Gel Pens and Colouring-In

During my latest trip home to Scotland my mum gave me a set of gel pens to colour in with – not only were they something I’ve never thought of using before but they were also a mix of metallic, neon and glitter pens… bright and garish and really not my usual cup of tea. But to my absolute surprise, I’m really enjoying using them!

Here’s a selection of my fledgling efforts – what fun! πŸ™‚

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Dottled and Thrawn…

Dottled and Thrawn...

A million loving moments fill my head
Remembering my dad from childhood years,
But facing new realities instead
His failing fragile mind prompts blurring tears.

As vascular dementia takes its toll
Forgetful blank confusion plays cruel tricks,
Bewildered absence taunts his stubborn soul
And thrawn and dottled's not an easy mix!

Each tiny blockage works to undermineΒ 
The crumbling bedrock of his memory,
His world's diminished, harder to define
Frustrating future beckons senselessly...

And once the day has come when no "Dad"s left
We'll simply go on loving, quite bereft...

PS For the non-Scots speakers of you out there, “Dottled” means in a state of dotage and “Thrawn” means stubborn… πŸ™‚

The Devil’s in the Detail

So there I was at the top of the hill, sitting in the shade under the big old oak tree reading a book. It was one of those hot summer days that drains all the energy right out of you. I’d finished my chores – had got up early to be sure to get everything done before the sun rose too high in the sky – and was looking forward to enjoying some well-earned down-time.

But no sooner had I settled down to read than a devil appeared in front of me, buzzing around distractingly like an irritating fly. ‘Look at you’ it mocked disparagingly, ‘ lazing around doing nothing, you know you should be more productive’. Annoyed, I swatted it with my book and carried on. Then from behind my shoulder I heard another devil skulking around, whispering seductively. ‘Remember the devil makes work for idle hands’ it wheedled gleefully, waiting for my guilt to kick in as usual.

But not this time, enough is enough. So I whacked the devil dismissively with my book. ‘Bollocks to that’ I said, ‘For your information I’m not doing nothing, I’m busy reading and relaxing. Now fuck off and leave me alone.’ And in an unpleasant puff of reluctant acceptance, suddenly they were gone, with any luck banished forever…

Kira’s Sunday Scribbles

Brighter Tomorrows

I’ve not been feeling in the brightest of moods over the last couple of days, and life has altogether felt quite onerous, but I woke up feeling much lighter this morning and the sun is shining and somehow everything just looks and feels different, as if my whole world has suddenly lit up again.

In spite of having been a bit of a cranky misery guts lately I’ve still managed to add a few little doodles to my mini art journal, playing about with different ideas to see what works and what doesn’t really do it for me – and yes, the therapuetic value of being creative definitely kicked in, helping me a bit feel less… antagonistic towards the world, I guess, for a little while at least…

The ‘listen attentively, reassure gently, love generously’ phrase came from Sunday night’s episode of ‘Call the Midwife’ as Dr Turner was advising Sister Julienne on how best to care for Sister Monica Joan, who clearly shows signs of dementia. I think it particularly touched me because my dad is in the early stages of vascular dementia and I think it’s really helpful advice, so I wanted to be able to remember it in the future ❀

The flowers and curvy swirls felt good to do, the sharp-angled geometric boxes less so – I think I perhaps felt like I needed to soften my sharp mood, not highlight and accentuate it…

My mini colouring in pages may not be overly complicated or delicate or intricately designed, but I’m happy enough with them and doing them certainly made me smile again for a little while, even while life felt bleak for a day or two, so that has to be worth something?

Oh, and after almost two weeks the deep cut on my pinkie finger is healing well – a huge relief and a very grateful reason to smile πŸ™‚

Weekly Smile : 14 Jan 2019

Fandango’s One Word Challenge: Onerous

Keep Calm and Doodle On

Yesterday I made a silly schoolboy error while doodling in my art journal, and immediately I rebuked myself, irritated and upset at my clumsy foolishness, and initially I just wanted to tear out the offending page and start again. But I rebuked myself for my rebuke, and reminded myself that perhaps my pathetic pursuit of perfection is getting in the way of my desire for creativity. I do want to be creative, but want to be good at it, always and immediately, straight out the box.

I mean, ok, so I made a mistake. Big deal. Suck it up, buttercup. Seriously, get over yourself and get on with it girl, because its only a silly little smear of ball-point pen ink rubbed across part of the page accidentally. And it’s not like the paperwork is anything of consequence, anyway – it’s just my personal, private art journal, no reason to create such a fuss. No wonder I struggle to achieve creative aims if I give up at the first flaw, seeing it as I do as a sign of abject failure.

So feeling duly reprimanded by myself for my apparent arrogance and conceit at being so non-accepting of the realities of my human nature, of acknowledging the distinct possibility of infinite errors and obstacles occurring within my journey towards my goal, I looked at it in a less dramatic light. I mean, in the grander scheme of things it hardly matters that there is a flaw in my doodle, and yet still it triggers that old ‘not good enough’ message in my head…

Hmmm… I think that before I can learn to succeed in life, I first need to learn to fail with dignity. So after my initial moment of madness I calmed myself down and carried on with my doodle anyway – and here it is in all its ink-smeared imperfection, for all the world to see. Ta-da! πŸ™‚

Fandango’s One Word Challenge: Rebuke

My Mini Art Journal

Having formed the decision yesterday to create myself an art journal, I took my first steps straight away and have started off as planned with the simple art-form I feel most comfortable with at the moment – doodling and colouring in. I don’t want to make it into a formal sketch book, but to me doodling isn’t so much drawing as designing informally, and that playful feeling of creativity is what I’m aiming for πŸ™‚

So I picked up my empty five and a half by three and a half inch (14 x 9cm) plain Moleskine notebook and doodled an initial design on the flyleaf to set the scene…

And for my first ‘real’ page I chose a doodle to represent a little aide memoire to remind me what works in an art journal…

And for good measure, I added another doodle to remind me of what I’m actually doing in my own art journal…

I’m feeling really happy with what I’ve done so far – it was great fun to do! And while I was designing my doodles I’ve decided my mini art journal will be a small defined space for me to visualise whatever is in my head at any given time and commit it to paper. Some may have words, some may not, but hopefully all will create an image-based indication of my thoughts and feelings in the moment.

I’m not necessarily going to stick to this basic mini-format long-term, or even share every page I doodle (otherwise it becomes something I do publically for you as an audience rather than journalled for me privately), but having made a start is enough for me for now – I’ll simply let it grow organically from now on as the mood takes me… πŸ™‚