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Hannah and Macy are two of my nieces and we have done many art lessons over the years and they continue to amaze me. Today Hannah (oldest) had her first oil painting lesson and Macy worked in watercolor and gouache. We started the day off by going to a local nursery to pick out flowers for our still life (they found out that that’s a hard decision to make!). We covered a ton today – value, color, composition, color mixing, texture, and lots more. They killed it! We were ALL exhausted! Hannah kept taking breaks and saying she needed to stretch 🙂 – that’s me all day long (stretching and working out sore muscles from standing and painting – you didn’t know it was so taxing did you?!).
Here’s a quick video of them in action – there was serious concentration going on in this studio today – no playing around – they were serious artists today. We did take Cooper (my dog) breaks though – always nice to have a studio dog to love on when you need to take a break from painting!
Here’s another version of my African Women and Children but in a whole new color palette – neutrals. This painting may still look very colorful, but every color on this painting is a neutral – meaning every color has red, yellow, and blue in it and is basically a grey. At one point I put a pure color on the painting and it literally looked like a neon sign! That’s one of the things you must know how to do for a painting to be good – know how to make neutrals. Every color on here I would try to “kill” (meaning knock it down – grey it down) – it would look like “mud” on my palette and then I’d put a stroke on the painting and it would look like a glowing yellow or red or blue.
Thought I’d show you some of the process I go through with my paintings. Sometimes I feel like something just isn’t working with a painting- sometimes I know what it is and sometimes I don’t. USUALLY I leave things alone because I USUALLY ruin a painting when I start trying to fix things, but lately I’ve been trying to have more confidence and fix what I feel is wrong. In other words, trying not to let fear hold me back from making an ok painting into a better painting. The painting above is my “fixed” version and the one below is the one I felt like something about the background was off.
One of the reasons I usually just leave it alone is because I’m a TERRIBLE judge of my own work!!! You may agree and feel like the first one was better!
Where to begin? I guess at the beginning of my diagnosis. Last June I was diagnosis with Type 1 diabetes. I didn’t think much of it because I was totally clueless about what our lives were about to look like and what we were about to be thrown into. I knew nothing about type 1 diabetes. You may not either so I’d like to give you a little glimpse. Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is an autoimmune disease – basically my body decided to attack itself, for no reason – it has nothing to do with lifestyle or diet, and kill my pancreas. So now I do the job of my pancreas and liver (I won’t go into the details of why I do the job of both organs, just know that it’s a lot of work to do the job of both). What that looks like is a 24 hour job – no days off – no nights off. It means giving myself shots all through the day, it means pricking my finger more times than I can count. EVERYTHING affects my blood sugar – everything – from vacuuming, to shopping, to a headache, to socializing. Having T1D means trying to keep myself alive 24/7. I must take insulin to stay alive but taking insulin also means that the insulin can kill me rather easily. I read a statistic recently that 1 in 20 T1D’s die in their sleep. They call it dead bed. Scary for sure! There’s much more I could share but that’s just a glimpse into what I deal with on a daily basis now. Shots are hard and painful. Low blood sugars are at best a pain in the rear and at worst quite scary. I’m doing good now and I’m managing my diabetes well, BUT it is constant work and hard work – but it’s also life now. Grady has been an AMAZING support! He basically does the math that my pancreas use to do :).
Now to the JDRF part of this blog. This is an amazing organization we’ve recently learned about. They are the leading global organization funding T1D research. JDRF’s goal is to accelerate life-changing breakthroughs to cure, prevent and treat T1D and its complications. They want to make Type One into Type None – and so do I! Grady and I have jumped head first into supporting this organization. The first thing we were able to do is donate a piece of my art for their upcoming gala in their silent auction, and the good part is that you don’t actually have to GO to the gala to bid on this painting at the silent auction. You can just click on silent auction to view the items in the silent auction or here to sign up to remote bid. Thank you for taking time to read this and be part of our lives.
The title is appropriate because one of these paintings is of my mother-in-law from a black & white of her when she was young. The flower painting is in memory of my sister’s mother who pasted away recently. When my sister called me to tell me of her mom’s illness months ago I picked out one of my favorite flower paintings to set aside for her mom’s funeral – we knew it would not be long before she passed. I wanted to send her flowers that would last and have something tangible for her to keep in memory of her mom. My sister Jackie is one of my BIGGEST fans (gotta love family that gives you such encouragement!) so I knew it would be special for her. It is an oil bar painting.