Paint Your Pain – How to create through your pain

What do I mean Paint my Pain? Why would I want to do that when all I want to do is forget?

Trust me, many artists create from a place of pain. I have known this for a long time but, I had been conditioned to cover up and hide any pain I felt. Most of my art comes from a place of whimsy and happiness. I just could not wrap my head around the idea.

Then one day, when I was going through a period of deep heartache that I could not shake. I knew I needed to keep up with my art, but I found it extremely hard to create. I hurt inside and that was all I could seem to think about.  Until one night ...

I had left a blank canvas on my easel and my paint cart was sitting next to it.  As I walked past it I decided to paint it black because that was all I seemed to be feeling at the moment.   It was literally the middle of the night, I had not even bothered to turn on any overhead lights.  The next thing I knew I had also painted a big heart in the middle. Nothing else came to me so I left it as it was.

Over the next few days I’d walk past it and another idea…  One day I thought, “I wonder if using crackle paste would make it look like it had a crust on top of it?” then a day or two later, “It’s too white, what can I use to color the crackle paste?” I decided to try and see how distress paint would work over the top. I liked it, so I continued, and this is the finished product.

Now I am not going to tell you that I was back to normal feeling fabulous when I finished the painting However, I can tell you it helped. It gave me a way to let out some of the hurt I was feeling inside. Also, by seeing it everyday it pushed me to confront my pain instead of hiding from it. It really helps, this is why many people keep art journals. Even the medical industry confirms how healing creating art can be. They now say that creating art relieves stress, encourages creative thinking, increases brain plasticity, and provides many other mental health benefits. Not to mention it gives you an outlet for the pain.

So, don’t give up on creating when your hurting. Give it a try, start with just a making a background and add to it day by day until you feel you have finished. Don't worry about making it something for everyone. Create this for you alone. You just may be surprised to see how it truly helps you begin to heal and feel better.

Hugs & Love from Ranae’

Kurtake Fude Waterbrush

I love, love, love waterbrushes and the Kurtake Fude Waterbrush is by far my favorite. As you can see from the photo I have a nice stockpile of them. I find the portability of them is a huge plus and carry one of each size in my art travel bag at all times. This particular brand of waterbrush has a nice long barrel, although you can also get them with a shorter barrel also. The longer barrel makes the brush approximately the size of a regular pencil and is my personal go to. They come in 4 sizes, small, medium, large and flat.

One of the main reasons this is my favorite is that it has a filter that helps the flow of water and also helps keep the water from seeping out of the pen. The filter does mean you can't just run water into them from the faucet however if you hold them under the water and give the barrel a squeeze they fill up easily enough.

Some people don't like waterbrushes because the can't figure out how to control the water flow when squeezing the barrel. I will admit I am one of those people. Here is how I work around that. I simply squeeze a bit of the water onto my table, or another piece of paper, and dip the brush tip into that rather than trying to squeeze the proper amount onto my actual art piece. I find this give me much better control especially when I need a dryer brush at times.

These brushes can be found very easily online, I personally get mine on Amazon. You can find them there either individually or in sets. If you have never tried a waterbrush I highly recommend trying these!

Hugs & Love from Ranae'

Breaking Free with your Art

The Art Sherpa Tutorial

I Remember when I first started getting back into my art, how hard is was for me, so I wanted to talk to you about breaking free with your art.

At first when I re-entered my Artistic Journey I did a lot of free classes found online & I had a lot of fun doing them. I did Coloring classes, Word Art classes, Art Journaling classes, Watercolor classes, Acrylic classes, Drawing classes, Mixed Media classes. Pretty much any type of Art class I could find and it was great! I was learning and felt good about what I was accomplishing.  [Note - Click Photos to see tutorials used]

Then at some point I realized that the only art I was doing was just a mimic of what someone else did. Suddenly just following classes was no longer enough. I wanted to create my own art, from start to finish. But I had no idea what to create. I would literally sift through google & pinterest pages for hours, doing searches for the various types of art photos that were created using materials I had. Still nothing came to me. It felt like every idea I had of what I wanted to create was just coming from someone else.

   Tamara Laporte Tutorial

I was so dependent on following another artist tutorial that I didn't know where to start and on top of that I felt like I needed to do something completely original. Then I ran across a book called, "Steal like an Artist" by Austin Kleon. His theory is basically that nothing is completely original, everything is created upon what came before.  Light bulb moment, I realized I agree with him and that understanding freed me. I highly recommend you read this book, you can get a free PDF Download of it by clicking Here.

Now I am in no way saying it's ok to completely duplicate another artist's work, or to even make something that is obviously similar to someone else's work and call it your own. That is just ethically and morally wrong. What I am saying is I finally understood that it was ok if I used techniques that I learned from someone else.  It's ok if I felt inspired to paint a picture of a sunflower, a horse, a person...

Creativity comes from combining things that you have learned to then re-creating your version and interpretation.

       My Own Creation

Once I embraced this new understanding I was then able to go to that blank page or canvas and begin on my own journey into finding my own personal style, using information I learned from all the fabulous artist's before me. And guess what I am still learning and re-developing my own style everyday and I still love doing online tutorials. Learning from others is the best tool anyone could have, so use it. It helps us to grow and learn new techniques that we may want to incorporate into our own unique personal style.

Hugs & Love from Ranae'

Scary New Techniques

Why is it so hard to try new techniques. Easy we by nature don't like change. Change is an unknown factor and puts us into a uncomfortable state of mind, fearing the unknown outcome. Seems silly to fear the outcome of a new art project, but we often do. It isn't really the project we fear though It may be the fear of feeling like we failed, the fear of hitting a limit or the fear of not being good enough.

I have gone through this stage of fear so many times during my artistic journey. Sometimes I gave up but sometimes I pushed through and was able to learn and grow. It was pushing through and trying something new that has brought my art to the level it is now.

When I started back into my art I was immobilized with my fear of permanency, at that time I only did art with pencil. Then I saw an offer to take an online art course  called Fabulous Faces by Tamara Laporte. This was my first girl painting, done by trying to follow that course. 

Since that time I have joined many online courses, pushing through that uncomfortable stage and I have grown. Not only am I no longer afraid of permanency but I have also learned that I can find a way to fix anything I felt was a mistake. Drawing and Painting girls is so much easier and faster for me now.  Not only that but I am actually proud of my creations now and have so much fun creating them.


Believe Girl

So go ahead give it try.  Allow yourself to be uncomfortable and just "Believe" in yourself. ,make it a fun time. You may be amazed at what you can accomplish. You may even find out that you're really good at a certain technique you never would of dreamed of doing.

Hugs & Love from Ranae'

Prisma Colored Pencils

I love the Prismacolor Premier Soft Core Colored Pencils. They work perfectly for me in my mixed media projects. They are available in 150 colors and come in sets of 12, 24, 36, 48, 72, 132 & 150. You can also buy them individually when you just need to replace a color or two, which is always a plus!

They are very soft which makes them blend so easily, this makes combining them with other mediums works so well for me personally. You do need to be careful & avoid dropping them as the core is very soft and therefore can break easily. For me this is a small price to pay to get the effects I can achieve. If they do break a little trick is to put them in direct sunlight for a few hours. Some say to use a microwave, but I personally do not recommend doing that, as microwaves use too much heat.

I also recommend buying the Prismacolor pencil sharpener to use on these. They are specifically designed for the soft-core pencils and I find the lead breaks less when I use mine. Another tip is to use a nail file instead of a sharpener. Simply twist the pencil while filing to get your fine point.

To make your blends you can use a blender pencil or stub to blend your colors smoothly. If you do not have a blender pencil, that’s ok just use a lighter colored Prisma pencil instead. I also at time use  Gamsol mineral spirits sometime. However, I recommend only using that when you know you are not wanting to layer more color on top. Trying to add more color over top after using mineral spirits sometimes doesn’t work very well as the spirits tend to create a layer that is too smooth for the new color to adhere too.

Also, when you use these use a piece of paper to rest your hand on to prevent the oils, dirt & sweat from smearing the color. Your hand can also leave a thin layer of oils that may make it harder to get the color to adhere properly to your paper.

These can be bought easily online at a variety of places. I bought mine from Amazon. Hopefully these tips will encourage you try them out for yourself if you haven’t already.

Hugs & Love from Ranae’