Sunday, 20 March 2016

PAIN ....

Its probably reaction, but I really haven't been in good shape this last week.  With Fibromyalgia, pain and its location is very variable.  At best its all achey and drags you down a bit, at worst it puts you to bed unable to move.  I've been somewhere in the middle, and yes I do think there's an element of being able to stop holding everything together now, and this is the collapse after the crisis, in the way some people get migraine after its all over.

Anyway, I was still working but slumped in a heap not exactly inspired or effective.  Splodged a blue background with acrylic paint, and was cutting up a children's book bought for 50p at a car boot sale.
Then when I'd done a collaged border - the simplest way I know how to work - I outlined it using markers and a purplish shadow.

Then here I began to add bits of doodling and the word "pain", which I'd actually cut out of an old journal page I'd photocopied - its fun to recycle bits of your own work that way, though I almost always want to make it different in some way.  I added a face to represent me hiding out behind the walls of pain. If you compare the collage elements above and below, you'll see how I've changed the patterns with doodling to make them truly my own.
After I'd added the writing, I went ahead and ruined it!  I guess you know that feeling?  I'd just run out of steam and rather hastily filled in the spaces with these zentangle doodles.  I don't really like them at all, and even contemplated painting over them, but don't have the energy so it will have to stand.
And yes, before you ask, I'm still over the moon with the wonderful news that himself's cancer is basically GONE.  Its almost too much to take in.  I guess I'd just used up my reserves back there, and need time (and my journal) to build them back up again.

Sunday, 13 March 2016


Frida Kahlo has been my heroine for a long time - because of a horrific car accident in her youth she lived with a LOT of pain and wore a leather corset because of back injuries.  But she made art and painted anyway, sometimes even from her bed.  If she can do it, then so can I ...
You can see the very simple way the page began with a background of pink and touches of lilac.   Teesha Moore (another of my heroines and a real inspiration) issued a challenge to do something with cut outs from one of her pages, and I found the idea intriguing.  What you see below is various shapes cut out and laid over my pinky background, and I really liked the result!
But it did seem to need a strong black line (Posca paint pen) to delineate the various "windows" as I was thinking of them.  You may also notice that I added a touch more orange paint around the centre.
So then I had Frida looking bravely and somewhat challengingly out of my 'windows".  Her direct gaze made me think about being brave when I really wasn't feeling it, and that's where the words came from.
And then I remembered that saying about bravery not being the absence of fear, but acknowledging your fear and going on anyway, and I figured that DID make me brave, however little I felt it!
The wormhole doodling was an afterthought but I like the way it enhances the window effect and the sense of seeing through .... I'd never had page a page like this without Teesha's challenge as inspiration!

And, I have the most amazing news to report.  The lab results from himself's surgery came back completely clear of cancer, COMPLETELY.  It wasn't in the lymph nodes at all, so he has an all clear and no further treatment.  It has to be the result of the many prayers which were offered on our behalf, and we can't quite take it in yet ... although we have booked a holiday!!

Sunday, 6 March 2016


So I was sitting staring out of my window (view of solitary daffodil and garages) and thinking about nothing in particular, when I painted this page in shades of lilac and purple, with the odd bit of white.
And there on my desk was this little Stampotique stamped figure - it was on a birthday card I'd made for Himself, and before the cards went into the bin I'd recycled what I could from them for collage (the sign of a true addict)!  The little figure became myself and I added a couple of bits of collage from my stash.  I knew why I'd done it - I was feeling very small at the time, and this little figure captured that feeling very well.
She looked so alone in the middle of the page that a border seemed to be called for.  This is the story of my life; if I can get things safely into boxes it will all be OK!  I don't believe I'm a control freak but I am very organised and like to have things in their proper compartments, not least so that I can always find or access them again.
Look at the contrast between the picture above - where the similar tones are blending into each other - and the image below to which I've added strong black outlines and borders.  Using this technique I find I can bring a lot of disparate collage pieces together in a unified whole.  I use my Posca paint pen for this, because nothing else gives such a strong solid black.
I was looking at the small 'me' person and gazing out of the window again, when I remembered that there is a prayer about being very small.  It took me a while to track it down and then I wrote it on here.  You may notice that I also changed a few colours (using Promarkers) while I was about it - this is the great thing about magazine collage pieces, if they aren't quite the right colour you can just change them!
Then all that remained was to finish the page off with doodles and decorations, as you can see below. Mainly Posca pens again to make dots and swirls and whatever else took my fancy.  My favourite part as you probably already know!

While the idea of feeling very small could seem quite threatening, seeing it in this light of a small human in an eternity of love is oddly comforting.  It made it OK to be small, and safe, because all around me was endless, undying, unchanging love.  It brought me peace.