Category Archives: Colored pencil

Does ‘natural talent’ limit your creative potential?

Colored Pencil artist Matt Fussell lists some great tips in his article “What I learned and didn’t learn in art school.” In it, he talks about the controversial topic of raw or natural-born talent.

I personally believe God endowed all of us (even my mother who says she cannot draw a straight line to save her life) with creativity.  However, I have talked to way too many people who are under the misconception that they can never make good art. They believe to their core that they weren’t born with that talent and it stops them from even trying.

Matt counteracts that idea stating, “I had to let go of ‘talent’ and embrace the idea that drawing and painting are skills that can be learned and developed by anyone.”

He says he only became a better artist when he realized talent could only take him so far.

I especially love the ‘by anyone part’. That’s good news for us that want to create great artwork. We can always improve our skills! We are not hindered by our talent level.

As an online instructor, Matt is available for a nominal fee to teach what he has learned about drawing, painting and digital art to anyone.

CP-feb2016fussell

You can catch up with him at his site thevirtualinstructor.com or in pages 28-30 in this month’s issue of COLORED PENCIL Magazine.

I loved working with Matt as his talent scout for the magazine, and it is always amazing to see the article come together before my eyes.

I also was privileged to work with Carol Kotsher Marden, whose artwork combines inspirational quotes and pictures to tell a story. I love her sense of humor and whimsy. You can see her awesome artwork in her article “Art Journaling”on pages 18-21 of this issue.

CP-feb2016marden

Carol is a professional illustrator and glass artist. You can check her out athttps://carolmarden.wordpress.com/.

buyCPMonline

The February 2016 issue is a stunner – as always! You can buy this issue and past issues of COLORED PENCIL Magazine online at http://coloredpencilmag.com/issues/.  Happy reading!
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me

Melissa LeGates is a freelance writer and retired Air Force journalist who specializes in feature writing. She is also the associate editor at COLORED PENCIL Magazine, as well as a colored pencil artist herself. She blogs about the exciting world of colored pencil art at coloredpencilenthusiast.wordpress.com.

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Colored Pencil Student Magazine Summer Issue

How writing and art has helped heal my recent bout of PTSD

It continues to amaze me how much talent is out there in this great big world and how artists’ use the gifts God gave them to express their feelings through a pencil and sheet of paper.

Suddenly, a ton of scribbles becomes a masterpiece right before the artist’s eyes. It is an amazing feeling when it all comes together and you can share it with others. I know whenever I “nail” a drawing, I feel like I am tracing the hand of God.

I like to think of my writing in the same vein.  As writers we combine words to paint a picture for the people who read our written artwork. Each article I complete is a gem to me – timeless, unique and beautiful.

I have missed blogging and sharing with this community.

I haven’t been writing lately because this Winter and Spring I dealt with a strong bout of PTSD brought on by seeing pictures of ISIS burning the Jordanian man alive. Suddenly, images from my dysfunctional childhood and a 20-year military career that took me to Iraq twice just started crashing over me in waves.

I have struggled with depressive episodes for most of my life, so this just made it worse. I felt like the dude in the second Transformer movie, when he touched the piece of the rock and started seeing writing projected on all the walls around him. My eyes just kept flashing all these horrific images on repeat and wouldn’t stop. Consequently, I fell off my meds schedule and that made it worse.

Here is a little background on what I have been going through. In 2013, one month after I got my bachelor’s from Regent University, I checked myself into a mental institution — exhausted from my own mind, constant worrying and suicidal ideation.

I had thought it would be the happiest time of my life. It wasn’t. Right after graduation, I hadn’t slept for three or more days straight. After a successful 20 year career in the military, I was totally at a loss why I couldn’t get it together and deeply ashamed. It took me over a year to recover and then bam it happened again this February. I was so lost…

It wasn’t pretty but through my faith in our mighty creator, the Holy Spirit by my side, the pure love of Jesus, and the help of my family I sought help and received the proper diagnosis of PTSD….FINALLY!

I never considered I had PTSD, even though family and friends kept telling me I displayed symptoms since I came back from Iraq the first time. The VA only diagnosed me with depression from my family of origin, so I never considered anything else.

At the time I retired in 2009, military professionals still weren’t proficient in dealing with PTSD…unless the person witnessed gross carnage and death. I didn’t see that with my own eyes, but I was around death and saluted several fallen soldiers in my deployed unit. As a journalist, I don’t really need to see something to emphathize with people and I tend to take on feelings from people around me. So I internalized all my fears from operating in a war-zone twice and didn’t know how to deal with them.

During the time I was flashing back, I was fortunate to begin working for Sally Robertson, the editor of Colored Pencil Magazine via computer correspondence. While I was figuring out how to heal and deal with the VA, she was very patient and let me stick my toes in the water as the associate editor of Colored Pencil Student Magazine.

I was deeply afraid of being rejected for suffering with depression, anxiety and PTSD because it can effect your work life. But, she was kind and understanding, which allowed me to build up my self-esteem once again and get back to my old work self. I still have a little way to go but I will no longer let self-doubt continue to seep in and poison my mind against myself.

So I thank Sally and the other artists I worked with in this issue. I am sure they had no idea of the impact they were having on my life.

In the end I have learned, no anxiety pill, recovery center, person, place or thing, can cure you of pain, depression or addiction. No one can do it for you because no one else has “all” the answers “you” need. Even if some people pretend they got it all together, they don’t. We are all in the same rocking boat together. Some people are just better at hiding their pain and pulling themselves together. And, believe me I have looked hard! LOL.

However, I believe that each person and experience (even negative ones) has a small part in creating one master key to unlock your healing and help you on your way to fulfilling your personal destiny on earth.

What I learned in my last PTSD bout is each person throughout my entire life was crucial in helping me heal myself now.

One day, I hope to write a book about what I have learned and maybe it can help someone else struggling with their own issues – PTSD or otherwise. So I am putting this desire out there in the universe right now for other people to come into agreement with me.

I tentatively plan to call it: Set My Captives Free: How one PTSD war vet healed herself through love, therapy and the Bible.

Well enough about me!

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Here is a sneak peak at the summer edition of Colored Pencil Student Magazine. These people are amazing artists!

– Find out why Will Stoller doesn’t sign his artwork and instead created his own signature brand

– Fiona Rose frames her artwork inexpensively with an embroidery hoop

– Carmen Medlin and the art of ACEO’s

– Irene Marie Cortez quits a lucrative medical career to pursue her love of art

– What’s Funzie Art? Annie Nelson explains

– Ann Nichezynski uses her talent for a bigger purpose to educates people on big cats and other wild animals at the Safe Haven Rescue Zoo

– and much, much more…including information on how to enter the 2015 CP art competition (deadline Sept. 1)

Check out all these great artists at  http://www.magcloud.com/browse/issue/947536 and get inspired to create your own art!

Then share your artwork with the colored pencil community at Colored Pencil Magazine’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ColoredPencilMagazine?fref=ts.

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CPM and CPS are on all your fav social media sites: Pinterest, Blogger, Flickr, Deviant Art and Instagram. 

Wherever you are online, we are there. Go to our home page at www.coloredpencilmag.com and click on your favorite social media icon.

Melissa LeGates
Associate Editor
m.legates@coloredpencilmag.com
Colored Pencil Student at http://www.coloredpencilstudent.com

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me

Melissa LeGates is a freelance writer and retired Air Force journalist who specializes in feature writing. She is also the associate editor at Colored Pencil Student Magazine, as well as a colored pencil artist herself. She blogs about the exciting world of colored pencil art at coloredpencilenthusiast.wordpress.com.

Colored Pencil Magazine Nove 2014 issue

Finding beauty in the aging process

Artist Cynthia Hellyer Heinz challenges social norms and stereotypes through finely-detailed, surrealistic portraits

By Melissa LeGates

Where many only see wrinkled skin, fine artist and educator Cynthia Hellyer Heinz sees a canvas of beauty, wisdom, and wonder etched on the faces and bodies of the elderly people she is drawn to depict.

Cynthia short circuits the stigma of aging in her series “Sacred Gifts,” inspired by her mother in whom she sees timeless beauty.

"The Anticipation" by Cynthia Hellyer Heinz
“The Anticipation” by Cynthia Hellyer Heinz

To read more, click on the PDF of this article from Colored Pencil Magazine, Nov 2014 issue:  beauty-in-aging-cynthia-hellyer-heinz-nov-14

me

Melissa LeGates is a freelance writer and retired Air Force journalist who specializes in features and B2B writing. She is also a colored pencil artist and blogs about it at coloredpencilenthusiast.wordpress.com.

Super Fun Outdoor Games to Make for Kids

Giant Jenga Game

Abeautifulmess.com

Giant Jenga Game

A Beautiful Mess provides the details on how to make this easy giant Jenga game that is fun for kids and adults alike.

washer toss game

Prettyhandygirl.com

Washer Toss Game

This game is easy to transport and great to take on vacations. Matt Knowlton from Pretty Handy Girl takes you through how to make this DIY washer toss game.
Bean Bag Toss

Pocketfulwhimsy.blogspot.com

Bean Bag Toss

Monique from Pocket Full of Whimsy stitched up this cute bean bag toss game with scrap fabrics. Keep kids practicing their math all summer long with this simple game.
Outdoor Tic Tac Toe Game

Chickenscratchny.com

Outdoor Tic-Tac-Toe Game 

Alecia from Chicken Scratch NY painted a tic tac toe board on a wood disk and decorated a few rocks as ladybugs and bumble bees. Why not take a stump in your yard, which is normally considered an eyesore, and make it into a focal point for play? Kids can leave the game and come back when they want, and the sturdy game pieces will still be there.
Floating pool Basketball Hoop

Latesthandmade.com

Floating Basketball Hoop

Latest Handmade provides step-by-step instructions to make your own basketball hoop from PVC pipe to float in the swimming pool.
Originally posted by Melissa Legates on Jul 23, 2014 at http://www.craftfoxes.com/blog/outdoor-games-to-make-for-kids
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me

Melissa LeGates is a freelance writer and retired Air Force journalist who specializes in features and B2B writing. She is also a colored pencil artist and blogs about it at coloredpencilenthusiast.wordpress.com.

Colored Pencil Magazine June 2014

Living the dream–Fine artist transitions from amateur to professional by teaching others art

I had the privilege of interviewing You Tuber and artist Lisa Clough on her colored pencil artwork.

Click here to read a PDF copy of the article: Clough-CPM-Jun-2014.

You can purchase a copy of the magazine in its entirety at www.magcloud.com/browse/issue/761782.

You can connect with Lisa on her You Tube channel at www.youtube.com/user/lachri. She posts time lapses videos of her creating artwork every Wednesday, critiques of other artists’ work on Tuesdays and Vlogs most weekends.

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me

Melissa LeGates is a freelance writer and retired Air Force journalist who specializes in features and B2B writing. She is also a colored pencil artist and blogs about it at coloredpencilenthusiast.wordpress.com.  You can commission Melissa’s work (either writing or art) by contacting her at malegates@gmail.com.

6 Creative Painting Techniques for Crafters

6 Creative Painting Techniques for Crafters

Check out these video tutorials on a few of our favorite painting techniques. Also don’t forget to upload your masterpieces to our project section!

Paint Russian Nesting Dolls for Customizing

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4PjybZN-EHY

Robert Mahar shows you how to paint your own Russian Nesting Dolls. There are a million creative ways to make this project your own, because you use chalkboard paint for the base layer. Erase and re-draw to your heart’s content – faces for your family, friends or even your pets!

 Paint a Masterpiece on a Mirror  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DD7BXhKOBlY

Harriet Muller teaches how to paint on mirrors with oils or acrylics using a special technique she developed. Check out her striking image of a man and woman in separate mirrors, both walking in the woods. What a great idea for a customized wedding gift or anniversary present.

Paint with Watercolor Pencils

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IA3MtUYXHdo

Lindsay Weirich, aka The Frugal Crafter, makes it easy with her video tutorial on how to paint bleeding heart flowers on pre-made cards. She provides easy tips like how to scratch in lines with a credit card and how to break down big shapes into smaller shapes until the piece is finished.

Paint with Melted Crayons

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HL0xKZF5LKQ

Create a one-of-a-kind abstract art piece with Faber-Castell Gelatos crayons. Donna Downey believes “everybody loves a new box of crayons” and she shows you how to melt pieces of the Gelatos together to create beautiful shapes on miniature canvases.

Paint with Oil-based Color Pencils

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6oxqkU7yCM

Tiffany Johnson demonstrates how to color and blend with Faber Castell’s Art GRIP Pencils to create four trendy greeting cards.

Paint with Foam Stamps

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=92V8GE3w0Tc

Lisa Fulmer shares paint-stamping techniques on sticky-back canvas to turn a plain glass cube vase into a super cute art piece. This vase would also be great in an office or studio for holding pens, pencils or paint brushes.

Originally printed in Craft Foxes blog April 24, 2014.

me

Melissa LeGates is a freelance writer and retired Air Force journalist who specializes in features and B2B writing. She is also a colored pencil artist and blogs about it at coloredpencilenthusiast.wordpress.com.  You can commission Melissa’s work (either writing or art) by contacting her at malegates@gmail.com.

 

Color Pop…article on artist Chad Thomas in Colored Pencil Magazine

 

Colored pencil artist Chad Thomas
Colored pencil artist Chad Thomas in Colored Pencil Magazine

Colored Pencil Magazine just published my article on colored pencil and acrylic artist Chad Thomas. I love his loose and colorful style and it was a pleasure getting to know him.

Click here cpm_1404_colorpop to check out the PDF of the article

Resources: Purchase Colored Pencil Magazine at http://coloredpencilmag.com or follow them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ColoredPencilMagazine

Purchase Chad Thomas’s art at http://whiterabbitart.com/

Melissa LeGates is a freelance writer and retired Air Force journalist who specializes in features and B2B writing. She is also an artist and blogs about it at http://coloredpencilenthusiast.wordpress.com/.

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inspiration and hope for each day

Breaking Silence

"But everything exposed by the light becomes visible--and everything that is illuminated becomes a light." -Ephesians 5:13

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