Sunday, 8 October 2017
Tuesday, 3 October 2017
Having looked in my collage file of faces etc I couldn't find anything which felt right, so decided to draw my own. I used white, black and pink Posca paint pens, which as you can see are very opaque even over the acrylic background (though the white needed two coats).
Sometimes I worry that everything I make will come across as very self-absorbed, and I wish it wasn't, but pain makes you selfish and doesn't allow much mental space for anything else ... except maybe roses?
Monday, 25 September 2017
Maybe my struggle to accept the new diagnosis is part of the same pattern? In order to integrate this new reality I must first admit and accept its existence ... and only then can I get down to learning to live with it. Anyway, that's why I wanted to record this, because it seems to be a truth that could apply to a great many things in life, and a useful lesson to keep close to my heart.
I began by drawing these layers, not least because my life is getting complicated to say the least, and I wanted the page to reflect that. Looking at it again maybe these are actually storm tossed waves? They can be whatever I like!
Having half the energy I had before means I am a lot less productive at the moment, which is why there was a long gap since my last post as I had nothing to share. I TRY to post weekly but can't always manage it.
Monday, 11 September 2017
And that got me thinking about the fact that everyone has days when they feel this way, and everyone needs someone to remind them how special they are. So I made this page for me, but also for YOU - special people with SO much to give to the world around you, no matter on how small a scale you have to operate.
I painted a central panel on the page a nice cheerful yellow - I know it looks a bit greeny but it IS yellow - and used the baby wipe technique to blot it off and make interesting marks in the paint.
I now have an additional (presumptive for now) diagnosis of Psoriatic Arthritis, and that has rather stopped me in my tracks for a while. I did some crying and complaining, and a bit of itsnotfairing, but now I'm just getting on with it as best I can. Some days are better than others. My Beloved said (with perfect truth) ... "never mind love, you were sitting down anyway".
Friday, 25 August 2017
When I began I already had the leather suitcase images - in my imagination it was something small and battered, a bit like the one Paddington kept his sandwiches in. The strong orange colours of the leather really needed a neutral background to put them against.
The image below probably doesn't look like much but its an interesting technique - you paint the page and then wipe or blot some of it off with a baby wipe. A quick and easy way to get texture into what would otherwise be a flat page. This picture was taken in natural light.
And in case what I've said here doesn't entirely make sense to you - the workings of my mind often being mysterious, even to my nearest and dearest - here as promised is the original poem, written in 2001.
Like Paddington Bear I have this suitcase,
Brown-battered leather, hand luggage only,
Yet large enough to contain
All the fears, failings and foolishness
Which I think I may hide from myself,
Or my God.
The true extent of its contents
Remains unfathomable, although
Tardis-like, there is room enough
For a lifetime of secrets.
Now and then He catches me
Tiptoeing down the landing to hide the suitcase
Somewhere I may deny its existence or ownership.
Discovered and guilty, I must reveal All that it contains;
Accumulated pain of years, yet known and familiar
So kept close, strangely comforting.
When the case is empty I feel foolish,
But forgiven and free, lighter,
And I can leave without the baggage I have carried
For too long.
Alas Lord, sooner or later
I get myself another suitcase
And start to fill it again.
Will you meet me on the landing one more time,
Before it gets too heavy to carry?
PS Thank you for your good wishes, and yes I am feeling better :)
Sunday, 13 August 2017
Sunday, 6 August 2017
However, we had (like you do) talked and dreamed about all the things we would do with the time once free of the demands of a 24/7 job. My ambitions were modest - make arty stuff during my frequent and regular periods of enforced resting - and go for the occasional happy outing with himself. He hasn't done any of the things on his list - like join a choir, bike over to the bird sanctuary, go for regular walks, maybe volunteer somewhere ... and I haven't been on his case because he needs time to adjust, right?
But it FEELS like he is always waiting for me to come up with a plan - and I have to be the one going "let's do this, let's go there". He never makes suggestions - 'shall we pop down the town for a coffee and people watch', or 'do you fancy a run out to' (insert name here). Nor does he "do his own thing" - see above, which leaves me feeling that I have to come up with ideas for outings or keep him company in case he is bored. I know retirement is a big adjustment, but .... well its proving a bit difficult.
So I made a page about it because that's what I do when I've got something nagging away at me. Started with orange paint and dropped water onto it (on purpose) when it was dry. Not quite the exciting effect I was hoping for - it works better on watercolour and this was acrylic.
But I do have one purely selfish request - which is the cry of many people whose partners have retired and are "under the feet". Please PLEASE beloved, could you find something that takes you out for just one evening a week so I can watch the TV programmes I like without you moaning? I've got endless episodes of One Born Every Minute and the whole of The Handmaid's Tale lined up just waiting for the day .....
Saturday, 29 July 2017
I didn't set out to make a miserable journal entry. I'd seen these colours together in a piece of aboriginal art and thought how nice they were. So below you can see how I basically copied the basics onto the page and then set out to make it my own.
Sunday, 23 July 2017
Mental space has been a little hard to find in recent days - so this is a reminder to myself that its something I really NEED and actually can't live without.
Saturday, 15 July 2017
So I wanted to make something beautiful, and not yet another page grumbling about how difficult my life is etc etc. Its good to get that stuff off my chest, but its not the whole of life, is it? Below is a background I'd already made on a day when I wasn't up to much else. Sometimes when I look through these in my journal one of them will just shout "me, me!" and this one did.
It would be frighteningly easy to sit here in my studio, day after day, and feel sorry for myself, or become stuck in introspection. But outside my window is a tree where the bird feeders hang, and a jay with a wonderful blue streak on his wings has been coming recently. Plus the hydrangeas are out and they are palest pink. I love those even when the heads fade and die - in decay they have an additional beauty. Then there's a creeper joyfully romping up the black trellis which is supposed to hide the bins and the garage wall .... there's so MUCH out there. I just have to remember to look and appreciate it. And I did.