Monday, 21 January 2019
Do your bit. It all counts.
When you feel like you're life is small, your days mundane, your contribution of little worth, remember that it all counts. Every piece in the puzzle is needed to complete it, whether it's a corner, an edge, or a tiny piece in the middle. Without it, the picture is incomplete. Without you, the world misses out.
Saturday, 19 January 2019
Let's look at what we have in common rather than the distance between us.
When I stood back and looked at this page the two yellow circles stood out. They are quite far apart, but they are both punched from the same piece of paper. They have colour and shape in common, even though there is distance between them.
As human beings we are so similar in basics although we each have our own quirks. There is so much more that we have in common than what is different between us. If we could focus on our sameness rather than our differences, we could draw closer, and when we draw closer we can grow in understanding of each other.
Wednesday, 16 January 2019
Don't let things just happen but deliberately set out to grow into the person you want to be.
I'm reading Jean Fleming's Pursue the Intentional Life for the second time. She writes about people, as they grow older, becoming more concentrated versions of themselves.
'A complainer at forty will, with much practice, engrave the response in his or her bones by seventy. Self-centredness will intensify. Bitterness, allowed to take root and grow over decades, engulfs and consumes in advanced age. Anyone living a frittering existence at thirty will, apart from a serious course correction, end up frittering away an entire life.'So you need to ask yourself: what sort of person do you want to be? How can you deliberately set out to become that person?
The best way to be who you want to be is to practice those character traits you want to grow in. If you want to be kinder, do kind things; spend time with kind people and see what it is that makes them the way they are.
But hard, too, as we have to break habits in action and thought pattern. We have to overcome our natural inertia. We have to make a concerted effort to both weed out those traits we don't like in ourselves and to grow in those we desire.
Simple. Hard. Worth it.
Monday, 14 January 2019
The piece of gelli-printed greaseproof paper became a focal point when I drew round it. Then it reminded me of a rock, maybe the beginning of a cairn. A cairn is for remembering, so what do I need to remember?
Lots of us need to be reminded that we are loved and that we are enough just as we are.
When the days fill up,
when we feel like we aren't achieving enough,
when everyone else seems to be making progress and we feel like we're walking through treacle,
when we compare ourselves instead of being content with who and how we are
we need to be reminded that we are loved exactly as we are.
We are enough even when we can't get out of bed in the morning.
Friday, 11 January 2019
With my aim of having an exhibition this year, I am diligently working away on canvases as well as in my art journal at the moment. These are the latest 3 to be finished.
The one above is based on an art journal page that is to date my most popular post on Instagram. If people like the page, maybe someone would like it on their wall...
Monday, 7 January 2019
It is who you are, not what you do, that gives you worth.
This flower is not perfect. The petals are different sizes. The leaves are a bit crooked. Flowers do not toil, they just bloom. They bring beauty and pleasure into our lives just by being as they are.
So what set off this train of thought? I was watching an episode of Silent Witness where Clarissa, the forensic tech, goes undercover in a care home for disabled/differently abled people. She gets thrown out of her wheelchair and on to the floor (actress Liz Carr does actually use a wheelchair). She is then berated by a 'carer' who declares her useless, someone who can't contribute anything, and tries to force tablets down her throat to kill her. The advert about 'not just offensive, but an offence' is the same: the man in a wheelchair on the bus is berated about being 'useless'. Both of these really upset me. We all have worth because of who we are, not what we do. Everyone contributes in their own way and anyone who has someone in their life who might be classed by some as 'disabled' can tell you that they bring value to the lives of others.
Friday, 4 January 2019
I so enjoyed working in a black journal last year that I bought myself a new one with some Christmas money. It's a little larger, over all, than my usual A4, being square and 30cm on a side. This is the cover now I've splashed it with colour :)
Some days it all feels up-hill. Keep climbing - eventually you'll reach a plateau. Even if you're climbing a mountain, you must eventually come to the top. Take it a day at a time and don't try to do too much in one go. Mountaineers acclimatise. They don't try to get to the summit in a single day. They also prepare for the conditions. It's not always possible to do that in life, of course, but if you know it's going to be a hard day, make sure to build some moments of calm into your schedule and to add in activities that energise you, even if you only get to do them for five minutes.
Wednesday, 2 January 2019
Don't be afraid to show all your colours.
Some pages just end up with everything thrown at them. This one ended up with all sorts of colours and patterns on it. What could it possibly be about?
When I stood back and looked at it, it could be described as messy. But then, human beings are messy. They are full of different colours, different patterns. Sometimes we try to hide parts of ourselves, but if we want to be authentic we need to embrace all the colours and patterns within us.
One of the greatest gifts we can give to someone is to accept them just as they are while also encouraging them to grow. We need to give ourselves that grace, too.
Monday, 31 December 2018
Are you going to gaze out of the window or walk through the door?
We are on the brink of a new year. Unknown opportunities are out there and heading your way. Will you gaze out of the window and watch them go by, seeing others take hold of their dreams and fly, or will you walk through the door and seize the day?
May 2019 be the year where you step out, take risks, and realise dreams.