It isn’t much because I received my Remicade infusion today and it always makes me so exhausted. I’m just hanging in tonight so I thought I’d do a contour drawing. I love contour and gesture drawing – the simplicity of line is really enough to capture the composition.
“One may have a blazing hearth in one’s soul and yet no one ever come to sit by it. Passersby see only a wisp of smoke from the chimney and continue on the way.” – Vincent Van Gogh
This quote really touched me today. When you live with a chronic invisible illness, people just simply don’t know what to do about you so many choose to walk past – the wisp isn’t enough for them and they continue on their way.
I refuse to stop talking about the fact that I have a disease called Ankylosing Spondylitis. If that makes you uncomfortable well then, you are free to walk past, but if you do, you missed your chance to meet a new friend who has learned empathy in a deep way.
When you live with AS or a chronic illness, you know what it’s like to be shut out for being different and you know what it’s like to have people do whatever they can to not discuss the topic of your health. We are not our disease but for heaven sake – acknowledge this huge part of what we deal with on a daily basis by simply asking us how we’re doing. If you can find the way to do this for your friends or family who are dealing with illness – we promise to thank you and not bore you with the details.
I’m simply me. My hearth is blazing – come sit by me and don’t think for a second that I’m not worth the time 🙂
Ahoy Apples! I have just published my first YouTube video of the painting of today’s Art Apple for AS! I’m so excited to share it with you please take a look – I jumped into this so I haven’t figured out the exact best placement of my video camera and I think next time I’ll brush my hair! But I loved doing this – it isn’t from start to finish because I haven’t figured out how to edit yet which is also why it is really long – about 8minutes. I’ll promise to make future videos shorter – please let me know what you think!
Day 170 was created in mixed media. Acrylic as a resist, watercolor, and collage letters from a Smithsonian magazine!
This is something that I strive to do everyday; it means so many different things to me. I wish I were better at it.
What does that mean to you?
To me it means finding courage everyday to fight through the struggles my body imposes on me. To me it means buying the fuschia top and not the gray one. To me it means attempting to speak up about my beliefs and in defense of others who can’t yet find their voice. To me it means that I will work to find the strength to do what is true to me and not what makes it easier for me to fade into the background, or to fit in or to please others. The really funny thing about life is that when you are true to who you really are – the people around you aren’t disappointed. When you live truthfully you end up having an amazing magnetic pull once you’ve found your true north. In the worst of my days with AS – I want to wear that camouflage. Hiding in plain sight is where I went for many years. I know the pull of that life. Some days I want it back.
Living boldly means so many other things to me. I received my BFA in design – which to me means I didn’t go boldly into the idea of being an artist (no offense to design majors at all) For me a design degree instead of a painting degree was safe. I didn’t have the courage to try something that stretched me, I chose the path of least resistance; the one that didn’t require leaving my comfort zone. I chose a safe career, a safe place to live, and a wonderful but normal life. Wonderful and normal can be safe or they can take on bold shades. You just have to wake up to the grays you’ve surrounded yourself in and find the fuschias! I want to live boldly and in full rockin’ color! I hope you’ll join me.
Day 169 was created in deep bold amazing full color!
It may be almost St. Paddy’s day but the Pink Lady inspired me today!
The real Pink Lady has a “distinctive pink blush over a yellow background” but I don’t really do much of anything in a blush. I live life in more of a Rogue Rouge! I happen to be more comfortable in full force impact – good or bad – my intentions are always genuine.
Writing a blog and working for AS awareness leads to the most interesting crossing of paths. My friend Kelly who was one of the founders of HurtingButHopeful.com and the amazing Facebook page ASAP (Ankylosing Spondylitis Awareness Project) knew that I was painting a pink apple tonight when I posed the question on Facebook – “So – I just got a new watercolor called Opera – not Oprah 🙂 Any guesses on what color it is?
Wonderful guesses were made – from yellow, to gray, to blue. But Kelly guessed the answer is HOT FLORESCENT PINK!. And – she informed me that her favorite apple is the pink lady. So much for knowing about apples – I’m learning everyday from so many amazing people and places.
”Oprah’s seldom seen,
In hot florescent colors,
That’s Lady Gaga.”
Day 167 was created in some glorious new watercolors – Opera, Marine Blue, and Bright Violet – as well as some Liquid Acrylic colors – like Pyrrole Orange and Quinacridone Magenta! wooosh – I had to spell check those 🙂
March 14th is 3.14 so it is Pi Day and I decided that it should also be Apple Pi day! Enjoy 🙂
Day 165 was created in Letraset Pantone Tria markers – if you love markers these are the daddy of markers. Three hundred colors available and each have three tips per marker! They have just come out with a new Pro Marker line that I’m dying to try.
Also – had a blast at the Art Supply store today – I’m going through paper like crazy and I bought 12 new Golden Fluid Acrylics colors – probably my favorite new discovery in paint in a long time. I’m finding that they are amazingly vivid and intense which I love but that I can use them almost like a watercolor – which I love even more. So, yes – I’m in love!
You can live in a positive universe or a negative universe, but the choice is your – Albert Einstein
I’ve recently come across a Facebook page and organization called Positively Positive. I’m in love with it. It’s full of inspirational quotes, links to amazing people, and tidbits of good and positive thinking. Their latest post is a Seth Godin video talking about optimism. He says that we stick with things because as human beings we have hope that it is going to be worth it. We all have our own challenges – some may need to stick with their piano lessons or a daily walk but for many of us with AS, it is about sticking with the fight to be better. I have hope that all our lives and health will continue to be better – it just may mean shifting some focus to get there. That’s a very difficult task when the pain takes up so much space in our brains. Yes, that is what constant pain does – but in the moments where there is an ease away from the pain, even if being positive about your current situation doesn’t seem possible – choose to dwell in optimism.
I spent so much of 2004 traveling in my mind to the HGTV dream home in St. Mary’s, Georgia. Sounds kinda funny now, but it saved me. I needed to find someplace to go that was a place without the pain and fatigue and uncertainty. I loved that house and registered to win it everyday. I can still walk through it and sit in the screened-in porch with the big fireplace and read a book. I can see the clawfoot tub through the French doors at the end of a hall and hear the water running for my bath. I can visit and paint in the tower perch with the 360 degree view. I went there when my body was so full of pain that I could only lay in bed and fight to get through another day. When the only choice I had was to hope for better days to come. Sticking with something for most people means a dream of inventing the next widget or being the next Michael Jordan – for those of us who have dealt with chronic illness – it can have an entirely different meaning.
Today I stick with my apples – my hope is for more people to understand that while being optimistic is a choice – under certain circumctances it looks different than these wonderful, inspirational teachers have any clue. Choose to dwell in optimism and hope – it doesn’t mean your life is in a good place but the practice can be wonderful and – worthwhile. And you will have learned how to fight for hope and optimism for when you feel well enough to make those dreams come true!