The Art of Patience

If we were sitting having coffee right now, I’d be animated and excited at the prospect of starting a new adventure in art…

Every now and again things in life conspire to bring you towards one particular creative decision in one place and time – like some kind of magical ‘hint, hint’ that screams at you from the rooftops… Today the combination of several different blog prompts on top of a regular post written by someone else have brought me to the realisation that it might be a good idea for me to start an art journal of some sort.

Instrumental in my decision was a blog post by Elizabeth at Tea & Paper, but much as I love what she’s doing with her art journal I worry that I simply don’t have the patience to commit to an all-bells-and-whistles big-time project with several layers of first water-colour-washing pages then sticking on collage stuff and all sorts afterwards. The kind of engrossing multi-faceted project that you leave out long-term while you complete it – fun, but not really what I need right now, particularly as our current living arrangements don’t allow for that level of otherwise unused space.

The thing is, I love the art of simple colouring-in, and have several adult-designed colouring books I dip in and out of whenever the mood takes me, and occasionally I have thought fleetingly about maybe drawing out my own outlines for colouring in but to date have done nothing about it. For some reason I just love the versatility and mobility of plain old-fashined traditional coloured pencils; no mess, no fuss, minimal space required, and instant gratification guaranteed in no time at all (nothing to tax my lack of patience too much).

So I think I might choose a small book to begin my experimental art journal, and intentionally start with simple ideas. I already have a really small Moleskine notebook given to me as a gift long ago, but sadly never used – I was never sure what to use it for, and its pristine pages lie as yet unmarked? I could stick to creating my own doodle-style outlines to colour in with my favourite coloured pencils – or perhaps use different coloured ball-point pens, or maybe even multi-coloured Sharpies? Just whatever takes my fancy at the time, unplanned – not quite a stream of consciousness creation but a time-limited tiny confection of colour, created just for me.

I have such a long history of starting relatively ambitious creative projects from time to time and inevitably giving up way too soon, which upsets me because I really don’t want to be like that but I do seem to have an issue with aiming for perfection, and knowing I won’t ever be able to reach it I somehow lose heart and give up. So hopefully by starting small and keeping things simple, I’ll manage to maintain some level of continuity for long enough for the habit (and the mindful pleasure it brings) to grow on me.

I read somewhere online that with an art journal, there are no rules – and for me, that’s the real challenge on offer. No right way or wrong way to do it, just your way, whatever that turns out to be… and as I find myself sitting here with a huge smile on my face as my untouched coffee grows cold, I take that as a sure sign that this little germ of an idea is indeed the best way for me to move forward in my latest attempt at an adventure in art πŸ™‚

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: Art

Weekly Word Prompt: Patience

Weekly Smile: 7 Jan 2019

Weekend Coffee Share: 11 Jan 2019

Fandango’s One Word Challenge: Instrumental

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Stream of Consciousness Saturday: Sustain

This week’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday from Linda asks us to ask someone else for a prompt word – so I asked my husband and he said ‘sustain’… um… ok then…

So, what sustains me in life? Well, on a basic physical level, having a job to earn money to keep a roof over my head, clothes on my back and food in my belly certainly sustains me. And on an emotional level, spending time in nature, photography, reading, and music sustain me – and blogging, of course. But most of all, love sustains me – family and friends, the people around me who make my life complete ❀

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: Tin

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The humble tin plate has played such a big part in my life…

I was a Girl Guide for years, and absolutely loved camping across the Highlands of Scotland (where I grew up), sleeping in giggling groups in the old heavy green cotton canvas bell tents, cooking hearty meals on an open camp fire, eating on old-fashioned tin plates not unlike the one above (although my well-used original was much plainer – just white enamel with a dark blue rim) all sitting on the ground circled around the flickering embers.

This more modern version of my old tin plate gives a proud nod to those wonderful memories, with the cute overall pattern of black-face sheep a fun addition to my little blast-from-the-past treasured memory πŸ™‚

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: Tin

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: Mean

I don’t mean to be so erratic with my blog posting. I always start out intending to post regularly, but somewhere along the line life gets in the way and sometimes my motivation drops, or I find myself with nothing to say or even worse – so much to say I’m rendered speechless and don’t even know where to begin!

Especially after a week like this week – USA mid-term elections and yet another mass shooting (California this time) and here in the UK we’re another step closer to our Government still NOT sorting out the Brex-shit situation. I feel mean and small and bitter that all I seem to do is moan and complain but it all feels so negative, negative, negative…

What does it all mean? The world feels a really scary place right now, I don’t trust the Trump administration’s twisting of the truth and deliberate loading of a dictatorship-style dice in their favour. And I don’t trust Theresa May anti-democratically riding rough-shod over parliamentary process in trying to force a dodgy deal through at all costs.

There are mean streets out there these days for all of us on both sides of the ocean, and it’s just so hard to feel poltically safe anywhere any more. There’s far too much hate and far too little love and way too much ‘othering’ of anyone not fitting a particular narrow elite view of what being ‘American’ or ‘British’ means.

OK, sending peace and love to everybody (admittedly it may be given to some more grudgingly than to others) because we all need to focus on what it means to be a part of humanity, looking for whatever shared hopes and desires make us similar instead of highlighting whatever hateful differences are perceived and believed as threatening…

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: MeanΒ 

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: Point

Hmmm… I know before I even begin writing today that this is going to be a strange one, so many apologies in advance. Linda has asked us to pick up a book, open a page and point, and whatever is there on the page – word, phrase, or sentence – is what we write about.

The book I”ve been dipping in and out of for the longest time, and so is often close at hand for perusing now and again, is “Will I Ever Be Good Enough? Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers” by Karyl McBride. It’s my go-to bible when I get psychologically stuck in some dysfunctional treadmill of people-pleasing guilt-ridden angst. It reminds me that in many ways I am who I have learned to be – and if I’ve learned it, I tell myself, I can unlearn it…

So anyway, I duly picked up the book, opened it randomly, and stuck my finger somewhere in the middle of the page – page 75, if you’re interested. The sentence I landed on reads “As a child, I was told this repeatedly.” And it reminded me forcefully of the fundamental fact that words do matter – if you hear something repeated often enough and loudly enough, you start to believe it, however unfair and untrue it may be.

And so it is politically, with out-and-out lies being told both here in the UK and in the US. Both countries are in a bit of an unholy mess just now, but our embarrassing bumbling Brexit shenannigans have been overshadowed slightly by the frenetic fantasy furore created by Fuckwit 45 rallying his blustering base and firing up further fear and hatred across the already bifurcated nation that is currently the Disunited States of America.

Words are powerful beyond measure, they inform our lives from cradle to grave. Words shape our opinions, our beliefs, our very sense of self. Words enable us to make sense of the world (or not), tell our own story, create our own little bubble of reality. But sadly not everyone’s perceived reality is based in fact – and neither is every nation’s perspective of itself necessarily on par with how the rest of the world sees it.

Britain may well be in the throes of a messy divorce from the European Union, but America seems determined to divorce itself from the entire world, and split itself in two across an arbitrary colour spectrum of red and blue while it’s at it. Another Civil War, anyone? Or maybe even World War Three, if you piss off enough people across the globe? I mean, if you deliberately strike a match to light a fuse, don’t be surprised if eventually, something huge and outside of your control explodes unpredictably at the other end…

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: Point Β  Β 

From OMG to WTF!

I make no bones about it, I am absolutely sick to death of yelling countless profanities and howling like a banshee at the TV screen whenever the news is on – and although I’m British, my husband is American by birth so that includes both UK and US news and so provides me with double the drama, like it or not… aarrgghh…! πŸ™‚

Anyway, I’m seriously pissed off at what passes for political debate in both our so-called democratic countries these days – I mean, the days of lies, damned lies and statistics would be a breath of fresh air compared to today’s lies, outrageous lies and not even a passing nod towards good-old honest analytical manipulation to confuse our brains! And any genuine attempt at proper factual analysis (particularly by the media) is loudly disputed, dismissed as fake news and effectively knocked for six in some kind of privileged-power-play – and that’s just not cricket , is it?

Politics should neither be a grandiose Victorian-British-Empire-fuelled parlour game like a stab-in-the-dark fusion of pinning-the-tail-on-the-Brexit-donkey while playing blind-man’s-buff with your braying parliamentary pals, nor the farcical social-media driven frenzy of a reality-TV-style competition for ratings where a privileged few elite participants elevated into a closed-minded circle-jerk club win big time while the much-maligned myriad majority on the outside lose everything that matters to humanity on the precocious whim of a self-styled ‘stable genius’ millionaire.

Running a democratic country within a global world economy is not about creating an antagonistic binary opposition that allows you to divide and rule, fostering foreign feelings of them and us, hiking the horrendous differences between the haves and have nots. Surely it should be more about working together as a galvanised group of open-minded and compassionate individuals towards the greater good of the people as a whole, regardless of your (or their) political viewpoint. Not just some of the people (usually the richest, who in a hierarchical societal structure inevitable have the most clout) but everyone – including your cleaner, your cook, your gardener and your nanny.

OK, so rant over. Sorry my stream of consciousness ran away with me today. But this kind of never-ending nightmarish nonsense is why over the last few years I’ve found myself going from occasionally muttering a disparaging ‘OMG, seriously? You’re having a laugh…’ to daily yelling a desperate ‘WTF is WRONG with people these days, where did all this vitriolic violence and hate come from?’ to the poor TV screen, day in, day out…

No wonder I’m bloody depressed, it feels to me like the whole world is going to hell in a handcart, while we all sit here watching, powerless to do anything except vote… so what are we all waiting for? If we don’t like it, start to change it the very next chance we get… inform yourself of the facts – ALL the facts, good and bad – ignore the bullshit and bite the bullet, because done right, that’s the power of democracy… πŸ™‚

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: Bone

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: A Nail-Biting Finish

Can you believe I’ve actually managed to grow my nails at last? Woo-hoo!

I’ve been a prolific nail-biter since my teens – I don’t ever deliberately mean to bite my nails but suddenly there they are (or rather, there they aren’t), all absent-mindedly nibbled away. Anyway, I decided a month ago that I was truly fed-up always biting my nails, as it was an awful habit I knew I badly needed to get away from.

So I just stopped. Noticed myself bringing fingers to mouth, nails to teeth, and withdrew them every time I noticed that involuntary action. I was surprised at just how many times in a day I had to correct myself, no wonder I never had any nails left! But in a month of frustrating yet fruitful vigilance I find already have proper nails growing, neatly filed and shaped and healthy, and I’m delighted with my efforts.

Except I had no idea how much proper nails need to be considered in everyday life. They always grow so always need filed. Stuff gets under them all the time and gets stuck there, so I constantly need to scrub at them with a nail-brush and also use a nail file under the tips to clear any detritis and debris. And sometimes one nail breaks while completing some necessary task or other, so I have to file it down and then file all the rest to match.

And I bought some clear nail varnish to wear, to reward myself for not biting my nails any more and to remind myself not to bite them any more in the future. But as soon as I do anything remotely manual, it chips and peels and looks scruffy, so I have to take it off and start again… Grrr… Overall I’m learning that nice nails take a lot of work, but also that it’s definitely worth it.

So can I stop biting my nails for good? You bet I can! πŸ™‚

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: Can