I am a mother of four, living in the south of Sweden with my husband and children.
I have painted with acrylics for about 10 years, and before that, with oils and before the oils I used to draw a lot with charcoal. Just recently, I have moved on to also do digital painting and photo manipulation (actually drawing on top of images with a wacom pen).
Why I moved on to digital painting
We have two kids with special needs + a baby. (There is a large age gap between our three older kids, and our youngest.) Due to medical issues (with the kids) during this past year (2022), I had to pause my art business completely, for the first time since I started it in 2015. I won’t go into details, but last year one of the kids ended up on ECMO for a while (Recovered, thank God), and another had skull surgery… (Also recovered).
After much pondering and frustration and frankly, coming to the point of almost giving up on my art business (not having painted for about a year and missing it terribly) I somehow (at the end of 2022) came to this idea of exploring digital art. (I can’t really remember the thought process because we were at a hospital at the time). It takes less space (I can also work at a hospital when my child is asleep), and it takes less time – no priming canvases, no washing brushes, no varnishing or screwing metal wire for hanging, no packaging and no bringing stuff to the post office. etc etc. (I simply don’t have enough time for traditional painting right now).
It took me laying down a bit of my pride. Many people still think that digital art is not ”real” art. (I have never had that opinion!) But I don´t care anymore. I only want two things – be able to do art as my ”real” job, and be able to bring comfort to people through my images, mainly to bring comfort. Partly through my landscapes, and partly by painting pictures of children that have moved on to heaven. To give parents something to hold on to, and to also give these children a visible place in their families, both for the siblings to see and remember and understand, and for family and friends visiting, to make visible the reality that the child that has died is still a part of the family, and that the loss and grief will always be there. Life is forever changed. This also applies to children born sleeping! (The lack of knowledge is huge).
I feel like I have mastered the tools in photoshop enough now, to start offering commissioned digital paintings. (It didnt take me long, because even if I am new to digital painting, I am a seasoned painter (acrylics). I just really take the same approach and same kind of layering as I do with acrylic paints.
What I do is that I take an original photo, and first i usually make it black & white, and then I decrease the intensity to make it darker. Then I paint back the light where I want it to be, (and also the deeper shadows that go with it) and then I carefully draw wings on the missing child. I make them as expressive as I can, and I strive to fill the image with light and warmth and intimacy. It is not that I want to say that children get wings or become angels when they pass on. The wings, to me, is a symbol of that they are in heaven now. And a symbol of them still being so close (wings = means of transportation). I do belive in God and also in heaven.
I plan to also paint landscapes digitally (from scratch, not like the ”angel” images). I have made a few efforts already, but I wanted to start working on the images of the children first.