As I have journeyed down my life's path, there have been many offshoots along the way. The choice is of course our own, and the outcome can be surprising and life changing.
One such life changing path that has influenced me greatly is WLS (wieght loss surgery); in conjuction with diet and exercise. I have lost over 75 lbs in the past year and have dropped 12 dress sizes.
This has given me so much more energy; confidence and increased health benefits that all areas of my life are improving. My insulin (type 1 Diabetic) has dropped over 60 % -- that is huge! My Doctor's are overjoyed to say the least.
This increase in energy has helped me with my art, in the sense that I now have more energy to paint; have more drive and focus; can and do arrange photo shoots; field trips; and the will to try new things.
Not only trying new things in art, but life in general.
Don't be afraid to tackle anything and everything.
Don't hide behind inexperience and excuses.
Life is waiting to be lived.
Art is demanding to be painted.
My Art Cards have arrived and are selling very well, considering I haven't done to much as of yet. I plan on being more proactive in the new Year 2012.
Hope you had a great Christmas and/or time with your family over the holidays.
My cards sell for $5.00 each or 5 cards for $20.00.
I will attatch a photo of the ones I have available at present.
Please contact me if you are interested.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Hugs and Best wishes for a Wonderful 2012.
Great news my Friends!
I am so excited! Finally getting my art designed by an 'Elite' company for art cards.
For now it will be just a few of the most popular pieces.
I will keep you posted and as soon as they arrive, will let you know.
They will be reasonably priced and I hope to approach a few specialty stores with them as well.
Saturday, August 13, 2011
Finished my workshop Portrait Painting with the artist from Florence Italy.
Wow, I certainly had my ups and downs in this workshop. As you know from my previous
blog, I was definitly in a funk for part of it.
Reality Check! I have work to do to improve myself as an artist.
I needed to know that.
I need to take drawing lessons, my drawing is not up to snuff. I knew it though. But when you paint other things, it can be camoflaged. When you paint people however, it hides nothing and certainly doesn't look like the person your supposed to be painting.
My model liked my portrait as I have seemed to capture him (yes it was him) but I captured his youth. My Model was 71 years old, and although he didn't look his age, I made him much younger.
I was quite hard on myself during this painting session. And in hindsight, I didn't need to be so harsh. I wasn't as bad as I thought. Everyone there was an amazing artist, let me make myself clear on that. I think I fell somewhere in the middle, if I may say. Modesty be darned!
For a week's worth of painting, I think my portrait came along very nicely and guess what!
I LEARNED SOMETHING.....yes a few things sunk into this hard head of mine. So the course was a success!
I have to
thank the artist, Martinho Correia. He was wonderful. Check out his work at
He is an amazing artist and I look forward to seeing him again.
Hugs to you My Friends!
Thanks for all your encouragement. Without you I may have not persevered.
woe is me....
yep that kind of day today. I have to say this is not like me...seriously it is not! I started out extremely positive and so happy to be in this art program with the artist from Florence Italy. I have hardly been able to contain myself in waiting to start this class.
First day was great, truly was. Second day was a little intimidating, I had to draw. Drawing is not my favourite thing to do, but I can do it... Let me stress I CAN do it!
I was nervous and ended up finishing my drawing at home.
I did get it.
This morning was the first time I have tried to draw from a real live model...this is intimidating. I can only say 'THANK YOU LORD FOR HIS HAVING CLOTHES!'
Yes, I am thankful...
Well, there is such a large class that we have one tiny room and one large room. I had been in the large one, but somehow have been placed in the tiny one for the rest of the workshop. That is fine, what is not fine is that the instructor RARELY comes into the room to give you guidance or support. He is monopolized in the other room. So if you start
off wrong, chances are you continue doing so and compounding the problem.
This I did....
I tried and tried to fix it, but only got more frustrated and less done.
By the end I was almost in tears and thinking very negative
thoughts, about my never painting again (seriously) and thinking of walking out....ripping all my hard work to shreds (I didn't)....
Very, very negative....this is not me.
Granted I was frustrated and expecting more guidance than I received, but I should have been much more positive than that. I know how to do it, I just needed to focus.
There in was my problem... I was in a diabetic low....
It manifested itself into total negativity.
This was not me; no this was my medical condition. It had snuck up on me and if
I wasn't so focused on what I was doing wrong, I would have realized something
I am resting tonight and will go in with fresh eyes tomorrow and
Oh I pray tomorrow is better.
I am back from our trip to Italy!
Did surprisingly well with all the travel
and FOOD. I am learning to live with the lap band and make better choices. I learn fast if I have chosen incorrectly and try not to do it again. Am having problems with some breads and sometimes chicken. But enjoying how things are progressing. I am getting closer to Onederland, at least by my scale. LOL! I find the clinic's scale a little more harsh.
Not surprisingly I ate l like a PIG! The food was so good and that is an understatement!
We had fresh lemons and oranges and other fruits right from my Aunt's garden.
Yes, this was my first visit and we loved it so much. We would love to go again.
We were mainly in Naples with little trips out to surrounding areas like the Amalfi Coast, Caserta, Positano, Sorrento, Pompeii... We stayed 2 nights in Rome & 1 night in Florence. We did a LOT! I have to go through my photos to organize and write what we did. I will add a few, but I took over 4000 pictures. May need to blog again about this just to add the tip of the iceberg to all we did.
We stayed at My Zia's home It is the original homestead of my Great Grandparents from the farm they once had. My Dad was born here.
We did our washing in this 40+ year old washing machine and hung to dry in the sun. We had great weather with an average of 25*C, rain the first day only.
The streets are narrow, virtually one way and you travel them on foot or in car at your own risk. The drivers do as they please! No stopping at stop signs, and rarely at traffic lights; only the ones willing to take risks get anywhere. Parking is where you feel like it. On
Sidewalks, double or triple parked. We have it good here at home!
Everyone had a dog, more for guarding thehome inside iron gates. But there were a lot of homeless dogs that broke our hearts. Running the streets looking for food or affection, some were aggressive, others not.
We walked virtually everywhere. And not my usual walk! Oh No! My Dad was on a mission to show us as much as possible in the short time we had. My sister has long legs as does my son. Not me. I am the short one. My husband kindly walked my pace, although sometimes I was waiting for him with hisbum knee. I am not kidding when I say I think I jogged Italy. I am enjoying looking at the sites from the pictures I took, as all the time I had was to snap and run to catch up. We will go back one day and take it all in more leisurely, but I am so glad I was able to see this through my father's eyes. It has been a
dream of his and mine, actually all of ours to one day go see where he lived and grew up. I am thankful for that opportunity.
Well, a result of all this walking was blisters. I mean blisters on blisters. I had brought my good shoes with my orthopaedic inserts, so should have had no problem. BUT...it was hot so my shoe liner slipped and folded; refusing to stay in place. The result = Blisters. Ouch. But I was a trooper and carried on at the same frantic pace.
Walked to the top of the mountain at Caserta, the King's Palace...and back again.
I ate like crazy and walked even more. Was going to track all my food, but we were
all disappointed to find that WI-FI is virtually unaccessable. I think my Husband and Dad took it hard. By the end of the trip the rest of us were getting tired of them whining and trying to find the WI-FI. Good news though! Came home and had lost a couple pounds which certainly made my day.
Because we were meeting so many people, there were bound to be blunders. What with me not speaking Italian and being so tired from all the walking, etc, I did a doosy!
I kissed the waitress.... Oopps!
I mean it was an honest mistake! First of all you greet everyone by the double cheek kiss; second of all we were entering a restaurant to meet family, some I had met, some I hadn't. Then I was ahead of my Dad whose lead I usually follow, but behind a cousin. So out of the corner of my eye, I see the cousin saying good evening and greeting the waitress (whom I didn't know was the waitress).
So I come up and do the usual Italian greeting when my Dad pipes up behind me "What are you doing??" Oh my did I feel like 2 inches tall when I realized my error. But we were able to laugh it off, after he told her we were from out of the country and just so very friendly where we came from. I think he may have told her I was 'touched in the head' for all I know!
I am sure I made more bloopers, but that was the biggest one and one my son won't let me forget!
The Vatican was amazing!!
Yes, I saw all 3 David's. Awesome!
I still have to upload some more photos. So will post again later.
Met a lot of family, most for the first time. It was wonderful. My Dad and Sister
joined the 3 of us and we were able to see where My Dad grew up; went to school;
ran each year for the Madonna D'Larco; went to the cemetery for my Uncle, Nonna,
& Nonno, as well as other relatives... A lot done.
A truly terrific trip!
Life is good. It throws the unexpected curve ball, but amazes you at it's resiliency. I am able to again paint and manipulate my brush better each day. I am working on a project that is soon to be done, and amazes me yet again at life's beauty. I have finished a portrait (which you can view in my gallery) of a child's joy in his ice cream cone after enjoying the hot Hawaiian sun.
This was such a hit, that I have been teaching this as a workshop to a few talented artists. Keeps me busy and out of trouble! Kidding.
I have also begun a journey of my own. A journey of health. I am finally trying a more successful route in gaining the edge on my diabetes and losing the weight that hinders my efforts. Thankfully I have the resources to help me with this, and most importantly... I have art to offer me a mental oasis. A retreat from the pressures that surround us each day and in different forms for each individual.
As my health improves, my brush works more. So hopefully you will see more artwork on these pages as we progress.
Next time I write I will tell you of my immersion into the old Masters of the Renaissance. My journey to Italy and personal experiences.
Looking forward to all that comes.
Hugs & Happy Painting!
I am so happy to be able to pick up a brush and start painting again! Whoo hoo! I have not painted since November when I had surgery on my right hand. I have since had another surgery in the abdominal area that set me back abit. But no more excuses! I am, and have started two new projects. Yes!
Although I have to tell you it is amazing how self doubt quickly sets in when left unattended for so long. It was as though I forgot what the heck I was supposed to do. My first day of holding my brush was a great disappointment. Oh woe is me! All I felt I acheived was spreading much across my canvas. I am happy to report this was a fleeting feeling which passed the next day. It will take me awhile to finish my project, but it is at least started and progressing.
Not sure, but think after not using your hand in so long, it forgets what it is supposed to do! Could be some truth here. It was not stated to me, but I have had no physio, where others I know have had. It is interesting how whether it is art or surgery, the Artist (surgeon) approaches each task differently. Rarely are things without a deviant from start to finish. We always seem to add our own spin on things. Just like life.
Or as the more common phrase states: "Life is like that!"
WELCOME TO THE NEW YEAR! I know I am a bit tardy, but I have a few excuses.
Just what you wanted to hear right!
I had my right hand operated on end of November, and being that I am right handed, not much of anything got done. I am finally able to use it up to about 80% and it is still healing. I had carpal tunnel surgery done. It was well worth it. After suffering for a long time, it is gone. Just the recovery from surgery is needed.
I got lucky and didn't have to do any preparations for the Christmas and New Years Celebrations. A great relaxing holiday.
BUT.... then I had elective surgery just a week ago to help my Diabetes. It is going to be a long recovery, but will be worth it in the end. I am now able to sit up and move slowly a bit at a time. I really, REALLY want to get back to my painting, so hope to get started this week.
Never have I been apart from my art this long! I am like an addict now denied his fix. But then the fears come... Have I forgotten how to do this?? What if my hand doesn't work right?? And a million and two other fears have arisen.
Well, do I wallow and wait...NO. I will be painting in the next few days. I am not expecting great things, but at least to get going and get over my fears. To get back on the horse that threw me.
Any advice my friends?
It is time I stop and reflect on all the good things and people I have in my life. It is the friends, family and fans (hopefully I have some), that truly empower me and allow myself to express my own individuality in art and in person.
In being able to speak, act or paint without borders, or limits if you prefer, is such a priviledge and so very freeing from many constraints found in our world today. I am sure each of us can think of many instances that we, or other people in our worlds, are constricted and unable to be themselves due to censure from others.
Even our health can restrict us from being ourselves, and how we act around others. Sadly I have had friends and family recently diagnosed with cancer, 4 in 4 weeks. It struck me that one commented that because they now have this 'c' in thier bodies, and will be fighting it with all they have and can do, they are afraid that thier 'friends' will be scared and slowly fade away.
So because of this I want to clarify, that I am here to stay. I will not fade away!
I thank you for who you are, and who you allow me to be.
Hugs, I am here for you.
As those who know me, and those of you about to find out, I love to talk; meet people; learn from others; and most importantly I LOVE TO PAINT!