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Hope Springs Eternal

Journal Entry: Thu Apr 26, 2018, 11:33 AM


Spring for me has finally brought some good news, I've found some pain management that is actually working and it's not a temporary pharmaceutical fix like an opiate.  It's been sort of a tsunami of goings-on.  It's nice to feel like I can handle things now without breaking.  We are remodeling the bathroom/bedroom to make it accessible for my new rigid wheelchair.  It's be a massive undertaking and wholly time consuming.  I apologize for that.  It's a hard concept for most people to understand, I've not been able to go into my closet in the last 5 years.  The door frame is too narrow.  Little things like that take a hard toll on the psyche.  I've also finally planted in my empty backyard.  With the new offroad wheelchair tires I can also get out in the backyard for the first time in 5 years.  I was so happy, I cried tears of joy.  Those tires are incredible, next time I go to Flagstaff, I may not have to sit in the car while everyone goes out to take pictures of the trails I can't go out to.  
Sorry, I hope it's not too depressing to talk about but I truly am excited that I can do these things now.  

So May I'll be working on house and have a big trip planned.  After all the dust settles, I'm going to try to get back to painting. I'm exploring options on both oils and watercolors.  I've got to email manufacturers about some things on the idea I have for working in watercolor. I like the idea of not having to toss out mineral spirits and paint, working with a pigment material I made with my own hands (pigments from a company), and a lowered environmental impact that matches my perfumes.  I am particular about the finished result though, so I'll have to see what I can do with the medium.

I do have some plans.  I am eventually doing a giveaway.  An original painting from 2013.  A way of saying thank you to my fellow art admirers who've supported me through the hell of cancer.  If you have a preference on which one, yell out 1 or 2. (Look for that giveaway in June or July maybe.  I'll do lots of announcements, DA, Instagram and Facebook.)  Giveaway will be random draw.
1:Black Painting "Hello World" on Instagram
2:  Where Do Butterflies Sleep? by lavonia



Wonderful Spring image from hitogata  

Pixel Vignette: Girls Day FTW by hitogata  



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  • Playing: FFX
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Happy 2018!

Journal Entry: Tue Jan 2, 2018, 10:24 AM


Here's to 2018, I hope it's the best year yet!  The holidays were busy for me and I did not get too much done, except for a short painting session with my daughter.  We went to the Phoenix Art Museum and saw Frida Kahlo and Monet's work in person.  It's always so inspiring.  

I'm working through some color theory books then some Oil Painting technique books and Leonardo's Notebooks.  

I've been in a major funk artistically, mostly because I'm too physically sick to paint outdoors and just tired alot.  I'd honestly like to see if it's possible to create in spite of my limitations, to become a master colorist based on study and application. I will try.  I am doing better though, but have to spend a lot of time exercising.

Oh yeah and my wheel chair got "monster truck" tires for trekking around trails and the backyard.  Got some stuff to fix and then I can't wait to try them.

Taking on the new year with gusto!
  a Gasmask and a Gun by syosa



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  • Playing: FFX
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Are you Ready for the Holidaze?

Journal Entry: Thu Nov 30, 2017, 1:38 PM


I can't believe the holiday season is here already.  We still need to get up our tree and lights and get ready for the season ourselves.   We are going to need to remodel our bathroom and master bedroom soon so that my wheelchair will fit into our bathroom.  It'll be keeping us busy well into 2018.

I've been working behind the scenes cleaning my studio and spreadsheeting my supplies.  I will be working on some painting stuff soon.  Other than that I workout 2 hours a day and play FFXIV at night (Malboro server).  

Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays! Happy Yule! Happy Hannukah! Happy Kwanza! Happy Festivus! Whatever lights your tree, I hope it's the best one yet.  I love the holdiday season because it's a season joy and unity and remembering your fellow person.

Updated my stamp section.  #Feelsgoodman


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  • Playing: FFX
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Forest and Fable

Journal Entry: Tue Jun 27, 2017, 10:17 AM


Where the hell have I been? It's a good question. A good artist tends to work and work no matter the circumstance, but the truth is nothing was left in me but a husk. I nearly died, I am not dead. Still standing, figuratively, at least.
I've been doing intensive rehab, 2 hour workouts daily. My legs, still weak but stronger than before. I got a new haircut. I am working to get a new custom wheelchair. I've very slowly started to put pieces together and live again.
Bad experiences can make you stronger, but you have to survive them and survival is part luck and luxury and determination. That last thing I have, in spades.

I started a company, Forest and Fable, LLC. It will be art and craft. There's been a lot of back end work on the company that people cannot see just yet. I want to continue to draw and paint and make things for people. I want to make perfume, small batches, just for people to enjoy. I know my aesthetic and I think it works for these things to co-exist in harmony.  I've not officially launched the shop and won't for a while, but it is coming.

Life is good. The support I've had from all of you has been a beacon of light I've followed through the darkest of nights. It moves me deeply and I thank you for it.




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  • Playing: FFX
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Hello Friends

Journal Entry: Mon Mar 27, 2017, 11:07 AM


Hello my friends, it's been quite a while since updating.  Let me focus on the important thing, I am doing better since changing my medication.  I am working hard.  I am focused on trying to get new work out.  I'm definitely only handling half work days now but I am working.  So, that is good.

I've been working on the conversation science behind the wood panels.  I've worked many weeks if not months now on trying to make sure the panel can show the exposed wood grain and hold up over time.  It has been a lot trickier than I expected.  I will be trying Gamblin's Solvent Free Fluid to see if it will better serve for my handicapped lifestyle, being that setting up with solvents is just a waste of my energy.  That energy I want to put into making.   The last issue with painting to address is bracing the panels.  I know Gottsegen recommends it, but for me I want to frame a not to heavy piece and I want to save my energy for art making.  I'm not seeing issues of warping in the sizes I'm using, and I think I'm good.  I am looking at how to evenly distribute the weight of paint and varnish to keep balanced pressure on the piece.   I guess at the end of that, I do have most of the kinks worked out.  So, Bonsai!





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Summer blooms

Journal Entry: Thu Jun 16, 2016, 9:58 AM


Here in Phoenix the weather is now hot!  Phoenix Comicon saw 110 degrees or so.  :flame: I meant to post a weather warning, but living here, you tend to forget.  I tend to avoid going out midday when possible.  Going out in the morning and night, when the weather cools.

Just a heads up, I set up a new laptop.  Wider screen, I love it.  I installed Manga Studio (now Clip Studio).  I've also been updating my reference folders (printing lots o stuff), and it's been time consuming.  Not much time for drawing, so I'd dropped off to get that done.  You have to have working tools.   

I used to work with flexible references, say taking a photo of myself in a certain pose or something.  However, being in a wheelchair sucks and limits that.  So now, I've had to really rethink how I work.  Funny how one change can completely wreck your working habits.  

Summer solstice is coming up, I hope you enjoy the rise of the summer season. Stunning image featured below is hitogata.

Pixel Vignette: Girls Day FTW by hitogata



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Spring

Journal Entry: Wed Apr 20, 2016, 10:43 AM


Wow, April moved quickly. I am back from the dead. (Pixels Via: @ichigo-tan).

Anyway, I've been enjoying loish's new book, it's incredible. I also found another great find, Hansel and Gretel and Other Stories, illustrated by Kay Nielsen. I'll try to post photos when I get it in.  If you haven't heard of Nielsen, he was an illustrator in the Golden Age of Illustration.  Worked for Disney for a while.  His lithographs for In Powder and Crinoline and Twelve Dancing Princesses are godly. Here are some of them: Kay Nielsen Illustrations

I was thinking about life as an INFJ personality, based on the Jungian psychological types. It's the lowest percentage personality, and perhaps phasing out due to our oversensitive neurological instabilities. However, we are amazingly perceptive to people and surroundings and spend far to much time within our own heads. I was reading about how as writers INFJ tend to have trouble making a connection to the outside world. A bit like being in a fishbowl you can't swim out of.

Artistically, I've felt that way for a while, especially with all this cancer crap making expression more difficult. I know I've talked about it some, it's not really an art block as much as a lostness of self. It dawned on me I have to find some connectivity, some way to get outside the bowl to the outside world. How does one get out of a metaphorical fishbowl and become a land breather? With tomes of ancient texts piling all around me, I realize the answer is in the Fairy Tales I loved so much as a child and now. So from now own you will see me doing a lot of work with those.
(Pixels Via: @Nefaire and @angychan)


P.S. Started Bravely Default Second. So far, so good. Happy adventuring all!




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The Shape-Up for March

Journal Entry: Mon Mar 7, 2016, 8:54 AM


Hello friends, just posting a quick update.  I have been working through severe pain issues.  I will be trying some new nerve pain therapies and seeing some new docs in the future.  My bloodwork is good, so the only issue I have is the severe nerve pain in 50 or 60% of my body.  My damage is deep within my spinal cord and over a large area, so many therapies don't work well.  Neurotransmitters are the best defense for this and I've pushed mine hard.  Unfortunately, many creative driven processes are neurotransmitter driven.  I continue to work, but there are days where it becomes really hard for me to focus.

I am making progress on the pain.  Some neurotransmitter boosters are helping. It has been so bad I literally couldn't move. Been in and out of the hospital throughout 2015.  It was looking bad. Now I am moving again. On my bike 20 min a day, trying to strengthen the legs.  I am still in the wheelchair full-time.  I am also cleaning a bit now, cooking, and making art as well.  I am going through the house, trying to organize it.

I am uncomfortable talking about my pain and I don't like having to tell friends that things have been bad. I certainly don't want anyone to feel bad.  I like to make people happy, not sad.  I don't like to dwell, but it's a relevant story.

I have gone through a long period of not making art.  I've continued to look at art and admire it and save swatches and images.  I've just been empty as far as making my own.  It happens.  It's not a lack of inspiration. It was a lack of direction for self, a need to move or change.  So at this point, that's where I am at.  Trying some new things, seeing what I want road I want to travel.  (That's meant a lot of testing techniques that fail, so not as many posts).  Thanks for taking the road with me.



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February Update

Journal Entry: Thu Feb 4, 2016, 11:41 AM


I haven't posted much art. For that, I am sorry. Still dealing with a lot of pain and the intensity of it has forced me off my feet. It took me a couple months to transition to using the wheelchair full time. It has been very time consuming. I am more comfortable now not walking, the pain got to causing blackouts and nausea. It is much easier to exercise with my bike instead, it doesn't cause the same level of pain as standing. I am happy pedaling along. I am rethinking my painting process a bit, something isn't working right. So I've been studying some books from painting masters. I blocked off a couple of boards for studies, so I should be able to do some painting studies soon. Sometimes you just need to prune back some branches to grow.



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Black Friday Sale is On

Journal Entry: Fri Nov 27, 2015, 8:11 AM


Shop sale is now on!  Print sales are limited and will go fast.  10% off Black Friday Sale starts Friday 10 CST and ends Sunday 10 CST.  Just click on the link to go to the shop:

lavonia.bigcartel.com/



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After Thanksgiving Sale and Material FAQ!

Journal Entry: Sat Nov 21, 2015, 7:51 AM


Next week the day after Thanksgiving, I will be running a special Holiday sale Friday November 27 in my shop! Please add me on Facebook for the most up to date information: Lavonia Facebook  
Facebook

I've added a Materials FAQ to my website. Just thought I'd share it: Materials FAQ.

Hope your Holidays are safe and full of wonderful adventures.



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Happy Halloween!

Journal Entry: Fri Oct 16, 2015, 10:03 AM


Just a note: I'm feeling a little better.  I have severe nerve pain in about 50-60% of my body following radiation. Gabapentin (slows the nerve pulse) is better at controlling the pain and pulling less of my dopamine/serotonin reserves.  Which I need for creative endeavors.  I've been a bit more of myself, reading, gaming, painting, and even starting to walk again.

I was really afraid for a while.  I wasn't able to get out of the wheelchair and could barely move.  Afraid I wouldn't get back on my feet again.  Now I'm up 5 times a day. Short walks (120 steps each time) but I'm walking.  

I've been reading a book called the Power of Habit.  I got it because of my interests in human behaviors.  It's not really a self help book, more a look at the scientific reasons why we do what we do.  It's helped me to rework some simple goals, which I did not expect.  I do recommend it.  It's been an unexpected gem. Amazon link: www.amazon.com/Power-Habit-Wha…

I've also been reading about the psychology of color.  I've read different theories on color.  Seasonal color, Zyla color.  I won't go into it, it's interesting, but will cause babbling.  As far as art goes though, I need to reread Color and Light: A Guide for The Realistic Painter. www.amazon.com/gp/product/0740…
It's a color lovers must have book.

I've learned that I love soft texture as much as color.  I want to learn to blend the two seamlessly.  It's where my obsession with color theory, fabrics, nature all come from.

Wishing you all a wonderfully spooky Halloween! Pumpkin Pumpkin Pumpkin 



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MTHFR Mutation

Fri Aug 21, 2015, 11:08 AM
I feel like I'm some strange record stuck in one groove.  I hope this is last time you'll hear me posting some strange medical report crap.  Clot in the lung, blood transfusions, now mutations.  I apparently have a MTHFR: C677T mutation.  I have it from both parents making it quite an issue.  It comes from a folic acid problem. Taking more folic acid and I'm beginning to feel like a human being again...for the first time in a long time.   That is the "cure" by the way. Making sure the body has enough folic.

I'm a human mutant, but a human! :blowkiss:

I've felt lost for a while.  Like Gretel with a path of ill-fated bread crumbs that'd turned to dust or birdseed and been lost in the shiny moonlight.  I'm not sure why.  I feel like being sick stole a part of myself away, maybe I feel the need to steal it back.  A need to express myself outwardly and inwardly.  The outward part is difficult for introverts.  

Enough rambles.  I'll fly out with the wind as quickly as I've flown in.  I hope each and every one of you are doing well.  I am...better.  Still needing time to deal with self issues, still a lot of doctor crap.  Not as much art as I want, but hopefully some...soon.

  • Playing: FFX
  • Eating: Oranges
  • Drinking: Green Tea

A Quick Update

Tue Aug 4, 2015, 4:54 PM
Sorry I've been MIA for a bit. Been in the hospital for a blood transfusion because my blood counts were critically low. I've been supplementing iron since the transfusion and feeling much better now (better than I've felt in a while now).

Been working on pinterest files, seems like I'm doing nothing I know, but building some ideas and color palettes: www.pinterest.com/lavoniamorri…

Still behind working on things around the house, hopefully back to drawing and paintings soon. :heart:

  • Playing: FFX
  • Eating: Oranges
  • Drinking: Green Tea

Just Random Things

Wed Jun 3, 2015, 12:48 PM
Human beings are meant for movement.  We just are.  Motion is a beautiful thing.  It is something I have learned to cherish greatly. 

Pain.  It benched me for a while.  I'd cry when I had to walk.  Sweat from the stress. Pass out if I stood for over a matter of a minute.  75 steps, it's the longest distance I've ever seen.  That's how many steps from my couch to the bathroom.  I tried different things to distract, music, singing to myself, meditating, counting steps when I'd walk.  I did until the burning all over the lower half of my body beat me.  I just couldn't stand it anymore.  My belly is distended from the severe cortisol rise.  I shiver in pain most of the time.  I look frazzled and beaten.   I know what severe stress from pain looks like.  I can see it in the mirror.  

I doubled my medication.  The severe burning is more controlled.  It's never gone completely, but I can think now.  I can smile sometimes.  I can do a short bit on my wheelchair accessible cross trainer.  I am drawing some.  Planning some.  

This has taught me to let go of a lot of things about myself.  It taught me to not care what people think.  When you are in a wheelchair, you get used to getting stared at.  It takes time, but you get used to it.  Sometimes I'd feel like people could see my pain, I'm not sure why.  That's what I didn't want people to see, I could care less about the chair.  I know that seems strange.

I learned to truly love myself, inside and outside.  My body has worked so hard to keep me alive.  Why would I hate something that works so hard for me?  Just because I might have some flabby bits here or there.  Nope, I love it all now.  Each little freckle, all of my scars, each bit of it. I love it and if other people don't or do, I really don't care.

I haven't updated because I haven't known what to say.  It's taken me a while to get my thoughts together.  How do you explain many months absence with "I was doing nothing".  Well, I was surviving.  I am surviving.  I'm ok.

  • Playing: FFX
  • Eating: Oranges
  • Drinking: Green Tea
How to get over an art block!Hey everyone!
I just wanted to share this video I made, Its basically an advice video on how to get over an art block. 
These are some techniques that I use and I think they are really useful when it comes to art blocks!
Video can be viewed here: 


Olivia Rose's How to Get Over an Artblock Video.

___


In other news, I'm doing ok.  My heart is clear, looks great.  No swelling of the ventricles common with pulmonary embolism.  Working to rebuild leg muscles.  Is super painful and running through pain med fast.  Will get there, just have to be consistent.

I am working on some painting stuff behind the scenes.  Will try to get some new posts in soon.  Know I've fallen behind on that.  I'm conspiring to add a good bit of color to new works.

  • Playing: FFX
  • Eating: Oranges
  • Drinking: Green Tea

Useful Painting Guide and Books

Tue Apr 28, 2015, 11:54 AM
This is a nice little online book to Mastering Sunsets:
issuu.com/nzpainter/docs/maste…

It has some information I've not seen in any other books.

I've read numerous books on color and painting.  I'm currently re-reading a couple right now.  I do also highly recommend Color and Light by James Gurney and Creating Exceptional Color with Acrylics by Lexi Sundell.  
The Sundell book has good information that reaches beyond just acrylic use and extends to color theory.  All of these are relatively easy to read and have clear useful concepts.

I know I've been AFK, I am sorry.  A blood clot in the lung is difficult to deal with.  I am starting to feel better, had an echocardiogram last week.  The lab tech said my heartbeat is good and that enlarged ventricle is common with the clots.  So it adds strain on the heart but I seem steady.  My legs got weak throughout the process.  I'm up and down a bit, but need help to get off my new exercise bike (weak hip flexor, quads and hamstrings).  So I can only exercise in the evening when my husband comes in from work.   It'll be a bit slow in the beginning but once I can stand off the bike, I should be able to work out during the day.  

:heart: you all.

-PS.  I've been rethinking my art a bit.  I'm not exactly sure how to explain it, but I haven't been painting much.  I've been looking through paintings and contemplating a bit.  I think recent events have changed me a bit, I'm just trying to figure out how to reflect those changes in my art.

  • Playing: FFX
  • Eating: Oranges
  • Drinking: Green Tea

Pulmonary Embolism

Mon Feb 23, 2015, 12:58 PM
Sorry I won't be posting as many updates.  I am on bedrest, due to pulmonary embolism (several blood clots in the lung, at least one large one).  I think something like 10-15% die immediately with it and there is still some risks from clots breaking loose and going to the brain.  So I'm mobile, but I'm not able to do very much for a while.  The clots break up on there own (most of the time) in a matter of weeks/months, but a blood thinner is used to help with breathing.  

Just wanted to post a short journal and let you all know I'm thinking of you.  When life is unpredictable, I do what I was taught in ballet as a child.  When you start spinning around, you focus on one point while you spin. You keep focusing at that point and keep moving and you hope to end up on your feet.

Love and hugs.
Von

  • Playing: FFX
  • Eating: Oranges
  • Drinking: Green Tea

The Month of Love

Thu Jan 29, 2015, 1:59 PM
Love is lovely.  So is a good pencil and paper, a fluffy or friendly critter, and a good cup of tea or coffee.  Speaking of which, my critter (cat) has learned to knock on the door instead of meowing at it.  Such a weirdo.  

I'm sorry I have not been posting much.  I actually am drawing, just a lot of studies and such and nothing substantial.  I posted some drawings and studies anyway, but not many compared to what I've been doing.  
I've been doing life studies, bodies, animals, objects, etc.  And some colored pencil studies too.  And some thumbnails composing some ideas.

I've been thinking it over.  The new paintings I've been working on, they are like lithographs.  I loved lithography (a printmaking process) but with my physical handicaps, being in a wheelchair and all printmaking is not really an option.  I noticed the new paintings are a lot like the lithograph process.  Draw/seal/ink over.  Instead of the last step I paint instead of using a roller and ink.  
Sometimes you just have to learn to evolve your process for doing things when circumstance changes.  

Drawing is a dopamine related process.  My dopamine has been depleted for a long time (from debilitating pain) and I've been struggling not only to draw but to do basic daily tasks.  With dopamine replacement and better pain control I'm starting to see some progress as far as movement and daily life.  
I don't see a lot about dopamine and I'd eventually like to do an article related to how dopamine influences artistic work processes.  However, now is not that time as I need to focus on painting and keeping on my feet.  Reading up on how levadopa (a dopamine agonist) influences Parkinson's patient creativity is one place to start.  
A healthy diet and movement are important for artists.  It's fuel for the machine.
  
I see paintings on the horizon.  It's time to get started on my new wood.  Maybe prints sometime this year.  

  • Playing: FFX
  • Eating: Oranges
  • Drinking: Green Tea

Wishing you a Happy New Year!

Wed Jan 7, 2015, 12:39 PM
Wishing you all a happy new year!  I hope you have a wonderful and productive New Year.  

Will be posting some new works here and there.  I've started dopamine supplementation as mine was very low.  It's been good for my pain levels and also productivity (since dopamine regulates creativity).  Will post some new stuff for the new year and some Christmas presents too (artbooks) and birthday gifts too since mine was in December.  

Best wishes.  :huggle:

  • Playing: FFX
  • Eating: Oranges
  • Drinking: Green Tea