Category: digital art

I’m Putting Up My Paintings

Doodle 1a

When I first got the idea of blogging, I decided it would be all about my art.  But then I realized that fibromyalgia was a big part of my life.  I had gone through grieving over losing just about everything, and come out on the other side.  Part of that coming out on the other side, was being able to do art again.

When I became disabled from fibromyalgia and Lyme, I could no longer continue to do textiles.  I had majored in textile art in college and had sold my work and was showing it in galleries.  It was feeling like my art was going to take off.

But not so much.  Everything came to a halt, including textiles.

I thought I was done with art.  It was devastating.  My soul, who I am, is an artist.

Then, in September, 2013, a friend told me about a class that Flora Bowley was teaching on-line.

My first reaction, was no way, I don’t want to learn to paint a landscapes.

OK, Mrs. Negativity, it is an abstract painting class.  Oops.

So, I took the class with my friend.  It was amazing.  Flora not only teaches abstract painting, she is also all about living a spiritual, bold, beautiful life.  Yes, I totally related.  Flora calls us all Bloomers.  That’s what I am, a Bloomer.

Many of Flora’s students end up painting just like Flora.  But my first priority was to not paint like Flora.  She’s done it like herself and done it well.  I could never out Flora Flora. Besides, I want to be me.  Paint what is inside of me.

I had a digital painting program, so I could paint from bed.  The app is called Painter.  It is fabulous.  It comes with over 700 brushes.  Plus, I can make my own, which I do.  It has all kinds of media, oils, acrylics, pens, crayons, charcoal, conté, watercolor, etc.

I am soaring.  Art has been returned to me.

I had never really painted.  I felt lost.  I knew next to nothing about painting techniques.  My friend, Mimi, helped me.  I don’t know what I would have done without her help.  She led me along my new path.

Mimi is a very good artist.  You can check her out here.

I have now been painting for a year.  I feel that I am finally getting it.

Initially, I wanted to share in this blog what I learned about painting.  But now I realize there are really good teachers on You Tube.

I will put my paintings in a gallery for you to look at.

Click on Art Work on the menu and pick the Paintings gallery.  This will have all my recent art work.

The Blends, a Group of Paintings

The Blends is a series of digital paintings I did with brushes I made myself. 

I had recently started exploring brush making in Painter.  I decided to try my hand at making my own brushes.  Painter has an incredible amount of settings for brushes.  Making brushes is a very complex process.  But it is a lot of fun. 

I wanted a brush that would blend. 

I also wanted a brush that would paint and allow the layer beneath to show. 

Not knowing much of anything about brushes, I didn’t realize I could have just reduced the opacity of the brushes I already had.  This would have solved one problem.  But I just wasn’t happy with how Painter blends. 

So I put together a series of brushes that blended and painted as I wanted. 

I did a series of digital paintings using only my blending brushes. 

You can connect to them by clicking here

God and Honesty

Treasure 2 by Kerry C. Mitchell

In my last blog, I said I would write about how changing my life got me into a positive flow of energy that I call God. 

My coming to believe in God happened on one night.  Usually with  most people, it is a slow awakening process to come to understand God. 

I believe  there is an energy flow out there that we are all a part of.  We can either choose to take part in it or go against it.  It is just like a river; go with the flow or fight a constant battle upstream. 

So what did I find that puts me in this flow, that brings me happiness and peace? 

One area that needed immediate attention was lying, cheating and stealing.  This did not appeal to me at all.  I thought I benefitted from all the dishonesty. 

I told lies.  I stole things.  I cheated.  I thought this was the easy way.  My rationalizations included everybody does it, it won’t hurt anyone, it’s a big corporation, etc.  Those reasons are not true.  Not everyone lies, cheats or takes what is not theirs. 

I quit. 

How I Rediscoverd the Artist in Me

Circle 3 by Kerry C. Mitchell

I am an artist.  First and foremost, I do art.  It is in my soul to do art.  I don’t have a choice. 

When I got sick with CFS-FM-Lyme, I could no longer do art. 

I had been a textile artist.  I made large stitcheries (I called them painting with thread) and multi-media art.  I had sold my work.  It was in several private collections.  I had been accepted into juried shows, shown in galleries and street fairs.  I had recently been invited to join a group of women who were successful textile artists.  Their group was by invitation only.  I was thrilled.  The biggest dream of my life, selling my art and doing well, was coming true. 

Then, bang, sick.  I was too sick to do art work.  I needed to sit up to do the art work.  I was flat on my back unable to do anything for myself.  Furthermore, I couldn’t think creatively. 

I was devastated.  But more than devastated, part of my soul, my being was missing. 

I finally got to a point where I could play around on the computer with Paint Shop Pro.  I didn’t really know how to paint, so what I produced was not so hot.  I did find some fabulous plugins by Redfield which did wonders to the paintings.  So I did that when I when I was able to kind of sit up in bed for very short periods of time. 

Then I started getting treatment for Lyme disease.  It actually started to work.  I started feeling a bit better.  The healing from Lyme is very slow, so I still spend about 85% of my time in bed.  But at least I’m able to be up and do a few things. 

Last September I purchased a new computer.  While I was installing my software, I came across a program I hadn’t even installed in my old computer.  It is called Painter.  It is a high-end painting program.  It comes with over 700 brushes, in all kinds of media like, acrylics, oils, pastel, crayons, pens, inks, etc.  So I installed it.  It was a great program, but extremely hard to use.  I had earlier quit trying to learn it because it was so complicated.  But now my brain was a bit clearer.  Some of the fog had lifted.  So I went on-line and sort of figured it out. 

Then, last Fall, a friend suggested I take an on-line painting class from Flora Bowley.  I grumbled that I didn’t want to learn to paint landscapes and couldn’t paint anyway.  She informed me that Flora was an abstract painter and that I might enjoy this class now that I had more energy. 

I decided to at least look into the class. 

 I often have a problem with contempt prior to investigation.  The class was right up my alley.  Flora not only teaches how to paint, but she teaches inspiration, being bold and brave and comes from a really nice spiritual place. 

The class was amazing.  I actually learned how to paint.  Most of all I had fun.  Fun is not a word I find often in my life of being confined to bed.  What was really super was being able to paint from bed on the computer in Painter. 

At first, I was totally lost.  I had never really painted.  An expertise in textiles did not transfer into an expertise in painting.  Thankfully, the woman who told me about the class, also took it with me and explained, in detail, the things I didn’t understand.  Although my brain fog has cleared some, I still have a lot of problems understanding and expressing myself. 

I will forever be grateful to Flora and my friend for leading me back to art. 

Since last Fall, I have painted, painted, painted.  It is a real challenge for me.  But I’m learning and growing.  

Most of all, my art is restored to me.  I can be an artist again and express myself.

This story of finding a painting app for the computer and being lead to a class that taught me to paint are all actions of my God.  I have come to know that in my life, things don’t happen by coincidence or happenstance.  I know all these forces were brought about by the God of my understanding to return my art to me.  I am very grateful for being able to do art again. 

One of the reasons I wanted to do this blog was to share my journey learning to paint.  It has been a whole new world opening up to me.  It has been a big learning process. 

I set up a gallery of some butterflies that I did in Painter.  Now I have a gallery with a few of my early paintings from Flora’s class.

I will be posting more paintings and explaining what I learned as I progressed down this new road.

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