Monday, November 2, 2015

Giving You Permission To Shine

Over the summer I pretty much shut down all creativity.  It is hard for me to create without space to myself.  Whether that space be physical or mental.  In the summer I get very little of either with all of the kids at home.  I did however enjoy a lot of Netflix.  I made it through all the seasons of X-Files, plus both the movies, minus any episodes that dealt with demonic content.  I love a good sci-fi show. I followed up X-files with Fringe, but I have yet to finish it.  Once school started I picked up my creative vibe again and have been spending a lot of my free time painting and drawing.

I thought I would share some of them with you.

These three were all done with acrylic paints.
The first one is my attempt at impressionism. The second one is a fun Autumn tree and a lot of playing around with colors.   What I find most interesting about these is that I did not like them when I first made them. I did not like them even a little tiny bit.  I was tempted to paint right over them, but as a few days went by they began to grow on me and now I actually really like them.  I might even hang them on my wall.

I think I am like that with myself a lot as well. What I originally see in myself as sub par and ugly can change into something worthwhile and charming, it just takes time to allow myself to get there.  Once I can let go of the pre-conceived vision of what I had wanted it (it being the painting, my life, myself, etc. ) to be I can accept the beauty in the reality of what it is.

The third was a request by a friend. It is a portrait of her daughter.  I still have a lot to learn on shading and depth. Her mouth is my favorite part.  She is a beautiful little girl and I hope I have done her justice.

As I was getting my creative spark back I bought a set of 36 water color pencils at AC Moore's.  Can I tell you how much I love these things?!  They are awesome!  For Christmas I am already eyeing a set of over 100 colors on Amazon.

This was my first time ever using them.  A lot of my inspiration comes from real life photos people have taken.  This scene popped up on my facebook feed and here is my attempt at drawing it.  I love the colors.  These pencils are like magic.  It was the first time I drew something and it made me think I could possible illustrate a children's book someday.

A couple of days later I was drawing this little turtle to kill time while I waited for my daughter at her roller skating lessons.  A little girl saw it and asked me if she could buy it from me when I was done for $4.  Her friend that was with her also wanted a painting.  I told them I would just give them to them of course and asked her friend what she would like.  She wanted a cat.

One day when I was at Home Goods they had this giant cow painting.  I took a picture of it to show my friend.  When I came home I attempted to somewhat copy it just for fun.  My youngest wanted to keep it, he is the one in the picture. He is 5, that explains the tongue.

When my youngest daughter heard that the two girls at skating lessons were getting pictures she wanted one too.  She is in love with mermaids.  The submarine in the water is in honor of her Dad.

And of course when I made one for my youngest daughter then my oldest daughter also wanted one.  This fairy is for her.  Both of these have been framed and are waiting to be hung on the wall in the hallway.  My middle daughter also wants a picture, but when I ask her what she wants she tells me she wants an evil unicorn.  I won't draw an evil unicorn and she does not want a regular unicorn, because "the Bible says they are evil." (????? Your guess is as good as mine here.) So, currently we are at an impasse.

When I bought the frames for the girl's pictures at Home Goods I saw a painting of a woman walking down the street in Paris.  I wanted to make one similar only with Seattle in it, because well, SEATTLE! (I am just a tad homesick right now.) The one on the left was my first attempt, the one on the right my second.

 When my friend Karmen invited me to come hear her speak at her church's Women's Retreat she had asked if I could draw her a turtle.  I drew the one on the left for her and had so much fun making him that I went ahead and drew a second one as well.  She and I are talking about making a children's book together.  She will do the writing and I will do the illustrating.  I can't even believe I am saying that.  It boggles my mind.  And to think I used to say I couldn't draw or paint (not that I am the best at either), but the truth is I had never even tried.  I was so afraid that I couldn't that I didn't think to see if I
actually could.  Is there anything like that in your life?  Anything where it is easier in your life to say you can't than it is to see if you actually can? Why would I fear knowing the truth and why would I happily accept thinking that I couldn't?
I am reminded of this quote below and will leave you with these thoughts, what is it you are afraid to unveil in your life?

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us most. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and famous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that people won't feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in all of us. And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” Maryanne Williamson


  1. Wow, Karmen. These are awesome. I especially love the last two turtles, the kitty, and your friend's daughter. I'm still pondering over this impactful statement - "Once I can let go of the pre-conceived vision of what I had wanted it (it being the painting, my life, myself, etc. ) to be I can accept the beauty in the reality of what it is." Months ago I bought acrylic paints, and water colors in paints and in pencils. Among other art supplies. I started gungho on an art journal, but I suddenly gave it up. Maybe I'm too much of a perfectionist or as you say, I don't let go of that preconceived vision. Anyway, thank you for sharing these, Karmen. I really do hope you illustrate a book someday. :) I know you can do it!

    1. Thank you, Trudy. Perfectionism is a beast that devours joy. I hope you get back to your art journaling.

  2. Hi Karmen, Thank you for sharing your thoughts and art with us. I am very grateful for your 36 water color pencils (:)) but more importantly for your bravery - for how you listen and respond to what you hear, and for how you give it a try. A water color that you drew on retreat (of a Father lifting his daughter up in the air and gazing into her eyes) may have been a "doodle" on the paper table cloth to you, but it's now one of my prized possessions. Thank you for it. I am blessed to have met you and to have learned about your blog so that I could see and "hear" more. You (and He) bless my socks off!!!! THANKS!!

    1. Ann! I am so glad that you were the person God made that drawing for! And that you found your way here. <3


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