Happy Mother’s Day! I got to talk with my mom bright and early yesterday. She’s in her 70’s but still has all of her brothers and sister and her mom. Clearly longevity is a family trait.
We were talking and she revealed that she keeps up with my art and loves seeing the stuff that I create. I was surprised by this, but in hindsight I should not have been.
She was my first fan.
When I was a toddler, she gave me my first paints. When I was in kindergarten, she used to put my pictures on the fridge. And when my teachers would complain about me drawing on homework, she bought me typing paper, which was a big deal for me. I had paper just to draw!
So yeah…my mom was always encouraging me. She was stern sometimes, keeping me on the right path, lol. But I never felt that my mom didn’t love me. And I had no idea that she follows ANY of this.
So thank you for allowing me to be me and teaching me the value in believing in yourself. I’ll never forget and always love you ❤️.
I suppose I could just occupy myself with work and get through this the old way. Honestly I don’t feel like drawing right now, but I also can’t stop, lol.
Figured a landscape would make me feel less cooped up, but the only thing I could think of was the ride to work. Scenic train ride is definitely missed.
I have a few parts of my day that are fun though. So this particular view is one that I have every morning; the station at New Carrollton,MD. I’m pretty good at this one because I’m always staring at the side facing the morning sun.
Now this parking garage I almost left as a silhouette. But I knew that wouldn’t work…
Although once I finished it I regretted it. It’s so hard for me to stay interested, but I need to get better at it!
So I cleaned up the image and darkened the building so that it wouldn’t stand out so much.
It reads like a rant, right? It’s not. I’ll always pick freedom. But I also know better than to think things go away because I wish it.
I rarely draw kids. It’s not that I don’t like them; it’s that I don’t want to be trapped in the business of kids and pets. I have no interest in them.
But I do get it. My son was a little cutie, like this one. Curly hair and all. It took a long time to perfect those ringlets.
Drawing loved ones isn’t the same. It’s an interesting challenge, because you don’t really see the person only. You see them through the lens of your affection for them.
That makes it difficult to accurately judge what you are seeing. Even the most ordinary act can seem to be wonderful in such light, to say nothing of the person. To me my mom looks young and has a special glow.
You aren’t able to see that for the loved ones of others. Sometimes your interpretation of a person or pet can actually upset a customer.
People often don’t understand that an artist has developed a style that they may not appreciate. We’re not Xerox copiers and I’ve had a few experiences where expectations didn’t sync up with the reality.
That’s why it’s important to communicate with your client; if they are interested in a commission of any type, find out WHY they think that you’d make a great choice. Are they fans of your work? Did they pick you out of a hat? What are the expectations of the final work? How do they feel about the subject? Can they tell you a story about them?
So a question came up and I have to ask, how do you guys feel about me putting together a book of my art? I had an interesting talk with a fellow artist about it and he said that it could be a theme or a set of sketches, but that I should.
My son is back in Afghanistan. He took leave and we took a pretty fun roadtrip. I miss him already.
Things have been… interesting. My art life has been somewhat quiet. I have a few projects lined up, but without a deposit, I don’t start, so that’s a non issue.
Plus I found out that Staedtler discontinued the pencil I use to sketch out my art! I suppose I could just buy an 8H pencil, but I tend to lose the color with my vision issues. Oh well, something will come up.
In the meantime, I’ve resorted to colored pencils. They tend to shade really heavy and it requires me to use a more delicate touch. NOT my forte, lol.
Also… I’ve had a few people complain that I don’t draw many PoC (People of colour). The reason is…
…they don’t ask. Or I don’t post.
My paying customers often ask for a still life from a photo and the biggest hesitation comes from the concern that I’ll post the image. Of course I don’t. I have more than enough who don’t care, lol. And some are made up.
For some reason, most of the ones who say hell no are black.
Now one lady gave me an ENTIRE FOLDER of nudes to use! She only asked that I make a poster for her. Deal.
Last post before the new year! I’d love to lie about being ready. I really would….
As you can see, I’m back to doing digital painting. Believe it or not, this one was fairly easy for me.
Everyone thinks that I have my own special, custom brushes for doing this kind of thing. Nope. I’m doing it the hard way. Opacity on 10%, so most of the brush strokes you see are built up. It’s how I get that feathered look.
As for the details… I’ve gotten a lot better at crossing the finish line nowadays. Those little things are the difference when it comes to your art.
To be honest, I never trusted myself with being able to bring them out.
Anyway, I’m not sure if I’m happy with it. I gave the old background more pop and a 3D feel, but…
Once upon a time, I used to want to go into space. I was good at math and thought I wanted to fly. Then I chased a bullfrog into one of those rain culvers under a dirt road….
….and got stuck.
I went from annoyed to scared fast. I yelled for help, no one heard me. It took about an hour and I found that I could only go forward, so that’s what I did. I stayed calm and freed myself.
Later I watched the Android Bishop do the same thing in the movie “Aliens” and had an anxiety attack. I didn’t know what it was; I just couldn’t breathe and felt as though the room was closing on me. Then I learned that you have to be strapped in and still for training and actual missions and I knew that wasn’t for me.
I needed to be free.
But I never lost my love for space. Watching the shuttles, Voyager, Skylab. It all seemed so, BIG.
Then, one day, I was given a chance to work for NASA, as a contractor. The people bringing me in didn’t know it, but I was so excited!! By then we had Hubble and we’re building the International Space Station. Still launching shuttles. Getting ready to go to the moon again. I was proud to have a PIV card that said that I was at Goddard Space Flight Center. It made me so happy.
I have glaucoma. It’s pretty far along. They were supposed to operate but I can’t afford it and now my right eye is almost completely gone. My left is down to 86%. And I’m freaking all the way out.
I’m not sure if they can save my eye. I hope so. But I’m really scared right now. I’ve drawn all my life. I don’t have any memories of not doing it. My job is photographer/video editor/ artists.
What happens when I lose my sight? Forever?
I don’t live with anyone. There’s no family nearby. And I suffer from the kind of mental issues that are mocking my continued efforts to not give in to despair. Suddenly that suicide thing that I’ve been holding at bay feels like a mercy killing.
As an artist, if you’d ask me what I feared more than anything, it would have been losing my sight, with losing my hands a close second.
I’m not close to anyone. I’ve been dealing with this by myself for months. The surgery can only save what’s left, maybe. And because it’s the optic nerve that’s dying…well, maybe it’s already done.
I gotta have the surgery. I need to. But my window is closing and soon it won’t matter. I’ll be in the dark. And I’ll never come back.
Some of you may remember the last time I drew this young lady. Probably not though. Well, to be honest, I do have a few people who are always available for this.
I guess you can call them my muses.
Of course Melissa, Rebekah, Velvet and Zoa are aware of their status. Which means that I often get to draw them and have used them for reference. It’s helpful.
The funny part (at least to me) is that whenever a new subject or image comes up, I get none of the “who’s she?” feedback that certain peers of mine do. I believe it’s because I’m not dating them. In fact at least one of them is married!
So much for the “sleeping around” artist theory, hahaha.
Anyway the reason I mention this is because sometimes when drawing in public, I catch a bit of flak from women who think that they’re the focus of my art. That’s NEVER the case.
So….no more attacking the artist publicly, okay? You’re going to be embarrassed when I show you an image of a car, dog, or someone else.