Tag Archives: Personal experiences. Cancer

Life Book 2016 – Weeks 19 – 21

I’m back with Life Book 2016, but hadn’t had a chance to post my lessons because I’ve been busy making graduation cards for the kids in my congregation and especially my grandson’s.  I will post those pictures later.

Week 19 – Your Normal is Not the World’s Normal – With

Wyanne Thompson

Oh my!  This lesson really touched my heart because Wyanne has gone through a life changing event.  In 2013 she was diagnosed with head and neck Cancer.  The doctor gave her a choice of undergoing a 12 hour radical surgery, chemo, and radiation or saying goodbye.  She decided on surgery and had her whole tongue removed plus many lymph nodes.  She had to take a year off to recuperate and now she has a feeding tube to help her get liquid food.  I admire her so much!

When I heard her story about her husband fussing over her coughing, she just told him it was normal, but her husband said “Your normal is not the world’s normal” which gave her a jolt, it reminded me about what I went through eight years ago.

I also had that experience after I had my mastectomy.  Three days after I came home from the hospital, I developed a high fever that knocked me off my feet.  My husband, who took very good care of me through the whole nine yards, took me back to the surgical clinic and it was determined that I had an infection at the site of the wound.  One of the surgical interns proceeded to squeeze out the pus out of the wound and insert gauze.  They also sent a sample of the pus to the lab for culture.  This event was worse than my mastectomy!  Then he sent me home with antibiotics and gauzes so my husband could clean out the wound twice a day.

Thee days after getting home from the pus squeezing, I developed another fever, so back we went to the emergency room this time.  Since I was still recuperating, they put me in an isolation room and the doctor returned with the results of the culture and informed us that it was MRSA, a flesh-eating bacteria.  They changed my medication and sent me home to return and see my surgeon again in five days.

During those five days I was so depressed and felt like crying all the time.  Finally I went to see the surgeon and as he was examining me I told him I just want to get back to normal.  And he said to me, “This is your new normal.”

So, I know exactly what Wyanne was talking about.  When you realize that you will never be the same person ever again, it jolts you back to reality – a new reality.

But, anyway, let’s get back to lesson 19.

Since Wyanne has no tongue, she tries her best to talk, but she can’t be understood, so her lesson had captions to help us follow her instructions.  I really had to pay attention with this one!

Wyanne, taught a new technique; drawing a face, then using tracing paper to copy the drawing, but then attaching the tracing paper to the side of the watercolor paper and adding india ink to it then smooshing it to the watercolor paper.  She said this technique was made famous by Andy Warhol.  After the india ink dried, we used watercolors and washi tape for the embellishments.

This is my project. I’m afraid of spiders, so I drew a tarantula and put her right on my shoulder – it seems harmless enough!

 Normal

The Lotus represents the scar I have from my Mastectomy.

NormalCloseup

After posting this, I realized this girl either has no pupils or her pupils are dilated, LOL.  She has a strong character, though!

Week 20 – Bonus: Expressive Mixed Media Portrait with Pauline Agnew

This week Pauline showed us how to draw an expressive portrait using a picture from a portrait one of the masters painted.

I googled “portrait of a girl painted by the Masters,” and I liked this one the best, but I forgot to write down who the artist was 😦

I then proceeded to very carefully draw the girl using an Inktense pencil in black, indigo, and brown.  As much as I tried, I couldn’t get the angle of the face just right, but I did manage to follow along with Pauline and using her direction, this is what I came up with.

MasterAndCopy

The background was made by smooching some paint from a pallet paper and giving it a twist.  I did several smoochings until I came out with one I could use.

MasterCopy

I think she has a serene look and I like it a lot!  Although some people are entitled to their opinions, one person said it was a bunch of BS.  I don’t care, I love how this came out, don’t you?

MasterCloseup

 Week 21 – Her Light Shines Brightly with Renata Loree

 

Oh my!  This was intimidating and very creative!!  I’ve been wanting to try my hand at making girls with different head positions and this is exactly what I had to do in this one.

Renata is also a past Life Book student. It’s really amazing how she has grown and developed her art work.  Now she is teaching!  I’ve seen some of her work in other places and I’ve been wanting to make girls that look like they’re glowing and looking up.  Renata was so generous because she was very accommodating.  She had two different lessons.  In the first video she showed us how to do a face looking up, but if we found it difficult, she also posted a front facing face and different techniques!  I thought that was awesome!

The lesson was done completely in watercolor, with the exception of using a stencil to transfer the different objects on the page.  I tried three different girls.  The first one I did without editing myself.  I just went through the whole lesson following her instructions.  There were different aspects I like about each one.  In the first one, I liked how the hands turned out, but not the face as you can see here.

Girl #1

I didn’t even finish her because I thought I would give it another try.  I do like the background stencil, but her neck was too long.  I did not draw a mandala because I’m terrible at it and I don’t feel comfortable doing it, but I took a stencil that was not proportionate and outlined it with a pencil then added the different colors on it.

LookingUpGirl

She is not looking up, she’s looking at me, but her hands are great!

LookingUpCloseup

Girl #2

On this one, I love the softness of the watercolors and that you can see the Lotus I stenciled in, but the hands look out of proportion.  This girl is looking up, though.  Doesn’t she look like she’s coming out of the water?

Lotus Girl

Girl #3

Ah, this one looks so much better looking straight on, but her hands looks like a cartoon character’s hands,   For this one I took my time laying down the watercolors then applying a sticky Martha Stewart stencil and running gesso through it.  It was fantastic the way it came out!  The lines were crisp and bright.  I also used the gesso to simulate the light rays.  Because of the purple watercolor I used on the background, I couldn’t get her face to look right, but, hey, it’s not real!

MandalaGirl

There you have it, my crafty friends, three lessons in one post.

Thank you for sticking with me until the end.

I hope to see your comments, which make me very happy!

Until next time, happy crafting!!

Carmen

PS After I finished writing this post, Renata posted on our private FB page that we can make the colors more transparent and make it like she’s shining by spraying some water on the piece and taking a paper towel and lightly lifting some of the color off.  I’m going to try that for sure!!