Sunday, 29 March 2015

NOW I SEE .....

I think these are my all-time favourite colours - there's just something about blue and green (especially lime green) that works brilliantly.  Anyway, I like them a LOT so that was probably why I reached for these colours from my big set of (84) Neocolour crayons.

This is how I do a lot of my backgrounds - just scribble away in circles, and the results can be really interesting.
Didn't know where this was going so I just began to doodle on the top and add a few simple bits of collage - not pictures in this case so much as segments of colour.  By this time the words "now I see" were running around my brain, so I added the eye.  It wasn't originally green but Promarkers work really well over photographic images like this, so you can re-colour something to fit with what you're doing.
And then I just wrote my words in the spaces between - not a complicated or "clever" page but its relative simplicity of message and method pleases me.  I guess you will be able to tell that I was in a calm place when I made this, one of those (fleeting) moments when everything makes sense and you see how you are part of the pattern.  It never lasts but its nice while it does.
Sorry this is quite a short post - I'm tired today, especially after this morning's Palm Sunday service! We had a donkey in church who was very sweet and so well behaved, he was a pleasure to have around. We'd planned a procession of witness but it was and still is lashing with rain ..... one of those legendary April showers arriving early!!

Saturday, 21 March 2015



I was DEFINITELY talking to myself here!  It's often said that this is the first sign of madness, but does it count if you're writing it down rather than muttering in the corner??

It started really simply - 3 or so colours of paint just slapped down any old how.  Backgrounds don't have to be clever or complicated!  After all you're going to write and collage on top.
So then I added some bits from my stash of collage materials, mainly copied from old journal pages. I cut out a circle from a plain section so I could write on it, and the purple curve on the left was put down for the same purpose.  As soon as it was stuck down I disliked the right hand section, so I just painted over it.

You can tell exactly what I was thinking from the very first things I wrote down.  ... I have this thing going on in my head that I'm not a worthwhile person unless I produce something every day - its kind of justification for my existence, because otherwise I often feel like a taker rather than a giver.
So more writing and reflection followed, as you can see below - and of course that crazy looking lady in the middle is meant to represent me.  I simply had to remind myself of all this because these ideas seem to have a pernicious hold on my mind, so much so that if I take time out to rest or simply don't achieve anything much with a day ... then somehow I'm not trying hard enough, I'm not USEFUL, I'm not FOR anything.  I know, completely MAD.
At this stage it sort of needed something but once I added the red it began to work as I'd hoped, and then I could just go for it with the doodly dots.  The branches are kind of about making connections in my brain with what is good and I know to be true, in order to overcome the negative ideas which creep in there when I feel vulnerable.  I guess a lot of people out there know all about the voice that whispers "you're a waste of space, you don't DO anything, you contribute nothing".
So if those voices are in your brain too, don't believe them, and fight back with everything you have because its NOT true.  My conscious brain absolutely doesn't believe those whispers, for myself or for others, and I'm not mad its just hard sometimes to be one of those people who "only stand and wait".  Because I don't work and can hardly do anything in terms of housework, it can be hard to find ways to do what I've always longed for - which is contribute something to society and make a difference to my fellow human beings.  This blog  is part of that effort ....

Sunday, 15 March 2015



This page is an exploration of pain really - someone who used to be a very close friend and very special to me doesn't really seem to have time for me any more.  I know its hard that she has to come to me because I can't drive now, and getting on the bus is too much for me, but I thought there were still lots of way for us to connect.  It seems I may have been wrong, at least for her, and this was me working out my feelings of sadness and some anger about a friendship that seems to be ending because I can't do things any more.

The vivid colours I chose may have had more to do with anger and disappointment,than anything else, but are also to do with strongly asserting that I am still ME, and I thought I was valued for that and not for the things I could DO?  I took this picture to show how Neocolour II crayons look before and after you put water on them - just a slightly wet paintbrush.  It looks like wax crayon scribbles and then dissolves into intense colours - alchemy!
And then with the colour blocks laid down I began the infinitely enjoyable process of adding doodly details - initially in the corners.  These are done with Posca paint pens, which are opaque over pretty much any background.
Then I began to add bits of collage - most of these are from colour copies of old journal pages, cut out with a circle punch.  The Modigliani lady is sort of meant to be me, although I am thinner in my imagination than in reality!
And then below you can see how the things on my heart were poured out onto the page .... so that I moved from feeling angry and let down to a deep sadness at what what is being lost.  However she has the right to choose that this isn't right for her any more, and I must have the grace to let go.  In time I may come to celebrate the good times we've had, but right now I haven't got to that place.
And as always getting it out robs the issue of most of its power to cause pain and hurt, and seeing it set out on the page you can begin the process of letting go.  So then I just had fun with the doodly dots, which is an almost meditative process guaranteed to soothe even the most bruised heart.
It pains me to say that I can't be or do most of what I used to, but the process of losing those things has also been a process of inner growth and strength which I believe (hope) has made me a better person.  And its because of that I can let go of something which may simply have had its time.  Well, that's a work in progress for now.

Friday, 6 March 2015


Sorry about these pictures, which I can see now are a little bit dark.  I think this page was made back in January when it was somewhat dull and gloomy - whereas today the sky is blue, the weather is mild, the washing is on the line (!), and its almost warm enough to go out without a coat.

This began as a painted yellow background, onto which I added collage elements - for no special reason except that they rather took my fancy.  I believe the posh description for this is "tuning into the vibe"? Anyway, no very deep thought went into it, just instinct.  Some of the collage elements are colour copies of old journal pages, but others are images and shapes culled from magazines.
I finished adding collage elements to make a frame around the page, outlined the sections in black, and then used a grey Promarker to make a "shadow" around the edges.  Surprising what a difference this makes isn't it, so much so that I nearly always do it now though you may never notice unless its pointed out?
I do sometimes make pages like this, framing a big blank space to come back to later ... at which point I added the doll face, the writing and the doodly drawings.  Now and again I do a page like that and it never does get written on - which doesn't bother me at all.
You can also see here, if you compare with the previous picture, how I often doodle on top of a collage section.  In a way I feel this takes the piece from something cut out of a magazine to being "mine" if that makes sense!

Although this, like many of my journal pages, was entirely unplanned, it always amazes me how things come together and how I later see connections that seem to be entirely "right".  Maybe thats my subconscious at work .. but you can have your own theory about it!

Hope the Spring has sprung in your particular corner of the world - I'm enjoying early daffodils and crocuses, and we are quite northerly so it comes late to us here.  I would like to cast off a few layers of clothing and dive right into the Spring.