At the centre of your being you have the answer, you know who you are and you know what you want ~ Lao Tzu

Saturday, January 19

Focus on Life - Week 3


Can you believe it's already week 3 of Sally Russick's photo challenge?

The prompt this week is to take time - out of busyness... to slow down... and to not feel guilty...

But I have too much time, being disabled and unable to work - as last week's photo essay rather showed :)

What I lack is energy, and impetus.
When getting up, washing and dressing takes so much energy each day, there is little left to actually DO anything...
But I figure it's been over 5 years since the stroke, and my stamina has improved, and I'm determined to try and DO more in this new year...

And one thing I want to do is try and paint...


Last year I practised drawing (my right side is still paralyzed, and so I'm still fairly new to working with my left hand...), and I tried some watercolours...

But I've never tackled acrylics, and I've no idea how to use them!

So, I bought this book with some xmas money...


... and decided today was the day to be brave and to dip into something new!

I took an old diary...


... gessoed a page (look at me using 'gesso' like I've used it all my life! But I'm a gesso, aswell as an acrylic, virgin and I had NO idea what I was doing!)


And with no preconceived idea of what I was going to paint, and Flora Bowley's words repeating in my head like a mantra...

Let go of your need to paint something pleasing or beautiful.
Nobody needs to see this but you.
Paint quickly and passionately. Explore. Be daring.

I painted this


Surprise, surprise (not!)

Talk about my subconscious taking over...









36 comments:

Stacie said...

Approaching art as an innocent...is spectacular! I've been art journaling and have found an affinity with acrylic that surprised me too...it allows you to paint fast and it's amazing all the goodies that rise to the surface when you don't 'think' too much...great first go...and looking forward to watching what you DO this year!!

Pearl and Pebble said...

It's wonderful Claire! I am so happy that you took the leap into the "unknown". Sometimes it is way better to start playing with art materials without "right way" instructions. That can be so crippling. I really like acrylics. I like the way they layer and dry quickly. Keep it up. I can't wait to see what you do next:)

Laura Twiford said...

I can't begin to imagine the difficulties you face on a daily basis just doing the basics we all take for granted. I am inspired by your determination to paint using your left hand and in striving to be creative. i look forward to following your journey this year!

Lorelei said...

Awesome! I've been thinking about doing some painting lately too but the thought of buying paints seems overwhelming and expensive so I haven't taken that leap yet.

Thanks for sharing!

Patti Van said...

Wow! I am impressed!!! The final quote in your post is a mantra worth repeating! Congratulations on your progress!!!!!!

Alice said...

I'm so glad you are not bemoaning your situation, but rather you are trying to work with what you have and make yourself stronger.

I admire that you dove in to something unfamiliar like gesso and acrylic. It can only get better from here!

I love that quote from Flora Bowley.

Tanya said...

I love your painting. It is awesome that you tried something new and unknown and made it work so beautifully.

AntiquityTravelers said...

Wonderful! Bravo!! you should let your subconscious take over more often :)

Donna Bradley said...

You are such an inspiration! Good for you to take charge, and do something unknown to you. I love your first painting, and I hope to see many more!

EB Bead and Metal Works, LLC said...

Your painting is fantastic! I am glad you took the plunge and started to paint! I can't wait to see what other paintings you share!

LoriF said...

Love it Claire! I'm so impressed with you! It takes great courage and determination to come back from a stroke...congratulations!

Meeling said...

Fantastic!

Beti Horvath said...

What a great essay on beginning a new take on art. I really admire your willingness to jump in and DO! Great pictures illustrating your new journey!

Bonnie said...

Wow, I love it! I've toyed with the idea of dabbling with painting but never had to courage to actually do it. Good for you for being so brave!

Alicia said...

Oh, my, we took so much for granted then a post like yours comes alive and I can only say "wow": good for you to try something new and good for you to let your subconscious guide you. Love the 'vessel' idea!

Katherine at Terra Beadworks said...

Your determination to get up and do something each day is inspiring. I love Flora's quote - how very true that we let go of our need to be perfect. I Just started painting art journals and find the process very uplifting and good for the soul. :)

Sandi Volpe said...

Fantastic painting and inspiring post.

Sally Russick said...

YAY! Claire!! Good for you trying something new and your painting turned out wonderful!! You are such an inspiration!!

Annette Beanland said...

Good for you for trying something new! You are such an inspiration!

Becky Pancake said...

How wonderful that you tried painting again. My husband had a stroke in 2009 and he kind of gave up after that.I'm so happy that you are getting your life back.

Therese's Treasures said...

Hi Claire,
That is an amazing painting for being an acrylic virgin.
I love the colors and how you blended them all so the are pleasing to the eye.
Therese

Lola said...

I love your painting! Looks like there's a beautiful party going on with all that colorful confetti! Or a parade! Ooooo, good things are happening ... =)

A Polymer Penchant said...

That's wonderful Claire, thank you so much for sharing

Cindy said...

Claire, your post is really an inspiration! I'm happy for you that you're able to pick up your paint brushes and do something you love! Your altered journal page is beautiful!

Kathleen Lange Klik said...

What a great way to dive into a medium you have been wanting to try! I also love the idea of painting gesso over an old calendar journal-brilliant.

Lovely result! Hope you keep painting!

Emakaye said...

You are inspiration. Good for you for taking a leap of faith and moving ahead. We take so much for granted in our daily lives.

Patty Woodland said...

I love the colors. My mother was an artist and the smell of oil paints will bring her back to me.

Art is indeed very personal. Remember that people will rave over one artist that leaves you feeling cold while you love one that others can't comprehend.

Holly said...

Oh. My. This is an incredible post, and your artwork is just gorgeous!

Crafty Gal Linda said...

What a great goal, to paint. I love your first painting.

Karen Williams said...

Beautiful! I love watching your creative journey, and seeing how your word for the year continues to inspire you.

You have a beautiful way with words and photography and I love the openness and curiosity you seem to bring to life.

Thank you for sharing!

Karen

RanaLea said...

Love this! And the idea to "not think"... Something I always try to get my writing students to understand... and yet, I'd forgotten it in my art! Thanks for reinforcing that!

Suzette said...

Awesome, I'm gad you took the time to learn something new...your painting is great too!

TesoriTrovati said...

I love that you are allowing yourself to be open to this new way of thinking! Approaching a new endeavor intuitively and bravely, and look at what you accomplished! I would not have known that this was a first for you on many levels! Bravo for opening your soul to your art and creating with joy! Enjoy the day. Erin

Mary K. McGraw said...

Thanks so much for sharing your story and your bravery. Love the painting.

Paula, Chief Bead Officer said...

Fantastic! I hope you keep after the painting so we can see more results like this one.

crafty....du said...

love your desk thanks for sharing

kerry @ 1