Tag Archives: hummingbird

Weekly Art Challenge: UNCONVENTIONAL

Hey folks!

This week’s challenge theme is: Unconventional!


RJ: Ship in a Bottle, Black and White Photograph –

Inspired by turbulent seas at the coast of England.”

I love the dark velvety blacks and pearly silvers in RJ’s photograph, they play nicely with the turbulence of the sea that inspired him this week. Looking at the image, I find myself easily getting lost inside that bottle with the origami sailboat – which was humorously made from a parking ticket, a symbol of desired stillness. I can imagine what the sensation of being tossed around sea and the slight blur from all the saltwater in the eyes would be like, and the desire to park my little boat.

RJ ship in bottle


Dylan: Self-Portrait, Photograph/ ensemble –

“As a 35 year old woman, people say that I should not dress like a 12 year old adolescent. I disagree. Clothing for women my age is predictable and tame in color so I frequently opt for vibrancy found in childish fashion. It is not about a desperate attempt to look younger, but an expression of fun color and wacky designs.”

Dylan’s self-portrait and statement reflects a lot on the pressures to conform our appearances and personality to the social “norm”, especially as someone ages. The social pressure to conform can be a real threat to creativity. I think, perhaps, this social pressure is a reason why so many artists prefer the solitude.



Emily: Embrace All Parts Of Yourself and Don’t Look Back, mix media photo collage –

“My Pieces for ‘Unconventional’ came about as I was creating another piece from old photography work when I realized that the style may be slightly unconventional. So I got together some old prints of photography work to create collages/mixed media pieces. These are especially unconventional for me because I often have my negative feelings show in my work so it was a nice change to have some more on positivity 🙂 “

I like that Emily’s “unconventional” was not limited to the style and process of her work, but also include the feelings that she doesn’t conventionally express in her work. Exploring new feelings in art is a challenge in itself. In Embrace All Parts Of Yourself, I see the struggle to find a happy balance with the complexity of identity and the assertion to embrace all of it. A person’s identity is made up of layers upon layers – much like the layering of Emily’s photographs. Identity is messy, complex, vibrant and loaded with parts that need embracing!

Don’t Look Back has an edgier gritty feel to it, in comparison to Embrace. It is no longer asking or encouraging you to embrace yourself, its telling you to accept your choices and keep pushing forward.


Emily - 1

emily 2


Karri: Untitled, Watercolor Monotypes on paper –

“This week I thought a lot about this theme. I kept coming back to the same realization that my normal is most peoples unconventional. I am always experimenting with different mediums and materials. I can find art and beauty in just about anything. So I struggled with what would be unconventional for me. This week I have been experimenting with a new technique, monotype printmaking. So these are examples of what of how that experimentation turned out this week.”

I am so happy that Karri took on monotypes for her unconventional challenge. I like the idea of unconventional not actually being a conventional unconventional, but simply something new to try. Her monotypes are lovely. I am particularly drawn to the center piece – a double ghost print? – it is so soft and pretty. It bring to mind a few small and pleasant memories.

karri 1

Karri 4

karri 3


AmberThe Voyage, duct tape “painting” with sharpie embellishments  –

My original idea was to create a self-portrait with duct tape. I even made one, but it was TERRIBLE. So bad, that I won’t even post it! LOL, but I did learn a lot from the piece, technique-wise, and immediately started with the image below, which is still somewhat a self-portrait in an unconventional way. I have worked previously with the theme of octopuses inside of teacups with perched hummingbirds.

For me, hummingbirds will always be associated with my departed grandmother and also represent freedom. Teacups are my form of mediation. When I am happy, holding one filled with tea makes me happier and focused. When I am depressed and feeling broken, holding one filled with tea makes me feel intact and alive. The octopus has become a recent favorite for me. They represent the soul, but more specifically the deepest unexplored depths of the soul. You know there is something powerful waiting there in the dark, you see pieces of it exposed and reaching outward, but it is still a mystery.

The image is not completely finished and I think more of a protocol for a future image.

The voyage



Thanks for checking us out, Next week the theme is: FIRST


Weekly Art Challenge: SURREALISM!

Hello Folks!


This weeks art theme is Surrealism! I love Surrealism, its one of the most creative and thought provoking art movements of the 20th century. The movement evolved after WWI and was focused on exploring the inner workings of the mind through art and literature. In my opinion it was one of the emotionally liberating moments in art. People would let their imaginations fly as they looked inward for their inspiration.


RjHell Toast, Pen and ink on Paper – I have yet to decide if RJ is feeling excited for the upcoming Halloween festivities or had a very bad experience with his breakfast this week and THIS is his surrealist revenge! The details, as always, are impeccable. That toaster looks very hellish and cavernous; and I feel rather sorry for the toast. My favorite detail, the tiny hearts from the heavenly toast crumbs, the toast found peace after its hellish experience in the toaster! 🙂

hell toast


Tony: Mind and Self,  mix media on paper – Tony’s explanation of his piece:

“It’s about liberation, freedom of mind and being open to the possibilities of the Universe [ I drawn our Galaxy on the Lock to represent that ]. When you are attached to Love [ Heart ], or material things like money, or hurt feelings, you need to step back and think about more than all that and free yourself from those things. By doing so, your mind thinks [ thoughs are represented by the Energy on the guys’s head ] and those thoughs become acts [ Act = The guy’s big hand ] and you can detach yourself from everything [ water running out the tube and giving water to the flower which is a sign of nature, Earth. But also starts the mechanism that makes the hand moves towards the lock Then it unlocks the Brain – Mind, and the eyes in order to think and see more than what you usually think or see ]. The birds going out of the cage are obviously symbol of freedom that someone wants to reach. The phone is a part of things that makes us materialists, the chess-like floor is just a thing that is often used in Surrealism art so I took it as a symbol for this theme. The trains goes toward the left/future and is a part of the man [ smoke/beard ]. So it’s also one of the metaphors. The eye in the Hand is another sign. In Buddhism it is symbol of protection called Hamsa. I used Buddhism a lot in this drawing because my double theme represents something like reaching the enlightenment.”

Mind and self


Amber: Untitled Dreams, Watercolor, acrylic, graphite on paper – I still have some detail work to complete on my piece, but for now I am happy.  The inspiration came from a recent discovery of an old collage drawing that I started years ago, but never finished.  It was a terrible collage drawing of my yellow tea mug with a weird blue paper mosaic in the background. I thought that maybe I could improve it by using it for one of the art challenges, but I left home in a hurry for a work trip and did not bring the horrid artwork with me… I still liked the image I had in mind for the piece so I started fresh – I think it looks better than it would with the other piece.

For my piece I combined a variety of meaningful images into a composition that reflects a series of bizarre but relevant dreams I had not to long ago with my fear that should I settle then my life would grow stagnant and I would eventually begin to sink into the dreadful unseen.


Untitled Dreams



Thats it for this week, Next art challenge: BOLD COLORS!