Tag Archives: watercolor lessons

Determination can carry you through

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I wasn’t feeling very well today.  Manly I was tired and slow moving.  I didn’t sleep all day but I laid around reading.  I just didn’t have any energy but I made myself do a little time on the stationary  bike.  I figure I have to push myself to steadily improve or I’ll end up never getting anywhere.  I was determined to go to my watercolor class that I’ve been missing for several months.  This class meets every Wednesday at 3pm and I just got to where I couldn’t do it anymore.  The cold weather makes it especially hard but recently it has been warmer.  My husband went in to work early today so he could get home in time to give me a ride but he got stuck at work.  It isn’t that far so I just grabbed my coat and walked.  I didn’t bundle up in my crazy, down parka with the fur lined hood because I was already sweating.  I checked my temperature and I was 99.7 degrees.  I think my medication is making my temperature go haywire.  99 isn’t that bad though so I went and I’m glad I did.  I had a great time and I have really been missing my friends that take the class with me.

My painting didn’t turn out that great, mostly because my colors were too light, but I’m going to try it again.  I’ll try to touch up that one a bit and then I’ll do a few more attempts at it.  It is a barn scene taken from a book.  It has a barn and a silo and the middle of the painting is fog.  There is a fence post in the foreground and as the fence posts continue into the fog they fade away and disappear.  It is a neat painting.  The pencil lines on the paper were too dark and I didn’t think about trying to erase it a bit until after I’d already wet the paper.  Then it is too late.  So I will just work with it and try again.  It was so wonderful to paint again.  I had a little pain in my wrist at one point but it faded so I was glad.

My husband showed up to pick me up and he got to meet everyone.  I love him so much because of how great he is with people.  I forget sometimes because I don’t often see him interact with people that much but when he walks in the room he seems to bring this light with him.  Everyone naturally loves him.  His laugh is infectious and he always ends up in the center of everyone.  He’s the one that makes everyone laugh.  He’s the big guy with broad shoulders that could handle himself well in a fight but wont.  He’s a big guy with a soft heart.  I just love that about him.

Back when I was 18 my parents thought I was making the biggest mistake of my life.  Man were they mistaken.

Even at my lowest he has been there for me.  He’s encouraged me to keep my chin up when I didn’t think I could.  He goes with me to doctor appointments when needed and shows up out of the blue with flowers to cheer me up.  I am so lucky he picked me out.  Even if, I really picked him out first.

Art, Heart, & Healing

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A while back I signed up for this free class at http://willowing.ning.com called Art, Heart, & Healing.  And yes, you did hear me correctly, this class is free and you can sign up any time.  All you have to do is join Willowing and then you can sign up.  The classes are recorded and you just have to watch them and work in your journal.  I really like that I can do them when I can and not have to worry about missing a session because I don’t feel well.  There is a link for posting your work and if sweet Tam (who just had a new baby) has the time she gives great feedback!   She actually uses a graphics program to digitally adjust your work to show you what she thinks would help…. like if the eyes are too close together or the nose too long.   I myself, am great at making mile long snouts!

Anyway, it sounded rather easy and I thought it might help me and even be fun.  I love painting and one of the things I really want to work on this year is branching out with my art.  I tend to draw just what I see.  I’m always trying to paint a photograph and get caught up in details.  It never even occurred to me until this past year that I could interprete the picture however I wanted.  I could leave out things or put things in different places!  I want to be more imaginative and creative in my art.  I love to look at other art and see what other artists do differently and try to learn from that.

I started taking watercolor lessons last fall from a local man by the name of Tom Nixon and I have really learned a lot.  Only problem is the cold keeps me grounded to my house.  I deal with a lot of pain from Fibromyalgia and even though I try not to let it slow me down the truth is it does.  The cold during winter causes the pain to intensify and then I can’t concentrate on art…. or anything.  Even if I bundle up and my car is in my warm garage… once I get out of my car I’m done.  I haven’t been able to get out for an art lesson or for anything for a long time and my spirits are way, WAY down.  So I thought this would be the perfect way for me to learn some things about art, especially more imaginative things, and to help myself heal on the inside at the same time.

I started to watch the first video and got stuck.  I followed her instructions and got my journal and wrote out all of my negative thoughts.  I was so surprised because they came pouring out like a flood and I started to cry.  I realized I’ve been holding in a lot of painful feelings…. trying to not let them show because I don’t want to burden others with them.  I especially try to keep my husband from worrying because he already worries enough about work and making enough money to pay the bills.  So, I suddenly realized that I have been carrying around a bunch of emotional junk and that is really stressful.

The next step in the program is to forgive yourself and then to write some positive things on another piece of paper.  I’m not very good at explaining this part.  It really helps to listen to Tam explain it.  After you have your piece of paper of positive things the negative words get covered up with layers of paint for the background of your artwork.

I never got past the negative words….. it is still very disheartening to look at it.   I did realize something though….  ALL of these things on my list are caused by the fibromyalgia and other health problems that go along with it.  Maybe I felt fat before but now I’ve gained much more weight and exercising hurts.   Even when I do exercise it isn’t enough to lose weight.  I just do what I can and eat healthy.  I also feel helpless sometimes.  It is really hard to have to rely on others so much.  I have always been very independent and suddenly I always need to ask for help.  It really is hard to ask my son to open my medication for me because my hands are hurting too bad.  I am only 40.  That is something I have to come to terms with though.  Reality can be so hard sometimes.  Put that on TV.

You know, it’s funny that I can’t seem to help myself until I think about helping others.  I remembered when I worked at the hospital and thought of a few of the people I worked with.  I remembered some of the conversations I had with them and thought, “Wait a minute!  Why did I know what to say to them then but now can’t help myself?”  I guess I was just designed to help others.   So I thought about what I would tell someone else in my position and all of these positive things came to mind.  It made me realize that telling someone those things may not have helped as much a I thought at the time BUT just knowing someone cares helps.   Just talking and listening to them helped.  I went back to thinking about what I would tell myself.  I ended up learning a lot.   I wrote it out and it was funny to me that I kept having to go back and edit the pronouns because I would always switch to talking to someone else and using “you” instead of “I”.

Anyone who has health problems that hold them back should read this too.  There are a lot of people out there that deal with other invisible illnesses or are stuck in wheel chairs, are limited by crutches, canes or walkers, deal with arthritis, MS….. I could go on and on and on….

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It isn’t my fault that I have these limitations.  I didn’t do anything wrong.  I am not being punished by God.  I may be heavier than I want to be but I don’t need to be a model.  I can only do what I can do and be what I can be.  I have to be happy in my own skin, happy with who I am now.  It isn’t bad to ask for help.  Good people will love me for who I am and not who I was or could have been.  I am not a bad wife just because it hurts to be touched.  I am not a bad mother because I am sometimes too tired to make dinner.  I am not broken…. I am limited but I have to keep moving forward and work around my limitations.  There are no time machines so I can’t sit around waiting for things to go back to how they where before.  I have to be who I am right now.   There is always something that I can do!

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I don’t know if that is what Tam with Willowing had in mind but I sure feel better.  I think I can cover up those words now and move on to painting.

Before I go though I found this article that was very inspirational for me.  It is about a man that climbed mount Everest and he has a great limitation – he has no legs.  This is a great example of working around limitations and finding out just what you CAN do!