Sunday, 31 December 2017


I didn't set out to make a New Year page, it just sort of happened because this is always a reflective look forward/look back period for me.  It felt good and right to conclude that in all of the many ups and downs the past year has brought, there was so much that was good, lovely and true.

The page began with a soft blue acrylic paint, which I then dabbed off with a baby wipe.  In reflective, nostalgic mood it was possibly inevitable that I went for a soft sepia vintage look in my collage materials.  I used to love making collages with this old fashioned, timeworn look, but don't do so very often these days.
I was just building up layers from my store of bits and pieces, and this time my shadow line was done with a soft sepia (I normally use grey).  Below you can see why I try to avoid shiny paper because of the reflection in the picture - and this wasn't even particularly glossy, but I was taking photographs in artificial light.
Decided I didn't like the centre of the frame so as you can see below I collaged over it until I was happy with the result.  Not sure why the moon turned up, unless I was also thinking about New Moon?  It made sense at the time.  The writing arose from the place my mind had travelled to - sitting in that no mans land between Christmas and New Year, giving thanks for all that had been and looking forward in hope.
At that pointed I decided it needed more blue and think I ruined the effect of the sepia, but what the heck.  The blue I added isn't actually quite as bright as it looks but is the effect of electric light again, so necessary in these often dark, short days.
I left it like this for a while but in the end the blue was really irritating me, so out with the marker pens and I toned it all down.  The result isn't perfect but its better I think?
Once again, I share with you my own hopes for a new year - which are for more light, less pain and a great deal of love, which really is all any of us can ask for or need.
God Bless

Tuesday, 19 December 2017


I'm not getting very many opportunities to journal right now - its a busy season - but eventually managed to fit some in by giving it priority.  Its become something I can't NOT do, necessary to my well-being, because something in me shrinks if I don't.

Having carved out the space and time I sat down and painted my favourite colour combination on the page, not knowing where it would go.
And then I put Frida Kahlo down because she's such a role model for me, and suddenly the words I wanted just came ... pretty much from nowhere.  Or maybe not.  Sometimes I feel empty of anything to give, but in the end there is always this one thing.

As you can see I do very simple lettering, and then later go back and embellish it.
These bands also "just turned up" but after this I left it for a day because I got to a point where I wasn't feeling it and inspiration had gone AWOL, probably just because I was tired.
Then, as you can see below, the next day my enthusiasm and energy were renewed and I basically went mad with the dots and doodles!  I love that part.
I do hope Christmas is a happy time for you and yours and that you will come into a new year rested and renewed.  Thank you for being with me on the journey.

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

WEARY ....

This page demonstrates that, even when you're very very tired, you can still make art out of it!  I had a space of time and really wanted to work in my journal because it always brings me peace and healing.  However, when I sat down I felt like my mind and body were so weary that I was completely out of ideas.  So I turned that into a journal subject.

The first thing was to paint the page below my favourite intense lime green and then started to add grey/neutral pieces of collage from my stash.  I harvest material from catalogues, magazines and wherever I can find it, but much prefer dull finish paper.  The shiny stuff is a bit flimsy when using wet glue and then difficult to photograph without reflections.  One way around this, when I find something lovely but shiny, is to paste it to a sheet of paper and then copy it - which gives me the option of black and white, a matte image, and one that I can reproduce.  I make a lot of collage sheets this way, but be warned that you need to think about copyright issues if you plan to do the same.
Below you can see yet more collage, including the Modigliani lady who looks suitably glum/tired, and here I've also added the grey shadow and the black line which both unifies the elements and makes them stand out.
The process of journalling must have begun to lift my spirits because, without really meaning to include them, these red lines crept in.  Then I added the wording, including the expression "bone tired" which unfortunately ended up a bit squashed against the collage.
In the final version below you can see that I addressed that problem by painting over it and then shortening the sentence by leaving out one word.
I'm not sure why I added the doodly red and orange lines, except perhaps that they look vaguely cellular, so maybe my subconscious was registering my tiredness at a deep physical level?  I don't actually know, and that's not important enough for me to worry about.

This kind of physical exhaustion is something that goes with both of the auto-immune diseases which affect me, and is the cause of the greatest limitation on my daily life.  I don't have the energy that most people take for granted, so can only give what there is to a few.  These days just going down into the village for a cup of coffee with a friend is an exciting outing, but it teaches me to enjoy the small and simple pleasures life offers in a big way ...