Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Step Five: A birthday present, an engagement ring and panic mode...

Dear Fi,

It’s horribly late: 9:30 PM and I’m just starting to write this post. My children just fell asleep. My husband is packing, he is leaving at 4AM, he has an early flight to San Diego (once again, why cannot I go?). Me? I’m totally overwhelmed lately. I’m operating in “panic mode”. Yesterday in an act of desperation I called my Mom and asked her to come and help me (if everything will go smooth she will come at the end of this month). I cannot believe that there is no end to all these “things to do”. It never stops. It doesn’t matter how much I do it is never enough...

Anyway, who cares?

About today’s artwork. In this picture are my husband’s grandparents. I have never met his grandfather, but I knew his grandmother. She died last year. More than seven years ago I came to visit S. for the summer.  We had not known each other for a full year. Two weeks before going back to Poland we went for an evening walk and S. proposed to me. My engagement ring, the ring I received and accepted that evening, the ring I’m wearing almost everyday came from his grandmother. The next day S. called his family and friends and told them that we are engaged. Then he asked everybody if they can make it to the wedding next Saturday. Somehow I never thought what they will think about me, I was too happy to bother ha, ha.

Now, seriously about today’s project ;) I was planning to paint this piece as a Christmas present for my mother-in-law. I even bought a nice frame at that time. However, it turned out that there were other things to do before Christmas, and in the meantime we found another present. Tomorrow is her birthday, this is why I wanted so badly to work on this project today.

For the first hour I really struggled. I started to paint in a bigger format - to fit this picture into a previously bought frame. However, I forgot that since the last week I’m operating in panic mode. As I was painting the background at some point I just realized that I have no idea what I’m doing. I stopped and found out that I totally don’t like the background I was working on for the last hour. Then it hit me that it is not only that I don’t like what I already did but also that the size is too big for me. I knew that I don’t have that much time to work on it.

I started from scratch working on a smaller size and after five minutes I could feel the difference. I knew I could manage this ;) I decided to take more pictures today. I really appreciate your teaching approach Fi. I do not plan to teach here but I wanted at least to show the process I use in creating my artwork. After deciding on a project I usually paint the background first, then I glue on a  previously printed picture, and finally I add the design and work on details. That’s all!




Dear Fi, in case you are wondering what the author wanted to accomplish by taking this picture ;)
It was Valentine’s Day at preschool today. I bought 20 packages of Hershey"s Hugs for the children. It turned out that there is a new policy and they don’t do “food” anymore, only cards. Amelie came back home with a bunch of cards and she brought all the chocolates back. Hence the picture.

The good news is that Bruno has Valentine’s Day tomorrow and his kindergarten is OK with “treats” ;)


  1. Sylwi, I am SPEECHLESS!!! There is so much here I want to comment on and talk to you about, but I just can't find the words right now! What a beautiful, amazing painting... and a wonderful story... and rrrgggh! Too much to say. I'll stick it in an email later on! :-) I really, really love all of the photos you took today showing the process. The gold came out really well in the last one - your mother in law will be thrilled and so touched. Write more later.

    Lots of love, Fi. xx

    Oh and P.S. Hand over those Hersheys and nobody gets hurts! ;-) xx

  2. i so identify with your process ... and also the nudge of panic in the background that messes things up a bit :) i'm sure i've mentionned this before, but i love the notion of "divine messes." lately it seems whatever i do has a "oh crap i've ruined it" moment. and then i regroup and calm down and i recall art making is supposed to be joyful expression (to me anyway) and play. then i discover the mess often pushes me in a direction i might not have taken and it is absolutely perfect! you remind me of this in your work ...

    i also love the commentary about your life - the "banned" candy & valentines! this year Clara's school has instituted a no cards policy (they will be doing a project instead) and i was relieved. until i realized chinese new year is the same day and we give out red envelopes with treats inside and then in her martial arts class last night a kid gave her a valentine and candies for the instructors so guess how i've spent my afternoon? yup, gathering all these goodies for tomorrow! panic mode again :)

    how amazing your mom might make over! that will be a real treat.

    hugs to you!