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.
Sunday, 23 July 2017
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.
Sunday, 2 July 2017
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.
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.
Sunday, 18 June 2017
I often say that my backgrounds are never fancy, so I took a picture of this one to prove the point. It is just orange acrylic splodged (technical term) on with a brush, and then when it was drying I used a baby wipe to take off some of the paint. Its easy and gives an interesting effect. I chose the colour simply because I knew I was going to say something about choosing light over darkness, so it had to be something light and bright.
Sunday, 4 June 2017
I began to make this in the days following the Manchester bomb - we live just an hour away and have many friends there - so my first act of defiance was to use acrylics to paint the page bright pink!
Do it now.
God be with you.
Saturday, 27 May 2017
So what I try to do is paint a background before we go, and then take a limited supply of materials and challenge myself to do something just using those. Himself takes a pencil, a sketchbook and a rubber eraser, and he's good to go. My supplies always seem to need a shopping bag, even if I am trying to simplify.
So below was where I began - just using one of the circular shapes in the background to write in, and trying to express something of my amazement at what happens when I just "go with the flow" and allow something to happen.
And for some reason having worked in curved shapes I suddenly went all spiky and drew these jagged shapes, which somehow for me express the POWER that seems to move me when I'm working.
We aren't going to that group any more. Turns out neither of us liked it much and only went for the sake of the other, but neither of us wanted to say so and spoil it for the other! Once we had confessed, and since the timing was difficult for me, we've given it up. In one way its a shame because it was nice to do something arty together. Now if only the trusty wheelchair could navigate the gorgeous sand dunes just a couple of blocks from home, I could sit and make (sandy) pages while he happily sketched. Alas, wheelchairs don't like sand or gravel, or a host of other surfaces .... :(
Saturday, 20 May 2017
I don't bother with electronic gadgets much while I'm on holiday, so when I got home I checked my blog ... and was sad to find just one comment. Now I'm really not a comments junkie but when I realised I'd had 2,500 visitors of whom just one had bothered .... well I felt like giving up. Probably tired and emotional after a long journey? And yes, I know, 2,500 visitors is simply awesome, I had no idea it would be so many, and I am awed and grateful for that.
There is always comfort and solace in working in my journal, so inevitably that's what I did. I'd wanted to use some of the images from this pictorial archive book for some time. At last, a book I can cut up without a scrap of guilt!
I journal because I can't NOT do it - it is necessary therapy for me, and I can't not express myself this way, not to mention it being a joyful activity that brings light into my limited life. I share my pages just because it feels right to take the risk of putting myself out there, and hoping the things I struggle with might help somebody else. I DON'T do it so can I feel warm and fuzzy when people leave me nice comments, which occasionally they do, and it is lovely. One or two have even got in touch by email to tell me that something I'd posted here had been important to them. Its special to hear that, especially when journalling and blogging are both essentially solitary activities.
Haven't listened to myself I decided to behave like a grown up and just keep on keeping on, without expectation of praise or reward of any kind.
Sunday, 30 April 2017
Thought I would show you something else of my process this time - a lot of you have been kind enough to let me know that you really appreciate seeing the pages develop step by step. It begins as always with a simple background - the turquoise blue acrylic paint and the yellow mingle together quite well, but they needed something more so I added white on top.
I snip them from anywhere and everywhere - I've even been known to chop up children's books from the charity shop. A favourite source is plain coloured envelopes that birthday or other cards come in. These provide a block of solid colour I can draw or stamp on. I pick much of my collage stuff up for free, and my Other Half is trained to bring home anything which looks interesting.
Then as you can see below I begin pulling out bits and pieces, shapes and colours, sometimes I punch or cut out shapes, just trying them in place. Some stay and get stuck down and some don't.
My recent pages seem to have become a little bit simpler - its as if I'm finally giving myself permission to have empty spaces? Or maybe I'm just lazy. It may well be both!
We're flying the Atlantic tomorrow for some much needed sunshine in Florida. In the warmth and sun I am always more well and in less pain, so this is my annual treat. Plus the ice cream is flippin gorgeous. See you in a couple of weeks 😎
Tuesday, 18 April 2017
I'd put a coat of gesso over a page which didn't seem to be going anywhere, so I figured I'd just black it out! At the stage below you can just see some of the old page showing through.
Sunday, 9 April 2017
Then there's the problem of uneven pavements, potholes, lack of dropped kerbs, etc etc. My favourite Italian restaurant in the nearby village centre has a ramp up to the door, but then a wooden lip that my wheelchair can't mount. Oh yes and the toilet is upstairs, but because its a historic building they don't have to do alterations for one downstairs. I could go on but had better not - I would definitely sound like a crabby old cow.
Anyway I got out my Neocolour II crayons to make this background - still trying to make myself use multiple shades, and wanting to create circles and shapes within it.
Saturday, 1 April 2017
So this was me drawing vertical lines and starting to paint the resulting spaces. At this point I was reaching for more shades of blue, but realised that I also have a tendency to play safe and stay with the same colour, so I boldly plumped for the red and promised myself I would use a wide range of shades.
You can possibly see that I hadn't stuck the eye down at this point because I was still deciding whether or not it belonged there ... I do that often. It works to just try random pieces of collage in different positions.