Apropos painting

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Never say: I can’t!
Maybe it was true when you were five, or maybe ten years ago. Maybe it was true even yesterday, or an hour ago. Does that mean it will be true tomorrow or for the rest of your life? No!

I can’t draw and I can’t paint. That’s something I’ve said to myself for as long as I can remember. And one fact is, that my hands never have obeyed what my mind has ordered them to do.

Of course, I’ve been drawing now and then during my life. In school, when I was very young, we actually had lessons in drawing. At that time, it was obviously important to have artistic and creative skills on the menu. Not only drawing. We also had music, both singing and learning some instrument. I’ve gone through the flute, a small wooden one, mandolin, guitar and then ended up with a piano for several years.

I was never any good in drawing, and I can just wonder – was this due to an actual lack of talent, or did I as a little one get so much negative critic that I started to believe it myself?

I don’t know! It may be one or the other, or a mix of both. On the other hand, it seemed that I already at a very early age had some flair for words. Learned early how to read, and not too long afterward I also started to write.

What I do remember is, that I, as a young girl for several years during school, had a best friend who was very skilled in drawing. So her skills in drawing and mine in writing naturally led to us making “books”. We made up some kind of stories, I wrote them down, and she made the illustrations.

Fair and square…

So it may be true, that my skills are painting with words, not with paint. However, I’ve realized I do have an “eye” for images, so in my head, there is some kind of talent for painting after all. It’s just that there is not much of a connection between my mind and how my hands respond to what my mind imagines.

Does that mean I could never learn to paint at all? Never say never! I told you that when I began this post. But there is a second question as well! Do I really, really want to be able to paint – and do it well?

Of course, I can already put paint on a piece of paper or on canvas! That’s not the hard part, per se! But can I do it and at least to myself feel content with the result? Fairly content?

First of all: I think one can learn almost anything one sets one’s mind to learn. I also know, I can hardly be a new Rembrandt or Gauguin or like any of the big painters. But that isn’t my goal anyway! I would like to paint just for the fun of it, and feel good about doing it!

When aiming for some kind of creativity to pursue, my main goal is and has always been, to write.

My first attempt to paint with watercolors, as a grown-up, was in spring 2014. I was in one of those “unemployeds-activities” we had to undertake, and one of the women in my group there, was also a painter. She offered us a couple of lessons in “how to paint aquarelle”!

I thought it sounded interesting, joined the group and it was really fun. But, as a matter of fact – it was also extremely difficult! It was a little bit easier after I had quit the floating water part, and instead used the color as it was. Creamy.

Those two paintings I made then and there, I later throw away. They were just too bad!

A year ago it was time for a new painting experiment. At that time I was back here in my hometown, had reconnected to some old friends and got some new ones. In one of my groups of new friends, we had the possibility to do different stuff, like, for example, paint! I tried acrylic colors on a small canvas.

Not a particularly beautiful result, but it was easier to do than to paint with  watercolors, and I thought it was very fun doing it. Kind of satisfying!

About 6 months later, autumn 2018, with the same people and in the same place, I tried the water color again. There were no acrylic paint left…
Also this time I had absolutely no idea what I would make of it, but apart from the huge “A-tower” – which I have absolutely no idea why I painted it or why I even got the idea. But! Besides that, it turned out fairly good. Not GOOD, just fairly. From some distance, it is quite okay! Especially the see and the boat.

And was fun to do too! (to-do-too…)

The small one, I made last week. The canvas only 15 x 15 cm, and I was trying to paint a mandala. On free-hand…. HAHAHAHAHAHA

When making the photo of that one smaller in pixlr, I also found a frame I thought was fun, and added it…


I’m inclined to say, that those lessons in painting with watercolor in 2014, did something to me. I had friends who was painters in the other city, went to their exhibitions, talked to them, enjoyed their company. For about three years I’ve had three rather big canvases lying around together with acrylic colors, wax crayons, colorpens, glitterglue… without using them. Don’t laugh at me now! I have two small easels. One I use for my iPad… HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

I have always liked to visit museums and exhibitions showing photos and paintings, so the concept per se wasn’t new to me. I had also since sometime around 2007 become more and more into making blog appearances and home pages. Mostly I enjoyed doing the layouts, with colors, fonts, images etc. I got nervous over the technical stuff behind it all…

And now! Since at least five or six years ago, I’ve been doing more and more experimenting with photos and other kinds of images on the computer and on the iPad especially. Also, the curiosity and appetite on painting with real paint on paper/canvas has grown stronger. PLUS the longing for new things in my life, meeting new friends and adding good things on the whole.

It’s a special treat to be doing stuff in the neighborhood. The local library has a lot going on, and the people you meet there, most of them, live nearby. On the same street, or the next one!
And I have lived in this neighborhood before, for quite many years, so I know where this is or that is! After been living 11 years in another city where you have no family and no roots, and then coming back to where you belong… it’s like coming to heaven!

So today I took the next step. In the afternoon I went to the nearby library, and attended a group of painting-people! And every Monday from now on, from 4 PM to 6.30 PM, I’ll gather together with these wonderful people. Yeah! I really had such a  good time today and I so look forward to next Monday.

The result, considering painting? Well, yes! Not good, but it felt good!

By the way! I REFUSE to feel bad about these awkward paintings! I know they’re aren’t beautiful, but I’ve had fun painting them – they are mine, and they are born through my stubborn, uncooperative hands.


So this is today’s “work”. The “teacher” insinuated I worked too fast, I should have used at least 3 Mondays á 2,5 hours to create an image this size (A3). Well, maybe I AM a speedy person when creating something? Or not! Maybe I have to learn how to draw? If that’s even possible…

Anyhow! I think this lady looks so angry! I didn’t mean her to be this angry. Then I thought, this is some subconscious part of me. Imaging some, to the conscious me, unknown anger. I wonder what? And if so, how I can free it, release it, let it go?

Now, when looking at the photo of the painting, it’s like there is another face beneath the woman’s face. Not under the chin or so, more like it’s inside her! If you focus on the nose, you can see it. Her mouth is covered by the womans big red lips like a sticking plaster. And the eyes! Like if one is closed and the other one slightly dimmed, and almost – but not yet – covered by the womans big angry, filled with despair…

Or is she breaking free?  Is THAT why the angry women is so askew? And not really angry? Just falling apart. No wonder there is pain involved…

AND! I CAN! In my own way…


Been busy


For quite many hours the last week, I’ve been trying to reach some kind of order among my photos and images. Not the easiest task, goodness knows, but somewhat necessary. I don’t know what I have, don’t know where to find a particular item, and everything is a total mess. So guess how it feels, when I now find this, and that, and those…

Nevertheless, I have sorted out before and also deleted lots and lots of images. And occasionally some I shouldn’t have. I can’t f.ex. find 10 – 15 from Stockholm… but, but… it isn’t that important. As long as I don’t delete any of the good ones I’ve created myself

I don’t like Apples “Photos” at all! It’s hopeless and a huge nuisance. A couple of years ago, before one of those upgrades of the operating system, can’t remember which one, it was okay! Not good, but reasonable! It was when they called it “iPhoto”.

Adobes Photoshop Elements 9 and its organizer were pretty good. But the one I had got old and stopped functioning. No! I’m not interested in the Creative Cloud that Adobe now has to offer. Must admit it’s a bit tempting to have not only Photoshop, but also InDesign and Illustrator. But that would be way too expensive. Every month paying a sum for something I don’t use regularly! Illustrator would have been a pure luxury thing. Have actually no use of InDesign either, but when I worked a lot with making folders and such those years, it was a great tool. Though, at that time the church paid for InDesign.

I might have the use for Photoshop, especially if an organizer is included as well, but still a cost I’m not prepared to admit to. If so – I want to buy, not lease!

So for the time being I’ve settled for an app called Hugo. It’s free and is quite good to use while sorting the images. One has a good view of the items and can easily move them from one folder to another, including creating new folders when needed.

Not the ultimate storage place, as it seems, but for the time being it’s good enough. Later, when I’ve decided which images I’ll store on an external hard drive, and which I’ll have handy in some kind of Cloud, then I’ll take the next step.

For now, I’m working on the MacBookPro emptying “Photo”, and aim for only having “Photo” as a short time storage place. One of the reasons for doing that, is that my iPad is getting old and has limited space. Only 16 GB to begin with, so 1000-1200 photos/images or more is impossible to have there via iCloud Photos.

Not even the Photo Stream is useful since there is not even enough room for that many photos either. Should guess about 100 photos at the same time is the limit, if I want to be able to do anything else on the iPad as well. The stupid thing is, when using iCloud it’s connected with the iPhone and the Mac – which per se is excellent – but yet those images take up physical space on the iPad! And with iCloud on, I can’t delete photos from the iPad only. They will be deleted everywhere else as well.

So, no iCloud involved with my photos and images! Since I mostly use the iPad when editing images or playing with one coloring app or another, to get those images and also keep the storing space as clean as possible, I have to send images to and fro iPad/iPhone/laptop all the time. Mostly I use AirDrop to do that, but sometimes I have to send by mail. I also have the stupid habit of saving the Jigsaw images as well, for some reason… and screenshots when I find something nice I want to save…

With just a smaller amount of images on Photos, I can have the settings on iCloud Photos or Photo Stream, and for now I’m working on getting there someday soon. During this weekend, hopefully.

As I started to say earlier, I don’t like Photos at all. It’s more like a stream only, not a good storage place. Of course one can create albums, a kind of tags, but if I forget to tag a photo – nothing tells me if there is a photo – or hundreds – that are untagged. It’s like WordPress – stupid updates that are supposed to make the work easier, but instead makes it less so – and more irritating…


Colors as saviors

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Some years ago, 2013-14 I think, when I lived through my worst burn-out period and could neither read nor write due to difficulties to concentrate, I was saved by coloring. Coloring instead of writing, let my inner self find a way to express my need to be creative.

Actually, I began having fun with photos already in 2009, but from that time I seem to have destroyed more images than I actually created any. A couple of “hits”, but then it was more of a learning period than anything else. Fun yes, so nothing wrong with that, but I seem to have almost nothing left from those early years.

Four, five years later, I hadn’t yet experienced this type of coloring, an app with already drawn images to choose from. Not even any physical coloring book! Instead, I somehow began to use my own photos more frequently, and with them as a base, playing around with overlays, filters and such.

Very amusing it was, and after a while, I found out I was good at it. Well, not the very first trials of course, but soon enough. And I enjoyed it immensely!

Image based on an old photo of mine

Not long after, I happened to be placed at a church, and that led to that I began to make posters for the Sunday sermons. And that task grew to also make folders, adds, brochures and the monthly internal “newspaper”.

It was amazing to see how much the choice of colors, fonts, images etc influence the total. The layout and the interaction between dark and light are utterly important for what the poster, folder etc will say to the viewer. And this work for the church took over some of the time I earlier had spent on making my own images.

Now, I no longer have a church to make posters for, and actually – I don’t miss it! Not that I couldn’t make images in poster-format… I could if I wanted to.

Just an excerpt from a photo, which I’ve meddled with.

It’s just that I still don’t take many photos! I thought I would, once I came home, but I haven’t! Hopefully, I will again, sooner or later. Instead, during these two years, the coloring has grown on me. And also the apps, have developed into having more sophistic and varied possibilities. So I use these fairly simple drawings, which I color, and then finish with one or more added layers on Pixlr.

And Now?!?
I’m actually considering trying to paint on canvas!

I am considering what?!?!?!?!
I who can’t draw! Not a straight line! Or even less a curved one!!!

But I have three canvases at home, and I have acrylic paint and lots of pencils…

Okay! So it has been on my mind for several years actually. I have tried to paint with watercolors, aquarelle, the technique where you dilute the paint with water to get a paler, more or less transparent look, but that seemed to NOT be my cup of tea. (Oh, these British expressions…) Using watercolor without diluting it with water, seems to be more coherent to me. Painting gouache, in other words. Or with acrylic paint!

I admit!!! I’ve been storing this equipment, paint, pencils, and canvases for several years now – because I’m afraid! It’s so much easier just to take something where the sketch is already made, and just add colors! Clicking on icons on the iPad. EASY! How could my hands obey what my mind tells them when they never have done so in the past?

But just now, I came to think of those short “sketches” we did when I studied writing. Not draw, but write for five minutes or ten, whatever came into one’s mind. Perhaps we had a photo as inspiration, or a random sentence, or a couple of words…

At first, it was terrifying and difficult, the first years actually. But oddly enough! The closer I came to that “brain shut down burn out”, the easier it became for me to just let go in these short training sessions! That was really odd…

It must be the same with painting. I “just” have to relax and let go!

(And I have lately been having fantasies about having an easel standing here in the window corner… )

One of my latest coloring pieces.

The day after yesterday


Remaining in bed, enjoying the stillness.
Slowly the day is awakening.

Despite white walls, it’s still too dark to take a pic behind the bookshelf with only an iPad. But – admit – worked a little bit with the pic in Pixlr, by adding a lens flare, and got some colors.
And that’s about how I feel. Colorful & Happy!