Every great inspiration is but an experiment. – Charles Ives
Lately on Saturdays I’ve been creating a “Saturday Apple” – an apple that is pretty but simply painted and that doesn’t include any post. It was a bit of a compromise with Doug because I was spending a lot of time on the weekends on my blog. And, it was a way to get a little break for myself too. Today I sat down around noon and instead of just pulling out the paint I was dying to try a technique I’ve been researching. It is a method to transfer printed images onto a surface. It allows the artist to incorporate images into the piece without using a college technique that can lead to deterioration (ha in about 100 years or so) but…
I have really wanted to try it – but when you experiment you have to be prepared for failure even when it is accompanied with inspiration. I knew it was going to take a lot more time than a Saturday Apple but it was really hot out today and after planting a couple of new $2 Lowe’s special salvias, I was ready to cool off.
I had a lot of fun making today’s apple. I used fabric, gesso, thread, paint, scrap paper, and the image of the apple you see is my Zentangle Apple from Day 151. Is that cheating??? I used my own apple to make another apple. Anyway – I used this transfer technique and then stitched and painted and beaded – oh my!
I’m lovin’ making art. And honestly I cannot wait to create without constraint!
Day 303 was created in a bunch of stuff! See above 🙂
Over the winter I talked a lot about feeling like I didn’t have any ideas for my apples. I probably became a bit of a broken record for a period of about two weeks. And then it cleared and I’ve been fine until today.
Total creative block.
So I asked for help – thank you Facebook for instantly connecting me to so many people. My friend Betsy replied with a photo. A photo of her using a nebulizer. She then asked me if it inspired anything and of course it absolutely did.
Betsy and I chatted for a bit – I was concerned for her and curious. AS can throw us many curve balls and include complications beyond the joint fusion we typically initially talk about. Since we all seem to present with different variations and intensities we tend to talk about the key issue that affects our daily lives and we all have in common – which is pain. We don’t talk too much about the what-if’s of some of the less common complications and one of the reasons I think is because, well – they are scary.
Betsy told me that last week she passed out at home alone and awoke with heart palpitations. She didn’t know how long she had been out but she knew something was wrong and she did what many of us would have done. She got up and drove herself to the hospital telling herself that was the reasonable thing to do since a world renowned hospital was 5 minutes down the road. And after a number of tests and a few days in the hospital she is facing a meeting with a cardiologist – and using a nebulizer in the mean time to help keep her heart rate regulated. I don’t understand really how the heart and lungs all interconnect but what I do know is that this is scary and hits home and makes all of us with AS ask that question. “Will it happen to me?” It isn’t something we can dwell on but it is something I hope everyone is monitoring. Her situation is a reminder to us that AS is a difficult disease to deal with on a daily basis but we also live with the worry of the future in a way that involves a stress about how the disease will manifest. It isn’t like most people who wonder about what disease might or might not strike in old age, for us we know the general course of our disease enough that our minds have a place to wonder to and to imagine.
I asked Betsy if she was freaked out or if she was just numb. That may seem like a shocking question for me to have asked her but for a fellow AS’er – we do become quite numb to the latest symptom and complication. We have no choice but to deal with the stark facts and do the best we can to face our circumstances. I know Betsy would agree that if the time comes to freak out – she’ll do it and then do what she must. She is brave and strong and she will get through it – I have every faith in that fact. Thank you Betsy for reminding me that when I need an idea – you are all around me – you are all the inspiration I need.
Day 302 was created in mixed media. It is two haves of the cross section of a bronchus or lung airway. One side is open and the other constricted. The photo she shared with me of her using the nebulizer inspired a google search that resulted in this medical art image and I then took a lot of artistic liberties.
I’ve been sitting here trying to come to grips with what I’m feeling.
I’m tired – but that isn’t a feeling.
I’m tired – of making apples.
As much as I love what I’m doing – and I do love it… I’m tired of so much of all of this.
Is it ok that I just admitted that? I’ve been criticized for being too optimistic, too positive, for sugar coating things and for not talking enough about AS. Well – guess what I have to say to that… I DON’T CARE. I’m doing this for me as much as I’m doing it for what I believe in. If that causes some to question my motives well, I can do nothing about that.
I’m happy, I’m optimistic and I have AS – it is possible. Oh, and so you know – my head is pounding, my neck brace is on because my neck is killing me, and I feel like I could sleep for a year right now. Does that make everyone happy – I just bitched about my AS.
I will make every gosh darned apple no matter how much my neck hurts, no matter how tired I am, and no matter how much I’m criticized. I set out to do this – for so many reasons – one of which was to prove I could accomplish something regardless of this stupid disease. Yes, that I could do it. It is a personal journey, a very solitary journey at times, and I’m tired of being misunderstood. My heart is aching and split in two. I just wanted to do something good for myself and a few others along the way.
Now, my pity party is over. This is the only time you will ever see it – that is MY way. It should be respected as much as someone else’s way.
Day 298 is a collage made with watercolor, graphite, and a few scraps from my old dictionary.
Mom and I decided to surprise Dad and paint the front door this morning before he returned from his trip. We went to the island lumber yard that carries Benjamin Moore Paints (thankfully my favorite) and selected a beautiful green called Parsley Sprigs! Mom popped open the can and spread a big swatch across one of the two double front doors. I had gone upstairs to change into painting clothes and I looked out the window to see her standing back to see what she thought. I knew it wasn’t good by the look on her face.
I have a BFA in art and design in particular so I’ve spent years picking paint colors. It is something I really enjoy and I’m pretty good at so I was a bit miffed that I blew this one. The color was horrible and I was convinced that it hadn’t been mixed correctly. So off Mom and I went back to the Hardware store. Sure enough – it was the color we had picked so my miffed-ness became more intense but we had a good laugh over it and re-tinted it a shade darker (and much to my horror – we had to re-tint it a second time) but once that was accomplished – viola – instant house facelift!
We picked up Dad from the 10:30 am ferry and drove home slightly worried he wouldn’t like it.
He didn’t even notice. I guess you’ve got to break plaid to get someone’s attention. Imagine a plaid front door!!!
Day 281 was created in watercolor and acrylic paints.
There are many things in my life I’d like to simplify. My pantry, my hairstyle, and my art supplies could all use some cutting back, some re-thinking.
But what I’d really like to do is find a simple way to track my incoming mail be it of the paper or electronic variety – I feel inundated most days.
What are the basic essentials of communication? Do I really need to be informed that my cable bill just posted or that there is another new sale at Talbots? Isn’t so much of our “mail” sort of like the old question – “if a tree falls in the forest and there is no one to hear it – does it make a sound?” I’m wondering if I don’t know about the 30% deal or newest recipe for from Dr. Weil – do they really exist?
I might possibly find a way to live without knowing when the next Pottery Barn sale begins. Simplify… my new mantra!