Since tomorrow starts off the Holiday season and I’ll be creating lots of Christmas and Holiday images, I decided to go with something that wasn’t red & green!
One of the first years that Doug and I were together I strung together popcorn and cranberries for our tree and made paper chains. We didn’t have many ornaments and I was looking for projects to do with my then new 12 year old step-daughter. It took some time but Amanda was a trooper and we strung up enough for the tree. It was beautiful – I loved the simple scaled down Christmas tree. I may need to revisit that look this year!
Day 61 was greated with Letraset Tria Pantone marker.
Wikipedia says that a pattern comes from the French word patron (I thought that was a tequila) and is a type or theme of recurring events or objects that repeat in a predictable manner. I’ve always been interested in creating patterns and have experimented with them in my art. I’ve been fascinated about the idea of creating patterns that are at once predictable (which is necessary) and spontaneous (which goes against the rules.) I’ve written before about my love of the hand drawn line and my need to create art that isn’t digital – I don’t think much in life repeats in a “predictable manner” which is why I love working on this concept.
I had the idea to create an apple pattern today and it took some time to work out – how big would the apples be, how would I create the repeat (there are so many ways!) and then I saw it – the way the stem and leaf could touch and make almost a pinwheel or cross in the negative space – I guess I might have seen it sooner if I had just been using photoshop but where is the life in that – the “predictable manner” to me anyway loses some of the spark of life. I’ll go with spontaneity or chaos – suits me better.
Day 60 was created with watercolor is a wet on wet technique that is of course very unpredictable 🙂
I love picking out paint colors. There is something glorious about walking up to a wall of colors that exhilarates me – I get the same rush when I go to the art supply, fabric store, yarn shop or even Pottery Barn or Nordstom’s for that matter. The possibilities abound and whether or not I’m choosing colors with a purpose or wild abandon – I love a well combined pallet!
For a few years at the beginning of dealing with my AS, I was on a lot of medications for the pain and I just couldn’t see the colors or maybe I didn’t care – dealing with chronic pain takes simple joys out of life in so many ways. I’m not sure how to explain that but I didn’t get the thrill from my art that I get now that I’m on the Remicade and feeling relatively well. The disease had me in it’s grip and the initial medications didn’t allow me to be me – that big piece of who I am. I am so grateful for Remicade and how much of my life I have back since starting on it. There are many people dealing with AS who are either afraid to start a biologic medication for fear of the possible consequences or they aren’t able to access them due to insurance reasons. This is a big problem and people need to know that life is better for so many on these types of medications and we need to help figure out a way to give people more access to this care.
A dash of this and a hint of that – and mix it all up. Mixed media or collage are such a boring names for throwing it all together. Maybe I’ll start calling mixed media pieces “everything but the kitchen sink” or “visual carnival” or perhaps more appropriately, “disparate madness” – ooh I like it! If I use any of those maybe I’ll loosen up a bit with them. How can you take something too seriously if you call it a visual carnival. Here’s a great quote I just recently came across – “Not a shred of evidence exists in favor of the idea that life is serious.” –Brendan Gill
I think he’s right.
Day 58 was created with everything but the kitchen sink.
Today is the biggest shopping day of the year! I’m not big on waiting in lines and fighting crowds so I stayed home today but I love the Holidays. I love the decorations, the lights, the parties and the food. I love to wrap up the presents and change out the colors I use each year – it’s always a struggle to decide on white or colored lights for the christmas tree. I think I’m going with white this year and a big, huge tree! I can’t wait to create all the Holiday and Christmas themed Art Apples – stay tuned!
Day 57 was created with Tria Prismacolor Letraset markers and pen & ink on Bristol paper.
I am truly thankful for having such a wonderful husband! Doug has been cooking up our dishes we’re taking to his Dad’s house shortly while I make my Art Apple – that’s love!
My parents took us to the Macy’s Day Parade one year. There are three things I clearly remember. 1.) My Dad lifting us up to get on top of a door overhang on so that we could see better (not so sure that would happen these days.) 2.) It was bitter cold. 3.) CHiP’s was huge that year (now I’m really dating myself) and my Mom and I loved Ponch and he was in the parade. He was on the other side of the road when he came by and I remember my Mom yelling out “Ponch!” and he looked up with that amazing smile and looked right at her – well we think so anyway. I will never forget that day.
I have Ankylosing Spondylitis. That is extremely difficult to say and proclaim to the world. I have spent the better part of the last ten years hiding this part of who I am. I don’t think I’m alone or unlike so many people dealing with any of these similar inflammatory autoimmune diseases (Rheumatoid Arthritis, Psoriatic Arthritis, Juvenile RA, and AS to name a few.) Before my diagnosis especially, all of my energy went into either finding an answer for the pain or doing what I could to get by.
My life became fight or flight and I didn’t have the energy or ability to do either! So, I survived by wearing a suit of camouflage and took on the stance of hunker down and hope no one noticed that I had stopped going to parties or hiking or skiing. Shoot, I cringed at the idea of becoming vertical let alone going to sit on rock hard bleachers for a game or figure out how to stand at a cocktail party (heels – hah!) The idea of making small talk when the pain medication I needed to be there made me either fuzzy or overly bubbly. I thought I had found a somewhat plausible story to tell people as to why I stopped working and the fun, crazy Jenna was just someone I outgrew. Sounds legit – get married and become boring… I became sooooo boring.
I think that the stigma is a big part of why others may hide also. Chronic pain is viewed like a modern day leprosy (my sincere apologies to anyone suffering with leprosy or Hansen’s disease – talk about a misunderstood illness and social stigma!) And that’s just it – there is a social stigma that will only diminish as more people discuss and share their lives and experiences. People who have a spotlight to actually speak firsthand about these illnesses have built their whole lives around a Hollywood façade – who’d want to hire them to be glamorous and adventurous in the movies if they actually told the story of their daily lives? I’m taking off the Camo and maybe little by little in conjunction with all the bloggers out there, like Kelly at RA Warrior who asked people to blog today about this topic, we can slowly one step at a time make a difference.
Day 54 was created with pen & ink with watercolor.
Day Eighteen (October 18th) was my first Paisley, but I did it in black & white and since then I’ve really wanted to do a companion piece in really bright colors. The pattern is almost identical but there are slight differences since I don’t digitally color my work – I create it all the old fashioned way – I sketch it out, refine the design, and transfer the design to good paper before drawing it out in ink before laying in the color – usually watercolor or gouache and occasionally in Letraset Pantone Tria markers like today. The colors are extremely vivid and are a great way to get color consistency from one area of the design to another unlike watercolor where I’m looking for the inconsistency and blended movement of the color.
I sat in on a WEGO webinar this evening. It was about health activism in chronic pain communities and it was very informative. But I’m having trouble trying to figure out where I fit in with my Art Apples. What I’m trying to do is to find a way to capture people’s interest who know nothing about AS and because they are intrigued by my endeavor – they stop and have to pay attention to what Ankylosing Spondylitis is. I think I’m trying to bring awareness but I don’t think I fit into the activism area. As time goes by – I’m sure this path I’m on will lead me where I’m supposed to go.
Day 53 was created with pen & ink and Letraset Tria Pantone markers.
He tells the story about how she would wake up to the sound of the cuckoo chime once and and have to lay there for a half an hour to find out what time it was because anyone who has or grew up with a Cuckoo or Grandfather clock knows that every half hour the clock chimes once. Before the modern conveniences (yeah) of digital clocks that beam the time to us mockingly all night reminding us that we still aren’t asleep – the cuckoo taunted and haunted. So, she’d lay awake and if the next half hour only chimed once – she was doomed to lay awake for at least one more half hour because the first chime she heard could have been 12:30am or 1:00am and her need to know kept her up.
My Nana had a couple of clocks that chimed and I love hearing them when I visited. You could hear the tick tock from rooms away and the deep boom, boom, boom in the middle of the night was so reassuring to me. My grandfather kept the key up high above the clock where we couldn’t reach it and there was a huge production that happened when he would open up the front glass door and crank the gears to keep it going. He’d check his watch and make any tiny adjustments to the time and close the case back up. I think I may need to get an old clock now – guess I’m getting old, or just more sentimental.