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.
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!
<p class="has-drop-cap" value="<amp-fit-text layout="fixed-height" min-font-size="6" max-font-size="72" height="80">It's been some time since I last blogged so first let me say a very belated Merry Christmas and happy New Year!It’s been some time since I last blogged so first let me say a very belated Merry Christmas and happy New Year!
I’ve found it, particularly since the lockdown was reintroduced before Christmas, extremely difficult to get myself motivated. With the children no longer at school, and being 5 and 7 and needing a lot of my time, it can often feel like a groundhog type of day. Having said that I am grateful for having a number of sales come in over the festive period but more importantly I am grateful for my lot. I often hear the ‘slogan’ we are all in the same boat but that’s not true. We are all in the same storm but different boats. Some will find it fairly plain sailing. Others will continually patch and bale to stay afloat. Some, sadly, will sink and drown. We only ever really have a daily reprieve from the possibility of sinking too.
February 3rd also found me reaching my 1st birthday in recovery, an achievement that once again leaves me with gratitude and humility. I have only been able to reach this initial milestone with the support of fellowship and by simply keeping my focus on ‘just for today’. I only ever have any given moment to live in so I choose to live it. My latest painting, of David Bowie, is dedicated to a man, who whilst no longer with us, knew how to choose to live and enriched so many others lives.
May you weather this storm, and any others which may arise, by living Just for Today!
It’s that time of year were we once again remember all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. I find that word is often bandied around with little meaning or understanding of what a sacrifice actually is. We are asked, in this time of epidemic, to make sacrifices. Don’t meet with friends. Don’t meet with family. Stay at home. Are these sacrifices? I would say not. They are intended to keep people alive regardless on your viewpoint of whether it’s false or not. Next time you hear the word sacrifice perhaps a thought for those who truly made the supreme sacrifice should be at the for front of our thoughts and feelings.
I’ve attempted to pay my own personal tribute to all those who have fallen and will unfortunately continue to fall through a new exploration in oils. I find oils very forgiving. Mistakes can be easily wiped away for a new start allowing me, I hope, to blossom through a new medium. Mistakes, starting again and blossoming are something they will never have to chance to achieve.
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.
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