People have asked me where I get my art ideas from. Most of the time, I’ve no idea. Sometimes I see the finished piece in my head, then I work on the design in my sketch book. Lots of times, I figure it out as I go along.
Recently, we went to Bosque del Apache. I worked on shooting birds in flight. It’s harder than it looks. I had one shot I liked, but the sky was gray and the photo looked washed out. Here’s the unedited version.
I tried to fix the shot, but nothing seemed to work well.
It still looked washed out. I tried again.
Still didn’t like it.
So, I started to play with funky overlays and weird adjustments.
I didn’t like what I had created. Until……I made the funky edited version my profile photo on Facebook and it had been my profile photo for a few days. Then I started to see the funky version. Really see the funky version. It would make an interesting quilt. I’m working on the design on my iPad. iPad and iPencil make for a never ending sketchbook.
I haven’t figured out how to handle the background. I like the washed out sandy, pastel colors in the photo, but I haven’t figured out how to translate that to fabric. I’ve got some water color pencils and those might work. I’ve also got water color crayons. Maybe they would work. I’ve got fabric paint which might be the best approach. Now that it’s cooler, dyeing results in pastels rather than saturated colors. Saturated colors require sunlight and heat. Two things that are in abundance in the desert during the summer.
On Friday, I gave a talk on suicide – from the perspective of nearly killing myself, and my emotional response to the suicide of someone I knew. There were only five people in the audience and, rather than attempt power point, I used two quilts I had made. The first quilt was made when I was suicidal. The second is what I saw in my mind after someone I knew had killed himself. I’m used to working without a net and never write out what I intend to say. I speak from the gut. Sometimes, from the heart. The talk went well although I didn’t have time to say all I intended to say. I suspect for me to get everything in, I’d need an hour. I only had a half hour. I was asked what to say to a 20-something person who is suicidal. I stressed the necessity of taking the person to the hospital. If you take a person to the hospital and you are wrong, you get embarrassed. If you don’t take a person to the hospital and you’re wring, you’re going to a funeral.
I got home and depression snuck up on me and grabbed me. Friday was rough. I found myself looking for Amazon Prime movies about suicide and mental institutions. Now, I find myself looking through Amazon to find books about mental institutions. I don’t know why this fascinates me. Maybe it’s because there but for having junk for parents, go I into a mad world run by mad men and mad women disguised as psychiatrists. Maybe I’m looking for validation for my refusal to be dumped into a locked ward.
Bipolar disorder sucks. For so long, I didn’t mind being bipolar. I finally had an accurate diagnosis that explained so many of the confusing bits of my life. I finally had proper meds. And then I nearly killed myself and bipolar disorder started to suck.
I’ve discovered that once one admits to being suicidal, one needs to speak carefully. I’m having wild mood swings and something is clearly out of whack. Either my thyroid med needs adjusting, or – please, God no – my mood stabilizer has stopped working. Coming off a psych med means going through withdrawal hell that lasts three months. This is followed by four to six months of med adjustment. Please let it be my thyroid. I saw my doctor last Wednesday and saw the bloodsucker on Thursday. Later this week, I’ll pick up the lab results. I described the mood swings and told my doctor I can’t live like this. I then had to tell her I’m not suicidal. I’m frustrated. I’m scared. I’m waiting for the next mood swing to arrive and blow through my head like a hurricane blowing through Florida. But, and this part is critical, I don’t want to die. Today, I don’t want to die. I’ve no idea what I will want tomorrow. That’s the terrifying part of bipolar disorder. I know my mood will swing wildly; I don’t know when or in what direction. Manic and more insomnia? Depressed and worried about becoming suicidal?
We went to Bosque del Apache on Saturday. I like the nature preserve, but I dislike being restricted to only a few roads. I’d like to do some serious exploring. The sandhill cranes have arrived and I had fun shooting them. I use a Canon rather than a gun. I worked on photographing birds in flight. It’s harder than it sounds. I use manual focus and it was tough to focus fast enough to get a clear shot.
I also worked on composing the scene when I’m doing landscape photography. I want to move away from snapshots and start taking photographic art.
The only reliable pain killer for peripheral neuropathy, at least for me, is to make art. I’ve been working on my iPad using my iPencil. I played around and started working on an abstract self portrait. If I get the drawing worked out, I may turn it into a quilt.
I’ve also been making jewelry, ordering beads, and making more jewelry.
Thank God for rechargeable batteries or it would have been an expensive weekend. My macro lens arrived on Thursday and I started working with it on Friday. I needed a macro lens to get clear close up shots of the jewelry I make. This lens is my first prime lens – meaning it only shoots at one focal length, 90mm.
I spent Friday taking close up shots of my jewelry. I spent Saturday taking better close up shots and taking shots of the full piece of jewelry.
I spent Sunday taking better full shots of each piece of jewelry. Then, I edited the photos, wrote copy, and put each piece into my online store.
I finally finished the quilted tote bags and got some decent shots. Those also went into my online store.
I’m having a neuropathy flare up. Meds aren’t helping. CBD oil isn’t helping. Art is the only thing that reliably kills the pain. And so I made more necklaces.
I did a bit of experimenting when I was shooting the necklaces. I took the photos a couple hours before sundown. One set was shot in the sun, the other set shot in the shade. The photos shot in the sun suck. Horrible orange cast. Horrible shadows even though I used a flash. The second set of photos I shot in the shade. Still not quite what I want, but a whole lot better than the first batch of shots.
I finally finished the quilted laptop totes and took photos. I’m not wild about the photos. The original version of these quilted totes was designed so I could carry my 15-inch laptop, charging cable, and computer glasses to and from Starbucks. The totes are practical for a whole lot more than just transporting a laptop. As soon as I get decent photos, these will go in my store.