Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Painting Free

"Through Any Window"
Mixed Media on paper

I have been having a great time with this new style of painting.
New to me, that is.
No boundaries.
No limits.
What I am working on in life, as well as in my painting.
I started out with this background:

Actually went through several transformations.
It is teaching me not to be afraid of making a mistake.
Instead of hesitating, afraid to make one "wrong" brush mark, backing away in fear and putting the work aside, I now go for it, painting what I feel, and if it doesn't work, painting over it and working it again.
Now to do that in life!
I added my person:

Her closeup:

The painting is too big to scan so the colors are not exact, but you get the idea.
Painting Free!
Carol B.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Letter To My Mom

It is over two and a half months since my mother died.
But I am having a hard time because my feelings are stuck and I can't get that it's real.
So I live in this land where I wander around like maybe there's something wrong but I don't know what.
Yesterday was not a very good day.
So this morning I wrote a letter to my mom, hoping it will help.
I am posting it here.
It is very early in the morning, when it is still dark outside and when things seem ok that might not seem ok later on when it gets light.
But I'm going to put it here anyway, hoping that if I send it out in cyberspace it might make it seem more real than when I sit here with my feelings, all by myself in the dark.
Forgive me if it seems too personal or if what I am saying sounds weird.
I am just trying to get myself to understand.

Why did you die?
I don't know what to think.
I couldn't stand seeing you die.
I couldn't stand seeing you suffer.
I know you aren't suffering anymore, but I still see when you were suffering and there was nothing I could do.
At the same time things are bugging me because I can't see that you really died.
I can't see it as having happened at all.
I keep thinking you are just off visiting Aunt Alice and that you haven't come back yet and now it's getting later and later and where are you?
How come you haven't come back?
Dad is lonely and needs you.
But you aren't coming back, are you?
You really honestly died and are buried in the ground and you are not coming back.
And yet, even as I write this I just can't see it as being true, which is why this is such a bug for me because I am stuck in this feeling that you are off visiting your sister and when are you coming back?
But you are not coming back, are you?
Are you really in heaven?
Are you really with God?
Are you really with Jesus?
Is it all really real?
Are you happy being there?
I think I miss you.
My pants aren't hemmed.
I need them for work and my pants aren't hemmed because you aren't here.
You aren't going to be here for Thanksgiving, are you?
You aren't going to be here for Joe's birthday, are you?
You aren't going to be here for Janine's birthday, are you?
You aren't going to be here for Christmas, are you?
You aren't going to be here for Dionna's birthday, are you?
You aren't going to be here for Dad's birthday, are you?
And you aren't going to be here for Mother's Day, are you?
What am I going to do then, if I don't have a mother?
You aren't going to be here for Eric's birthday, are you?
You aren't going to be here when Eric and Janine finally get married and have your great-grandbabies, are you?
And you aren't going to be here for my birthday, are you?
Ever again.
Year after year, you won't be here, ever again.
I miss you.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Love, Always

Happy Birthday, Steven.
May your creative light shine on me always!
Carol B.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Heart's Intent

"Heart's Intent"
Acrylic on paper

My cousin wrote to me about a big change she is going through.
Right when she thought things were headed in the direction she had hoped and planned for, things changed.
Not for the better.
At least, not the way it looks on the outside.
But she said that because there is nothing she can do, she will wait and have faith that it will all work out.
Deeper than that.
As in, really seeking God and waiting for His direction.
I was very torn.
My long spiritual journey has been a roller coaster.
There have been times when things were great.
Not just circumstances. But also the times when things were not so great, and yet I had faith and saw wonderful miracles happen.
And then there have been times when I get sick of waiting, like a beggar waiting for crumbs that never come.
Then I am furious and say "the hell with this!" Why am I trying to be a nice little girl, tap dancing away, hoping I'll finally be good enough for someone to give their approval, when everyone else does whatever they want to do and seemingly get everything they want?
Then I thrash and rage until everything falls apart.
And I have to pick myself up, battered and bruised, take a deep breath, and attempt the road of peace all over again.
Ever since my mother passed, I have been angry and confused and defiant, intending to do things my way.
But I am not at peace.
When my cousin wrote me those words I was torn, wanting to shake her and tell her "Right when you were getting closer to your dreams, you're going to just let them slip away? Why don't you fight? Enough is enough!"
But I know she is right.
She is not letting her dreams slip away.
She is allowing herself to be guided toward the dreams she was meant for along an even better path than she could have ever imagined.
It doesn't look like it right now.
But I can bet, because of her faithfulness, that it is true.
When it is time for me to move in a new direction, little signs start popping up everywhere in perfect harmony.
Those signs have been coming again.
Those signs to brush off the rage and anger, take a deep breath, and start on that path of peace once again.
Thank you, K, for your faithfulness.
Wishing you Peace.
Carol B.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Missing You

"Missing You"
Acrylic on paper

I can't believe it's been so long since I posted. I was finally doing pretty good and now it has been forever.
Not that I wasn't painting. In fact, I was so busy on a particular painting that I was consumed and so did not post.
The above painting is not the one I had been working on. This is another painting.
When I was looking for a painting to post, I found this one in my computer's photo library. The funny thing is that I had forgotten I had painted this and found that I really liked it, and yet it actually no longer exists because I painted over it. I did not care for it at the time, and now I am bummed that I painted over it.
But that's ok.
We start again.
But anyway, all these days that I was not posting I was working on this particular painting and was so consumed that I did not take photos because I kept changing it and changing it and was never satisfied so kept changing it again. It's a good thing I didn't bother to take photos because I changed it so many times all the photos would take forever to post. It was starting to turn into a design I liked and then it nose dived again.
So I have put it aside for now.
That's ok. I'll try it again some other time.
Meanwhile, I have really missed being here.
I often tell myself, "what do you have to post today? Maybe the work I have or my words are not enough so you shouldn't bother."
But I get very anxious and I realize, dammit, I just want to be here, and that's good enough.
I am trying to remember that word.
I thought I was such a committed person in every area of my life and I have been shocked at the revelations that have been revealing themselves to me.
I like the thought of writing about that here. It could make me more accountable on my walk along that road.
See what happens when you just show up?
Gifts are waiting for you.
Carol B.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Under the Stars

"Under the Stars"
Mixed Media on paper

I have been learning the method "if you don't like it, paint over it and paint again."
It is so liberating.
I had a fun time swishing a bunch of colors on my surface. Then I looked at it and thought, "oh man, what a mess. I'll never be able to do anything with this."
I walked away, wondering where I had gone wrong.
When I came back I thought I saw an image. I took an oil pastel and painted the image on the surface.
Now, I started off by not listening to my own advice that I said in my last post of taking a photo of every step. So first look at this photo and picture it without the outline (my first step) and then look at it again for my second step with the outlined image:

I painted around the image:

Then added a few details:

Is that cool, or what?!
It was a lot of fun outlining an image and then painting around it to get this fantastic "pattern" for the image.
What was more remarkable was that a painting that started off so terribly that I almost ditched it turned out to be a painting that I really love.
It taught me that when you begin to doubt yourself, shut off the thoughts and jump in.
Hang on tight and just go for it!
Go do your thing this weekend!
Carol B.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Playing With Color

"In Defiance"
Acrylic on paper

I'm trying to remember to take photos of all the steps I do of a painting. I was starting to get the hang of it but sometimes I still forget. I know it comes from when, back in the day before digital cameras were around, if you took a picture of something then it had to be developed whether you liked it or not and you had to pay for the development of each photo, even if they came out terrible. So back in that day you were more careful of what you took photos of because you didn't want to have to pay for crap.
Of course, now you don't have to worry about that. You can take a photo of whatever you want, and if it doesn't come out, all you have to do is hit delete. Not problem, no cost. Wonderful marvel, only I haven't gotten the hang of that concept yet. I think, no, I don't want to take a picture of that background or that step because what if I don't end up posting that painting? Then I will be wasting, having taken that photo for nothing.
Well, duh, I keep forgetting we are not back in that day, but more technically advanced, although I do keep getting better all the time, but don't ask my daughter, "So, I heard your mom is getting more technically advanced," because she will just give you that look and make a funny snorting sound. Or more like a cat coughing up a fur ball.
Anyway, so I forgot to take a photo of my first step, where I wrote all over the paper with a pencil in handwriting like a big journal which was great fun. Then I painted over it for the background. Then I painted an outline of a face. Then I started painting the face and hair with off the wall colors and came up with this:

Then I decided to play with more colors and I got this:

Wanting to see how I can paint "normal" things without using "normal" colors.
What a kick being Defiant!
(Yes, for me, that's defiant!) ;p
Power to the People!
Carol B.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


"Blue For All The World To See"
Acrylic on Paper

I am seeking to break the limits of what my world has been,
in art as well as in life.
So please don't be too shocked at what you see.
Of course, I am supposed to be breaking free from people pleasing, so I am supposed to put this up and not really care what anyone thinks, but, of course, there is that part of me that does ;p
I want to not be afraid of what I paint, of what I paint over, and of what I paint again, so that I will not be stifled in painting what I long to paint.
So I am practicing being as crazy and wild as I can be. Then I will take these lessons to what I feel called to paint, without feeling afraid to go in the direction I truly see.
So first I painted this background, smearing and scribbling in the paint;

Then I painted an outline to a face;

Then I decided to paint the face a (gasp) Blue!

I painted in wild hair, but it turned out to be too full;

(I was probably thinking of my hair on a windy day) ;)
So I decided to cut it down;

And I ended up with "Blue For All The World To See."
I love this kind of painting because it is coming from deep down inside, expressing things that I know are going on inside of me, without my even realizing it.
It told me that my face shows a nice calmness, while inside there is a sadness (blue) that I don't see but maybe others do.
As unusual as the painting I have been doing might be, there is a great freedom rising from within me!
Wishing you Freedom,
Carol B.