Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Closing "Daisies"

I am really sad to have to do this but I am going to close down my blog as I have been the target of a very vicious email linked to my social network site Freeing Your Wings. I have been struggling with very bad depression this year and I cannot cope with the feeling of being open to attack in this way. I am in the process of withdrawing myself as much as I can from the internet and to finish posting on my Dancing Daisies blog is very sad for me. I don't think many people follow me but I have loved doing it. If you did ever follow me thank you so much. I hope all goes well for you but this will be my last post.

Love Lynda x

Monday, 18 August 2014

Joseph and another of Stanley

My little grandson, Joseph, has been by far the hardest to capture and I do not feel as if I have managed it. This second one of Stanley I prefer, as it is softer.

Thursday, 14 August 2014


Still on my "Prelude" course, I had a go at drawing my little grandaughter Rose this morning. Quite pleased with her.

A new course in portrait work

I have started a new course in working on portraits and am once more moving towards realistic work. This course is run by Kelly Berkey and is called "Prelude to a Portrait". I am loving it although it is very challenging and there are many incredible artists on the course but everyone is so supportive. I have got so involved with it that I have forgotten to post any of my work so will post my first four portraits now, the three portraits of women are from the course material and the little boy is from a photo of my grandson, Stanley,which I found wonderful to try out. All the work is in charcoal at the moment with a focus on light and shade.

Monday, 14 July 2014

Two more "primitive portraits"

Well...I have been having another go at Mindy Lacefield's lovely course called Primitive Portraits. This time I used acrylics on canvas so my first go with acrylics. Ha ha....they are such fun and brought a ray of sunshine into my life this afternoon. I loved spending days on end on my acrylic portraits last year when I was trying to learn to paint realistically but my mood is dictating what I can do right now and Mindy's wonderful work really fits the bill. Primitive, unfinished and fun.....Yes I think I managed all three of those today. Room for improvement on the art side indeed but hugely lifted my spirits today.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Beginning my week with some good advice....

“We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honor the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect, kindness and affection.

Love is not something we give or get; it is something that we nurture and grow, a connection that can only be cultivated between two people when it exists within each one of them – we can only love others as much as we love ourselves.

Shame, blame, disrespect, betrayal, and the withholding of affection damage the roots from which love grows. Love can only survive these injuries if they are acknowledged, healed and rare.”
― BrenĂ© Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Daring Greatly

I was recently introduced to the most wonderful book and indeed inspiring lady who wrote it. The book is called "Daring Greatly" and the author is Brene Brown. You can find many wonderful videos of this lady giving talks on TED TV and they are seriously good medicine when you are feeling down. Her book title comes from part of a speech by Theodore Roosevelt and it goes like this....

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

Isn't that just awe inspiring? Just to dare greatly....I can identify with that. Defeat loses its power.

Let in the light.....

I love this is so uplifting when I feel down. Struggling again at the moment so I am trying to work out "a new plan of coping" but it needs to be done bit by bit, I don't feel up to taking on the world right now. So for today I am going to let the light in through the latest cracks. :-)

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Finding a little determination ... somewhere or other

Another little primitive portrait

I tried another one but somehow not so pleased with this one but I still like the freedom of this approach and need to persevere. My painting has suffered from my withdrawal from it and somehow I must get back to it. How I would love a tiny space to call my own...a broom cupboard would do...just as long as I could leave my stuff out and not have to constantly prepare a painting space, find all the materials I need form the various places in which they are crammed and then to be able to leave them there and just pop back whenever I had a little time. Feeling down really interferes with doing routine things and even things you like and this has been going on for months now. I need to find a way to pick myself up.....

Monday, 30 June 2014

So many ways to heal.....

And this is an actual "Mindy". It is called "Wander" and you can see why from the words she has written on the painting. I particularly love this one as painting, writing, planting flowers in my tiny garden and walking by the sea or through the countryside have, as always, played a big part in my recovery....ongoing as it may still be. Still, reminders like this one from Mindy are perfect for all of us, whatever our mood might be.

"Wander among the trees,
Feel their grace embrace you."

Wild Surrender - Mindy Lacefield

I mentioned in my last post my recent struggles with my anxiety disorder and one of the things which really made me realise I had got very low was that I lost all my interest in painting which has been one of my mainstays during the last 5 years since my last battle with cancer. It was discovering a book by the wonderful Mindy Lacefield called "Wild Surrender" which finally got me over my reluctance to get out my paintbrushes once more. Mindy's art has a strong focus on simplistic style faces and children yet which are actually quite technical to achieve. Her idea of creating "primitive portraits", ie pictures which look (and indeed are)rather unfinished really captured my interest. I absolutely love her work, it is so delightful and so appealing to me. Her books also include her poetry so on finding Wild Surrender, I knew I had found someone with whom I could creatively identify.

I have had a go at a couple of primitive portraits which I have added to this post. Just my first little exploration of Mindy's ideas but they were such a joy to paint. It was like tapping into my childhood again and as we so often read it can help those of us with emotional or mental distress to make contact with our "inner child". I think working in Mindy's way does this exactly for me and could not have come at a more perfect time for the way I have been feeling over the last few months.

Gone so long....but coming back

Well if there is anyone left following my blog I am so sorry I have been missing for so long. I have been through several months of struggling with a very tough time with my anxiety problem...Generalised Anxiety Disorder...which I have had since childhood. It has been really bad since my last post back in February but I have been working hard to try and deal with it during the last couple of months. I have reached a point now where at last my interest in painting and writing is coming back to me and although I have managed, with the help of fellow members, to keep my site Freeing Your Wings going, I am afraid everything else, including Dancing Daisies, fell by the way side.

But I am back to a place where I am beginning to paint and write and think and want to thank you so much if you are still around waiting for me to add a new post. I chose this picture to go with my blog today because it just sort of says it all to me about where I have been in my head of late. The picture is one from the wonderful production of "Ashes and Snow" by Flying Elephant Productions. I love this with a great passion and every one of the stills taken from it speak to me in bucketloads. I would like to share more with you over the next couple of weeks so I hope you will enjoy them as much as I do.

This one just reminds me that we all need compassion and understanding in our lives and there are times when we just need to retreat and rest and be cared for. I am so lucky that my family and friends have done this for me ... yet again.

Anyway, it actually feeds great to be back and if you are still around, lovely to be in touch.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Finally finished....

I started these two little canvases over two months ago and put them aside when I got swept up with Christmas and then being ill afterwards, they just didn't get finished. So...I finally got my paintbrushes out again today and finished them off....or at least I think I have. I was guided by the wonderful Sharon Tomlinson on her "Darker Skintones"course( they are mixed media working originally over photo transfers (the old houses in the backgrounds) then using a mix of Folk Art and Golden Acrylics. I worked over the houses with black ppencil as they were quite faint then added a tiny bit of serviette transfer to one and a couple of butterflies to the other. Finally I sealed the paintings with Golden Matte Medium which does give a smooth finish.

I am quite pleased with them as painting darker skin tones is quite a challenge. I have done them before but tried some different colours this time using Golden Red Oxide and Transparent Red Oxide which are really beautiful and silky to use. least I got myself back on track. I am having a go at Quirky Birds next from the lovely Tamara Laporte's Quirky Birds course ( then I will just go back to doing my own thing again. I still love following videos by these two talented ladies is like having them in the room chatting away to me as I paint and it is really encouraging.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Need to pick up my paintbrushes again....

I can't believe I haven't painted anything yet this year. I can forgive myself to a certain extent because I was poorly for much of January but this can no longer be a reason. I miss it terribly too. How easy it is to get out of the habit of allowing myself some precious "me" time. Time indeed to change that and pick up my paintbrushes again......I need to remember the words I wrote here and allow myself to make them part of my life once more.

"Only let the moving waters calm down and the sun and moon will be reflected on the surface of your being." - Rumi

The Protector

This painting, "The Protector", is by Maria Pace-Wynter. I love the clarity of the girl's face and the real freshness of the colours. I was drawn to it as well by the little sparrow and the name of the painting. When my mum died I was walking in the dark in the middle of the night and a little sparrow jumped up on a wall beside me and sat looking at me. It really touched me as I don't think sparrows usually make an appearance in the pitch dark and the fact that it was a lowly little sparrow really made me think my mum was reaching out to me. She always had such a low opinion of herself yet of course she should not have...but she did. After my dad died we always felt he came to us on certain occasions in the form of a seagull and so to see this little sparrow just a few hours after my mum's death, really meant something to me. It was as if she was saying "Well Dad came to us as a seagull but an ordinary little house sparrow will do perfectly for me."

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

What if....?

“Even after centuries of human interacting, children still continue to rebel against their parents and siblings. Young marrieds look upon their in-laws and parents as obstacles to their independence and growth. Parents view their children as selfish ingrates. Husbands desert their wives and seek greener fields elsewhere. Wives form relationships with heroes of soap operas who vicariously bring excitement and romance into their empty lives. Workers often hate their bosses and co-workers and spend miserable hours with them, day after day. On a larger scale, management cannot relate with labour. Each accuses the other of unreasonable self-interests and narrow-mindedness. Religious groups often become entrapped, each in a provincial dogma resulting in hate and vindictiveness in the name of God. Nations battle blindly, under the shadow of the world annihilation, for the realization of their personal rights. Members of these groups blame rival groups for their continual sense of frustration, impotence, lack of progress and communication. We have obviously not learned much over the years. We have not paused long enough to consider the simple truth that we humans are not born with particular attitudinal sets regarding other persons, we are taught into them. We are the future generation's teachers. We are, therefore, the perpetrators of the confusion and alienation we abhor and which keeps us impotent in finding new alternatives. It is up to us to diligently discover new solutions and learn new patterns of relating, ways more conducive to growth, peace, hope and loving coexistence. Anything that is learned can be unlearned and relearned. In this process called change lies our real hope.”
― Leo Buscaglia, Loving Each Other

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Inner world - outer world

I have been thinking about my inner and outer worlds a lot lately and have realised that I need to come out of my inner world a lot more than I do. I know it has gradually got worse over recent years, since I first got ill with cancer in 2002 in fact. Surviving cancer and then living with the knowledge that it can come back at any time brings its own difficulties. At first there is such inexplicable relief at getting through a surgery (or treatment) but then there is the need to come to terms with still being here but having to live with it. It's not easy and the guilt that you can feel for saying that when you haven't died adds to the weird feelings you are left with.

For me, I have always said that I aged 10 years overnight. Having cancer brings you face to face with death big time even when you survive. It can have a profound psychological effect on your outlook on life. Mainly it makes you so so grateful for continued life and the good side of that effect is that you appreciate every single day of life that follows. The tricky bit is "move away" from the shadow of death that hangs round you and never quite goes away. Looking back over the past 12 years, I can understand why I have retreated into my inner world and also how it has come about but for some reason since being in hospital at the start of this year, I have come to a point where I really am determined to live properly and instil into my silly brain that I am not 85 or 75 but 65 and hopefully still have many years of life to enjoy.

So over the next few weeks I am determined to take steps out of my inner world and into the outer world a lot more...little steps they may be at times, and I am sure there will be some steps backwards every now and then... but I am determined to do it.

Saturday, 25 January 2014

A favourite poem

Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

© Robert Frost. All rights reserved

I have loved this poem since I was a child. I don't know why but every now and then it just pops into my mind and off I go to find it and read it again. It just brings me to a place of peace and stillness and I simply love it.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Figures in the waves

Watching the sunlight
dance on the waves
My mind slowed, almost to a halt.

I watched, astonished
by the sight
of a thousand dancing bodies there.

I thought I dreamt
and closed my eyes
But opening, saw them still.

A thousand, no - more
ten thousand perhaps,
bodies rising up from the sea.

I felt no fear
They were holy somehow
A wave of spiritual love.

I knew they came
to tell me something
So I sat and watched them play.

The message came
I hear it still
It rests within my heart.

Saturday, 18 January 2014


"Sun Child" (Number 1) by Michael Shapcott

I am feeling so much better these past couple of days, thank goodness. I am nearly there in terms of having a bit of energy but not yet quite enough to start painting again yet. How I would love to have even just a corner in my home which I was able to leave set up permanently so I could just stop by and draw or paint for half an hour, or even less. involves digging everything out of cupboards and drawers, setting it up on the living room table, and then, when finished, tidying it all up and putting it all away out of sight again. Imagine having your own little studio, how wonderful that would be!

Anyway, the whole palava of doing all of the above is just too much at the moment but in the meantime I enjoy myself by finding beautiful pictures that touch me deeply....and today I have pasted one of those here. I have, amongst many other boards, a Pinterest board called "Faces 3 - Faces that touch my soul" and this is on there. What a beautiful face and I am so moved by the way the artist has made use of colour and imagery. What do you think? I thought I would look into these lovely eyes and try and read his (I think) face and see what imagery comes to my mind. I will have a go .... and add it here later.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

A shift in understanding....

Three of my closest friends came to see me today and their kindness and understanding of the mess I have been in lately has helped me so much. I realised today that once more in my life my emotions have played havoc with my ability to think straight and to see the clear path. They know who they are but if any of you should read this, thank you with all my heart.

Today my own personal understanding of me shifted again. Quite a big shift really as I saw myself as a bit foolish and someone who I do not want to be. Earlier in my life I was so strong and courageous and yet lately, the last year or so, I have withdrawn more and more into my shell, almost allowing the world to grind me down. That isn't me. may take a few days more but I have decided...I am coming back to who I really am.

What a life........ :-)

Feeling a bit better....

Just popping by to say hello. I am beginning to feel a bit better so hopefully will be around again soon.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

I started incorporating this chant daily into my life a couple of months ago after my friend Veronique suggested it to our group on Freeing Your Wings. I let is slip a bit during December when I was struggling with a bit of depression again but part of my new year plan is to get back to it. I use this clip from Youtube to help myself focus and for me at the moment, it is the right length of time and leads me into a quiet meditation at the end. I am combining this with my daily meditation from Mark Nepo's book, "The Book of Awakenings" which I hope will help me start my days in a much more uplifted and calmer way.

The other thing I am doing is walking every day...for shopping and errands will not count (I have let myself do that in the past). I have managed it so far even in this wind and rain. With the seafront at the bottom of my road, I really should be able to commit to this properly so I intend to give it my best shot. I was shocked earlier today at how easily I had gone "downhill" in my mood after yesterday which shook me into walking this afternoon and, as I should have learned by now, it helped.

I hope you have some intentions set for the new year that will bring you peace and tranquility too. Please do let me know if you have by adding a comment here.

Love Lynda xx

Time for some positive thinking....

.....because creativity keeps me positive! :-)

Emotions....why do they get the better of us?

Goodness, apart from my wonderful walk by the sea yesterday I felt pretty low. Taking down the Christmas tree was not a good start to the day, it always makes me sad but the whole day felt really hard. I was irritable too which is not like me. I am one of those people who get sad, upset, anxious and depressed but not often cross. Still I felt it yesterday and did not really know why. I don't like feeling like that. That has been replaced today by feeling pretty low and anxious...a more normal state of mind for me. I wish I didn't. Still I found this picture which reminded me that even when we feel sad there is beauty all around us that we just need to remember. I rather liked this idea of being covered with beautiful flowers even when your insides feel bad. I am going to try and imagine myself covered in flowers just like this today and hope that gradually the sad feelings are overcome by the beauty and tranquility of the flowers.

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Blowing up a storm!

I braved the seafront again today after feeling it was a bit too dangerous the last few days with the violent storms we are having. When we left the flat yesterday we noticed the sea looked half as high again as it usually does. It was really odd. We can see the sea as we leave our building and I suppose you get used to the way the horizon looks each day. At the moment it is so much higher. When I got to the esplanade this morning, I kept back along the path by the beach huts which is some way back from the sea itself but the waves were still crashing over the beach wall in several places. Half the beach is now on the prom. It looked and sounded magnificent, one of those moments of "awe and wonder" certainly. It still surprised me though to see some foolish people, even with small children, up close to the sea wall and running back as the waves crashed over. Apart from the very real possibility of being swept over, the waves up hurling up large stones as well.

Still there were also lots of people, keeping well back, just enjoying what is undoubtedly a spectacle of nature. I have lived here for 43 years and I have never seen the sea like this before. Anyway, after a while the heavens opened up again and I got drenched but actually it doesn't bother me. I just loved the whole outing, it was really glorious.

Friday, 3 January 2014

Mark Nepo.....Love this wisdom!

Be still and listen....

I am so absorbed in two new books I have discovered by the wonderful Mark Nepo. I will be adding more about him but for today I wanted to share the beginnings of one of those books "Ten Thousand Ways to Listen" through which I am striving to reconnect with my inner self at the moment .... so lots about finding quiet and time for reflection, being still .... and listening to my inner self. I found this lovely picture which seems to complement this really beautifully and wanted to share it with you all. Hoping you too are finding some inner peace now after the holidays.

Thursday, 2 January 2014

New beginnings....old ways

Time to start afresh with my Dancing Daisies blog now the new year has started. I hope so much that those of you who have come here from Freeing Your Wings will enjoy being part of this new community. I called this post "New beginnings .... old ways" because I hope that Dancing Daisies will become very much like FYW in its content and in its community. I feel sure that those of us who are staying together, despite the changes, will continue to pay attention to our world and to our spiritual journeys, to be astonished by the confirmations that we receive and to tell each other about it all. I hope so, so much.