Today I had my needles… I have just had over 30 injections into my forehead, jaw, skull, neck and shoulders.
I have an invisible illness.
I haven’t talked much about this journey … I am not very comfortable showing my vulnerability… it doesn’t define me… but it does shape parts of my life.
Over the last 4 years I have suffered with severe chronic migraines, almost daily.
Early last year I had a turn and the migraine medications I was taking stopped working. After much angst and searching for answers I found a new neuroligist and we started botox therapy.
It is not fun. It hurts.
A needle phobia means I feel physically sick before and during the procedure. I get a dry mouth and sweaty palms. If it wasn’t for the fact that my gorgeous husband drives me there and holds my hand I might not go.
I have to have these injections every 12 weeks. Every 3 months I sit and cry and have my needles.
This time round I tried to be strong and stupidly put it off for a month – I pushed my appointment out to 4 months. Not a good idea.
I am not a lot of fun when I get my migraines. I am not as productive. I don’t feel like doing much of anything. So I have to suck it up and have my medicine.
It is not fun. It hurts. But it works.
Today was “reset” day. I have just gotten home from having my needles. I am going to bed to rest.
Today the five pointed star shape is one of the most universally used and recognised images throughout the world.
It is used in decorations, religions and emblems. It represents so many different things to so many different people.
But why is that?
Why is that shape so ubiquitous?
The idea I am exploring within this body of work is that when humans first began noticing the world around them they saw the shape in nature.
This star shape subtly and subconsciously crept into our minds.
And, over time, the human race translated that into our own symbolic and written language.
As a kid I spent a lot of time exploring the bush near my home. The shape jumped out at me. And ever since then I began to see stars everywhere in nature.
The drawings I have presented here display the natural star shape I fell in love with. I chose to use pointillism as I feel it is the best way to depict them because it has a very organic look.
Stippling is a very meditative art form, taking a lot of patience. A single piece can take many hours to complete. A steady hand is needed as a since dot in the wrong place can change the look of a whole piece.
I love that from a distance these works can look like simple pencil drawings. It is only when one gets closer it can be appreciated that there are no straight lines and the whole thing is composed of a series of dots.
I strive to make art that is fun to create and beautiful to look at and I believe that these drawings achieved both.
So far I have already completed four pieces for my planned solo exhibition. I entered two into a competition, (didn’t win anything but that wasn’t the point of it), and have created another two pieces for the annual local competition/exhibition Ipswich Art Awards, aaaannndd I have another two pieces planned for the Lethbridge 10000 small works competition.
I am so in love with my latest finished piece – I really think it is my best work so far!
But, I am keeping this one secret till the exhibition… you may have seen a couple of sneak peeks on my Facebook page in the last couple of weeks…
I will say that it is a children’s illustration inspired piece and it features a little girl and a wolf.
In between all this creative stuff I have been trying to update my CV and images on both this blog and my Facebook page. Turns out I am not that great at record keeping – I never seem to find time to upload these pics… and I have to remember to scan or photograph them in the first place.
Anyway – I have to get some of this stuff done in the next few weeks because we are going on a family holiday at the end of the month and won’t be home for 4 weeks! Really excited and looking forward to reconnecting with the little people in my family.
Needless to say the sketch book will be coming with me 🙂
I have spoken in the past about the whole end of year and inevitable over-thinking syndrome I suffer from. However my self criticism and navel gazing session this year has been much more gentle than normal.
This has a lot to do with the fact that 2013 was pretty awesome to me in the “art” facet of my life.
I won a 2nd place award for my pointillism piece in the 2013 QT Ipswich Art Awards.
I sold work.
I exhibited in a number of group exhibitions.
I got the opportunity to share my passion for art with some very enthusiastic and clever 4 and 5 year old kids.
One of my pieces was used as part of the promotion for the 2013 Home Grown Exhibition.
That’s my “Plight of the Bumble Bee” right there on the left… I was a tiny bit excited about that one.
And then of course there was “The Image Makers” exhibition….
It was a 2 week group exhibition shared with three lovely and talented artists, Tom Mason, Lyn Mason, and Glen Smith. The four of us hung some of our best work and put on an amazing show.
I exhibited 23 pieces of art. 12 nude line drawings and 11 pointillism drawings.
I was absolutely floored by the amount of support we got. The four of us are from Ipswich and we exhibited in Brisbane. The number of wonderful people who made the journey for the opening night amazed me.
I am enormously proud to say that I sold 8 pieces on the night.
The whole experience was a huge learning curve.
I discovered that I work well under pressure (well, I am a mum so I guess that is a trained response).
I enjoyed producing a body of work – more than a one off piece – the “sets” look wonderful together.
And I loved how seeing that many of my pieces all hung in one gallery made me feel. I loved seeing a large number of people looking at my work, lingering in front of my work, discussing my art with their friends.
I felt a huge sense of accomplishment. It was like a “coming out” as an artist. The “recognition” as an artist. Having people wanting to talk to me about my art and ultimately having people love my stuff enough to want to take a piece home and hang it on their walls.
I floated on air for a long time after that! And I still feel humbled that my work meant something to somebody other than myself.
I have had a quiet few weeks since then, with Christmas and school holidays to contend with. The sketch book is getting a bit of a work out – so is my idea’s book (yup, got me one of those now).
And now another year has begun – more potential waiting to be unleashed.
I have lots of things I want to accomplish – I set myself some goals and resolutions last year that didn’t get realised for a number of different reasons.
As this year is still in it’s infancy I again sit and contemplate my resolutions and goals.
A trend which I have only recently become aware of was the “one word” idea… it’s an idea that has apparently been around for a while… (bit slow on the uptake me…)
Anyway, the idea (just in case you are not familiar with it) is that you chose one word that will act like a mantra or focus for the year. Lets face it, a list of resolutions usually never gets anyone too far – well, me anyway – and a single word to concentrate energy into manifesting seems like a good way to go.
This year will be a year of “change” and “purpose”.
My youngest is off to school full time. We will be putting our house on the market again. I want to make my health and fitness more of a priority. I intend to enter more competitions and exhibit more outside of Ipswich. I am going to try my hand at sculpture. I have ideas, and germs of ideas, for large bodies of work. I want to do something about issues that bug me and I am passionate about.
I resolve to embrace the change and live and create with purpose.
I am having angst! I am beginning to worry that I may not actually have what it takes to stand up in this art world…
Deep breathe… mentally slap myself… move forward…
One of the things that cause my self-doubt is when I look at other peoples’ work. Then my biggest enemy becomes “Comparison”.
Last night I went to my first Dr Sketchy life drawing session and it was the first life drawing session since, I don’t remember when.
It was fabulous – actual burlesque queens, 4 of them, in costume and stunningly beautiful hair and make-up! We were in a small room with a large bed in the middle – we were so close we could touch them!
When the drawing started I found that I was so out of practice that a 5 minute pose felt like 1 minute… and I realised the value of drawing exercises.
Looking around the room I saw a lot of seasoned life drawing artists – producing amazing pieces of art. Some of them were so quick they were able to capture minute details in their subjects, even adding things and making a comic-styled story out of a single image!
I began to feel inadequate… but then remembered that I have only been doing this for a short time, I haven’t done life drawing in months and these artists whose work I admired have probably been to university and studied graphic design and other artsy stuff.
Deep breathe… mentally slap myself… move forward…
I am pretty much self-taught and am proud of what I was able to capture in my 5 minute drawings.
So… I am still working hard at not comparing myself to other artists. I think it is inevitable that I will still do that every now and then, but I am getting better at recognising my own talents and appreciating others skills for what they are.
Inspiration…. it is something that seems to sneak up and tap you quietly on the shoulder to whisper sweet nothings in your ear. It is the idea hidden in an insect’s wing, or a child’s laugh. It appears in that half seen shadow at the corner of your mind.
For some people finding inspiration seems to be a struggle, for others the thought trigger got stuck on go.
Having an abundance of ideas might seem ideal for an artist. And invariably it is better than not having any at all, but it can also be a curse.
I am one of those people with lots of ideas. Some might say too many ideas.
My muse is constantly sitting on my shoulder and shouting in my ear to do this or that. Unfortunately the problem is that I have a lot of interests, and this encourages that screeching witch to continue her rant.
Painting, drawing, sculpting, beading, sewing, collage, pyrography, digital manipulation, lapidary, jewellery making, photography, writing, cooking, gardening, bonsai…. etc, etc.
Ideas for new projects are always near at hand. The quiet moments alone are filled with thoughts and images in my mind for something new and completely fabulous. Quite often however I don’t get the time to devote myself wholeheartedly to these fresh endeavours. This naturally means that I am the queen of half-started projects, and always have at least 3 on the go at any one time.
I love the beginnings of a new idea. That feeling that you are onto some extraordinary design.
And then when something that you have envisaged in your minds’ eye comes to life in your hands it is almost a godlike feeling. You are the origin of this fabulous piece of art. This thing you have fashioned from ideas and magic speaks to you during formation, and then is silent. It speaks to your audience once completed, and then the itch in your ear needs you to start something new again.
Inspiration for me comes in many different forms. I have two young girls and they influence a lot of my work. If I am ever after an idea of something to draw I just have to ask them. I have lost track of the number of butterflies or unicorns I am asked to create. Being children they also have a unique way of looking at the world so some of their ideas are completely off the wall, and sometimes it is just the seed of an idea which I then build up to something else. Like my flying elephant for example.
I also enjoy the outdoors. I grew up in a very small town in the Northern Territory surrounded by bush and beach, and occasionally find that I physically need to spend time amongst the trees or on a beach to help ground me. I collect leaves, feathers, nuts and seeds that spark my imagination for future pieces. Sometimes the actual items I collect become part of the art piece as in my mixed media bird…
Or this leaf…
Having spent a lot of time recently just sitting around, I have been keeping my muse at bay by literally working on 5 different projects at once. I have 3 pointillism pieces going into an exhibition at the end of the year. The piece below is titled “Parade of the Planets” and is done completely in pen dots…
Because of the repetitive nature of this work I am working on all three so that I don’t get bored, and just in case, I am constantly within arms’ reach of my sketch book. Which is how the below piece came into being…
Plus with Christmas just around the corner (only 75 days) I thought I would start on a set of cards, so I began doodling some illustration ideas…
Oh and I also have an idea for a childrens’ book I want to write …
And a series of pointillism pieces, done in pyrography, on reclaimed timber…
A steam punk inspired insect drawing …
I also need to finish that collage project …
And I really do need to have my own solo exhibition sometime soon … I have the theme sorted out, I’ve got the ideas …
Can someone find me some more time please …
And in the mean time I will work on silencing the muse ….