Missing Information

I was adopted 20 years ago.

I was adopted as a closed adoption case. I think with everyone’s journey in life there is a dissatisfaction with the unknown. For me my unknown was my past life. I really do believe I can define it as a past life. Smudged representations of people in my life who I can’t quite remember but I know who they are. Scenarios I recall but not completely…

A Closed Adoption is an adoption process that severe the ties between the adoptive family and the biological family.  In my case, the closed adoption was necessary to keep my brothers and I safe. For that reason any information about my life before being adopted and my biological history has been made legally unavailable to me.

I gained so much from being adopted. I gained my loving parents, my amazing family, my health being rebuilt, my life with my brothers, and a safe happy environment I was able to grow up in.

One thing I didn’t have was parts of my history. I always felt bad for being curious about that aspect of my life because of how fortunate I was. But I always wanted some type of closure that I felt I did not have.

As I grew older my curiosity grew. I remember my mom asking if she should ever hire a private detective to find them ,my biologicals, but the thought of seeing them made me sick to my stomach for various reasons.

For the past two years I have been researching and making art about adoption. During those two years my curiosity reached its peak. I couldn’t help it.

So I started researching. I started with a name search I remembered from the back of an old  picture of myself before my name changed. Through Ancestory.com ( which did little to help) and background checks it took me a year to find my biological “mother”. I cried. I was angry, sad, and in grief. I finally had a face to match the name, and I didn’t know how to feel. It would be another year before I found the name to my biological “father”. I wasn’t interested in meeting them. I don’t believe I ever will be. But with this new found knowledge I was almost consumed to know more. Every bit of information after has been contradictory.  

For this series, I traveled to two of the locations that I have found that matched the time-frame that I had been present in their lives. This information I was able to find through their own individual background checks. I have felt conflicted about everything that I have found. Driving to theses addresses I felt shocked because I thought I would have been traveling further than I thought. Stepping onto the pavement to photograph the locations was like stepping onto a crime scene. I wanted to recreate this conflict and confusion through the process of ripping apart and putting back together these locations.    

Through this series, I have felt that I have accomplished the type of closure I needed. It was almost necessary for me to put myself through this. Healing isn’t a quick recovery. Healing is different for everyone and every situation. I know that there are plenty of people with as different and difficult pasts than myself and I hope that they know they shouldn’t feel ashamed to do what they can to heal so they can also move forward.

“As my sufferings mounted I soon realized that there were two ways in which I could respond to my situation — either to react with bitterness or seek to transform the suffering into a creative force. I decided to follow the latter course.”
Martin Luther King Jr.

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Progression of

The painting I’ve been constructing over the course of the last month or so, has been a journey. The journey being a creative one, individual and personally challenging one. With all that has been going on in my life this painting couldn’t have been more relevant to myself.

This summer has been personal and emotional but its been in the rear view for some time now and has finally caught up. I’ve been having to be strong for myself and fight for a better self image. I know everyone especially women have had to deal with this at some point. My situation has more to do with how I’m dealing with past problems from another “life”. Its hard to look at yourself sometimes knowing what has happened in your past and how it has affected you (everyday) is not a result of yourself. And its even harder knowing your an ever growing person. You are in charge of yourself, your growth, your hurt, and your future. I know I don’t want to spend the rest of my life hating someone I didn’t know. And I know more than anything that every-time I look at myself in the mirror and see what I see every day that I, myself, am not a reflection or constant reminder of what that person has done. Right now I’m having to go through in my early adulthood a discovery of  new information about my past, a removal of said past, and creating myself and future. Going through this has been stress- filled but I’ve had the right people on the sidelines. The reason why I paint, when I paint, mostly nude women in the mountains or the woods etc is to express how natural it is, how unashamed it should be for a women to be/feel vulnerable and to fight, that the strength that follows is transcendent.

“I now see how owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we will ever do.” ~Brene Brown

I hope when you view this painting that you can witness the perseverance

and that maybe it will help you out with what-ever situation is going on in your life.

 

~ Angelica

Below are my progress images the 1st being a watercolor sketch on 4 x 6 watercolor paper and the last being my completed oil over acrylic painting on stretched 22 x 30 canvas.

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This semester for me was very fun. I had only studio courses and the work that I was able to make was just an incredible experience. Below is only a small sample of the work I made this past semester. This summer I have a ton of small projects for myself. I’ll be graduating *finally* this fall so having as many projects over the summer for myself will hopefully keep my energy up for my last semester of my undergraduate career. Anyways, happy summer, I’ll be posting more updates soon 🙂

 

Sorry for the absence. I wanted to share my latest photo series. I hope to continue this series for a very long time.

This was a very hard topic for me to cover because it was so personal but I felt the need to discuss it. I feel art is an extension of one’s being, and to avoid my adoption would be rejecting myself.

Artist Statement

This series is focused on the psychology of children who have been through the foster care system. The psychology associated with adopted children has only been recently discussed. Many children who are adopted or/ are waiting to be adopted have been faced with many conflicts dealing with identity, abandonment, mistrust, PTSD and physical/mental health concerns. There are 423,000 children in the foster care system and only 115,000 children are available for adoption yearly. 29,471 is the number of children who turned 18 and have left the foster care system without a family last year. Children who are adopted still deal with all of the psychological effects as those who are not adopted. As a child who has went through the foster care system I found myself agreeing with all of the articles I read that examine the psychology of the adopted child.  And I found that these issues follow through my life as well as my brothers who were also adopted. A family has always been the main reason for the foster care system but I believe there should be special evaluation of children who have gone through the traumatic experience of being abandoned.

In this series, I found children who were on the waiting list on an agencies website. All of these children are from North Texas or East Texas ranging from different ages and races. I used their images to create subtle abstraction of their form to suggest the damage done through abandonment.

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Finished Painting. Done, and The Vineyard Gallery

So I was able to be a part of the 101 artist show in Dallas, Tx at The Vineyard Gallery.

The whole premise for the show was to have 101 artist with one of their own paintings showing, which would make 101 painting all for the price of 101 dollars. It was really cool to see all of the different pieces and the differences in style opening night! For the show I thought I would create an acrylic piece. This would be my 3rd acrylic piece that I have painted. I spent a lot of time trying to figure the painting out. Acrylic in a lot of ways are different than watercolor and (of course) photography. It took a few days but I finally finished the painting with confidence. I give to you “Oracle Stones”. The painting depicts one of my eyeless ladies, stones surrounding her with an odd tree. I felt like I really wanted to create something magical and metaphysical so therefor the Oracle stones. The stones are actually a real thing people would use to tell the future or to communicate with spirits. The first time I saw oracle stones was in Stardust- a movie about star wanting to get home but gets caught up with a human, a coven of witches, a kings competition and lightening capturing pirates-  the movie was awesome, ok!?  And Michelle Pfeiffer?!? The stones are of course different but I wanted the stones to look more like crystals. Also, I wanted the background to have some weird alien vibe going on. I just think its fun to create otherworldly stuff. But yeah, those were my inspirations behind my painting. I started the painting with a bright yellow background. As you can see in my progress photos there was also another figure. I painted the other figure and almost cried out frustration, so instead of setting the canvas on fire I scrubbed it clean with dish soap and a sponge. Starting over sucks but completely necessary!  I’m really happy with how I can see the yellow background peak in certain places. I think it serves as an interesting contrast.  I’ll be posting a video of the event and an updated picture of my painting. Oracle Stones will be hanging in The Vineyard Gallery until August 20th 🙂

Shark Week: The Conclusion

So, Shark Week is over, done, vanished until next year. BUT that doesn’t mean that awareness for the Finfree movement should stop. I will be sharing more updates on the finfree movement on my blog so don’t worry. To me, I can’t be out there helping. 1st of all I wouldn’t know how other than getting a degree in marine biology and knowing how to scuba dive or become lawyer. But I do know, knowing facts and spreading knowledge will give other people the opportunity to contribute to the cause whether that is donating, buying products that give the proceeds to the organizations or signing the petition to ban finning. I believe it is important to be involved in the world somehow; Make your appearance on this earth worth-while.

I will be making a video either today or tomorrow of a shark speed painting. I’m pretty sure I will be selling the piece having the full sale excluding shipping to go to the organizations fighting for FinFree.  I’m kind of excited. I haven’t made a speed painting video in a while and I’ve never drawn a shark before so this should be interesting. But I can promise it will be awesome!

Anyways, I thought I would share some of my favorite shark movie posters and some that I thought were just funny. You know, as inspiration haha.

Also, again here is the link to sign the petition –  STOP FINNING, and here are some of my earlier shark week post Shark Week: Save The Fins , Shark Week: The More You Know , Shark Week: Youth Relization and Shark Week: Endangered Species .

Sources: https://cbsmancave.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/nazi-sharks-from-space.jpg?w=642, http://www.yellmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/top-10-shark-movies-8.jpg,http://fireballtim.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Sharklock-Fireball_Tim.jpg, http://www.top5ives.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Deep-Blue-Sea.jpg, https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/e/eb/JAWS_Movie_poster.jpg

Shark Week: Endangered Species

So there are 400 species of Sharks across the world! Most of the time the Great White is the shark that gets most of the limelight. But there are also sharks that are endangered as well. Many of these sharks suffer from overfishing and finning. Sharks actually mature at slower rate then most marine animals and only have about 1 or 2 pups at a time. This causes little time to replenish the population giving some species an endangered or vulnerable status. If you want to help stop the harsh practice of finning visit this link STOP FINNING and sign your name. Also, Lush is having an amazing campaign going on right now. The sale of their shark fin soap along with their charity pot will all go to the organizations fighting finning and conserving our oceans. Here’s a list of some of the lovely sharks, some crazy looking, some absolutely cute and some downright scary looking, but unfortunately all vulnerable.

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The Whale Shark :

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Status: Vulnerable

The Great Hammerhead Shark:

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Status: Endangered

The Angel Shark:

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Status: Critically Endangered

The DaggerNose Shark:

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Status: Critically Endangered

The Zebra Shark:

zebra-shark

Status: Vulnerable

The Great White Shark:

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Status: Vulnerable

The Basking Shark:

Basking shark

Status: Vulnerable

Short Fin Mako Shark:

Shortfin Mako Shark (Isurus oxyrinchus). Also known as Mako Shark, Blue Pointer, Mackeral Shark and Snapper Shark. Found in both tropical and temperate seas of the world. Photo taken San Diego, California, USA.

Status: Vulnerable

The Dusky Shark:

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Status: Near Threatened/ Vulnerable

Dumb Gulper Shark:

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Status: Critically Endangered

And Lastly the SpearTooth Shark:

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Status: Endangered

Here are some of my previous post for Shark Week, check them out and get informed 🙂 Shark Week: The More You Know! , Shark Week: Save The Fins! and Shark Week: Youth Realization

Sources: http://stokereport.com/files/userimages/angelShark.jpg, http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/65482000/jpg/_65482836_20922hammerwithbait.jpg, http://static.comicvine.com/uploads/original/11111/111114913/4047034-0242957318-600xN.jpg, http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/-/m/images/animal-guide/fishes/zebra-shark.jpg?bc=white&h=678&mh=738&mw=1312&w=1200&usecustomfunctions=1&cropx=0&cropy=81, http://bushwarriors.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Oceans_wallpapers_473.jpg, http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Observer/Pix/pictures/2013/10/8/1381231381600/Basking-shark-008.jpg, http://www.oceanwideimages.com/images/13876/large/shortfin-mako-shark-43M2661-35.jpg, http://images.nationalgeographic.com/wpf/media-live/photos/000/436/cache/dusky-shark-animal-profile_43612_600x450.jpg, http://41.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m8j498SVjQ1r07kupo1_1280.jpg, http://www.abc.net.au/news/image/1192940-3×2-940×627.jpg

Shark Week: Youth Realization

How old do you have to be to know what is right and what is wrong? Apparently 7 years old. His name is Luke and he is testifying against finning in Toronto. The video was taken in 2011, so its not a very new video but I really believe that it should be not be problem. The boy was 7 YEARS OLD taking a stand and publicly speaking about a practice he found that was truly wrong. He starts off the video with a few words of admiration for the sharks and at the end of the video makes a standing ovation for the finfree movement. Watch as this boy influences and contributes to the finfree movement. Here’s a link to the video, watch with admiration and wonder –7 year old Luke for FinFree and I know Luke would want more people to join the movement so sign the petition to ban finning across the world, you can make a difference – Ban Finning!

Also, here’s some funny pictures of sharks just wanting some affection.

Sources: forum.slowtwitch.comyouonlyliveonce.com.auwww.coolweirdo.comwww.dailymail.co.ukwww.chickensmoothie.comwww.pinterest.comwww.weirdnutdaily.com

A Lil’ Update

I just wanted to update you guys’s about my sketchbooks. I’m giving another week or two before I start selling my Traveler Sketchbooks. I’ve been looking at crystals to pair with them and what not. So not to talk about too much and shroud it with mystery I will give another update sometime this week. Also, I have an art show coming up so I will be posting works in progress and preliminary sketches this week. Hopefully, I can capture the event successfully on my camera despite it being a wine walk…. which I really, really like wine. If you’re in the Dallas area stop by Deep Ellum on the 16th to see some awesome art and sip on some classy wine.

Traveler Sketchbook
Traveler Sketchbook

Shark Week: The More You Know!

1st I want to apologize for not being able to post yesterday, life took hold. So I will be making two post in honor of sharks for shark week today. So be prepared.

So now The More You Know Segment:

  • Sharks can heat their eyes using a special organ next to a muscle in their eye socket, allowing them to continue hunting in frigid waters.
  • Hammerhead sharks are nomadic, travel from Florida coasts to polar regions and adapt to different temperatures through aquatic globetrotting.
  • Most species of shark eat things like fish, crustaceans, mollusks, plankton, krill, marine mammals and other sharks.
  • Sharks mature slowly, and reach reproductive age anywhere from 12 to 15 years.
  • Soon after birth, sharks pups swim away to fend for themselves. They are born with fully-fledged sets of teeth and are able to feed and live on their own.
  • Oceanic whitetip sharks feed on shipwreck survivors. That’s why Jacques Cousteau called them “the most dangerous sharks in the ocean.”
  • Shark skin has two layers; the top layer is made up of dead cells, the bottom layer is made of sensory nerve cells, and blood cells.
  • Can you train a shark? In a Chicago aquarium, some sharks have been trained to recognize sounds and respond to human touch.
  • There are nine known species of walking shark.
  • Sharks respond to a sound known as a “yummy hum”. It’s an infrasonic sound that injured fish make, drawing sharks to an easy meal
  • From 1580 to 2007, there were 64 reported fatal great white shark attacks. Sharks don’t fare as well; millions of them are killed every year

Point of the article is to pretty much say the sharks are pretty effing awesome. So to keep these wonderful creatures in the sea then sign the petition to ban shark finning! 10,000,000 sharks die each year due to this horrible practice, and its estimated that in 10 years the sharks will be near to extinction. I don’t know about you but sharks are absolutely incredible and they deserve a place on this beautiful earth! Here’s the link and sign away! Ban Finning!

Sources: http://www.defenders.org/sharks/basic-facts

http://www.discovery.com/tv-shows/shark-week/shark-facts/top-100-shark-facts/?fact_id=112851large-Great-White-Shark-photo

Themoreyouknow