For many years I have struggled with depression. Sometimes I knew and sometimes I didn't. When it lifts, however, it's as if a fog lifts or cataracts are removed from my eyes.
I can see color again! I see real color, deep colors, colors that grab my eyes and make me turn my head watching them change. I don't see this when I'm depressed.
I also see light. I see shadows and shapes created by light as it plays across the dimensional world.
About 2 years ago I began to change what I eat. I've eliminated soy from my diet. I eat lots of fat and red meat, liver and butter. I also consume cod liver oil. I started to feel better with less pain in my joints. I gained weight (the one thing I'm not happy about as I was already heavy). But more than that, I found myself less depressed.
I began to attend to things better. Not my messy house, but other aspects of my life.
Then one day, I was driving to work. The sun was shining and I passed a tractor. This tractor.
And I did not see a tractor. I saw a full blown painting of this tractor.
And every time I drove past this thing I saw the painting. Sometimes it was bright with color and sometimes it was subdued and sometimes it was just a drawing.
One bright Sunday morning, I drove out and stopped and took pictures of the tractor. Then I came home and told my husband I was going to draw it.
But I had no art supplies at all. I had given them all away or thrown them out. I had thrown away my whole portfolio, in fact.
But I had pencils and I had pens and I had printer paper.
This tractor needed to be a color picture. I knew that. So I drew a picture of my husband instead. He didn't like it much. But I was happy.
Then I drew him again. I liked it even more. He still wasn't thrilled, but too bad. He needs to stop sitting still or sleeping if he wants me not to use him as a subject.
I bought some paper and some charcoal. I drew the sheep.
Then I bought drawing pencils and drew my sons from photos. I liked one a lot but I need another photo, a better photo, of the other sons.
At my spinning and weaving guild, they wanted a logo for the guild and I offered to come up with one. They liked it. Someone in the guild decided I must be an artist and when the Tavern Foundation hosted an art show for it's member, they invited me. I accepted and then realized I need to draw something to show. I framed the pictures I had so far.
Framing has become a very expensive undertaking in the last 20 years! Yikes.
I set up to do a drawing demonstration and worked through another picture of my husband taken from a photograph. This one even he liked.
I drew little pictures and sketches in my old sketch book. I bought a new one. I bought graphite pencils and find I really enjoy them. I started making a least one new sketch almost every day.
I started looking at art work done by other artists on the internet. I looked at work done by painters who work almost every day. One small work is completed every day. They are good. Their paintings are loose. Sometimes their work appeals to me and sometimes it doesn't.
Oil painting seems to dominate this world, but then I found some pastelists. I love pastel. It is pure color. Just color layered, parked next to each other, sometimes muted, often bright and vibrant. It just depends on what the artist is seeing (and in part, what pastel is available). Shapes, values, hue. Simple, lovely and challenging. But they are very expensive. They are paint without fillers, so you pay for the color itself. I hesitated.
But the tractor still called me.
I talked to my mother about colored pencils and she gave me some Derwent watercolor pencils that she was not using. I bought myself a smallish set of Prismacolors. I like the colored pencils... but egad they are slow to use!
With Christmas money this year, I purchased a nice set of Sennilier Soft Pastels. They arrived this week.
I haven't used them yet but they are on my list for this weekend. I'm just waiting for the sun to come up.