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(www.allnorahsart.ning.com)and 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. Anyway...at 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 (www.willowing.ning.com) then I will just go back to doing my own thing again. I still love following videos by these two talented ladies though...it 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.