Category: lyme disease

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.

I’m So Excited!

Jill's Fabric

Jill’s Fabric

 Last May I had surgery to remove a kidney stone.  It turns out that general anesthesia can cause lyme to flare up.  I got really sick again.  I had just gone off the antibiotics and anti-microbials two months prior to this.

This summer has been a very hard time for me.  Some emotional issues also decided to raise their heads up.  Lucky me, I got to work through old emotional baggage.

Then my laptop that Dell replaced crashed after I had it for three weeks.  It turned out to just be a power cord issue.  But that totally put me over the edge.

I’m happy to report things have changed and are going in a very positive direction.

Physically, I am close to where I was before the surgery.  The emotional issues are resolved.  I’m older and wiser, yet again.

The biggest, best thing is that last night I found out that I one of my digital paintings had been accepted into a show sponsored by Corel, the makers of Painter, the app I paint with.

Corel has just released an upgrade to Painter.  It is called Painter 2015.  It is fabulous and incredible.  There are so many improvements, and it is so stable.  If any of you are using Painter, be sure to upgrade before September 12.  You can get the upgrade for $99 until then.  I have further details if you need them.

In conjunction with this release of Painter 2015, Corel is having a gallery show.  I submitted my piece, Kerry’s Orchid. It was accepted.  Before I became ill, I had my textile work in galleries and shows.  But I have not tried to get my digital work in any shows.  I am so honored that Corel chose this piece.  You can view the entire show here.

I really thought my days as an artist were over.  I have been so thrilled to just be doing art again, that I hadn’t even given thought to my work being included in a show.  When I found out last night that my work was accepted, I was bouncing off the walls.

The art for this blog is a sample of a piece of fabric that my great friend, Jill Saibel, had me create from one of my abstracts.  She will be making pillows with several pieces of fabric made from one of my abstracts.  I will post them once they are done.

 

 

 

 

 

The Blog Hop

Wonderland

Wonderland

I’m so excited.  About two weeks ago, I discovered that art bloggers were doing blog hops.  Blog Hops are where one artist blogs about his/her art, and then asks three other artists to talk about their art in their blogs.

I really wanted to be asked to do one.  Then, last week, Yanik Falardeau asked me to participate in an art blog hop. Wow!  Thank you, God and Yanik.  Check out Yanik’s fabulous blog here

The lyme has flared back up.  Apparently general anesthesia, which I recently had, can cause this to happen.  I had been feeling very despondent about this, because I am very sick again.  So this has come at a really good time for me.

There are four questions I am to answer as part of this blog hop.

The first question is:  What are you working on at the present time?

I have just finished this painting, called Wonderland.

I took my first painting class from Flora Bowley in September, 2012.  I have been painting ever since.  As most of you know, I paint digitally.

Since I took Flora’s class, I have been working very hard to get my paintings to look like what I see in my mind.

I have been pouring over other people’s work looking for help and inspiration.  I look at work by Flora, students of Flora’s, Kandinsky, Van Gogh, Matisse, Klee and many others. I want to paint as the big kids do.

I made progress and I was starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel in Peace at Last (posted here) and another painting.  But they were still not quite what I was trying to get.  There was just not enough going on in the paintings.

With this painting, I feel like I finally started to get what I wanted.  I finally got a painting to do what is in my head.  This is a huge break-through piece for me.  To me, Wonderland is freer and has depth.

I know I have a long ways to go, but I’m very encouraged.  I’m starting to really have a lot of fun painting.

The second question is:  How does my work differ from others in this genre?

Flora Bowley calls her students the Bloomers.  I really like the way Flora and many of her students paint.  However, in many of the student paintings, there is a tendency to pretty much copy almost exactly what Flora does.  People use the same exact symbols and color combinations she uses.

I decided that one thing I don’t want to do is have someone look at my work and say, “Oh, yeah, she took Flora’s Bloom True class.”  I want my work to reflect the unique creative person I am.

The next question is: Why do you create what you do?

I have FM/CFS/lyme and spend about 75% of my time in bed.  I had been a textile artist prior to becoming ill in 1994.  Then, I no longer was well enough to do textiles.  I thought I could no longer do what my soul wanted to do.  Then, I found out I could paint on the computer in bed with a Wacom tablet.  Being able to paint again and be creative has filled a hole in my soul.

I am driven to create.  It is like I don’t have a choice.  For some reason, God wants me painting.  I hope that it brings joy to others.

The last question is How does your creative process work?

While I work on a painting, I stay focused on that painting.  I work only on it.

When I paint, it takes me away to a very special place.  When I can find that place, then I can tap into what makes me creative and makes me feel very good.

I work in layers.  I start out with just throwing paint, pastels, whatever on the canvas.  I build up the layers of paint and marks, to hopefully give the end painting a lot of interest. This is the part I have been struggling with so much.  I think I touched it in this painting.

I have chosen three other artists I admire to carry on blogging about their art.  I hope you will check out their pages.

They are,

Karen Bonaker at Karen Bonaker Art;

Mary at Oil Pastels By Mary;

Mo Davies, at The Crazy Crone’s Arty Farty Studio

All three of these women are wonderfully creative artists.

 

I’m One

Abstract-09c

Abstract-09c

Wow, I just got a notification from Word Press that I’ve been blogging one year.  My memory is that it has been a much shorter time.

I want to thank everyone who has followed me during this exploration.

I thought my blog would be about living with Lyme disease and fibromyalgia.  But now, my blog seems to be about art.

I think my art is my life.

When I was unable to do much of anything in art, I felt as if there was a hole in my soul.  Since starting to paint on Painter in September of 2012, a large part of who I am has been returned to me.

Last night, my brother-in-law, complimented me on my paintings.  This blew me away, because I didn’t think he was at all interested.

Again, a big thank you to all who are reading this and following me.

I wonder where I’ll be a year from now?

The art for this post is a crop of another painting.

Swimming into 2014

Purple Fish

Purple Fish

2013 will come to an end tonight.  For me it has been an amazing year.

I started this blog in the Spring.  That was a huge accomplishment for me.  I had wanted a blog for a long time, but was too sick to write one.

I’ve gotten treatment for Lyme and now, although I still spend a lot of time in bed, I have enough energy and wellness to do a few things each day.

The other huge accomplishment for 2013 was painting.  I had never really painted.  I was a textile artist.  But when I became sick, I had to put that aside.

In September 2012, a friend talked me into taking an on-line painting class from Flora Bowley.  It was an amazing experience.  Between Flora, and my friend, I learned to paint.  I had help from other people as well.  It is amazing what the Universe brings when one commits.  I committed to painting and wow, I’m doing it.

I paint digitally, so I can do it from bed.

So, in 2013, my painting really took off.  I have done things that I thought were not possible with my painting.

I found out in 2013 that I didn’t need someone in the house to help me out.  The woman who had worked here quit in May.  It was then I realized that I’m a lot better.  I was able to replace her with someone who works just four or so hours a week to help out.  That was a huge financial plus not to have to pay out so much money each year.  It was really empowering for me to understand that I’m much more able to take care of myself again.  That is huge.

As I look forward to 2014, it should be an interesting year.

I’ve just joined the Adobe Cloud.  Adobe no longer sells its software.  One has to rent it by the month.  So I got a good deal and am renting Photoshop and Illustrator.

Once I did that, I realized I had to figure out how to use these apps.  They are not easy to learn on your own.  I joined Lynda.com.  It is a great web site that has  good tutorials for just about anything you want to know.

Then, I got an email one day offering me a special deal on a figure drawing class.  For $45, I have ended up with over 200 videos teaching figure drawing.  Should I ever finish this, the guy who teaches it says that I’ll be able to draw the human figure in any position from my mind.  He’s going to have us draw the skeleton and then the muscles.  This is how Michelangelo and Da Vinci taught themselves to draw.

I’ve just made a small dent up to number 13 on that.  So maybe in 2014, human figures will start to appear in my paintings.

Another new thing in 2014, will be that my husband will retire.  That will happen in July.  He has eased into retirement by working first, four days a week, and now three days a week.  That will be a major life adjustment.  I can hardly wait to have Warren home with me all the time.  I’m really excited.

I have to say that 2013 was a very good year for me.  I hope it was for you.

I want to thank all the very nice people who have followed my blog.  It really means a lot to me that you are interested in my art and writing.

I wish everyone the very best in 2014.

OMG

OMG

OMG

I have never been able to really draw faces very well.  I recently took this free, online class from these great guys at Drawing Coach.  They show, very simply, where everything belongs.

I have had this sitting around for a long time.  I just wasn’t sure it was good enough to post anywhere.  So this morning, I painted it, and here it is.

This is probably how many of us with FM, Lyme, CFS have looked over the years.

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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