Random Acts of "Kindness"

Posts tagged ‘PAINTING’

ARTISTS DAY

It was an absolutely beautiful summer/fall day. Lovely sunshine but too cool for swimming. Jackets not necessary — too cool for swimsuits. My younger grandchildren where at the camper.They needed something to do!

Luckily this summer I added to our collection of portable tables. Easy to put up, and put away. They provided a table or desk for each artist. I’m sure it was in the planning — but not necessarily by me. I found a sketch pad and colored pencils. Then I found a second sketch pad and watercolor/colored pencils. One for my grandson — one for his sister. Then I found another sketch pad and sketching pencils for me.

At first I had planned to embellish the canvas that was made from a photo of my ghost ship. The original is in shades of blue, the copy is indigo. When I added a couple of different colors, I realized that changing the painting would ruin it — not improve it. The color of the painting reflected the time of the tornado — best left alone.

Next project — paint my serenity garden. But how? I tried to draw the flowers in two perspectives: landscape and portrait. I have canvas, paints and easels. Normally I don’t put much time into planning. This time I thought it might be helpful. I think I decided to do the painting in portrait. I haven’t decided on the placement of the flowers. I haven’t decided if I would add the bird bath or one of the statues. Of course I haven’t opened the paints yet either. But I decided that I would use the thicker acrylic paint in the tubes. Progress!

I told my grandson that I had paint and brushes available but he preferred to draw in pencil. So did my granddaughter. And so did I. I liked their drawings. I didn’t like mine. I need more practice in drawing. I had planned to practice during the summer which is why I had the sketch books. I picked up another sketch book when I was at our daughter’s house. I didn’t take the time to sketch there either. But the supplies allowed us to have a sketch book apiece instead of just a sheet of paper. I have decided to leave the sketch books and pencils at the camper. That means I will have to pick up another sketch book for home.

When we pack up to close during the fall — if I’m going to paint at home, I’ll have to bring the paints and brushes home.

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IN THE GENES

I know that genetics is important for health issues. Many diseases can be traced through the family line. It is harder for people who have been adopted and don’t know their parents or other relatives. It is not only hair color, bone structure and height that are shared. Diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure are just a few diseases that are passed down.

Emphasis is being placed on nationality — not only in humans but also in dogs. People are very interested in the countries that make up their nationality. This interest has expanded to animals. Sunday a program was on television that shared the breeds that where discovered in a few dogs from DNA testing. Especially when a dog is a rescue — the animal’s breed can influence their behavior. Science is progressing.

Physical traits are easier to track. Harder to pinpoint are talents — singing, painting and dance to name a few. On my fathers side, I have discovered a couple of painters. There was a strong interest in religion — my great grandfather was a minister. He was also very interested in herbs. That explains some of my interests. I don’t know as much about my mother’s side except there is at least one successful writer. I have heard that I share some of her traits — what they are I have no idea.

Just because a trait is in your genes doesn’t mean that it will surface especially when it comes to a talent, if it is a disease — life style changes can make a difference. Heart disease is on both my mother’s and my father’s side. Since I am sodium restricted — I watch the sodium content of the food I eat as best as I can. Therefore I eat a lot of fresh vegetables. I no longer eat a lot of processed foods. It would be lovely if I said I keep my weight down — but I try not to lie, I have a LONG way to go.

When I was forty, I discovered I could paint. I totally enjoyed putting paint on canvas for many years until life intervened. Recently I have been pestered to take up a paint brush again. I used to paint in oil but now my husband has emphysema. I’m planning to try acrylics — the different textures has me confused at the moment. Some of the paint is more liquid, similar to water color. Some is more solid, similar to oil. Both are supposed to dry quickly. Oil takes days to dry.

I had an idea to paint the flowers in our garden at the camper. I ran out of time and we came back home. I took a photo before we left. It might turn into a painting. Time will tell.

AWAKENED

I had a most interesting week — in a weeks time I have revisited many of the talents and interests I had over the years. Many of them slipped by the wayside without my noticing it. Too busy, too many other things occupying my time. Years ago, I belonged to the Nature Club at our campground. This week, Sunday, I attended a presentation on a wetland area that is only a few miles from our campground. Even though it has been there for quite a few years, I was completely unaware of its existence. The person giving the presentation had interesting slides of the plants, animals and insects that inhabited the area.

Two days later, I saw a member I knew from the Nature Club at a restaurant. The very next day, I ran into another person who had helped me with the float on a parade. The back to back experiences reminded me of not only the fun I used to have, but also how much I have forgotten. Too many years have passed!

That same day, I attended a colored pencil drawing program hosted by the nature club. I haven’t drawn in years — not that I have ever been very skilled. I picked a flower to capture on a wood panel. All the supplies and pencils were provided. The experience reminded me of when I first started painting 30 years ago. It was an invitational program put on by the campground. Bring your body and talent and we will provide the rest. My rendition of that painting opened up a new world for me. I didn’t think I could paint — I was proved wrong. Thankfully the technique I learned this week was easy to adapt and the flower I colored surprised me. Instead of hiding in a drawer, it is occupying a space on our wall. My family thinks I should pick up my paint brushes again. They may be right.

While I was occupied with colored pencils, I learned of nature activities coming up on the weekend. A nature hike and later, a nature presentation of life in early America. Both sounded interesting — I planned to attend. Then I WORRIED. Would I be able to walk on a two mile hike? Would my knees allow me to do it? I decided that I would hike as far as I could then walk back and leave.

I didn’t need to worry. I arrived at the prearranged spot and saw the leader putting down a plastic ground cover. The plan was to DRAW, then hike. I WONDERED HOW not only would I get DOWN on the ground, HOW would I get back UP?

I needn’t have worried. The leader asked me to wait, he had something in the car for me. HE DID! He had his mother’s wooden folding chair. I WAS VERY COMFORTABLE. I still couldn’t draw — a bird, copied out of one of his books. (My grandson could have done better!) A tree — some resemblance but nothing to brag about. I think I will try to pick up his suggestion and DRAW every day.

The presentation — EXCELLENT! I convinced my husband to accompany me. He was glad that I did. Brian “Fox” Ellis became Prince Maximilian in 1832. I was reminded of the many hours I spent in storytelling.

The only thing missing was writing. OH! I GUESS I’M DOING IT NOW!

Years ago we had bird feeders hanging in our yard. A hummingbird visited a few weeks ago — reminding me. This weekend, we hung up hummingbird feeders. We had a visit from either one hummingbird twice or two separate hummingbirds. WELCOME. ( I have plants that are beneficial for hummingbirds in my garden. The feeder is more permanent.)

ADMITTING TALENTS

Words coming out of my mouth surprised me the other day. I was in the entrance of a book store, looking at a collection of adult coloring books. A woman was standing there also, trying to decide if she wanted to buy a book, commit herself to coloring and trying to decide what materials she wanted to use. I shared my experience. She thought coloring might help with her anxiety.

At my daughter’s retreat in the Fall, I saw a group of women enjoying coloring, sitting at a table — using colored pencils. Shopping for Christmas presents, a selection of coloring books caught my attention. I bought a different book for two of my daughters, then bought a book so I could play too. I wanted to include tools so they could color right away. I bought 3 sets of markers. I was very happy with the deep color on the page — I WAS VERY UNHAPPY when I noticed the color soaked through to the other side. I returned two sets of markers to the store.

Next I tried crayons but once again I was unhappy with the results. Third try was colored pencils — I bought a set of 24 pencils. I was happy with the finished effect. When I paint, I often mix my own colors, or add white to get different shades. Having only 24 colors that I couldn’t mix was too confining. Thankfully our son had a big set of colored pencils that he shared. His set has more than six shades of green — just what I needed for coloring a garden that had many different leaves.

So when I was talking to the woman about coloring, I shared my experience. I also mentioned that I was a painter — those words, coming out of my mouth, surprised me. I usually don’t admit to having a special talent.

That isn’t the first time this week that my mouth opened to share something about myself. In this case I wouldn’t call it a talent. I accompany my husband to an exercise class at the Veteran’s clinic he attends. Recently a new person joined our group — it was his first class. And the class was more energetic than most. I was wearing my watch that measures my heart rate — I have trouble finding my pulse — and the reading was over 120. I couldn’t help but notice the rapid breathing of our new member — my mouth opened — words came out cautioning him to be careful — rest if he needed to, we didn’t want him to collapse onto the floor. Afterwards I explained to one of the volunteers that I can’t help mentioning something when I see or hear something hazardous. After my cautioning words, the volunteers gave him more assistance.

I seem to have become grandmother to the world.

LESSONS LEARNED

LESSONS LEARNED

I don’t know what keys I pressed this time that changed the size of my print font and put the type into bold. It will be extremely interesting to see how this thought ramble appears on my blog. I started this thought ramble yesterday but ran into so many problems that I abandoned the ship and exercised instead. I thought that was the reason for the problems, reminding me to exercise, but today they are still here and I have already exercised.

Sadly my right leg is still causing pain. Sadly my weight is still the same. Whenever the pain in my leg gets better, I move the wrong way and undo the healing. I can truthfully say that the pain decreases my energy.

Recently I had cause to remember one of the lessons I learned years ago. I was leaving the grocery store when I saw a mother trying to free the leg of her young son which was stuck between the bars of the grocery cart. Somehow he got his leg out of the space that is reserved for legs and got it into the narrow space between the bars. I had just bought 2 boxes of Imperial margarine. I reached into my bag and extracted a box, removing a stick. I handed it to the mother and suggested she butter her son’s leg. His leg slid right out of the narrow space. Years before, Mabel, our chocolate lab puppy, got her leg stuck in the fins of our radiator. I poured olive oil on her leg in order to free it.

When we were in Hawaii, the curator of an art gallery suggested I take a photo of a painting that is a family favorite. I could transfer the photo to canvas and add a few touches to personalize it. It sounded like a great idea. The original painting of a ship coming out of a storm was done in shades of blue, about 25 years ago. The ship on the canvas is in shades of purple. After searching through my house, I finally found my oil paints. I tried a few colors to match the colors of the original ship and it worked EXCEPT the ship on the canvas is purple. I had decided that the first copy would go to my oldest daughter and her favorite color is purple. Purple was not a color that I used when I was painting regularly.

We stopped at a craft store today. I asked if there was anyone on duty familiar with paint colors and explained my project. I was referred to a person at the frame counter. Luck (?) was with me, the person manning the counter normally works more than 50 miles away but is there to help out since the person who normally works the area has a broken arm. The woman had embellished photos on canvas and recommended acrylic paint and helped me find complimentary colors. I haven’t tried them yet. I must admit it has been twenty five years since I have painted and am afraid I will damage the canvas. Normal for my life : Today at Mass, the homily concerned the storm, and the offertory song was “Be No Afraid.”

ONE STEP FORWARD

I was curious — how long ago was I at this weight? Looking back at my calendars, I tracked the low weight back to the summer of 2011. I knew that I had been trying for a very long time to lose some of my excess weight with no success. I’ve tried various diet options — tea, protein drinks, exercise etc. — the weight stayed with me or increased a trifle.

Therefore this current weight loss has made me very happy, hoping that it will continue — I have one more week of the set to go, and a bit scared that the weight will rebound.  Another pound lost, more looking back I discovered that I have been at this weight before and then regained the weight again. Life happened! Life will continue to happen! Hopefully this time I will be alert and catch the slight incline before it becomes major.

My “friends in high places” are beginning to nudge. WRITE — an article in the newspapers caught my eye written by an experienced author who has watched the world of publishing change. Now the author has more responsibility to promote the story. Watching television, I caught a story of a couple that is self publishing, earning thousands of dollars. Their field is sexy romance books. They won’t have any competition from me. My imagination is still asleep. Then a friend asked if I was starting a new book. ?? Hmm! Let’s not forget jury duty, the novena to St. Anthony. This morning I read a new article, different author — nudge, nudge.

NUDGE — “You used to paint! So you’ll never be famous, does it matter? You had fun, you expressed yourself.” Painting has risen to the forefront again. Downtown at Macy’s, the fashion designers who used art from the art institute for inspiration, the recent art faire at Botanical Garden. It is summer, art fairs are EVERYWHERE! I don’t think I’ve had an artist paint brush in my hand in over a year.

We are heading to the camper. More rain is predicted. Maybe I will take my paints and a few small canvases. I will take my computer and hopefully WRITE, nothing serious,  just a few thought rambles. Both will distract me from nibbling. A day seldom passes without some interaction with “my friends in high places.”  Unless the interaction really makes an impression, I’ve forgotten the details when I sit down to write.

NUDGE: Every year at the Mind, Body, Spirit expo I have admired the scarves with coins that are used in belly dancing. Every year, I look at the workmanship, the price and put the item back on the rack. This year when we were at the International Market in Oahu, a coin scarf caught my eye, it was the last one, it was affordable, it came home with me! When I arrived home, I looked through my VCR tapes and DVD’S without success. I thought I had a belly dancing tape. I WAS WRONG! But not for long. On a recent shopping trip, looking for an exercise DVD for my food program, I found a belly dancing workout. The coins don’t jingle too much — but I’m sure with practice I will add my own music to the dance. Losing a few pounds, the scarf FITS!

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