Last year, Let’s Make Art asked for user submissions for outlines for their subscription boxes. They narrowed it down to a few, and fans selected the winner. I think that’s how it went. In any case, the outline for the Heart Hands tutorial was the user submission. It was one of the most challenging tutorials they had done in a while. People loved it. And people hated it. It was one I really struggled with. I was sure I had made zombie hands. And forget about definition at the finger tips. That was completely gone. I was lost.
But I was determined I could do this. The year before I had painted hands in my Bible journal, and I thought they came out pretty well. Why was this so hard? I started collecting hand images to work through, but never really got back to it.
Then on March 5, I had a tonic-clonic seizure while showering. It was the first one I’d had in six years. The seizure itself wasn’t that bad. I actually recovered from it so quickly, my husband (who wasn’t in the room) and I didn’t register that I’d even had a seizure until after I got dressed and came downstairs to breakfast and suddenly the headache and brain fog kicked in. Oh, there it is. It was the concussion that was bad this time. Usually I recover in a day or two. Five days later I finally relented to going to the hospital for a CT-scan, which I don’t usually do. (Everything checked out fine. Yep, I had a concussion. Yep, I should take it easy and listen to my body. Good job, me.) It took me nearly two months to finally feel “normal” again.
The worst part was everything made my head hurt. I couldn’t sew (too much intense concentration). I couldn’t read (words literally made me feel nauseated). I could barely garden (heavy lifting, standing, moving around). By Fall, I finally relented and had someone come and tame our wild lawn for us. The weeds this Spring are something else because I just couldn’t manage the yard last year like I should have. But… I found I could actually paint. My husband made a comment last Fall that he likes it when I paint because it reduces my stress level, so I checked my heart rate monitor. My average heart rate fell from 72 to 60 while I was painting; that’s how peaceful it is for me.
Anyway, once I realized painting didn’t hurt my head, I focused on a project I’d been meaning to get to: new artwork for the ladies’ room at church. I finally did my hand study, and I found verses to go with them. I didn’t really want to do a heart hands painting for this project because it’s so overdone, especially this year, but it ended up being the final project in the series. I’ll share the other paintings in another post. But this is the final one, and it is light years better than the original one. I still get a little lost in the finger tip definition, but it so, so much better in skin tone, shadows, and highlights.
The one who says he is in the light and yet hates his brother is still in the darkness. - 1 John 2: 3 (EHV)