Archives for posts with tag: Beginning

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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

 

 

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I love my work at the very beginning because it bears absolutely no resemblance to how it will look at the end! The colours are random, the texture starts as being readable and, with the layering, becomes less and less so as the letters overlap and blur into one another. The frustration though is the waiting… waiting for the paint to dry before I can do the next layer. Today they are taking a long time to dry so I’ve only got two layers on the big canvas which is annoying. Saying that I’ve baked some Kladdkaka, which is much nicer than it sounds (a Swedish sticky chocolate cake, not unlike Chocolate Brownies) posted on Facebook and now on here, done some shopping and dyed my hair to cover to grey! There’s nothing like multi-tasking!!! Might take the pieces outside now the sun is out. It’s just so lovely when the sun is out. A mug of tea sitting outside with a chunk of Kladdkaka…. what’s not to like!

img_5513 Not much to look at this may be but this is the first creative play I’ve carried out since September. I’ve been exploring the fact that I can procrastinate: that I let other things take up my time and that art is seriously being squeezed from my agenda. Everything else’s seems to have more importance, more weight attached to it and I’ve been choosing to do these ‘other’ things when I could have chosen to do art. Needless to say my son would be without birthday cake and my daughter may not have had the cereal boxes school required she needed, but something at some point must give. I cannot keep making excuses. What on earth am I afraid of? So face the music I must, and take a step into the vastness that is creativity I must stand. And I choose initially to do it with said cereal boxes rejected by my daughter for their smallness, plasticine and kitchen foil!! Let the creative play begin….. and continue 🙂

……. and let’s hope I can cook tea in super fast time!!!!!

and it makes no sense at all. I cannot visualise the artwork that is to come but i’m seriously excited. been reflecting a lot over the last few weeks and tomorrow is a day of action.

now, my hope is this – that tomorrow, when I drop the kids off and I grab a mug of tea and walk down the garden to my shed, I don’t get distracted by the dust gathering on shelves and the hoovering that needs doing and the dishwasher that will inevitably need unloading and the bulb that needs changing and the clothes that need sorting and the wall that needs painting and all those thousands of excuses and ‘but….’s, BUT that I stride past them all and keep walking to that incredible space that God has so generously provided for me and that I am obedient.

 

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I think this is one of the biggest mistakes I often make with my work….. Working and working on a piece until I have lost the initial spontaneity it began with. I think I may have done this with the piece that sort of looks through the clouds. But hey ho. Will find out when it dries.

Got excited again this morning about another potential idea that frightens me a little bit. I’ve been looking at work by the artist Charlie Mackesy and although I could never create in the same way he does, his whole ethos of finding and expressing your true self has challenged me greatly. He talks about initially being fearful of making statements through his artwork in case they become diluted. ” to have the guts to be truly who you are and not to fake anything is a scary place to be…… to live truly who you are.”

Excited for many reasons, the main one is that I know I hold back slightly from my art work, and this needs to change. I have no idea what will happen but suddenly feel released from something that I didn’t even know was holding me. No fear.