Through the Eyes of Gratitude

Umbrella Lady1
16×20 digital painting

When you look through the eyes of gratitude, the world becomes a magical and amazing place.  -Jennifer Gayle

What is it that you’re grateful for?  I’m sure there are many things.  For some people this question is harder than it is for others, but it’s still an important question.  It reminds us of what of beautiful and wonderful in our lives.  So I suggest a little exercise that we can do together.  List 5 things that you’re grateful for in the comments.  It can be anything.

Here’s mine:

  1. COFFEE:  I love coffee.  I live on coffee.  I have it every day, and it makes me happy.
  2. ART:  Art allows for expression of things that sometimes can’t be said.  It also allows you a look into the minds of those who created it, and humanity in general.
  3. THE HUMAN BRAIN:  The human brain is an amazing thing.  It allows us to accomplish mundane tasks, like cleaning and eating, while allowing us to contemplate abstract concepts like the nature of a human soul.
  4. MEDICAL TECHNOLOGY:  Because of medical advances, we’ve been able to eliminate many deadly diseases thanks to vaccines, and we have better explanations for someone having a seizure other than demonic possession.
  5. FARMING EQUIPMENT:  While there are disadvantages to modern farming technology, there are also many benefits and technology keeps advancing.  Modern farming equipment reduces the time spent on farming, reduces the the amount of water used, and reduces the overall impact on the ecosystem.

What are your 5?  Tell me about it in the comments.  Have a painting or drawing you want me to see?  Let me know on instagram @shalevbasya.  I love seeing your stuff.  I hope you have a wonderful day!

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Hidden Reflection

Hidden Self
16×20 digital painting

Sorry it’s been a little while, I’ve dealing with a sick household, but look!  There’s a new one.  I think my favorite layer is the glow layer.  I can create interesting effects with that ability.  This was definitely a very involved piece, but I have GLOWING BUTTERFLIES!  Hahaha!  Hopefully you enjoy it.

You can look for the PDF of all my layers and the reference photos on my Patreon page, and this is painting is available at my store.  Leave any thoughts and comments below.  I love hearing what other people see in art!

Butterfly Flame

Therapy
16×20 digital painting

We’re up to number 4 in this series.  This has been fun to create and I’ve been starting to think of how I want to put everything together once I’ve gotten all the pieces out.  What ideas do you guys have?  I’ve been playing with the idea of putting a book together with all of these together along with my thoughts.  What do you think?  What would be something you’d like to have as a way of see all of these together?

As usual, you can buy this at my store, and then look for the reference photos and the PDF of the layers on my Patreon page.  I should have that up early next week!

The Frozen Heart

Frozen Heart
16×20 digital painting

I just got this one completed.  I’m not sure how many I’ll have in this series, but I’m enjoying creating these.  My favorite part of this are the rays of light coming from the heart.  As usual, put your thoughts and guesses in the comments and I’ll have the reference photos and layers up on my Patreon page soon!

Who’s Real?

Are They The Same
16×20 digital painting

So, if you’ve been following me on my social media, you’ve seen in progress photos for this.  I now have it completed.  The most exciting part for me was creating the shattered glass effect.  As per usual, any thoughts or questions you have, put those in the comments.  I be getting the progression photos, reference photos, and color pallets up on my Patreon page this week.  So if you’re interested in seeing those, make sure to check that out.  Also make sure to follow me on one of my social media pages to get updates on what I’m currently working on.  Have a wonderful week!

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New Things

Lots of fun new things are happening and if you don’t know about them, you should follow me on one of my social media platforms.  Don’t worry, I’ll put links below.  First of all, I finally released my exclusive look into my previous painting on my Patreon account.  I have up the collage of all my layers and show you my reference photos.  There are also things I only tell you there.  So go check it out.  You’ll get to see the full photos there along with my explanation.

 

Then there’s also my store.  This month is Pride Month so in celebration of that, go use the code PRIDESBW to get 20% off your order.  This only goes until the 31st, so do it now!  I’ll wait here for you to check it out.

You back?  What did you get?  Tell me about it down in the comments and make sure to follow me at one of my social media sites.  See you later!

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I’m Back!

I know I’ve been gone for a while.  Ok, fine.  I’ve been gone for a year, but I’ve got something new for you.

Drum roll…

My Box

Tada!  This is a digital art piece.  I had lots of fun with it.  I have an idea for an new series, and no, I haven’t completely abandoned my previous idea.  It’s just on the back burner for now.  I’m not explaining the meanings of my paintings until the series is complete.  You’ll have to wait for that.  In the meantime, take your best guess, and anything you see in it, and put it in the comments below.  I love hearing what other people see.

Shabbat Glow

I was happy to actually be able to do this one since I wasn’t sure if I had enough paint thinner, but I found a method of recycling paint thinner that worked pretty well.  I may make a video showing you how to do it.  It’s definitely very useful.

I started this one with an underpainting in burnt umber as usual.  I wanted this painting to be more about emotion and the atmosphere of the painting, so I focused on the color and the contrast.  I LOVE contrast.  This is also another one in Compassion Project series.  I want to get high resolution photos of my paintings and then I hope to be able to sell both the original and prints.

Here’s the story that goes with this one, which is my own:

I’ve learned to never get my hopes up when I go into an interview.  Even if they like me for the job, they still have to get past a few things before hiring me.  Before I started covering my hair, everything would start out normal and friendly, but once I mentioned that I would need to leave early on Fridays because I’m Jewish and observe the Jewish Sabbath.  I need to be home before sundown on Friday.  I’ve of course can come in early or stay late during the week to make up for it, but that doesn’t seem to matter.  I can watch their body stiffen, the blood drains from their face, and the mood of the interview changes.  All of the sudden, it’s no longer friendly, but very formal and business like.  They assure me that they don’t discriminate based on religion, but they just don’t know if they can accommodate this and will need to talk with their supervisor.

At that point, I’m pretty sure that I won’t be called back for the job, or if I am contacted, it will only to be to tell me that they are very sorry, but they went a different direction, but they will of course keep my resume in case anything shows up in the future.  If I am ever hired, I know that I won’t have the job for long, so I make sure to have the resume updated, and keep an eye out on craigslist.  Soon enough, I’m fired from some lame reason that we all know isn’t the real reason.  I leave early on Fridays.  I have weird holidays.  I don’t eat their food.  I don’t celebrate their holidays.

I love Shabbat.  It’s my wonderful day of the week where we light candles, have dinner together as a family, sing songs, spend time together, learn Torah, and many other wonderful Jewish things.  It’s my Jewish bubble for just one day.  I’ve had non-Jews who don’t understand ask me if I can flex the time a little.  Christians and Messianic Jews have quoted parts of the Bible to me as proof that a job should be more important than Shabbat.  Things they quote usually don’t have context, or have a different meaning than they attribute to them.  I typically don’t see the point in correcting them, because they will always be right and I will always be wrong.  So I leave it alone and go to, “This is my religion, and this is important to me.  Shabbat is the beloved gift from G-d to the people of Israel.  So I can’t just abandon this treasure.”

In a way I’m thankful all the jobs that fired me, because it launched me into becoming artist, which I would’ve never done otherwise.  Since no one was going to employ me, I was going to employ myself.  I’m very happy with what I’ve chosen to do.  I haven’t gotten it to where I want it yet, but I see the potential and I will get it there.  So I want to thank the last place to fire me and upset me so much as start this!

Since Shabbat is something I love, I decided to paint candles and have a Star of David as one of the reflections on the candles.  This story will go along with this painting.  If you feel that you might have a story that might go along with this project I’m doing please message me and we talk about it.

The Golden Coffee

Recently I’ve been trying to figure out this Ampersand Aquabord I have.  It took me a few tries, but I think I got it.  Here’s a few tips for you.  Get your drawing on the board first, before you ever get it wet.  You need to flush the board before you start painting, but trying to use transfer paper when it’s even slightly wet, DOES NOT work.  If you’re going to do wet into wet painting, just make sure you use more water than you’re used to.  This surface is very absorbent and you may have to rewet areas.  Overall, I think this was pretty good considering I’m still getting used to the surface.

Those of you who’ve been following me lately know that I’ve been trying to get a new project started.  In order to do this, I need stories from people.  I haven’t had luck obtaining them, so I thought I’d do one myself and show you what my idea is.  I wrote this piece myself, and created this painting to go with it.  The painting is more of a still life representation of myself.  At least how I feel about myself.  I made this to help you understand all the little meanings.

golden-coffee-exp

I’m currently trying to get this scanned so I can offer prints.  This piece that I wrote to go with it, would come with each print that is brought.  I also have an idea of making a calligraphy version of it to go with the original.  Then, once I get a book together, a photo of the painting, the explanation of it, and the story will all be together in that book.

 

My head covering makes it very obvious that I’m different.  I don’t mind being different.  I don’t have a problem meeting the standard of what society would consider “normal.”  However, what I do mind are the negative reactions I get sometimes.  Sometimes, they’re very subtle, like the nervous stare that I ignore, the pale stiff face during a job interview, and looking back and forth between me and my husband because I’m not talkative.  These things are a mild annoyance.  I roll my eyes and ignore them.  I don’t have the time or the energy to deal with it.  What bothers me more is when I have someone come up to me and spit in my face and say, “Go die you fucking kike!”  Or perhaps when a man who looks to be in his mid 30s walks off the back of the bus, takes one look at me, and then yells, “Stop religion!” as he walks by.  There’s also the Muslim couple that yells, “Death to Israel!” and something else in Arabic that I don’t understand.  When there’s a protest about the war in Israel, I do my best to avoid it because I get people yelling things at me like, “Hitler was right!  You need to go find an oven!”  Then they start chanting, “Nazi Jew!  Nazi Jew!” as I finally get to cross the street to my bus stop.

At least I don’t work downtown anymore and am spared this, but what did the others around me do you ask.  Nothing.  None of this was important to them.  What I want to say to these people full of hate, I can’t, because it doesn’t matter to them.  I love being Jewish, and I love covering my hair with scarves.  According to Orthodox Judaism, I could wear a wig, and there are many opinions that I don’t want to get into.  I only wish to discuss my feelings.  I wear scarves because of how they make me feel.  I feel like royalty, and they remind me of my commitment to my faith.  When I wrap a scarf around my head, I feel like I’m wrapping myself in beauty and glory.  It feels like putting on a crown.  I don’t get that feeling with a wig or a hat.

Instead of asking me this, they just hurl insults without even knowing what my scarves, and what my Judaism means to me.  To them, I’m different, something to be hated.  I do my best to be compassionate to other people, so I find it disturbing when others seem to feel the need to treat others with cruelty.  I find it strange that my life is so offensive when they obviously know nothing about me.

None of this has ever dissuaded me from wearing the scarves I love, because, at the end of day, they hold more value than these ignorant and hurtful things people have to say to me.  I can deal with the stares, comments, insults, difficulty with jobs, and ignorance.  What I can’t stand for, is apathy.  I can get over someone’s issues and box that away in my mind, but other’s silence as it happens in front of them, or the silence as I tell them, I can’t deal with.  Perhaps it’s not even silence, but minimization, like it’s not such a big deal because of “fill in the blank.”

Perhaps you feel like you don’t know what to say, because you relate.  The wonderful thing is that you don’t have to relate to have compassion.  I live in a very liberal state, which has worked well for me in certain jobs I’ve had.  When I’ve explained some of my experiences, the best responses I’ve received were usually surprise and disbelief, followed by a phrase along the lines of, “I’m so sorry.  I guess some people just have problems.  Does that happen often?”  I understand the inexperience with what I deal with, and I don’t mind explaining.  I also tell them about all the times when people stop me to tell me how beautiful I am and ask I tied them.

What I wish I could say to all the people who every said something hateful to me, or fired me (for something else that we all know isn’t the reason), is imagine if you were me.  Imagine if you walking along the street and someone came and spat in your face and yelled, “Go die you fucking scum bag!” or having someone tell you that you should go kill yourself because of your ethnicity.  I’m pretty sure you would feel threatened.  As children we were taught to treat others as we would want to be treated, but somehow as adults that seemed to have gotten lost.  No matter your religion, race, gender, country of origin, that is something that should be universal.  Remember to keep that and perhaps we can make this world better.

If you think you might have a story that I could for this project, please message me and we’ll see what we can come up with together.  My dream for this project is to have art pieces and books that can carry stories that evoke compassion in others.  If this something you believe in and want to support me in, I set up a page for you to do that.  I do need certain supplies to accomplish everything, but if you can’t, please don’t worry.  I would be happy to just have you be a part of this journey.

Art Supplies & My New Project

I decided to go through all my art supplies and try and get rid of things that I’m not using anymore.  I’m not sure how successful I was, but I’m an artist and I love art supplies.  I rambled for literally  40 minutes.  So I think I did pretty go on time considering that.  Haha.

I really want to get this project started, so I set up an email list for everyone to get updates on the project.  If you haven’t voted for the group of stories you want to start with, then just head back to my last post and vote!