Hi everyone, I hope you enjoyed my last post on colors! This Valentine’s Day, I want to talk about self-love and finding inner strength. I know valentines are typically about finding “your other half”. Don’t get me wrong I’m very grateful for my spouse and all that he does for me and our small family. However, there is truly something special about learning to love one’s self. It’s made up of little victories and learning more about yourself to understand what you need.
Part of my journey has been a chaotic process when it comes to schooling. I did 2 ½ years of traditional college going for my bachelor's (with a change in my degree). When I had to take a break - I was mentally exhausted from school, and I was in an abusive relationship. After I ended the relationship a year and a half later, I moved across the state and continued my schooling online. The semester I started, I was sexually assaulted and had to drop my courses because I was not in the best state of mind to continue school that semester. Then Covid hit. I don’t have to explain all of the hardships of Covid, I’m sure whoever is reading this understands all of the issues that caused.
However, right before covid, I met my husband. When we first started dating he helped me figure out more about myself. He saw my true self and helped me learn who I am. He supported me in all of my ventures, including going to therapy, going back to school, working full time, and supporting me in my change of jobs, and he was the one who got me back into a watercolor painting. He bought me my first nice set of paints, paper, and brushes. He has supported me in every way, on this journey of self-love and figuring out myself.
With his loving support, I was able to go back to school in the right state of mind, while working full-time. I only told a handful of people but last semester, I was able to take my final course for my associate's degree. My degree arrived earlier this month. To celebrate I wanted to do a painting of myself with my degree. I did a faceless portrait, but I wanted it to portray the new me I have discovered over the last few years.
To do this, I added a color shift from the smiling hippo that worked perfectly for my hair; a brown with a green shift, green is my university’s color so it plays into my graduation well. I also added a dark brown with glitter on top to help the color shift not be too green. I also added sparkles to my dress.
I also added gold paint to the seal of the diploma. I then added a light yellow metallic from the smiling hippo to the paper portion of the diploma.
However, it still didn’t have the overall effect I wanted. I wanted to add some of the spunky character of my university to the painting. In one of the computer science buildings, there are orange yellow, and red pipes throughout that are supposed to look like the cords of a computer. So I took a white glitter base and painted around the portrait, I then repeated this with a gold green color, lime green, then a dark green color from the smiling hippo. I didn’t want these to be bold lines, I liked the smudged look, hence doing it wet instead of waiting for the previous colors to dry.
I love how the sparkles and shine from the smiling hippo paints made everything come together just how I wanted it.
I’ve learned a lot over the last few years, like how the lines in a painting may not be perfect, it may take longer to get life accomplishments done, and how life throws curve balls. However, everything will work out in the long run. I hope whoever has read this far, has a lovely Valentine’s Day - whether it be by yourself, your family, or your partner. Until next time, stay safe and be kind to one another!