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visual artist and writer marisol diaz

i am a self-defined Nuyorican creative (that is a Puerto Rican who is from both the isles of Manhattan, NYC and the Caribbean). I share daily in the joy of education and live in a cute port town in New York, in a 'teensy-weensy' apartment with my two dogs and canary named Valentino. Check out my Etsy shop for purchasable pieces. Please do not reproduce imagery off of this site without explicit credit and no derivatives may be made of my original imagery- Thank You.

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This work by marisol diaz is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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Entries in illustration (15)


VDAY 2015 new material performing TONIGHT! and...

VDAY 2015 Spoken Word Performances

7pm Hajjar Auditorium

Klien Campus Center

The Dwight- Englewood School

Englewood, NJ

$25 @ the door all proceeds go to local Women's Domestic Violence Shelters

Eve Ensler's Spotlight piece read by Mary Heveran SHOW BEGINS AT 7pm!

I am working on new animation/recording of my writing to post here to increase accessibility of my work. In addition, it allows me to explore a diversification of my ideas through different mediums like this GIF of a sketchbook illustration that I made entitled, Free Bird. I also silkscreened this Free Bird design onto a line of clothing with my images on them...click on thumbnail on the left to see larger. My Lilredwolf.com line ...Hope to keep you posted!!! Free Bird Design from my clothing art line -lilredwolf.com

Healing the Creative Heart 

self m.diaz

You all know the term,'spooning', allowing and encouraging your body to curve, mold and encase another's so that they become warm nooks & crannies for each of your limbs. Your forehead fitted into the nape, the smell of the pheromones that intoxicate you. The other's heartbeat lulling you and your responding lips to sleep. Becoming familiar extensions of each other. Having lived together side by side, job-free, breathing the same summer air 24 hours a day for 76 days spooning...well the untethering is brutal. It is reminiscent of a phantom limb that you insist is there, when it is not.

With many of our creative, over-active imaginations who knows how long or if it was ever there to begin with.

You know that bubble gum effect of our hearts and noisy minds; webbed, stretched, fibrous, gummy, sticky residue of emotions pulling off. Especially when you were fooled into believing you were both working to understand this phenomenal bond... Every image, every selfie, every memory has you both smiling cheek to cheek. Pulling off the gum of serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine is by far one of the hardest habit reversals we ever face. Especially the inside voice and thoughts that person was a receptor for, when you have no other confidante.

When you love big and hard you are like, Atlas holding that love, that world, that dream, high up over your head, so high, so high, so high that when your arms can't bear the weight any longer and you bring them down you are shocked to see - your love never came down with you.

Now in Puerto Rico, and probably quite a few other places in the world, we have a saying that you can remove a nail with another nail. Some of us disconnect from lovers in our lives by giving that love away to someone new. In fact some say you can't give romantic love to the new without taking it away from the old. Just look at the premise of the new film, My Old Lady with Maggie Smith and Kevin Kline. Some of us disconnect by substituting one human vessel with another. And if you are alone in struggling with the habit reversal and your partner is not, the chances are that your partner has moved on by doing just that. Especially if they have verbalized the desire to be with others to you often or have even admitted as much.

These toxic heart things would be difficult for anyone no matter how tempered and resilient. Now fast-forward to the world becoming too big, too alienated, too spiritual-less, too screen-addicted, too lonely. Fear, fear of world crisis, fear of being female, fear of being alone, growing old, fear of living. Anxiety cases growing astronomically globally and more of us experiencing panic attacks than ever before. What do you do?

As creatives this is especially difficult. No need for an art history lesson and the revelations between creativity, love and madness.

You'll hear so many suggestions. 'Love yourself', 'Find yourself' as though feeling like you won't survive this love means you don't love yourself. Of course you love yourself, if you didn't how else could you have come to love truer with as much forgiveness, dedication, loyalty, ferocity, and faith-driven persistence not letting go too easy. Those who love themselves are the one's working to hold it together, forgiving lies- once, twice, being made a fool and holding love up over their heads.

Don't misunderstand me, there are definitely many of us who do not love themselves. In fact, I would venture to say they are often the one's 'at war with love' stringing us along, vacillating, not sure of what they want, using you here, not wanting you there, being inconsiderate of you and what you do, breaking hearts like irresponsible bulls in china shops. They are the ones who need to be told to go find themselves, love themselves, and learn to be whole and present before trying to make a life with someone.

So what do you do? You'll close up, clam up, sleep, cry, cry while you sleep, walk lots of walks, cry while you walk, and lock yourself up. When it feels like weeks have gone by and you are still in a state of raw pain you'll hear the words 'meds' and imagine the hospital gown and the cold flush of a tranquilizer shot soothing you into slumber. And for some this may be the way, especially when anti-depressant prescriptions are so readily dispersed. But for me the question was how to heal without intervention.

That has become my determination.

sketchbook page soul-gutted by m.diaz

And I would like to share this journey with other creatives hurting - so no one has to feel as alone and misunderstood as I have, even while you know the one true thing you loved has left you, staged your reality, and is giving all the beauty you bestowed upon their brow away to another.

First I would like to start with sharing tactics that have been helping me in my next few blog posts, things like how to write, draw, paint when you have no drive. How to use routines and healthy habits to create and maintain habit reversal. That doesn't mean I'm no longer waking up at 3, 4 or 5 am with heart racing realizing in hyper-speed that my life as I knew it and my dreams have been radically altered. I am still in mourning of the living- but the process has picked up momentum, and I have slowly reclaimed my mind and find myself laughing more than crying, or have less and less moments in which I am pestered and plagued by fixated thoughts & replays of betrayals.

And as you look at the sketchbook page above, I'd like to offer a different way of seeing it- as opposed to soul-gutted.

You see being able to truly LOVE couldn't possibly be pain free. And that is not necessarily a bad thing.

Buddhism, 5th century brain science, has the Buddha enduring suffering and it was that very poison turned to medicine the brought him to enlightenment. Now I KNOW THAT IS EASIER SAID THAN DONE and the how as I learn it is what I want to share.

As a young Buddhist recently articulated, it weren't for cellular muscles ripping/tearing when you work out we wouldn't grow stronger- the 'tear' of a muscle the two major ways are that contractile proteins (actin & myosin) are damaged which is ESSENTIAL part of synthesis for making the muscle mass grow. And for those of us creatives especially the sculptors, you know the often powerful result of putting a material through stress like hammering heated metal into form to forge a beautiful sword. Perhaps my sketch is recognizing the essential pain of being CAPABLE of loving empathically and truly.

So for too long I have been seeing myself as the rumi quote -

'The friend comes into my body Looking for the center, unable to find it, Draws a blade and strikes anywhere'
This is me perceiving myself as wounded and scarred by someone I trusted. Though that may actually be - it has also given way to scarification that has made me tougher, clearer, stronger, and in awe of what I am capable of resurrecting from. Many who misunderstand Buddhism believe that it encourages no earthly attachments. It's not the case we will have desire and we will have attachments - it is the ability to affect the mind so as not to be GUTTED by the suffering of those attachments that leads to enlightenment and the suffering is essential to obtaining the transcendence.

Instead I want to share this quote:

Quote from The Heart of the Lotus Sutra by Daisaku Ikeda

Starting Over. Again. Dog fight

So it has been a year since I turned to the companionship of my blog. I have now joined the ranks of all of us who have learned about mourning a living person and the pain of traveling somewhere alongside someone that you shared so much with, just to have to walk back alone... the infamous break up...It has been a brutally painful road back, learning that intimacy and your authenticity does not guarantee someone else's or that your best friend is actually a stranger who is a phenomenal actor, able to substitute you, forget and abandon you instantaneously. It has been fascinating to see the time, energy and money some people are able to invest in inculcating themselves into your daily life and home just to cut you off and disappear.

How is it we can fall so in love, so completely give everything, so deeply, with someone who tells you, 'never let go - hold on tight with all your might' and then mocks you for not letting go when they change their mind? How is it everyday so many of us fall madly in love with fiction? That is art - ART...lies.

I have needed to accept my responsibility in giving so much loyalty and attachment to one person. Trusting, believing- in and falling for the same pain twice...leaving myself with absolutely no one in my daily circle. No one. Learning to be alone, replaying moments of betrayal until there is no more to extricate. Not to mention dealing with the social isolation of even this 21st century tech addicted group of which I and so many friends are a part of.

The most essential thing that I can do is to return to myself- no matter how old I'm getting, find my way back to 'my' own dreams that I had replaced with the ever present 'us' and 'ours' and continue to pursue happiness. Force that illusive sleep, stop the invisible missing from dominating and see the visible present, eat fruit, nuts and smile. That last one - put on a smile- post the pics, get the FB likes and try desperately to trick my brain into feeling not so alone, not so sad. Brain science says we can make new neurons and change our brain patterns so maybe there's something to faking a smile!

My most recent work in progress, Dog Fight. Enjoy.

Dog Fight Work in Progress by M.Diaz

New Paintings, Tonalli Exhibit - Fire 

Sam Andaran (Fire Within in Persian) Axolotl by M. Diaz 22x30 Ink Painting and Mixed Media Sam Andaran/Fire Within Detail by M. Diaz Detail shot of an Axolotl by M.Diaz me with Tonalli @ Anne Arundel Community College

New Art, Tonalli Exhibit, Water Painting 

El Pez Por Su Propia Boca Muere/ The Fish by its own Mouth Dies 22x30 by M. Diaz El Pez detail 22x30 Mixed Media Ink painting by M.Diaz el Pez detail by M.Diaz Me with 'El Pez Por Su Propia Boca Muere'

This was one of the first pieces I developed for the Tonalli Exhibit in Arnold Maryland his month, though it's the third piece I'm revealing here. It is entitled, El Pez Por Su Propia Boca Muere which translates to the fish by its very own mouth dies. It has three-dimensional pieces on it and is encased in a coating of resin, hard to photograph due to the gloss.

It's funny how I found the pieces which are 22x30 so large when working on them, but it appears so much smaller on the gallery wall- all the white wall space just eats it up.

Obviously this is the water piece in the Earth, Air,Water and Fire series. I know some of my students are seriously freaked out about the hook in the mouth, though I'm sorry for that, I still feel it's one of my strongest pieces when it comes to wordlessly communicating my emotions and my inability to be understood.


Inspiration, Repetition, Meditation and Illustration

Thank you to everyone who supported the launch and debut of the Little Red Wolf line this past week...all you fans will be getting much more info and I know many are anticipating the internet reveal which I am preparing as I write this post for the new 2012 year! Both my hand illustrated pillows sold to wonderful homes :)

Earlier this week while working in a frenzy on my new artistically altered clothing line one of my students shared this amazing video (below) by Miguel Endara with me. As an artist the documentation, content and stipple technique is worth the watch alone, but as an educator - the artist's answering of questions and sharing of information is as much gold as the video - so I have included them here as well all the questions and answers after the video are his.
Over all this stuff is inspirational, revealing of the time and energy that could be invested into creating a single portrait and...its a pretty good inadvertent ad campaign for micron pens as well...lol!

So while I'm on my self-love retreat this week and getting ready to debut my Little Red Wolf Artistically Altered clothing line to the world wide web for the new year... enjoy this post!

OH AND BTW!!! I have been receiving wonderful suggestions for my soul-gutted doll's name. I will be making a decision by the end of this week and giving the person whose name for the doll that I choose, a signed picture of the doll!! So someone will receive a holiday gift and YOU STILL have time to submit name ideas (just click on post a comment on the name that doll.

Hero from Miguel Endara on Vimeo.

The making of "Hero," a drawing of my dad composed entirely out of 3.2 million ink dots.

Music by Bonobo - Noctuary
Created, Filmed, Produced and Edited by Miguel Endara

I am so overwhelmed! I can't begin to thank you enough for the wonderful comments you all have given me in the past 4 days. I truly did not anticipate such a tremendous volume of traffic, but I am pleased to see that there is a new and rapidly growing interest in the art technique known as stippling. There are many other stippling artists out there who deserve just as much recognition as I do, if not more, so please please continue to investigate this unique form of pen and ink art.

How did you count all the dots?
The number of dots is an approximation, not an exact number. But it's a very very close approximation. I filmed myself in just about every section of my drawing and got an average of 4.25 dots per second. That translated into 3,213,000 dots if you multiplied that by 210 hours, which is what I logged in for the entire drawing. Because I know it can't be exactly accurate, and because I think I might be off just a few thousand dots or so, I rounded it off to an even 3.2 million.

How long did this take?
I logged in exactly 210 hours of just stippling, but it took nearly one full year to complete from start to finish.

How many pens did you use?
Just one! I had many pens as backup, but I never had to use any of them. Go Sakura!

So, is this a Sakura Pigma Micron advertisement?
Absolutely not. They were not a part of the production of this video in any way.

What camera and software did you use?
All shots were done using the Canon EOS Rebel T1i (18-55 mm standard lens), and edited/rendered in After Effects CS4.

What equipment did you use for those panning shots and time-lapses?
I built all of my camera sliders and tracks using pvc pipes and rubber wheels that can be found in any local home improvement store. If you'd like to see how I built them, send me a message and I can send over some pictures of what they look like.

Is this piece for sale?
The original for "Hero" is currently not for sale, but the limited edition prints will be very soon. You can find out more information on this link: http://miguelendara.com/prints

Do you have more artwork?
Yes. But not too many. Because stippling is an extremely time-expensive process, I do not have a large collection of art pieces. More can be seen on my site at www.miguelendara.com.

Thank you all for the continued support!


The Witching Hour is Near...

sketchbook scan by marisol diaz

Working with Decals

So since I've become part of the Bliss Women's Co-operative I'be been exploring ways to make my artwork more accessible. The latest technique I've tried are decals and I rather enjoyed the process which was simple and direct enough. I'll be making some for my Etsy shop soon as I revamp all my inventory. Here are some the results:

two large decal plates with my illustrations All the plates I applied decals of my work onto....

Come to Bliss! This Friday!

So I have had to say farewell for now to my beloved Puerto Rico and I am back on home turf getting ready to participate in the new Womens Co-op venue in Sugar Loaf New York BLISS! Regardless of coming home with a wicked flu, I'll have some new pieces in the Bliss shop along with some other phenomenal women artisans. SO COME ON OVER to Sugar Loaf New York the cutest of all arts & crafts communities on FRIDAY from 5-7pm to celebrate the GRAND OPENING of BLISS!

1371 Kings Highway Romers Alley #4b Sugar Loaf, NY 10981

So here is another sneak peek of a new piece in process for the Bliss gallery/boutique that I was working on in PUERTO RICO!

Mi Tigre in process- Ink on distressed paper - by marisol diaz


New Ink Illustrations 

I have a new space I'll be putting some work up in Sugar Loaf, New York soon - I'll be writing all about it here and letting you know the wheres and whens, but for now I thought I'd share the results of some new illustrations with you. Stay tuned since there are more this pieces Ill be posting this week..hope you like them...

new work in progress by m.diaz My Consumtion 2 kremer ink illustration WORK IN PROGRESS by m.diaz fox detail by m.diaz fox girl 2 detail by m.diaz