Doodling and dribbling

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pao surprised me with this watercolour palette as a get well gift. It is a beautiful Sakura Koi palette which I’d read about on a journalling blog (I can’t remember which now) but thought it was a pretty neat set.

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It comes with a water brush which I enjoyed playing with. I’m quite impressed with the stripes.

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I liked painting this rose enhanced with a bit of gold ink and the good old Sharpie.

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Of course, I couldn’t resist another kitty cat. I started out with stark black whiskers but felt they were too stark so in trying to tone them down, I made them a bit thick! So I went for gold and traced them over with some Windsor and Newton gold ink I had handy.

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And you know that I got a new helper so that distracted me a bit!

It’s art, darling

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I’ve been out of the blog-cycle for a while now as we’ve been so busy with lots of things but I’ve been doing some artwork. I won’t say I’m going to be the next Tracy Emin (urgh) but it is something I’ve discovered through being part of a group called Pandora’s Other Box after being invited by my friend Tracie. I really didn’t think I could do art but the group has been meeting regularly since February and I started to feel that I could do something but I wasn’t sure what. Our focus was Maya Angelou’s poem, Still I rise, and I was starting to wonder what would rise up.

My first piece was quite angry – I had a few issues to work through about loss that I felt but after a while something was starting to happen.

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It was only after I attended Tracie’s two day collage workshop that I started to realise I wanted to do something Chinese. My Chinese heritage has been well-hidden throughout my life. I talk about it a little as an adult but don’t encompass it. It took a real step of faith to come out of my comfort zone and do something red but I loved it.

It was only a chance conversation with one of the other Pandora’s who suggested that I should do something Chinese for my exhibition piece that got me thinking. The other thing fell into place during our holiday in London. I was in love with some dolls house rooms that were made for an exhibition for the V&A Museum of Childhood. It was there that it came together for me.

I started to obsessively collect Chinese pictures and artefacts and draw Chinese buildings but I was blocked and couldn’t start. I had planned two pieces but one was hard enough to start. In the middle of all of this, I was diagnosed as dyspraxic and dyslexic and that was very hard to come to terms with as it explained many of my problems with attention and focus. It was only when I went to visit my old school with my friend and her family and then went to the hospital where my mum died that I was able to start, able to start thinking of positive things about my mum’s life and revisiting her place of death with the happy family of my friend. It was lovely and I am sad and glad to be finished. I’ll keep drawing and making and who knows what will come next. This was a deeply personal piece and I don’t know when I’ll feel ready for another but it has been an amazing process and I am glad I was asked to take part.

Pandora’s Art Critic

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I was quite amazed when my friend Tracie asked me to be part of a very special art exhibition in October.

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It is called Pandora’s Other Box and we will all contribute one piece to the exhibition after a series of workshops until the show in October.

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Our theme is Maya Angelou’s poem ‘ Still I rise ‘.

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Our first workshop was dipping our toes in and working with collage materials.

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I won’t kid you – I’m worried. I can’t draw. I can’t paint and I’ve not been to art school. Can I do this? I don’t know but I know if I don’t try then I really won’t know if I can or not….

My piece represents the verse:
‘I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise ‘

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Of course, there is always a critic. He’s not been too harsh on the string and rope. But he’s cute so is easily forgiven.