Once again, I’m going to start with the last picture of the prior painting blog. This is where I was at when I started “fixing” the nebula. I almost stopped here, but I felt like the colors were too soft now.
Black needed added in.
I knew I needed to make the color more dramatic. It just felt too soft and everything blended without a draw for the eyes. So I intensified the hues with another layer. If you look carefully at the next picture, you can also see the splattering of stars.
Time for the final stars and highlights on several of them. There are 7 glittering stars in that sky created by the dreams of a tree.
Honestly, I never expected the nebula to give the problems that it did. I thought I had this.
Okay, here is the last picture from the last blog so you can recall what it looked like.
Here I blended the colors together. Oh, and I also added the sparkles to the tree which I wanted.
So I thought it was all well at this point. I just needed to add in some dark spots.
That was when I realized I had a mess. Giving the top a moment to dry, I filled in the ground beneath the tree. I wasn’t certain that I even wanted ground, but after I got it in, I decided that it had been the right thing to do.
I had the thought at this point that I wanted the nebula to reflect the colors of the tree. I went back to some reference pictures of nebulae and tried to decide what I wanted to do. Here’s what came about:
I’m going to leave this blog here for now. I’ll post the final on Saturday. As I will be out at the Jerome Music Booster craft show from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., you can come see the real deal there.
Let me start by saying that I’m trying an experiment and moving the free fiction to Friday. I want to see if it has better results there. (catch last week’s now) Not going to lie. This is all about the exposure. Me running the free fiction does no good if only a few people are reading it. I want more eyes on it.
If you were looking for my progress blog that I usually run on Monday and didn’t see it, you’re not imagining things. I didn’t run it. I had originally thought that it would be a way of me being publicly accountable, and I still like that idea, but I’m not sure anyone really cares. I thought someone might be interested in seeing how all gets done in my life and the incremental baby steps it takes. I had hoped that it would inspire others. Instead, I feel as if it didn’t have the intended effect. I also didn’t come back to review it like I thought I would.
Feeling like no one really cared culminated with other factors (cold, snow, gray skies, working many hours, little sleep, and a desperate need for sunshine) into a massive depression for me. Massive.
I don’t like talking about my depression or admitting that I have it. I’ve seen others with depression and mine is very mild comparatively. Usually I can resolve mine by getting more sleep. Not this time. I had the stupid little voices working away in my head and they wouldn’t leave me be. I began to feel destructive. Worse, I couldn’t cry. I felt as if I could vent with tears, things might be okay.
Let me begin by saying that I don’t suffer from impostor syndrome. Absolutely not. No way.
At least not until the moment I step up to the canvas and begin painting. Then, all bets are off.
For the last couple of years I have been asking myself just what is wrong with me. I have all the confidence in the world when I’m writing, and heck, even when I’m narrating. But I would just turn myself inside out when I thought about drawing or painting. It use to not be that way. Call it “beginner’s luck” or whatever, but I started off feeling successful with my newly discovered art skill, but as the years went by, I felt more and more like a fake, a fraud, and a hack — a full-blown impostor. It ground me to a halt. No matter how many times people told me that my art was beautiful (and I only believe about 50% of the people that tell me that), I didn’t believe anyone. This reaction made no sense to me.
I, like everyone else, don’t like to be judged or criticized. I know this is part of it, but I realize that there’s a certain amount of exposure that comes with creativity. I’m all right with it in my writing. But my art… it just feels different. I don’t even think I can explain it.
I have no schooling in art, writing, audio engineering, or acting. Oh, I’ve taken a class here or there, gone to a few conferences, read lots of books, and bloody well jumped in and started doing the work figuring out what I need to know as I go along. I have no fear; I know I can learn anything I need to know. I’ve even taken painting classes with Jerry Yarnell. But for some unknown reason, not being school in art, art history, color theory, etc., really bugs me. I have taught myself about artists I’m interested in and can identify their work on sight. I may not know everything about them or their work, or even their creation process, but I can say that about many writers too. Why do I not feel worthy of being an artist? If it’s just a matter that I haven’t put in as many hours as I have for my writing, why can’t I drag myself to do more, to practice?
I realized toward the end of last year that I really needed to work on this, especially if I was going to get back to painting this year. So, I focused on some articles and books for writers about overcoming self-doubt.
There’s still a part of me that venomously hates that word, especially in reference to me: self-doubt.
Now that I’ve spat the awful taste off my tongue, my search took me down some very strange places, places I really didn’t feel I belonged. At least not when I took it from a writer’s point of view. I got into things about intelligence and creativity, multiple talents, creative anxiety, etc. I’m still working my way through some of it. But, in my search and while I was looking for my next audiobook to listen to while I walked, I came across The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women by Valerie Young.
While this book is geared toward women, it also addresses men and the impostor syndrome. It is not slanted to creative types — Valerie Young works more with students, professors, and professionals. I have many people in my life who I really think would benefit from listening to this book.
It was very hard for me to listen too. I kept thinking, “This does not apply to me!” I suspect this is what many women I know would say if I suggested it to them. I kept having to round myself back and remember that I was not needing this for where I was confident, but where I was weak, where I did feel like an impostor in my own life. In trying to stay focused on this and knowing that I was seeing where I felt other people needed to know about this book, I realized that deep inside, many women felt small and insignificant. I kept thinking about all the quotes that speak to the fact that if you feel fear about something, that is the direction you should be heading in.
I have long known exactly where my own feelings of inadequacy came from. So when Valerie describes coming to understand your Crusher, the thing that gave root to the impostor syndrome in your life, I already knew mine. I could feel it.
Now for me, because of how my life has gone, I could see oh so clearly how I overcame this Crusher, which could have stopped me from telling stories, and gave me the confidence that my writing has today. It was sheer, dogged persistence that I could reject my Crusher in regards to writing. But art was always so different. It was clear to see how that became my impostor path.
I didn’t agree with the whole book or the exercises to help, but how much of that was coming from the extreme self-directed part of me I don’t know. I did bookmark a few questions and places that I thought would be helpful if I started feeling like a fraud again. I really do want to conquer this irrational side of myself. It’s holding me back from achieving my goals.
Are you being held back because you feel unworthy or because you feel like an impostor who is waiting for someone to find you out? If so, this book might be worth your read.
I want to personally apologize if anyone heard my near continuous, mental screams of anguish this weekend.
It has been very difficult.
I finished the plot outline for Tangled Magic and Walk the Path, which meant it was time to sharpen the focus. That’s kind of hard to do when you don’t even have focus. On Saturday, I obsessed over the dang thing so much that I nearly didn’t get my words done for the day. I did, but I totally had to shove the story out of my head and not let in any distraction. I did write about Cirvel, but he took me on a wild ride and showed me a piece of his world from before the time of Tangled Magic and so I was on a thrilling adventure. If Cirvel had turned to me, as character often do, and asked if I now really, really, really wanted Rivic to win, I probably would have sank to my knees, giggled, and said, “No, Cirvel, you are forever the Lord of Gohaldinest. Only a monster would want that wimpy kid to beat you.” **giggle**
While “spelling bee” came to mind, I didn’t go with it. I also didn’t want to do someone casting a spell. I’m am trying to “think beyond what I see.” Then I thought of the doorway in the Lord of the Rings movie.
Prompt # 5 was “chicken.”
Again, I didn’t want to go for the ordinary. Hmmm, it was also the second time I’d been thinking about chicken. Remember, the first time was with the word “roasted.” Okay, I really like chicken in my Instant Pot. And now that I’m writing this sentence, that would have been really funny if I’d drawn my Instant Pot. (grin, and some maniacal laughter)
Instead, I let the chicken get some revenge on those Chick-Fil-A cows.
I sit here staring at the white page of my computer screen and wonder what to write. Secrets plays on my Internet radio, followed by Armada by Two Steps from Hell. I wonder how long I will continue to sit and stare until I decide to start writing words, anything. Something.
Click, click, fingers on the keyboard and the words start to come to me. Pouring forth.
There are writers who think the act of writing is grueling and love the idea of having written. I prefer the writing. For me, it’s slipping through a little hole unseen by everyone else and coming out in another world. It’s like music that flows in the ears and opens up your mind to possibilities locked within the flow of the music.
I haven’t shown any of my paintings for a while. Mostly because I haven’t painted in a couple months.
However, recently I had a friend purchase some of my artwork and I’m fortunate enough to see how she used her own creativity to expand upon what I had done.
Sally had this extra frame she’d purchase, but she hadn’t known just quite what to do with it until she saw one of my blogs on my artwork. She asked me to show her what paintings I had for sale. Happily, I brought in my box for her to dig through.
She picked two which really spoke to her (as is a great way to pick art — gee, imagine that: you buy art that you want to look at. Simple. *grin*).
Here’s how she put it all together:
“I like hidden things,” Sally told me. “I like things that make you think.” She said that my paintings reminded her of The Secret Garden and that she wanted to know what was behind the doorway. In her mind, it goes to a place hidden away where the swing is.
Listening to her talk about it reminds me why I like to paint: I get to create my secret place, my hide-away. Writing gives me a place where I can have people dealing with strife. But painting is where I am completely alone in my own little mental exploration. I’m never alone on my writing adventures, but I am when I’m painting.
It’s great to see something that I created be part of a larger piece of someone else’s creativity like this.