Just for today I will put up a picture of myself. It’s for Sky Arts Portrait artist of the year 2022. It’s not something I would normally do but then as I grow in recovery and in my art I’m finding myself pushing out of my comfort zone again and again. Just for today I will challange my insecurities about not being good enough. My fear of failure and my indecision.
Just for today I will acknowledge how incredible it feels to be two years sober. I will recognise how far I have come on an artistic, business and spiritual basis. Just for today I will accept compliments of my works with the due gratitude and humility it should be granted. Just for today I will believe in my ability to take the next step forward and move up to the next level on my artistic journey. Just for today I will accept that it is not in my time. It is in my Higher Power’s time.
Just for today I will focus on the love I feel and share with my family, friends and I include those who follow me as friends, and my connection with God. Just for today I will feel the grass beneath my bare feet. The breeze that tugs at my hair. The sound of birds actually living their lives in the now and the ever so gentle warmth of the Sun on my face.
Just for today as I accept that spring and summer will arrive as planned, that the chill air will grow warm and that life will blossom in it’s usual explosion of colours and shades. So I will accept, just for today, that the preordained way I am to follow will open out before me as I walk life’s path.
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.
Autumn, a time of retreat, of change, of decay yet such a beautiful season. The wind, rain and storms approach with a ferocity that only nature can conjure and the days begin to darken, as night stealthily creeps closer; there is still so much colour and beauty.
Meandering through the local woodland, watching the squirrels hustle and bustle as they store for the coming winter the landscape has exploded into nature’s palette. Reds, yellows, browns and golden wonder stand stark against the crisp blue background of the sky.
Nature inspires me. It presents me with a spectacle of awe, a framework of colour, shade and light that I look to bring to my own artwork. In these troubled times as the planet’s life force itself stands on a knife edge I try to do the best I can. It is never enough but I try. I want my children to have a world of splendor and beauty, a world full of hope, to be the guardians of our world which we have only borrowed to keep safe for future generations.
So I look to create beauty, calm, fantasy and wonder in my artwork. To try to say these images do not only have to be in our imaginations, they can become real. We are all individually like a stone dropped into water. The ripple we cause will have an affect on everything. The Butterfly effect. So we can chose to bring darkness and chaos or we can chose light and beauty.
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!
I’ve not long realised, with the help of my 12 step recovery plan, how much fear was affecting my art, myself and my life. Fear of not being good enough, fear of ridicule, fear of negativity, fear of failure. Is the art I’m creating the right type? Can I find my niche and style? Will people like it? Am I an artist of any worth?
After talking to my partner I agreed to take a time out and to have a soul refreshing weekend away. And then it happens on the morning we are to leave. Three sales, two commissions and another two sales whilst away. Allowing myself to be taken by the currents of life rather than exhaustively fighting against them has lead to a richer, deeper understanding of both my artwork and what is actually meaningful to me in life. Being a mother, a lover, a daughter, a sister, a friend along with being an artist of worth is far more important to me than any particular financial gain and this has come to me in all the lovely comments and support from the individuals who follow my work on Facebook. It truly has meant so much to me. I thank each and everyone of you and send my love.
Fear did indeed knock at the door but all the beautiful people out there reminded me that there is never anyone there. To have faith that there is a plan. That whilst I won’t always get what I want. I will always get what I need.
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.
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!
I learnt an important lesson today. I don’t know everything! Art like life is a learning process. Sometimes, but often not, everything comes together perfectly, just as hoped for. Most of the time it doesn’t. Exploring new freedoms, new expression, new flows can be frustrating and annoying. Sometimes they can put up a wall. A wall that feels difficult to overcome. Pretty much a dead end. A point where the thought process can lead to…what’s the point!
However, what I’ve realised is that I’m still learning. Still exploring possibilities, ideas, styles. I’m not the finished product, not by a long shot. Just like my paintings I’m a work in progress. I learned today that when I hit a wall, if I stop and look around, take a step back and see the ‘whole picture’, suddenly I see a hole under the wall, a ladder leaning against it and the whole wall is only ten feet across! In painting, as in life, there is so much to learn if first I see.