Friday, 20 July 2018

Glow in the dark resin dragon egg, painted with acrylics

Set backs, mistakes and frustrations.

As I sit here writing this I realise that I am not in a writey mood. All my effort and thoughts are elsewhere and I am struggling to put down the words.  The longer I type though, the more I am getting into it. I find that this is similar to lots of other things, until I actually start and make myself do something, it seems too daunting and big of a job.  Once underway, I actually enjoy it, so without further adieu here it is.  My blog post about my gorgeous dragon egg.

My vision was this magnificent dragon egg, glowing furiously, with a polymer clay dragon tail that protruded out from it.  First off, me using a jigsaw, ugh, we are not a good match.  My mdf cutting of an egg shape not so great.  So all my dreams shattered I had to wait until I had help to cut it.  This completely demotivated me and to be honest I did feel like a failure.  Every time I saw that badly cut egg I would remind myself how useless I am.  Why bother Kristina, I would think.  Nothing you do is good.

I put the egg in the too hard basket.  I would get annoyed every time I saw it.  There was always this part of me though, that saw it and wanted to start, wanted to make it turn into the vision in my head.  The old me, I have to be honest, would've thrown it away and never tried again.  I have this little bit of determination now, that I never used to have.

So with it newly cut by my wonderful husband I decided I could start.
I originally painted the base of the egg in Cadmium Orange hue acrylics.  Then I applied a layer of Golden's glazing medium mixed with the encapsulated glow powder.  It glowed, but not enough.  I wanted the orange to burst out from between the scales when I painted them on, like fire, not like badly painted s%#t.  This set me back again, I don't handle stuff ups very well.  So there the egg sat, taunting me, laughing at me, again.  Until I got so angry that I wanted to teach it a lesson lol.

There are two types of glow in the dark powder available from Glowing gecko.  There is the normal one which can be mixed with most things except water based materials, like acrylics.  They also have an encapsulated powder that costs a little more, glows a little less, but it can be mixed with acrylic paint, water etc.  

I decided to just paint the egg, and make the glow between the scales by painting the areas in.  I started with red acrylic paint as the base layer, added black to make the shadows, and put the scales on.  OMG ick.  Just ick.  Anger again grew within me and I wanted to scream, it looks like crap!!  Well maybe a little more profanity than "crap" was used lol.  Walk away, again.  I walked back though, and even more determined than ever I decided after two hours of individually painting on the scales that I had to redo them all.  Then I had to shade them, covering some up in darker colours, but I was finally seeing an egg shape appearing.  GLIMMER OF HOPE!! 

 I put some cracks in so I could make them glow instead of the scales, less work shhhhhhh.

The cracks I hated with a passion.  I won't go over how long it took for me to get the darn things right.  I almost gave up again.  I was beginning to hate this egg.

NO NO NO.  It just looked wrong no matter how much fiddling I did.  GRRRRRRRRRRR.

I decided to focus on the dragon tail that I wanted to come out of a crack in the egg.  Using polymer clay I made the tail, baked it.  Then held it up to the egg and hated the way it looked.

 I had come this far I was NOT giving up.  I painted the dragon tail but it still looked like some weird tail that didn't fit with the egg.  I think it needed to be bigger.  I kept the tail but it is for something else.  This egg was not it's place.  Dammit.  My 9 year old son said to me, "I thought you were going to have an eye in a crack?"  Hmmmm, no I didn't but that sounds like a good idea, thank you lol.

 Painted the eye, wrong, wrong wrong.  It took me a while to realise that I needed black paint in the cracks, because inside the egg would be dark.  Once I did that it was like angels were singing in the background.

Still desperately trying to make the tail fit, lol.  

I got the normal glow powder, mixed it with the resin and slowly and delicately poured it on the cracks and the eye.  I left this to dry, because I wanted to make it super glossy so it needed another resin layer.  I used Solid solutions resin, I haven't had a problem with it, except for the occasional patch of the art or table that doesn't get covered with resin, no matter how much I spread it.  It's called a dip or something like that.  Very frustrating.  I call them oogies.  So I did pour another layer of clear resin over the egg, but I got oogies.  three of them.  FFFFFFFFluffy puddles!!!!!
I poured another layer, carefully ensuring that the oogies were covered, and agh, nope.  I love solid solutions resin, it does everything I want, and because I am still a beginner perhaps it is something I do to make the oogies happen.  I don't know.  I do absolutely adore that resin.  I'm just trying out new ones to see what I like.  Bunnings the hardware store here in Australia, sell a beautiful gorgeous glassy oh so glossy resin.  Oh I love it, perfect, but almost $60 a litre.  A little bit too pricey.  Save it for the special pieces.

The egg glowed, it was shiny, it looked like a dragon egg, the majority of it was a glass finish, but those damn oogies were killing me.  

You can see the defects in this video on the resin.

I ran out of resin while doing the egg so I bought in bulk a different resin.  It is designed not to have oogies!!!!!  It kept it's promise!!!!  NO oogies!!!!  YAY.

 AND SHE GLOWS!!!  I put glow powder and resin on the side of the egg to make it appear like there is a glow all around it. 

 This is the final product, after weeks of hatred, anger, disappointment and mistakes.  I actually really love it.  

 And here is my pugs reflection in the egg.

Wow,  I just realised that after my initial frustrations of writing something, I have gotten more done than I thought.  It is good to get this out of my head and accomplish something, even if it's never read by anyone, I did it.  I finished the egg, I didn't stop trying.  I love the end product and I feel good about myself momentarily.

Now onto the next project.  I have been focusing too much on tables and resin geodes etc that I have neglected my main passion, painting.  My next big goal is a huge canvas painting of Aquaman's face (Jason Momoa).  With water dripping off it.  In oils.  I cannot wait to grid it up and start.  I just have so many things to get done.  I also think Aqua man is going to take me two weeks to paint so it won't be done in time for my next blog.

I am unsure what my next blog will be about.  I'm thinking maybe a detailed (kind of) blog about the products I use in the resin geodes, like the glitter and the gems etc.  Or possibly I could do a blog about the Captain America table I will be finished this week.  Or the one I am looking forward to but I know I will fail and get angry at for a while, the harry potter glowing table I have plans for.   I also want to address mental illness and it's ability to kill every thing and every relationship in my life, and how I chose to fight everyday.  Some days just making sure my kids are happy and safe is enough.  Mental health is very important I am learning.

Anyway, enjoy your week.  It is my daughters birthday this week.  She is a beautiful 22 this year.

Enjoy yourselves.

Please follow me on facebook........... KristinaObrienart
I am also on Instagram..........
Aaaand Pinterest.......

Hopefully within the month I will have my own website selling my one of a kind products, and if I can conquer my fear of being seen I will have a Youtube channel. 

Sunday, 15 July 2018

Mental illnes and trying to cope. Fighting Anorexia everyday. Sinking into depression all the time.

I was Anorexic, technically my mindset still is, just not my body weight.

I wish every day to be super skinny again.  To see my bones, to hurt when I sit, to fit into kids clothes.  God I miss that so much.  I hate what I look like now, to have a shower is a chore and I despise this body.  I get so angry and depressed just having to move, I am so angry that I am not skinny anymore.  That is how I feel everyday, and it is damn hard to get going.  This body is mine and I cannot escape it.  I have to use it, and I have to deal with it.  

I didn't beat Anorexia, I just pushed it down low.  Most days I don't eat much.  I certainly hate eating meals, I hate the feeling of food in my stomach.  I still get angry at it.  I continue to take laxatives because that is just me.  Where I used to take over 30 a day I am down to 11.  That is a positive, and that's all I can do most days, accept the little positives, even though most people would not think 11 laxatives a day is good, in my situation it is.  

I wish I could just have a normal relationship with food.  I hate it so much, I dread any meal time.  I will not eat in public for fear of being judged.  My mind is a prison, and to anyone who wishes to be Anorexic I say DON'T!  Thirty years of hell I have endured, I think back on all the times I could've eaten and I didn't.  I went to Italy, and I could not bring myself to eat their food.  I regret that, so much.  I'd love to sit down in a restaurant in Italy and shove pasta in my mouth, just as a screw you to Anorexia.  

That was (and is) me.  I truly believed I was fat, I had to take these photos everyday to make sure I hadn't just exploded with fat.  About a week after this was taken I got a vomiting bug, it was bad, the whole house got it.  While laying on the bathroom floor vomiting every 11 minutes all I could think about was how much I was going to weigh the next day.  That was when I dived in to the 30 kilograms.  BMI was under 11.  I was riding high, I have many pictures of being that skinny but none are suitable for this blog.  

I had kids, they couldn't save me from myself.  The doctors couldn't help.  To get into an Eating disorder Clinic in Australia is virtually impossible.  I got to the stage where they said they wouldn't take me I was too underweight.  Psychologists didn't help, psychiatrists, family, getting two turtles and also getting a Pugalier puppy.  None of it helped.  How could this cute little ball of cuddles not help???  Why could I not get the demons out of my head???  Why, because I was the demon.  I still am.  All the voices were mine, me.  How can I shut my own head up?  Pills???  Antidepressants, they helped with the suicidal ideation, which I had because I was sooo hungry, and I couldn't understand why I wasn't allowed to eat.  Death was better than the hell I was in.

To be clear I have had severe anxiety my whole life.  I could barely talk to anyone, hated going to shops and I still to this day, I have days where I just cannot bear going out if there's a chance I will have to talk.  I was never diagnosed because I never really told anyone.  I mean people knew that I was "shy", but I thought all the voices in my head telling me how dreadful I am, how they're all laughing at me....... were normal.  I just thought I was weak because I couldn't control them.  Then the darkness of depression hit me hard.  Suicidal thoughts every day, in every situation.  Depression is nothing.  It's emptiness, it's lonely, it's a hole.  Throw anxiety in there and I do not know how I survived to be honest.  I remember being acutely aware of my space in this world from a young age, and I mean young.  Around 7 years I remember not wanting to try and squeeze through these two poles that my friend had just gone through, because I didn't want her to think of me as fat if I got stuck.  It just got worse from there and I just shut down.  

Enough sad talk, because I have in a way beat Anorexia.  

How did I do it?  If I were to be honest I would say in all honesty my plan was to gain weight, let my brain explode and go insane and I would finally get the courage the end it all.  In the midst of my cunning plan I discovered painting.  

I had tried painting before, and I sucked.  I still wanted to do it though.

I started small, with copic pens and graphite.  I actually felt something nice about myself for a moment in time.  While I was colouring or painting I didn't think about my weight either.  Of course after I had finished the painting I became so depressed that moving was hard.  I began to look for You Tube tutorials.  I found Painting with Jane...................

This was my attempt at one of her tutorials.  Nope, just nope.  I gave up for a bit.  I began to get so angry I wanted to hurt.  Why couldn't I do it like Jane could?

I began punching the brick wall, I just wanted to feel something, like when I drew pictures.  I wanted this goddamn emptiness to go away.  

So I tried Jane again.

Small, not blended at all, I could go through the list of bad things I see, but at that point in time, I felt that fleeting feeling again.  It was nice.  I had done something.  Maybe, just maybe if I ate a little bit then I might be able to focus on painting more.  I slowly tried that theory.

I wasn't amazingly happy with this, I am more into the....... even right now I cannot think properly, I've barely eaten all day and the word I am looking for eludes me.  Photorealism, that is the word!!  Took me five minutes to think of that and now I have a headache but I got there. 

I am overly critical of everything I do, so I can see every minute mistake on my paintings, and I get so angry.  I hate that part of me, nothing I do will ever be good enough.  Joy, it is something that I can say I've never truly felt.  I fake it, or I used to.  Now I couldn't be bothered.  I walk along like a zombie most days, trying to laugh and play with my kids, but all I think about is painting and resin.  If it wasn't that it would be fat, fat fat.  Always fat.

This is actually helpful to write about, it is hard to explain, but I might do a few of these.  Even if no one reads it, even if the whole world reads it.  I'm messed up, I'm depressed majorly, Anxious, recovering Anorexic who still wishes for the disease back, I'm obsessive compulsive and a few more things I could throw in there, but then this blog would never end.

I am going to do some more blogs on mental health, tips I have, things that are normal and just how I deal.  This is part of my life, actually it is my whole life.  Fighting, not fighting, just being and giving in some days to the overwhelming darkness.  

Today I can say has been a hard day for me, I finally put all the pieces together of something that has been happening to my body since about May.  Turns out I am allergic to resin.  The burning and itching and stinging I am feeling today is not fun.  All I can think about though is pouring a beach canvas in resin.  Finishing my stuff I had started.  

Now, bam, one of the two things I use to control my ED voices is flying away from me.  I can't even bring myself to paint today.  Then anxiety comes in and says, "what if you never paint again".  Panic ensues, then that sneaky little voice in the back of my head slithers forward like a snake and reminds me how good I feel when I lose weight.  That will fix everything.  Right now I am still fighting, sadly and slowly, and hopefully I won't give up.  Because life is kind of worth it.  Maybe not today, but tomorrow could be a better day.  I hope.

I will do another blog soon about mental illness, when I feel ready to share more.  I hope you, whoever you are, get something from knowing that we are all messed up in some way.

Have a great week, embrace your art, and yourself, or your Pug.

Please follow me on facebook........... KristinaObrienart
I am also on Instagram..........
Aaaand Pinterest.......

Hopefully within the month I will have my own website selling my one of a kind products, and if I can conquer my fear of being seen I will have a Youtube channel.