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About Traditional Art / Professional Official Beta Tester MoiraFemale/United States Group :iconcognitive-evolution: Cognitive-Evolution
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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

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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. :)

Stillness Reserves Silence (Portrait of Sandra G.) by Mivala
Stillness Reserves Silence (Portrait of Sandra G.)
"Stillness Reserves Silence" Portrait of Sandra G.
18"x24" left-hand, pastels, black acrylics, sharpie and colored pencil on medium weight paper.

When I have more time .... or rather, when the semester is finally over and I'm undoubtedly plagued with both alone time and an irrationally spastic emotional state, I'm hoping to continue a series of portraits that depict people I actually know!  I had this idea originally awhile back -- my intent was, of course, to paint such a series. However, I'm still unable to use my right hand for extensive art purposes and it acts up every time I'm around paint.  
SoOOooooo ... pastels.  I'm sticking with my left hand and exploring the artistic realm of pastels.  

This whole process puts me in an odd predicament, to say the least.  I find myself being even more cautious about details and less willing to put pieces of "myself" or my experience into images that represent those that I know personally.  At the same time, I'm admittedly intrigued by where this might lead ... what messages and moods might emerge in the final result?  ... to what extent will knowing my subjects impact this? ... will the people I draw be satisfied with their representation? ... how do I describe the people I'm drawing? (which, probably will be the most difficult/inconsistent part).... e.t.c......

Sosossososososoooo ........... Who is Sandra?!
Sandra is a person I became acquainted with sometime towards the end of last year, around the start of all my carpal tunnel issues.  We were at a Vietnamese restaurant with a mutual friend when she first asked if I would be willing to paint her portrait; given her interesting appearance and personality, of course I agreed to!  I loved drawing her and think the world of her matter-of-fact humor and thoughtfulness.

Recently she posted a status to her facebook which kind of reiterated something I tend to reflect on a lot in my work:
"Lately, I've been having so many random captivating conversations with everyone I cross paths with. Interesting enough they are all intertwining with each other. No conversation is the same and I have not had the opportunity to open up to these individuals but their sharing their experiences and ideas with me sends my mind into a state of clarity, motivation and a growing hunger to succeed in the things I am most passionate about! Life is a journey and the people placed in it are there for a reason. Although the reason are many and some are not always pleasant we must always learn from them...... 

As I've said before, it's those intertwining conversations (what I've occasionally called "patterns", "manifestations", etc.) that inspire the majority of my work -- specifically the colors.  It's always exciting to me when other people notice them! It's exciting to talk about them, because they lead to  ... I don't know ... these refreshingly deep conversations about the "threads" that bring us together. It's more than just everyone being "human" though.  I used to rationalize it that way, but I believe now that it goes beyond that ...

In the meantime, I've progressed, lately, into contemplating how these conversational patterns embody time ... how our age becomes a factor in what we perceive our surroundings to be ... and how age and time are both so arbitrary, that under many circumstances, I'm finding they have virtually nothing to do with perception.  And of course, there's a Kahlil Gibran quote for everything (this one is from "The Broken Wings"); "Thus, the appearance of things changes according to the emotions, and thus we see magic and beauty in them ... while the magic and beauty are really in ourselves."
Other themes as of late include doubt.... What a fascinating thing. There is no faith without doubt and vice versa.  Just as courage is persistence in the presence of fear, belief is such in the presence of doubt.  More on that later, I think!

And music-wise, I listened to my usual throughout the process of pastel-ing .... a couple days ago, though, I discovered Michael Kiwanuka and his magic voice.  It actually gave me the motivation to complete this piece:

This life ... (Buhay na 'to as a friend taught me to say!)
Somewhere along the lines of fate .... An ever expanding, quadrillion-factorial different ways to spread the same message, to have an impact, to create, to be consistently inconsistent... I find a sort of destiny speaking in remote scintillations of time... in the silent threads of divine music and noise and sound....
If I had to put it in words?

So Long As There's Distance by Mivala
So Long As There's Distance
"So Long As There's Distance"
Left-hand, charcoal and pastels on 18"x24" medium-weight paper.  

I think I'm caught up in another massive, somewhat derailed train of thought ....... not too many words this time around, I think I got a lot of things out of my system last time around.  Though, therapy is going horrible (BECAUSE IT'S NOT HAPPENING!! urghh) and my right arm is still uncooperative, my mental state is far less tragic than it was when I was working on the pastel Badu piece.  I'm figuring things out a little more with my left hand -- to the point where I don't have to think quite as hard to use it (there's less mental kicking and screaming, to say the least!).

I'm a little bit euphoric as of late.....  On so many occasions I've felt myself melting away into timeless stupors. Could at least partly be contributed to a lack of control ... or a lack of interest in having any ........

Why more Bob Marley imagery?
"Them Belly Full (But We Hungry)" is a song that's been meditative for me in several instances.  Specifically, when I was completely without any artistic outlet, it kind of put my mind in another place.
"Forget your sorrows and dance
Forget your troubles and dance
Forget your sickness and dance
Forget your weakness and dance

Human beings! This life! Etc. Etc. Etc.  I can't describe my frustration, but just the same, my appreciation is still (in the greatest way) beyond words.


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

Painting-of-Adam-Sippola-by-Moira-Villiard by Mivala
Portrait of Adam Sippola for his album "Rising Point" - acrylics on canvas.
Photo by Rajiv Vaidyanathan.

Life has dealt a major plot twist and taken my hands from me for awhile.  I've had a combination of carpal tunnel syndrome and De Quervain's tendonitis for the past two months and am finally going through occupational therapy to get things sorted out.  The success I've had as an artist this past few months has been unbelievable, but I now better understand my physical limitations when it comes to painting ... I'm so excited to get better in the next few months so I can share everything I've learned and experienced with my audiences and friends!  In order to get better, however, I need to take this hiatus seriously, so I've decided not to paint or write (by hand or typing) and to put all of my commissions and projects on hold.  I've been trying to gauge a timeframe for when my hands will fully work again, but I honestly have no idea so I'm not worrying about that anymore. 

Occasionally I feel anxious about this, it feels like a really difficult breakup, haha I've had maybe one or two emotional breakdowns ...they haven't lasted all that long, though, courtesy of all the inspiration and support I've been caught up in!  Basically, I look at it this way, my spirit is well ..... my body will catch up, in some way .... eventually! Maybe not exactly soon, but art has always been a way of living for me, not necessarily an activity in and of itself -- consequently, there are many ways to live art ... it's not just painting, it's interacting with people! So this is an opportunity for me to improve my body and interact with people and.. yeah, I'm excited for the future. :) 
Edit: Someone in the audience wrote this lovely piece pertaining to her experience at the show -- CLICK. I was ecstatic!

Meanwhile, this is more of what I've been doing with Adam this past month.....
Here's a music video I was recently a part of: 

And finally, my last live painting concert event for awhile..... I painted for just under 2 hours in front of the audience with mostly my left hand since the right has very minimal feeling (outside of pain)! :P The evening was a HUGE success!!

Livepaint by Mivala

Hope all is well!
  • Mood: Alienated


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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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