Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Confessions of an Art Supply Hoarder - part 1 The Origin

Passion comes in tins! Yes wonderful tins of colored pencils.  I truly believe that aside from crayons, color pencils are every artist's first medium and first encounter with art.  It is how we first start coloring an imaginary world.  The smell of color pencils always take me back to my childhood. It is in a way  "art's time machine".

Pencils are indeed magical, from their manufacturing process into the hand that uses them. Nobody forgets a first love and to this date I am obsessed with my pencils.

Everyone knows how to handle them, no one is intimidated by pencils. The wood shavings, the sharpener. There is magic to coloring.  And it is no surprise Adult Coloring Books have surfaced everywhere.

My first encounter with colored pencils happened in kindergarten, back to my days living in Rio De Janeiro.  The brand that was widely available was Faber Castell and little did I know these high quality pencils spoke German!  I remember my school version of Fabers contained only 12 pencils and they came in paper boxes. Later I moved on to a bigger box, equally wonderful.  With these school grade pencils I began my adventure into the art world and Kiki, the illustrator was born.

In my pre-teens I discovered Watercolor Caran D'Ache pencils.  They came from Switzerland and were not available in Brazil.  It was a dream set and I began experimenting with them borrowing from a friend.

The vibrancy of the color, the richness of the pigment, Caran D'Ache was like no other pencil I had ever used.  It took me about 2 years to save up money to buy my very own first set of Caran C'Ache's Supracolor I!  I remember with excitement when I found them at a Duty Free Shop during a trip. The tin featured a photograph from the Swiss Alps and it was so formidable in every possible way.  With this set, I created my first original illustration, my first paid art and the first characters of my Children's books stories.  I don't even know where I would be artistically if not for my Carans!  This first set was so important in my life that I still have it! It sits with honor in my studio and when I have something really special going on, I feature them! It brings emotion to my pieces and occasionally a tear drop.

On a future posting I will talk about the variations among color pencils. How they are made and the result they produce! It is just too much information for one single Posting. I leave you now with Wikipedia's technical definition for Colored Pencils. Caran D'Ache, I now dream of your Pablos!

Kiki Hamann

Colored pencil

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

a variety of colored pencils.
colored pencilcoloured pencil (see spelling differences) or pencil crayon is an art medium constructed of a narrow, pigmented core encased in a wooden cylindrical case. Unlike graphite and charcoal pencils, colored pencils’ cores are wax- or oil-based and contain varying proportions of pigments, additives, and binding agents.[1] Water-soluble (watercolor) pencils and pastel pencils are also manufactured as well as colored leads for mechanical pencils.
Colored pencils vary greatly in terms of quality and usability; concentration of pigments in the core, lightfastness of the pigments, durability of the colored pencil, and softness of the lead are some indicators of a brand’s quality and, consequently, its market price. There is no general quality difference between wax/oil-based and water-soluble colored pencils, although some manufacturers rate their water-soluble pencils as less lightfast than their similar wax/oil-based pencils. Rising popularity of colored pencils as an art medium sparked the beginning of the Colored Pencil Society of America (CPSA). According to its website, “[CPSA] was founded in 1990 as a nonprofit organization dedicated to artists over 18 years of age working with colored pencil”.[2] The CPSA not only promotes colored pencil art as fine art, but also strives to set lightfastness standards for colored pencil manufacturers.[3] Other countries such as United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Australia and Mexico – among many others – have formed their own organizations and societies for colored pencil artists.[4][5][6] In Canada, colored pencils are known as pencil crayons. Colored pencils are commonly stored in pencil cases to prevent damage.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Dog Painting Days! A little about my art.

I normally don't post too much about my art.  And not because I don't like to show it off. Have you ever heard of an artist who does not like an audience?

Speaking with sincerity it has to do with the multiplicity of the art I produce. There is Kiki the contemporary Artist working with acrylics. There is Kiki, the Pop Surrealist Big Eye Artist working with oils, Kiki, the Illustrator, working with watercolors and pencils.   They all live together in the Studio inside my mind.  No, they never get lost. And yes, I refuse to specialize in just one medium.

I will post more art in the near future. This posting is to advertise that for a while I will be open for Dog Portraits once again.

Thank you for reading me!

From your picture into my canvas .

Contemporary yet representative! I don't do these year around as I am often busy working other commissions and illustrations. So when I do do them, I set aside a block of time so I can totally connect with my heart full time. There is no Kiki without dogs. Dogs are my life.

 I work on dog portraits from a picture.  The quality of the picture is really important to allow me to see details. Clear pictures from your phone are great, no need for professional photo shoots.  Please remember that the final painting will be a representation of your dog and its energy, not a realistic painting.

I Believe for those there is photography, a much better medium!

Chose a great head picture and private message them to me, or send me a few and I will help you choosing.  I work in all sizes for these, from 16 x 20 into wall size paintings and murals.

So here are a few thoughts about how I see art.
Art needs to have a decorative feel, however it does not need to match the decor. In fact, art is like having a person at home, with all its complexity and personality. So the same way you don't dress to match the couch, art does not have to color coordinate with the interior.

Same thing about framing, go for what accentuates the piece!  Think of framing kind of like the hair around your face. The purpose of it is to bring attention to the art, to give it value.  The same way you pick your hairstyle, pick your frame to your taste. Some people like contemporary framing. I myself like vintage rustic ornate framing and I will use them in my contemporary settings. They find just their perfect spot.

Art is forever.  and so are the memories of deciding to bring baby to life on canvas.

Thank you for liking my page and visiting my art!

Kiki Hamann

Monday, January 2, 2017

Introducing my inner voice: SuperCutie

Copyright Kiki Hamann all rights reserved
SuperCutie lives in my Sketchbook every now and then she comes out to speak her mind off! Her sayings are motivational and uplifting and at times just a great laugh! She is my voice! She is  my personal light!

Copyright Kiki Hamann all rights reserved

SuperCutie was born in 2016! She was born to self motivate and clear my mind from dealing with my health issues. She kept me going and in doing so, kept you going too! It was with joy that I learned that she has placed a daily smile on your face. She became the star of my year, a super little Life Coach and the theme for my 2017 Calendar! Give her a like, she came out of the sketchbook to make life a dash better!

Copyright Kiki Hamann all rights reserved

SuperCutie and I are doing great things together. Stay tuned and let her lift your spirit!  Motivation thoughts in small doses!

Kiki Hamann

Saturday, December 31, 2016

A Brazilian New Years Eve

This citizen of the world is Brazilian today. Yes this is the one day of the entire year that I get up a true Carioca as I get ready for the new year's festivities.  Have you ever wondered where Brazilian beauty, creativity and relaxed life disposition comes from? Wonder no more, it all happens on New Year's Eve and Yes if you are willing to do the work, it will happen for you too.  Grab your Mega Nespresso, actually, make it like three of four as you will need the extra caffeine just to get through today.  

Brazilians believe in all superstitions, ours, imported, fabricated, suggested, you name it! Superstitions are kind of like "The Law of Attraction" done the Brazilian way. It is programming the universe so it conspires in your favor.  Holy Moses, we are talking serious stuff here.  And yes, in case you are wondering I believe in ALL of them. When the rest of the world is worried about resolutions, we take a more practical direct approach! We engage in traditional superstitions and let providence take its course.

So December 31 begins with plenty of decision making and considerations.  And the day begins with underwear planning.  Yes, we Brazilians take our underwear very seriously. The right color underwear can change the course of your new year. Please don't shake your head.  It is really this powerful.  The underwear you will be using at midnight will reflect your wishes and God's grants for the year to come.  So here we go, leave everything you are doing now and go lingerie shopping. It must be new, This is how it goes! Wear yellow for prosperity, brown for stability, red for passion, pink for love, nude for calm (hmm, there is nothing really calm about being nude, so the color nude folks!) magenta for romance, purple for spirituality, blue for harmony, green for hope and for health, silver for innovation, gold for luxury, white for peace and purification. Okay, so you may need to layer a  few like I have done before. 

Now that underwear is decided we must understand the year's energy. We believe every year is ruled by an entity (Orixa)  from the Brazilian tribal african roots. These orixas have personalities and govern different aspects of life.   2017 will be ruled by Oxossi, the hunter.  Oxossi is the Orixa of prosperity, knowledge, discipline and science. Significant  innovations are known for happening in the years he rules. This year, Oxossi will not rule alone, apparently and specially in the second half of the year, Oxossi will have Oxum, orixa of love keeping him company and watching over us mortals.  It sound like is is truly going to be an amazing year!  Great advances will take place and we will be blessed with love!  I love a year that begins this optimistic!

And because we believe in traditions that are not ours as well, we take note that according to the Chinese, this will be the year of the Fire Rooster!  
Rooster will grant us a year of imagination, intense social life and lots of happenings. It is a social influence. Fire Rooster brings a fearless energy and will help you to take decisions you have been postponing.  

Let's talk food for minute here.  A few goodies must be included on today's menu.  Eat lentils for prosperity (I bet you knew this one) as well as dried fruits for sweetness.  Eat a pomegranate and save three pits in your wallet. They represent the three wise kings and will grant you gifts in the year to come (exchange your kings every year, old kings don't grant prosperity).  You must not eat poultry as birds tend to walk backwards, instead opt for food that moves forward such as pork and fish.  

If you have access to the beaches and the temperature allows, jump 7 waves for Orixa Iemanja.  Each wave for each day of the week!  You may also take gifts for her, such as flowers, perfume, candles and soap (she is apparently very vain). Brazilians believes that along with the gifts she will take all your troubles to the bottom of the ocean with her.  She comes out this day to clean and bless.

Brazilians wear white during the Year's passage for Peace and harmony.   Being in Rio and not wearing white tonight would be like wearing a neon sign on your forehead that reads GRINGO! We also stand on our right foot during midnight, we toast with champagne and we party like there won't be a tomorrow.  We believe that how you spend midnight will mimic what the rest of the year will be like.  So spend it in happiness and please stay awake.  It is not good to spend midnight sleeping, nor even for babies We wake up everyone.

Dress in white, pick your lingerie like a Brazilian, laugh, eat, play, respect, hug, toast, hope and engage in making 2017 a fantastic year.  

New Year's in Rio

Kiki Hamann

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Olive Oyl, the idol

Here I am aboard my very own sailboat ready to become a full time sailor, full time artist and full time full of myself as it is never too late to self invent, self improve and self make a fool of one's self! I am on my way into becoming the new Columba and find the new unexplored of my own universe. Sailing has become an analogy to my own life! And so, let life happen in all its glory and surprises.  Sorry to break the news but no one can write life better than God!

It was love at first sight, Ocean and me!  I was born coastal, foot on the sand, sunsets by the beach type of girl.  I actually think sand was my first solid meal! I learned how to swim in the ocean and my initial aquatic movements were more like an episode of Goofy in the Olympics than of Esther Williams queen of aquatic grace. Eventually I got it!  At one point in time, I decided that I was ready to become nautical! And this way, Pippin, the delicious 36' sailboat, materialized into our lives. Genie in a bottle brought it to me! It happened the day of my birthday! And how generous life had become! I had also fallen for the right captain!  Me, my man, my  boat! 

Our first sail trip on Pippin was unforgettable. I remember going  shopping for the basics: caviar, fois gras pate, kalamatas, a bottle of champagne and the ultimate swimming suit.  Oh yes, I looked better in this one piece of blackness than Lara Croft ever did in her wet suit!  Sorry Angie, I did! And so we set sails for the first time together!

No words can describe the emotion of being on crystal turquoise waters without clocks, time, routine. This was never experienced freedom and I was not even sure how to deal with it.  Not a myth, freedom exists! And to us it translated into watching the sun fall into the ocean and the moon rise ever so majestic from it! Electrifying! That very first night we ate our caviar, drank our bubbles celebrating the seas we were still to discover. Life is blue.

On our second day at sea I get up a little crooked.  To sleep aboard a sailboat is an exact science - somewhat like falling asleep over a hammock with a kid rocking you non stop. You end up not remembering whether you fell asleep or passed out. Anyway I get up ready to diva myself into my swimming suit and make an entrance that would be noticed! An entrance has to cause emotions and I was ready to cause!  First I went to our bathroom (Yes, Pippin has one) with my personal Beauty kit - The new Gilette 3 Blades Venus Shaver, the  hairbrush and a tangerine lip gloss. I look at the mirror and I scream in horror.  My hair, my hair, completely freezy from salt water and I look like a character from the 70's.  The ocean woke up in a bad mood and the boat is really rocking. I finally manage to tie my hair into a ponytail and begin shaving my legs. If you have watched any episode of Fear Factor I will tell you, not once have I seen such bravery!  The bathroom is as small as those found in airplanes.  I hold my breath, place on knee against the wall and the foot into the sink and pray for my life and for the dignity of being a hair free mermaid. Mission accomplished. 

At this point I realize I might have starved my captain.  I had taken hours to look natural on the boat! Natural look is really time consuming!

So into the kitchen I go and I prepare more realistic boat food: tuna sandwiches! I am now celebrating my newly found motor coordination, the one I had left back in my childhood 300 years ago.

We sailed around the Marina, me muse, him happy.  Me topless, him captain. Us free.  I enjoy this time together before I lose myself in my own thoughts.  From ocean thinking I realize I have a new life idol.  Olive Oyl - hair always neat combed into freeze proof updo buns! Long black skirt that not only slims but covers up possible unshaven legs! Mosquito proof red sleeved blouse that will match the sunburn. AND the love of two big guys!  Smarter than me she trained Popeye to eat spinach from a CAN! She can everything!  Olive Oyl, your anorexia is elegant and your wisdom is priceless.  For everything else there is Mastercard.

A salty kiss to everyone reading me!

Kiki Hamann