Thirty is a big year for many people. It’s a major turning point where we leave behind our ignorant twenties and start solidifying ourselves in the mold of adulthood. It is the beginning of many wonderful adventures, and from what I hear from older generations it is only the start of the best decades that lie ahead of us. On May 27th I turned thirty-one, and I can say with full confidence, that thirty had been the most pivotal and rewarding year of my life. It was filled with a lot of heartache, depression, and turmoil that transformed into growth, forgiveness, confidence, and love. Twenty-nine was the year that I was found. Thirty was the year that I was smashed to pieces and made stronger through adversity. I find that a lot of the people around me are following the same pattern.
A handful of months ago I was approached by a friend, and was commissioned to create a piece that embodied the woman who she aspired to be in the near future. “A woman who loves herself, a woman who is confident in her capabilities, and a woman who is open to what the world has to offer.” She gravitated toward the “Rose Wine” painting that I did last year in the “Women and Wine Collection”, but she wanted a number of changes and additional elements:
Woman to be of average height instead of very tall
Darker skin tone
Medium length flowing curly hair (black with brown/red highlights)
Maxi dress with loose floral pattern and halter top neckline
Lavender and roses
A headband to represent an element of peace
Background maroon, burgundy, or berry red
I have to say that it was quite a challenge trying to balance everything out (but I really do love a challenge!) To date, this is my favorite digital painting. Thank you, Angelica, for setting up an incredible platform. Without your inspiration, this would not have been possible. Here’s to friendship, and a wonderful decade full of life, love, growth, and adventure!
Above is a slideshow of the step-by-step process, and below is the step-by-step process with descriptions for the making of “Angelica”.
The day before yesterday I woke up and drove across town to my sister-in-law’s mom’s house. Karlie and Mia were preparing the materials that we needed to use for our tie-dye hippie adventure.
I walked into the backyard and said ‘hi’ to a barefoot Karlie as she filled a miniature army of bottles with hot water and dye.
Recycled and unloved pieces of clothing were floating around a few bins full of murky soda ash water, awaiting their second calling. We were joined by their friend, Elizabeth, who, like me, was a tie-dye virgin.
At nine in the morning the sun was already sending us her rich warmth that would later decorate our necks with glistening sweaty diamonds. Sunscreen and umbrellas tried to hide us from her overbearing infatuation. Bottles of dye were shaken and set on our wobbling work table, while Elizabeth and I watched Mia as she swirled up one of the soaking shirts.
She fastened the medallion with rubber bands and set it aside. Elizabeth and I put on some gloves and joined Mia, who taught us variations for tie-dye designs.
Creating tie-dye for the first time was nothing less than mysterious and adventurous. It was a great way for me to start to break out of my perfectionist shell; I couldn’t plan anything that was absolute and I didn’t know what the outcome was going to be.
I was so excited when Mia and Karlie invited me over to their house for a lesson. I had waited for this moment since they first showed me their tie-dye collection a year ago!
There was no solid rhyme or reason for placing the dye on the twisted pieces, except that the colors needed to soak through all of the layers on all sides.
The table was drenched with a pool of rainbow dye, our feet turned into an effortless canvas of abstract art, and our carefree laughter carried us through the beginning of the blinding afternoon.
Our dye-soaked pieces basked out in the sunshine, on plastic mats and in plastic bags, so that they could meditate and prepare themselves for their new lives.
The next day I went back to help unwrap the blobs of fabric; we were as impatient as small children on Christmas morning. Each piece of cloth, that was released from the grips of the rubber bands, was greeted into their new world with ‘oooooo’s and ‘aaaaahhhh’s, and the occasional sound of overwhelming excitement.
They were rinsed off, rung out, tossed in the washer and dryer, and our mini tie-dye hippie adventure was over.
Peace, love, tie-dye, and hugs! Until next time!
You can purchase tie-dye items or request orders from Karlie and Mia, HERE! I can’t wait to tie-dye with them, again!