I personally find appealing and awe-inspiring may not be another person’s cup of tea. I adore Steampunk, Victorian and Renaissance art. The emphasis of the human form was very apparent for its time. Steampunk is a mixture of science fiction and Victorian genres all rolled into one. Art is a fabrication deep from within our imaginations that is brought to life in many mediums and others are just purely miraculous.

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Some may find Gothic or gory art consisting of undead creatures and zombies as beautiful and others may not have the stomach for it. Science fiction art and anime may be inspring for future animators while others that are not interested in these genres may not understand them. Although, have you ever seen a Studio Ghibli or Hayao Miyazaki film? The artwork is breathtaking! Then again, that’s just me though. If you do decide to check out anything by these animators, I recommend “Howl’s Moving Castle.” You will not be disappointed.

These same tastes can apply to the realm of artists as well aside from people that appreciate art. Many of us artists create for the sole purpose to unleash our emotions and pour it into our pieces reflecting each of our individual styles. So then, what is true art really? It stems from anything you want it to be and everywhere. Junk in scrap yards is another person’s treasure or artwork in this case that involves building sculptures. Numerous materials, threads and buttons are a textile artist’s dream. 

Cut outs from old magazines can become beautiful collages in the hands of a mixed media artist. Film makers with their detailed visions direct documentaries giving in depth incite into the lives of many all over the world to raise awareness. Photographers capture emotions through camera and lighting. Art therapists who are also artists heal..heal an individual’s inner turmoils through the passion they love so much.

Art is a root that connects each one of us towards each other and beyond. It is just a matter of how far we are willing to reach the depths of our imaginations to see and look for art through different lenses. 
 

“Take a Vote”

Good evening, everyone. It’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything and have been busy adulting the past weeks, but now have a clear schedule again. I’m working on staying consistent with my posts and would like some feedback hence the poll. What kind of posts would you like me to put out? If you have any other suggestions that I have not listed, leave a comment. Thank you a bunch. 😊

  1. Works in progress
  2. Art Therapy
  3. Art tips
  4. Live stream
  5. Studio tour
  6. Other suggestions

“Painting in Progress: Title Coming Soon”

I have been a bit incognito pretty much all of this month. With setting up the house, nursing my toe from a watermelon incident from 4th of July (The story is either extremely dumb or hilarious or both however you want to take it), it has been adventure packed in its own right.

On the plus side, there has been a new spark of inspiration for my latest painting.

These are my progress photos for now. Once I get the first layer of paint down, I’ll upload some more pictures along with a story to the subject.

Can you guess what it is going to entail?

“Rhythm and Paint”

Ok, ladies and gents, I have an interesting story to tell.

Well, this was a bit of an experiment on my husband’s and my part, but mainly my husband’s.

He randomly brought up one day to perform music and paint downtown for the heck of it which then proceeded to turn into a silent cricket filled pause.

I was actually pretty surprised when he brought it up since my painting process is in the privacy of our home. “What madness are you scheming?” was my thought process tinkering in my mind at this point.

I then said sure why not and our experiment commenced.

The first time we set up our stuff in Travis Park was under a tree which was good because the day of course was really hot.

The following week for the second time of the experiment, it was a bit more comical. It happened to be the complete opposite of the previous week. There was not a cloud in the sky or breeze.

Not even an hour after we set up our stuff under a picnic table did a strong wind start to blow. Then our umbrella decided to lift off and float away almost knocking down my paints and my husband’s music books.

So what was the outcome you’re thinking?

Well it turned out decently. We had a bit of an audience, got a few questions and compliments here and there. Overall, it was a positive experience.

Since our hands were tied up sort of speak with him playing and me painting, we couldn’t really take pictures. I did take a few documentaries while balancing my phone in one hand with my paint brush in the other which came close to resulting in a big mess..

But didn’t.

If you want to look at our silliness, more of my artistic journey and art pieces, hop on to my Facebook art page Arte de Vallombrosa https://www.facebook.com/latin.artist1 and check them out.

“A Dose of Jazz and Swing at The Cove”

The River City Big Band are definitely unique. If you want to go back in time to the swing and jazz era when Frank Sinatra and Louis Armstrong were the big time singers, give this group a listen.

No, you won’t literally go back in time in an actual time machine. Although, that would be really cool if you could.

I’ve known for awhile that my husband played with them before on various ocassions, but I never really knew what the music was about.

I had the opportunity to hear them play at our wedding for the first time and I have to say it was beyond elegant.

Now fastforwarding about a month, the second time I got to hear them was at a place called “The Cove.” What was neat was that my husband played with them this time after a long while.

It was a full house because of costumers that made their way for wine tasting earlier so there wasn’t much seating. I managed to squeeze myself in a small seat in the back and started sketching away.

I’m usually pretty inconspicuous, but with the ocassional peaking over my shoulder or asking what I was drawing that night, it didn’t turn out that way.

Instead of the ocassional “did you draw that” question which is fine. How some artists will be bothered by the question, I really don’t mind it. Some were genuinely curious and others asked what materials I used which was pretty neat.

As for the jazz…

It really got my creative juices flowing . Hearing and seeing my husband playing was a wonderful experience. His passion for music never ceases to amaze me.

“Beach, Art, and Hermit Crabs”

This week was pretty much spent driving to new places, basking in the sun, and getting badly sunburned.

Well, it was new for me anyway because my husband loves going to the beach and has ventured to more than one of the Texas coasts.

As for me, I had never seen anything aside from the Bayfront area in Corpus Christi.

I grew up in a desert part of southwest Texas so as you can guess…

It is the complete opposite of the coast.

Honestly, I’ve never been crazy about the beach.

*Dun dun dun…

I know it sounds bad, but let me explain.

The rare occasions I went to the beach as a kid, I remember the beach smelled funny. The water was murky green. There was trash everywhere on the sand.

I wasn’t allowed to get in the water and swim for good reason because I tended to randomly jump into any body of water I saw results in my dad having to dive in and get me out because I couldn’t swim. (I learned to eventually.) So pretty much because of that, I found it boring.

I figured, if that was how all beaches were, then no thank you.

Although going to Port Aransas and Mustang Island for a few days, I was pretty impressed.

The water was clear. The air was crisp. The sand was clean and free of clutter.

My view of beaches changed and I had a blast swimming in the shallow and finding a bunch of little critters in the water.

Well, my husband found them. I just held them for pictures.

At the end of the day, we had some mighty fine seafood.

I tried some sole fish for the first time, while James had some massive butterfly shrimp.

I don’t know what’s in the water, but these servings were huge.

During one of our culinary escapades, I managed to squeeze in a couple of sketches added into my sketchbook.

The second to the last day ended with a sunset dolphin tour around the port. There were quite a few dolphins playing and hanging ten in front of the barges rolling in which made for some beautiful photos and videos.

A pirate ship sailed passed us as we left. Yes, it’s as close to an authentic intact pirate ship as we are all going to get.

The tour ended with us passing by a historic lighthouse, which was built in 1857 on its own little island.

If that is not breathtaking, I don’t know what is.

“Joys of Hot Joy”

This summer is hot in San Antonio, but it doesn’t stop my husband and I from getting out and going on little adventures. (I’m going to be gushy for awhile so just a word of warning.)

Our latest foodie adventure was to a very artsy looking ramen place called Hot Joy.

I have a habit of taking my sketchbook where ever I go to draw my surroundings or people that strike my fancy.

Once we stepped in, it was definitely one of those days and to taste the ramen of course.

The ramen by the way was delicious. I had a vegetarian ramen with tofu pieces mixed in while my husband was more carnivorous with his.

Their in house ginger beer had a tart but refreshing flavor and the Thai iced had a sweet taste with a hint of coffee flavor.

I couldn’t help but notice the bold colors and ambiance of the place. What really caught my eye though were some bohemian lanterns that were very dimly lit despite the eye catching patterns they had.

While waiting for our ramen, I got a spark of inspiration to draw.

I hadn’t had time in awhile so it was a nice change of pace stepping into a different restaurant that we had never ventured into to do a sketchbook journal entry of sorts.

The medium was done with gouache paint. It ended up turning out to be a bit whimsical, which was the intended idea.

Good ramen and amazing inspiration…

It was definitely a wonderful date/outing/inspiration all rolled into one hence the title “Joys of Hot Joy.”