Category: fibromyalgia

Rainy Day Dreams

Raiiny Day Dreams

Rainy Day Dreams

I have to say that I am feeling so much better.  Better than I have felt in 20 years or so.  Lyme disease, which I have in addition to fibromyalgia, has more than just one germ that needs to be eradicated.  Finally, my lyme physician has put me on yet another antibiotic that treats one of these germs.

I have had an amazing reaction to it.  While I was in Maui in October and November, I was able to walk one and one-half miles.  This may not sound like much to anyone.  But for me, it has been amazing.  I haven’t been able to walk much more than about two blocks or so at a time.  Yes, I have walked longer at times, but then came home exhausted and would have to rest for many days, sometimes, weeks.

But in Maui, I did this and was able to keep going back for more.

Inside of me there has been this heaviness, that pulls me down.  It has been there for over 20 years.  That is finally going away.  This is very exciting for me.

My creativity also seems to be increasing.  That is really exciting.

As to this painting.  I started it in Rebelle with watercolors.  I just poured on watercolors in various bright shades and made them very thick and let them pour down.

Then, I took the painting into Painter.  I used some of Painter’s new brushes called Dynamic Speckle brushes. I used them to further refine the shapes that I found.  Then I took pencils and did some outlining of shapes.  This was a very fun painting to do.

I gave it this name, because I started it on a very dark dreary day, and I was dreaming of bright colors that hopefully will come after the first of the year.

 

Mystery

Mystern

Mystery

My husband retired last July, and I got behind in blogging because I used to do my blogging and reading of blogs during lunch.  Now, I eat lunch with him. I’m trying to get caught up on reading other’s blogs and writing my own.

Overall, I’m glad that Warren is retired and is spending more time with me.  We have been together since 1970.  We moved in together that year.  When we were younger, and sometimes not employed, we always had a blast together.  I had pictured the same thing would be true now that we are no longer employed and have all day free to play.

The only thing I did not consider is that I am sick, and can’t go out and play anytime I want to.  Despite that, I am still enjoying having Warren in my life all day, every day.

This winter was very hard for me.  I had a flare of some kind, and was sick from New Years Eve until recently.  I am feeling on the upswing now.  But, it was a real scare.  I went back to spending days where I could do nothing but lay in bed, under the covers and be very sick.  I had a lot of pain breakthroughs that were very severe.  On those days, old tapes would start to play in my head.  I would start to think that I was going to spend all day, every day back in bed and be able to do nothing.

That is when positive thinking came back to save me.  I got myself calmed down and thought through the process logically.  I would admit that yes, I’m sick today.  But the recent pattern has been that I will be sick one day and then better the next.  Usually within two days, I’m up, dressed and going out to lunch with Warren.  I affirmed these things.  I prayed for help and guidance.  I practiced positive thinking.  I forced myself to think in a positive way.

As usual, it worked.  The pain eventually subsided and is under control again with morphine.  I have more energy and am feeling better just in time for summer.

A Bird In Your Pocket

A Bird in Your Pocket

A Bird in Your Pocket

I have had a very challenging year, health-wise.  The fibromyalgia flared up around New Years Eve, and has kept me lying low many days.

Last fall, while we were in Maui, I started sitting up all day.  This was the first time in over 18 years that I didn’t spend 99% of my days in bed.  I also got dressed every day.  This may not sound like a lot, but when you’ve lived in a nightie in bed for so long, it is huge.

When we got home in November, I continued sitting up in my art studio.  I was doing so well that at Christmas, I got a new, 27″ screen for my computer!  It makes a huge difference to paint on that rather than my laptop computer.  But then, the first of the year, I found myself back in bed more than in my studio.  It has been a real battle to get enough rest and still sit up as much as possible.

But, I feel like I’ve won the battle.  In the last few weeks, I’ve been able to go to my studio at least three to four days a week.  I’m even taking small walks down to our mailbox.

Now a Bird In Your Pocket.

Oh No You Don’t

Oh No You Don't

Oh No You Don’t

This painting is one I did a couple of months ago.  Somehow it didn’t get posted yet.

It is done with oil brushes and liquid inks and some pencils were added.  I did this piece in Painter 2015.

It was a very hard piece to bring to a conclusion.  I really liked parts of it, but there were areas, as it developed, that drove me nuts.  When I did this, I was focusing, as usual on lights and darks.  Values and good contrast are big parts of a good painting.

In Painter, it is possible to add a layer to the piece I’m working on, then I fill the layer with black and choose the composite method colorize.  When that layer is open, it turns the painting into grey scale.  It is then easy to see whether the painting has enough values going on.

I ended up turning this picture on its side several times before deciding that it would go this way.  That is something I learned in my first painting class from Flora Bowley.

It really comes in handy when working on an abstract.

I have had a very hard time this year with my health.  I have had a lot of break-through pain.  Something that hasn’t happened in over a year.  That, along with GOK (God Only Knows) has caused me to have to spend more time in bed and paint less this year.  I get very despondent on days when I feel sick.  It feels like I’ve stepped backwards and will never go forward again.

I think this is all part of the healing process from lyme disease.  A good friend and I have discussed this years’ setbacks.  I’ve concluded, with her help, that just maybe the bad days seem a lot worse because the good days are so much better.  I certainly hope so.

I try to continue to stay positive no matter what my health is doing.  I am just very grateful to be able to do art again.

 

This is Blog 100

Japanese Inks

Japanese Inks

I’m so excited.  This is my 100th blog.  I never realized what I was getting into when I started blogging.

I thought I would be the lone blogger picking up a follower here or there.  Then, I found Word Press.  Word Press makes the blogging experience very special.

First, they make it relatively easy to set up your blog with a theme of your choice.  Second, whenever I’ve been stuck, people have been there to help me.

The community of Word Press bloggers blows me away.  Word Press works at bringing us together to share our love of blogging.  I feel like I belong to a special community that is incredibly supportive.

A huge thank you to all the people who follow me.  I never dreamed I would have actual, real followers who were interested in my art AND my health.  You are all special people to me.

As to my health, well, it is what it is.  I’m feeling better the last few days than I have all year.  I continue to be returned to a life.  For that I am grateful.

As to the art in this blog, well this is something different for me.

As you may know, I take classes at the Digital Art Academy (DAA).It was founded by Karen Bonaker, a fabulous artist.  Check out her blog here.  We learn art while using the application Painter.

Starting Saturday, I am taking Japanese Inks from Karen at DAA.

This is a type of art I have studiously ignored all my life.  I have had no interest in it at all.

So, why not broaden my horizon is what I figured.  I’m totally intimidated, of course.  Something new. There is a small part of me saying “you’ll never be able to do this.”  But, I’m happy to report there is a larger part saying “yes, I can!”  This is a huge change for me.  Mrs. Negative had her way with me for a long time.  But I have practiced being positive and loving myself and my art.  I put Mrs. Negative Voice on a time out recently.  I refuse to engage with her on any level.

Interestingly, I am finding that she is becoming less and less by my not engaging and fighting with her.  When she pops up, I lovingly as possible put her on a time out.  Of course, she will try to come back.  I just gently remind her of the time out.

Staying Positive Works — Strong Spirit

Strong Spirit

Strong Spirit

This painting was done in Painter, using oils, liquid inks and pencils.  I am using it because it is entitled Strong Spirit.  That is what I have.

I started this blog to write about fibromyalgia and lyme disease.  My intention was to write how my belief in a God of my understanding, coupled with affirmations, gratitude and positive thought had allowed me to find a peaceful, fulfilling life in spite of these chronic illnesses.

Then, practicing those things led me back to being able to do art, and art has pretty much been the focus of this blog.

Today, I want to write about positive thinking.

I came across the idea of having God in my life and thinking positive about 30 years ago.  I began reading a lot of varied books on many religions.  I put together an idea of what God is for me, personally.  I believe there is something that holds us all together.  I believe that we are all connected in some way.  I believe that when I, or someone else, does something negative or harmful, it affects us all.

I believe in taking personal responsibility for myself and what I can change.  As I read and researched, I concluded that the only thing in this world that is possible for me to change is me.  I can’t change you.  I can, however, change how I react to you.

This was working fine, and life was going along real sweet.  I was a textile/mixed media artist.  My work was starting to sell.  I was having shows in galleries.  I had been in a group show at a very prestigious museum here in Seattle.  I won awards for my art.  Life looked good.  Positive thinking and a belief in a God of my understanding was working.

Oops, I got sick.  I didn’t just get sick, I got completely disabled and unable to do anything but lay in bed and wonder when I was going to die.  Doctors said I was crazy.  No one, absolutely no one would help me.

Friends and family walked away.  As they left, they said “Screw, you.  You’re a little liar, you’re not sick, just crazy.”

OK.  I got mad.  I got angry, I got resentful, hateful, mean-spirited, the whole thing.  I threatened to divorce my husband of over 30 years.  I was one sick, miserable person.

Where had it all gone?  What was happening?  One day I woke up, and could stand myself no longer.  I vaguely recalled what I had practiced just before I became sick.  I was very dubious.  I figured, this stuff works when things go well, God is there when I’m happy.  But what happens when the pedal hits the metal?  It’s all gone.

Hmm.  Perhaps I had missed something.  “OK”, I said, find something to be positive about.  What?  I can’t remember what I found, but I found one small thing.  Like breathing or something.  I practiced being grateful.  I said affirmations.  I worked at it.  I was not convinced, but I went on with the teeny, tiny bit of faith I had left.

It worked.  Just as negative things build and grow larger and become overwhelming, so do positive things.  It built up.  I found more things to be positive about.

Don’t get me wrong, it was slow going.

I’m so Excited

Pink Fish

Pink Fish

In 2012, through an odd series of “coincidences”,  I took a painting class from Flora Bowley.

A very good friend at that time, tricked me into signing up for Flora’s eclass.  I was very sick with fibro, lyme and CFS.  I had been in bed for over 20 years.

I was kind of doing art.  But I was just too sick to do much.  Making a phone call overwhelmed me.  Trying to be creative was impossible.

Then, I discovered the computer app I now use, Painter.  At that same exact time, Flora came into my life with her philosophy of life and art.  I had a positive outlook on life, but it had never occurred to me to apply that to my art.  Duh!

Flora has shared stories of her students  in her blog.  This week, she chose my story.

Click here to read the blog.  While you’re there, check out her fantastic art and be sure to check out her classes.  Be sure to click on “Shop” at the top.  She has fantastic products made from her art for sale.  Flora’s art or her classes make fabulous Christmas gifts.

%d bloggers like this: