Sometimes people ask what I do differently on an iPad and in Adobe Illustrator. The two above samples show the original painting I did on my iPad in Procreate and the second one is the pattern that I created from it in Adobe Illustrator. Each individual flower had to be redrawn and re-colored in Illustrator then saved as separate drawings. That’s why there is a slight difference in the shapes, sizes, background. The painting is meant for a wall or made into a pillow. The pattern design below it is a “repeat” – so it can be used to create large bolts of fabric or gift wrap paper, rugs, and so on. Sometimes you have to create a repeat pattern so that the design can be printed in any direction, as in gift wrap.
Learning this has been a challenge. One day it all clicked because I realized that pattern design was a math problem, while painting isn’t. Once I conquered the technical aspects, I couldn’t stop making patterns. It gets me up in the morning and keeps me working until late at night. I have to stop occasionally to sleep, but it’s been rewarding to learn this powerful new kind of art application.
Hope you enjoy it too. Head over to my shop at Society 6 to see how these look in different configurations and on different products.
Statistically, most Americans are stuck in jobs that do not fit their gifts and talents. What path you choose determines the way you grow and develop. In plant terms, choices can have certain infertile, even failed, results. The one that appears to fit best makes us flourish and blossom and produce good fruit.
How do you find your best path? What do you do easily and with joy? How do others respond to it? That begins the quest.
The other day I spent 14 hours doing little mundane and repetitive things related to a surface pattern collection I’m working on. I started at 8 am. The hours flew by. The only reason I knew I needed to quit for the night (It was past 9 pm. ) was that my fingers were aching and my eyes were all dried out staring at the computer screen. Other than that I was having so much fun! That’s how I know this is my path.
Do you ever wonder what would have happened if you had chosen differently? Your occupation? Where you live? Your activities? Who you align yourself with? Even your spiritual choices?
I think I was doing this painting while watching the marathon rerun of Breaking Bad. I love the story because it’s about Walter White’s choices and how he sets in motion life-changing events that shatter him, everyone around him and especially those he loves. I had to ask myself, “What would have happened if Walter White would have let God play out His plan and purpose for his life instead of taking matters into his own hands?” Breaking Bad could have been written by Shakespeare who loved to address the theme of choice as he did in King Lear, Othello, Romeo And Juliet and so many other stories he wrote.
What choices have you made that deeply impacted the direction of your life? Your marriage? Your occupation? The place you live? Circumstances beyond your control?
Joshua 24:15 is the biblical theme of the painting. Joshua tells a whole nation that they have a major choice to make: Either continue worshipping idols and bare the consequences or follow the one true God who brought them from captivity into freedom. He then proceeds to tell them the choice he’s personally making. “As for me and my household, we will follow the Lord.”
The Path You Choose is available as a giclee print from my online store, or as various products from my affiliate sites: Society 6 and Fine Art America.
I have my own mini vineyard of grape vines that produce seedless red flame grapes. I planted them because I love grapes. I also love the look of the vines and how they grow. Each vine twists around itself and even grows into itself at the base, providing a strong foundation for the new growth to come. Each January after the grapes are long harvested and the leaves turn their autumn colors, the vines must be severely pruned back to the woody base that provides the nourishment for the next growth period. All the weak thin parts of the remaining branches are cut off and thrown away.
Jesus referred to himself as the Vine and us as the Branches. He tells us to “remain in the vine” so that the branches can grow strong and be effective. Without being near the source of nourishment or the strength of the vine, we don’t produce much fruit.
I remember one year my grapes were tiny, under developed and sour to the taste. The entire crop was mostly a waste that had to be destroyed. All my efforts to bring sweet fruit to the table or share with friends and family was lost.
We too need to remain close to the source of our spiritual strength – Jesus – even when it’s difficult being the branches to his vine. When I feel a sense of unrest – like I want to go live someplace else, change my scenery, my opportunities, my relationships – I take caution that I need to remain where I am until I’m sure it won’t take me away from the Vine that is my source of strength. Without the source I cannot produce the good fruit I was designed for by God.
The painting above depicts what happens when we remain in Jesus and He remains in us. The little hands reaching up are us, growing as part of the vine and producing the little heart fruit that in turn is enjoyed by others. Also, symbolic in the large seed of the plant is water and sun – depicting the nourishment we must have from God or we won’t grow at all. Of course, you are free to interpret it any way you like! Enjoy,
The Print is available as a giclee at my store. Click on products to take you there. It’s also available as other products at both Society6 and Fine Art America,
My Heart Will Sing
I’m sitting in a wi-fi cafe, listening to Christmas music over speakers, near a mall. People are all around me, bustling and buying, pushing and hurrying. It’s the last day before Christmas Eve to grab one last thing for one last person.
I am not a part of the conversation between two teenage girls nearby who talk loudly and poorly about a boy they know. I’m not part of the rush of cars streaming by. I’m not involved in the heated conversation a man has on his cell phone about a christmas present he has to buy while his wife sips some coffee and gives him a disgusted look. The girls never stop talking, vulgar adjectives describing every noun. The man puts down the phone and tells his wife they have to hurry to get it all done so “let’s go!” They head to the mall to join the throng.
Why am I here? I truly don’t know. I could get real cynical about the rush of chaotic lives all around me, or the senseless misunderstanding of what the “holidays” mean to most people.
Instead I choose to remind myself that this celebration is because Jesus has come. He brings mercy and grace and love to an entire world. He has come to centuries of souls past and present who have sought to fill the emptiness they have felt without knowing why. He says, ‘Come, follow me.” Only living water quenches the thirst of such emptiness.
Psalm 30:12: “So now my heart will sing to you and not be silent; O Lord my God, I will always give thanks to you.” The “song” reminds me that I can be filled with the joy of knowing Him personally and intimately. I give thanks for such a precious gift. I don’t need to be discouraged or cynical at what Christmas has become to the masses. His light shines brightly still and I will sing my thanks regardless.
About the painting: I shy away from depicting traditional floral icons we see during Christmas because they seem so overused. Instead I used a protea in the painting above because I see the hand of God written all over this amazing flower. It’s so full of His drama! It’s my holly, my poinsettia, my Christmas tree. Hope you enjoy it. Merry Christmas everyone.
“Sticks And Stones”
by Darlene Seale
13 x 19 giclee print
I hated my name growing up. Darlene. Where did it come from? There weren’t any other Darlene’s in my family. I learned it’s a common name in the South. Everyone there knows someone named Darlene. It means “Little Darling.” Very Southern, isn’t it?
I never felt like anyone’s “Little Darling” growing up so it didn’t seem to suit me. I always wished I had a more attractive, cool name. Maybe if I’d grown up in the South it would have fit better.
Besides our given name, we get called other names all our lives. Not so nice ones. And we often adopt them and believe in them for ourselves. We may take on names like “incompetent,” “fat,” “illegitimate,” “stupid.” And then those names stick with us for as long as we let them hang around and color our worlds.
I let a lot of names define my self-esteem, my decisions, who I hung out with, even my sense of humor. I felt “branded” by the names I was called that weren’t very nice. Or even true.
Then I discovered the names God called me. According to the Bible I was “Treasured Possession,” “Chosen,” even “Beloved of God.” Now the meaning of my given name, “Little Darling” had a whole different spin for me in His viewpoint.
Have you let names define who you are? What is your real name? I started the painting above, “Sticks and Stones” not knowing what it would be about. Then, as is usual for me, I let God tell me what it was about and brought it to completion. I hope it speaks to you about how much God loves you and has given you a name you can be proud to identify with because He sees you as you truly are. Psalm 33:12. Look it up – that’s your real name.
“Sticks and Stones” is available as a giclee print from my product store.