If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands

I am trying to teach my kids the power of affirmations… but sometimes I need to remind myself of their power too.

This morning, my little girl woke up in a rather whiny, miserable mood. I hugged her and told her I felt the same – I was also tired, my tummy was also a little sore and I would also love to stay in bed in this grey rainy weather. I also told her that it is her choice as to whether she spends the rest of the day feeling sorry for herself or whether she perks up, puts on a happy face and approaches the day with a positive outlook. With very little prompting, she started to repeat the little affirmation that I taught her… “I am in a happy mood and I choose to have a happy day today”.

The first two times she repeated it, it was with a long face but by the third time, a smile was starting to shine on her adoreable toothless mouth and by the fourth time, her whole face had lit up and she really did seem to have shaken the bad mood. I told her I was saying it with her to make sure I had a happy day too. And so far so good. As I drove to work, I chose to listen to some loud happy music from my iPod to listen to instead of my usual talk radio… and what do you know… I am in a good mood and having a happy day today.

Happy Friday Everybody!

Downward Dog and other Achievements

I attended my first ever yoga class today. Something I have been wanting to do for ages but procrastinating about for just as long. Too many bad experiences in gym classes and general self consciousness about my weight has always put me off. But today I did it, I actually went to a class. And enjoyed it, despite being horribly inflexible and unbalanced. I am going again. 

I also had a confirmed booking for a birth in April. It’s a home birth with a lovely couple and the midwife is a seriously earthy one. I am looking forward to the experience and the challenge of working with this woman and of course the lovely peace of a home birth! 

Namaste.

Coulda Woulda Shoulda

If I did it all again

I would plan a home birth

I would hire a doula 

I would let my children be a part of the process

I would nurse for longer

I would cuddle my baby like I cuddled my first two

I would love my baby like I loved my first two

There maybe somethings I would do differently, but the love – I did that bit right.

SACRED SPACES

I wasn’t the most popular mom in the world this afternoon – I bought my kids some canvases to play around with, but wouldn’t let them paint with my paints or brushes.

They probably would have done much damage, and my paint and brushes are not the most expensive around but they and my art “studio”  are mine, and special to me. These are some photos of my space. 

SACRED SPACES

I wasn’t the most popular mom in the world this afternoon – I bought my kids some canvases to play around with, but wouldn’t let them paint with my paints or brushes.

They probably would have done much damage, and my paint and brushes are not the most expensive around but they and my art “studio”  are mine, and special to me. These are some photos of my space. 

22/31 Choose Happiness

I have felt a little irritable and flat today. It might be a good idea then, it being a Sunday night, to get my headspace right for Monday.

Things I am grateful for right now:

My husband, my best friend for 20 days shy of 15 years.

My children, bright and beautiful.

My family, who have to love me.

My friends, who choose to love me.

My home, which is so much more than just a roof over my head.

My job, which allows me to live a comfortable existence.

My king size bed, dressed in crisp white cotton, which I am about to climb into.

Goodnight. x

Nicole posted two days ago about the lost art of letters. Yesterday, as my idea for my daily post took hold, I decided to write down my idea. An idea turned into a full fledged post as the thoughts flowed. There is a poetry in letting the thoughts flow out the hand. So if you will excuse the office note paper… 

Nicole posted two days ago about the lost art of letters. Yesterday, as my idea for my daily post took hold, I decided to write down my idea. An idea turned into a full fledged post as the thoughts flowed. There is a poetry in letting the thoughts flow out the hand. So if you will excuse the office note paper… 

24/31 Is there anything new under the sun?

“Originality is the art of concealing your sources” ~Benjamin Franklin

Last night I introduced my husband, via the wonders of YouTube, to an singer he was unfamiliar with. His comment was that he liked her general sound but she was not particularly original. I got to thinking then… Is anything ever original? And should we dismiss artists if we consider them unoriginal?

I can’t comment much with regard to music – I am not the audiophile my husband is. I simply listen and either like or dislike. I rarely remember names of bands or musicians, never mind song titles or lyrics. But I can comment as a visual artist.

I paint from references. It was the way I was taught at school. Sometimes the references are mixed up. A face from here, a hand from there and a pattern from somewhere else. I have often had people ask me whether I paint from memory or where I get my ideas from. They seem almost disappointed when I tell them that I paint from other pictures – mostly photographs, but occasionally other artworks.

I have a Jack Vettriano painting hanging on the wall in my lounge. Except it is not Vettriano’s work, it is my my own. I copied one of his paintings, as an exercise in technique. I was pleased with the result and had it framed. The lady at the framing shop tutted in disapproval as did a visitor to my home. I wasn’t trying to pass the work off as someone else’s. I was simply trying to learn the technique of an artist who I thought to be talented and was proud of my attempt.

Sometimes, my ideas an art piece are more abstract or I want to try working with different media. I then scour the Internet, searching for artists who may have tried similar techniques. I like to see their methods and results. At the moment, I really want to attempt a stylised picture etched onto canvas. I have seen it done and loved the effect. The only way I can imagine doing it is to paint Polyfilla onto canvas and then carve or etch into it. I am searching the web to find examples of this technique before I attempt it myself.

Perhaps a fear of failure or criticism makes me hesitant to just experiment and play? As a (mostly) self taught artist, I know no other way to create.

I often doubt my artistic talent and I wonder whether my concerns about lack of originality has something to do with my self doubt?

I would love to hear what other creatives think about this?

I am not particularly inspired to blog anything tonight so I am posting a pic instead. This was one of the first paintings I ever did on my own after the required school projects. I painted it on an old bed sheet primed with PVA.

The sheet has an odd story attached to it… our first family pet, when I was a child was a Boxer named Jessie. She ripped a sheet off the washline, damaged it, and for some reason my mom never threw it away. When I was hunting around for something to paint on years and years later, the ruined bed sheet was just the thing.

I used cheap oils – one of those box sets with tiny tubes and loads of different colours. I hammered the frame together myself out of scraps of wood in my dad’s garage. This painting hangs above my parent’s fireplace now.

My mom tells me that the paint is starting to flake in places – no surprise considering the poor quality materials used. I may have painted loads of paintings since but this is the one that I love the most. 

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