“You Were Made To Rejoice”
By Darlene Seale
13 x 19 giclee
First of all, I didn’t know that. I wasn’t aware that rejoicing is something only humans can do. Animals don’t rejoice, although I have to say when I’ve been gone for long stretches and first enter the house, Angel does a little circus dance up her perch and over the bars of her cage as if she’s “rejoicing” to see me. Actually, she just wants “outta there.”
Humans rejoice. We feel joy and it’s a deeply spiritual phenomena. Rejoicing isn’t the same as being happy. I can be happy, delighted, love somebody or some thing, get excited, feel satisfied, have a great day. But rejoicing is so over the top. It pours out from the soul and no adverse circumstances affect it. Rejoicing is a form of worship in which our spirits connect to God and that moment changes us. God made us specifically to commune with Him and the result is rejoicing. No other creature on earth gets to do this!
Bright splashes of colors and patterns are my form of worship and rejoicing. I’ve been working on patterns and surface designs lately, even recycling some of my older work into brand new stuff. That’s what I call “recycling!”
More about that later and perhaps a little “art show” of some patterns I’ve been working on. Meanwhile, hope you like the latest painting, available from my store and as other products too. Enjoy. No, rejoice!
“True Friends Remain”
13 x 19 giclee on archival paper
Sometimes we choose friends who are so different from us it seems impossible we’d be friends to begin with. Like a cat and a bird . . . the subject of the above painting “True Friends Remain.” You have to wonder how in the world these two would ever get along! (However, I painted some similarities. Can you find them?)
Difference are a part of friendships. They wear off our sharp edges and bring us opportunities and experiences we otherwise would not have known. I treasure those friends who are so different than me because I know without a doubt God brought us together, even if only for a time or season. I wouldn’t have chosen them on my own!
What happens when friends are separated by a move, a change in health or circumstances? If the friendship is true, it will remain. There are certain people who have been a part of my life for whom I have great affection even though they are no longer part of each day. We never speak or write or even stay in contact. Yet they never leave my memory and I still smile when I think of them and the happy experiences we’ve had together. I also hope they laugh when they think of me – that perhaps I brought some joy to them at one time. Now they’ve moved on and I am no longer in their life.
That might be sad if it weren’t for the plan of God, which is always good. Instead of being remorseful that our friendships have changed and may be no more, I am a child of gratitude so I give thanks for the friends God put in my life when I needed them most. Now He has other plans for them, and for me. We are on separate journeys which have taken different paths. Friendships that were true to begin with will always remain. That makes me smile.
Hope you enjoy “True Friends Remain,” available as a 13 x 19 giclee print from my store, and on other products from Society 6 and Fine Art America.
“Do What You Were Meant To Do” by Darlene Seale 13 x 19 giclee on archival paper
This “doing what you were meant to do” thing can be a struggle, can’t it? Most of the time we spend figuring out what that even is! I’ve learned what we were meant to do is the thing that we’re best at and brings us the most joy. So there’s no point in fighting it any longer. I was meant to make art. No sense in debating whether or not it will be successful, or whether people will like it. My directive from my Creator is just to do it! Make art. That’s it. Question answered.
With that in mind, I’m taking some rather unique classes online right now, in hopes that they will help me to do what I was meant to do. One of them is in Pattern and Surface Design Repeats. “Whazzat?” you ask.
In order to sell designs to companies that produce say duvet covers, or stationary, or gift bags or gift wrap, you have to be able to create what is called a “repeat pattern.” If a company plans to make fabric, they create it in long bolts which requires the pattern to be repeated over and over, seamlessly. It’s the seam that matters. If the seam is visible it’s not acceptable. I’m learning to create these in Photoshop so that they are suitable for marketing to a variety of manufacturers that require seamless repeat patterns.
I’ve discovered it’s not easy. But it will be worth learning because I’ve always wanted to create fabrics and gift wrap and bed sheets and other home goods. I’ve done a bit of this through Society 6 where many of my designs are available but they don’t require seamless repeat patterns. I’m progressing and moving on toward doing way more advanced compositions and patterns. I think I’m ready to really do what I was meant to do.
Meanwhile, I have some new art hung at the Z Cafe Gallery to replace ones that have sold. The show ends August 4th so please go down and take a look. And . . . this is exciting, I have some great new duvet covers at Society 6 if you have a queen or king size bed. I’m so excited to participate and offer my work on products, other than just wall art. This is what makes doing what I was meant to do – an awesome blessing.
(The above painting is a tribute to my special friend “Charlotte” the cat who is the biggest diva I’ve ever seen, only to rival Angel, my Cockatoo – who gives “Diva” a whole new meaning. Thanks to Colleen for letting Charlotte into my life!)
- “Peace Happens When You Land” – 19″ x 13″ Giclee print on acid free paper
Remember in the 2nd grade during art class, putting excess white glue on your hands so that later you could pull it off in long strings of “skin” from your fingers? Been there. Done that. Loved it! In the 2nd grade there’s nothing more satisfying than traces of art all over your hands and apron. (I had to use an apron because when I came home with paint or clay or glue on my clothes, my mom was not too happy or supportive of my artistic endeavors. To her it meant a load of wash!)
So how do you create mixed media art in a digital format? Digital mixed media isn’t much different except for one thing: You don’t get dirty. I can make art anywhere, anytime – on my iPad – and not worry about the glue and the paint on my hands, or having to clean up my work station afterwards. I can do it waiting at the dentist office or waiting for a friend to meet me for an afternoon espresso.
In the above digital painting, “Peace Happens When You Land,” I worked with layers just as I would in traditional mixed media. My first layer has lots of words on the page – words about peace and where it comes from. Then I added a new layer on top with lots of transparency. I start mixing paint around and making marks. The key is the transparency. Think of it as watered down acrylics or water color that you can see through. In digital painting you simply adjust the transparency level so you can see the work underneath. The digital paintbrush is damp and smudgy and then I blend it more with a blending tool. I may switch from a brush to a pen tool. The next layer is an outline of the bird and the branches. And here’s where everything changes: I create another layer on top of that and start to paint around the bird, with a bit of transparency, but a little more opaque this time so that some of the words on the layer below are almost unreadable. Working in digital layers gives the added advantage of making corrections, switching the stack of layers, turning off a layer or deleting it entirely if I don’t like it.
In traditional mixed media I’d be cutting out stuff and gluing it to the page, waiting for it to dry then painting or using gesso over the top of it, adding markers, and stamps. even inks maybe. Then I’d get to peel the glue off my fingers! In digital mixed media I don’t get to peel off the glue. That’s the only missing part. Sad, kind of, don’t you think?
Because technology has pushed us to new levels of sophistication, occasionally I have to squirt some white glue on my fingers, let it dry and then just peel away to my heart’s content. It reminds me of discovering how much I loved art in the 2nd grade and how that has never changed.
Ever wonder what Van Gogh was thinking when he painted “The Starry Night” or “Irises” or “The Potato Eaters”? These are some of his more known works of art but he painted a wide variety of subjects – portraits, landscapes, florals, still lifes. The sum total of his work tells us a lot about him as a person, his surroundings, things that were important to him, things he found mundane or beautiful or usual. He was such an “observer” of whatever was going on around him. Looking at the works of an artist long gone can tell us so much about what life was like then.
Art is about stories. Stories are powerful revelations about the meaning of things. The above piece is a lot different than some of my more recent works. It’s more like a page from an art journal. Still it’s a true story – a moment in time captured, but with my own twist on it.
It was mid-morning and I just passed Gum Tree Lane, heading to Ridge Drive when this well-fed coyote crossed the road in front of me. He wasn’t in much of a hurry. He looked in my direction, probably trying to determine whether or not he had enough time and space to reach the other side or be killed. Once on the other side, he stopped, turned and looked directly at me. I believe he was thanking me for slowing down enough so that he could reach the other side. I believe he smiled at me. My Native American name would be “She Who Speaks to Coyotes,” because I do. When I see them, I stop, face them unafraid and I say “hello.”
OK, at this point you’re thinking “she’s as nutty as Vincent Van Gogh,” but I do speak to them with unspoken words I believe they understand.
I also believe that later that evening, under a nearly full moon, he spoke back to me in his own language. As creatures made by the same Creator, I think we have a common language of belonging that must be respected.
So this piece is a tribute to that coyote who thanked me and smiled and spoke his howls back to me under a glorious moon. I love a good story. Hope you enjoyed it. As always, this print is available as a 13 x 19 giclee from my store, or as other products and sizes from Society 6 and Fine Art America.