I moved to Idaho in 2013 and haven’t created much art here. I’ve been busy doing other things. In the twenty-one months I’ve been in Idaho, I’ve attended a lot of meetings (mainly church and Bible studies), found a lot of new friends, and worked on my online writing business, which continues to present me with unexpected issues and new work to do.
Most recently I’m staying home a lot because my foot needs to heal. The only way for it to heal is to stay off it – something I have a hard time doing. I did manage to go to church on Monday evening but only because I needed to hear the sermon – it was a special event – and I used the crutch a friend of mine bought for me, to keep my weight off that foot. I think the foot problem gives me more time to create art, since most of the time, I stay home now!
I also went to a women’s Bible study today that was so amazing, with a potluck brunch and written testimonies from everyone. All the women who brought their written testimonies read them out loud and expanded on what happened to them. I put them in a folder to treasure forever. All the stories were beautiful and heart-touching. I’m amazed at how many of the women had been through abusive relationships… but afterwards their lives were healed by Jesus and they found new husbands that treat them better. Except for me. I’m not looking for a new husband… I like living alone.
I’m not a naturally talented artist. I struggle with it. But when my youngest child became an adult I decided I wanted to learn more about creating art in my “retirement from parenting” years. Of course, no matter how old the children get, I’m still the parent and have an active part in their lives… but it is different when they aren’t living in my home. I believe empty-nesters need hobbies and mind-expanding activities, and decided art would be my thing to learn in my old age.
I have two paintings in my living room – one is a painting I started when I lived in Happy Camp, California – and finished here after I moved to Northern Idaho. I call it “The Prayer.” And the other is my cross painting, which I created here in Idaho after I became a Christian.
Right now these paintings are in my living room, but my plan is to replace them with beach themed paintings. I have another place picked out to move these to. I want a beach themed living room because I miss being at the beach. I live further inland now and haven’t seen the ocean in a while, but it will always be a big part of my life as I spent so many years living close to it.
Still, I wouldn’t trade Idaho for anything. I’m very happy here.
If there’s one thing I’d like to change, it would be my dedication to creating new art. Oh, that and money, and a car, etc… but aside from those material considerations, I’d like to spend more time creating art and less time merely thinking about it.
Pinterest is an inspiring place for artistic ideas. I have a board there with beach decor ideas. I love the colors – mainly light blue and white. There are a lot of creative people out there and I want to be one of them.
My friend knows I daydream about having beach decor and has laughed at me because she knows that for now, my beach decor collection is beyond minimal. I have told her, that will change. I’m just slow. I like to think about things for a while before I do them.For my last blog post here, the one about visiting God’s presence, I had to create a watercolor sketch to show what I’d seen in my morning vision.
There was a lot of light there – a lot of white, and the colors I could not duplicate, so I used pink. What I saw there was more like pearlescent pink and white with blue highlights on the angels, but this was just a sketch and not a real attempt to show exactly what I’d seen. It took only about ten minutes to create – just enough to remind me that I need to sketch more often.
For a while I was using this book to help improve my drawing abilities – and I want to start doing it again. This is one of the few books that survived my book-purge when I left Happy Camp, CA in 2013. I recommend this book for anyone wanting to be a better artist, but especially for those of us who didn’t develop good drawing skills when we were young. Art is driven out of a lot of us during elementary school years because schools place more value on lessons in mathematics, science, and writing. That is the basic premise of the book, and it can cause a dramatic increase in right-brained skills.
In the photo above, of my two paintings, you might have noticed an index card stuck in the bottom left corner of the cross painting. This is what it says:
During perilous times, it is good to remember that He is there. He delivered me from a very bad situation… I will never forget that my prayer was answered.
Here are the art supplies I have to work with right now.
Cheap acrylic paints I bought at Walmart a long time ago. I’d like to have an upgrade but this is what I did the two paintings in the photo above with. Also, my River Girl book cover painting was done with these cheap paints. There are better paints… professional grade and student grade paints. I’d like to at least have a set of the student paints. The colors are brighter and they’re easier to work with.
Winsor & Newton watercolors from a travel sketch kit. I got a lot of mileage out of this little paint box. It came with a travel bag I can put my sketch book into, along with the paint box, a vial of water, and my watercolor brushes.
The travel kit is a great way to create watercolor sketches on the go.
Sorry to say, my sketches done in Happy Camp were better than the ones I’ve done here in Idaho. I don’t know why. Maybe because my life here has been difficult – especially considering I have no car. I’ve been feeling the hardship and haven’t been in a good mindset for watercolor sketching.
This is what my watercolor paint box looked like when it was new. These Winsor & Newton paints are student grade.
Paint pens – I bought these for painting on rocks: Elmer’s Painters. My rock painting didn’t go far… I found it more difficult than expected, and wanted to try a different technique. Maybe I still will. There are plenty of little rocks around here for me to experiment with.
The rock project started because when I moved to Idaho there was a lot of anger and discontent among the residents of the apartment building I moved into. I wanted to make “forgiveness rocks” to remind people of what works. Then I wondered if they would use them to throw at each other. Someone was stealing things from our community room, and I knew I couldn’t leave anything there, not even a forgiveness rock. The end result – I made two forgiveness rocks and decided to keep them for myself. They’re on my windowsill.
I have a lot of other art supplies… they do no good sitting in drawers. I’ll post more about art when I have something new to show.
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