I am Fearless!! (Becoming the Child I Never Was)

January 24, 2016 at 1:32 pm (mixed media) ()

I spent yesterday in bed with a trigeminal and occipital neuralgia attack.  The storm blew through, leaving over a foot of snow.  DannyO spent the day plowing.  I spent it making bargains with God.  It didn’t work and as usual, things had to run their course.  Today I am medicated to the gills but am vertical, not horizontal so that is good.

I am taking an art course on line for the first time, Life Book 2016. Every week there is a new lesson.  This week our lesson was by Annie Hamman called “Fearless Art.”  She works with her four-year-old daughter Tallulah on some pieces, allowing Tallulah to paint on a piece she has already worked on and then finishing it, without covering up Tallulah’s marks.

She encouraged us to let our children work on the piece with us.  Since my “children” are grown and in different states and I have no grandchildren, I followed the directions that used me as the child!

The problem is, I always colored in the lines, even as a small child.  I was not fearless, but very cautious.  I liked (and still do) knowing the outcome before I started.  So… this was indeed a stretch, trying to become the child I never was.  Add my usual anxiety and OCD and there is a strong possibility this exercise will be another *FAIL*    Hmmmm…

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I sketched a loose interpretation of my face (hey, it’s my art, I can dream… 🙂  )

The second issue is that Annie paints completely different than I do — using bold colors as her undertones.  I always choose a “safe” route — skin-like tones, shadowing and highlighting as expected.  But, since I’m trying to grow as an artist, I chose to use the colors she used — phthalo blues and greens — very bold!!

I painted using the colors she suggested and thought to myself, “What a mess!! And I’m supposed to mess this up even more???”  My anxiety was high.  It was hard to even leave the painting in this state before becoming a child again.

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So now comes the even harder part…  How to I think like the child I never was??  Hmmm… so I got out pink and purple because those were (and still are) my favorite colors.  I drew and stenciled but stayed safe.  Then I thought, if I were four, how would I draw a mouth??  And… I drew a smiley face right over my painted mouth.  Yikes!!

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I am almost glad I couldn’t paint yesterday because I probably would have tried and covered up most of the “mess.”  But since I had to wait until today…

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I left most of the underneath mess visible, only adding lines where I felt I needed to make things understandable.  You can still see the smiley face underneath the lips.  I had to make wild curly hair instead of the soft waves I had originally planned because young “Melodye” used a lot of squiggly lines.

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I am very very very proud of this piece!!  I actually love her!!  I feel like a door opened – and I will be able to use what I learned again.  Will this be my “new normal” way of painting??  Probably not, but, Annie, if a woman with OCD and anxiety can do this, you can be called a miracle worker!!



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Practicing Praise

January 7, 2016 at 4:09 pm (mixed media) (, )

Today has been “one of those days.”  I was up most of the night with trigeminal neuralgia pain.  We have company coming for supper (I’m not cooking… ). I had a list… I always have a list!!  I begin to edit my list at 7:00 a.m. because I had to medicate to the gills to function.

Meanwhile, the art class I am taking, Life Book 2016, includes some new techniques, using Tombow markers and Caran D’Ache Neocolor II wax pastels.  I’m an acrylics and colored pencil girl and am very comfortable with those mediums.

You’d think that after 56 years I’d learn when NOT to try something new.  Now I must start over on the very first project of the series!  Ugh!!

Jazzy has been particularly restless today.  Her Dad needs to take her for a three-hour hike this weekend!!

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Through all of this frustrating day, I’ve been practicing praise. I’m trying not to grouse through my angst, but am working to see the bright side of my circumstances.  I had a running dialogue with the Lord and myself today…  “Thank you Lord for my blessings…”  “Come on Mel… you can do the next thing…” It made the day easier to handle.

I don’t have to go to a job so when my TN overwhelms me with pain, I can stay home and medicate.

Nothing on my list needed done (except clean the toilets), so I pared it down to a few necessaries.

Jazzy just spent lots of time outside –  on her leash – surveying her kingdom.

My art project is a work in progress.  I’m doing the work, accepting the failures as I perfect new techniques.

Our friends will come tonight and we will have a wonderful time.  It will be all good 😀

This mixed media piece is one I did in July.  She is still with me and I love her 🙂


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I am a “Child of the King!” (see my crown??)

He inhabits our praise!!

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Daring to Dream

January 5, 2016 at 3:29 pm (mixed media, Sewing Projects) (, , )

It was cold, cold, cold outside this morning.  My face told me it was cold.  I had already decided to hibernate, but darling DannyO forgot his phone and Jazzy and I took a trip to Johnstown to deliver said phone.  I had my face completely covered up and the air still effected me.

My OCD doesn’t like changes in schedules but I flipped my errand day from tomorrow until today.

I’ve been pondering why I’m spinning in circles and I realized that I had forgotten how to dream!!  I encourage my kids to dream and reach their highest potential.  I encourage darling hubby to dream.  In fact,in may, he left a job he held for nearly 20 years to take a chance on something new (Yay DannyO!!!)

But once my music dreams faltered because of my physical issues, I became stuck… I didn’t dream for me!  I’ve been stuck since 2012.

We are so blessed in America that we CAN dream!  Our days aren’t filled with making sure we have the simple necessities of life.  In some countries, I’d be searching for water, harvesting fields, sweeping dirt floors.  But I sit here in my warm house and, after I’ve taken care of my daily chores, I can dream, but I didn’t… until now!!

This morning, as I read my devotion book given to me by my best friend, Juel, Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young , this quote stood out.

“True dependence is not simply asking Me to bless what you have decided to do. It is coming to Me with an open mind and heart, inviting Me to plant My desires within you.  I may infuse within you a dream that seems far beyond your reach.  You know that in yourself you cannot achieve such a goal.  Thus begins your journey of profound reliance on Me…  This is not a path of continual success but of multiple failures.  However, each failure is followed by a growth spurt, nourished by increased reliance on Me.”

I have a dream that my art can somehow reach people and I can supplement our income with said art.  I have a dream that I resume my love of sewing, something I’ve done since I was 10 years old.  I have a dream that I can make my blog into something someone wants to read, full of encouragement. I have a dream that I can somehow, someway, rise above the intense pain I live with and remake me — a rebirth of sorts at 56!!

Working on a coat with wool that a friend gave me about 4 years ago.

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Working on Subway art…


My sketch for my first “assignment” I’m taking, Life Book 2016





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