Saturday, 12 December 2015


It has taken me about ten days to complete this page - generally I do one in two days at the most, but having one or two other things on my mind has meant I haven't have much time just to "play".

I rarely do anything fancy in terms of background because I know that I will be covering it up - and the picture below shows just how simple it is!  Just acrylic paint - the ordinary kind you can buy at hobby stores.  In this case I didn't even bother to go right to the edges of the page, because I wanted to do a collaged border.

So because I tend to stay in one colour range I then dragged out my drawer of orange/yellow/ gold/brown elements.  Its a very simple technique to create a border in this way and to be honest right now I can't really manage anything more complicated.  I don't worry about my collage pieces being the same width, because  a varied edge gives it more interest.
You may notice below that I've added a shadow and a black line around the inner edge - I hope you agree that this makes a substantial difference to how the page looks?  I found this Modigliani lady among my images, and thought she looked kind of reflective, or wistful even, as if she might be looking back - and that's why the writing tells her/me not to!
The rest of the page was added here and there, as I had a few minutes to spare, and is of course (as always) a message to myself.  We're in a new place and have left all but a few special friends behind, so life can feel a bit lonely and isolated at times.  When I get to feeling that way I remind myself not to look back, but to look ahead to a time when we've made new friends and become better established in the area - we HAVE only been here one month!
Still there's no doubt that life feels a bit quiet and our social life is distinctly limited for now.  Maybe that's why I feel disappointed that while almost a thousand people have been by in the past week, only ONE person opted to leave a comment.  Now I am NOT a comments junkie, and that's not why I keep this blog up faithfully, but right now it would be nice to know that you're out there and that I'm not just talking to myself - so say hi if you have time and tell me whether the blog helps you.  It would be so nice to know its making a difference to someone.

Sunday, 6 December 2015


You can imagine that in recent months I've been doing some rather desperate praying, what with a house move and Himself's cancer diagnosis to deal with.  The day I made this I had one of those moments of absolute calm, when I "knew" it was all going to be OK.  Its not easy to hold onto that, but whenever I start panicking its as if a voice in my head says (wearily) "will you not just TRUST me"?  So I try to, with varying degrees of success.

I wanted, no needed, to use bright hopeful colours, and I took these two pictures to show you the magical difference using water on Neocolour II crayons makes!  On the left is the sort of scribbly wax crayon look, which is how it goes down - then on the right is the intense colour you can achieve with a moderately wet paintbrush.  You could also use a waterbrush I guess? The result is awesome!

So onto that background I began to put down some collage.  I organise my collage pieces in a trolley with slim 12 x 12" drawers, and have drawers for colours and then others for neutrals, words and people.  I may think of other categories as I go along.  Now I'm a bit of a tone on tone sort of gal - I like using shades of the same colour, and sometimes you have to remind me that I can use different colours or more than one!

So I pulled out my red/orange drawer - that's the other great thing about the trolley I use, you can just take out the whole drawer and bring it across to the workspace.  I like to cut curved shapes out and layer them up.  Its easy to do and if you're looking for collage techniques you might like to try it?
Anyway, part of this moment of God-given calm was the sense of the interconnectedness of all things, so I began to draw a black line to join them up.  The great thing about drawing wobbly lines on purpose is that it doesn't matter if you er .... wobble!  I also began to add the writing which as you know is so much a part of every page I do.
And once I'd written my words I just set to joyfully doodling to my heart's content - a lovely meditative process.  You'll see that I've drawn and "improved" on the collage pieces themselves - I like to change them so that they're "mine" if you see what I mean.
So there you have it - a happy page for a change, though I can't guarantee to sustain this mood as I am a born worrier however much I try not to be.  But we're safely moved into our lovely new flat (all wheelchair accessible) and beginning to find homes for all our stuff, though the studio still needs work.  Himself is two thirds of the way through chemotherapy (tolerating it amazingly well, must be all that prayer thats going up on his behalf) and should be finished by Christmas.  Then we have daughters and our darling one year old grandson coming - just for a couple of days, which is possibly all we have the energy for, but it will be LOVELY.  Surgery lies ahead but I'm not thinking about that for now, just planning to enjoy the Christmas season :)