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The suggestion Noah Scalin gave, that I followed for today, was to make something inspired by a recent dream. I have been unable to remember my dreams lately (which makes me sad – I love crazy dreams!) and I knew this assignment was coming for a week. So I’ve been trying to pay attention to any dreams I could remember.  I woke up one night thinking I had been on a boat out to sea in my dream , and this morning I woke up from dreaming about other people’s 365 projects and there was a mosaic by someone.  (Yes, I am officially obsessed – I dream about this stuff now!)  The final project is above, a mosaic about a cat in a boat on the sea. And that was actually really fun to make!

But today started with me first playing with my watercolor paints to try to improve my painting skills and I did an assignment from one of the library books. And then, the big realization of the day: I have crappy paint!  I was working really, really hard to get only a moderate amount of pigment on the paper. So, cool! My paintings are lame because the paint is crap!  LOL! Just kidding, just kidding. I’m no Rembrandt yet, no matter how amazing the paint is or isn’t. But this does inspire me to take the plunge and buy some decent paint and brushes. Below are the  6 little paintings in the exercise, with the book in the center showing some of the intense colors I’d like to get.

And then a close up on my painting vs their painting.  My colors aren’t too bad, but I was going back to the pans multiple times to make a small area that bright, taking multiple brush strokes.  Looking at their brush strokes (on previous pages in the book not seen here), they had a much easier time. It was kinda refreshing to realize new paints might help me create paintings I like more.Okay, and then there’s my little reject for the day below. I was thinking I would make a pretty watercolor sky and sea with a boat and a kitty.  And then put a little blue mosaic across part of the sea. But I think I was really frustrated with my paint at this point. You can see on the bottom right corner of the paper, I started off a brush stroke with a pretty decent amount of pigment and it was half gone in an inch or two further along the paper. So then I added multiple brush strokes to add pigment. And then I couldn’t get the mosaic pieces to stick to the painting. Running out of time between work and an appointment I needed to go to, I bailed out on this and moved on to the mosaic which became the final project. It’s all good.  I’m learning lots!PS I had NO IDEA you could spend over $1000 on a watercolor brush!  The jumbo round size 50 sells for almost $1300 here.  I wonder if it feels AMAZING to paint with these brushes?

The assignment today was to make something that is normally not portable into something portable, or at least make it seem portable. This was a puzzle for a while. I tried to think of the largest, most ridiculous, least portable thing in our house and thought of our frig. And imagine if purple clay kitty had such a big appetite, the frig had a lunchbox handle and he used it as his lunch pail… and he was outside going for a walk down a path with his pail…

Then I had to take photos of objects in the same lighting and think about angles and backgrounds which was all new to me… Oh, and then I need to learn how to use Photoshop Elements. From scratch. Never used it before today. It was WAY more complicated than I expected! (Somehow I had the idea that Elements was for the unsophisticated, like me.) I didn’t realize I had gotten in so far over my head, but hubby (photographer and videographer) saved the day! So, the product is not an amazing work of art, but it was a fun thought experiment. And it let me dip my toes in the pool of Photoshop Elements, which was a stretch and good for me. (Need to spend more time on Lynda.com watching those tutorials…) Needless to say this took hours. And I was stressing out trying to watch tutorials and figure out what was going wrong in the middle of it. But I’m really glad I did it.

My hat is off to anyone who uses Photoshop well! I am in awe!!

Last collage! Yay! This is how I think cats see themselves as hunters. “Butterflies, no problem. Goldfish and birds, easy pickins. Elephants, I can take ’em.”

I had fun finding other, sometimes unreasonable, things for a cat to hunt. Here are some of the other images that didn’t make the final cut: (the kitten with the fish bowl was the inspiration for this collage)

And this is Chaos “helping,” laying in the only clear spot left that I had been working in.

Yesterday I was exhausted and no cat for you! I gave myself permission to miss one cat per week and it was the first day I missed. But I guess I was not really comfortable with that because I did two today. I also had the day off today which made it possible. Although you know, we’re all getting ready for Hurricane Irene & battening down the hatches up here in upstate NY and that took… well, maybe a couple of hours to put away some outdoor stuff & help hubby clean gutters. And what does that have to do with my project? Not much. But cat project did get bumped to late evening again.

Today’s swirls are inspired by marikamakes‘ beautiful swirls!! Thanks for all your inspiring birds :)

And I think I may almost like my paint test card better than the final one. But alas, there’s no cat.

I think if we got a look at a magazine in a world run by cats, it would definitely have an ad in it like this. The cats are plotting again! Actually, they may already have mastered this training topic… at least my two have.

This little collage actually took two hours to make, which seems too long.  Time flies when looking for words like “empowerment,” “feline” and “human” in magazines, giving up and constructing them from other words. At the moment I’m thinking that collage isn’t the most enjoyable medium for me. But I’ll give it a couple of weeks and look back on it to decide what I think of the pieces.

In the meantime, I’ve been delving into painting books at the library and bookstores trying to decide if I want to buy acrylics, oils or watercolors.  Whatever I end up going with, I love reading and reading about art is awesome.  I had a happy day after work looking at books.  (Actually, I had a pretty happy day at work, too.)

Again, gratitude to this project for pushing me to explore art again.

Woo hoo. Done before dark! This collage thing 7 days in a row is actually kind of hard. Really couldn’t find the pieces to what I wanted to do and ended up with this instead. And I may actually like it more than my original idea. I like that the Buddha and the cat both look as though they could be gazing at the butterfly. And I love how that cat looks like s/he is intently staring at something. And I find I really like taking the photographs of the cat art when I get done during the day and can use sunlight.

Yesterday I raided my local library for some books – color, watercolor… maybe I’ll go back and get some acrylic books. Want to invest in some good paint and I’m not sure which I want. I thank this project for giving me the kick in the pants to read up and decide! And then do something with it! So next week MAY be about painting. Will depend on the ol’ work schedule tho. And my projects may become day by day updates on more involved pieces? Who knows?! That’s the adventure!

If you like working with oil vs acrylic vs watercolor, please comment below about what you work with and why. Thank you!!!

“Super Kitty plotted how he would take over the world… or at least the Digital Film Farm.” <– (subtitle provided due to my often illegible handwriting!)

Collage is kinda interesting to do. I may have ideas before I start, but they change and twist and go in a 100 directions depending on what I find as I go through the magazines I have stacked up and saved. So really, they become something totally different. The Digital Film Farm is owned by someone I know and this is a shameless plug. And reveals what I believe is the dark underlying current in most cats’ heads, “How can I work this situation to my advantage… and take over the world?!”