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'

Emotions and Art

It’s still funny to me how often emotions change the way an art piece will look. For example, I decided I wanted to start a new art journal and fill it will girls. So on May 30th I opened up my brand new Strathmore Soft Cover journal book and began to sketch.

My sketch quickly showed all the emotions I was feeling on that day. You see it was my middle daughter’s birthday and sad to say that she and I are not in contact with each other, it was also the day my Oldest daughter contacted me with some hardships she is going through, which only intensified my sadness. It was an emotional time and yes I cried as I sketched. My girls eye’s seemed to carry every emotion I felt, and I now wish I had scanned her when she was just a sketch so I could show you just how much she changed.


I just finished her today and was sharing her with a friend of mine when I realized she no longer looked deeply sad but more wistful instead. I am thankful for that and quite pleased with the end results. As I pondered this I noted that it was actually only a couple of very slight changes that made her lose some of that sad look. The corners of her mouth were evened out and no longer curved down and the slant of her eyes opened up a bit.

As I thought of this I realized how our emotions often can change in somewhat the same manner. A slight change here or there can also change how we are feeling. A change of scenery can often bring us from feeling dreary to feeling hope. A relaxing bath can help take some of the stress of our day away. A kind word from a stranger may make us forget the heaviness we were feeling only moments ago. It’s really quite amazing when you think about it, how often we literally decide (without realizing it) to stay in our down frames of mind, when all we really need to do is make one tiny change, then another tiny change, here and there until once again we are at least feeling wistful instead of sad and then from wistful to happy again.


So next time you’re feeling low try to remember that often the slightest change is the first step to feeling better quicker. Just like our Art our emotions can be changed if we just try a little something else.

Hugs & Love – Ranae’





Those Wonderful Mishaps

While I was working on Tamara's Winter Soul Flakes girl I had used the golden brand gel medium to glue the paper pieces to my background. So when I went to use the neo color crayons over top as she did, mine just does NOT want to keep the color, it was acting like a relief instead and was ickkk. lol

Soooo, I tried to put gesso over those bits and wound up with a very muddy background. Which I was not really happy with.


So after asking advice from some of Tam’s other fans and still not being sure what to do, I did a test with 3 different adhesives. Decoupage Matte - Golden Matte Medium - Liquitex Matte Gel. As you can see in the attached photo, they first two still show the glue line when the watercolor crayon is used. However, the Liquitex Does not, it also holds the color better.


Now this in itself did NOT solve my entire dilemma lol Why? Because I already adhered my pieces and my background is NOT what I want. lol Sooooo  I decided to go ahead and gesso over the background.


This however in itself would not be enough because it will put me right back at having a surface that is not going to absorb enough to use the water based crayons I wish to use. Soooooooooooo ( lol ) After having covered the back with the gesso, I have also added 3 thin coats of Golden's Absorbent Grounds.

Once this one completed I again added NEW scraps of paper using the “Liquitex Matter Gel” this time. From there I continued on and was able to finally finish my girl and am quite pleased with the results. Especially having been thinking I was about to ruin her completely.


So thanks to a wonderful mishap, I learned a few tricks and valuable lessons! It's ok to be frustrated when the mishaps happen but don't give up! This is further proof that everything can be fixed, sometimes we just need some trials and error's.

Hugs & Love - Ranae'