Posts in My 100 Days of Writing
Day 29

I took a week off from social media and posting on my blog. I just needed time away from the screen. This is what I am looking at right now. Just thinking about this and that, and framing a series of blue morphos in antique frames. More on those, later.

Day 28

I am back! I have been off my game. No, I have just been busy with life stuff. It was Brennan’s birthday on Saturday. It is my husband’s birthday tomorrow. I have been busy planning, preparing, and then cleaning up the messes. It has been fun. But I miss my studio and my old routine.

By the time I get in the studio it is late at night, and I am too tired and busy to write. I miss it, though. So, I will make it a priority this week.

Day 27

Last night I went to the monthly group meeting for the Photosynthesis Project. We are a group of professional artists and writers using photosynthesis as inspiration for our artwork. We meet each month to discus texts, images, and works in progress. In November we will display our artwork in a group exhibition. It is such an inspiring project, and I plan to talk more about it in the coming months.

Please let me know of any inspiring texts you may know that are centered around plants. I am going to set aside some time to read every day—something that has been difficult to do after having babies. I need to immerse myself in some inspiration, so it is time to make time.

Day 26

Well, I made it over the first hump. And I am so proud of myself. Even though I haven’t said much, I said a lot more than I wanted to. Doing a 100 day project that is something that you don’t enjoy doing is HARD. Last time around I found it meditative and comforting. This time around, it is daunting and challenging. But I love it too.

I have such severe anxiety, that it is painful to talk about myself sometimes. I am widely known as the girl who doesn’t talk. Even on social media it is hard. It seems silly, but the anxiety is real. This project is helping me face fear, and also figure out how to articulate things that I have never had the opportunity to speak out loud. This project is helping me get to the next step, which is being a better educator. I am excited.

Thank you all for listening and following along on my journey! #my100daysofwritingsomething

Day 25

I took time off from teaching when I had my children. My son is going to be 3 on Saturday (happy birthday Brennan!). Now, I am thankfully, very, very busy painting, so I don’t plan on going back to teaching until my space is finished and I can teach out of my own studio. My hope is to have a space in two years. I have already found a builder. I just need to get the show on the road!

I do have room for 1 or 2 private students at this time. Please visit my website and fill out the apprenticeship application if you are interested. No prior experience needed. Only dedication and a love for art. (https://alexakarabin.com/apply-for-apprenticeship/)

Day 24

If you haven’t seen my studio in a while, it is because it is a huge mess. I don’t understand these artists’ profiles that are so pristine and perfect. I think they have professional photographers come over after they have cleaned out everything in their studios. It just doesn’t seem real to me. My studio is like a mad-scientists lab. There are things everywhere. No matter how hard I try to stay tidy, in the moment of creation, nothing else matters. Then night comes and I am too tired to clean up, just to make a mess the next day.

My painting studio is tiny. It is less than 10’x10’. It consists of two drafting tables, two work benches, shelves, flat files, and stacks of things. There isn’t a lot of room to move around. I have a larger space in my basement that is dedicated to framing, packaging, and storage. I am saving my money right now to build a large space on my property, so I can take on more students and teach workshops. This will hopefully happen within the next two years.

Artist/makers, do you have any cleaning /organizing tips?

Day 22

(January 31) My husband told me to not talk about the weather anymore, but it’s freaking cold! I have to apologize to the people waiting for packages this week. Mail services is limited because of the temperature. I also haven’t had child care all week, so my communication hasn’t been the best. I hope to catch up when my husband is home this weekend. Thank you for your patience.

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Day 20

Oh my goodness, I have been bad about getting things up on the blog. I have written in my journal every day for the last 22 days. Turns out, my writing is a lot of half-finished paragraphs and random thoughts. All good stuff, but not for blog content. So here I am, talking about nothing, again.

Someone suggested I paint a snail, so here we are! I have always wanted to paint a snail. I don’t know. I read this story to my daughter and there is a snail named Gail. I know they are pests to some, but aren’t they interesting and magical too?

Day 18 and 19

Painting is not just jumping in and painting, and voila!, it is a masterpiece. Any artist will tell you, there is a lot of prep involved in each project before it is made.

I start by finding a subject. I have a collection of specimens, and if I don’t have an actual specimen, I will spend days scouring the internet and looking through my book collection. I also take a lot of photographs for source material. I need to have a good feel for the subject, and I need to be able to visualize what the subject will look like in the painting. This takes research.

I like to say that I am a little like Larry David. I don’t like to write the script down before I start. An important aspect of my process is improvisation. I have to be able to visualize the subject of my painting before I start. But once I start, I respond to the piece with intuition to create the external composition.

Then the fun starts. Painting and adornment with 23k gold leaf. I will do some process videos in the near future and go into more detail about that soon!