Sunday, 29 November 2015


These are lines from Psalm 139 and I've always loved them.  Cut off from my former church community and friends, and yet to build new relationships in our new life, I was feeling a bit sad and lonely.  At times of self pity it always does me good to remember that I'm never alone .... and as always I chose to document this in my art journal.

This was one of those rare times when I did know from the beginning what I wanted to do with the page, and that the first thing was to draw the serene female mother God face.  You can see below its earliest sketchy beginnings ... and no I can't explain why she turned out blue, she just did.
You can see below how I travelled from a simple outline and took it on from there.  Once I'd painted the background, the black sweep of hair was done with a big chunky Posca paint pen  The blue was painted with ordinary acrylics and a brush, then I added some shading with a grey marker and colour to her lips.
My mother God pictures always have swirling long hair for some reason, so when I looked at the above I felt it needed more but wanted to leave room for some writing.  I extended her hair a bit, and also added a blue edge to give the page more definition, and did some more subtle work to the eye.
Once the writing was done I began to feel that the black hair was too 'flat' a colour, so I got out some gold and silver pens and added swirls of these to her hair, and some touches of gold to her forehead and the neck of the dress.  Oh yes, and couldn't resist adding a few dots for decoration ..... well it would be wrong not to, wouldn't it.
Its very early days in our new life - barely 3 weeks since we moved and although the flat is looking more and more like home as we find places for things, there are still 9 boxes waiting for shelving in the studio.  However, I am managing to work anyway using what I have to hand (which is quite a lot actually) and that does my soul good when I'm feeling a bit low or lonely.

Himself continues with the chemotherapy, which is hitting him harder these days, and that runs right up to Christmas.  Then he has 4-6 weeks to build up his strength again before major surgery to remove his bladder and create a stoma.  Apparently its possible to live a full and active life with one of these and it should leave him cancer free.  Its big surgery so its going to be tough, but together we can do this.

Sunday, 22 November 2015


I began this page just before we moved, and finished it in the last few days by adding all the bits and dots you know I'm so fond of!

This is how it began - swirls of orange and yellow done with Neocolour II crayons - sometimes I have to challenge myself to work with different shapes as I tend to go for straight lines ....
Being somewhat brain dead from stress at the time I didn't have any clear idea where it was going, except that I wanted it to be bold and simple because I didn't think I could manage anything else.
And then, as so often happens, something came out that I needed to affirm - namely my own strength and deep roots in a good place, all of which would get me through what lay ahead.  It was a bit wild and windy at the time too, which added to the way I was thinking as I watched the big old trees in our former garden bend with the wind.
And above is where the page had got to when we moved.  Below is how I finished it off when, after only about 5 days, I found a space I could sit down and work in.
I guess the symbolism needs no explanation?  I'm still being very influenced by Aboriginal art and its use of dots and simple marks, and think that shows here?  Look on Pinterest if you want to discover more, its an art form I'm growing to love, and anyway I always did like dots!

We are down to just 9 boxes but are stymied in terms of progress because we really need somebody to come and put shelves up .... the walls here are TOUGH and appear to need an industrial strength drill to make so much as a dent in them!  Best of all we have SURVIVED, we are retired, and we'll find everything eventually.

Saturday, 7 November 2015


There's lots of change around here as stuff gets cleared out, packed up or comes off the wall and there's just 36 hours to go before the removals company arrives ....

Obviously I made this a few days ago when I could still find my favourite art materials, but I have packed a bag of art journalling "necessities" to tide me over until my studio is up and running.

The page background was done with Neocolour II crayons and then I added the curved black edge with a Promarker.  The figure is a Modigliani lady I accidentally copied in black and while instead of colour - a very happy mistake!
The strong white on top is a Posca paint pen - these give very good opacity over most surfaces, so are my go-to white pens.
The writing is kind of "stream of consciousness" because this is what is swirling around in my head at the moment.  Of course life right now is crazy, and there's too much to do etc etc but how I respond to that is a matter of choice.  I can be threatened and overwhelmed or I can allow it to be exciting and positive.  I choose to look ahead to the new life we will be building, and to focus on the positives contained within that.  I don't always succeed in holding to that, but I keep working on it.
And as you can see I had a lot of fun just drawing and doodling on the rest of the page, which is the reflective part I like the best and find the most relaxing.  On this occasion relaxation was definitely the whole point of the exercise!!
So dear readers, I will see you on the "other side" - not sure when because my studio will not be high priority on the unpacking list, beds and kitchen having to come first!  There's also the small matter of a broadband connection which is booked to be done the day after we move.  Hope that goes to plan as life without the internet is NOT fun!

I'm looking forward to our new life, but not to the process of unpacking the old one and putting it all in a van.  Doing a great deal of God bothering and putting it all in her hands .....