Art soothes the soul

Things are not easy at the moment; Tony has an appointment with the vascular surgeon today, it’s almost time to inter Mum’s ashes etc. 12 plus hours with my art supplies yesterday was very soothing. Here’s just one of the pages I completed in my art journal.

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Trusting myself to paint

The piece I’m working on was looking quite ‘pretty’ but I knew it needed an ancient wall. This meant trusting my instinct and being prepared to act – something I have been not so good at in recent times. with my art This afternoon I took a deep breath, made a mask, grabbed some brown and black inks and started making an ancient wall right over the top of the some of the prettiness. It feels good to be trusting myself to grab paint and go for gold. Here are some detail shots (in reverse order – oops)

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Preparing to paint

I’m sending work to the Legato exhibition in Cassino, Italy, in 2014. I’ve been playing with ideas for a while, but nothing has worked as I wanted it to. The problem has been my head-space rather than my actual art practice. Last night I think I finally got into the right place mentally to get on with it. Fingers crossed.

Legato is now an established part of the annual WW2 Battles of Cassino commemorations held in Cassino, Italy in May each year. The 70th commemorations will be a special time with surviving veterans, international dignitaries and families of veterans participating as well as the local Italian people who are committed to remembering and honouring the people who were there during WW2.

I have some full size sheets of watercolour, a bucket of water, a couple of photos, my memories of Italy, some stencils, inks, fluid acrylics, brushes and a new roll of handytowels. Oh, and my camera. Here’s a few visuals of what’s involved.

I can’t show you

I can’t show you what I am creating at the moment, because the mixed media works are for a presentation I’m doing in October and they have to be fresh at the time. But what I can say is they resemble these works from last year in the sense that they are mixed media but with a new theme; think of love in a non-romantic way and you’ll be close.

All coming back to me now…

A few days ago I commented that since Mum died I haven’t achieved much, and have done plenty of art journaling etc but no real painting. Tony was away last night, due back late today, as he had a medical appointment in Hamilton, so it’s been just me and the furkids.

I decided to prepare some canvas and see what happened. Not push it, but just give myself the chance to really paint. I’m not sure where these are headed but I have a sense that I might be starting to paint again. That would be so cool and Mum would be pleased. No doubt she is watching me and mumbling about the mess I make 😉

My wee painting companion

My wee painting companion

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Getting there

Remember I said I was burying the evidence? It’s now lost under gesso and ink, stenciling and more ink! It’s not finished but it *is* starting to make me happy. Even Tony could see what was happening once I hauled out a photo of the gardens in Aquino (or was it St Angelo?) that we photographed as we walked down to the bridge over the Rapido River for the yearly commemorative service with the American and Italian soldiers. Edit: my geography and memory is poor – see correction in comments – thanks Kay. Here’s a progress shot, including a blurry one showing the layers, and the original photo I’m using as inspiration:

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Gelli prints

What’s the perfect thing to do on Good Friday? Make art of course! I got out my 6×6″ Gelli Plate, Golden Fluid Acrylic paints, a pile of stencils and got to work. I mainly printed on 120gsm white paper but a few telephone pages were harmed in the making of these prints…who needs to look up Stratford numbers anyway? I made dozens of prints, these are just a few favourites.

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Tony came home as I was cleaning up and we had one of those conversations where I was reminded once again how lucky we are to have each other, and how respectful and careful we are of each other’s feelings. We even ended up commenting on that; that we choose to operate on a level of care and respect.

Look, I say, holding up the two purple ones with red and white patterns underneath. They match. No they don’t, says Tony. Yeah, they do – they’re both purple with red and white underneath. Tony: that doesn’t mean they match! Me: well close enough… he shrugs and laughs.

Round two. We’ve been talking about repainting the middle room, currently lime green, in a cream shade so I can display more art. He’s watching, amused, as I rifle through my pile of prints, considering my next step with them – a journal maybe? Suddenly he says – you could cut them into proper squares and display them in a grid on the middle room when the walls painted. I’m so excited I flap my hands at him 😉 He just laughs and says he regrets the suggestion already. Then he looks at me and utters his favorite line “So, what are they going to be?”

And my reply: They’re not going to ‘be’ anything, they just are. Oh, he says, and smiles at me.

Even the newsprint I cleaned my brayer off on each time has been put aside to do something with. Both pieces have such cool colors and this amazing texture. And for the record, I love my Gelli Plate!

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2012 as a blogger

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 6,300 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 11 years to get that many views. In 2012, there were 57 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 559 posts. There were 129 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 190 MB. That’s about 2 pictures per week. The busiest day of the year was June 10th with 177 views. The most popular post that day was New home office / art room.

These are the posts that got the most views in 2012.

Visitors came from 98 countries in all! Most visitors came from The United States, New Zealand and the United Kingdom were not far behind.

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