Category: pencils

I’m Back!

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I think my decision to not post every single painting I do has freed me to blog.

I am painting way faster than I used to.  Plus, I’m also doing photography.  To post every painting and every photograph is unrealistic.  In addition, not all of them are worthy of viewing.  I know, it’s sad but true.  My husband puts it this way.

Look at baseball players.  If they hit .400 they are considered amazing.  But very few of them have ever had a .400 career.  Then look at most pitchers.  They can’t usually hit at all.  Of course, they pitch.

I have to admit, not all my paintings are home runs.  I’m not even hitting .400.  But I’m doing better than I used to.  Practice. That’s what makes the difference. And classes.

Also being in touch with other artists is very important. Then I find out that what I experience is not unique.  The older I get, the more I find that what I experience is most likely experienced by other human beings.

Just this last weekend, I was watching a video done by digital artists Aaron Rutton (http://aaronrutton.com) and Skip Allen (http://skipallenpaints.com).  The screen was split in two.  On one side, Skip was painting some beautiful watercolor flowers.  Aaron was hosting Skip and was just kind of doodling and not trying very hard. Frankly, he was making a mess.

Then Aaron checked on the size of his audience.  He saw they had 95 viewers.  He decided he should up his game.  He drew this fabulous portrait.  That’s what happens to me if I don’t try hard enough.  I draw a mess.

Then, Skip showed some flowers he had done in preparing for the video they were doing.  He was unhappy with his results in the video.  He thought they were too tight.  He showed his first flowers and how loose they were and how as he went forward they kept getting tighter.  They looked pretty good to me.  But I completely related to what he was saying.  The more I work at my art, the tighter it gets.

Until I saw that video, I thought I was the only person cursed with this problem.  But, no, yet again, I find I’m just like other people.  If I don’t pay attention to my art when I’m doing it, I get a mess. If I’m not careful, it gets too tight very fast.

That, finally, brings me to the above painting.  I did this on my new iPad Pro. I love painting on it. I am using the painting app Procreate which is totally awesome.  It comes with a ton of brushes in all kinds of media.  It works extremely well with the Apple Pencil. I’m fact, this last weekend, they had an update to make it even more compatible with the Apple Pencil.

This morning I was working on this painting, and I had this crisis.  I really wanted to do more to it.  But I knew if I did it would get tight and be ruined.  I find I always am doing that to my paintings.  Too tight.  So, even though this feels unfinished, I’m calling it finished.  It was really hard to sign it and put it up.  Every fiber in my body wants to do more to this.  But I’m not going to.  Just this once.  Then I’ll see what happens next painting.

Zany Daze

Zany Daze

Zany Daze

This is a painting that I wasn’t going to post.  I’m not 100% happy with it.  However, I posted it on Instagram, and it did very well, and even got featured.  So I figured it must have some redeeming value.

It bothers me because it seems to just wander around and not go anywhere.  The parts don’t make sense.

I’d be interested in what you think.  You can probably see why I named it Zany Daze.

I started this painting in Rebelle with watercolors and inks and then moved it into Painter to finish it.  I am finding that in some areas, Rebelle is lacking.  Not in many ways, but in just a few.  It is easier to finish these paintings in Painter.

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.

 

Going Round In Circles

Going Round In Circles

Going Round In Circles

I started this painting in an app called Rebelle.  I used watercolors and inks and created lots of drips.  Then I painted with a watercolor brush loaded with lots of paints and drew in various shapes.

Then, I took it into Painter 2016 and used pencils and acrylic paints to finish the piece.

I like using pencils in lots of different colors in my paintings.  It seems like a great way to spread color around in a painting.

I like this particular painting because it has a lot of very bright colors.  I painted it while we were in Maui recently.  I think all the beautiful tropical colors there influenced me.

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.

 

Looking Forward

Looking Forward

Looking Forward

Looking Forward is what I like to do.  One can choose to look at the past, whine over previous mistakes, regret what was or look forward and see what can be.  I found that life is way too short for regrets of what was.  I realized that it is human to make mistakes.  It is the human condition.  So, no use fretting over them.

I recently did this painting with a group I belong to on Facebook.

We do intuitive paintings by using prompts that people in the group suggest.  For instance, this painting started out by one woman suggesting that we cover our canvas in a fun color or two and make sweeping marks and stay loose.  Then the next person chimed in to do the same, using contrasting colors.  I suggested we cover the 1/3 of our canvas with geometric shapes.  Then someone suggested adding tissue paper or some other media to give the painting texture.

I am the only digital painter in the group.  I particularly enjoy this group, because it challenges me.  When they suggest something that I can’t necessarily do the same way they are going to do it, I get to use my imagination and do it digitally.  So, I just imported a blue piece of tissue paper into my painting.

For those of you using Painter, you can bring things like this into Painter on a layer of its own by going to File/Place.

However, pieces of tissue paper hanging out on the page did not look cool.

So, having recently taken a dynamite brush class at the DAA (Digital Art Academy), I simply made a brush that would respond to texture.

I have a huge collection of textures to paint on.  One way I can use these textures in Painter is through the paper panel.  Over the years I have collected various paper textures from pond scum (really good one) to asphalt.  I chose a couple of these and with a darker blue, added some texture to the blue/violet areas of the piece.

In the beginning of this piece, I chose to use liquid inks and dribble red, oranges and yellows over the page to give myself something else besides just paint strokes to start with.

I also used pencils to add some interest to the piece.  I am finding that using a very dark or very light-colored pencil in my work will add pop to the piece.

If you’re interested in joining our Paint Prompt Facebook group, please drop me a line and let me know.  We’re always looking for new members.

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.

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