Saturday, 15 July 2017

LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL ....

 
This is another page where (as usual) I'm talking to myself - I have to remember often that even a limited life spent sitting down a lot can be full of beauty.  Its just that you have to look outside your own problems in order to see it ...

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.
I am a huge fan of black and white line drawing - and amazed by the power of what a single black line can convey.  I have a Pinterest board full of line drawings and patterns which inspire me.  I've been drawing "vines" or whatever they are like the one below for years, just as a free movement thing.  I can get lost in drawing this way ...
And if you've been with me some time you'll know how much I like what pattern can do too - how something as simple as dots and squiggles can add shading and interest.  Here I'm trying to use elements in the painted background by drawing around and on top of certain shapes.  This isn't meant to be a realistic plant, its more about what it represents ... which is nature in all its glory, with wonderful tiny details the closer you look.
At the above point, having added the writing in the space I'd left for it, I did wonder if the page was finished.  Journal pages can be simple, right?  Apparently not mine.  So, I got out the white Posca pen and drew OVER and around what I'd already done.
I quite like the result, and the effect of looking through leaves and branches, although I slightly regret the loss of simplicity when it ended up so busy.  Actually that sounds like the story of my life, so maybe it was meant to be that way?

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.

Sunday, 2 July 2017

HIDING ....

Fibromyalgia is a really strange illness with a host of symptoms you don't necessarily realise are part of it.  Something I experience, and thought was just a personality trait, turns out to be one of these and to have a name - Sensory Overload.  From time to time, and particularly if I'm tired, I become completely overwhelmed by sounds, people, conversation, and need to retreat and be quiet for a while.

I was in that place when I sat down to work in my journal - just me, in a quiet room (no music or talk radio) and my art materials. Sometimes the most I can do is make backgrounds, and I never really worry whether I like them or not because I'm going to work on top of them.

With this one I had some vague ideas about roses, so that's why I painted pink patches onto the orange page which I half intended to make into roses.
But that's not how things turned out - instead I used a technique I learned from Teesha Moore.  I've got a drawer filled with bits of paper cut out from all kinds of sources which contain interesting colours or patterns that take my fancy.  I cut shapes out of these, sometimes strips to make a border around the page, but here sort of 'U' shapes that I often think look like teeth or boulders!
I usually add to the pieces I use in some way so that they become mine, rather than just something from a magazine.  I draw patterns or embellish them to make them individual and unique, and mine.
Its quite a meditative process and I just allow it to take me wherever it will, and the words come unbidden ...
I was too tired to do a lot in the rather empty looking space above the figure - I couldn't think of anything brilliantly arty to do with it so just began making marks with a grey Copic pen.  I liked the result and did some more!

It seems strange to me that when I'm overloaded I should end up filling a page with colour and pattern, but somehow that is restful to my soul.  Perhaps its because I'm choosing to allow it to come out of my inner core rather than it assaulting me from outside?

Sorry I missed last week - I've been very tired lately and needed to take life gently.  Thanks for sticking with me.