So it’s coming up to that time of year once again; Christmas, the holiday season,the festive season. It doesn’t really matter. The truth of belief in whatever will always lead to the One true light. It can be sad that sometimes this is the only time of year that any thought is given to something that is more than us, a power higher than myself. I believe it’s time to bring oneself back to what matters. There is only one truth and that truth is love in whatever form it takes.
I took myself to the darkest of dark places. A place I felt I would be chained to for the rest of my life. I could feel myself loosing that love, loosing my children, loosing my respect, loosing my mind. Indeed, loosing me. So I decided to give that something else a chance. I decided to let go and let God in the broadest sense of the word.
Has my life changed? In answer I can say I have my family around me today. I feel respected for who I am. I love what I do in life. I feel loved. Is that a life beyound my wildest dreams. For an acloholic who was in the pits of despair I have found my own little piece of heaven on earth. But I try to remember to give back. We are never all in the same boat. We are in different boats. Some big and safe, some small and fragile. Some will ride out the storms which arise. Some will unfortunately drown.
My life now is a life of rebirth. From the ashes it shall arise. This Christmas I hope we can all arise from our slumber and arise every day of our existence. Compassion costs nothing but the rewards are greater than we could ever imagine.
That’s one of the sayings I remember hearing when I first came into recovery. Keep it simple. Sounds easy enough doesn’t it? However, life is never really simple, especially with two young children and because I tend, as I guess we all do, to try to complicate it.
I’m trying to keep my approach to my artwork and my business (which really are two different beasts) simple. If it works, if people like it then go with it. But I like to explore, to try different styles, to attach my interpretation to a style of painting which makes it, or else me, complicated.
I have some really exciting ideas moving forward and I can’t wait to share them with you. This last 6 months has been a roller-coaster mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I’m excited but in that middle mode now where I’m ready to fly but scared to spread my wings at the same time.
Keep it simple. It’s about the journey, not the destination and it is a truly beautiful journey. I’m blessed to be where I am today, to have the opportunity to share my passion with others, with you and to do so free from addiction ‘One Day At A Time.’
My latest work, in oils this time, is on the theme of gratitude. A woman simply grateful to be sat in the warm sun. It’s an easy word to say but not always so easy to actually feel! I have much to be grateful for in my life both as an artist and as a human being.
There is a lot going on at the moment which could easily stray me from the path of gratitude. I currently have ‘shingles’ which is really impacting my life with severe pain and fatigue. I try to distract myself through my art but it has to be in small increments.
I’m also attempting to put my presence further out online by applying for some of the top galleries such as Saatchi and Artfinder. Of course with this comes fear. Fear of not being good enough. Fear of rejection. Attempting to understand that a potential rejection of my work is not a rejection of me as a person.
But gratitude has to be the key. I’m a selling artist, my following is increasing quite dramatically, I’ve been featured in various media including the Daily Mirror, I have a loving home and most importantly, I’ve not picked up a drink today. ODAAT.
I hope my next blog will have good news within it but if not the journey, as it always does, will continue. Bye for now and take care.
I decided to name one of my latest works, ‘To Be Free Again’, to celebrate and look forward to the end of lockdowns and restrictions and to explore a place of peace and serenity within my work. Yet we now find, with this new Delta variant, that this may be far from the case.
I, just like you, have no idea what the future holds. What I do know is what ‘Now’ holds. Now holds the opportunity to live life one day at a time. To take in and be present in any given moment and therefore, to live life to the full.
Creating my artwork brings me much serenity but it is not just the finished article that provides this. It’s the journey, just as in life, where the true serenity lies. After all, as humans, we are not born to be merely happy. We must experience the full gauntlets of emotions we encounter on a daily basis if we are not to fall into the happy trap!
Wherever our paths take us I hope we can continue the journey, through my artwork, together. We all walk our own path, heading towards our own destiny but it is nice to meet up with you from time to time. Until we meet again friend!
That’s what my job has felt like a lot over the last 9 months. Everything on a wing and a prayer. Making the step to go into business with my art has been a huge one. This is not one of those trades that is always in need and art, to us all, is so subjective. One person’s treasure is another person’s pig’s ear.
So 9 months ago I took the plunge. I set up this website, increased my presence through social media and it seems to be paying off. My work is selling, my following is increasing. I’ve opened an Ebay and Facebook shop and my commissions are increasing. I’m now looking to upgrade my website to the next level. Again a financial chance but I can only see were it takes me.
Over that time I and my work have changed dramatically. From a period of darkness has come a period of light. My work is bright, carefree and connected with nature and the world around me. I see colours and beauty that I never knew existed, that I feel no option but to put to canvas. The need to share it with other’s, perhaps as if to say there is always a light at the end of every tunnel. We will see it in time.
Believing in myself, my abilities and accepting that what will be, will indeed be has lead me to a serene place; in my work, my recovery and my life. However, I certainly can’t take all the credit for it. Without faith, belief in something greater than myself I would not be where I am today. Who knows what tomorrow, let alone the future, will bring. I know I only have today and I’m perfectly happy to live in it.
It’s been a while since I last blogged, mainly as I’ve been putting a lot of work into my other creative love, working with wood. There’s something about a feeling of spirit, of connection, of a natural interaction when working with nature.
This contrasts so sharply with my latest artwork. A Rainy Day in London. A theme I’ve been thinking of trying for a while but also something away from my usual style. The overlapping bustle and oppressiveness of an urban landscape as opposed to the simplicity and calm of a natural backdrop, a being I focus on to keep me centered on this journey called life.
When Life gives you Lemons…(the title for my latest work) why not paint them! In these unusual and unsure coronavirus times life seems to throw curve balls at an incredible and completely unpredictable speed. It sometimes seems like one problem after another to be surmounted. But then that’s what we do, we adapt. we look at the lemons and decide to make lemonade.
Someone once told me, “Treat every problem as a challenge as every problem has an answer.” And they do. Sometimes the answer is simply there is no answer at the moment! But every cloud does have a silver lining, there is always a positive to be found. Even when we don’t want to find it. Just for today, when life gives me lemons, I’ll damn well paint them!
It feels, just as it does in the direction my painting is taking, that I am beginning to come out of the dark in more ways than one. Just last week I was interviewed by a local reporter from The Wrexham Leader about myself and my work which was a very nerve wracking experience, as I find it uncomfortable talking with those I don’t know.
However, I found that gave me the courage to put together a virtual gallery tour of my paintings in my studio. Something I would never have dreamed of being able to accomplish in the past. Again I felt so nervous but feel so pleased with it. A small task for some maybe but a huge step forward for me.
Perhaps a lot of my new confidence is coming from the amount of commissions I’m being asked to produce. My latest, below, was an album cover of ‘The Levellers’ for a couple’s 15th anniversary which was also posted on a Facebook fan page and received some lovely comments. Creating art is an amazing experience but getting my profile out there is a lot harder! I’m grateful to my partner, Darren, for all the encouragement and hard work he puts towards increasing my artistic profile online.
It’s been one of those days today. Out and about noticing scowls, bad moods. Dark aura’s seem to be the theme of the day. Even online I found myself trolled by someone who obviously had nothing better to do with their day. I found this mood rubbing off on me, frustration, anger and resentment building within like a hot flame. A flame I’m only too aware can lead to, for an addict like me and my loved ones, a world of pain and sorrow.
Acceptance is the key! Acceptance of people, places, things and situations. Removing the need to control, removing expectations, removing the focus from self. I always, in times like this, find myself falling into my art, allowing my emotions to run wild and create rather than destroy. Instead of accepting a day of frustration and resentments, I have found a day of peace and serenity through work on my latest commission and working the principles of my 12 step program. After all, I will rest my head tonight sober and at peace!
So many of my past paintings have been very dark in image, very probably due to where I was in addiction. Whilst I still enjoy this style I’m seeing and appreciating the colours around me in recovery. This is inspiring me to explore works in new, vibrant tones, feeling the beauty of the rainbow my life is becoming.
Recovery is giving me the opportunity to explore new pastures, to re-evaluate life and my place in it. To reach out, through the fear of the unknown, and allow self expression in a new light. It’s even lead me now to the idea of of a new medium of expression using oils. Allowing me to build a confidence in a new format and hang the results!