Saturday, 27 May 2017


Himself and I have been going to art as therapy sessions to which I'd been invited as part of the pain support group I attend, and he got to go as my carer.  Since we retired he's become interested in drawing, and it was lovely to find something we could do together. The only drawback is that the meetings take place well into the afternoon, when I am beginning to run out of energy and fade away ....

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.
I really got into it and forgot to take very many pictures, but I do remember that the first thing I did was draw the circle shapes inside the writing.  I do love wobbly circles because while I might struggle to draw a proper one, a wobbly circle looks artistic and as if it might have been meant!  Imperfection is very liberating!

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.
I did a bit of scribbling too - I promised myself I would - these are also very liberating, I mean you can't do them wrong can you? Everything here has been done using Posca Paint pens because that was all I took with me.  I think they are what I'd save in a fire ... and all the other 12 journals of course!
Now I had every intention of doing a LOT more than this, of filling the space with all kinds of exploding patterns and general loveliness, but I didn't.  Its possible it was only late afternoon tiredness but the page just seemed to be finished, so I stopped.

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


It was hard to decide to put this page "out there", but eventually I felt like I had to.  These feelings are just as valid as any others I choose to make pages about and share.

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!
When I was making mixed media pieces or artist trading cards I used to love working in a brown/cream vintage style, so I set out to make a page like that just because I wanted to.  Torn paper, all sorts of junk from the collage drawers, a few are scrapbook papers, even tissue paper.
I didn't know while making it what I was going to write about in the space I so carefully left, but inevitably my feelings of disappointment came to the surface.  However, almost immediately (as you can read) I gave myself a good talking to about why I'm here doing what I do.

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.
But encouragement?  Now that's an entirely different matter, and we all need some from time to time.  Including me.