Friday, 23 December 2016


I don't often do pages specific to a season or festival - like most people I tend to be busy at such times anyway!  This however ended up being a necessary reflection and something I needed to work on.

For the first time in 37 years, none of our children will be with us at Christmas, and we aren't free to travel to them because we have to stay here for my mum in law.  I've been telling myself that its OK and I don't mind, but actually I DO, and haven't really been looking forward to Christmas at all.  Usually I'm a crazy over the top Christmas person, so feeling like this is not usual ....

I knew I needed to work it out through my journal so I began boldly, painting the page a nice festive RED.  But then in crept the sadness and all the collage I added was tones of grey.  Grey was how I was feeling.  This page shows how I don't necessarily paint to the edge because I know I'm going to cover that part.
You can see the difference below when I used a black Posca paint pen to join up the collage elements into a more unified whole.  I added the "me" figure (a Modigliani lady), and she turned out to be grey as well, not to mention looking rather sad!
So I finally began to look into my heart, and talk some sense to myself, trying to remember that Christmas will be what I CHOOSE to make it, regardless of who is, or isn't, here.

So then I jollied up the page a bit with bright holly and a Christmas tree, and its interesting to see how those colours jump off the page, and its almost like looking through a window.
What I wrote on the page was the truth of how I was feeling, that it was all a bit pointless, and having acknowledged that sadness it enabled me to gradually lay it down.  Not quickly or easily, but I made a positive choice to enjoy everything that the season offers and to give thanks for it all, however simple.

I hope your Christmas is peaceful and blessed, whether its noisy and wonderfully crazy, or quiet as ours will be.  See you in 2017, where I have this new journal to begin.

Sunday, 11 December 2016


This page was one of the few where I knew from the beginning what I wanted/needed to write about - light in the darkness.  This came out of seeing a new pain specialist recently and, for the first time in many years, feeling heard and understood.  He can't do very much for me but has some creative ideas so, while I'm not dancing with joy since any changes will be small and subtle,  there is a spark of hope kindled within me that sees a possibility of something improving.

So I did something I only do occasionally, and painted the page black.  Its fun actually, because colours work differently on the dark background, but you need materials that will be opaque over the black - in this case Posca paint pens.

The bird represents me - on the ground, my wings clipped, but looking up hopefully at a spark of light.
And when the words below were finished I could almost have left it like that, because that was all I needed to say.  But of course it was a bit too bare for me, and I started to doodle ...
I wasn't really liking the page very much because the writing didn't seem to look right - but once I put the outlines around it suddenly it WORKED!
And now I DO like it - because it says what I wanted.  But also I realised that I had drawn a lot of beauty around the bird, even grounded.  That helps because even if the new specialist's ideas don't come to anything, it will remind me to look for the loveliness around me, rather than longing for the unattainable ...