This will be my last post for a few weeks as I am off to the sun in a few days - and very welcome it will be because its barely 2 degrees here and COLD. That might account for my choice of lovely warm colours below - my usual splodgy painted background. If you look closely at the top left you might just be able to see where I painted over something I didn't like. I hope that it encourages you to know that I do it all time - obviously I never show you my rubbish pages, but I assure you I do make them.
Then I dug out my collage file and dragged out bits and pieces which appealed to me. I love this part, its so instinctive and intuitive - you don't over-think it you just DO it. Then I try placing pieces here and there, and some of them get stuck down and some don't.
My usual next stage is to add black outlines and grey shadows - but I forgot the shadows this time. That was possibly because I was giggling at this lady I'd put together from various elements - I love her mad red eyes! Since the figure generally represents me, this prompted the train of thought about being a bit wild ... or liking to think I might be, or perhaps could be if I wanted!
And then as ever comes the doodly part where I just embellish the page until it looks "right". Don't ask me how I make that judgement, I just do!
I find as I age that my essential self doesn't change in the way my external appearance does, which means I am always surprised by the person the mirror shows me, as I don't seem to look how I FEEL! Never mind, can't do anything about that so I'm not going to let it worry me, and nor am I going to spend any money on "fixing" it in any way.
I'm off on holiday to warmer climes and can't wait, particularly since snow is forecast this week. Bring it on, and see you when I get back.
A friendship which is important to me has been in slightly choppy waters lately, but for me it is vital to weather this because it would be a shame for us to fall out over something relatively trivial. So I'm counting to 10, and letting something that has hurt me go. Because its right and the only thing to do.
But of course, what I always do when something is troubling me, is get it down in my journal. I started with my Neocolour II crayons, which haven't seen the light for a while. Do you find that your enthusiasm for some materials waxes and wanes, because these used to be my no.1 go-to and yet they've gathered some dust recently?
Anyway, made lots of swooshy shapes in bright shades of pink and purple - such fun doing this.
Then I took up my trusty Posca pen and outlined some of the shapes, and added some black and white stamps. I did think at this stage that I'd ruined it with the black lines ... and was tempted to gesso over it, but didn't.
Anyway, once I got the words off my heart and down on the page it kind of all began to make sense. Somewhere in here, perhaps at a subconscious level, the petal-like overlapping layers represent the complex layers of a shared history. Almost exactly a year ago one of my closest friends died. It was a shattering loss which made me promise myself that I would treasure the people I loved even more.
So I then just had fun doing all manner of dots and doodling, and if that makes the page look busy, a bit mad and kind of complex then that's OK, because our friendship is like that too.
And to be absolutely fair, I am no doubt whatsoever that I can be equally annoying or accidentally hurtful from time to time. Its not worth storing such things up, so I am letting them go because friendships based on human frailty will always have their ups and downs. Anyway, I love her, even when she's driving me batty.
This whole page started with the words on grey paper "I think I'll hang on" - I'd stamped them with the intention of using them on something else, but then I never did. When I found it again in my collage stash I challenged myself to use it, and this is what I did!
Because it was grey and black I thought I'd work in monochrome shades on a vivid background, in this case a luscious lime green. Just for starters I drew lines across one corner with my Posca Paint pens ....
And then it was out with the collage pieces - but I wanted to avoid doing what I often do, which is put a rectangular frame around the page. This was my attempt at framing with softer edges.
As you can see in the contrast between the above and below pictures, once you add outlines in black and a shadow, it all begins to form a whole instead of being random pieces. Down went my "mission statement" text, and I extended the woman's body so I could add to it.
The words about hanging on were important to me because a few months ago, in the face of a second diagnosis of auto-immune illness bringing even more pain and tiredness, I honestly wondered why I was still trying to live a meaningful purposeful life ... when it would be so much easier to give up and just watch daytime TV. A truly horrid prospect, but I guess it was a low point.
But, because I believe that EVERY life has meaning and purpose, it gradually became clear to me that mine does too - even if I can no longer do some things. What the heck, I'm trying (and not always succeeding) to look for the positive every day, to rejoice in small pleasures like the first snowdrops, and to believe that things can get better.
There are days when I struggle to hold onto these truths, but that's because I'm a normal human being and I get tired and discouraged sometimes. But better days ARE coming, there are still joyful things to look forward to (daughter's wedding in November) and there are already snowdrops are showing me that Spring is just around the corner. That's got to be enough for now, and it is.