Sunday, September 20, 2015

New Abstract Painting: Elusive Muse

"Elusive Muse", 9x9" Mixed Media on paper. Available.
This is also the title of a popular art website that I happen to love. I'm using my pile of already started pieces
to get myself  into a suitable frame of mind to do more creative work. The title somehow fits. I have a feeling it's
going to be a long haul...

This past week I've had the unfortunate experience to witness the grieving process from a couple of differing viewpoints. While still dealing with the loss of my father less than two weeks ago, my uncle passed away from colon cancer. Two family members in two weeks. I feel like curling up in a ball in front of the TV and staying there for a while. It's a little bit overwhelming. 

My dad didn't want a funeral. He was adamant. He thought it was too hard on the family, and he didn't want everyone standing around feeling sorry for him. That's how he was. We honoured that. My uncle's family took the traditional approach, with a visitation and a service (which is tomorrow). An opportunity to connect with my extended family and support my cousins who are experiencing very much the same thing I am. It will be sad, but good at the same time.

I have always been the type of person who had a lot of things on the go. Throughout my life it wasn't unusual for me to be working full time and taking classes at night, or volunteering at my kid's school and working nights and weekends, or (like the past couple years) having two careers going at the same time and spending what feels like full time hours on both. I stay connected with my immediate family and have always been there for my husband and child, but my connections with my extended family have suffered. I don't know my cousins as well as I should. I haven't spent a lot of time with my aunts and uncles over the years. I don't know my cousin's kids at all. Until the age of social media, I didn't even realize what I was missing. I think it's time for me to change this. With my son being in University (and let's face it, not wanting me around...), I don't have hockey games or band practices to fill up my weekend afternoons. I could fit in a visit here and there, maybe trek out to Quebec for a couple days to visit family out there. They won't be around forever. This has been made painfully clear.

For now though, I think I'll go paint.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Art as Therapy: New Abstract Painting

"A Pensive Spring", 9x9" Mixed media on paper. Available. 
I've had a hellish couple of weeks. Without going into too much detail, my dad was diagnosed with a serious illness, and passed away shortly thereafter. It was fast and suffering appeared to be short-lived, as he seemed reasonably well up until quite recently. I don't think everything has totally sunk in yet... I still feel a bit disoriented and... well... off.

I'm not much of a talker. Never have been. I process things differently than other people. I can't be one of those folks who talk endlessly about their feelings and seem to just sort themselves out in the process. Oh, I do have a couple friends that I can explain my spinny, disjointed thoughts to, that actually seem to understand what I'm saying. Or they pretend to. I am visual, and I like to work out my issues in a visual way. It's just how I'm built. But this one... well, it's going to take me a bit before I can even start to process how I'm feeling. Until I'm ready, the best thing I can do for my mental state, is to go into my studio and get to work.

Luckily I have a pile of work that I have already started. I have 5 or 6 of these little abstracts that I've begun, a commission piece that is about 3/4 finished, and a large abstract that is in that I-don't-know-where-its-going stage. I've got a pile of art journals in various states of preparation... some board books that have had a few pages sanded and gessoed, a couple with backgrounds started, and a handmade book of watercolour paper that has been assembled, gessoed and ready to go. If I had to start something from scratch right now I think I would probably just close the door and walk away. I feel like I've got nothing in there to give at the moment... but pushing around some colour I can do.

This piece was at the top of the pile. It took about 2 hours to finish it... just enough time to get in the zone and really sink into what I was doing. I felt so much better by the time I washed out my brushes and put my paints away. The green was calming. It reminded me of days spent outside, in touch with nature and away from the noise of the city. It was good.