More flowers

I’m doing a couple of swaps with arty friends this year. K sent me this background and I’ve done the vase and flowers on top of her work. It’s weirdly challenging going over someone else’s work, which is half the point. It’s fun seeing what background turns up each month, and what they create with the starter you’ve sent them.

KS flowers Feb.jpg

Arty crafty gifts

I got some lovely arty crafty gifts for my birthday, including some gorgeous metallic paints, a fabulous set of adult colouring in postcards and a Tim Holtz craft spinner for my inkers. Lucky me 🙂

btw – yes, I know the craft sheet on my desk is ridiculously stained and mangled looking … imagine what my hands and clothes look like!

 

364 pieces of art

I used to blog a lot, as a way of showing my art process, and to clarify my thinking. Over the years FaceBook became my avenue for some of that, but it’s not as good. Too many distractions, and hard to see progress over time. And of course FB changes the rules from time to time, often with little warning. I’ve not been creating as regularly as I used to, yet it’s good for me – even 10 minutes a day helps and makes me a happier, and therefor better, person all round.

In lieu of over-ambitious New Year’s resolutions I won’t keep, I’m committing to making a small piece of art every day. I’ll probably work on index cards so I can take them with me if I’m away from home. I painted every day for a year once and it was great. Sure, in the end I didn’t manage every single day, but it was fun anyway!

I’d like to draw better, so I’ll be incorporating an element of drawing into some pieces. Along with the art, I want to think out load more, and commit those thoughts onto my blog. As an introvert I find it’s good for me to have somewhere to put my thoughts down. So, yesterday was a rest today – today, the 364 pieces of art project begins.

blue orange 2

Choosing art over (almost) everything else

In November 2007 I posted about finding time for art. I am going to repeat that entry below, because it is something that is as relevent to me as ever. Perhaps more so, with social networking taking up more time than 2 or 3 years ago.  So tell me, do you make your art your #1 priority, after self and family? Or is art right at the back of the line? It’s a choice we can each make every day…  (I may put a couple of edits in – and will make sure it is clear they are changes form the original)

Do you ever stop and think and what your responsibilities are? And how best to juggle your time so you get things done and still have “art time” or “me time”. It’s a topic I often come back to.
I work full time as a librarian, study art by distance learning, publish a monthly community newspaper and Tony and I are Mum’s caregivers. Am I going to gripe about how busy I am? No way. I think that is one of the things we do wrong. People seem to play “I’m busier than you are” like it is some sort of game, and I think all it does it drain your energy. Accept you are busy and get on with it.
So how do I get art time? Well, for starters…I employ a housekeeper for 3 hours a week, someone comes and does the lawns once a fortnight, and someone else tames the gardens from time to time. (we now have a dishwasher as well, and all the laundry goes in the clothes dryer. Hey, it’s only a power bill, right?)
Due to serious health issues, the medical system provides a breakfast helper, lunchtime helper, and home delivered midday meal for Mum on weekdays. (We still have this level of support, for which I am grateful. I should also have said, my sister comes down once a month for the weekend, to visit Mum and help out. I love her to pieces.) That way I can go to work and not be worrying about whether she is okay, out of bed, had her breakfast and meds etc. Night time is my responsibility. Two days a week a rest home collects her for day care so she has some other company, and I pick her up on the way home from work. Weekends the care is up to Tony and I. So, we are getting a good level of help with Mum. Even though it can be really tiring, I am very grateful that we still have her with us; not everyone is so fortunate.
So, what else? I forgo television. Yep, that’s right. Except for the news, and some art programs, while Mum and Tony watch it while I head for my art room. I try to do other jobs in batches, like paying bills etc, rather than fluffing round endlessly with that sort of task. I try and relax about the state of the place; whilst clean enough and tidy enough, this is no show home.
In the end is comes down to – what would I rather do with this moment, these moments? This, that, or art. Unless my family wants or needs me, art wins most of the time. For me, it’s about knowing what my passion is and going for it heart and soul.
What do you choose most days?

Art eyes

Art eyes. Do you know them? They’re the slight red-rimmed, tired looking ones that have read too many art books, stared at too many lines, spent too long poring over paints and crayons and pens. But it was worth it! I have had a day and a half of ‘mucking round’ with no real purpose in mind, just fiddling about getting all inspired. Lovely fun. Now my poor old eyes need a rest…so it must be time to go cook dinner.

Mind you, if I wore my reading glasses, instead of letting them sit idle on my desk it might help. I am very short sighted, so my glasses go on before I even get out of bed. Having worn glasses for 36 years I am finding it hard to get into the habit of taking them off in favour of my reading ones. But it is becoming crucial. Sometimes I find myself looking under my glasses to do close work, or moving text further away from me. Perhaps tomorrow I will remember to use them. Or perhaps not 😉

tired-eyes1