My friend Rachael, who I have been doing the Creative Joyful Things with, came to visit me last autumn and we decided to paint a portrait of each other. Well, it is autumn again and I have just finished mine. I cannot post a picture here though as I want to show her first, so it will have to wait. Shh.

I can say that I am really pleased to have managed a painting, even though it has taken me a year, and that I am pleased with the result! I don’t think I will be taking on another big project again for a while, as I am looking forward to having space to play and do small things as and when I feel able. Although there were a few difficult moments and many times when I was unable to work on it due to my health, I really loved those times where I could work on it and be absorbed in the task at hand. It is a kind of freedom to be able to be absorbed in a task, especially a creative one. For me that can only ever be quick short bursts, rather than hours on end that healthy people can do, but it is still really transcendent. That’s not the exact word, but you get the idea. It takes me to a state that I do not routinely experience and it feels very good. I perhaps forget that I am in an ill body for a while.

Update: She has been to visit, and taken the portrait away so I can show you what I painted. Here is a close up of the moon, and the finished painting.



Happy and connected to earth and animal self, while looking out on the peaceful moon and wonder-full and infinite universe.



I have recently finished a watercolour painting for my Mum (Christmas present finished a little late!). It has taken me several months to complete, though perhaps under 20 hours of actual work, my level of health means that I do not have many opportunities to do such concentrated work. I feel a sense of achievement that I managed it at all.

This image is a scan of a composite image as though I have a great scanner, the platen (as it calls it) is not big enough for my painting to go on whole, as the painting is about A3 size. I have done good quality scans of all parts of it though, but don’t have the software to fit the pieces together to make one flawless image. So please ignore the join marks!

I think you may need to click on it to see the whole thing.

I grow Japanese Anemones in my garden so it was the obvious subject choice as I could observe them without going anywhere. I also love the white ones very much. I split the background into thirds as I felt it would make the painting of such a large area more manageable. With the outlines of the leaves being so fiddly I was concerned about the paint drying during the process and leaving nasty lines. Also energy-wise and in terms of muscle pain it is good to be able to take a break. I felt the sections might be reminiscent of old japanese pictures done on sections of wood which were then joined together to form long and wide views. I added the lighter “bubbles” as I was worried the picture would be a bit dark as I was focussing on buds and leaves rather than a lot of flowers. I wanted to create a “bokeh” effect like in photographs. A bit of sparkle…