Then I heard about Photoshop Elements, a smaller and much more affordable offering than Photoshop which included all the most widely used elements of Photoshop, without the extras, that a lone artist like me would not need. Soon I had it installed on my computer, and there it sat for 2 years. I was terrified to open it. Now I had paid for it, I was financially invested in it, and I couldn't afford to fail again. If it was so much like GIMP and I couldn't master that, what made me think I would grasp Elements? So I tried to ignore it but it kept calling me. There were techniques, like layers, that I wanted desperately to acquire so that I could broaden my art work. Finally I couldn't wait any longer. A week ago I decided to dive into Elements and resolved not to quit until I had a handle on it.
Day and night I persevered. There were times when I felt like crying but I wouldn't let myself give up or even discontinue for a time. I knew if I walked away from it again I would never go back. And I wanted overwhelmingly to use some of the tools and techniques that were there just waiting for me. I reached the point of frustration where I had gotten with GIMP and felt there was just some one thing I was missing - if I could just discover what that was, I knew I could achieve it all. I just had to keep trying. Time and again I went back to my fellow Melange Team Etsy mixed media artist friends online with my questions and they were always there with encouragement. I read over a hundred online tutorials for Elements, some of which were exceedingly helpful but many that were really useless. I bookmarked the ones that I felt would help me the most so that I could listen to them over and over and eventually hopefully they would make sense. I was waiting for a eureka moment, but it never came. Instead, to my astonishment there came a slow subtle confidence from doing it over and over. There came a point where it was all making sense, I was finding the instructions understandable and wondering why it took me so long to fathom. My resolve and determination had paid off. I realize there is still plenty for me to learn with Elements, but I now have a handle on the basics and am also confident that I will be able to achieve whatever it is I want to do with it.
I am sharing wth you here a few of my recent results of my exploration with using layers in Photoshop Elements. I feel like I am at the beginning of a new adventure, but at least now I am starting out able to speak the language.