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.