Monthly Archives: January 2016

Elements of Design: HUE, VALUE and INTENSITY

Your teacher Eilee George here, with a lesson on color. One of the most obvious properties of a painting is color. Artists (and scientists) have analyzed and categorized them in various ways, in order to understand working with different aspects of how color is used.

Hue (Color) – In Theory

In our world, color can be first of all and most widely broken down into two major categories: additive color and subtractive color. They are separated because they work differently than each other. Additive color is made with light – it’s what you see on your cell phone screen or your TV or computer. Pixels change to different colors to give you an impression of some blend or other, in order to make an image – an image made of light. In additive color, mixing all the colors of light together produce white. Also in additive color, the three primaries are red, blue, and green. This can get very confusing because what most people know a bit about is subtractive color, but I’ll get to that in a little bit. With light, red and green make yellow. The other primaries mix much as they do in subtractive color, but this difference is significant to note. You are probably familiar that if you pass white light through a prism, the colors are refracted differently and a rainbow of color-blocked light results on the other side of the prism. In additive color, white is all color, while black is absence of it.

Unless you plan to work in light, a lot of that won’t be useful…but it has its place. Today I shall focus instead on subtractive color – the realm of the painter.

A first difference you’re likely to know is that in subtractive color, the primaries are red, yellow, and blue – and that red and yellow make orange while yellow and blue make green. Blue and red make purple (usually called “violet”) as always (well, in additive color it’s more magenta). When you mix all the subtractive colors together equally, however, instead of making white, they create black. In subtractive color, white is basically the absence of color – that is, if your paper or canvas is white!

Subtractive color, which I may from here on refer to as just color or hue – another, more technical word for color – can be divided up further, in different ways. First, let’s take a look at a color wheel – a tool to help organize colors and their relationships to each other.

Color Wheel by Eilee

If you take it apart – as I have in the picture below – you can see, from left to right, the Primary colors (red, yellow, blue), the Secondary colors (orange, green, violet), and the Tertiary colors (red-orange, yellow-orange, yellow-green, blue-green, blue-violet, and red-violet). Note that the hyphenated names for tertiary hues are named with the primary color first.

ColorPrimSecTerBreakdown

Put them all together and you can see how they relate to each other. This makes it easier to find what colors look really good together. The line shown below separates warm colors from cool colors. Warm colors have a visual “heat” and contain dominant amounts of red or yellow. Cool colors seem to lack “heat”, and mostly have dominant amounts of blue. This is known as color temperature.

Color Temperature

Colors that are next to each other on the color wheel are called analogous colors. Examples of analogous color scheme would be blue-green, blue, and blue-violet. Analogous colors are harmonious together and do not contrast strongly against each other. There are lots of ways to use colors together:

Color Combos

So far we’ve only talked about rather pure, basic hues. What happens if you start mixing them up?

Value and Intensity – In Theory

Both black and white are relevant to this topic. They are neutral: one being the very darkest, and one the very lightest. When you add one of them to a color, you create new categories.

Value is how light or dark a color is. If you add white to make a hue lighter, it is then a lighter value. This is known as a tint of that hue. In popular culture, tints are often called pastels. Not all tints have common names, but an example would be if you added some white to red – the resulting pink color is a tint of red. If you add a lot of white in proportion to the red, it’s even a lighter tint of red – but it’s a tint all the same. Conversely, if you add black to make a hue darker, it is a darker value of the same color. That is known as a shade of that color. An example of that would be navy blue – a shade of blue made by adding some black to it. These terms tint and shade, as well as value, are very specific in the art world and it’s best not to confuse or misuse them. The most notable property with tints and shades is that you have NOT altered the base hue’s identity by adding any different hues.

Intensity is a property of a color in relation to how pure it is, versus how much of its complement has been added to it. To really understand this, we must refer to the color wheel again. Note that red and green are complements. If you were to add a little green paint to a lot of red, you would take down the intensity of the red; it would be a less pure, less intense, less true red. (Note that in some texts the word “intensity” is replaced by the word “chroma”; they are the same thing.) Likewise, if you were to add a little red to a lot of green, it would be a lower-intensity green. Any mixture of complements is known as a tone. You can vary the amounts of each of the complements to achieve any tone you wish that is in the range between those two complementary hues. When you reach equal strength of pigment (your colored paint), then you should (ideally) have something close to black (you usually have to tweak it a bit). On either side of black in that middle ground should be some rather muddy-looking colors that possess very low intensity, and are difficult for many eyes to distinguish from what most would consider simply ugly browns. You can see this in the rectangular illustration below to the left. What you get in the middle depends on how much of which colors you’re mixing. It is significant to note that the value contrast between complements yellow and violet is far different to that between, say, red and green. Yellow particularly is not a very strong color in pigment and by its nature is a very light value compared to other primary and secondary colors.

In the circular diagram below right, you can see that all of the lighter tints inside the white circle are tints of all of the hues, and all of the shades outside the black circle are shades of all of the colors. The space in between holds the pure colors without any black or white added. Note that there are no tones in this model, because at no point do any of the complementary hues mix with each other.

Color Tones Tints & Shades

Also note that the complement of any primary is a secondary – made of the other two primaries, which, in effect, means that you’re mixing all the colors together, which is another way toward black. Then, if you add white to make a tint of whatever mixture you’ve made, it’s more of a gray or a lighter brown, or a lighter grayish hue, depending on how much of each paint you added. The same goes for any other complementary pair of hues – you can mix value and intensity modulations to get an infinite number of subtractive colors. Below you can see some ranges between complements, and how tints and shades affect those ranges, as well as a value gradation between black and white.Color Tint Shade Tone Value Intensity

Note how complements theoretically make a black or dark gray between them, but sometimes you get something else. This is especially true in these samples because I’m generating them on a computer screen, polluting the issue with additive color, since your screen illuminates with light. But once you start mixing paints, you will see what really happens. Play around with it and get familiar with what happens with different combinations.

Hue, Value, and Intensity – In Practice

Of special note for those working with transparent watercolors: since there is no “white” in this medium, you have to thin your paint with water to let the whiteness of the paper show through. If you’re a beginner in paint and you want to get the feel for mixing with actual white pigment, use gouache, which is an opaque watercolor, or acrylic. Oils are more complex and need a certain type of environment to be used safely. You can add water to acrylic because it is a water-based medium, but do not add too much or the paint will not adhere properly to the substrate (paper or canvas). Remember that acrylics can dry quickly, so to keep them workable, get some medium – I like soft gel medium, personally. If you instead find and want to try a fluid retarder for acrylics, then remember to use it very sparingly – or the paint will not dry at all. And do not run acrylics through an airbrush (see previous post). Always read all instructions thoroughly.

For those using drawing media like colored pencils, you can lay them over each other in light, layered overlays; I find that laying lighter colors over darker ones works best, as does altering your stroke direction very slightly and keeping strokes tight to each other while working. If you use pastels, remember that there is a limit to blending because of their texture. You can get nice textured paper to hold more pigment, but think before you blend because once you crush the tooth of that paper, it won’t hold any more…plus you have to seal it heavily with spray fixative or it will smear and disintegrate with time. Oil pastels and crayons blend similarly but with a little less mess. Other drawing/blending tips can be found here, all through the “In Practice” section.

You will find that finer points of blending colors vary from medium to medium, and that’s okay. If you find a medium you particularly enjoy, you can do lots of experimenting to get really familiar with its properties and idiosyncrasies, and develop your technique to an expert level through trial and error and refinement.

 

Hue, Value, and Intensity – In Cyberspace: Master Works

George Seurat: The Watering Can - Garden at Le Raincy, c. 1883, oil on panel, Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon

Georges Seurat (French, 1859 – 1891 ), The Watering Can – Garden at Le Raincy, c. 1883, oil on panel, Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon 2014.18.51

You’d be hard pressed to find art that didn’t use some version of the element of Hue. Still, some just sing with it. Artists that seem to have a winning ability with hue are often labeled colorists, but it’s supposed to be a more specific term than is often used. Impressionists like Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Georges Seurat are probably most popularly associated with special attention to color theory and how it works, even figuratively dissecting how the eye visually blends contrasting colors placed next to each other in small amounts and capitalizing on that to allow the viewer to “complete” the works. Fauvists like Henri Matisse and Maurice Vlaminck used riotous, bright colors in expressive strokes. De Stijl artists like painter Piet Mondrian, architect/designer Gerrit Rietveld and sculptor Georges Vantongerloo reduced hue to its most basic primary colors. Black-and-white photographers like Ansel Adams showed how sparkling value contrasts can be even when limited to a gray scale. Art Nouveau artist Maxfield Parrish liked to work with a complementary color scheme of blue and orange to contrast warm light and cool shadow. Since the works of many of these artists are still under copyright I cannot always put images here, but search these artists online and get a feel for how they use color by studying their works at various great museums, online or, even better, in person.

 

Be sure to check back occasionally for more lessons on the Elements and Principles of Design.

If you have any questions or need clarification concerning any of these design concepts, feel free to contact me using the Contact Form. Be sure to put the words “Lesson Question” in the Subject line (but the quotation marks aren’t necessary). I run several sites as well as my fine arts production projects, so I will get back to you as quickly as I can. Thanks!

– Eilee

 

 

 

 

Master work images courtesy of nga.gov (National Gallery of Art)

All other content on this site © 2013-2018/present L. Eilee S. George; all rights reserved.

Cleanup: An Ounce of Prevention…

Colorussia 1 Detail SmallI have heard some people actually be less willing to do something because of the mess involved. However, the old axiom holds true that an ounce of prevention is worth a ton of cure – while perhaps not a literal ton, at least it does save much frustration and extra toil.

Let’s give some examples of what I mean.

Art time is no time to wear a prom formal or your favorite shoes. Have some old sweats and an old work shirt or smock available for painting days. I’ve used old shirts of my dad’s, shop aprons, or whatever I could find depending on the job being done and the temperature in which it is done (sometimes I paint outdoors). I have designated “paint socks”, since shoes aren’t really necessary in the studio, but I don’t care to stick to the floor in my bare feet either. Of course, if you’re working with heavier things than paint, old flip-flops or steel-toed boots may be appropriate.

I realize that many who wish to paint or sculpt or carve (or whatever) have neither an appropriate room at home to convert to a studio, nor the budget to rent a dedicated space elsewhere. I have made a temporary studio out of my living room in the past, and been able to protect everything there. In my current home I have a studio in the basement, and I added better lighting as well as a couple of large scraps of linoleum to protect the existing floor.

Large, clear plastic drop “cloths” are incredibly cheap at the hardware store, and can be re-used over and over. Even the plastic that is shrink-wrapped over your canvases can be used to cover smaller work surfaces, although this stuff is flimsy and will likely last only one or two uses, if you’re careful not to tear it while removing it from the canvas to begin with.

If you’re particular about preserving your nail work, stock up on latex gloves – there are plenty of sizes available and you can get them either powdered to facilitate putting them on, or non-powdered, for those whose skin is susceptible to rashes arising from clogged pores when the powder mixes with sweat (they’re not really that much harder to don). I prefer function to form as far as my hands go, so I just use gloves to avoid painful chapping if I’m doing a painting marathon or using something that requires lye soap and steel wool to scrub off.

Having long hair is a definite problem when working on anything messy, so I have an arsenal of implements to pull it back, up, and away from my face and work. It’s long enough to sit on if I don’t, so it usually takes more than one tool to handle it all. I sometimes finish it off with a bandana over it, especially if I do any spray-painting.

Safety equipment is essential while spraying anything, as well as if you’re cutting anything. I always have in stock safety goggles, dust masks, work gloves, and knee pads (to ease working on large pieces on the studio/garage floors). Always understand directions to use any equipment you employ in making art, and make sure it is in good working order.

Colorussia 3 Detail SmallIf you’re painting in a medium that will require brush cleaner to get it out of your brushes, by all means, make sure you have ample supply ready, along with some jars and a good sink handy – before you start working. Wash your brushes right after finishing your work – or even if you plan to come back later – so they’re not ruined (leaving them in there bends the hairs). It’s so much cheaper than replacing them.

If you’re working in a clay that needs to dry slowly and evenly, make sure first that you have some plastic to wrap your work-in-progress or finished work awaiting the kiln, so that it doesn’t crack and then explode in the kiln. If you’re sculpting in plaster but can’t finish building up the form in one session, be sure you have a vessel large enough to soak the entire piece in before you add more plaster to it, or the existing dry plaster will suck all the water out of the second coat and prevent adhesion. If your sculpture needs an armature to give it strength, make sure it’s not made of metal that will rust from the plaster’s moisture or wood that will rot of it, or use a tested method of sealing the skeleton first, lest your sculpture stain or fail.

You know…stuff like that.

Being prepared also means avoiding health issues while working in many media: understand the dangers of whatever you’re using. If you want to airbrush, never use acrylic without a full respirator and a strong ventilation system near the application site. Sprayed acrylic is the only form in which it is toxic – this is because it breaks down into polymers that are so fine that when they are inhaled they clog up the lungs – forever – like black lung disease suffered by miners. It is far preferable to use gouache or enamels, and still with the respirator and the ventilation, by the way. If you’re using some form of permanent glue, be prepared with a solvent just in case some of your own parts take an unexpected liking to each other. If you’re working in oils you need ventilation, too, because things like turpentine are very bad things to breathe. Spray paint should obviously be used with the same precautions as airbrushing. Read all cautions with each product and tool you utilize.

I have actually seen a coworker drill a hole through his own thumb because he thought a few seconds was too long to clamp his work down instead of holding it. As much as the image sticks in my mind, I’m sure the victim has a daily reminder the rest of his life. Always secure/guide your work when using tools! Never put yourself in harm’s way; the price you pay may be permanent. Sometimes the ounce of prevention is preferable because there IS no cure.

Feel free to use the Contact form if you have other specific questions, or do a few detailed searches online or consult with qualified experts. Your best tool is common sense. If you don’t know about something, then knowing how to find out – and using that information properly – is the key to success.

Be careful out there!

– Eilee

 

 

 

 

 

All content on this site © 2013-2018/present L. Eilee S. George; all rights reserved.

Failure Redefined

FindingMyNoHisWayLogo

FAILURE.

It’s not a happy word. But it’s got some serious weight; I’ll give it that. Still, it’s illusory. Hollow. An outright lie. And I’ll tell you why.

YOU’RE ONLY A FAILURE IF YOU STOP TRYING.

Ah, now…that’s better.

Wow, that’s something to wake up with. When I conjure them, I nearly always have blog posts in my head right upon awakening. I guess I just feel a need to school people on failure – after all, I’ve had a LOT of experience, making me an expert!

Failure is a label oft’ misused in place of more accurate phrases such as: life lessons, temporary setbacks, process of elimination, narrowing one’s focus, character building, and general progress.

“What? That’s almost the antithesis of the word failure,” you may blurt. Oh, now come on; we all know the saying that the opposite of love isn’t hate; it’s indifference (however much we may disagree with that axiom when there is genuine hate; I’m certainly not indifferent to nor enamored of, say, terrorists or child molesters or people who prey on others’ livelihoods). The point is, you have to take the concept of failure and turn it inside out, examine it for what it is, and take away the mystery.

I won’t take the word away from you and tell you to replace it with some watered down substitute. I just want you to take that seemingly sinister word and change what it means to you: to change it into something far less foreboding and intimidating, to figuratively whip its butt and tell it who’s boss.

  • Failure is proof positive that you tried something. People who don’t make mistakes aren’t very busy.
  • Failure teaches you what you don’t want – and that’s just as important as knowing what you do want.
  • Failure leads you to analyze and research what went wrong and what to do differently next time.
  • Failure toughens you up and smartens you up, each and every time you survive it.
  • In short, failure is just another step toward success. It’s progress. It’s opportunity.

Another thing that makes people think they’ve failed is having expectations that are unrealistically lofty to begin with. We sometimes expect too much of ourselves (or others expect too much from us and/or those around them). Not everyone is destined to be a celebrity in his or her field of endeavor, or to make a sweeping change to better the world. Most of those who do only did so with the help of countless (often unacknowledged) helpers in the wings, without whose help nothing would have been accomplished. Each person’s contribution, no matter how thankless, is a vital cog in the machine, and ultimately, it isn’t getting credit that is important – it’s achieving the goal, however big or small.

And how small is too small to matter? Everything matters. You may not think that weak smile and sincere “thank you” that you mustered to the nurse is worth anything, but I dare you to say that to her – she might have felt at that moment, for other reasons, that all her hours and her education were not paying off, and then she saw that someone noticed. No, she’s not doing it for the recognition, but instead to know that she can help others – still, now and again we all need a little encouragement when under the yoke. That kind word at the right time can make an epic difference to someone; you don’t know how they might be suffering behind that brave façade. And you could make their day…or week. You could help them make a major decision. And you may never know it – but you’re not doing it for credit.

Little things we do can make a big impact. There are successes you’ve had without even realizing it.

Trust that this is true. Spread spontaneous kudos. Share pearls of wisdom. Do it – because you can – not because collateral benefits may include winning allies. It’s easy, it’s free, and it doesn’t hurt a bit.

Although: “No man is a failure who has friends.” – Mark Twain….But sorry, social-media-only contacts and drinking-buddy bums don’t really count. He’s talking deep, committed relationships, and that can include family or anyone else you have a meaningful influence on and from.

Finally, you must analyze by whose judgment you have “failed” – in the grand scheme of things, does it really matter? Does their opinion really matter? Who is the they that you succumb to?

It matters not if you submit your activities to the masses. Only you know your true intent, compared to them. If you are God-fearing, then you know that God also knows your intent better than even you do, as we often are in denial and fool ourselves in weakness to one fear or another desire or some other motivating or limiting factor. Our baser instincts can distract us and sway us from reality. Are you submitting to the fickle opinions of the world? I don’t mean the ones that keep society functional, like laws and ethics – those obviously you must observe and follow unless they are proven to be unjust. What I mean is: are you a slave to little traditions and trends, like not wearing white after Labor Day or having to blow your money on every new gadget to look cool? Just who makes these rules, what’s their agenda, and why do these kinds of rules matter? People used to think having a record player was advanced when those first came out; now many shun them, yet those who appreciate a warmer tone treasure them. Who’s right/wrong? Both. Everyone has been telling me for a decade I should get on social media, but although I could see some advantage to doing so in the near future, I haven’t suffered one bit from lack of participation thus far – it’s just not that important to me. There are some who, I’m sure, would look at me like I had three heads for feeling that way, because they can’t imagine being disconnected from their virtual world for five minutes; I, on the other hand, feel positively liberated; even creatively empowered in my isolation. The key is to find what makes you happy, not what makes “them” happy. Why bend to peer pressure mentality, and why would you give that power to others regarding such insignificant facets of life? They won’t curate your life to your satisfaction – only you can do that.

Some people blame their failures on others. True, once in a while there are those whose purpose is to foil your plans, to steal your thunder: to take credit for your success or blame you for their own duds. I have known at least one of these types of people at every job I’ve ever worked. (Note that I’m a freelancer now). These people are a fact of life – but don’t be one. Look at your life and what you blame on others. Perhaps someone, a boss or a parent, held you back from some opportunity – and you have a right to regret and even grieve that – but that has an expiration date. Your life didn’t end at that moment. Take accountability for yourself – you could have done something else about it afterward. You are an autonomous adult making your own decisions, are you not? You could have better used your time, gone to that school, tried for that better job somehow – if you had the gumption. Motivated people do accomplish an awful lot. Some call it stubbornness, but flip to the good side of that coin and it’s called things like determination and perseverance. It’s a bitter pill to swallow: that you might have to take responsibility for your own subsequent life choices – but is it any more bitter than festering in your resentment over that one thing you blame on someone else, while denying your own culpability on all else? It’s your life and you have to fight for it. It’s nobody else’s job to fight for your best interests. Grow up and make it right – or else quit whining, blaming, and taking it out on everyone around you.

Failure is a state of mind, and it’s often an illusion; if anything, it’s temporary – because with every failure (and barring any dogged devotion to things that clearly haven’t worked), the odds improve that next time will be a success. And every failure takes you closer. Then you’ll have success – and then maybe fall down again – don’t let it daunt you. This track called life is one that lurches forward, so stop looking back – except to gain wisdom – and then apply it now, and ahead.

People make the mistake of thinking that someone is a failure when they only have failures. And those who are judging have failed as well; anyone who claims otherwise is lying. Some may even look at themselves as failures, instead of merely having had failures. And anyone who is successful will tell you that they failed a lot to get where they are! This is the process of finding your way: you try something, fall on your face, get up, try something different, rinse and repeat once or a few dozen times, and then through the process of elimination or a brilliant idea sparked by the knowledge you earned through other tries, you come upon the right solution. You can’t achieve anything without also risking failure. Distinct shadows exist only in the context of light.

As a growing artist, I shun stagnation; therefore I must experiment, and there have been plenty of failed experiments before I found new techniques that worked. You must be willing to risk failure in order to gain. That’s worth repeating: YOU MUST BE WILLING TO RISK FAILURE IN ORDER TO GAIN. In any investment there is a possibility of loss, because all of the factors are not always up to you. Fail? Just try anew. This is like life. This same concept can be applied in all scales, great and small: from the task of potty-training your toddler to overhauling your career, from working in a new media to starting a movement, from changing a tire for the first time to mastering a language; all activities of mankind are endeavors that involve trial and error to some degree – and none of us is realistically expected to be perfect. Keep trying – try again, try harder, try smarter or better, try something different as the results lead you – but keep trying. Embrace your beautifully flawed and unique humanness, and be the best that you can be within that shifting, progressing paradigm.

As a Christian, I read in the Bible that we were never expected to have the capacity to become perfect, because only the triune God of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit is perfect. We strive to become Christ-like, and that is an ongoing journey, yet never the destination, because we never get there and we’re never “done” trying. As many times as we fail, He will forgive us. As long as we keep trying, He sees that. And it doesn’t matter a whit what others see, because they don’t know our heart, but He knows it better than we ourselves do. Our results may not be in alignment with our motivation, but He sees our longing and our intent, and it counts. It matters. And if it doesn’t matter to anyone else; if no one else sees or acknowledges our efforts, it’s irrelevant because He sees them, and knows the sincerity behind it all. This yields the ultimate freedom to continue trying earnestly.

If you’re not a Christian, but you want to understand our motivation and beliefs more accurately, I encourage you to read the book of John in the Bible (or any of the parallel gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke); it’s very true to the comprehensive message of Christ, and a good starting point. Another good one to start appreciating the Word is Proverbs. If you feel lost and ineffective and useless, you can find the answers to these questions of life all around in the Word of the Bible, when the world only leads you astray. Don’t just listen to what others say about the Bible; get a good study Bible and read it and the cross-reference notes for yourself, and then ask questions of respected pastors when you get stuck. The Bible is complex, and some of the historical “begat’s” are tedious (don’t get bogged down; just go to John) and there are many misconceptions out there that are wrongly presented as factual. The Bible is one of the most misquoted tomes in the world, often with passages being taken out of context and twisted to an aberration opposite their true meaning. Take the initiative to see for yourself, and know that it’s not just all out there on the surface; you have to invest a lot of time, and dig. You’ll find it frustrating, fascinating, and increasingly compelling. For instance, before I was saved, I thought that the Old Testament and New Testament had a lot of inconsistencies and contradicted each other. I did not think that because I had read it, though, because frankly, I hadn’t. I thought that because I had taken, at face value, the statement that they contradicted from someone else – someone whose credentials I didn’t even question! Even if they had read those portions about which they complained, they didn’t study it enough to understand why it seems that way or the reason behind it. They never told me about dispensations or what they mean. They didn’t know. Of course the rules are different in the dispensation of Grace because Christ has already come to save mankind, and man can now have salvation through accepting Him as his personal Savior. They didn’t have that option in the Old Testament in previous dispensations such as Law or Human Government or Innocence or the others, because He hadn’t yet manifested Himself on Earth to walk alongside us and die for us and rise again to absolve us of our sins if we accept His offer – by His doing this He changed everything! Other earlier dispensations progressed as man progressed; changes were allowed in different times because of man’s capacity (or incapacity) to understand them. The Bible shows that the relationship between God and man changes, because man Himself evolves in mind and spirit – and God accommodates that. Oh, well, funny these detractors from the Word didn’t mention that…because they didn’t know it! So don’t just accept what they tell you. They aren’t acting or speaking in your best interests. I finally took it upon myself to learn more, and I learned far differently than I had been told before by those who were uninformed – or worse, had a dubious agenda. Seek knowledge where it resides. Any good pastor will gladly make an appointment to address any questions you have without judgment. If you happen upon one whom you feel doesn’t have that attitude, that’s only a cue to try a different church; they’re not perfect and some are better than others – just like is true of individual people. Good grounded pastors know that we are all seekers, that some folks are ahead or in back of us on the track, but we who seek Him get there in God’s time, and no one has the right to say, “Why are you so far behind?” because each of us is behind someone else still – if that makes sense. I sure took my sweet time, so I am aware that I need to be patient with others who aren’t where I am yet, knowing that I have, figuratively speaking, light years to catch up to even more folks of my acquaintance (and I’m honored to have them as mentors).

Well, I didn’t mean that to be so wordy, but some things are inherently complex if you try to explain them to an audience, a part of whom likely hasn’t met that information yet. I’d say a picture is worth a thousand words, but on that topic, I’m just not that good of an artist…yet. 🙂

I went into the faith aspect of life because it’s extremely pertinent to mankind’s perception of failure. God gives me the strength to keep going. People might think I’m exaggerating to say that, but they don’t know what I’ve been through. Those that saw me lose half my family to cancer and two jobs and my health within 14 months some time back, knew what I’d been through, and a couple actually said, “If I’d been through that I would have killed myself already” (an utterance I highly discourage since it’s likely being addressed to someone who is contemplating that very action, as I had been) – but nothing short of God’s helping Hand could have held me safely back from that fate. I am very self-analytical and know where my abilities exist and end, and where my limitations are negated and surpassed by God’s power. Testify.

I have come back from many failures and tragedies. I have had blinding pain and agonizing grief and crushing blows to my fragile ego – and through growing faith, stubborn will, and nothing truly better to do, I bounced back. I’ve even had some successes here and there. Imagine that.

You can, too.

So, just to recap….

YOU’RE ONLY A FAILURE IF YOU STOP TRYING.

Keep the faith.

 

– Eilee

 

 

 

 

All content on this site © 2013-2018/present L. Eilee S. George; all rights reserved.