Lessons

“Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are” Brene Brown.

Last week I finally managed time away from work, some ‘me’ time. It was a time of healing and a time of learning.

What I have learnt is I value myself and my time a lot more now, than I ever have. I understand why it’s important to be able to say no. Understanding that fear is not always to be followed, and believed.

Doing art over these past months has opened my eyes to just how being able to pick up something as simple as a pencil and piece of paper, putting lines down, and having a reference picture to work from, can bring such a mix of feelings and emotions.

As an over thinker it can take me days to make a start on a piece. Those days are filled with thoughts on how to start the image, am I capable of doing a good enough job. What medium should I use, will others like it, and so on. Then when I have over thought everything a pace around the house, procrastinating in the garden, then kick my own butt and make myself start.

When I chose to draw a lion I sat and watched a YouTube video on how to. I saw the artist start with marking out reference lines for the eyes, nose and ears. It made sense when I watched it, but when it come for me to start it felt better for me to start with the nose, then put a couple of reference lines in for the eyes, the rest was to just follow my intuition on what felt right.

I find I can lose myself when I draw, but it’s not losing myself in a negative way, it’s losing my stresses of every day for a few hours at a time to allow my mind and body to relax. This time I am realising, is such an important part of my self care.

So on the weekend I allowed my inner child to guide my drawing. I remember growing up and desperately wanted a particular Winnie The Pooh book that I had seen at the local bookshop in the window. I was lucky enough to receive it for my birthday that year (I turned 10). I still have that book almost 40 years later. There is just something that I connected with, with Pooh, Piglet, Tigger, Eeyore and the gang. They were the closest of friends and I felt like I was part of their gang when reading the book.

Pooh Bear
Piglet

To me these drawings let me know that my inner child is happier than she has ever been, and can be free to enjoy all that we do together in art and creativity.

Pooh Bear in ink and pencil

The simple things in our lives that bring us most joy, can also bring fear, but please know fear is not always to be followed, as it can stop us from enjoying the lessons that we need to learn to find ourselves, our purpose and love.

Until next time, stay safe, have fun and enjoy what makes you truly happy.

Happiness

What is happiness?

It’s different for everyone.

I will say for me it’s doing my art.

Art causes me an initial anxiety once I have chosen a piece to do. I guess like being nervous when you step on stage to perform. I go through many thoughts before I even pick up my pencil.

Image taken from internet

I found this beautiful image of such an amazingly strong creature, one that I have so much respect for. It has taken me 5 days from finding the image to putting pencil to paper to start drawing.

I looked into his eyes of my drawing and all I could do was smile.

Drawing the big cats for me is probably the biggest step forward for myself, in confidence building and pushing myself out of a comfort zone and to show myself what can be possible.

Wishing everyone a wonderful day, may you find your happiness and be free to find what truly makes you happy.

Until next time.

Winter Days

Here in Western Australia, where I live it’s another rainy, winters day. These days are awesome in ways, but not in others. My garden is being taken over by the weeds, but it gives me time to play.

By playing I mean drawing. Earlier this morning I traced out my Poppies onto tracing paper ready to be transferred to canvas to add colour. I am planning on bright red poppies with a blue/green background.

Poppies drawing

Also with starting and finishing my latest flower drawing of Roses, this to will be transferred onto canvas. At this point I am unsure of the colour of my roses and their background.

Roses drawing

There are days when I wish that I could spend all day everyday drawing, painting, filling my world with colour and learning about art and pushing myself constantly out of my comfort zone to drawn new and interesting things.

After my flowers are done, the plan is to draw more Elephants, Giraffes and other interesting animals. My biggest creative goal is to draw a series of Big Cats. I have had a love for the big cats since I was a teenager.

The idea of drawing animals with feathers such as an eagle, and animals with fur like the cats is scary, exciting and a real out of comfort zone for me. Though I will make this happen, and be so darn proud of myself when I do, like I am today for drawing my roses and even though there are times of frustration when something doesn’t go right, I won’t let it beat me, perseverance, practice and determination will get me there each time.

I hope everyone is and has had a wonderful weekend, be safe and keep well. Till next time.

Pastels Lillies

Today I have managed to finish my art piece called ‘Lillies’ done in Pastels (pencil and soft). Even with my wrist being sore, I was at a point of needing to do this for my mental health. It’s been a hard week of pain, scans and busy at work. So time to just let it all go and go into my art bubble.

Lillies

This piece has been done on 100% cotton canvas, measuring 45cm x 30.5cm.

It’s a wonderful feeling of accomplishment.

Wishing everyone a wonderful week ahead. Keep safe and stay well. Until next time.

Lillie’s

Today I finally decided to get back to what I love.

I was going to do this particular piece as a watercolour, and did start the leaves with watercolour but with my wrist being as sore as it is, thought pastel pencils would be the way to go.

Starting point

It’s interesting to me that when I look at a reference picture, I don’t actually use it for the shading, I only use it for the initial colours.

First Flower

I tend to let my intuition take over when I draw and paint. As I lay down the colours I will see areas that should be dark and those that should be light. Instinct I think.

Stage One

Now that I have come to the end of the days work, approximately half way, and as I type this post, I can feel my fingers of my right hand start to stiffen up and feel very sore.

I am the kind of person that needs to do something creative or I fall into a spiral of depression, as I have said in other posts. Even though my hand/wrist is a big issue at this point in time, I will persevere and do what I love most….my art., trying something new, just being in the moment of the piece and the colours.

I wish everyone a wonderful and safe week, until next time, stay well.

Complicate

In my mind I want a life that I can live as simple as possible, but in reality I have a tendency to make things complicated when I am stressed.

Here is an example; currently I have constant pain and discomfort in my right wrist. I am right hand dominant. I want to spend my spare time drawing, filling pages in my art journal with colour, making my quilt, but the pain is bad after doing all these awesome and soul loving things, that my mind turns them into complicated situations. I get the ‘not good enough’ come to the surface, yep depression doesn’t always disappear.

I am unsure of when the surgery that is required for my wrist will happen, but today I have acknowledged this feeling of complication that I put in to my life when things aren’t going to ‘plan’. I have sat with complicatedness all day, I have scrolled through Pinterest today and gone back to looking at and collecting pins of Zentangle patterns that bring excitement to me and encouragement within me to go back to simple drawings, that can have colour added, and still know I am accomplishing things creatively, and not let depression get a bigger hold of me.

Vintage Scroll Work

I acknowledge that when life gets hard and unpleasant to not stop doing what brings me most joy, but to keep drawing, keep putting colour in my days and to keep finding inspiration.

I wish everyone a wonder weekend, a safe weekend and hoping everyone is well. Until next time, stay true to you.

Different Spaces

The past couple of weeks I have found myself in many different spaces, by this I kind of mean moods that chop and change so quickly throughout the day.

I can wake up in the morning and feel happy, then by mid morning I can start to feel slightly depressed and the feeling of not being good enough can creep in. Depending on the day that thought can stay for some time, then it can turn to frustration and anger, or if I am at home I can usually get myself into my art and release the feeling and start to find my happy place again.

Many years ago I used to own a craft shop, but had to close due to not enough customers coming in, as online was cheaper than coming into a small shop. This was just over 10 years ago I closed the doors to being my own boss, and put all my sewing needles and fabric away. I felt I let myself and others down by not staying open. There was for a long time a negative attachment to craft for me.

I have over the last few months watched my 23 year old daughter pull out my sewing machine, my fabrics, needles, threads, patterns and so much more and start her journey into craft and making her own clothes. I took her recently to a patchwork shop and watched her eyes light up like mine used to at all the fabrics, the colours, the creative possibilities. I was excited for her, and still felt a little sad for myself.

So last week I took myself back to that same shop on my own and ran my hands over the fabrics and took a few down from the shelves and started placing these rich, earthy tones of brown, grey, ochre, and a paisley style print. Then as I looked at other colours I envisioned at star. What patchworkers call a Lone Star quilt. I came home with a small fire in my belly, a want to make something of true meaning.

I decided then to look into the history of the Lone Star and I found a connection with the Native American Cherokee Tribe and the Star quilt pattern. It spoke so deeply to me that I felt I had found my way back home. By this I mean, I had found my way back to what I already know and understand (quilting) and that I just get it and have a natural affinity for patchwork, bringing colours together, piecing of blocks, and all that quilting is. I guess I thought I could have permanently walked away 10+ years ago, but really I needed to learn that I don’t have to put something that happened before on to it now, and that I can come back and use patchwork, like my drawing and painting as my ways of therapy for myself and just maybe one day in the future as a counselor I can use these creative knowings in teaching others to use them for their own therapy practices. I guess in a creative healing scenario.

On Monday this week I decided to take myself into Perth (our city) to pick up a book I had ordered a few weeks before on Art Therapy.

Now when I go into Perth there is really only two shops I go into. One being Dymocks Book Store and the other being Boffins Book Store. Well just to say in a matter of less than one hour I was heading home with five new books.

I also got a journaling book that I am currently reading as well (not pictured). So the creative theme is very strong. The hard part this week has been having to attend two funeral services for people who have been taken far to soon from us here. Though to me the lives we have lost gives us a moment to reflect on not just their lives, but our own that we are able to continue on with, with each day we are graciously given.

I start my much needed weekend tonight to take a moment to post here, reflect on my thoughts as I write and to see glimmers of what is coming. Creativity is my heart, my soul, it is me.

So I wish everyone a wonderful Saturday night and weekend, hoping everyone is safe and well. Until next time…

Storms

These past few weeks have felt like storms, not just because of the weather (it’s winter here), but more the emotional ones. The ups (happy times) are like sitting under a tin roof and listening to the rain gently tap above you, while sipping a cup of tea and watching the world go by.

Then there are the ones where the thunder is rolling in the distance and the cracks of lightning strike intermittently. Emotionally there is something brewing within. Something that has hit a bit of a nerve. The rain starts to come down a little heavier. Your mind wants to leave the tumbling of emotions alone and walk away, but the emotions are still there rumbling like the thunder.

The point comes when your emotions like a storm keep moving closer. Now the thunder is close and loud. The lightening cracks are right there in front of you. The emotions that have been rolling have come to the forefront of you, you can sit the storm out and hope it passes and you are safe. You can bottle your emotions up, not talk to anyone and just hope they settle and go away. Or you can find someone you trust, talk to them about what is troubling you and find ways to deal what has caused the emotional disturbance and work through it with help.

The storm for me has been how people believe their world isn’t what it should be, or could be be better, or it should be more than it is, but won’t do anything to make it better for themselves and then play the martya. I can’t deal with these kinds of people very well, and at times I need to vent my anger and frustration in order to get past these feelings and be able to move on and not let them eat at me emotionally.

Over the past couple of weeks I have spent my spare time either resting, trying to sleep better and quieten my mind from the thunder that has rolled around in my head, drawing and painting as well. These three therapies have started to Become my go to’s to prevent emotional explosions, like a lightening bolt hitting a tree and causing a fire and further destruction.

African Elephant

This drawing of an African Elephant was my very first attempt at drawing an animal such as this. He definitely isn’t perfect, but I am extremely please with the way he has grown on the page.

Watercolour Elephant

This is the same drawing as before, but I have painted him with watercolour paint, and tomorrow I will fill-in the background with black acrylic paint. To me he stands for strength, working through troubles in life and to keep going. I can see he is such an old soul that has gone through many battles in his life to survive and to lead his heard out of danger and to safety.

I guess in a way he has helped through an emotional storm and led me to a more positive thought process and to be able to know that what others do in their lives and how they don’t make the changes they possibly could for the better, I have managed to do look within myself and know what I am doing for me is more important.

My storm has passed, I am safe and comforted by my art and by being my authentic self and being able to make the necessary changes I need to be happy and to see the sun shine after the storm.

Wishing everyone happiness and that we are all well, safe and healthy. Until next time.

Hard Days…

Sleep pattern completely out of whack, feeling exhausted, feeling frustrated, feeling that I’m slightly stuck in a puddle of mud and I can’t quite get my foot out to keep moving forward.

It’s been a tough week again. Not my favourite time of year. It’s been raining, a little cold and just grey 😞

Even trying to start drawing this morning was bloody hard work, I ripped 2 pieces I started up and binned them as I was just getting more and more frustrated and angry that it wasn’t working the way I wanted them to.

Decided to take my big floofy German Shepard for a walk, then come home and try again. Now that has partly worked, though there are moments where I get angry, feel that ‘why am I bothering?’ But just know I need to keep going.

Abbie the GSD

I have started drawing a Golden Bartonia, another common name is Blazing Star, yellow flower and fragrant at night. I have started this piece on an A3 page and it is going to grow onto another page and then another as the flowers start to appear.

Golden Bartonia – Golden Blaze

So now I have had a small break to write my post, I shall return to my drawing. May everyone be well and safe…until next time.

Musk sticks and pencils

What a week it was last week. I had a 3 day long weekend, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, then back to work Thursday through to Saturday night. The 3 days at work were hard, I guess more for the fact of the end of a week tends to be busier than the start and also having to play catch up on some paperwork and website updates.

Though here is a positive, one of my childhood favourite lollies ‘musk sticks’ have found their way back into my life. It has been many years that I thought I couldn’t eat due to the wheat content, but happy days I can eat a packet and no issues, it’s the small things! 😊

On the art front, I’m happy to say I have started my drawings for a series of botanical drawings that I hope to escalate to large watercolour paintings.

Poppies
Lillies

There are many more beautiful flowers I wish to draw and paint, as this is becoming a part of me that allows my mind to become quiet, relaxed, in another world, to be switched off from the chaotic world that surrounds us.

I wish very one a great day, be well, be safe…until next time.