Wednesday, 17 August 2022

Accidents happen


Meet accidents with grace.

Accidents happen unexpectedly - it's their very nature. Meeting something unexpected can cause us to be anxious. It can make us respond in ways that aren't gracious. It's understandable to be shaken if you are in an accident in a vehicle, and when we are shaken we don't necessarily think well before we speak. But there are those other accidents such as the one we had happen last week: When the solar panels were put on our roof, a foot ended up coming through the plaster in the hallway. It's an accident. It was apologised for and is in the process of being fixed. People already feel bad in these kinds of situations. There is no reason for us not to be gracious and to let them know that we don't lay blame. After all, it's just a ceiling, and no-one was hurt.

Monday, 15 August 2022


Aspire to always improve, whether in big steps or small.

All these arrows made me want to rise up. They made me think about moving forwards, about improvement. Sometimes we don't recognise the improvement we're making because the steps are so small. But when we look back over a longer period of time, we can see that we have made progress. 

I look at some of the canvases I did a few years ago, and although I still like them, I can see that what I am producing at the moment has much more complexity. That doesn't mean to say that I won't move on to things that are simpler again, like this art journal page. It's all part of the journey. Being able to put a few elements on a page and getting balance is a skill to improve in, just as building layers and complexity into things is, too. The thing is to keep at it.

Wednesday, 10 August 2022

new canvas


I think this canvas is finished. I don't think there's much space for anything else unless I paint the whole lot white and start again! I keep coming back to 'make your mark' and so those words have made it on to this canvas. These colours are vivid and I just love them. Yes, there's a lot on the canvas, but I do a lot of different creative things and why should I put any of them down?

Monday, 8 August 2022

Modest life


" A calm and modest life brings more happiness than the pursuit of success with constant restlessness." Albert Einstein.

There is a lot to be said for a quiet life.

Friday, 5 August 2022

New growth


Ready for new growth.

I'm entering a new phase in my life with a casual job in a local independent bookshop, starting today! It's a long time since I worked in a bookshop - the mid 1990s to be exact. I home-schooled for our child's entire education and have done some cleaning and digging holes for interment of ashes (yes, our child is delighted that I went on to the census as a gravedigger 🤣) but nothing really where you deal with the public all day. It's exciting and terrifying all at the same time. But I keep reminding myself that I can do this. I'm capable and I've done it before. If I tell myself often enough, I might just believe it.

Wednesday, 3 August 2022

Be seen


Be seen for all the right reasons.

The neon yellow ink on this page just kept overpowering the page. No matter what I put down, it  shone through. It made me think of the safety jackets that help workers be seen. It keeps them as safe as possible in situations where they need to be seen.

But sometimes people are seen for the 'wrong' reasons - they draw our attention by their bad behaviour. 

What are people seeing when they notice you? Are you drawing attention for good reasons?

Monday, 1 August 2022

Fall into line

Do you fall into line or make your own way?

Of course, it's that little circle at the bottom, not lined up with all the others, that prompted my thought for this page. There are pros and cons to both ways of living. Yes, we all want to feel that we are unique and making our own way - and we are - but there are places where the wisest choice is to fall into line. You have the freedom to drive wherever you like on the road, but one side is safer and less litigious than the other! 

The wisest course in life is to choose when and where to stand aside from the crowd. 

Thursday, 28 July 2022

New canvas


I think this canvas is now finished. It's been sitting around in my studio for a while and I pull it out and set it on my easel to see whether I want to add anything. And I don't. So I guess it's finished. 

Just seeing the photo now, I can see some buildings off to the right beneath a stormy sky. It seems to suggest a landscape without being anything like something from real life. 

I love to see what is revealed when a painting is done because I don't start off with any idea of what I want to achieve. This is one of the five I'm doing with the same palette, so it will be interesting to see if anything similar is revealed in the others. I know there are some patterns emerging - circles (surprise 😄), and squiggles, and patches of intense white applied with a palette knife so there are 'sprays' around them. 

Monday, 25 July 2022

Turn it on its head

Turn it on its head... and gain a new perspective.

This page has some almost symmetrical elements and it made me think about how similar it would look if I turned it upside down. Similar, but not exactly the same. There are familiar elements from the other orientation, but they're not quite where you expect them to be. 

It can be so easy to just bowl along with familiarity, but that doesn't make us think. It doesn't challenge our opinions or beliefs. It doesn't open our eyes beyond our filters. Looking at things from another perspective can be done by talking to someone from another culture, reading a biography, having a conversation with someone who has opposing views to your own. We don't need to be afraid to do this - it can help us to solidify exactly what we believe and to see where our own culture and upbringing has shaped our thinking. It expands us rather than threatening us.

Friday, 22 July 2022

Wilful Blindness

Look for the things you are blind to.  

That may seem like an oxymoron - if I'm blind, how can I see it? 

I've just read Willful Blindness: Why we ignore the obvious at our peril by Margaret Heffernan. Excuse the pun, but it is eye-opening. The ways in which human beings ignore the things they don't want to acknowledge, how long work hours don't produce more productivity, and how our brains work when they are overloaded is fascinating. 

The book made me think about how we can look specifically for those things that we may be missing for whatever reason. A lot of it is about asking questions about the stuff you're not receiving information about. It's about raising your hand and asking that question that no-one wants to hear and not being quiet when you don't get an answer. 

We all have filters and biases, but being aware that we have them can help us to start to overcome them.