February 2018 ArtSnacks Artist Subscription Box

A few days ago I received the February 2018 ArtSnacks subscription box! I love getting these every month because it gives me a chance to try new art supplies I might not give a chance otherwise, and also challenges me to use the new supplies to create new, original artworks.

Here is what we got this month:

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  • 2 Sennelier French Artists’ Watercolor Tubes
  • Raphael Mini Precision Paint Brush
  • Faber-Castell Goldfaber Sketching Pencil, 2H
  • Sakura Pigma Micron PN Pen
  • Sweethearts Candy Hearts
  • A bonus sheet of Fabriano Artistico Watercolor Paper (shown below)

Of all the items included, my favorites are definitely the french watercolor tubes. Together, these two small tubes of paint retail for $23.50…so they had better be good! I am not a huge fan of the sketching pencil because it is very light and I prefer a darker lead when sketching. The paintbrush is very nice, but it is so short, it kind of annoys me when painting with it. The Micron pen is fine, but nothing thrilling to me.

Every month, ArtSnacks encourages recipients to try to create new artworks using only the materials in that month’s box, which I did, so here are a couple I came up with. The first uses the bonus sheet of watercolor paper that came in the box, which was bookmark shaped:

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I also made an expressionistic ACEO art trading card using the supplies:

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As always, these artworks will be listed for sale on my Ebay store, along with my other art currently for sale!

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I Got My First ArtSnacks Subscription Box!

So recently I decided that I really wanted to do an artist subscription box, both to inspire me to try new art mediums and tools and just for the sheer fun of getting a surprise in the mail each month! I received my first ArtSnacks box yesterday and here is what I got and a couple little ACEO artworks I made with the materials!

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What was included this month:

A Uni-Posca Brush Tip Paint Marker
2 Marabu Graphix Aqua Watercolor Pens
A Tombow Fudenosuke Soft Tip Brush Pen
A Sakura SumoGrip Mechanical Pencil
A Cherry Lifesaver (I do love the candy!)

My favorites are the watercolor pens, the soft tip brush pen, and the SumoGrip pencil! The Uni-Posca marker is the most expensive item in the box, but I don’t find it works as well as I had hoped.

Here are a couple little ACEO art trading cards I made with the materials from the box:

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Crushing on Kylo Ren

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Today my husband and I finally went to see the new Star Wars movie. I’m not a huge Star Wars fan, not nearly as into the series as my husband has always been, but I don’t mind these new episodes too much so far. Part of it is that I like having a strong female Jedi lead (even if she does seem to be lacking a bit in backstory from my point of view). But my favorite part of the new series so far is Kylo Ren. From the first time I saw his profile, he immediately reminded me of the character Severus Snape from Harry Potter, whom I love. I’m not sure why he reminds me of Snape so much, maybe the dark hair against white skin, or the black robes, or the constantly simmering anger, or the emo vibes, or the deep monotone…

Anyhow, getting to see so much Kylo Ren in this new episode was a treat 🙂 I was really happy when he crushed his helmet, so we could see his face more. Before seeing this latest installment, I had seen all kinds of claims about it online and heard many, many complaints. Some of the complaints, about plot holes, cinematics, character flaws, etc. might actually have some credence, but the outlandish claims that this new movie is feminist or even communist propaganda seem really, really off to me. Especially the communist claims I’ve heard from some alt-righters online. Even the feminist claims seem seriously messed up though. Just because we have a female lead it is overly feminist? I don’t get that at all.

Belief in Hell Dies Hard

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Recently I read an excellent poetry book entitled “Shit House Rat“, written by Daniel Crocker (a fellow bipolar writer). The poetry in this collection is brutally honest, gritty, and humorous, and even engages some of our favorite characters from Sesame Street in a way that is unique and really outlines the harsh reality of adult life “on the street” .

One poem that especially triggered some thought on my part is one called “A Dream of Siblings”, in which the poet has a dream about his deceased brother being trapped in a sort of hell. Like me, the author no longer believes in a literal hell, at least not of the Christian theological kind, but as the following lines from the poem show, he still struggles to let go of that old belief in a fiery pit of torture:

“Even though I gave up
believing in this shit
years ago, I still wonder

Maybe I never gave up believing

Maybe, once having faith, no one
ever gives up believing

Even if the things we believe in
are horrifying.”

New Art Trading Card Paintings

This first new gouache painting I think looks kind of like souls trying to escape or something:

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This next painting was inspired by the “pizza painting” technique from the book “Drawing Calm” by Susan Evenson:

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Another painting inspired by “Drawing Calm”, an abstract version of their “Little Houses” prompt:

Art by Maranda Russell

And lastly, this painting was inspired by the sea and a collage I saw of paper strips representing the ocean:

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All of these mini paintings are currently up for auction at my Ebay store!

 

Pagan and New Age Books I’m Reading

So full disclosure, I think I’ve become a pagan. I’m still agnostic, I don’t believe firmly in any specific deity, although I do have a belief in a kind of universal energy that exists within all things. I guess you might call it a kind of animism which is typically a pagan belief system. I don’t ascribe to Wicca specifically because it has a few too many rules for my liking, so I am definitely an eclectic pagan. I do occasionally do little nature rituals, but I do what I feel speaks to me, not just following others’ ideas. I do enjoy reading about the various Gods and Goddesses because I believe they are important archetypes of various types of energy, but I don’t necessarily see them as beings actually existing in the physical realm.

So on to the video I’m sharing for today, this is just a brief overview of a few books about pagan and new age spirituality I have been reading recently:

Could Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Be Caused by Toxic Mold?

Hello everyone! So today I’m sharing a book review vlog video I made yesterday. For anyone who has Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, or similar chronic illness, or who has a special interest in those subjects, this book might be something you would want to check out! If you have already read the book, let me know your thoughts!