Author Archives: Steph Palallos

Flashback Friday: Salomé

I used to draw in my journal daily and when I ran out of ideas, I would copy my favorite paintings and make my own version in ink. I believe in owning your mistakes, in making them a part of your work, so I did everything in ink. No pencils allowed.

Here’s my version of Gustav Klimt’s Judith III/Salomé.

This photo resurfaced today. Thanks for the reminder, Universe. I should never make myself feel small ever again.

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Day 4: Cranky

I’m Miss Cranky Pants today, so…

Excuse my bad mood. Hopefully this will soon be over.

Okay, thanks. Bye.

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Day 3: Hit my stride

I had anouther migraine and vertigo attack, so I kept quiet the past couple of days. This is technically day 5, but I’m not going to be finicky. It is what it is and I need to go with the flow. 😊

I got my Canson XL mix media sketchbook this morning. It’s huge!!

I wanted to test drive it right away! The paper is thick, flat, and, again, it’s gigantic. I had no idea what to draw or paint, so I chose my muse, Twister. You can’t go wrong with cats. 🐱

He was begging for merienda… okay, he’s too elegant to beg… He was gently suggesting that I give him an afternoon snack, so I drew and Disney-fied his feed-me-pretty-please face.

And finally…

I have to say, I had a lot of fun making this!!! I want to do more! 😊 Like I said, you can’t go wrong with cats. 🐱

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Day 2: Colors

Colors are overwhelming, but I’m breathing through this. It’s okay. You learn something new today.

Done with Miya / Himi jelly gouache

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Day 1: Blank page

I’m terrified. I stopped creating/ practicing art for about 3 years. I still haven’t talked about it here, about what happened and why I had to go on a voluntary sabbatical from art making, but now I feel the need to go back to it. I know I have to do this because I am slowly withering away. I feel dead inside. I need to find my voice again.

So, I’m starting from scratch. I’m giving myself permission to make a mess and to create bad art. I need to strengthen my sea legs and I know that this would take time, practice, dedication, commitment, and a lot of faith.

I received the Baohong watercolor sketchbook yesterday. I ordered it from Lazada about 5 days ago when it went on sale. It’s academy grade, 300 GSM, cold pressed, acid-free, and 100% cotton. Good specs, but quite affordable, so I’m don’t mind wrecking it. Purrrrfect. 😁

I started with a rough sketch. When was the last time I drew in pencil?? I had a reference from Pinterest, but quickly forgot about it once I started painting. In the picture, the woman’s hair was in a bun, but I wanted her hair untied. Maybe that’s why the proportions are a bit wonky… Go away, Inner Critic.

Anyway, my go-to paint is Windsor & Newton’s watercolor in Payne’s Grey. I love, love, love Payne’s Grey. It was a good medium and color to start with on my Sketchbook Wrecking Journey. I was literally shaking, 1) because I had new coffee beans and, boy, were they strong! And 2) I was terrified. So my brushstrokes were measured and everything felt tight and rigid. But I’ll take this over nothing. I’d rather have a sketchbook full of uruk-hais, gnomes, and blob fish than an untouched, pristine watercolor journal.

This is Day 1.

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Breaking point

A friend sent this to me as a reminder that anything is possible. I’m scared, but I’m ready.

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Quarantine art

So this happened: My orange sweet potatoes started growing “hair,” so I am painting faces on them. Acryl gouache on root crop. 😂😂😂

That was fun! So I wanted to do more. 😁

I got a new set of paints online a couple of weeks ago, but I haven’t had the chance to use it. I’ve seen this all over the Internet, so I ordered it. It’s the Miya/Himi jelly gouache set of 24 colors. It’s the cutest thing! Look at this!

The ever-so-curious Diego Kumquat dunked his nose in the paint! Thank goodness it's non-toxic.

The ever-so-curious Diego Kumquat dunked his nose in the paint! Thank goodness it’s non-toxic.

I haven’t done anything with it yet except make swatches. I’ll label them tomorrow. I prefer natural light when I’m painting.

I’m excited to use them. Yay!!

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Oh, the shortness of life

Oh, the shortness of life. We don’t know how much time we are given to walk this earth. Do we squander it by just existing, by staying safely within the lines or do we take a leap, traverse the line, and know that we can land safely? Life is going to feel eternal if you were unhappy. What say you?

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This was the last thing you sent me last Thursday, Cats. I wasn’t able to thank you because I was already half asleep. You appeared when I was in a dark, desperate place. Your words were, “Hay naku, I was sent to you.” You knew exactly what I was going through because you were in that same dark, desperate place. You made me start to believe in myself again, to have faith in all of my eclectic spiritual inclinations (like you!), to be gentle with myself, and to trust that God or the Universe or the Fates will always make a way for me to come home.

Do you remember our first conversation, when I confided in you? We were talking for a while while we were both preparing dinner and we both said that we should take time to eat first. I asked you to stay with me, not to leave me, and you answered, “I am with you.” And you kept telling me that in every conversation that we had.

You will forever be my guardian angel. You didn’t have visible wings nor a halo before, but now you do. You have left a hole and I find myself grieving again, but I know that you are still with me. I love you, dear friend. God speed. Blessed be.

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