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Blue Plate Special



so i am really curious to see what you will think of my newest piece
i do not know what to make of it at all
and some of the detail did not scan as well as i would have liked
the worms actually have little antennai but they don't show up very well in the scan
i am calling it "blue plate special"

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Whoa Nelly! That might hurt!

Drawing Seven:

whoa nelly that might hurt

Notes -
Well, i made another picture and i really like this one.
after i finished it i felt ... satiated ... and ... well... relaxed and good
it was so much fun to draw
and color

i am calling it
Whoa Nellie! That might hurt!

and there does seem to be a definite theme emerging
and recurring images
and i do think there is a story line
the images in my head have relaxed a bit now
i am not sure just what i will do next
but i am getting a small kernel of an idea
i just don't want to get stuck in the "story" idea
and so i am studiously avoiding thinking about what i might draw tonight

maybe i will take a shower
and do some yoga
... uh did i actually say that???...
and them i might even meditate

whoa nellie! that might hurt?

anyway i am just dying to get your reaction to this one
its burning a hole in my scanner
i love you
and i am going to go do something nice with my body
while i still feel like it

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Ooohh Nooo

Drawing Six:


ooohh nooo

Notes -
hypnotherapy was very helpful and good. i don't much feel like talking about it, or discecting it, i did get a gazillion visual images that i want to put forth in drawings and paintings, and i hope i don't allow myself to become discouraged with my inability to render what is in my head onto paper...

the ooohh noooo picture is an image that came to me while talking to linda gentry about the hypnotherapy session and what was going on with me... so it describes me sitting in her office talking about my "shit" it is the 2nd picture that i made tonight.

(the first one was: Do we really have to come out of here?)

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Do we really have to come out of here?

Drawing Five:

do we really have to come out of here

Notes -
well
hmmmmmmmmmmmmm

i made some more pictures, and i am not too impressed with them. maybe i like this one ok...

the picture came to me days ago, and was astonishingly hard to draw and even harder to finish... partly because i flat out did not know how to draw what it was i was seeing in my mind, and partly because once drawn and colored it didn't look right and i had a very hard time figuring out just what was needed for it to feel satisfyingly complete

but...

i guess i thought they would blow me away, or that i would be impressed with them, or that i would be in awe - like i was with drawing #2 - or something.... but... i feel a sort of let down, deflatedness

anyway but i went ahead with them anyway, even when i saw that they were not taking shape in a way that really made me feel good about the words "artist" and "shirley" in the same sentence together. in fact, i began to feel somewhat demented as i was drawing them. demented and, yes, brave...

brave because i went ahead and finished them anyway, brave because i claim them anyway, brave because i did not try to fancy them up, or fix them up, or jack with the integrity of the idea in an attempt to make myself like them

one problem has become my dirth of colors. i need more colors. definitely need a larger variety. one strikingly absent color is gray... miss that gray... silver too... miss that one ...

and so another way i know i am brave is that i claimed them, named them, signed them, scanned them, and am now going to attach them to this email and i am going to send them. i wonder what you will see in them....

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Driving My Car Off The Road Into No Where

Drawing Four:

driving my car off the road into nowhere

Notes -
i made another picture last night/this morning.
it didn't come out at all how i had planned...
lol
and while i think it may qualify as a part of the "what the inside of my heart looks like" series,
it wasn't actually inspired by that thought
what happened was
i got into my car after filling it up with gas at a gas station the other night
when i stopped for the gas it was still light
when i came out after paying and got into my car and drove off
it had suddenly (or so it seemed to me)
become dark
and i felt like i had stepped into an alternate reality

quite a different feeling from the one that manifested in the picture...
partly i think because i am limited on my use of color since i only have about 20 crayons
partly because i tried a way to illustrate it that didn't turn out as i had planned
so the effect was entirely different
however
that being said
it is what it is and the only thing that all this means is that i will be doing another one
real soon
maybe even tonight at work if its not too busy
i go in today at 3:30 so i may not be able to do much drawing

i finally understand how it is that artists do painting after painting of the same thing
over and over
trying it on
getting it out
until finally its out...

anyway i love the way you comment on my work
so
here it is
i have my own ideas about it and am really curious to know what you see.

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Leap and a Net Will Appear

Drawing Three:

Leap and a net will appear

My Notes - Leap and a Net Will Appear is the one I did last night. and I don't quite know what I think of it yet. I would have done a few more things, but you can't color too many times on top of crayon, it just doesn't show. It came out very close to what I had in my mind, so ... well... I don't know if that's good or not.

And, again, the picture has so much more texture than it shows as a digital image. Some of the colors are metallics, and it really does look so much better "in person."

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Inside My Heart

Drawing Two:

Inside My Heart

My notes - The Inside My Heart is, I think, my best one. It has a wonderfully disturbing quality.

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Gateway

Drawing One of 100 mandalas of what the inside of my heart looks like.



Gateway

My notes -

I think the mandala must be done because I cannot bring myself to draw any more on it. I am going to scan it and see if it comes out legible. And then I have been collecting all these clippings to make into a collage and now I can't figure out how I want to do the collage. The mandala feels too one dimensional and too simplistic to me, and I want the clippings to be a part of it, but I can't think of a good way to integrate them together. I had thought about tearing the mandala up and then reassembling it with the clippings in the gaps. And I might do it that way. But I am thinking that the whole thing needs some depth, a three dimensional quality of some sort, and I don't quite know how to add that into the mix too... so... anyway...

Well it scanned in just fine. The colors don't look quite the same as the real thing, the tree is actually copper colored and the sheen doesn't come thru, it isn't quite that bright, but you get the idea. It is visually interesting, but looks rather empty to me, and unfinished. I guess the inside of my heart is rather empty... unfinished even.

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Middle Of The Night Art


Welcome to Middle of the Night Art by Shirley Gibson.
This is the title page, a sort of "book cover" I made for the series.

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About This Project

When I began this project, the idea was that I would create a series of mandalas depicting what the inside of my heart looked like, and the commitment was that I would not stop until I had completed 100 of them. I agreed with myself that I would "tell" the truth, and that I would finish every picture I started, even the ones that looked "stupid" or "inept" or just downright "terrible".

My sister was the catalyst that got this project started. She was working on illustrations for a book she had written and was very excited and enthusiastic about art as a spiritual practice, and a way to connect with God. I, on the other hand, was pretty sure that there would never be a spiritual practice that would ever work for me, and that my life was pretty much a pointless exercise in futility.

At the time, I was working nights at a job that I felt was killing me mentally and emotionally, spending long hours deep in the night reading true crime novels, flipping through magazines, playing computer games, and feeling depressed.

As we talked about art, and God, and life on earth, I began to have ideas, and it occurred to me that maybe, since I wasn't doing anything anyway, it might be "fun" or "interesting" to create a series of mandalas. This would at least give me something "useful" to do at work, and if I made them small enough, and if I made enough of them, I could make them into a book and eventually I would have something colorful for my children and grandchildren to look at.

I chose black paper because it seemed to reflect my mood at the time, and I chose wax pastels (art crayons) because they were portable and there would be no problems using them at work. My expectations were that I would create a series of geometric shapes, and that they might even be colorful or interesting.

I had no idea of the inner terrain that I would soon be exploring. The second picture I made - Inside my Heart - came as a total surprise. And before long I had a whole family of characters.. the witchdoctor, the ditzy blond, a little dog, a tiger. If you look at the pictures in chronological order you can see the progression of thought and growth.

I am currently hard at work on my second series Fire in the Belly, a series of 25 "mandalas" or pictures, this time on 12" by 12" red paper. When I have six completed pieces - I will post them, and prints will be made available.

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