Tag: friends

The Outsider

The Outsider

The Outsider

I started this painting in Rebelle, a watercolor app.  Then I brought it into Painter and finished it with acrylic-like paints.

I am calling this the Outsider.  The little bird on the left wants to join the two birds on the right.  But, they are busy gossiping.  He feels very left out.  The two birds will let him join them as soon as they finish their gossip.

I think there’s a lesson here.  Don’t gossip.  People know they shouldn’t.  These two birds that are gossiping are embarrassed to have the little bird join them because they know gossiping is wrong.  Really, it’s none of your business.

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.

Wowie, Maui!

Wowie, Maui!

Wowie, Maui!

I have been absent from my blog for quite awhile.  I got tied up in this pastel and lost track of everything.  I had such a difficult time with this piece.  It really challenged me.

I do iterative saves of my work.  What’s that?  I too wondered when I saw this feature.  That means that as I progress with my painting, I save it as, Wowie, Maui 001, Wowie, Maui 002, etc.  That way if the painting takes an ugly turn, I can go back to an earlier version and restart.  It’s a great feature.

This pastel has 100 iterative saves!  The clouds have been through many changes in several different colors.  First, too dull, then too bright, then too this and then too that.  Ugh.  I finally got almost finished.  I decided to call it quits and just post it.

I showed it to my husband,  He said, “I don’t think you want to do that.”  Huh?  He’s supposed to love all my work.  However, I really appreciated his honesty.  In my heart, I knew it just wasn’t right.  But I was so frustrated.

What to do?

Ah, ha.  I called my friend, Aaron Rutten.  Aaron is a fellow digital artist.  He is incredibly knowledgeable about Painter and about composition, color theory, and on and on.  You can check out his web page here.

In addition to his web page, he has tons of videos on using Painter.  He is so generous with his knowledge.  I think this is just wonderful.  You can see his You Tube videos here.

Aaron also teaches at the Digital Art Academy (DAA).  His classes are a lot of fun to take and everyone learns a lot.  Check out his advanced landscape class here.  I have also taken his introductory Landscape class and the Collage class.  I never could have done any of my landscapes or sunsets without the knowledge I gained in his classes.

So, Aaron came over to give me a lesson in Painter and art.  I showed him this sunset, and he immediately had some very simple, but incredibly helpful suggestions.  I was thrilled.

Aaron gives lessons in person and via the web.  If you ever want input on your art, I highly recommend him.  His charges are very reasonable.

So, after being lost in this pastel, I’ve come through the other side.  I hope you enjoy it.  I finally do.

Some Thoughts

Pink Fish

Pink Fish

I recently met a new friend on Facebook.  Her name is Yanik Falardeau.  You can see her art Facebook page, here.  She and I seem to have connected on a spiritual level.  We seem to share many of the same beliefs.

She recently posted this quote from Harvey Fierstein, an American playwright and actor.

I love this quote, it sums up how I feel.

I do believe we are all connected;

I do believe in positive energy;

I do believe in the power of prayer;

I do believe in putting good out into the world.  And I believe in taking care of each other.

In physics there is an explanation for how matter is all connected together.  Spiritually, I have always believed that we are all connected.  I believe that when one of us throws a pebble in the water, it can turn into a tidal wave in someone else’s life.  We can do this either by an action or our words.

That is why I believe very strongly in staying positive, no matter what.  It can be a hard thing to do, stay positive.  I used to be a very negative person.  But since my early 30’s, I have been practicing being positive.  I am very careful about the words I use.  I watch closely how I say things.  I don’t want to contribute negative or hurt in any way out in the world or in my own life.

I really believe that what we say and how we act, is what will show up in our lives.  After practicing being positive for over 30 years, I can assure you that it works.  I’ve had huge challenges in my life because of fibromyalgia, but I’ve managed to come out the other side of these challenges.  My life is not what I dreamed, but I do believe it is a wonderful life that

To sum up, I believe exactly what Harvey said above.  That there is a God, that this God connects us all together, and that what I do with my connection to you, can have an affect whether I intend this affect or not.

The art is a fish from one of my Sea Life paintings.

 

 

 

 

Feminism from Sincerely, Ms. Roberts

Greens

Greens

I want to share a blog from a friend of mine, Heather D. Roberts.  It is a very good blog of her views of feminism.

I consider Heather my blog mentor. I have tended to think of mentors as older than myself.  But with Heather, that is not the case.  We are separated by about 40 years in age.  But in how we think, we are in the same place..

What Heather says in her blog is put better than what I could put together.  Please enjoy Heather’s blog here.

The art for this piece was taken from an abstract I did.  Then I cropped it and enhanced it.

 

Pastel Sky

Pastel Sky

Pastel Sky

I’m taking a pastel sunset class at the Digital Art Academy.  It was started by Karen Bonaker, who has an incredible knowledge of Painter.  Not only that, but she makes the most wonderful brushes for each class.

I totally don’t know what I’m doing drawing these landscapes.  I’ve never really done landscapes before.  I’m an abstract artist.  Before that, I did textiles.  Last month I took a landscape class at the DAA given by Aaron Rutten, who is an incredible teacher.  Aaron, has 180 videos on You Tube.  Most of them about Painter.

So, it was with trepidation that I entered the pastel sunset class.

This is my first attempt at a sunset.  I posted it in class, and got positive comments.  So I thought, what the heck, I’ll post it on my Twitter account.  OMG, it got a bunch of retweets and favorites.  I think more than any of my other paintings.

But, I have to say that this pastel bugged me  a bit.  I couldn’t put my finger on what it was.

That is where my good friend, Eva Macie came in.  Eva is a wonderful artist.  She supported herself and her children with her art.  Truly an artists dream to be self-supporting with their art.  Eva paints digitally as well as with acrylics and just about anything else.  She is a multi-faceted and multi-media artist.  Check out her blog here.  She just posted a pastel of an orange that is fabulous.

You can also see Eva’s art at Fine Art America.  Eva has exquisite taste in art and is always seeking to learn more about digital art.  Check her out at You Tube to see the great videos she watches.  I wish she’d start doing her own videos.

Eva told me she liked my first pastel.  But she too had a problem with it.  She took my pastel and turned the trees into bushes.  She pointed out that the trees I had placed were all the same size (how could I have done that?) and that they acted as a curtain.  Yes, that was it, that’s what was bugging me about this piece.  So, here is Eva’s redo of my picture.

Pastel Sky-2

Pastel Sky-2

I feel very lucky to have an artist like Eva to give me advice.  I like Eva because she calls it as she sees it.  She could have told me how wonderful this piece was.  But instead, I learned a very valuable lesson from her.

 

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.

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