One of the principle techniques in painting that you need to master, I am learning, is how to gradually fade and blend paint. Easy, I thought.
I was so wrong there.
It’s rather lovely for me to be updating here with art news. Forgive me a brief introduction and then I can get down to showing you what I’ve been working on.
Hello there. I’ve finished! Can you believe it?! Only a year later than planned (gulp) but my Drawing 1 course is complete. Considering the physical obstacles it feels a big achievement. I’m so glad I stuck with it through everything.
For my final assignment, a portrait, I wanted to create a piece that demonstrated something of the style I have developed. Something relatively striking and strong, showing how I’ve learnt to use colour in my drawings. I also decided to do a self-portrait. Partly out of my difficulty in getting a model to sit, especially in the numerous little, short periods I have to work in, but also because it seemed a fitting way to end this course. The last two years have been SUCH a big learning curve for me, both in terms of coming to terms with physical restrictions and health issues, and in terms of developing my drawing skill. It’s been a real journey of personal growth, so a picture of myself, especially one with some poise and strength felt affirming.
Moving forward with the colour experiments I started in the last art post, I decided to focus on more solid blocks of colour, continuing with pastels to start with but then moving onto ink sticks (which are much harder to control!). Again, I tried to focus on a sense of scene or a moment but concentrated much more on mood this time.
A girl with bright pink hair on a cold day provided inspiration for this one. I used soft pastels but tried to be MUCH more selective in my use of line, only really using it to define features and fabric. Experimenting with a background that gave the piece a sense of movement and direction was fun, trying to capture the grey day and the way it muted shapes and colours.
Time for a drawing update. Hello! I have been pootling on here. With the end of the course in sight but no desperate rush to finish, I have been taking my time with my last drawings. This has freed up some energy and time to try and focus on my health a little more, which now seems to have settled into a chronic pattern of neurological dysfunction that brings a lot of challenge to each day. I am doing well though, in head if not in body. One last self portrait to do and then it will be time to put this drawing course to bed – an apt closing subject, to be honest, for a course that I have worked alongside such dramatic change in my personal circumstances and necessary way of approaching life. I’m hoping I can find some way to make my last piece reflect that.
Before that though, I have been focusing on experimenting on using colour in my figure drawings, using the example of other artists to guide my ideas a little, but trying to be brave and do my own thing too. I experimented a little more with drawing surfaces, from brown wrapping paper to watercolour paper with a background wash, and coloured pastel paper. I tried to work more loosely where I could, although find I still tend to be drawn back to strong line. In all my pictures I tried to capture something of a moment rather than just a fixed pose, something of an attitude or atmosphere, experimenting with drawing medium accordingly.
Hello. I wanted to take a bit of time to write and update those of you interested in what’s been happening to me. I am hugely lucky online to have a small army of people who seem to care about how I am, what a lovely lot you are. So here goes.
Those of you that know me well will know that I’ve had poor health for pretty much my whole life. It would come and go, I’d get a couple of bad years followed by some better, with a longer, more serious bout of illness in my late teens which took many years to recover from. What I find slightly embarrassing to talk about it is that they’ve never really been able to find out what’s wrong. I would experience very severe pain radiating out from certain joints and fatigue. At times this was labelled as Fibromyalgia or M.E., which in themselves are often umbrella terms that seem to cover a wide variety of symptoms, but no one could really agree what was happening, and I struggled to ‘fit’ a particular diagnosis. With the medical profession not much help, I decided to work hard on my own recovery. And to cut a very long story short, I did recover.
When I started getting ill again last year, I thought at first I was having a brief relapse – they did happen from time to time, with pain and fatigue nearly always a part of every day to a greater or lesser extent. But I got worse and worse and the symptoms were more and more different to what I’d experienced before. As well as an increase in the burning neuralgia pain I’ve long experienced, I started to get more and more neurological symptoms, intense pins and needles and weird numbness in my extremities and face, and sharp pain in my fingers and toes that was very different to pain I’d felt before, finding them difficult to bend. I’d get odd changes in my circulation and struggled to regulate my body temperature. I also started having problems with extreme dizziness and wooziness, with this eventually progressing to fainting, and episodes when I would feel very light-headed and then get trapped in this odd sensation of half-conciousness that would mean I had to lie down, drifting in and out till it suddenly passed again. Tests found my heart to be racing very fast at odd times, even when I was calm, or even resting. Fatigue began to infiltrate everything. And most frighteningly, I’d get times feeling suddenly very confused and disorientated, my vision even altering, like I was peering through a hot mist. The last one has been really horrible, especially.