The Light in My Darkness

It has been almost two months since my last post. As to why, well, the answer can be quite complicated and too personal to want to talk about. I’ve been struggling with life, mostly, which means I am also struggling with my art. Or rather, I find when I loose interest in life, then I also loose interest in my art.

There is one thing which has remained consistent since I added another element to my journey a few months ago. That element is reading the bible every day. I don’t know why NOW is any different from the times I tried to do this in my past.  I only know that it is. If I miss a single day in reading the bible, I feel compelled to read twice as much the next day. The hunger inside of me to read and learn what the bible has to teach me is strong. It keeps me going. Though I have felt lost these past few months in my life, the one thing which has kept me from loosing myself completely is my daily reading.

I have heard other artists say that art has saved them or helped them through some tough times. I wanted this to be the case for me but it wasn’t. I believe we all have something which can help us and we each have to find what that one thing is. I’m learning, mine is feeding the hunger I feel in my soul to get to know God through my reading of the bible.

I pulled out a bible I bought some time ago. It is called “Inspire, The Bible for Creative Journaling”. I bought some clear gesso and started prepping the pages so I could use markers for making annotations in the wide borders or coloring in the artwork that was already in the wide margins. If I don’t do this then the markers bleed through the page to the other side and I’m finding I don’t like using colored pencil as much as I thought I would. It is too slow for me to keep up with my reading. Also, some ink pens will also bleed through the pages so the clear gesso prevents that.

On two of the pages, I discovered parts of scripture which has come to mean a lot to me these past couple of weeks. I decided to create a couple loose art journal pages so I could display them as reminders. Below are the two pages I created.

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This first one comes from 2 Chronicles 20:12 but is a shortened version and I changed it to have a more personal meaning for myself, which is why I didn’t reference the verse of the bible on the page. It has become a daily prayer of mine when I’m feeling particularly lost.

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This one, I did reference the bible verse. Though it isn’t the whole verse the words are verbatim and part of the verse. This one gives me hope that my prayer is being heard.

It may seem odd that I came across the verses in the order they are presented here since I’m reading the bible from front to back and not skipping around. Not even to read any versus that are referenced in my study bible.

How I discovered these verses is like this…

I was feeling rather tired and went to put my bible on the table but instead it fell on the floor. My first thought was, “I wonder what it opened up to.” This is what I saw:
IMG_1510I immediately knew I needed to make this my daily prayer when I’m feeling lost and in the need of help.

I don’t remember if it was the same day or the next day or the day after. All I know, was within a day or two, I came across the second verse when I was flipping through the pages getting ready to prep them when I saw this:

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I knew I wanted to put these two versus on display in my house so I would be reminded every single day to not loose faith.

Things happen in the way they do, for a reason. I believe I was shown these two verses in the order they were given to me, to help me regain my faith.

I had both of the verses in mind when I started working on the first page. On the day when I put the finishing touches on the first page, I was given an answer I was looking for. I created the second page soon after and finished it tonight.

I have a lot of hard work ahead of me in order to follow up on the answer I was given. My artwork will continue to be a part of my life and always will be. There might be times when it seems like it has taken a backseat but hopefully if I do my work, and keep my faith. All will become clear.

After adding the text to my second page, I was given another answer I had not really known I was looking for. I knew art would always be a part of my life but as time continued, it was beginning to look more and more like my time was going to be pulled away from art. I wondered if it would slowly disappear from my life completely. Then, just as I was almost completed with the second page, I received my second answer.

I had been doing the steps for Let’s Face It 2019 and Paint Your Heart and Soul 2019 to try and win a spot in their giveaways. I started doing this last year when I realized my income might not make it possible for me to purchase both the courses and art supplies. If I could win the courses then I should be able to purchase the art supplies.

Let’s Face It was easy to get the information for each of the artists to enter the giveaways. However, Paint Your Heart and Soul was rather frustrating. There were some I couldn’t find any postings for at all. The dates in the post containing the list of artists indicated it was the date for the giveaway. There were links to the artist’s social media pages but a couple had issues with the links, others had no posts for the course or any instructions for the giveaway and there was no way to tell when the artists would post for the giveaway. Some artists posted well before the date of their giveaway and others, well, some I never found and I reached the point of just giving up and be satisfied with just the ones I had entered.

Then one morning (20 Sept) I was checking Facebook. I discovered a friend request from Sabra Awlad Issa.  I didn’t realize immediately that she was one of the artists only that she was friends with other artists, so I accepted her. That was when I discovered, I won a spot in “Paint Your Heart and Soul 2019”!

Sometimes signs/messages/answers come to us in ways that we may miss them or barely even notice them and we barely acknowledge them and most often forget about them. Then there are times when they come to us like a bolt of lightning or a two-by-four over the head or just so blatantly obvious we can’t ignore what we are being told. This is how I feel about winning the spot in “Paint Your Heart and Soul 2019”.

I hadn’t realized I was looking for a second answer regarding my art. I have always been creative and though I had doubts about how much time I would have to devote to my artwork, I didn’t doubt I would continue. This, however, was a sign to tell me it will continue to be a major part of my life.

Between the two answers I received, I understand the message being given to me. Work hard to get what I want. Stop doubting my abilities. But most of all be strong in my faith.

These past few years, I have felt like I was being buried alive. I have felt like I have no future and my existence on this earth has no meaning. I’m still not sure about the last part but at least I don’t feel like I’m being buried alive anymore. I have my work cut out for me. There might be gaps in posting because I have new priorities which I must not let slide. I might just post a piece of art once in a while but I can’t promise that because I love writing too and I feel like I need to write too if I post any art. Only time will tell what I’m inspired to do.

I am so thankful to God for all that He has done for me, especially this past week. I was so deep in my own darkness there was no light at all. But now…. now there is light and I’m hopeful but most of all I have faith and a direction to head towards.

❤ ❤ ❤

~Patti

Focus, mindset, learning and taking my time…

I am taking my time with this one and totally loving it.

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I wasn’t sure if I would stay with the same color palette when I added color to the puppy. I am glad I did! I love how they are both developing. Other than the white acrylic paint I used to tone down the background, everything is done in watercolor with a bit of the Elegant Writer when I first start building shadows.

I feel like I need to talk about my state of mind the past month or so. I have made mention that I’m on the search for a new job. This is what has kept me distracted from my art and a bit off balance. It’s okay. It is important to allow our focus to shift to those things which are important in our lives. Though art is important, searching for a job and finding the right one that fits for me is even more important.

I have learned over the past few years, the importance of understanding who we are and what makes us tick. It has been an interesting deep dive. I knew I had artistic ability and I also knew I am very logical. After working in IT (information technology), I had grown to believe my logical side was the strongest and didn’t see the creative aspects I incorporated into my work. Since taking up pencil, paper, paint and pen again, I have come to realize I am equally creative and logical and have been using creativity to help me in my work. It is so easy to mistake creativity as just a product of what our logical mind is working on and not thinking of it as being creative at all. We can so easily overlook that our creativity is really supporting our logical thinking to help us find solutions or build new concepts.

I use logic to work through problems and creativity to find alternative solutions. It is an interesting balance. Logically, I step myself through a process of asking myself questions to hopefully reach a conclusion. If I don’t know something, then I know I need to do some research. Sometimes the research doesn’t follow a linear path or logical path. Creatively, I know I can explore this even deeper by experimenting and exploring things which may appear to have no connection whatsoever to what I want to learn.

Something I found interesting is, what happens, when I step away from an issue or something I am trying to learn or understand, with the intention of going back to it later. All I want to do is give my mind a bit of a rest, so I get involved in something that isn’t related to what I was working on. Then out of the blue, a connection will be made, a solution found, or an answer is given for that problem I had set aside for a bit. I have had this happen quite often and my brain does this happy little neuron dance when it does.

I have this pension towards learning. It surprises me sometimes, when I look back on all of my skills and the amount of knowledge I have. They were acquired through alternative learning. In other words, I didn’t learn them in the typical classroom setting, or through typical training through the company or companies I worked for. I found alternative resources, sometimes reading a book, sometimes watching a video online, sometimes just playing around with an application to see what I could discover and other times just talking with people. Then there are times when I’m playing a video game with my daughter, I discover something new which can send me down another avenue for learning something unexpected.

It frustrates me sometimes when businesses or potential employers filter out applications all because a person doesn’t have education credentials. I have taught my daughter that she can learn anything she wants to learn and she can do it on her own. She can choose to take a class, or read a book, or explore the various options available which provide the information she wants to learn and understand. For us, everyday life is an educational resource and education is a life long endeavor.

Why is it potential employers don’t see what this means for them in the potential employee who applies for the position they have advertised is available? This question has baffled me. When things baffle me, I research. I have also come to this conclusion. If a potential employer doesn’t recognize the brilliance within a person who is constantly evolving and learning through alternative methods, then we would not be a good fit anyway.

This just means it might take longer to find that perfect fit for us both (employer and employee) in my job search. That is okay. It means my focus might be shifted a bit and I might not progress as quickly as I have in the past on the pieces of artwork I am working on. That is fine. In fact, I am finding with this change in focus, I am not just more thoughtful in regards to my job search, I am also more thoughtful in regards to my artwork.

In learning to take chances in my job search, I am also learning to take more chances in my artwork. I love how changing my mindset in one area bleeds into my mindset in other areas and allows me to expand in ways I never dreamed possible.

What ways do you like to learn? Do you find your interest to learn is widespread or narrowly focused? I have to say my interests are widespread with no boundaries on what I like to learn and I learn through all my senses.

 

The madness of being a rock…

I’m not sure where this post will end up. I have a feeling I will spill more onto this page than people might want to hear. My intention for this blog is to talk about my journey as an artist but a person can’t do that without spilling their guts about other aspects of life because an artist can’t create art without life getting on the page or into the paint or ink or whatever medium is used.

I started this bear over two weeks ago. IMG_1307

About a week ago, on February 23rd, I finished him.

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On February 22nd, while waiting on portions of my bear to dry, I read an article, Creative Tarot Journaling Made Easy. I decided to select a prompt and give it a try.

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After completing the bear, I decided to create my alternative version to him in my own style.

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This is still a work in progress. It is taking much longer to complete than anticipated.

There is a story between all these layers. I can’t talk about these three pieces without filling in the story which exists between the layers. The layers represent the many layers which are occurring in my life. Mixed media art or any art for that matter isn’t just laying down layers of paint and then creating an image on the page. Every piece of art, no matter the medium, has the artist’s life interwoven within it. Unless you are an artist it might be difficult to comprehend exactly what I’m trying to express here. I’ll try but I’m afraid I might fail at really helping non-artists (if there really are any non-artists, everyone is creative in their own way) to understand.

I have had to learn to give myself some space in regards to working on my projects. What that means is, if I’m feeling resistance then I back off. Resistance comes in many forms and sometimes it is difficult to know the source of the resistance. I have to discover what that source is in order to move forward. Then, sometimes, moving forward takes time because there maybe a need to process something before I can release it into my artwork.

On February 14th, I heard some not so good news. It wasn’t awful but it has created a bit of friction emotionally for me. The news is that the income I’m receiving in my current job isn’t enough. This has triggered a return of anxiety which so far is manageable. That anxiety is rooted in varying aspects of my past, from childhood, to several relationships the worst being the last relationship I had, to fighting breast cancer, to being laid off and to the last of having trouble just getting a job. Knowing I need to go back to job hunting is also triggering depression. This has also taken the joy out of the job I’ve been doing. I thought it would be enough. To find out it isn’t has not been easy to accept.

The bear is my version of Tam’s Compassionate Bear lesson in Life Book 2018. The Universe has a way of timing things perfectly, for this lesson could not have come at a better time. It reminds me to be compassionate with myself, especially now after hearing the news and each time I apply for any jobs that are posted.  It is difficult to remain compassionate as the weeks go by without any calls for interviews. It is even more difficult to not allow emotions to surface relating to not being good enough. When I wrote in the previous paragraph that the job wasn’t enough, it made me realize that what I heard when I received the news was that I wasn’t good enough. Even though I know this is not true, old emotions arise from my past when circumstances made me feel that way.

There are so many emotions being triggered right now, some of them can be overwhelming. I could have written so many things on my Compassionate Bear and all of them would have felt fake even though they might be true. The one thing that felt true and seemed to put my unrest at ease was “You are loved.”

I posted this bear on the Life Book Facebook group and realized when I looked at the picture that he also looks a bit like a mouse. An interesting combination because though mice seem small and delicate they are quick and cunning. Bears may appear slow but they are strong and dangerous.

These are things I didn’t think about until just now, which is why I love to write about my art and my life together. I find insights like these which can help me deal with “life”. I have always felt an affinity towards bears because of my last name. There could not be two more opposite creatures, the bear and the mouse, and yet somehow they seem to fit together within my Gemini personality. I will be the first to admit that I have opposing forces strong within me which can make me appear to be a very complicated person. This might be why my individual style seems to be focused around mandalas which help me combine these forces into a central focus.

The hard part the past few weeks has been to not let the news suck me down into the emotional turmoil I felt for a year and a half after hearing the news of the workforce reduction I was caught up in. They don’t like using the words lay off anymore. Like a change of wording can make a person feel any better about such a situation. No it isn’t for the people being laid off to feel better. It is to make those making the decision to lay off workers feel better or not so bad. Okay, I went there. I didn’t mean to go there. But it hurts. I’m angry still after two years. And the news just reawakened all of those feelings.

Consequently, working on my art has been in small doses. I work on something for a bit, like on the bear, I would do a layer and then let it dry. Most times I let it dry far longer than it needed to. Meaning it was dry long before I returned to it.

During one of the breaks, the choice to do the Tarot drawing and then an art journal page on it was a good choice.IMG_1329

The prompt I chose was important to me. During a time when I was not feeling happy, I needed a reminder of what does make me happy. I don’t want to say I was surprised by the cards I pulled. Rather, I was, intrigued by what they confirmed.

My intent was to pull just one card but as things often happen with me, my intent isn’t what needed to happen. The Universe took over and I ended up with two cards in my hand. When I flipped them over at the same time, the first thing I noticed was they were both Major Arcana cards, IV The Emperor, and XVII The Star. I won’t go into my complete reading of these cards, some of it is too personal. I will tell you a bit about it because I feel it is important in regards to my current situation and my art journey.

What I came to understand from the cards is my happiness comes from balance, stability, reason, logic, harmony and hope. I put these things in overlapping large circles on my page because they all influence each other in one way or another. I used to listen to people who said I ‘think’ too much. When they would say this, I took it as a bad thing, and that my reasoning, and my logic were bad parts of myself which I needed to tone down or find a way to not rely on so much and learn to be less of these things in my life. Consequently, I fought against them. I would use logic and reasoning to understand something and then I would try and use a not so logical way of overcoming a situation or problem. Until I did this Tarot drawing, I didn’t realize how much logic and reasoning brought me happiness.  I also didn’t realize how much logic and reasoning also inspired hope.

I found it interesting to also note that my 2018 word ‘balance’ showed up. It makes sense that harmony and stability are part of my happiness. Those words just seem to go along with balance for me this year and have shown up in previous artwork since I chose the word balance.

What this reading did for me was tell me to stop fighting against the things I do naturally. To allow my instincts to guide me. I have always known that when I’m faced with a challenge my first instinct is to let logic and reasoning take over. I need to understand the situation and the best way I know how to do that is by use of logic and reasoning. Fighting against it means I throw myself into turmoil which just amplifies the emotions which I relate to stress. I end up feeling like my life is beyond my control.

The smaller circles on this page represent elements in my life that make me happy. I have a few more things to add to this page which will be other elements which can influence my happiness. They will end up being words that float around in the white space.

I enjoyed this exercise using Tarot cards and I may do more of them.

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This is my current work in progress. It is my alternative piece for the Compassionate Bear lesson. When I started it, all I knew was I would start it using the grid method I use for drawing mandalas and at its center I wanted a heart. The heart would represent the ‘You are loved’ statement on the bear. What I like about this design is I can add writing around the design if I feel the need to do so.

All of these pieces are done with Prang watercolor paint. The yellow however is Daler Rowney watercolor. I ran out of the Prang yellow so I substituted a Daler Rowney yellow from one of the yellows in the Simply watercolor tube set I have.

I’ll briefly describe the process for each:

Compassionate Bear: sketched in pencil on watercolor paper. I wanted a happy multi-colored bear so I used purples, blues, blue-green, yellow, magenta, green and white watercolor. India ink and dip pen for the black sketchy outline and marks, and tried some India ink using a brush for shading which was a bit tricky and I ended up layering over some of it with more watercolor because I didn’t like how it turned out. The white is either acrylic white paint or Uni-ball Signo broad gel pen.

What Makes Me Happy?:  Tombow markers for the title lettering. Using pencil and compass I created the circles, then Prang watercolor to fill them in and Tombow markers around the edges to define the edges better. Uni-ball AIR black pen for the words inside the circles. I’ll use the same pen when I add any words or phrases in the background.

Alternative to Compassionate Bear: using painters tape, taped the watercolor paper down to hardboard, thoroughly wet the paper and randomly added Prang watercolor paint, yellow, orange, red, red-orange and magenta. Let it dry completely. Using pencil, compass, and ruler lightly drew in a mandala grid. Pigma micron pen, permanently drew in the shapes I wanted that I had drawn in pencil in the grid, then added in patterns within the shapes using the same micron pen (size 01 or 03). I erased any pencil lines I didn’t want or need anymore. I am currently at the stage of using Prisma Colored Pencils to add shading and color to the various patterns. This always takes the longest.

As I stated earlier, I may add some writing around the design to support the ‘compassionate’ nature of this piece. I don’t really plan these pieces, they develop as I work on them. They sort of let me know what needs to be done next. Sometimes the next step doesn’t always make sense to me and I fight against it, like the blue I am adding now. It didn’t make sense when I felt the need to do it but somehow it works, even though there isn’t blue anywhere else in the piece.

I’m currently in an emotional place which feels like I’m struggling both artistically and in every day life and work. I try to tell myself that I am exactly where I am supposed to be right now but it feels like a platitude. I feel like I’ll never get ahead and the reason for that is years and years of neglect and wasting the resources I had available to me. I would say more but I’m afraid I would sound like a whining brat and that isn’t where I am right now, or I  hope I’m not.

I guess what I’m trying to say is for some reason the Universe feels the need to put me through this turmoil when all I want in my life is peace and harmony. What I’m thinking right now is maybe what I’m supposed to learn is peace and harmony are always present even in the turmoil. Am I able to be that rock in the middle of a raging river and let the turmoil flow around me, letting the friction shape me into what I need to be even at the risk of being unseated? Ever wonder how the rocks got there in the first place? Some of them look like they were just plunked down in the middle of the river, while others look like they grew right out of the riverbed. In school, we learn they were there all along, appearing slowly over time as the water slowly eroded the soil and gravel around them.

I sometimes wonder how many artists really think about how their lives appear in their artwork or how their artwork helps them to understand their lives. Or do they paint or draw because if they don’t they will go mad?

 

 

Mandalas, Doodles and being employed…

Art this past few weeks has consisted mostly of doodling. My doodles are mostly in the form of mandalas or start in the form of a mandala and then grow from there. I have done no painting or mixed media art and I’m feeling the absence of it in my life.

I’m on my fifth week of having returned to being employed. It is a part-time position which should pay enough to fill in the gaps financially which is a welcome relief. Part-time means I work anywhere from 20 hours to 24 hours with the occasional request to add more hours if I want when they need someone to fill in. My previous work was very sedentary. This position has me on my feet for the whole time except for breaks and lunches. I find myself extremely exhausted if I work 8 hours, but still tired after a 4 hour or 5 hour shift. In my 3rd week, I contracted a cold which hit me pretty hard, and I had to miss 4 shifts. I am still recovering but at least able to work.

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I have found it a bit difficult to switch my mind off after work and get into the mindset of doing any art.  This is why over the past few weeks I have only been able to produce pieces like I have pictured in this post of the mandala/doodles. I come home exhausted, my feet too sore to be on them any more than a few minutes, so I sit with them propped up while trying to decompress as I stream videos on cravetv or netflix and doodle in my journal. It is my hope as I become more comfortable with my new job and my body becomes more accustomed to the work, that I’ll be able to turn my focus towards my art.

Today and tomorrow are my days off and though I was given the option to work an extra four hours today, I turned it down. I knew I needed some self-care time for these two days to help further my recovery from my cold and I feel a deep need to do something more than doodling, possibly work on a mixed media piece for a class I haven’t had the motivation or time for these past few weeks.

My journaling has also taken a turn from expressing my concerns over finances to expressing my experiences and concerns over my new job. It is interesting how satisfying one concern can quickly turn into a different concern and need for journaling in order to get it out so we can focus on the things we need to.

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My new position is very public. I speak with probably a hundred or more people every day. Every single person is in a different frame of mind, some happy, some sad, some angry, some criticizing, many are a pleasure to talk to and can uplift in just the few minutes we interact together. I have no doubt this will eventually come out in my creativity in one form or another as I become more comfortable in what I’m doing.

In another aspect of my life, I live in a strata which has recently been doing some work to improve the appearance, making repairs and so forth. In one area of the yard some landscaping was done to cover some gaps under the fence where our dog could get out. Some earth was used to fill it in. Today, I noticed the earth that was used was taken from a corner which was elevated and in the spring tulips and daffodils would bloom. They apparently didn’t realize this and when I looked there were bulbs lying on top of the earth that had been dug up when they took some of the earth to fill in the gaps below the fence. To me these were little treasures I took and have now stored for the fall to replant. Hopefully, they will survive and bloom in the spring in their new location. I have hopes of adding a few small gardening plots around our patio and these will be a nice beginning and possibly inspiration for some art pieces in the spring next year.

I miss the many hours I had free to play with my art supplies and spend time on classes or watching videos to learn new techniques or skills. However, I am very grateful for the job and hopefully the end of my daily financial worries. My period of not working, being challenged financially, gave me some incentive to find alternatives for the more expensive art supplies. It also challenged me in ways I never expected and I am learning things about myself. Things I wanted to learn and things I never wanted to learn.

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Those things we never wanted to learn about ourselves, at least for me, are things which make me feel vulnerable. They make me feel helpless. It doesn’t mean I am helpless, it just means it makes me feel that way, if that makes any sense. At least until I find a way around it, or what I can do that will take that helpless feeling away. The most vulnerable thing to learn is when you find out you have a breaking point. The most strengthening thing to learn is when you find out you have a creative mind that will allow you to do what you need to do to avoid the breaking point.

When I felt like I had no structure in my life, when things felt chaotic and out of control, was when I found out focusing on art with structure, such as mandalas, or something with geometric shapes and structure, helped me to gain back a sense of control. I am only beginning to understand how art connects me with understanding myself and the world around me. It is an amazing thing to witness.

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Selling art….

My journey as an artist had begun with just wanting to awaken my inner artist. This journey started by simply learning to doodle by following some simple step out instructions on tanglepatterns.com . This was simple enough and soon expanded into learning how to draw mandalas.

I couldn’t stop there and soon developed into a full fledged adventure into all different mediums in the art world. I learned about mixed media art which appealed to my inner artist because, and to be quite frank, I’m just not a one medium girl. Even though I had some preconceived ideas that some mediums wouldn’t get along with me very well, I was soon to discover those ideas had no foundation to stand upon.

I ventured into all sorts of mediums and found some I am falling in love with. Acrylics and watercolors are probably my top two favorites right now. I’m also learning I love abstract painting as well as portrait painting. Who knew the two would get along? I sure didn’t when I first started this adventure of mine.

There are other things I am discovering along the way. As the saying goes, when one door closes another one opens and that couldn’t be more true in my case.

When I lost my job of 33 years, I was devastated. I worked in a field where the youngest in our field were all of retirement age. I thought this gave me job security since I was one of the youngest. I soon learned this wasn’t the case. Finding a job in the same field meant moving, uprooting, and still facing the same job insecurity.

I wondered if I could earn any money from my artwork. I was doubtful. I wasn’t a fool to believe my art was anything close to being a master piece or even desirable to be mounted on someone’s wall. That didn’t stop me from continuing to do my own thing and create art the way I wanted to. I had to have faith that something would work out for me.

The harder I worked at finding a job in mainstream typical employment world, the more I found rejection and disappointment which fueled my desperate mind. Even the government services couldn’t help me in my present situation. It has to get much worse before they will step in to help. So, I began looking at alternatives.

Once I agreed to make an important step into devoting the rest of my life to my creativity and artwork, things started happening. I wanted, really wanted to be able to sign up for Ever After 2016, an art course put together by Tamara Laporte. She is a phenomenal artist. Her style is whimsical. When I first came across her, though I loved her work, I was sure it wasn’t my style. But, I decided to take one of her free courses. Mostly because she also believes in using artwork to help heal emotional trauma. I had blocks from way back in my childhood I had trouble getting past and I thought, why not, it couldn’t hurt. So I took her Art, Heart and Healing course. You can find a list of her classes here, including her free courses.

I was blown away by the class. The amount of content she offered for this free class was amazing, so I signed up for some more classes. While I was still able, I signed up for Life Book 2017, thinking it would be the last class I could ever pay for until I had some steady income coming in. I also thought it would give me something to focus on for 2017, something good and uplifting, if things didn’t go well in the job search.

Then I heard about Ever After 2017. I had heard a bit about Ever After 2016, bits and pieces which at first had not appealed to me, until I had actually completed the Art, Heart and Healing class. Then while doing the lessons in Life Book 2017, I became hooked. The more I learned about Ever After 2017, the more I wished I could purchase the course. What I love about Tam is once you purchase her courses they are available forever. You can download all the videos and files and have access to them forever. Plus they will be available online in your account for as long as the site is kept up and running. The point is, I can download them and have them even if she chooses to close up shop.

I wanted Ever After 2017. I didn’t see how I could afford it. Tam is a generous entrepreneur. She gathers a lot of different artists to participate in Ever After and each instructor was given the opportunity to give away a free seat in the class. They did a blog hop to promote the course and to give away the seats. I decided to follow the blog hop and for each instructor, I followed the instructions required to enter the give-away.

When one door closes, another door opens, AND IT DID! I WON A SEAT in the course.

Then as I continued to work on my art and research ways to promote my art, I discovered something else. I discovered from some posts in a Facebook group I am a part of, a discussion about a few websites that allow you to post your art and sell it on their range of products. I looked into a couple of the sites but focused on Society6.

You may have noticed the picture on my sidebar of a t-shirt with Society6 across the picture. The t-shirt is covered in my artwork. This is my actual handmade abstract artwork that can now be purchased on various products on Society6 . I have other artwork available there as well. It isn’t just clothing. They sell, phone covers, art prints on canvas, framed or not framed, pillows, comforters, shower curtains, on and on. Go check it out. I am blown away by how well my artwork looks on the t-shirt and leggings, as well as blankets and pillows and so much more. I would love to buy my own but that will have to wait until I am earning an income.

If you love my artwork, please share this post, and my Society6 store with anyone you know and tell them to share it too if they like it. Here are two pictures of t-shirts with two other designs.

   

~Patti

Finding My True Artist?

I’ve been practicing, learning, trying to find my own sense of style in my artwork. It isn’t as easy as it sounds. I can definitely see influences of the teachers I’ve been learning from. Not that it is a bad thing.  I just feel as though I’m channeling them and not me. Here is an example of my art journal page I did lately without following a lesson or a prompt or while watching a video. The inspiration was my own, but the artwork well, I’ll explain after I show you the picture.

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I created this journal spread over the past couple of days. If anyone knows Tamara Laporte you will immediately see her influence in this piece. The background with the moon and stars was influenced by Dede Willingham. There is a more subtle influence which comes from Christy Sobolewski.

The artists I mention are not all the artists I’ve studied and learned from. They are the main influences for this particular spread. I follow many others, Barb Owen is just one other I study consistently and many, many others I grab bits and pieces from.

This however is my own sketch, using skills I learned from Christy Sobolewski and Tamara Laporte, as well as, skills I remember from high school. The sketch looked much better in person. I say looked because I painted over it. It was part of a Life Book 2017 lesson. However, what it did was prove to myself, if I practice, I can become rather good at sketching portraits.

Portraits have been something which I haven’t done since high school art class. They frustrated me. I found them intimidating. For a long time, my idea of art was if my reference is a photo of real life or real life itself, then my art had to look like real life. I never understood the concept of abstract or whimsical or other types of art. Even though I loved some of them, I couldn’t wrap my artist’s brain around how to create them. Letting go has never been something I do well, if, at all.

This is changing. I am finding whimsical fun, however, I have yet to find my own style in whimsical which is why you see Tam’s influence.

I created an abstract painting in my journal, which I found fun and challenging. As I said, letting go isn’t something I do easily, and for abstract, you have to let go. abstract-1

Then occasionally, I have to satisfy the orderly, logical, and mathematical side of my artistic nature. This is where mandalas come in.

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I love these. I could sit down and draw these for hours and hours. Not to say I can’t do the same with my other drawings or paintings, in fact I do. It is just, the mandala seems to satisfy a part of me, the other drawings don’t. Maybe if I had gone into architectural design, it would do the same thing. I’m extremely logical, so the geometric designs, the detailed symmetrical work appeals to that part of me. Maybe it is why I also enjoy creating border designs for stationary.

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This is probably one of my favorites. Orderly, neatness, perfection appeals to me though you couldn’t tell that by looking at me or my surroundings. Maybe secretly I love messiness too.

I guess the point is, I’m working through all of this. Trying to find my true artist.

~Patti