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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Day 27 & 28

     I really like learning how to paint a specific subject, but I'm also finding that I enjoy just painting what I feel even better. It's nice to just put brush to canvas (or paper) and express those emotions I'm feeling inside. That's what last nights paintings were about, a simple expression of my feeling at that time.

Day 27 - Serene - acrylic on paper

This painting is much prettier in person. You know it was late and I was tired when I photographed this. Anyway it's an image of beautiful serene waters.

Day 28 - Arctic - acrylic on paper

Cool and calm, nothing more.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Birthday Break and Paintings 25 & 26

     Well I really wanted to keep on top of my painting but I also wanted to do something special for Gatlin's birthday so I ended up taking the weekend off from painting. That way I could spend more time getting ready for Gatlin's small birthday party and make his special cake. So at this point I'm still behind one painting but that's ok because my little guy had a fun evening.
     Pretty much every birthday party that Gatlin has had before always ended up with him being very upset. I could never understand why he would always be so grouchy and crying. He wouldn't want to open presents, blow out candles, or do much of anything for that matter. This never made sense to me until we were on the road to getting his Autism diagnosis and I finally started to understand  my baby better.
     When we started the process for Gatlin's diagnosis it was February of last year and he had recently turned 3 years old. I had always known that my boy was sensitive and that he saw the world a little bit differently but I was only just beginning to understand it all at this point in time. During one of our visits with a specialist I started telling her about how Gatlin always hates his birthday parties and how the last one had been a little stranger than before. You see Gatty has always collected and carried special toys with him at all times since he was really little, and at that point it was some Handy Manny tools. He kept his tools with him at all times and he was all about Handy Manny. So in an effort to try to do something special for him I had my friend Sarah decorate a cake with Manny and the tools on it. I thought Gatlin would love it.
     What I did not anticipate was that Gatlin would not understand that the tools were just cake and not his toy tools. He immediately became very upset as we started cutting the cake and he kept trying to take the tools. It was my Aunt Dona that first commented that he seemed to think they were real. In order to calm him down we just gave him pieces of cake with the tools on it and he carried them around for a while until he dropped one and the cake fell apart. He then looked at it puzzled and then started to smear the frosting all over the floor.I felt like the worst Mom in the world! Here I had tried to do something special for him and instead I just upset and confused him. I felt like a complete failure, so much so that even writing this now brings tears to my eyes.
      As I told this story to that doctor she explained to me that birthday parties may not be a good idea for Gatlin. She said that although I had the best intentions I had basically put his tools, his prized toys, up on this pedestal that he couldn't get to and then it fell apart on him. She also said that all of the commotion of extra people and the expectations put on him to open presents and blow candles was probably just too overwhelming for him. She continued to say that probably the best party for him would be just us with plain and simple white cake. I was finally starting to get it when she explained that a lot of times birthday parties are really for the parents and not as much for the kids. I understood now that I needed to do what was best for him and not what I thought was the perfect party.
     Fast forward to this past weekend. A whole year has past and Gatlin has grown and changed so much. He's doing great in therapies and preschool. He's even beginning to interact more with other children in his class. We knew that he had come a long way and that more than likely this year a birthday party would be much easier on him but I did not want a repeat of last year at all. So with that we decided to do things a bit differently. This year we only invited a select few very close relatives, the ones who come to our house regularly. We told everyone ahead of time that it would be a relaxed event and that we would be following Gatlin's lead to make sure he was comfortable and happy. If he did not want to open presents or blow out candles then we simply would not do it.
     Now me being me, I still wanted to make a special cake for him. You know sometimes we as parents just can't let things go. I really didn't want him to have a plain white cake and I was confident that he understood things much better now so that he wouldn't be confused with his cake. I mean now I can tell him if something is to be eaten or not and we've even looked at cakes in the bakery section at the store too. So I decided to go ahead and make him a special Buzz Lightyear cake but I reminded myself the whole way that if he didn't like it that was my problem and not his.
     I am pleased to say that his birthday party went over very well! He was in a good mood, when we asked him if he wanted to open presents he was excited to do it. He did very well sitting at the table when it was time to blow out candles too. My brother sat with him while I was taking pictures and tried to explain to Gatlin how to blow out his candles. After a few tries I noticed Gatlin start to put his head down so I immediately sensed that he was headed for frustration and told my brother to just blow them out for him. That was that and Gatlin was happy again. He even helped me cut his piece of cake. I was just beyond proud of him. He amazes me every day and I love him so very much.

Here is a picture of Gatlin's birthday cake.

At the end of the weekend I finally got some time to work on my paintings. This first one is Fireworks, a 5x7 on acrylic paper. I supposed I made this because I feeling such excitement over birthday party gone right for once.

This next painting I call Perfect Puzzle, it's another 5x7 acrylic on paper. This one is inspired by my boys. You know a puzzle piece is the symbol for Autism and I honestly have mixed feelings about that and anything else that holds any negative connotation towards Autism. I know very well that Autism can make things more difficult but it is also very much a part of who my boys are. It makes them see the world in a different and amazing way. My boys have taught me so much and made me a much better person. Learning to understand their perspective has humbled me and made me more understanding of everyone around me. I thank God for them everyday and I do not feel the least bit upset about having children with Autism. If my boys are a puzzle then they are a perfect puzzle to me and I love them just the way they are.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Days 22, 23, and 24

Well I've been keeping up with the challenge but I guess I've gotten behind posting them here. Sorry. :(

Day 22 - Crazy Apple - 5x7 acrylic on paper

Most of the time while I was painting this apple I swore it didn't even look like an apple to me.

Day 23 - Birthday - 5x7 acrylic on paper

This awesome one is a tribute to my sweet Gatlin. He just turned 4 yesterday so I painted this to honor him.

Day 24 - Color Play - acrylic on paper

This one was merely an attempt to use up the left over paint on my pallet but I really am pleased with it.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Day 20 - Journey ..... and day 21 too

Day 20 - Journey - 8x10 acrylic on paper

     I had a great idea in my mind of what I wanted to achieve with this painting but alas I did not achieve it. Oh well... I did try. I may have to come back to this idea again later.

     On brighter note, thanks to fellow painters I learned that some of them were creating a second painting simply to use up leftover paint on their palette. I decided to go ahead and do this myself so now I have day 21 done also! It's a simple painting but I kind of like it.

Day 21 - Tropic - 5x7 acrylic on paper

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Day 19 - Sapphire Sky

Day 19 - Sapphire Sky - 5x7 acrylic on paper

     This painting was inspired by an image taken by Jessica Paxon Photography. She posted it on her facebook page and I asked her permission to do a painting from it. This is what I came up with. It is clearly not the same as her image but I think you can tell particularly in the sky where I drew inspiration from her image. I think it's a happy little painting.

     Once again please don't judge the quality of this photograph. I rarely get to do these paintings before 10 or 11pm and by the time I'm done I am exhausted. I just snap the pic so I can post in online and then the next day I use that same pic to post here. They are not the best pics clearly but you get the idea. Right now my main concern is keeping up with the challenge and learning to paint better as I go. Later I plan to take quality photos of each of my paintings so I can keep them for a record of what I've done.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Day 18 - Different

Day 18 - Different - 5x7 acrylic on paper

I decided to try something different last night and I'm really glad I did. This was just something that I thought up and it came together more as I painted it. Every time I walk away and then come back to it I feel like I like it that much more.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Paint Bag

      It took me a while to even get this image because Gatlin kept moving every time I tried to take it. Finally I won though! Here he's playing with one of those paint bags that I had mentioned in a previous post.
All I did was pour some acrylic craft paint into a quart size Ziploc freezer bag and seal it. Then I taped the top of it shut with clear packing tape to prevent the boys from opening it. Now with my kiddos I still don't intend to leave them unsupervised with it because I know they'll just rip the bag open if I don't watch them.
      I orginally saw this idea on pinterest, here is the LINK. I really liked it because it is sensory play and also along falls in line with occupational therapy. These simple little bags allow the kids to "paint" without making a mess and experience the feel of the paint (sensory) without having to actually touch it. They can also practice drawing lines and shapes in the paint. Its really kind of fun.
      I think I will make some more paint bags in different colors so that we can work on colors also. I encourage you to try this idea with your little ones. I'm sure they will like it and its a great step towards finger painting if you have children like mine that are weary of new textures.

Day 17 - Dark

     Ok I just want you all to know that I did complete a painting for day 17. It's an 8x10 acrylic on canvas panel that is fan art of Batman. I really love this one and I was excited to post it today but after looking into to copyright and trademark laws I'm just not sure if I may have made a mistake in painting it. I simply wanted to paint an image to show my love for the Batman movies but my choice to reference a movie poster image may have crossed the line.
     I have absolutely no intention of violating any laws and definitely not earning any profits from doing such. I just wanted a cool piece to hang on the wall to show our love for the movies. So just know that I did paint and then I was happy with the result. Also know that I do have respect for copyright and trademark laws.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Day 16 - Captain

Day 16 - Captain - 8x10 acrylic on canvas panel

     My husband is a huge fan of Marvel Comics and over the years he has gotten me more into them too. We love watching the movies together and I've really taken an interest in them more and more. One of my favorite characters is Captain America, I think it's partly because I like the character and partly because he's played by Chris Evans. Chris Evans is awesome!! Oh yes he's definitely on my list!
     Well anyway I decided to paint this image because I thought both my husband and I would really like it. I mean I wanted to do something cool for him and it sure doesn't hurt that I like Captain America too. So this one is for sure going to be hung on our wall somewhere in this house.
     On a side note I want to comment that after doing all the other paintings on paper it was kind of strange doing this one on canvas panel. In the past I had used canvas panel mostly but this time it felt like it was really soaking up my paints. It seemed like I have to paint several more coats than what I was doing with the paper. Whatever it was it made this one take a bit longer. It was probably a difference in surface as well as size since this one is a bit bigger. In any case this painting took about two hours to complete. All in all I'm happy with it and that's all that matters.

Note: I have decided to remove this image in case I may have accidentally violated any copyright or trademark laws. That was never my intent but after researching more about the laws I can't be sure if my paintings are safe or not.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Day 15 - Pancakes!

Day 15 - Pancakes! - 6x6 acrylic on paper

I see now that there are some spots I need to touch up on this but eh that's what happens when you wait till just before bedtime to paint. Haha at least I did paint.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Day 14 - Ripple

Here is Day 14 - Ripple - 5x7 acrylic on paper

     I was worried about painting this one but in the end I think it's pretty good overall. Well I would say more but I've got lots of stuff I want to get done today. I have to take Gatlin to preschool soon and then I need to get some cleaning and crochet done among various other things. I hope you all enjoy your day.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Chalk board fun

The boys each got their own dry erase/chalk board easels for Christmas. As you can see here they are actually coloring together. As much as these two fight they do also play together very well at times.
I'm really glad that they got easels for Christmas. My sister got one for Gatlin and we got one for Draiman. Half the time the use just one together but hey at least they have the option of coloring seperately. Their occupational and physical therapists said that writing on a verticle surface would be good for strengthening their wrist muscles so let's hope these help them.

Day 13 - South Beach

      I just want to say that I am absolutely amazed with this one. I really wanted it to come out well but I was concerned that it might be difficult for me. When I first started it wasn't going how I wanted at all. I was starting to get a bit frustrated when I decided that I just needed to relax and go with the flow.
    From that point on all I thought about were the awesome waves at South Beach. When I live in Miami, Florida we went to South Beach quite often and I just love it there. I started reminiscing about the waves and how it made me feel when we spent time there. Then suddenly the painting started to just flow more naturally and before I knew it I had these awesome waves. So here you have it.

Day 13 - South Beach - 5x7 acrylic on paper

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Day 11 & 12

     Well I got a little behind on my painting thanks to my brother. He decided to rope me into a late night cake decorating session. We were up late working on a cake together which was quite a bit of fun but it did take me away from my painting. I would say it was worth it though to hang out with my brother and goof around while working on a cake.
      So last night I decided to get back on track by doing two simple paintings. I wanted to keep it very simple and not worry about a reference photo. The plan was to just have fun with it and see what I came up with. It was quite fun actually and here are the results.

Day 11- Tropical Heat - 6x6 acrylic on paper

Day 12 - Ridiculous (because these flowers are just ridiculous) - 6x6 acrylic on paper

     On another note I want to take a minute to talk about white balance. As most of you know I am a photographer also but please do not judge these photos as being my quality work. You see this is a challenge for me to make all of these paintings so at this point in time I just want to get images of them posted quickly and I did not worry about being technically correct with them. With that said notice how the background white paper of each painting is a different color? Well that is because I did not take the time to correct my white balance, which also means that the colors of each painting are off and not exactly what you would see in person. These images were all taken with my camera set on auto white balance, I did not do a custom white balance or correct these in photoshop. If I wanted to display quality photos of these paintings I would make sure that the white paper looked like the white it actually is and that it looked the same in each photo. That would ensure that my colors of paint would also be correct. So I just wanted to mention this to give you a very quick lesson in importance of proper white balance.

     Ok I'm done! Have a good one.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Day 10 - Twister

Day 10 - Twister - acrylic on paper

     My Mom and I always found tornadoes fascinating. In fact one of her favorite movies was Twister with Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton. Blue was also her favorite color so I'm pretty sure that if she were here to see this she would love it. I'm so glad that this one came out as well as it did.
     I had been wanting to paint this image for a while now but I was really nervous about it because I didn't want to mess it all up. A lot of times I want to paint an image a certain way but I just can't figure out how to get the paint to do what I want it to. Well yesterday I found out about some videos posted by a fellow artist and facebook friend Klaire Russell and I decided to watch them. Wow was I amazed with her painting and the ease with which she does it. After watching all the videos I started thinking that maybe I was stressing too much and I just really needed to relax and enjoy it more.
    When it came time to start this painting I thought about Klaire and I decided to just relax and go with the flow. I wanted to enjoy the image I was creating rather than worry about whether not is was technically sound or realistic looking. As you can see this is what I came up with and I'm very happy about it.

A huge thanks to Klaire Russel for sharing her videos. Please click here to check out videos-

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Day 9 - Sunset

Day 9 - Sunset - acrylic on paper

This painting is the first one that I've done without using a reference image. I just went with a vision I had in my head and this is how it came out. Overall I'm pretty happy with this one and again I feel like I've learned a little bit more. I really hope to see some huge improvement by the end of the month.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Day 8 - Storm

Day 8 - Storm - acrylic on paper

     This painting went over much better than the last one. It's not as good as I'd hoped but I'm still diggin it. Of course I kind of like storms so why wouldn't I? I am also pleased to say that I already have my day 9 painting done as well. I just finished it so I will photograph and post it later. Now if only I could stay ahead of the game, that would be pretty good.

     Now I think I'm going to go pour some paint into a ziplock freezer bag, tape it shut with packing tape, and then let the boys "paint" with it. I saw this idea on pinterest and have been wanting to try it for a while now. I think now is the time to give it a whirl. We'll start with that and then maybe we can move to finger paints later. I have a whole board on pinterest devoted to things I'd like to try with the boys, so I better get busy with it.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Day 7 - Northern Lights - acrylic on paper

     First off I seriously considered not posting this one. I just am not happy with it but I decided that this whole experience is about personal growth and the truth is that I did learn something from it. Besides that it still probably better than day one. LOL So here it is.

     I was excited last night to get started painting, the boys had fallen asleep fairly easily and I thought I could possibly get my painting done early and catch up on some much needed sleep. Yeah right, what was I thinking? Just as I was about ready to get out my paints Gatlin woke up crying. He was having one of his leg/foot cramp nights and it was really bothering. So after a while of massage and pain reliever I finally got him back to sleep but at this point it was now about 11pm or just past.
     I was pretty tired already and had other things to do yet before heading to bed so I considered not evening painting at all. Then I decided that I would go ahead and do but not be too hard on myself about it. (Again who am I kidding?) So I got started, worked on it for a while and had my sky pretty awesome looking but I still hadn't put in the northern lights. As I start to add them I realize my paint (the sky) is drying and I'm getting even more tired. It's almost midnight now and I just can't get this blend right and my awesome sky is looking rather un-awesome to say the least. So I kept trying and trying to get those lights just right when finally I decided enough was enough. It was just getting too late and each stroke seemed to be making things worse and not better. It was time to call it quits.
     So even though I am less than happy with this I am still glad that I did it. I continued on my path of growth and I learned that I really need to keep my paint from drying up on me. Every day is a new day and a new chance to start again. Just because I don't like what I painted today doesn't mean I won't paint something fabulous tomorrow. That's the beauty of a new day, it's always a fresh start.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Day 6 - Impact

Here is day 6 - impact - acrylic on paper

I hope you all are enjoying my paintings as much as I am. I can tell it's getting easier for me and it's only been 6 days! Ok well I'd love to write some more but it's time to get ready for preschool and P.L.A.Y. project.

If you would like to learn more about P.L.A.Y. Project than please check out this link here. We are loving P.L.A.Y. and if you have a child with Autism I highly recommend you check it out. It has helped us engage so much more with our boys. It's amazing!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Day 5 - Comet

Sorry I'm a bit late with this one. Last night Gatlin and Draiman decided to take shifts and keep me awake until almost 4am. Since they wouldn't go to sleep I did not get my painting done last night but here it is now.

Day 5 - Comet - acrylic on paper

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Day 4 - Molten Sun

Here is day 4 - Molten Sun- 6x6 acrylic on paper.

     This challenge had bee a lot of fun so far. I am very excited about it and I can't wait to have all these paintings to display later. Well that is provided that I keep them all. If I could keep this pace up for the entire year imagine how much I would accomplish. For now let's just hope I make it through this month.
     Now that it's time to get back into the swing of things after the holidays it's about to get much busier around here. Monday already I have to get ready for two P.L.A.Y. Project home visits and then we have appointments every day of the week except for Friday. Gatlin also is back on schedule for preschool and on top of that I have some custom crochet orders I need to get done.
     Let's hope I can find my motivation to get through it all. LOL Today I am feeling very exhausted as I did not get to bed until after midnight and then for some odd reasons the boys took shifts and were awake from 4am on. Needless to say I had a heck of a time getting myself awake this morning. Ahhh it's the story of my life. :)

Friday, January 4, 2013

Day 3 - Ocean Moon

Here is day 3 - Ocean moon. It's another 6x6 acrylic on paper. I think I'm really getting into these space images.

So far I can tell it's getting easier for me. I'm still not where I want to be with my skills but I know this challenge is really going to help a lot. I can't wait to see all of the images I end up with by the end of this month. I'm also thinking I need to get some finger paints for the boys so they can make some paintings too.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Day 2 - Mars

Here is my painting for Day 2. It's a blocked out 6x6 acrylic on paper. Please disregard the rough edges, I plan to mat these images later so I wasn't worried about the edges being clean.

Even as early as day 2 I could already tell a huge difference in my ease of painting. It had been so long since I'd picked up a brush that my first painting was a bit of a struggle for me. Then once I started this once I could tell that my color blending had gotten much better and easier already. I sure I am glad I decided to take this challenge. I can't wait to see what I accomplish by the end of the month.

New chair

My photographer friend Sarah dropped off a chair this morning for me to use as a prop. Immediately the boys took to it and have been sitting in it since it got here.  :) Of course I should mention that this chair spins so it's even more fun to play with than our other furniture.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

30 in 30

     Would you believe that I would be crazy enough to agree to a 30 paintings in 30 days challenge? Well believe it because I did! Yep I decided that's it is now or never. I wanted to work more on my art this year so this challenge will be perfect to get me started. The rules are simple, you just have to complete one painting a day in January (we get one free day off) and they can be small paintings too.
     It's been about six years since I've really painted much of anything consistently. I mean don't get me wrong, I've done a few simple paintings here and there but it's been quite a while since I've dedicated any real time to it. This challenge is scary to me but it will be great to get me started again and for that I am excited. I can't wait to see how much I learn and grow by the end of this month.
     So here is the first of my 30 paintings. I did this one late last night after the boys were asleep. It is a black hole. I thought it would be simple but give me a chance to work on my color blending skills. Although it looks super simple it was a little bit challenging  for me. I struggled getting it to look just the way I wanted. In the end I'm not fairly happy with it. It's not exactly what I wanted but hey it's a start.

This is a 6x6 acrylic on paper.The purple color is much nicer in person. This is just a cell phone pic but you get the idea. :)


Here is a better pic of this painting and it shows my crazy rough edges too! Much more color here too than what my camera phone captured.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

I'm back!!!

     Well it's been a long time since I've posted anything on this blog and I apologize for that. Life got busier and more interesting to say the least. We had a lot of adjustments to make but it has been a great journey. I'm hoping to get back into blogging this new year, as well as lot of other things.
     Before I start any new posts let me give you a brief recap of things since I last blogged. This blog is aptly titled BrothersBad because it's really all about my boys and life with them. At the same time my boys are the reason I took such a hiatus from blogging. In February of 2012 Gatlin was diagnosed with Autism and with that we as a family had a lot to learn. Shortly thereafter we started noticing the huge similarities between Gatlin and Draiman. Then in August Draiman was also diagnosed with Autism. Since that time Gatlin has started preschool, Draiman has started early intervention home visits, and we have lots of therapy appointments as well. On a regular basis there are appointments for physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy. We spend a lot of time working on sign language at home as well as other things and we also have a P.L.A.Y. Project consultant that comes to our home to teach us the P.L.A.Y. method of engaging our boys.
     So as I'm sure you can tell it's been a busy time for us but it has been wonderful as well. Our boys have progressed so much this past year but more importantly they have taught us even more. We are blessed and honored to have them in our lives. For us Autism has not been a tragedy but rather a wonderful learning experience. We have learned new ways to understand and connect with our boys all while they have taught us so many valuable lessons. I am thankful for them everyday and proud to be their Mama.