Friday, 30 August 2013

The Lessons Of The Week ...

There are a few things I have learnt during this first week of chemotherapy
like it turns out that it is much harder to paint lying down than you would think
and I am only able to be upright for about 15 minutes at a time
which is putting a serious crimp in my need to create
so I madly attempted to do it propped in bed
you are shaking your heads in awe that someone with my track record
for spectacular uncoordination even attempted such a thing, but I did
It is a miracle the dog, bed and I aren't rainbow hued 
and the few teeny tiny splatters were all worth the mental therapy they provided
having said that I can see lots of drawing in my future and 
and as I get more used used to the routine of it all
and I will be making the most of my upright time to paint
because I think the chances of the bed and dog
coming away unscathed from a second attempt may be slim
But all that considered I am quite pleased with the sketchy little number I managed
and I can't wait to get in and paint it on a larger scale on some great paper

I also learned that it is possible to sleep for a ridiculous number of hours in a day
All I do is sleep... like hours on end sleep
I even managed to sleep through the house next door being moved yesterday
I went to sleep and the lovely old heritage home was on the middle of the block
and woke up with it up on new stilts right next door waiting for its renovation
didn't hear a bleedin thing
impressive right

I also learnt that the dog is an excellent little heatpack for aching bones
that cupcakes made by your daughter's sweet sweet friend Liv to cheer us up are more delicious than almost anything else I have eaten this week
that I have the most supportive and wonderful friends and
letters, notes, emails and thoughts just keep coming and have been so welcomed this week
and I also found out that being sent a pack of grow your own boobs 
from Sandra who totally gets my sense of humour
can make you laugh until you hiccup and feel like you are going to throw up... in a good way
all priceless things to learn 
and with that my friends I have used up 3 of my 15 minute upright increments
so I am off for yet another epic nap 
happy paint party friday to all ...xx

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Random Saves ...

This week while doing up a mug painting for my Cuppa With Friends Project
and it feels great to get back to it by the way
it is like instant good mood vibes looking through all the mugs and cups photos
not that a few more wouldn't go astray so send one in if you haven't already

I was painting up these mugs from Christy Croix
and they were the perfect antiodote for a bit of a crap week
the bright colours and fluid lines were lifting the spirits like mad as I finished it off
and then the dog let out a random bark... and not a bit of a polite bark
this thing went from zero top 5 zillion decibels in 2 seconds
he went from asleep on his back unattractively airing out his boy bits and snoring
to upright on all four legs and barking like a dog 5 times his side
he scanned around madly, looked rather puzzled, sneezed and sighed then lay back down
no clue what he had been dreaming about but he was snoring again in about 30 seconds
meanwhile I had aged about 10 years and my heart rate was in that scary range
and my painting had acquired a large splodge of orange on the pristine background... lovely

Studio time has been a tad tight this week so the thought of starting again was not ideal
so I grabbed the black gouache and painted in a black background
splodge disappeared, mugs complete, good mood restored... all with a bit of black gouache
which got me thinking about if there were others I could give a similar lifeline to
and low and behold in the drawer was a painting of a tea pot that I had splodged on
now I can't blame the dog for that splatter as much as I would like to
it was one of those situations where I reached for the brush while not really looking
sort of missed and managed to catch the end of the brush
which resulted in an impressive triple lutz with a twist by said brush
and a lovely splatter of paint across not only the background of the painting
but also the wall, desk and right lens of my glasses
but I had loved the teapot and didn't want to tear it up, so into the drawer it went
waiting for a day when I would think of some way to use it

Splodge and splatter were duly covered, detail added to the pot
a bit of blue laid down to liven it up
because it turns out that much black in the background was sucking the life out it
and we have two saves in a day
I am feeling like I can do anything at this stage
so I took some photos of these amazing roses I have in my favourite blue bottles
and thought I would have  a bit of a sketch and draw
might be a bit ambitious
but how could I not want to

Mind you the dog has been kicked out of the studio
because I am a bit over the whole black background thing
and I'm not sure the nerves can take another random bark
happy painting all...xx

Some Cuppa with Friends Project links if you would like to catch up
or be part of the fun ...

Friday, 16 August 2013

The Week of Flowers ...

The difference a week can make is very cool
I am well and truly used to my new lopsided existence
I am no longer on that odd lean all the time and doped to the eyeballs
and there has been more time in the studio so I am feeling pretty good all round
I can even get on and off the studio stool without having an entry or dismount
that is a cross between a rather bad gymnast and a uncoordinated high diver
mind you there were some fabulous dismounts late last week
that almost had the dog giving me scores out of ten for form and difficulty
but in the lifting the spirits stakes there is one thing that is working its magic for me today
and that is that winter has taken a break and spring has sprung

before you all grumble and scoff I know we don't have much of a winter here in Brisbane
I acknowledge that our winters are summer days for many of you
but this is early even by our standards
and along with the gorgeous sun and warmth I do feel a lift in the energy levels
the down side is that we now have a few weeks of the attack of the stupid birds
for the last few days, and quite possibly, the next few weeks 
we will have birds running into the windows on the eastern side of our house
now we have tried all sorts of things to stop this
 but after years of risking life and limb to attach things and appling every weird suggestion to prevent this we have yet to find one that works
so we are resigned to a couple of weeksof random thumps and whoomps
Luckily the birds never seem to end up injured and after a bit of a shake all seem to recover
and fly off, albeit with a bit of a lean of their own

What I don't understand is why they don't swerve
I understand the reflections on the window mean they think there is sky
but at some point don't they get close enough to see another bird in their path
and think of swerving to avoid the bird that is hurtling towards them head on
or are the birds all daredevils at heart and like playing chicken with other birds???
I can't help thinking maybe they get quite the shock when it happens
and I can just imagine them meeting up with mates later
and talking about the bird that knocked them for a loop and how he really packed a punch
or maybe they don't tell anyone and just pretend it never happened
because other birds find it endlessly funny like we do when someone runs into a glass door
and yes I have done just that... more than once
and am rather worried about doing it these days as I am down an air bag
I can see lots of bruises on my left hand side in my near future from running into things

Daredevil birds aside I can't help but be awash with the goodwill and wishes
of this extraordinary community of ours
I have a house so filled with flowers that Phantom has dubbed this week The Week of Flowers 
which is better than last week which was known as The Week of Losing Lefty Part 2
I can't help but be inspired and have spent the week doing some sketches of various doses of wonderful that have been sent my way
like these orchids in their blinged up vase that  I have been painting
 from a group of friends on facebook organised by the lovely Lynn Noyes

there have also been even an embarrassment of gifts,cards, letters and emails
which are filling my everyday with joy and more than a few tears
and overwhelming me with the generous spirit of my friends
not to mention my family... my sister gave me this very cool ceramic tea pot for the wall of my studio... it is totally cool isn't it

I am so crazy grateful for the support and thoughtfulness of this community
that I am not even freaking out at the chemo and radiation ahead
ok I am freaking out at times at the thought of all that
partly because I suspect bald is not going to much of a look on me
but dodgy dome head aside I can't help but be filled with positive thoughts and energy
so I am going to go and pour some of that energy into more painting and sketching
that tea pot on the wall is calling me not to mention I am so excited to be finally getting back into the Cuppa With Friends paintings!!!

PS ... Happy Paint Party Friday... xx

Friday, 9 August 2013

Putting A Fork In Lefty

So it turns out that Lefty was a bit of a problem child
and required two surgeries to get all the stinking cancer out
but as of last night and a good report from the surgeon
we can put a fork in her because she is done and dusted baby
so to celebrate I have hauled her sorry self into the studio 

I am utterly wiped out after doing this one sketchy painting
but I have to say it is a pretty awesome wiped out
and it feels like quite the achievement to be in here
especially as I almost took myself out just getting onto the high studio swivel stool
one armed, lopsided, drugged up and uncoordinated makes getting onto it a challenge
and I am trying not to think how spectacular my dismount might be when I am done here

It has been a few weeks of some amazing insights
like it turns out that Sinus has been foxing on the whole can't cook thing
he has managed to feed us all with suspicious ease
which makes me think he has been holding out on us for quite some time
maybe he needs to be renamed Foxy Sinus... has quite the ring to it doesn't it...

Not so foxy was his enjoyment of clearing the disgusting pump drain thingy
I had hanging out of my underarm for a week
it was seriously gross, but he would come bouncing in and drain it all with such enthusiasm
that I wouldn't be surprised that all my organs have been moved slightly to the left
due to being sucked out of place by his vigorous drain pumping
I actually think the glorious weirdo sort of misses the drain now it is gone

It also turns out that Phantom Steve can not only work the washing machine and toaster
she also has mad, previously hidden baking skills
not to mention she has the knack of knowing exactly what to say at the right time
and has been just about the best slave I could ask for

The dog has been no help at all however
so no new insights there, he is still dumb as a dish cloth
but he snuggles up near by and keeps an eye on me and his snoring is quite soothing
so his contributions are still worth mentioning

It has been quite a time
and I swear there have been more tears and stress than I would have thought possible
but we have been so showered with love and support by this amazing community
that I have felt utterly overwhelmed with positivity
from your amazing comments and emails 
which kept me company in the middle of the night in the hospital
to the letters, cards, gifts, constant thoughts and well wishes
 that you have all  been sending to brighten my day 
you all make me burst into tears every single freakin time
and I can't express how much it has helped and although the words are inadequate,
 I am beyond grateful and thankful to have you all in my life...xx