Category: Uncategorized

Exciting New Art Web Series

Exciting New Art Web Series

So I started a thing! I’m really excited about it too! It’s a new web series on YouTube called “What The Heck Is Misty Making?!”

Temporary title card. I’ll probably come up with something else later.

I’m 95% sure I have undiagnosed ADHD or ADD. I get hyperfocused on projects all the time. One week I could be creating stickers and the next painting a pair of rollerskates (which, by the way, I’ll be doing soon)! It’s not a bad thing. I learn so much and have fun doing it! I’m pretty good at multi-tasking too! Not to mention, I create lots of cool things! Like just the other week, I painted watercolor roses and turned them into bookmarks! I put a couple in my shop!

Here I am holding up one of the watercolor rose bookmarks I made

For my first episode, I painted watercolor watermelons. I’ve actually been sick this past week, but I wanted to start this series. So, if I seem less peppy than usual in the video, that’s why. And I created the video to be in line with National Watermelon Day, but am posting a couple days late, since I’ve been under the weather. I’m actually going to the doctor today. Hopefully, I’ll be feeling better soon!

This is a stock image of the rollerskates I’ll be painting! I got pink wings and rainbow shoelaces for the skates too! They’re going to be epic!

In the video, I say “What The Heck Is Misty Doing” but have decided to replace “doing” with “making”. Just wanted to clear that up, so there’s no confusion.

If you’re interested, please consider subscribing to my YouTube and this blog! Also, what things would you like to see me create? Please, leave a comment and let me know! Thank you so much!

To Learn More About Me And My Artwork, Please Visit My Link Tree! Thanks Again!

Copyrights And Reproduction Rights: Misty R. Lemons/Designs By Misty Blue Do Not Copy

Chasing Light And Color: Losing Eye Sight As A Visual Artist

Chasing Light And Color: Losing Eye Sight As A Visual Artist

Three years ago, I went to get an eye exam, so I could get new glasses. I went to a local optometrist. He was a nice enough doctor. Friendly and easy to talk to. Everything seemed to be going well and the exam wasn’t out of the ordinary. Until, at the end of the visit, when he told me I have Macular Degeneration. Whoa! What?!

The definition of Macular Degeneration is – a degenerative condition affecting the central part of the retina (the macula) and resulting in distortion or loss of central vision. It occurs especially in older adults, in which case it is called age-related macular degeneration. (I was 39/40. Not technically old. It’s not unheard of that younger individuals develop the disease, but it is uncommon. I guess, I won the eye disease lotto! Goodie! Not!)

At the time, I didn’t know what it was or what it meant for me. The only information I got from him was that it’s not a big deal and all I needed to do was take specialized vitamins for the condition and that I’d be okay. But this didn’t set right with me. My gut was telling me this was much more serious than he let on, so I scheduled an appointment with an ophthalmologist, hoping to get more answers and a better diagnosis or treatment.

This visit had more of a sense of urgency to it. I could tell the doctor and staff were deeply concerned. I had several in depth tests that confirmed I do indeed have Macular Degeneration. And when I spoke with the doctor he was astonished the other doctor took it so lightly.

The ophthalmologist confirmed the vitamins would help, but that if/when the condition goes from dry to wet, that’s where it can get bad extremely quickly and could result in me losing my vision.

Dry macular degeneration is a type of the disease in which blood vessels in the eye do not leak. Wet AMD is a more advanced form of the disease and causes vision loss when abnormal blood vessels grow in the eye. Wet AMD occurs when the blood vessels leak below the center part of the retina, the macular.

Wet AMD requires shots of medication that are inserted directly into the eyeballs to prevent vision loss and it’s not a one time deal either. Shots need to given regularly, as in monthly, for the rest of your life.

Subsequent visits and further testing at the ophthalmologist confirmed that I’d lose my sight in ten years (so possibly seven years left). A specialized genetic test confirmed this and gave us the timeline. To anyone being given this news, it’s a tough blow. But being given this information as a visual artist… Devastating!

My ophthalmologist sees me every six months now to make sure my condition isn’t advancing and I take the daily vitamins religiously.

A few months ago, I had a scare with my eyesight. I remember it was a Friday night and I was getting ready for bed. I had opened the bottom drawer of my dresser and when I went to close it and stood up after, I couldn’t see out of my left eye. It was shocking and extremely frightening. I was afraid my Macular Degeneration was to blame.

I had to wait the entire weekend before I could see my eye doctor. It was frustrating and terrifying. The next day, in my left eye, I could see a big blood red dot. My eye looked fine outwardly and you couldn’t tell anything was wrong, so this made it even more puzzling and fearsome. It made seeing extremely difficult. I couldn’t drive and I couldn’t watch TV. There wasn’t much I could do!

Picture: Here I am waiting to be seen at the second eye specialist, while wearing sunglasses and a mask (Covid). My prescription sunglasses helped me to see better and made my eyes more comfortable during my eye emergency.

Turns out I had an eye hemorrhage. A blood vessel in my eye burst. It’s actually not uncommon and can happen with strain. Though, to be fair, I don’t think I was straining that hard to shut the dresser drawer, but I digress! My ophthalmologist didn’t think it was Macular Degeneration related, but sent me to an even more specialized eye doctor and since it was considered an eye emergency, I got in to see that doctor the very same day (which was Monday). He confirmed it wasn’t related, but was concerned that if it kept bleeding, it could damage my sight.

Thankfully, the blood red dot and blurred vision went away after a few weeks and it hasn’t recurred. Knock on wood! I’m back to painting, driving, and watching TV!

Picture: Here’s some of my most recent creations! They are whimsically and colorfully painted giraffes. It’s acrylic on canvas.

There’s an artist who is visually impaired (and he lives in Texas! I’m in Texas too!) that truly inspires me and gives me hope that I’ll be able to continue creating. His name is John Bramblitt. He creates the most beautiful, colorful pieces. And it’s my understanding that he feels with his fingers what he paints and can feel what colors the paint he uses are just by feeling their viscosity. He also teaches others how to paint like he does.

Having Macular Degeneration is always at the back of my mind. How much time do I have left, before I start to lose my sight? In seven years, I’ll only be 49! What if it happens on a Friday night and I can’t see the doctor til Monday? Will I lose my sight having to wait? Will I be able to keep my eyes still enough to get the shot? How much will it hurt or be uncomfortable? How expensive is it going to be to save my eye sight? Will we even be able to afford it? What if I can’t create my art anymore? What if I can no longer see my loved ones beautiful smiling faces? What if I’ll never see the Northern Lights, the Oregon coast, or Zion National Park?

I don’t have a lot of money to travel. I don’t have any disposable income really, so it’s a distinct possibility that I’ll never get to see these things anyway, but the thought of absolutely not being able to at all breaks my heart. I want so much to see the Auroras in person! I want to experience these things with my family.

I’ve come to terms that this is my reality now. I will just keep doing the best I can and take things as they come. But when I first got my diagnosis, I practiced walking with my eyes closed and taking a shower with my eyes closed. Having my independence is important to me. I suffer from other debilitating chronic illnesses that could eventually make me totally dependent on others support. I will fight to stay as self reliant as I can for as long as I can and I hope and pray that no matter what, I’ll be able to continue to make art.

Dear reader, I hope you won’t misunderstand where I’m coming from. I know that being visually impaired doesn’t always mean you lose your independence and so many who are visually impaired lead full, rich lives. In my case, coupled with my other health conditions, I could very well lose my independence. That’s my reality, the very real and distinct possibility that I personally face.

Thank you for reading my blog! I hope you’ll consider subscribing!

To Learn More About Me And My Art, Please Visit My Link Tree!

Copyrights And Reproduction Rights: Misty R. Lemons/Designs By Misty Blue Do Not Copy Without Permission

An Artist Working On A Dream

An Artist Working On A Dream

Do you ever just feel like you’re spinning your tires? I don’t know if it’s ADHD or passion, maybe a little bit of both, but I hyperfocus, work, and push so hard to succeed. It can get exhausting and be a bit defeating when all that work seems to be for naught. It can be so disheartening to put all your love and energy into your dreams and goals and nothing ever seems to change or you see little returns.

You internalize and wonder what you could do differently. Am I too much or not enough? It’s not easy being a person who overthinks and feels deeply. Add social media and content creation and you wonder if you’re reaching and touching the people who need to see you and your artwork the most.

Am I just embarrassing myself, giving too much, or too little? Being an artist working to accomplish something with your art is difficult as it is, without the added pressures of social media. I could put on a happy face every day, but the reality is I’ve been doing this for so long, some days I feel like giving up and I want to be authentic.

It’s been a rough couple of years for me with my health and the state of the world. Am I making a difference? Does my art matter? I believe so, even if I can’t see the results/effects. At least, I hope so. I know my art helps me. It helps me cope and it helps me express myself.

I’ll keep working towards my dream of being a licensed artist. But today is hard. Not all days are easy or good, but that’s alright. That’s the nature of it, I suppose, and I’m still learning and growing. I’m doing my best and I’ll just have to be patient with myself. And if you ever feel this way, as an artist, just know you aren’t alone. Many artists feel this way, from time to time.

To Learn More About Me And My Artwork, Please Visit My Link Tree And If You See Value In What I Do, Please Follow Me, Comment And Subscribe To My Socials, YouTube, And Blog. It’s Greatly Appreciated. Thank You.

Copyrights: Misty R. Lemons/Designs By Misty Blue Do Not Copy

How To Stop Cricut Sticker Paper Jams Video

How To Stop Cricut Sticker Paper Jams Video

As an artist and small entrepreneur, the cost of having someone manufacture stickers for you is expensive. So, it can be appealing to print and cut stickers for yourself. 

Awhile back, I purchased a Cricut Maker. If you don’t know what that is, it’s a fancy piece of machinery that’s capable of cutting all sorts of materials. It can also engrave, draw/write, and so much more.

I’ve got this machine and I’d like to cut stickers with it. Cricut sells all sorts of materials to use with their machines. Including, printable sticker paper. I purchased some, when it went on sale.

The issue I’ve come across and I’ve seen loads of comments online lamenting the same thing, is the sheets jam up in printers. I ruined a few sheets before I figured out why it was happening and I’ve come up with a simple solution. That way, no more ink or paper go to waste.

Seeing that I’m not the only one with this problem, I want to share my hack. I made a short how to video, detailing what you’ll need and how to avoid jamming your printer.

Not a flattering photo, but it cracks me up!

The beginning of the video is pretty funny and if you’ve experienced these jams, you’ll definitely be able to relate! Check the video out here on my YouTube channel for the step by step instructions. Please, be sure to like, comment, and subscribe. Thank you so much for your support and for reading my blog! I hope you’ll subscribe!

*I’m not affiliated with Cricut. Nor do they sponsor me. This article and video are for educational purposes only.*

Copyrights: Misty R. Lemons/Designs By Misty Blue Do Not Copy

Artist: You Better Reorganize!

Artist: You Better Reorganize!

I’ve been busy reorganizing my office, trying to make it more conducive for filling orders. My husband and I put in a new closet system, so now I have better storage for my canvases and other art supplies. We also put in a dresser to hold my printer and Cricut Maker. And lastly, we put in a cubby with cloth bins to hold more art supplies and shipping materials.

This is how I first set up the space years ago, after we had moved in

When we bought our home, the room was baby pink. We all called it “The Pink Room” for a long time, even after I repainted it. Lol! To make it my own, I painted it in my favorite color.

I didn’t have furniture to fit the small space, so I temporarily set up a folding table. It certainly wasn’t pretty, but it got the job done.

An upgraded desk, a roll around, and some drawers helped with some of my storage issues

I wound up getting a desk from a friend of a friend for cheap and it fit the space so much better and it looked nice too! I also added roll around carts from Michael’s and some drawers.

Eventually, the room became an overflow for storing things, though. And so I moved into our dining room to create my art. There was much better light there anyway.

After a year of not being able to use my office, I’d gotten pretty frustrated with the situation, so we went to Ikea to get an idea of what we could do with the small space. There we found the cubby and I was able to figure out a dresser and a closet system would also help. Those had to be ordered and I had to wait over a month for delivery! Which was a bummer, but it gave me something to look forward to!

It’s getting there!

It took me awhile, but I’ve got the room mostly sorted out now. The dresser has plenty of storage for my printer and Cricut supplies, so I’m really happy with that!

The closet system is larger than I expected. I even measured it three times before purchasing and thought it would be a good fit. But once we started installing it, we saw the space on the sides of it are almost unusable, which is disappointing. Now, I have to figure out where to store my sewing machine and other things I’d planned on putting back in the closet. Other than that, I’m pleased with how the room has turned out. I have a place for almost everything now, so it’s way better than what I had before! Despite the closet situation!

I added better lighting in there also and have already been using the space to create livestreams and videos for my YouTube channel and my socials! I hope you’ll check them out and subscribe! My son and I have been working together to create videos for my YouTube. It’s a lot of hard work, but we’re silly and are having fun with it as we learn! I’m embarrassing myself for the sake of art and entertainment! Lol! So, please, enjoy!

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Copyrights: Misty R. Lemons/Designs By Misty Blue Do Not Copy

How Chronic Illness Changed My Life: An Artist’s Survival Story

How Chronic Illness Changed My Life: An Artist’s Survival Story

Growing up, I struggled with severe stomach pain. Doctors would say that I needed more fiber. Nothing seemed to help. It was miserable for me. I’d often go to the nurse’s office at school where she’d let me eat crackers and lay down. She just thought I was hungry. My mom even took me to the emergency room once and they had no idea what was causing my suffering.

Fast forward to my teen years when I was told I had endometriosis and cystic ovaries. I was told I’d probably never be able to have children. And again, more debilitating pain and suffering. Going up and down stairs at school became intolerable. Holding down a job became equally challenging when once a month I’d be in so much pain I couldn’t move and was bedridden. I also became intolerant to cleaning chemicals at work. I started coughing up blood.

I remember one teacher at school telling me I basically had to suck it up and carry on, that no one would help me. I know she was trying to help, in her own way, but it wasn’t helpful. It just made me realize that my illnesses were invisible. No one could see or feel them for themselves, so they couldn’t understand or believe me and it was going to make life much harder. It made me feel small and completely alone. There are days I still feel alone with it.

After having an ectopic pregnancy, that almost killed me, as a young adult, things snowballed. I was diagnosed with anemia. I started having dry mouth, heavy periods that would last a month or longer, severe pain in my feet and hands, my hair started falling out, and more. It got so bad that I couldn’t lift a gallon of milk! I started to gain weight for no apparent reason. My diet hadn’t changed. Despite my pain, I was still trying to keep active.

Doctor’s had no clue as to what was happening. Medicines they prescribed did nothing to heal me or take away the pain. I learned to just suffer through and do my best every day. It’s all I could do.

One doctor, at the time, said I had fibromyalgia. But fibromyalgia was so new back then and after the medication she gave me did nothing for me, I thought she was full of it, to be honest. I was in my early twenties. I didn’t get another opinion on that diagnosis. I just carried on the best I could.

Around the age of twenty five, I became pregnant with my son. I was so happy. My husband was worried the whole duration of the pregnancy. He thought we’d lose another child and that it could possibly even kill me this time.

I developed toxemia and pulmonary edema (water on my lungs that was crushing my heart). I was extremely swollen and I couldn’t breathe and the hospital I went to said I had asthma. But, I didn’t, at the time. I was dying, but because it was the weekend, my doctor didn’t show up to the hospital and I languished for days, until he had me transferred to a different hospital on Monday. I was there a day before they decided to take my son early by cesarean. I recuperated in the hospital for a week after and my son stayed in NICU for two weeks.

Years and more suffering later, I had my thyroid removed because I had two lemon sized tumors on it that were causing me a great deal of pain. They found small traces of cancer, after it was all removed. I didn’t need chemo or radioactive iodine, though. I continued to gain weight and suffer from extreme fatigue, pain, and other odd symptoms, despite all my best efforts. And getting help with this was a long drawn out nightmare in of itself.

Synthetic thyroid hormone replacement made me more sick. I had to demand/beg for natural thyroid hormone replacement and it helped. My energy went up and I stopped having chronic bronchitis.

A couple of years ago, I lost fifteen pounds right out of the blue. No idea why and doctors didn’t try to find out. They just congratulated me on the weight loss. During this time, I started to have heart fluttering and pains in my legs, numbness and tingling all over, and pains in my back. Then, my primary care doc told me I’d leave my son “motherless”, if I didn’t lose weight. By then, I’d lost thirty pounds, and despite feeling stronger and lighter, I started to feel worse. But, his support consisted only of him telling me to do a lapband surgery and to dismiss me completely. His comment kicked off my bought with medical PTSD. I started to believe everything I did was wrong and I was going to die and leave my son motherless. Eating healthy, weight training, cycling, and walking all weren’t good enough. That’s the message the doctor gave me. He placed the blame solely on me and didn’t care to investigate further. And while all this is happening, I got diagnosed with macular degeneration and was told I’ll go blind in ten years.

Then, last year, just before the pandemic hit, I was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis and fibromyalgia by a rheumatologist. A rheumatologist I had to schedule an appointment with myself because at this point, I was willing to try all sorts of specialists to get answers. My doctor should’ve recommended a rheumatologist years ago, but didn’t. He’d lose his “cash cow”, for lack of a better term, in my opinion. Maybe, I dunno. I can’t even begin to understand what drives a doctor to be so careless and abusive to his patients.

The unfortunate side of being diagnosed with fibromyalgia, is that a lot of physicians label their patients “mystery” illness as fibro because they don’t know what it actually is or because they believe the patient is a “hypochondriac” or faking or seeking attention, which is usually the furthest from the truth.

People are suffering and they need and want actual help. There’s a stigma there. And to be clear, I looked up the definition of hypochondriac and it means basically to fear death or be abnormally anxious about their health. It doesn’t mean to fake illness at all, so people use the term wrong all the time. And to be anxious about your health can stem from poor healthcare and being mistreated by doctors.

My newest diagnoses have been extremely difficult to deal with. I wanted to believe I had hope at a cure and returning back to a healthier, happier me. But now I know, there is no cure coming. And the medications to treat are as bad or worse than the condition itself. That’s the choice I have to make now. My first biologic injection (that I had to give myself at home) helped. I felt normal, until I didn’t. It caused my insides to feel like they were on fire and it caused me to be severely constipated. TMI, I know. I’m sorry, but it’s true. So, I had to stop it and now I’m waiting for approval of another biologic. I don’t have health insurance, so it makes fighting these illnesses that much harder. I’ve been waiting a couple of months now.

The rollercoaster of emotions has been almost as unbearable as the illness. This past year I’ve really had to take stock of what’s important to me and I’ve had a lot of time to think. So, I decided to put in the hard work of dealing with childhood trauma and the medical trauma I’ve suffered with most of my life and especially now as an adult.

I’ve done most of the research into trauma and how to heal on my own. Pinterest is a great place to find helpful articles, by the way! And I’ve been journaling. But I got to a point where I needed help from an outside source. And an art friend of mine who does therapy offered to help and her timing was perfect. With her guidance and knowledge, she’s helped given me the tools I need going forward. I’m incredibly grateful for her generosity and insight.

I honestly thought that when I left the abusive environment of my parent’s house, after becoming an adult, I’d be okay. And I thought I was. I was safe and I didn’t have to think about the bad things that happened to me anymore. But the truth is, your body remembers. Your nervous system remembers. Your subconscious remembers. And trauma can be linked to chronic illness, so I want to help myself as much as I can. That way, I can feel better. I figure the mental and emotional aspect would help the physical. And here I am. I know I’m doing the best I can. And I forgive the doctor. Not for him, but for me. The pain and anger were only hurting me and holding me down, so it was time to let it go.

The entire year in quarantine put a lot into perspective and I’m glad I’m putting in this inner work. It’s okay to feel emotions. Emotions are passing and they are trying to tell us something. We just have to listen and love them. We have to love ourselves and be kind and patient with ourselves. Creating my art helped me through this past year a great deal also. It was the best outlet for me. And it will continue to be, moving forward. As long as my body will allow.

To Learn More About Me And My Artwork, Please Visit: http://www.designsbymistyblue.com

Thank you for reading my blog and for supporting me and my artwork. I’m eternally grateful. Please, consider subscribing to my blog. I greatly appreciate it!

Copyrights: Misty R. Lemons/Designs By Misty Blue Do Not Copy

“Never Let Gogh Of Your Dreams” Painting

“Never Let Gogh Of Your Dreams” Painting

Here I am standing with a large 3d statue of a hand reaching out. I painstakingly hand painted it in an homage to Van Gogh. It’s named “Never Let Gogh Of Your Dreams”.

A friend purchased this large statuette at Ross with the hopes of doing something special with it. She never got around to painting it, so she asked me to work some magic and my first thought was Van Gogh’s Starry Night. What could be more magical?!

Detail Photo Of “Never Let Gogh Of Your Dreams” by artist Misty Lemons of Designs By Misty Blue

I liked the idea of the design swirling around the length of the arm and stars kissing the fingertips on the statue. I love how the piece turned out, but it fought me every step of the way. Lol! Van Gogh was a genius who created flowing, passionate works of art. To try to recreate such a unique style was difficult, but well worth the effort and I had so much fun with it!

Detail Photos Of “Never Let Gogh Of Your Dreams” by Misty Lemons

One of my all time favorite artists is Van Gogh. He had a tumultuous life and yet still created brilliant emotionally charged pieces in vibrant colors. You can almost feel the flow of energy radiating from his pieces. I can relate to having difficult and traumatic times in my life also. And though hard times suck, they can enrich the soul and your art. It can make you a more passionate, empathetic person.

The statue stands almost one and a half feet tall. My friend wound up giving me the piece to do what I wish with it. I don’t think I’ll part with it anytime soon. I love how it turned out and I want to keep it in my personal collection for the time being. Despite how large the piece is, it’s fairly lightweight, which helps with carrying it. Right now, I have it on display in my office.

Size Reference (Please, Excuse My Dry Hand! Lol!)

I painted the hand with acrylics and thoroughly sealed it in a semi gloss finish, so it has a nice sheen to it.

I love how painting odd shapes presents a challenge. It was a lot of fun trying to feel out the piece and place the artwork in a pleasing manner. Painting rocks prepared me well for this challenge! A rocks surface can present several challenges! From size, texture, surface, porousness, and more! I love painting rocks!

Large Rock I Painted (This Piece Is Also A Part Of My Personal Collection)

I hope the name of the piece resonates. Despite hardships and disadvantages, it’s important to hang on to hope. Please, remember to “Never Let Gogh Of Your Dreams”.

To Learn More About Me, Please Visit: http://www.designsbymistyblue.com

Thank you for reading my blog and supporting me and my art! Please, subscribe to my blog to stay in the know!

Copyrights: Misty R. Lemons/Designs By Misty Blue Do Not Copy

Soul Searching & A New Website

Soul Searching & A New Website

Hi! I hope you are well. My apologies for being an inconsistent blogger. Life and all, you know. I am over 40 now and with the arrival of the pandemic and being newly diagnosed with a serious health condition, I’ve been taking stock of my life. I’ve also been working on healing childhood trauma. I’ve been learning a lot and doing quite a bit of soul searching. And I’m trying to take what control I can over my health, but it’s not easy with and especially without health insurance. It’s been a lot to take in and it’s been exhausting.

With all the inner work I’ve been doing, I haven’t had much time for anything else. I was creating sporadically, but my zest was lacking. I’ve only just started to feel more like myself and have been creating more consistently and happily.

My son has been a great springboard for ideas and advice. I’ve got a plan now and he’s helping me where he can. I’ve built a website and it includes an online shop. I’m going to be focusing on stickers, pins, paintings, and eventually, art prints. I’m super excited and am having so much fun along the way! Website/Shop

My son and I have also been working hard and having fun adding videos to my YouTube channel.

Reorganizing my office to make it a more workable efficient space has been a top priority. I’m adding shelving, a cubby with cloth bins, and a dresser to hold my printer and Cricut Maker.

I set up an account with a shipping company and have designed proof of purchase receipts and an inventory list. It’s been a lot of work and I love it! It gives me purpose and a path forward.

My son is almost an adult now and before too long will leave the nest. That’s been especially hard for me. All I’ve ever wanted was a family. Raising him has been my purpose and my privilege. Now, I need to focus on myself and give myself a new purpose. My art is my purpose. I’ve always been an artist. I’ve always loved creating. It only makes sense to pursue it.

I’m a bit of an underdog. I’m a plus sized, middle aged, chronically ill, introverted woman. The odds are against me, but I’m strong-willed and driven. I’m full of passion and heart. I believe in myself and I believe in making a positive difference in the world with my art and heart. I hope you’ll join me on my journey and I hope to count on your support. Thank you for reading my blog. It means a great deal to me. Please, subscribe!

To Learn More About Me And My Artwork, Please Visit: http://www.linktr.ee/designsbymistyblue

Copyrights: Misty R. Lemons/Designs By Misty Blue Do Not Copy

Love Sets Us Free Mural

Love Sets Us Free Mural

Mansfield Commission For The Arts wanted volunteers to paint murals that would be used as selfie stations at marathons, festivals, and other events. They asked that artists use a love or music theme. I jumped at the chance to create a mural with a love theme. In the future, they will budget for artists to create murals and be paid for their work, so that’s exciting news as well.

For my mural, I wanted to relay a heartfelt message. I toyed with “Give Love”, “Choose Love”, and finally came up with “Love Sets Us Free”, which was inspired by a song I was listening to while painting the mural. It was “Set You Free” by Sam Ryder. He’s an amazing vocalist and this is my favorite song of his. I hope you’ll check it out.

Here I am with my finished mural “Love Sets Us Free” Copyrights: Misty R. Lemons/Designs By Misty Blue Do Not Copy

This is my largest painting to date. It stands 8 feet tall and 4 feet wide. I rolled the base color on it while it was laying flat on the floor, but stood the piece up in order to paint the rest of the design. I used a ladder to paint where I couldn’t reach. I’m a shorty, so a ladder was essential!

The surface wasn’t perfectly smooth, which makes it challenging to paint a smooth seamless design. Painting on rocks has helped me learn how to deal with such challenges, though, as rocks aren’t always smooth and often have cracks, holes, and jagged bits.

For this particular piece, I wanted clouds in the background. I decided to try spray painting them, something I’ve never done before. I watched some tutorials on YouTube from graffiti artists. I wound up just winging it, though, as I couldn’t achieve the look I was going for. In the end, I have a greater respect for artists who use spray paint as their main medium. It’s not as easy to work with as they make it look. I imagine it takes a lot of practice. But, I was able to create a misty, wispy, dreamy sort of cloud accumulation that I’m pleased with. I finished the mural by spraying silver and gold glitter all over it. It’s going to really sparkle in sunlight!

“Love Sets Us Free” Copyrights: Misty R. Lemons/Designs By Misty Blue Do Not Copy

The first event the mural will be displayed at is a virtual marathon, Run With HeART on February 27th and 28th in Mansfield Texas. Participants will be eligible for prizes and selfie station murals add to the fun!

“Love Sets Us Free” Copyrights: Misty R. Lemons/Designs By Misty Blue Do Not Copy

Given how difficult this past year has been for so many, I’m excited that I was able to do this and I hope, even in some small way, that I was able to help people feel better.

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Copyrights: Misty R. Lemons/Designs By Misty Blue Do Not Copy

Goodbye 2020: An Artist’s Reflection

Goodbye 2020: An Artist’s Reflection

As the year comes to a close, I’m wont to reflect upon the highs and lows of the year. I’m sure so many are doing the same all over the world.

For me, the year has been an emotional rollercoaster. I bet you can relate. It was getting to a point where it was effecting my health, so I was put on an anti-anxiety medication. Which, has taken the edge off. You may be thinking I’m oversharing and I might be, but if you are going through some things, just know you aren’t alone. It’s been a tough year for a lot of people and it’s okay to seek help. You don’t have to shoulder the burden alone.

That said, there’s been a bunch of good too! People coming together (but staying apart, if that makes sense), people trying to help others stay calm or find peace and comfort, artists trying their level best to make a positive difference. Myself included!

Earlier this year, right after the pandemic hit, I decided to create a project with other artists, all while in lockdown/quarantine. I came up with the Artists Give Love Project. We each created a painting of a message we wanted to convey to our communities and the world. I did “Give Love”, but there was also “Give Kindness”, “Give Thanks”, “Give Hope”, and more. In the end, we created a video challenging others to give messages and then ultimately, our pieces were hung in an exhibit at the Farr Best Theater in Mansfield Texas. The project was even featured in an Art News article circulated online for Texas artists to read and be a part of.

I’m proud that I could curate such a fine endeavor with a group of highly talented artists with kind, beautiful souls. And from that project grew friendships and strong art connections. I love my arty friends!

Project Artists Give Love (Top left by Sang Ratu Adil, Bottom left by Heidi Tournoux-Hanshaw, Top middle by Heather Schroeder Harbaugh, Middle by me, Misty Lemons/Designs By Misty Blue, Bottom middle by Keerthana Naresh/Kiki.artful, Top right by Dallas Williams Art & Bottom right by Wendy-Wayne Caldwell/Artsundefined By Wendy Moniqué)
My Painting, “Give Love”

During quarantine, I wanted to help artists keep busy during an extremely difficult time and create hope for others who were struggling. To combat anxiety, I drew a lot and I do mean A LOT! My iPad was a constant and welcome companion. Each illustration was meant to shine a light into the darkness, not only for others, but for myself. I’m so thankful I had such an outlet for my thoughts and emotions. And it is my deepest hope that I was able to help others.

Here’s a screenshot of one such image that I posted to Instagram. This year cast light onto evil and apathy. I wanted people to know that they can choose kindness.
This illustration was inspired by the senseless, heartbreaking murder of Elijah McClain. Please, if you don’t know about it, Google it. His family still needs justice. You can also go to their Justice For Elijah page on Instagram.

People are trying to find some sense of normalcy and comfort during these exceedingly difficult times and so people are trying to move on. That said, art/music festivals are trying to find ways to be safe and create opportunities for artists to work. Mansfield had Music Alley this year and though it was less capacity and people had to wear masks, it was a success. I didn’t have a booth set up, but my art was present. I entered into the art contest and the photography contest. I won first place in the photography contest. I actually cried when I found out. It meant so much to me, after the year I’ve had. It was a bucket list item of mine, to win a photography contest. Before I started Designs By Misty Blue, I did photography with Misty Expressions Photography, a hobby that I loved for many years. So photography holds a very special place in my heart.

My Photo That Won First Place In Mansfield’s Music Alley Photo Contest

When I took the photo, we were still in quarantine basically, the tail end of it really. I found out about a huge sunflower field about an hour from our home. It was a welcomed outing for my family. When we got to the field, it was breathtaking! I was so excited that I didn’t look where I was stepping and evidently I trounced through an anthill. I still have the scars on my ankle where they tore into me. But getting this image and especially winning first place made it worth it.

So yeah, it’s been tough. Tougher than most years. But there’s been so much good too. I feel closer to my husband and son. I’ve gained some pretty amazing art friends, and so much passionate art has come from these trying times. I’m counting my blessings, for sure. Keep hope alive. That’s the least we can do. G*d bless and here’s to better days! Cheers!

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Copyrights to ALL images displayed here on this blog are the sole property to Misty Lemons of Designs By Misty Blue and Misty Expressions Photography. Do Not Copy Or Distribute Without Permission Or Credit. Permission must be approved first. The same goes for any quotes from my blog. All thoughts expressed are opinions and not subject to legal action, as such. Thank you.