Art, pain, healing

Over the weekend I’ve been talking with Penny about food addiction again … it’s a complicated thing. An alcoholic can potentially avoid alcohol for the rest so their lives, a nicotine addict doesn’t have to smoke a cigarette ever again. A food addiction faces their addiction multiples time a day. Is it hard? Yes. Do we always succeed? No! But we’re not giving up either…

The other pain is my knee. I’ve got really good movement, and a scan on Friday showed there’s no clot in my calf. That’s great news, but does mean we still don’t know why it’s so tight and sore. Last night I slept with only one pillow knee to ankle instead of two. I slept ok but my hip’s been uncomfortable today. I think I can persist with just the one though and let the muscles adjust.

For me, with pain comes art. Actually, art comes with most things; pain, joy, sadness, anger, love and so on. This weekend I made a Teesha Moore inspired journal, starting with a large sheet of Fabriano Artistico paper that I cut, folded and stitched. Not quite my usual style, but a lot of fun.

Back to the dark side

Tim Holtz unveiled the latest colour is his Distress line today, Prize Ribbon. Love it! Watching the reveal video, with all the makes, reminded me how much I enjoy using Tim’s products. I’ve been very focussed on the Dylusions and Dina Wakley range for a while now.

Tony was home for the day from the rest home and had brought his Paint by Numbers with him, so I grabbed a fresh journal and a pile of Distress Oxides sprays and Distress paint. I made a stack of backgrounds, then went back and added splatter with Distress Ink, Distress paint and DWM white gloss spray.

Once that had all dried I hauled out Tim’s paper dolls, the new wallpaper range, quote stickers and other bits from his range, plus some paper dolls I’d made recently inspired by Niamh Baly on YouTube. The paper dolls used Tim’s etching heads as a starting point.

Tim Holtz often mentions the dark side … referring to grunge and using browns in your art, rather than bright and cheerful. Although I didn’t go fully to the dark side, I used Walnut Stain, Black Soot, and Ground Espresso on every layout.

It was fun to do something different, and break out some old favourite supplies – I’ll be sure not to neglect the, for so long from now on.

The value of art time

Some weekends, aside from cooking meals & basic things like washing etc, I spend both days at my art desk. This is one of those weekends. Tony is in more pain and sleepy so he’s sitting in the lazyboy, napping, while I play with my art supplies. Art is good for me – the movement of my hands, the meditative sense of slowed-down time when fussy cutting out images, and the chance to get my thoughts & feelings out of my head and into my art journals.

I’ve been working in my large Dina Wakley journal, and the large Dylusions journals. I’ve really enjoyed playing with Steampunk images for a change.

Art and life

Last week had its ups and downs. The downs I’m not documenting… The ups included an amazing fishing trip for Tony, something that was on his very short bucket list.

Tomorrow we’re seeing the respiratory specialist, Dr Hicks, to get the details of his latest lung MRI, to confirm a few things. We’re supposed to see the Hospice Dr to look at his meds, but this might not happen due to COVID19 level 2 – Breeda is trying to sort it for us. Tied into that is a meeting with the Hospice wound nurse to have a look at the ulcer on his foot.

I continue to art out all the feelings. I’m so grateful for my art journals as I’ve been feeling a bit unwell, and my temper starts to fray far too easily. I’ve been playing on my huge Dina Wakley mixed media journal.

Playing with windows

I’ve been playing with making windows after doing some Dyan Reaveley online classes – which I highly recommend – and watching Niamh Baly on YouTube. I didn’t mean to cut the same window in two pages, they were stuck together and I didn’t realise! Still, it doesn’t matter.

I put a stamped figure on the final, single, page (shown below) and backed it with some Dylusions collage papers, then added a quote. There’s journaling in white gel pen on the black hearts; the inks are water reactive so pick up the red and pink from underneath, which I love. I used Shimmer spray inks on all 3 pages and like the added sparkle.

Dylusions online classes

During lockdown in England Dyan Reaveley started offering online classes, and they’ve been fantastic! These 3 pages are based on some of the classes I’ve done, combining techniques and just having a play. Here’s what I used:

Dylusions: 8×8 journal. Paint: Desert sand, Squeezed orange & Tropical sangria. Stencils: Retro, Stars, Circles. The page had a little leftover Angles in the background from another page. Other: Collage papers, Bigger Back Chat 2. Other products: Archival ink, White gel pen, black Fude ball pen.

Dylusions: 8×8 journal. Paint: Crushed grapes, Rose quartz & Cherry pie. Stencils: Fancy floor, Grid. Stamps: Dy’s alphabet. Other: Collage papers. Other products: Archival ink, White gel pen, black Fude ball pen.

Dylusions: 8×8 journal. Paint: Mushy peas, After midnight & Polished jade. Stencils: Court jester, Teardrops, Spring flowers. Stamps: Dy’s alphabet. Other: Collage papers. Other products: Archival ink, White gel pen, black Fude ball pen.

Making windows in my journal

I’ve been inspired by Niamh Baly on YouTube lately and she’d been making windows in her Dina Wakley art journal. Ok then!! I’ve just got some new Dina Wakley MEdia paints and stencils – okay okay – and collage tissue and glass sprays – from Fiona at Create in Auckland so was all set for some playtime. It was fun linking the three pages together by making sure the window on the burlap page worked with the layouts on either side. It’s something I can see me doing more of, especially with the burlap pages.

Starting my lockdown journal

Art is how I process the world, and how I download what’s in my head. Now my staff are settled and safe, and we have a (sort of) routine I am sleeping a few more hours a night. With sleep comes bad dreams – anarchy on the streets, scary animals, and so on. My brain really can be a bitch. My dreams are usually a muddle of things I have seen, heard and read, all jumbled together, often with my long-dead parents in the mix. My art practice is vital to my mental wellbeing.

I’ve started a small 6×6” journal where I’m going to document a mix of facts and feelings during this COVID-19 journey. There are no feelings in it yet. I need to get the framework started before the feelings can pour out.

As with much of my art this about bringing lightness to, and shining light on, a difficult subject – hence the ‘pretty’ backgrounds and colours.

bubblefirst pageshome officemy mask

Back on line & some art

I’ve had terrible internet problems for the last 10 days, just as we upgraded our printer and pc (we lease them for the newspaper so have to change every 3 years) and it’s been a *nightmare*. It seems to be fixed, thank goodness. It’s even used up a lot of my art time, which is never good for my temperament 😉

So now I am back to creating art, including journal pages to help me remember everything I am learning as part of Dr Duc Vuong’s Leap Year Challenge.

I’m teaching a Dylusions art class in Greymouth in early April and have been busy putting class packs together – I’m excited about it and hope others are too.  Bookings can be made through Left Bank Art Gallery.

dyary 20200308stand guard 202003headspace 202003

 

#cjs20 day 18

Today’s artist at #cjs20 – yes I’ve caught up again – is Gwen Lafleur. I’ve admired her work for a long time, so loved seeing her name pop up. As I expected, I enjoyed it and am really pleased with the paper doll I made. I’ll be using the technique again, that’s for certain.

day 18 Gwen L