Playing 


“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”

~ George Bernard Shaw

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don’t stop  😉

The world is bigger…


So here’s the thing I keep coming back to: how many people do I know? how many do you know?

Finding the color in everyday things

I’m not big on movies & tv & such, I don’t remember actor’s names or follow their public lifestyles. Despite this I’m aware there are way more folks in my orbit than there would have been for someone like me just a few generations back. Maybe you’ve got more?

I ‘know’ some of people who will read this, we haven’t met and probably never will, but we share thoughts an opinions from across the world and life feels richer as a result.

I’ve got a sense of knowing some people through youtube & blogs & social media – they don’t know me at all but they bring a brightness into my days with the parts of their lives they show.

In the big scheme, this is very new.

Noticing the color in everyday things

Because of social media and modern life I’m in touch with friends from waybackwhen and family I previously didn’t know at all.

Suddenly it became so easy to type little messages to each other, to find common ground through memes and whatnot, to ‘know’ more people, sort of spend time with them.

Looking at the color in everyday things

So together we’re all trundling along this finite lifeline, we don’t know when it will stop and our job (IMO) is to make the best of what we have in this blip of time.

Seeing others we know (in any sense) fall off that time-line is a reminder of our mortality. There’s a sense of don’t leave me here – I don’t know where I am.

The wonder of the color in everyday things

So what to do?

Find the joy where we can, hold each other up, share the moments of love and fun and lightness, let it ripple outwards and who knows how many lives it might reach.

That’s all we really got.

Because color is everywhere in everyday things

We’re all here to find our own way; find what works for us and when we find the ones who share what lights us up there’s a sense of being on track. Whatever it is we’re meant to be here for, we’ve got each other. We are walking each other home, as Ram Dass said.

Enjoying the color in everyday things

My passion is color. If yours is too, or if you’d like to find out more about my fascination, I made this for you. Just add your email below and I’ll send it over to you.

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Be well, my friends, Much love to you all X

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(Your email is absolutely safe with me, I’ll just pop by and check up on it time to time, feed it biscuits, plump up its cushions, that sort of thing.)

merging emerging


Last night I couldn’t sleep. So I painted. And I pondered.

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The magic of metallic paint on cushiony soft paper, that biro marks indent and cast tiny shadow outlines.

Life is as quick as a flash, a sprint through some generations and it’s done.

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And life is a slow evolution, spiralling up through understanding new layers of the game.

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It’s both.

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Everything & Nothing. Empty & Full.

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Contrast & Confusion. Zigs & Zags.

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Deep & Shallow.

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Some folk like to scramble the edge, following the truths they’ve chosen to absorb, busying away their days in occupation and activity, punctuated with ritual and escapism.

IMG_7349.jpgFearful of treading over the lines, getting their toes wet, or worse.

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Some folk run at it fast, not leaving anything to chance, escaping the dangers by out-running and out-witting. No way is right, no way is wrong. We’re all just making it up one bit at a time.

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I’ve been listening to Pete Holmes’ podcasts: You Made It WeirdHe kept me company through the night, kept me laughing and thinking. So far I’ve really love love loved his interactions with Liz Gilbert & Deepak Chopra and been curiously riled by Noel Gallagher &  Tim Minchin.

ingredients of a week (49/52)


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In no particular order, this week’s page is built out of these things…

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Derwent XL Graphite (same folks who make the Inktense stuff). Big chunky blocks that are also water soluble. Great for grubby grimy grunge. Vague shapes and noises to form the ambiance.

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Brené Brown vividly describes something I’ve been focused on this year, these words showed up this week…

“Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.”

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Scroobius PipThe  Beat That My Heart Skipped (and much more). Such a fine Wordsmith, a rhyming genius…

“Especially in this instance
Never ending persistence
To use the words in each sentence
As if they were blunt instruments
To beat a hole in their defence
Of this beauty and her innocence
Which serves to build resistance
In spite of all my good intents.”

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Copic Pens (I don’t have them with me, I forget exactly which ones) – lovely delicate translucent colors. Layers of hazy background.

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Sakura Gelly Roll Pens Oh my! I could just write for miles and miles in these pens. Buttery soft. Love. And some colours really zing too.

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Regular old graphite pencils. Everything about writing and drawing in pencil whisks me back to childhood. Mixed memories. Shiny greys on the page, shiny grey smudges on pages, on hands, on faces… Timeless.

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Carne Griffiths I fell across CG’s work again on DeviantArt this week. I remembered it from researching drawing styles online for an artschool project a couple of years or so back. Some aspects of his style has leaked back into my subconscious this week. (I’m glad)

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Perspective. Is upsidedown intrinsically wrong and in need of re-orienting? Writing is more than words of information, it’s shapes and connections and flow. The angle of the eyeline defines the view not the object. That’s what everything in the news boils down to (from where I’m looking)

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Pilot Gel Ink Pen Super rich black ink, words spill out with ease.

Thanks for dropping by…………X

 

 

 

 

It’s all a mirror…. 41/52


The year winds on, the weeks flip by, the book of weeks fills up.

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I’m finding out stuff I didn’t even know was there.

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You remember back to January? I set my word for the year, after much deliberation, to Focus.

It took some fathoming, and even then I wasn’t positive I’d picked the right word… or the right word had picked me.

But as I let it settle we found our connection with each other. And time and again I’ve been surprised at what has become my focus of attention.

As the year bumps along my focus shifts. 

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More than a few times I’ve felt myself careering down a route I didn’t plan.

(with practice this gets easier: stop trying to steer at high speed – see where you land up – it’s all part of the wild ride of life)

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Racing headlong toward something I’ve avoided in the past.
For fear. For fear of…? Fear of what’s behind it all?

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This sentence appeared in my world – loud and timely enough for it to become what  this page is based around. Loud, Bold Lettering – which some weeks gets covered up – not this week.  The organising committee in my mind had other plans, and only allowed the doodles to skirt the edges. To enhance not to obliterate. Ok….I thought….Ok. You trying to tell me something here?

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Back in the real world, this particular week the final project was almost due part of an online course I’ve been taking. I was in a state of suspended procrastinatory blur: the deadline was 5 days off when I emailed the course leader to confess I was beaten, I couldn’t pull it together in time. I had to quit.

This left me with just two problems.

Problem #1 – quitting wasn’t followed by the enormous wave of relief I’d expected. Instead a slightly sorrowful shame that nearly a year’s worth of work hadn’t reached it’s completion, it had just damply fizzled out.

Problem #2 – no amount of saying ‘I just don’t know what to do’ would quieten these big bold words I was mindlessly doodling around in this weeks page. I did know what to do, I also knew I didn’t want to do it. But I did:  It needed doing. It was going to be difficult, emotional, raw. I was a bit scared.

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Ok. I’ll do it. This idea had been drifting around in the margins for some months now. Trying to creep into focus I nudged it away. Repeatedly. But ideas can be stubborn and this one finally flew out before I could stop it, unraveling in front of me.

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I had 3 days to go and I faced my demons, I did what I know needed doing: I sat and wrote my story.

My story is my art and my art is my story. As is this book, I’m the sum of my days. Until I face up and focus for real I won’t ever see who I am behind the mirrors.

As time settles the rawness in my mind, I’ll bring bits of it over here to show you. X

No going back


Sometimes the biggest reason not to go someplace,
the only reason I can conjure up,
is the sure and certain knowledge i won’t want to go back after.

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Crazy, huh?

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Wanting to go and not going.

Wanting and not wanting.

Wondering where the path will lead.
Denying the scenery to open up in front of the next step.

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Letting a little uncertainty take centre stage in your mind in place of the stars and the sparkles that your Imagination can whip together.

memento mori


My big project this term is entitled Memento Mori. Considering mortality.

The aspect of mortality I’ve chosen to illustrate is the fading out and tapering off that some lives go through toward the end; The detachment and fragmentation a person sometimes encounters in their final days, months or years.

I’ve created a series of prints and drawings, portraits of my mum, taken from a photograph of her on her 16th birthday. They are abstracted and distorted, a little surreal. Her final years were spent largely in a dream world, she’d tell me of her fantastic adventures and travels, peppered with memories and enriched by a life time of reading and absorbing information and ideas, as her mind escaped from the body which no longer worked.

The following short animation is made up of some of the images I created in the process.

how my week began


It’s a funny thing, doing this daily page, and the more I get into the routine of doing it, the more I’m getting out of it. I’m seeing it increasingly as a visual reference to my daily life. This is how my week is looking so far…

in detail: