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About Traditional Art / Professional Official Beta Tester MoiraFemale/United States Group :iconcognitive-evolution: Cognitive-Evolution
Shed Commonality, Expand Reality
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Lisbon 02 by JACAC

This is such a dreamy image. The contrast between the solid stone beneath the two main subjects and the bliss of the atmosphere makes m...

Lisbon 16 by JACAC

There's something incredibly moving about this image. It's lighthearted and heavy at the same time -- the tourists are notably exhauste...

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The Self by Mivala
The Self
"The Self"
18"x24" mixed media pastels (colored pencil, charcoal, acrylics, etc.), left hand.

Maybe I'm exhausted from speaking my mind ... a little more than usual.  
An update from the other day regarding my physical struggle:
"hypermobile joints = why healing feels like an impossible task. The years of working with tools and paintbrushes, pencils, etc. catered to my tendency to rest my joints outside where they naturally should be. So now I have to work on not only getting ..... a million times stronger (exaggeration, maybe ... but think in terms of a normal-person-to-Olympic-athlete learning curve, haha), but also at changing the way I actually move and utilize the world around me before I can think to paint again. Kind of interesting. Also kind of a relief to find that this was going to happen eventually and that the crazy painting task I took on back in November wasn't 100% to blame. I'm predisposed!!"

And as far as the metaphorical ... the mental ... emotional ... the "real" struggle of living that's ironically less tangible than that which plagues the body .....
Maybe I'm exhausted from speaking my mind ... a little more than usual (with no paint involved, haha).  I started this piece a few weeks ago in some state of anxiety.  I'd say that's part of being an artist, but I'm realizing more and more lately that the strongest, most vulnerable feelings are much more universal than we like to admit.  Of course, we might cope different, but I don't know that we learn all that much from situations when we try to claim feelings as uniquely our own.  As a result, I've been very cautious about doing that. Ahhhggg, the "self" ... it's an interesting thing.  So many people could benefit from realizing the pieces that constitute themselves ... as well as the balance of parts and the relationship between pieces of self and the world they exist in. (a question I came across in reading: are we a part of a greater whole or is the whole a part of/within us?)  

I've spent time watching Lauryn Hill's MTV concert ... it's a little more than a few years old but still so relevant ... she and Kahlil Gibran are two people whose messages resonate so deeeeeeeply....

Interlude 3:
Interlude 5:

The discussion of self has a tendency to segue into a discussion of reality and "freedom" when I think about it.... and those have been other themes/patterns/blahblah as of late. And the subsequent thought pattern dances around concepts like "unity" ... and how much freedom is in unification ... unification as we know it ... and I feel like we've been misled, to some extent.  We're so fearful of diversification ... difference... but in reality, when we unite, it's always against something else or guided by something more institutional.  As a result, we become collectively vulnerable -- and it's the type of vulnerability which serves little to no purpose except to instigate harm.. a sort of artificial harm ... .  
In a sense, we let the wrong people and institutions dictate what we perceive as a "significant" difference.  We forget the part of our "self" that is free.  

(side note: I just paused to rest my hands and opened to a page in a book on Taoism that I had never read... it was sitting on a shelf next to me... the page I turned to was in reference to choice and self. Definitely not rocket science...! ;P  But it's information that we so easily get conditioned to forget.)

THAT BEING SAID, I've discovered a passion for Macroeconomics (of all things) this past few months.  We can read and discuss all the philosophy we want .... but in not understanding the structure of the world and the systems in place, we just end up spinning in circles. Explorations of possibility are ineffective if they're never applied, in some way, to reality.  

And back to Tupac:
I didn't know Tupac Shakur.  I have moral qualms every time I create a piece of work that depicts somebody I never knew or never came in contact with.  (When is a portrait just a picture of a face ....? how do we avoid idolization?)   However, the content of his messages was inspiring and fall in line with the Lauryn Hill's, the Kahlil Gibran's, ... the people of the world.  On top of being able to communicate his philosophy, he actively applied it with his understanding of institutions and systems. He was a developing and momentary attestation to possibility ... to alternatives and to freedom.

I wrote a lot during my first Tupac phase, if you're interested in reading more:
And Their Hearts by Mivala 

Distance ... forever a theme in my work .... 

I felt like scribbling.   



Journal Entry: Thu Jun 11, 2015, 10:35 AM
Hey hey, virtual friends and followers who remain!

I can't really type all that much anymore. It's been about 7 months of difficulty with my right thumb, arm, wrist .... now shoulders .... painting doesn't seem to be in my future, but it's been long enough now that I've come to terms with that. It's painful to I'm discovering new ways to be creative, though.

This might be my last update for awhile.  I do have left hand pastels to share soon, but my lengthy descriptions might be a little limited.

soooooooooooooooooooooooooo many comments....
I want to respond but I physically can't .... but I so appreciate your responses as well as the sense of normalcy/familiarity they provide, haha

In the mountains of things I want to say, that's all I can for now.

Ciao for now! <3

  • Mood: Pain
  • Listening to: Lauryn Hill - MTV Unplugged
The Guy With the Mic by Mivala
The Guy With the Mic

“The Guy With the Mic”

    18”x24” pastels, charcoal, acrylic paint, sharpie and colored pencils on medium weight paper.

    [So here we have a really odd mix of personal reflections and existential stuff and nice things I want to say about the subject of this drawing and the process and all that jazz, so .. again, pick and choose what you feel like reading!]

    Although I can count on both hands the number of times I’ve actually spent time with Jeffrey in person, the space he occupies in my heart is far from temporary!  It’s a place that is shared among several others who’ve walked into my life this past couple of years … people who’ve undoubtedly brought me to a place of higher understanding of the world and who have transformed the way I experience this lifetime in its entirety.  I’ve spent the past few days working on this piece and reflecting on all the path that got me to where I am today -- today, which, to be honest, doesn’t exist in any concrete terms for me.  

    Of course, generally speaking, I think everyone possesses and “existence” that is enigmatic in nature.  We use that sense of mystery to strive to discover purpose or progress or a whole host of delightful words that mean so much to so many and add up to overwhelm … to send us into fits of joy and then withdrawal then amnesia and repetition …. such is the chaotic pattern I have been following quite consistently all my life.  But my existence as some kind of societal “outlier” has made me fascinated by the fact that I should exist at all (those who are most familiar with me possibly understand what I mean in that phrase).  Furthermore, the asymptote of my increasing awareness of how and why I am here grants me a sort of freedom of spirit, and in that freedom, I find myself continuously lost.  I think of the “happiness of rebellion” that Kahlil Gibran references in Broken Wings:

    “Many a time, since that night, I have thought of the spiritual law which made Selma prefer death to life, and many a time I have made a comparison between noble sacrifice and happiness of rebellion to find out which one is nobler and more beautiful; but until now I have distilled only one truth out of the whole matter, and this truth is sincerity, which makes all our deeds beautiful and honorable.  And this sincerity was in Selma Karamy.”   

    OOoooOOOoooooh, regarding sincerity…..  Authenticity….. Genuineness.  To my knowledge, the trouble with existing lies not within existence, but in existing without genuine intent and motivation.  I recently got the privilege of reading one of Jeff’s papers (or rather, his thesis!) which discussed authenticity in the context of leadership as a solution to racial tension.  I hope one day you’ll be reading his books and attending his lectures … or maybe you’ll be lucky enough to work with him, as I have been!

    Time & Space (making an appearance again!)~

    I don’t know if I’ve shed childhood or grown into it, or if the nature of our social world completely eliminated linear development, shortened the learning curve, etc. The more I learn, the less I know, as the saying goes …. but I know something has changed recently, and done so at an advanced rate.  I used to feel such an intense, naive anxiety towards things.  It continues to gnaw at my nerves every so often (some days much worse than others), but not to the degree that I should be defined by those feelings.  I recognize those feelings by re-reading what I had written alongside my Erykah Badu piece a couple months back … in the same deep breath, I recognize a remedy in some of the poems I’ve kept.  Writing about atmospheric textures and nearness to people and the world as I understand it through touch and movement…. it’s finding authentic nearness, engaging in your environment, collecting your experiences as though they were assets, but also enjoying them and recognizing the extent of how priceless they truly are.  


    It is now that I’m not afraid to mention that it is distance which has always scared me the most…..

    Distance takes many forms.  It exists around us, as well as within us.  It physically keeps us from the ones we love, no matter how present they remain as the commas to our thoughts.  At the same time, I find myself loving it, for within distance, I recognize shelter.  I am grateful that all distances encompass places and people and ideas that I love.  

    If you’ve been following my writing, you’ll notice I quote Kahlil Gibran a lot …’ll also recognize that I post this one alongside most of my pieces ….. I bring it up in conversation …. it stirs so so so much curiosity within me whenever I take a moment to pause, wandering through the words and their meaning:
    “And ere my soul spoke to me, I imagined the past as an epoch that never returned, and the Future as one that could never be reached. Now I realize that the present moment contains all the time and within it is all that can be hoped for, done and realized.

    My soul preached to me exhorting me not to limit space by saying, ‘Here, there, and yonder.' Ere my soul preached to me, I felt that wherever I walked was far from any other space. Now I realize that wherever I am contains all places; and the distance I walk embraces all distances.”

    I think the people in my life at this very moment (like Jeff!) are helping me not necessarily overcome my fear of distance, but to do what people do with their fears …. and that is, manage them a little better, haha My heart still gets tangled up while skydiving out of my chest over seemingly irrational things … things I still don’t talk about with people because that’s even more scary … but I’m learning to manage and occasionally to share … always learning…  

    Speaking of …..

The process:

    So … what happened here?
    I LEARNED HOW TO USE PASTELS … that’s what!

    Or rather, I’m in the process of learning.  You might notice that the colors in this piece are a little more vibrant and distinct than the last three portraits I’ve done.  I discovered a new technique with this piece … and I also used both of my hands, which contributed to the speed in which it got accomplished! Now Jeffrey is free to claim responsibility for my skills by exclaiming, “I taught Moira how to use pastels!” whenever he feels like it. :)

    People have been asking me if I’m going to try painting again soon, and … in all honesty, I don’t know.  I have physically tried and noticed some improvement, but the pain and the adjustments I need to make (now that I’m ambidextrous  … whuuut … I’m also diagnosed with double-jointed elbows = not good!) still take away from the experience.  I’m enjoying pastels, though.  Interestingly enough, this was a set given to me by a woman on the regional arts board that I’m a part of. I was initially a little reluctant to take them, but I’m so glad I did!  There seems to be this clearly defined trail of people who’ve been milestones in my life and, every day, I reflect on all these experiences….how perfectly and consistently things have timed out, despite the uncertainty of time itself.

    Back to the Guy with the mic ... 

    I met Jeff through the same mutual friend, Daniel, who also introduced me to my last subject, Sandra (aaaand….I’m pretty sure this won’t be the last of his friends that I steal/draw!).  The cool thing about him is his consciousness … it’s so rare that I meet people who value the same experiences and interactions as I do.  If I could have a narrator for my thoughts and for my worries and for my joys, Jeff is one potential candidate, haha  One of my favorite conversations with him took place in preparation for Goody Night, just after we’d watched some documentary footage on a few vagabond-esque characters.  We ended up exchanging parts of our life stories and came to a few conclusions about the definition of “convenience” … how “convenience” is not necessarily having “things” or having “comfort” … but could be defined as having the choice to be comfortable or to possess things....  

    And then I think my thoughts took a walk with his for awhile …. and maybe while his came back to reality, mine just kept going ….. distances further and further …...

    And then he and Daniel tried to get me to talk on camera and my words poured out as clear as asdfghjkl;..........................

    And I realize I have a huuuuge hurdle to overcome in my communication style.  “Finding my voice” as I say time and time again.  And maybe I need to overcome the fact that I have the tendency to be a broken record in these descriptions …. to “say things without really saying anything.” ;P Even here, I’ve offered a fairly substantial quantity of stream of consciousness writing without actually getting to the point I wanted to make …. (that’s what stream of consciousness does though, haha)

    I think this leaves my thoughts to be continued ……………….?

    I think so!

    Lastly, I want to thank Jeff for letting me draw him!!  Part of the comfort in having him as a subject is the fact that I can write all of this and not be worried about saying too much or too little ….or really, worry about following any line of expectation here, haha At the same time, he’s been such an inspiration that his portrait wouldn’t be some randomly generated image (not that I do that often, of course).... it would mean something!  His heart is magnificently huge and he opens it to so many people, including his wonderful fiance who I can tell means the absolute world to him and beyond!!  I wanted to capture the space in his heart … which incidentally manifests in the vast expanse of joy in his smile. :)



Colored Pastel Drawing
So Long As There's Distance by Mivala
A Poet's Voice by Mivala
Digital copy only -- additional costs for shipping if you desire an original copy (send me a note).
Black & White Portrait Drawing
Sweet Mackie by Mivala
Weaver by Mivala
Contemplative by Mivala
I can draw just about anything with a face. Portraits are done in pencil/graphite and are usually completed within a week of point payment. Remember to be specific about what you want so we're on the same page!:) Reference photos required!
And finally, you will be receiving a digital copy, not the original (unless specified -- then other charges may apply). Note me with anymore questions!


Mivala's Profile Picture
Artist | Professional | Traditional Art
United States
(Last Updated: February 2nd, 2013)

I suffer the joys of being trapped in a constant state of wonder. I'm always trying new mediums and evolving my philosophy on life; create, learn, repeat. I love that which I don't understand -- be it language and music, thoughts, ideas, math & science, etc.... foreign cultures fascinate me. As do sharks (for whatever reason).

I adore the DA community and the conversations that I get to have around here. I'm overly-zealous and hideously sentimental, etc. etc.

My art is what it wants to be. I consider myself a surrealist/psychedelic artist at heart, but I dabble in a little of everything. Feel free to contact me if you have questions about my creative services or life itself~!

Journal History


Journal Entry: Thu Jun 11, 2015, 10:35 AM
Hey hey, virtual friends and followers who remain!

I can't really type all that much anymore. It's been about 7 months of difficulty with my right thumb, arm, wrist .... now shoulders .... painting doesn't seem to be in my future, but it's been long enough now that I've come to terms with that. It's painful to I'm discovering new ways to be creative, though.

This might be my last update for awhile.  I do have left hand pastels to share soon, but my lengthy descriptions might be a little limited.

soooooooooooooooooooooooooo many comments....
I want to respond but I physically can't .... but I so appreciate your responses as well as the sense of normalcy/familiarity they provide, haha

In the mountains of things I want to say, that's all I can for now.

Ciao for now! <3

  • Mood: Pain
  • Listening to: Lauryn Hill - MTV Unplugged


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Antigone87 Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
SteveChapman Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2015
Absolutely wonderful, inspiring! :hug:
maxlake2 Featured By Owner Edited Mar 15, 2015  Hobbyist Photographer
M -
Thanks so much for the :+devwatch:.  I'm very flattered, because aside from being incredibly talented artists I've encountered on dA, I think that you're one of the more cerebral, and intellectually curious people I've happened across as well. . .  I look forward to delving more deeply into your existing Gallery, and seeing new work from you.
Take care of that wrist and elbow. :)
WilliamDallwitz Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2014  Student General Artist
Now, I have to find a way to keep myself on dA at least once a week! :lol: It was another one of my bleak periods, you understand, and I had trouble doing even the most basic things, let alone *gasp* go outside/online and actually talk! With real human beings!

In any case, little does that all matter now! I'm here for a different reason: to

Wish you a most merry Christmas, Moira!! :D:D:D:hug: May all happiness, health and creativity follow you and those around you in the coming year! :)
Mivala Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
HAahahaha it is a challenge!  Oh my goodness.... there's so much love to be found in reality ... I've been caught in the most positively inspiring whirlwind of activity, haha On occasion I think back to our online conversations and think how much you would absolutely love some of the talks I've had with people this past few months... we contemplate the patterns of the universe.... oh you would so love one of my newest friends .... she's from Mexico, we have the most parallel of experiences and thoughts, we have been able to construct a language of our own that's extremely telepathic, haha We coined a term, "thread people", which gets a big reaction from everyone we talk to about it ... I would consider you as a thread person, even if we've never met .... they're people we're meant to connect with, despite distance or language differences (actually, nearly all of my thread people are not American).... our bet is that this connection is boundless, time scarcely (if at all) hinders it.  ..... ...
And so, with this concept, I've been so sos os sosososos sos o sos so freeeee and inspired.  And I've been talking with so many people.  I have a close friend, he's a thread person from Nigeria, who has very much been a catalyst for my meeting of these people, and we've been learning so much together!!  I can't even begin to describe how wonderful this experience has been.  

......oiiiiiii shhhhhh Moira, haha ............................... I've literally spent hours without break talking about this with people!!!!!!  15 hours straight on Tuesday, actually, from noon to 3AM in 5 different settings with strangers and people I love (so many hugs!!).... lol so surreal

THANK YOU! :heart:
:hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug:
THANKYOUTHANKYOUMERRYCHRISTMAS And may this new year be incredible for you!!!!!!!!!! You have taught me to so much and I'm so grateful for all the opportunities you've taken to share your creativity and ideas with me, it has been the greatest honor !!!  

WilliamDallwitz Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2014  Student General Artist
Oooh, a Mexican! :) My head's already spinning in these imaginary Aztec catacombs, mudridden ancient temples, as human ventures amidst the great indigenous flora. Stupid wording, actually, I don't like it. But, in any case, merely a word about Mexico or Peru and I'm already drinking Xocolatl looking over the Pacific... even though I've never been there. 

And this commentary on thread people, it sounds so familiar... reminds me of something like Duchamp or Bilal, every one of his comics is a series of visible and invisible threads. I really like this notion of threadknit individuals, it makes me feel right at home, you know? I already feel it. Some argue all the time whether it is manmade fiction or divine intuition that gives birth to such threads, but I simply like to sit back and enjoy them; not unlike I would a cup of good tea or coffee, not too much unlike it.

Speaking of Bilal... after watching a video of him working, I got this urge to try out all sorts of ideas without worrying about them... :lol:. I've started a paintover of Kokoschka, tell me what you think: I want it to be sort of a continuation of my digital "poster" techniques, plus a whole lot of encapsulated details... I don't really know exactly what I'm doing yet :D but can see a lot of light blue on his face and an olive tint on his jacket.


I can only mirror such words! :):):) I have also learnt a great deal from you, and I consider our contact to be very beneficial, it opens my eyes to so many new things. And isn't it great to find out lots of different stimuli, different styles, tastes, appearances and kinds of content? Certainly, the world would be quite lacking for me weren't it for our conversations. So, one thing to say: God bless you! :):):hug:
Mivala Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2015  Professional Traditional Artist
Indeeeeed! :) What's fascinating is she and I both live our lives in ethnically ambiguous bodies, haha Her skin is light as somewhat rosy in complexion and about as light as mine and her hair is also burgundy (but, of course, she dyed it so).... we met through the Latino organization on campus and it's funny because, since I joined as a fresh face at this school, somehow people have found it much easier to believe that I am of Hispanic/Latina/Spanish descent.  And so she often hears, "You don't look Mexican!" and I often hear, "You don't look Native!", when that's very much what we are, haha 
On that note, I've also recently come to the realization that I'm not conventionally "beautiful" when people think of me as white! haha I am not a pretty white girl, this majority Scandinavian folks around here have never called me pretty, but I can be a pretty native or Latina (even tho, I'm not Latina!)~ it's fascinating!! I had this epiphany not too long ago, when I was thinking about what kind of treatment being female has gotten me over the years .... I find myself the only female in a lot of situations, rooms full of guys (that was my Tuesday, actually, haha), usually darker skinned guys (before it was athletes from the South, now it's members of this African church community) .... never fails that one will make reference to my skin being white and those who know me better in the room will be shocked and exclaim, "she's not white!"  And then I'll laugh, because what does that even matter? haha  

Or I brought a close friend of mine to a Black Lives Matter protest because all our plans weren't working and I knew the gal running it, lol  We had a conversation earlier, before we'd even known about the protest, and he said, "I'm not really even black! Black isn't even a color that exists. And you're not white~!" And then he told me all the research he'd been doing lately, about how race and "blood" is fictitious, .....everything he said was what I'd spent the semester studying in my Race class! :P But just that statement people make, "you're not white!"..... interesting how that conclusion is reached. 
 uhhhhm, with regard to thread people!~...
YOU FEEL IT! :) Precisely.  "Some argue all the time whether it is manmade fiction or divine intuition that gives birth to such threads, but I simply like to sit back and enjoy them; not unlike I would a cup of good tea or coffee, not too much unlike it." YESYESYESYEYSYSYSYSYSSYYSYSYYSSYSYSYYSYSYSYSYYYYES!!!!
(And that art + process = :heart:)

And gooooooodness, God bless you too Mr. Dallllwitzzzzzzzz!!

"And isn't it great to find out lots of different stimuli, different styles, tastes, appearances and kinds of content?"
I wrote of this recentlyyyy!!!
JoyAA Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Your work is awesome, as well as your ability to articulate its philosophical context.  I appreciate your sharing that process!  Beautiful gallery, I'm glad I came upon your page. Cheers! :)


P.S. your webcam is hilarious
Mivala Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you so much, too kind! :) :) :blushes:

PrimalExpression Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you for the favourite!! :)
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