Monday, 25 September 2017

NAME IT ....

I came across this quote somewhere but can't remember right now who said it.  I don't usually use other people's words, but these struck a chord.  Perhaps its like with alcoholics - in order to recover you first have to name the problem, admit its your own, and until you do it will always have power over you, instead of the other way around?

Maybe my struggle to accept the new diagnosis is part of the same pattern?  In order to integrate this new reality I must first admit and accept its existence ... and only then can I get down to learning to live with it.  Anyway, that's why I wanted to record this, because it seems to be a truth that could apply to a great many things in life, and a useful lesson to keep close to my heart.

I began by drawing these layers, not least because my life is getting complicated to say the least, and I wanted the page to reflect that. Looking at it again maybe these are actually storm tossed waves? They can be whatever I like!
Next I added a wash of dilute acrylic paint, going back to deepen the colour in places.  I'd used a rather soft pencil by mistake which smudged when I put water on it, but I'm not worried by that - it seems to add something?
Next I wrote the words in a strong black - which I rather like against the yellow.  The photos don't do justice to the colours - its been rather wet and gloomy lately, not the best light for taking pictures.
After that I began to draw around the layers and segments in fine black Posca paint pen, and to decorate each one.  The use of earth tones is deliberate; I was thinking of the layers of the earth as the layers we build up against things which hurt us.  You can become so prickly with defences that you have to allow yourself to be vulnerable and take off the armour!
The eye is the human element I always like to include, and everything else owes much to my current obsession with Australian aboriginal art and the dots and lines they use.
As ever, the journalling process was cathartic - which is mainly why I do it, although I love splashing about with paint anyway. What is written here is quite true - at least for me, because once I was able to say out loud "I have Fibromyalgia and now I have Psoriatic Arthritis as well", it helped me to accept this new reality and to feel less overwhelmed by it all.

Having half the energy I had before means I am a lot less productive at the moment, which is why there was a long gap since my last post as I had nothing to share.  I TRY to post weekly but can't always manage it.

Monday, 11 September 2017


It was one of those days when I feel like I contribute nothing, just sit here in my wheelchair, etc etc, at a time when to be disabled means that you are no longer a worthwhile person.  Then I remembered how, when my daughters were small, I used to tell them how special they were and how there was no-one in the whole world quite like them. This got me wondering why I wasn't feeling that way, until I realised I needed someone to remind me ... and since there was nobody else I looked in the mirror and said "you're special, Rosie, you are a unique person who has work to do".

And that got me thinking about the fact that everyone has days when they feel this way, and everyone needs someone to remind them how special they are.  So I made this page for me, but also for YOU - special people with SO much to give to the world around you, no matter on how small a scale you have to operate.

I painted a central panel on the page a nice cheerful yellow - I know it looks a bit greeny but it IS yellow - and used the baby wipe technique to blot it off and make interesting marks in the paint.
As you can see, I left a white space around the edge because I knew I was going to make a border.  As usual I just pulled out pieces of collage gleaned from magazines and other places and cut out sections to edge and overlap.
When I added a grey shadow edge (Promarker) and a strong black line (Posca paint pen) it started to look less random and more of a unified whole.
The face came next - following my policy of always using something human to ground the page - and then I think the rest is self explanatory?  Its a page to look at on one of "those" days when you feel useless and pointless, a page for us all to remember that actually we ARE special, and each of us makes a difference in our own unique way.
Then finally came my favourite part - the doodling and drawing. Not sure that the white squiggles show up as much as I wanted them to, but what the heck ... its my page and it isn't perfect, any more than I am.

I now have an additional (presumptive for now) diagnosis of Psoriatic Arthritis, and that has rather stopped me in my tracks for a while.  I did some crying and complaining, and a bit of itsnotfairing, but now I'm just getting on with it as best I can.  Some days are better than others.  My Beloved said (with perfect truth) ... "never mind love, you were sitting down anyway".