Monday, May 21, 2012

In My Own Backyard

Another May long weekend has come and gone. This year a little different. No camping. Missed out on that last year but that was flood and work related. This year totally due to lack of energy. And active participation from my kids. They used to love camping but now? They are teenagers and it's hard to adjust to that. I miss my little kids. Lol. I suppose they have to grow up sometime!

I spent most of the weekend sleeping although I did manage to get to the Farm Gate Market on Saturday. Its put on by the Riding Mountain Biosphere Preserve (we have a Unesco designated area right in our own back yard. How cool is that?) promoting local producers and artisans.

I'm amazed at what you find locally and how passionate and inspiring people are. I met a lady who has Mongolian yurts. Its an artist retreat. Check out her website. I think it would be fun.

I wish I had taken pics on Saturday but I was too busy talking to people. Finding out what inspires people and why they do what they do! My daughter was just shaking her head but I think she was a little bit impressed too! Maybe.

All in all it was a good weekend. Even with no campfire!

I did buy a nifty new purse and made a donation to get some native prairie cone flowers. Whoo hoo!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Unpacked Boxes

Chemo is coming up again on Monday. I'm trying not to think about that too much. This morning the sun is shining, the dogs are with me and I'm enjoying a peaceful cup of coffee on my front porch. I say peaceful because I only have one teenager home. The other went to a sleep over. Don't get me wrong, I love my kids and wouldn't trade them for anything. But teenagers are NOT peaceful.

I've been sitting here contemplating many things. Not deep thinking. A person can only handle so much of that. But more practical and prosaic thoughts like what to have for breakfast and I really need to finish reorganizing upstairs so I can get back to arting. And what the heck is my dog staring at. I don't see anything.

It was a busy crazy couple of weeks. I entered a couple of my art pieces in the Juried art show which of course was during chemo week. My son started ball again and had his first game Thursday. I had an art morning session with the gals from the Dauphin Art Group. And I decided it was time to move my art stuff out of the kitchen and create my own studio space.

I am a habitual pack rat with the potential to become a hoarder. I've got boxes that have moved with me for the past 13 years but I've never unpacked them. I decided it was time to deal with it. Of course I decide this every couple of months or so and never do anything about it.

But this week was different. It's a been a good week energy wise. And for some reason I'm actually doing it. I'm not sure if it's because I'm craving my own space or I'm using it as a surrogate for cleaning out emotionally. There are still a lot of unpacked boxes hiding in corners in my mind that need to be dealt with. But dealing with the emotional is draining so dealing with the physical is a good substitute.

This whole cleaning and getting rid of stuff is turning out to be surprisingly freeing. And the bonus is I'll have a room all to myself to create or just hang out in and wonder what the heck my dog is staring at!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Evolution of a Reluctant Artist

I have been privileged to sign up for a an online art course through Christy Tomlinson called the Art of Wild Abandonment, and she wasn't kidding.  This time she had a guest guide by the name of Junelle Jacobsen.  Both are amazing artists in their own right and excellent guides for us newbies!

And I am a newbie. I think of myself as a scientist, I love science and math and all that logic. I can pick out patterns in numbers, and think critically and logically.  A couple of years ago, due to my own stupidity (and yes there is no other word than stupidity to describe what I did), I ended up in the hospital with a Holy crap life is way to short moment.  It inspired me to gather my courage and try and repair some relationships I'd let slide.  Wasn't easy, but I, we, did it.  In the course of spending time with my Auntie Heather (who I rarely call auntie anymore-there is only 6 years between us) I discovered she wasn't the same person that I had known.  She too was on life changing journey.  She had discovered the Brave Girls Club, and an online course called Soul Restoration.  I thought that if this course had helped her so much, maybe it would be worthwhile for me to give it a try.  I ignored the art bit.  But it sucked me in, and I discovered that doing the art bit was fun, and not as intimidating as I thought.

Thus began my Arty Journey, and I've ended up here taking this amazing course with amazing ladies and to my absolute horror, I have discovered I have a creative side....and its taking over!

I have to say this course has pushed me way outside my comfort zone.  I don't draw, although I do sketch. And I have definitely been inspired by all the messy classes. 

What this class and all the support from all of you fantastic ladies has allowed me to do is push way outside the box.  I found ways to frame existing pieces inspired by Christy's creative colour course.. figuring out how to do my tree.  I started with the 11x17 canvas, but got stumped

Then I started sketching, and came up with this beauty.

And finally, this was the final result.  Can you find the animal face?

Amazing.  I even got brave enough to enter them into the Parkland Regional Juried Art Show.  The reception is tonight and I plan on adding a few more photos for sure, and the results.  Nervous and excited.

OK, so I just got back from the Juried art Show, and holy!  Positive feedback from the judges and the other artists.  Comments from the judges included for Dragon flies: "Has a neo-native New age feel. Interesting contrast between delicate muslin and heavy tiles."  I have to admit the dragonflies is my favourite piece.

For Tree Dreams: " Choice of pink for leaves (not blooms) is gutsy.  Loads of personality here and inventiveness." "I can't make out what the text in the background says so it becomes another texture.  Conceptually it reads like subliminal chatter or a radio you can barely hear" 

All in all a successful art show and first step on to becoming a professional artist.  And I couldn't have done it without this class.  Thank you all for your support and feedback.  You are all wonderful artists in your own right.  Yay for us!

Welcome to those of you that hopped over to here from Cheri Andrews  Your next stop on this awesome blog hop  is  Christine Piazza  Have fun hopping through these amazing blogs!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Crying in the Middle of the Kitchen Floor

Another week, another round of Chemo.  It seems almost like a never ending cycle.  And each time I go for chemo, they keep tweaking my extra drugs to manage my side effects.  Some weeks are better than others. I have eventually graduated to the expensive pills.  Fortunately for me, and other cancer patients, the Manitoba government is now covering all cancer drugs including the all side effect management ones.  Go Manitoba go.  Of course they still don't pay for genetic testing for colon cancers, only for breast or ovarian.  And yet more people get colon cancer than breast or ovarian.  I guess colon cancer isn't pink enough. HA! 

I apologize if this post isn't as positive or cheery or thoughtful as my other ones.  Its just sometimes the going is tougher than others and it is much harder to maintain a positive attitude when those weeks hit.  But it is all a part of the journey. Some days will be harder, and crying in the middle of the kitchen floor seems like a far more appropriate response than finding the lighter side. 

I do try to find positives in those weeks.  It helps sometimes.  I've managed to get my self hooked into doing a huge craft sale in October.  I had to send in photos of my work to get accepted. Holy crazy batman, what have I done to myself?  But it does give me something to focus on that has nothing to do with my cancer.  I think that is helpful, is finding things that have nothing to do with the cancer and just going for it.  I think I'm crazy to do this craft show.  I don't have near enough art, but again, it will give me something to do, and I have lots of time to get ready. 

I think you have to maintain as much of a life outside the cancer as you can.  Things to do and focus on.  Maybe not what you normally do, but something.  Do what you like when you can. Its way better than sitting in the middle of the kitchen floor and crying.

Things will get better, I know they will.  Sometimes its harder to see that then others.

I promise the next blog post will be way better. I'm participating in a blog hop.  Should be lots of fun.

Here's some info on it.  This is a group of wonderful creative ladies who are supportive and positive and just fantabulous.  Check back May 5th and join the fun.