Tag Archives: watercolor

Weekly Photo Challenge: My 2012 in Pictures


My 2012 in pictures.  This is another wordpress photo challenge.  I love participating in them anytime I can.   This one was actually easy because there pictures were already there from my blog posts and saved in my media gallery.  After looking through them I realized that my year was full of crafting.  I did a lot of crocheting, knitting, painting, tatting…  and journaling.  I also did a lot of reading.  I have to say, it was a good year and I enjoyed it.

Art, Heart, & Healing


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….


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!


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!

Breaking out


Today I got out of the house finally!  That might not seem like a big deal but to me it is.  I am constantly dealing with pain during the winter time and getting cold always makes it worse.  It warmed up some though and I really had a bad case of cabin fever.  I told my husband I wanted to go somewhere but I didn’t care where.  I just needed to get out!  We went to McDonald’s first and that was great.  I mainly only like the french fries but I had these new chicken… well it’s like popcorn chicken.  I also had a mocha and it was the best mocha I’ve had in a really long time.  Yeah, it was the only one I’ve had in a really long time too.

Incoming! on 365 Project


After that we went to Value Village where I looked all over the whole store but didn’t buy anything but books!  A friend turned me on to Clive Cussler and now I’m addicted.  I had already bought a bunch of his books.  I have a notebook of all the books I want and check them off when I get them.  That keeps me from buying it multiple times which I have done several times before.  Ol’ Clive has several different series so I listed them all down by series and in order.  I was really hoping to find the last two books in the Issac Bell series.  There are only 4 and I’m on the second one.  Well I found a bunch of other books I didn’t have but not the two I was looking for.  Some of them were really old so I got them pretty cheap.  After that we went to two more book stores but still didn’t find the books I was after.  Then we went shopping and I ended up buying the next book new.  I hate buying books new since I don’t keep them after I read them.  So I ended up getting 10 books for $29.  Not too bad for the money…… it is however, bad for my resolution I made to not buy any more books.  I’m supposed to be reading the books I have and getting rid of them.  I guess I can’t help it.  HELLO, MY NAME IS DONNA AND I AM A BOOKAHOLIC

While we were out we saw a RAINBOW.  I couldn’t believe it.  It is 10 below F and just as we were making a turn we could see behind this smoke billowing up the end of a rainbow.  We never did see the other end and of course I didn’t get a chance to take a picture.  Bummer.  It was really pretty out and not too cold although I still would like it to be warmer by about 90 degrees.

My youngest son Riley, the 15 year old, and his dad didn’t fair well today.  My husband stepped into his room before we left to ask him what size shoes he needed.  Riley smarted off to him I guess and was very disrespectful.  He was cocky because he just had a birthday and he was playing his games and wearing his new clothes his grandma sent him.  He didn’t think his dad could LEGALLY take away things that he was given for birthday’s and Christmas’s.  He actually threatened to call the police.  My husband told him he knew some of them and played cards with them.  Riley didn’t think that was funny.  He ended up swearing at his dad.  He said some things that made ME want to duck.  I have to say, my husband is a heck of a man to not have beat him to death.  He didn’t even touch him because he was afraid he was too angry.  He did take away everything even remotely fun that was in his room.  Every video game and the systems that run them.  He took the shopping bags from out groceries and loaded them up.  Riley is still moping in his room.  He went outside for a while which he expected to get us upset.  He’s done that before but when it was much colder.  This time I didn’t bite.  I could tell he was right outside by Blue’s perked up ears.  She does that when she can hear people walking in the yard.  I would bet, if I had any money, that after a few days he will start cleaning up everything and being extra nice in the hopes that he can get his stuff back early.  That won’t work though after what he said to his dad.

Anyway, I almost forgot to post my ATC cards that are for the ladybug swap.  The first one is the one I just did with colored pencils and watercolor Inktense pencils and the second one I did last September with colored pencils.


Snow ‘n Tell


It’s snowing…  big beautiful snowflakes drifting to the ground like white feathers.  I’d take a picture but I’ve found it’s nearly impossible to capture snow with my camera.  So just close your eyes and picture it.  Outside my window there are huge spruce trees mixed with a few paper white birch and they are dusted in what looks like powdered sugar.  The sky is a whitish grey and the air is heavy with quiet peace.  Sitting inside on my comfy couch with my cup of tea I feel like I have my very own big screen snow globe that just got a good shaking.  It seems like it would be cold but when I stepped out to let the dog out it was warmer than expected.  It’s about 25 degrees and for November in Fairbanks, AK that isn’t very cold.  A raven just flew up and plopped down on a spruce branch heavy with snow.  I watched the snow shower to the ground like a white waterfall.  As it hit other branches more showers began and as the raven moved to other branches and other trees more snow rained down.  It’s a very poetic scene. 

Don’t you wish you had a snow globe like mine?

I just realized that I forgot to upload my pictures of the new progress on my painting.  This is the first time I’ve ever painted a face.  I’ve drawn them in pencil but I’m new at watercolor.  So I’m a little worried about how this is progressing.  Whenever I’ve drawn faces the hair is always my hang up so I decided to tackle that first.   

hair.... still not done

Art Every Day – Nov 3


I didn’t get very far with my animal face so I ended up doing something I’m more familiar with…. human faces. 

This is by far not finished. 

Unfinished face