Coloring Emotions

When I was a melancholy teen, I occasionally entertained myself with drawing. As serious teenage artists whipped out portraits and dragons, I drew the best of cartoons. Before you do yourself the injustice of guessing which is the best cartoon of all time, I’ll simply remind you. It’s Darkwing Duck, who is still my hero today. I also drew pictures of my teenage heartthrob, Elijah Wood, who lost all sex appeal as Frodo. What did I ever see in him? Oh, that’s right, talent.

There was no method to my madness. I’d never taken a class, and I didn’t draw regularly. I only had computer paper and some chewed up school pencils. I did it for a while and set it aside.

A few years ago, I went to Spain. If you haven’t been there, it is the art capital of the world. No, Italy is not. Nor is France. Both produced amazing art and artists, but Spain produced Picasso, Dali, and Gaudi. In Spain, every person and every thing reflects the nation’s pull toward art. You must go. In fact, stop reading this. Go now. Your life will be better.

Now that you’ve returned, you can see how this reinvigorated my desire to draw and even paint. So, last summer I picked up real paper and a variety of pencils that my sexy artist husband gave me (Didn’t I tell you, he’s an artist? And he’s sexy?). And for Christmas, he gave me an easel and some paint. I’ve only just begun, but I thought I’d share anyway. I’m focusing on capturing emotions. These images are based on photos or video footage I’ve seen and that have often left me crying. Feel free to make comments, especially if you remember seeing some of these people in the news.


This is the mother of a boy who was murdered in the Orlando night club shootings. I drew a before photo and an after photo. The before picture captured her expression before she knew whether he’d been killed. This after picture shows her change of expression. 


This is the Aurora movie theater killer on trial. I didn’t get his expression quite right. The real picture has a look of, “I can’t handle your emotions” to it. This one looks more lost and boyish. It works either way.


This is me visiting Aphrodesias in Turkey. I examined women ancestors from ancient time. I love the theme of time in this photo and considered giving myself wrinkles.


This was my first painting. It’s based on a made-up photo that captured the loss and “deadness” of child soldiers. It was the first time I realized girls were used as soldiers too. I bawled every time I painted this.


This one isn’t done yet. I saw this image online, and it was so intense it scared me. I’ve also never done non-cartoon animals, so I’m still trying to figure it out.



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