Mushroom Fest – Art Process

Here’s a sneak peek of how I created the Mushroom Fest illustration.

I started by drawing all of the elements very loosely and quickly using black ink on cold-press watercolor paper. (pictured above)

After all of the ink dried, I went in the next day and started adding color using acrylic paint and gouache paint.(pictured below)

It took several days to complete the final piece which measures 9″ x 12″ inches.
The color choices are mostly invented but the shapes are based on actual mushroom types. I like the technique of starting with a pen and ink base to paint over because it leaves a subtle boldness throughout the piece without looking too overpowering. I would say it creates an edgy but still friendly aesthetic.

Finally, after everything was painted to my satisfaction, I scanned the painting, dropped it into into Photoshop and moved the composition around so everything felt a little more balanced. And Tad Dah! It was done!

Cheers,

Yanuary

High and Low, Tall and Small

You look so high
and I so low
yet we are both tiny
seeking our home
in the sea of it all.

Forest Clams

Forest clam
dense and velvet soft
you cling to the rough edge
of a mighty companion
is it an arrangement of convenience?
Or perhaps, something more?
How did you get up there?
So high
does the rest of your kind know where you are?
Your Orange burns bright amidst this barren way.

Local Ecology

Local ecology observations, 2021 ©yanuarynavarro, watercolor (Dr.Ph.Martin’s) on paper

Crunching leaves
tiny life
sprouting out
of a decaying log
rebirth
in a new form.

A Year in Nashville

It has been one year since I moved to Nashville from the sunshine state of Florida. Since then, a lot of sight seeing has happened. One of my goals for 2019 was to explore this new land and make memories to cherish with my bae. The Tennessee landscape was a drastic change from Florida.

Pictured above: Downtown Nashville in fall & some spring, and parks nearby

In 2010 the Nashville community suffered through a catastrophic flood that left a lot of the city, especially downtown, 50 feet underwater. Can you image? Flash floods are a common (but not too frequent) natural occurrence in Tennessee. It took businesses and residents years to repair the damage.

One of my favorite places to eat in downtown Nashville is Greek Street Food. It is a tiny building packing a lot of flavor. As a food enthusiast everything I have tried there has been made fresh and amazing.

I am grateful to have gotten the opportunity to live in such an interesting city full of diversity, concerts year round, free access to national parks, the cutest houses on hills, amazing food (hot chicken is the best), and friendly folks. Much like most of our cities across the country, the city of Nashville and the Nashville government have a long way to go to keep up with the growing population. The shadow side of Nashville is that the roads are in poor repair, there is litter everywhere, there is a clear economic inequality where dilapidated housing is next to resort style apartments and expensive homes, and homelessness is common through out the city. I hope in the near future more effort is put into making Nashville a great place to live for everyone.

With gratitude, Yanuary

Home

Terrarium Cabin ©yanuarynavarro

I see our little planet as our very own precious floating terrarium.
It’s too easy sometimes to forget how we are indeed floating.

This one is hand-painted using gouache on cold-press watercolor paper.
I can’t remember when it was done so it may have been some years. 2 or more? Time flies especially when making something with our hands. Each mark is a recorded moment in time. Preserved. Saying, “this is how I spent that day” and it was wonderful.

Hard Work Versus Talent

Franklin, TN. sketches of Tennesse ©yanuarynavarro

A lucky few have been gifted with effortless talent for their chosen craft or field. There rest of us have had to work tirelessly for decades and that is perfectly beautiful too.

I have been drawing and making pictures since I discovered that pulling a pencil or paintbrush across a surface was calming and kept me out of trouble as a kid. I simply never stopped.

I was terrible at it, making ugly whole-hearted little paintings. I have grown after years of devoted practice not talent and call myself an artist because I see it as a lifestyle. A commitment to live a creative life which in turn becomes a fuller life full of wonder, play, and intellectual curiosity.

Today, I think I am a confident painter rather than a skillful one. Time spent creating something of our own gives confidence to those of us who need it most regardless of what the final piece looks, sounds, or reads like it is never time wasted. It is time spent learning about all the potential burning inside. Or in the least it keeps us out of trouble by engaging restless energy in all of us.

Tiny Things

Next time I step outside
I will make sure to look down
More this time
To appreciate the tiny things
That come together
to make a mighty site.

Let it Rain

Story Sketches, watercolor & gouache on paper
©yanuarynavarro

Drawing comes easier to me than writing. Yet I love words because they challenge, teach, inspire and trigger. So to work around my own limitations with writing I have been combining drawing with words. Strengthening a weak muscle with a little help from something I already have confidence in due to years of practice.

Our list of limitations are long but maybe they can be embraced and
re-shaped into a new way of doing something we fear. An unexpected new road to walk on.

Story Sketches, watercolor & gouache on paper
©yanuarynavarro

Fairy Book Club

A Fairy Library, 2018, Watercolor & Gouache on Paper ©YanuaryNavarro

Have you ever wondered what sort of mysterious happenings take place in the Florida swamp lands? I wonder all the time because one of the things that makes the state of Florida unique is that due to the weather it is the home to a highly diverse and extensive population of plants and animals. Including book fairies who meet in hollowed-out ancient Cypress trees and fill them with books.