Friday, July 24, 2015

Roz Stendahl class and Susie Monday class: Keeping busy

This morning Roz Stendahl's class began and I am quite excited about it.  She is asking the participants to commit to drawing at least 30 minutes a day in order to develop a new habit, working on the theory that it takes 30 days to establish any new habit.  And she is giving up suggestions for keeping the inner critic's voice down to a dull roar!!  This class is going to be a bit hard going for me at times, since I am not at all mobile these days and the class does involve sketching in public, but I will do my best.  I believe it is a truly worthy habit to cultivate.

This is part of an exercise that I did this morning.  Roz had posted a video of some chickens that she was drawing at the Minnesota State Fair and suggested that one could complete today's drawing exercise from the video by simply rewinding the 'chicken' part of the video until one had been drawing for 30  minutes.  I did about 7 pages of drawings which was totally fun.  And concentrating so hard on capturing the gestures of the chickens kept my inner critic at bay for a spell.  It's going to be a great class I think.

I am also working away on the class with Susie Monday called Art on the iPad.  Learning about lots of different apps.  I'll try and upload a couple of pictures from that class as well, but it will mean a bit of juggling between my PC and my iPad to retrieve images.  And hi-tech does not exist around here, most certainly not in my head, so we'll see.

So, I was able to bring this picture in from my iPad because I had sent it to a friend the other day and I copied it from my email to her.  But the other three I tried to download don't seem to have come through.  This  is a watercolour of a picture I took the other day....I did not do the watercolour myself, it was done in an app called 'Waterlogue'.  It's a fun app, but one doesn't really have to do anything, just import a picture and the app does the colouring all by itself.  I like the result, but all I did was push a button....still, it does give one ideas for doing an actual painting, so I will continue to play with it.  I suppose that if nothing else, the composition is mine!  Early days.

Another appointment at the surgeon's office yesterday where I got the news that my surgery will be in 12 to 18 months.  Trying to be positive about how I will use my time between now and then but I confess it seems a bit daunting.  And judging from how I have deteriorated just in this past month, there is every likelihood that things will get worse before getting better. More drawing and painting I am thinking.  More Netflix.  I can do this, dammit!

So that's it for today.  I do like being busy, I must say.  I'll be back...

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Winter, spring, summer but hopefully not fall(-ing)

So, it's been a while....are you still there???  It's been one hell of a ride these last few months.  Read on if you're interested.  If not, wait for next time.....I'll be back posting art stuff again very soon.

How I Spent the Last Six Months  (kind of like a school essay)

I fell ill in February with the worst head cold I have ever had, and since then I have totally lost my senses of both taste and smell.  It's interesting, in a way, but I'm ready for this experience to be over, let me tell you!  My roses, I cannot smell my lovely roses....not to mention my dinner!  I am learning to eat for colour and texture only. I had my kids over for dinner the other evening and I had to ask my neighbour to come over and tell me if the sauce was ok!!  It's a quality of life thing, to be sure!

And then, whilst recovering from that nasty bug, I was getting back into the workout routine that I do at home here, introvert that I am.  I'd finished the elliptical trainer workout and was doing my pilates/yoga of the floor exercises hurt but I pushed through the's what we do, right??? Wrong!!! Since then I cannot walk and x-rays have indicated that I need to have both of my hips replaced...they are in terrible shape.  Lovely!! It is presumed that I have broken off a piece of bone and that it is floating and dancing its way around my hip joint...perhaps it's having fun but I most definitely am not....super strong pain killers (which I hate taking) and the likelihood of at least a one year wait before surgery....gotta love our system here.... Alas, I have been unable to do any fibre art since then.  Big loss, let me tell you!

But fortunately, I had enough prepared for the Oak Bay Studio Tour in April and was once again lucky enough to show in my artist neighbours' studio.  It was a fun event and wonderful to see all the lovely folk that came out for the happening!  I'm hoping I'll be able to get something ready for next year...we'll see.

Since I am unable to stand for more than 10 minutes at a time, and that only with the aid of my walking sticks, I am also unable to do any painting or dyeing of fabric.  So then, I mean, come on, what's a girl to do.....well, online classes, of course.

So this month I have started two new online is with Susie Monday, called Art on the iPad, for which I had to purchase an iPad, what fun.  Very exciting and a lovely distraction.  The second class is with Roz Stendahl and it starts this friday.  It's a sketching class that looks pretty amazing.  I will have to go out and sketch in public (yikes!), and one has to commit to at least 30 minutes of drawing daily, but I am going to do it.  I will have to do the sketching from my car, but I can still drive (thank goodness!) and my neighbours (the artists) have chickens in their yard, so I'll be able to set myself up there and draw those little critters to my heart's content.  And I shall.  I am signed up for another course with Liz Steel this September and a course with Jane Davies in the fall as well.  Going to be busy and suitably distracted!!

I am frustrated beyond words that I cannot walk and quite frankly,  I am hoping that I can get a surgery date before a year is up for at least one of these non-functioning joints!  Imagine looking forward to surgery! And I'm using my walking sticks all the time, so I don't fall....nope, definitely don't want to fall.

So it hasn't been all fun and games around here and I admit to having been quite down for too long a spell.

But lately, I have found renewed energy for my life and for where it may take me.  I'm not going to stop doing my art....I am excited about these new courses and in fact, about all the new directions my life has given and continues to give me.  I am blessed with dear friends, lovely, kind children, my sweet daughters-in-law, my precious grandchildren and a lot of love.  Indeed, my life has always been about abundance and I see no reason for it to stop now!

If you managed to read this all the way through, yay!!!  Thanks for sticking with me!  For sure, I'll be back.....