[ ART ] Adventures in Mini Painting

darksword-easley-bardI occasionally enjoy painting miniatures for my various Dungeons & Dragons characters.  It is, at best, a side-line hobby so far, though I’m becoming more and more invested as I buy more paint, brushes, and equipment.

I learned this week, however, that miniatures that require lots of piecing together are things that will, inevitably, frustrate me.  With my Rheumatoid Arthritis, I don’t have the same digital mobility that I used to.  Things that require very fine or deft motor skill are oftentimes beyond me because it either hurts my hands or they shake too much to be useful.  This particular miniature is a beautiful one from Darksword Minatures and their Easley Masterworks collection. I thought it would make a lovely miniature for my current Aasimar Bard (at least until I get in the new Heroforge Miniature I just ordered…)

Believe it or not, this miniature comes in three separate parts.  It doesn’t say that anywhere on the packaging or on the website to order.  Her right arm with the lute is one piece, her main body on the rock is another, then her left boot is the third.  My husband and I both tried to get the lute arm to line up correctly, but it was really a choice of whether we wanted her right arm to line up or whether we wanted her left hand to line up, we could never achieve both.  Her left boot was a tiny, hard to deal with space when you’re trying to hold something together with glue.  I ended up just kind of wedging it in there and hoping it stuck.

I probably should have assumed off the bat that this was the kind of miniature meant for “advanced painters” but it was so lovely that I couldn’t resist.  I learned my lesson about researching miniatures fully before buying.  Still, while the miniature isn’t as picture perfect as I would have hoped, I think I still managed something nice.

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Change is Good

rafiki

For a long time, I identified as a writer.  It was the whole of who I was, what I was, and what I wanted to do with my life.  It wasn’t until my mid-30’s when I was diagnosed with severe, advancing Rheumatoid Arthritis that it came to an end.  Writing became a frustrating struggle against medication-induced anxiety, confusion, and memory loss.  Just trying to find enough focus to be coherent through the pain I experience on a daily basis was a battle.  Eventually, I came to the realization that I could no longer be a writer.  I could still write, sure, but it would never again be the identity I lived by.

It’s been strange, letting go of that part of myself, but in a way I think it’s been liberating.  I can write when I can, but I can draw, nerd out about my various fandoms, and generally be myself without having to pigeon-hole myself into a niche I feel I can no longer fill.  I think, out of everything that may come out of this blog in the future, that’s what I want to impress upon most to my readers — especially those suffering from debilitating chronic conditions like RA.

Change is good!   We’re told not to give up, we’re told not to let our disease “defeat” us, we’re told all this happy-go-lucky mind-over-matter malarkey that’s better suited to motivational posters than the Reality of what we’re facing.  Changing to adapt to what your disease does to you is an intensely personal decision that only you and your immediate family, spouse, or caregiver should have any say in, because it can and will affect all of you.  Friends, extended family, co-workers — none of them matter, because they don’t have to face the daily reality of your condition(s).  At best, they see the glossed-over, Brave Face Edition of it because none of us likes to put our pain on display.

Don’t let hyper-encouragement discourage you from making the best decisions for you, your life, and your disease.   I think I’m happier now than I have been in a long time, because I finally stopped listening to what everyone else kept telling me I should be feeling or how I should be coping or what I should be doing.  I simply did what was best for me.

The decision to change wasn’t easy.  There were a lot of tears and, even now, I’m struggling to figure out who I really am in the wake of it all.  I’ll get there, though, and when I do, nothing in the ‘verse will stop me.