Welcome to 2014

Play-10

Play-10

I am so glad it is 2014.

I had this thing about 2013.  I didn’t like it because 13 is supposed to be an unlucky number.  That is irrational and makes no sense.  But I kind of had that in the back of my head off and on all year.

So, I’m glad 2014 is here.

The painting with this blog is not a painting per se.  It is done in Painter X3 on the computer, but I used conte this time.  Conte, is a medium kind of like charcoal, but harder.

I keep my paintings organized by the type they are.  Like, abstracts, collage, drawings, etc.  I have one group I call play.  When I had a block of my muse a few months ago, I set up this group.  I just play, with no pressure, no final work in mind.

My husband has been home for the holidays, so I decided to play until the first of the year, or next Monday when work starts for him again.

This piece is the result of me playing with Painter and discovering new things in it.  I used to use conte when I did life drawing, but that was a very long time ago.

I had a lot of fun doing this, and I hope you enjoy it.

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.

More Flowers

 

Flower & Shapes

Flower & Shapes

Yesterday I did two paintings.  That’s a record for me.  Usually I take days to paint one painting.  I actually finished up one piece that had driven me crazy.  It was another flower piece using Skip Allen’s Flower Maker brush.

I took a break for lunch, and went to my Reader to see what was going on in the blogging world.  The first blog was Skip’s.  He had posted another set of videos on using color effects and brushes using stroke attribute.  Those of you who use Painter know what I’m talking about, probably.  The use of the stroke attribute brush had totally eluded me since I first got Painter.

I watched Skip’s videos and found out that the stroke attribute brush acts exactly the same as layer composition effects, except directly on the paint.  Wow.  I couldn’t wait to get back to my flowers.  The three ovals behind the flowers were totally too dark.  So I used the detail oil brush with stroke attribute on and brought back out the light purples that had originally been there.  Then I worked on some of the other shapes and brought back their gradations.  Then I went to work on the flowers.  They seemed like they needed more white, so I lightened them up.  Then I looked at what I had done and saw they lacked enough color.  So I used Adjust Selected Colors under Effects and brought back the colors, only better.  I used the lasso tool to outline each flower before applying the effect to each of them.  Skip had also talked about this effect in his videos.

For anyone with an interest in Painter, I highly recommend Skip’s You Tube site and his blog.  He is full of information on Painter.

A Watercolor

Flowers-5

Flowers-5

I have never been interested in doing watercolor paintings, as they are a whole art unto themselves.  But lately, I’ve been drawn to try watercolor.  I have no idea where this has come from.  I’ve never even really liked watercolors.

But, now that I’m paying more attention to them, I see they are really beautiful.  They are delicate and so interesting.  I never know exactly what a brush will do.

Yesterday at Skip Allen Paints, Skip posted ten videos showing him painting a watercolor.  If you use Painter, then you really should check Skip out.  He makes wonderful brushes and videos.  All free.  This, to me, is incredibly generous.  He could be charging a whole lot of money for what he gives away.

Skip just posted a new brush set on his blog.  You can download it here.  They are Flower Brushes.  A set of mostly watercolors including this fabulous brush, that when used with the right kind of paper, will paint flowers.

I’ve had all kinds of fun making papers to use with the flower brush.

So, yesterday, while watching Skip’s videos, I painted along and came up with these purple flowers, which look to be Hydrangea.

By the Skin of My Teeth

Play-02a

Play-02a

I haven’t yet seen a subject in the Daily Prompt that inspired me.  But today’s did.

A quick aside, I’m not in pain today, Yeah!

When I was about 16, an incident occurred where I could have been murdered.

What was I doing at that age in such circumstances?

My friend, Jill, and I had gone out for our usual Friday or Saturday night fun, which, for us, always involved drinking.  Somehow we had connected with an older woman.  She had been having us to her apartment for drinks, and we were more than happy to visit her.

This particular night, her boyfriend came by.  At first, I didn’t pay him much attention.

It turns out he was drunk, and an extremely unreasonable person.

He became jealous of my friend and I being at this woman’s house.  Initially, I just thought, what an idiot.

Then he got out his gun.  OMG.

He held it to my head and threatened to kill me.  I don’t quite recall his reasoning for this, but he was determined.

All I can recall is the woman begging and pleading with him to not shoot me.

Obviously, he changed his mind.  But what I really recall, is that it took a really long time to change his mind.

What blows my mind about this incident is that it didn’t really affect either me or my friend.  I don’t recall either of us talking about what had happened.  Why we weren’t scared to death is beyond me now.

In fact, it was not until I was in my late 20’s that I even thought about this incident again.

This scares me a lot.  When I was younger, I thought I was so cool and together.  I had such intolerance for just about everybody and everything unless it fit into my box of coolness.

Just exactly how cool is a person who gets into a situation where a loaded gun is pointed at her head by a drunk, crazy man?

I continued down this particular road of beliefs into my 30’s.  Then I got hit by a bolt of lightning and woke up.

I came to understand how much broader life could be, and know that there was a God.  There had to be.  Who had looked out for me all those years while I ran around like a crazy person?

I’m so grateful that I was able to realize who I am and that love is what is important in life, not who or what a person is.

I find that putting love first, will always lead me in the right direction.  Of course, this is not easy, and I often back step.  But I believe my path of life, and it looks like many other experience this, is two steps backwards for every three steps forward.

Writing about this makes me really grateful to be alive.

So, Love to all of you this holiday season.

%d bloggers like this: