Dancing, and other new things

A quick doodle of a dancer with a rooster and a fish added as homages to the artist Marc Chagall. Especially the rooster. Chagall painted roosters everywhere.

The number of times I have danced in my life could be counted on one hand. Besides a basic salsa class two summers ago, and some square-dancing when I was a kid, I have never danced. But being able to dance is one of my life goals–it is something, I think, a well-rounded person should be able to do–so I signed up to learn hula and Tahitian dance routines with the university’s Hawaiian Club. The Tahitian dance is especially fun and fast and exhilarating–Tahitian dancers wear awesome costumes that complement the incredible things they do with their hips.

It’s surprising what you learn about yourself when you try new things. For instance, I knew that my sense of rhythm and physical coordination are shit. But I didn’t know I had a deep psychological barrier against extending my limbs past a certain distance from my body. I literally start feeling shy and uncomfortable if I fully extend my arms or raise them in the air. It’s like a physical manifestation of introversion–but luckily one that I can overcome now that I know about it and will have to overcome to perform our dances.

Another new thing I’ve tried recently: grant-writing. So far I’ve enjoyed the process of composing a grant proposal–over time I’d become disengaged from writing and researching because writing and researching for academic or even journalistic purposes never felt sufficiently meaningful for me. But putting together a grant for an organization whose mission I believe in lets me put those skills toward a meaningful end. Most importantly, I’ve learned that after I graduate I definitely want–need–to be involved in work that has a strong social purpose.

Have you tried anything new lately that has taught you something new about yourself?

Butterfly bumblebee birthday

I made this for los cumpleaños de mi amor with colored pencil and oil pastel, a mixed-media style I invented myself. Tea because he loves tea; a bumblebee because he kept bees; and butterfly because Mariposa is my nickname.

Thanks for looking! Also please note I am happy to take commissions for digital or natural media drawings at this time. Feel free to get in touch with me if you are interested.

Two drawings

Drawing nature is hard! All those repetitive leaves and petals.

The tree blossom girl got short hair because I had just gotten my hair cut short–everyone who sees me now thinks I look “sassy” (that exact word). The little girl was a quick drawing for a friend.

Trying desperately to integrate artistic creativity back into my life amid everything–it’s so satisfying but so difficult to find the time and peace of mind. Wish me luck!

Starry embraces

I am still working on all your (challenging!) drawing suggestions from last week. In the meantime, I have been finishing final exams, packing, moving, spending time with friends and family, babysitting, beginning one of my summer jobs, and finishing this painting.

Looking back, I can see it was clearly (but unintentionally) inspired by this great Matisse print that I adore (click to make larger–in case you want to read the attribution info) wherein you can see that the guy had a knack for drawing fabulous buttcracks…

..but also, of course, a knack for composition, movement, crisp dynamic linework, emotively stylized human anatomy, playfulness, and passion.