Archives for category: mixed media

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If I’m being honest I haven’t been in the shed properly for a while. Sciatica is a loud condition and my mind hasn’t really been able to rest enough to paint with integrity. But I started these three pieces. I was surprised to select red as the base for these paintings… I think they’ll end up being white but the red underneath seemed important.

I remember naively thinking I would do a series of paintings while I was giving birth 12 years ago. I even got the canvases ready and primed. But then pre-eclampsia took over and that was foiled. But I remember being mindful of the colour of pain and my conclusion is the same today as it was then. It is white. Blinding white. Computer screen brightness white. White so stark it makes your head pound and your eyes close tight and your whole body curl tight, which is exactly the opposite to the response encouraged response to pain which is to relax and embrace and breathe through it.

Last night was a bad night. In my wisdom I decided to come off the stronger pain killers, which in short was a mistake. I have never known anything like it. No position was pain free. Nausea and dizziness contributed their fine qualities and without the care and compassion of my children and husband I think I would have wept all night. Needless to say the stronger pain killers are welcomed back with open arms….. I cannot allow my kids to see me like that. But the whole thing gets you thinking.

I recently watched the film ‘Cake’ starring Jennifer Aniston, and her depiction of a woman in chronic pain was just so moving. The journey of choosing to live, of wanting to try, to get better was portrayed so brilliantly. It’s not dislike the film ‘Girl interrupted’ which I watched years ago. A similar journey. I have also recently met up with an incredibly courageous woman who has gone through so many operations and pain over the last eight years it’s unspeakable. And yet she is still standing, still loving her boy, still fighting with everything she has to live.  That is courage standing right there.

Don’t you find that it’s only when you lose something you appreciate it fully? Putting on your socks, sitting down for a whole meal, thinking clearly, little things. Our bodies are just so incredible, just so intricate. But it is when they don’t work that all these things we take for granted are realised. We are fearfully and wonderfully made. We ARE fearfully and wonderfully made. And that is what these pieces are about.

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I’ve used sewing patterns over the top of the text to refer to this but, again with most of my paintings, by the time we get to the finished piece these may not even be visible, but the fact that they are here now is important to me. We are fearfully and wonderfully made.

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One of the things that never ceases to amaze me is how hard it is to leave my art work in a gallery or in its new home, especially if the pieces represent a personal journey of sorts. I dropped off the five completed pieces at the Emporium, Lichfield on Thursday and it once again took me by surprise, to the point that I had to explain why I was just looking at them and not moving or talking. The five pieces that are currently at Emporium I’ve called ‘tolmàō’.

Greek: tolmáō (from tolma, “bold courage”) – properly, to show daring courage necessary for a valid risk (“putting it all on the line”); courageously venture forward by putting fear behind and embracing the fruit that lies ahead for taking a necessary risk.

IMG_5784I said this on Facebook – I love that there exists a Greek word that needs nineteen English words to explain it!! But it exactly sums up what’s I was trying to say. Have courage. Go for those dreams. Step out from that comfort zone. You are brave. You are enough.

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IMG_5727I’ve had this idea, picture, in my mind for such a long time and at last I think I might actually be making steps towards starting it. Today I’ve been trying to work out which type of paper to have as the printed base. I’ve kindly had several sheets printed with various photos of people, or in some cases squirrels, with their hands in the air, and I’ve mocked what I want to achieve on a much smaller scale. The final results made me smile as these squirrels stand there, drippings wet with paint! We’ll see how they dry.

Yet another layer of paint was poured onto the canvases today. The results of the last soak staining was quite disappointing and looked washed out. A think maybe a layer of brown afternoon this blue one has dried. Brilliantly warm day for it.IMG_5731

 

 

IMG_5723I love this technique. I use it all the time and instead of allowing the paint to drip down the canvas I literally pour it onto the canvas and wait to see what happens. I felt the two sections were really separate and needed some sort of visual link to pull the piece together. I also love the way the paint clings to the edges of texture and emphasises it. The only problem now is that I can’t do anything until it is dry, and with the weird weather today, that could be a while. Lovely to have time to blog though 🙂

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IMG_5710On returning to these in the spare 30 minutes I had, the backgrounds were not as solid dry as they seemed when wet. Two more layers and some scratched text later, they hopefully will visually seem solid enough when dry. I’ve again added the red round the sides and top and suddenly, just as before, the colours seem to resonate. Pleased that those 30 minutes were spent in the shed.

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IMG_5684It has been just lovely to write words of truth over and over onto these pieces. Even though the individual words and letters cannot be made out, I know they are there: words that lift my heart and make it soar, words that I believe, words that remain when all else is uncertain, words that I can stand on. And, although it is so obvious, it takes me by surprise how my thinking changes and shifts when I focus on truth. My gaze lifts from myself to Him. My thoughts become clearer, hopeful and joy is near.

IMG_5699And as these thin layers build, it just confirms to me how, even though the layers of paint are fluid and in themselves translucent, together they form something more solid and substantial.

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IMG_5684For the first time in maybe eight years we had an evening without the children’s and therefore a morning without them too. And so nine o clock this morning found me in the shed, dousing the paintings with white and sharpening them with black. They are becoming different from that I expected, not as calming and more colourful, which is a surprise, but it is only the first few layers so anything could happen.