Almost there....

This is the last week of Dave's treatment. On Friday he will have finished the complete course of radiotherapy. Phew. He did it! 

At the start of his radiotherapy, he moved back to his as it was easier for him to do the daily appointments from his home just outside of Norwich, than from here in the wilds. I confess I found that change a bit traumatic and the weeks after were a bit hard. In truth, Dave has coped with his diagnosis and treatment far better than I. My physical and mental health have pretty much been in free-fall as I've struggled to deal with things. As a friend said over coffee and cake this morning, there isn't a guide book for our experience over the last eight-nine months. We've been dealing with things the best we can.  Some days are better than others. 

As always, I take the moment to be grateful to the loving support around me. Boy and his lovely have been absolute towers of strength. Z and LT have provided gin and wide shoulders at moments notice. The Lovely and Great Ursus have been ever present, ready to provide tea and cinematic fun. Julia, the fabulous poet kept a weathered eye on me and whose cheery messages lifted my flagging spirits so many times. Not to mention the denizens of Facebook who kept me chuckling with cheeky memes and general shenanigans. Not to mention my other friends who come running at the first sight of a window to meet up, who've understood the weeks of silence. 

The Mindfulness Course is fun. Of course I'm the unruly pupil, with my mind like a barrel-full of monkeys. Much of it, I've come across in different forms before, but the condensed version has been incredibly useful. The different meditations and exercises have been very difficult as my monkeys refuse to stay quiet for too long. Had it been easy, there wouldn't have been much point in doing the training. I had to miss last Saturday's session due to the cold that Dave so generously gave to me. I spent last six days feeling like Monty Python's foot squashed me. Bleugh. 

I've been continuing to Art and am beginning to feel more confident. It's funny, but I pick up the brushes and the pencils without much thought. With the writing and poetry, it's always taken a bit of a push and procrastination before I've sat down. I'm not doing as much as I would like, but that's down to the other responsibilities I have right now. I nearly gassed myself by using turpentine in my studio, this lead to a thumping headache and the purchase of more-lung-friendly solvents and a brush-wash tin. 

I'm continuing my abstract work, but I've also been working on my drawing skills. I don't particularly like still life paintings, but I recognise that it's a useful learning opportunity. I set up some sunflowers and got lost in them. Much to our surprise I produced a drawing that I'm really quite pleased with, I gave it to Dave. 

We had a fabulous weekend in London. There was amazing vegan food, outrageous cocktails, The National Gallery and a boat trip down the Thames. Van Gogh's Sunflowers took my breath away. I could have stared at the painting for hours. Unfortunately, the tourists were an absolute nuisance. And I also include the domestic visitors under that label. There were crowds of people around Sunflowers, all taking pictures of themselves or their friends with the painting. They'd then move off without pausing. It made my blood boil. 

It's not a pretty painting by any means, but Van Gogh captured the sunflowerness of the flowers with each stroke of his brush. The yellow of the background is almost gold against the yellow of the petals. It's just gorgeous. Don't assume that the paintings you see  in books are like their physical selves. Paintings have a presence photography doesn't capture. There's a rawness to Van Gogh's work that I knew because of his history, but it was only standing before his paintings (there are four in the National) that I really felt it. 

Anyway, it's time for me to put it out there. This is what I've been working on....
Interconnectedness

Interconnectedness detail

Interconnectedness II

Sunflowers

So there you are. My arting. I need to do it and it pleases me. I suppose that's all that matters really. Hopefully, the words will come creeping back in the next few weeks. I miss them.

Comments

  1. I like the subverted Mondrian! And Interconnectedness II has a very calligraphic feel... there is a abstract calligrapher who this reminds me of.... Denise Lach? Something like that. Well done for putting your work out here!
    Sx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I confess the subverted Mondrian was because I knew my colour mixing would be crap. The next one will be different.

      Interconnectedness II is done with pen on watercolour paper. I draw the sticks and then paint them in with gouache. That one, I just left.

      I shall look up Denise Lach. Thanks for the heads up.
      xx

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  2. P.S Pleased to hear that Dave has finished his treatment, all the best to you both!
    Sx

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    Replies
    1. Thank you lovely. It's been a bit of a slog for Dave. The radiation was far easier than the chemo. The chemo was vile.

      Hugs to you.
      xx

      Delete
  3. Oh, I've just asked how you're both doing (in comments at mine)
    Big hug to Dave.And have one yourself for managing not to cave in.
    Now, I know you're tough enough to take this - "Interconnectedness" puts me in mind of the deck chair man's locker at the end of a very long day.
    And you're managing to do more painting/writing than I am.Much more.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah. Now you know, I won't go back to yours just to answer.

      :-)

      Delete
    2. PS. And no, don't assume I'm tough enough to take criticism or weird comments.

      It's taken me weeks to gather my courage to put it out there.

      Delete
  4. Congrats to Dave for finishing his course of treatment. It must be a great comfort for him to know that all of you are there for him.

    Interconnectedness and Interconnectedness II are very pleasing to behold. Well done.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He dug deep to get as far through the chemo as he did, thankfully the radiation was easier. He's bouncing back really well.

      By the way, he so loves the space mission notes. So very much. I'm grateful to you for that. It was a complete surprise to him.

      He says outside of Richard Feyman's lecture notes, it's the most nerdy thing on his bookshelf.
      xx

      Delete
  5. I'm not a big abstract sort of person, mostly because I don't always understand what everyone else is saying (more likely parroting) about a painting & what it supposedly means.

    But I do know what I like, & I love this! I like colors & shapes. And I like the energy & vibrancy of Interconnectedness. It looks like people & their friends & loved ones, coming together, holding each other up, & dancing joyfully to the music of life. I like it a lot!

    Your sunflower sketch is very realistic! You have talent. When I draw/sketch, I tend to do heavily stylized art. I'm terrible at real life representational art. Something inherent in my being just cannot abide drawing real life art. I always feel the need to make my drawings more stylized--they end up looking like comic books, but it feels right. You have managed to make still life look lively!

    It is a great joy to hear that Dave's treatment is progressing well. Thank you for sharing. And I'm happy you both got to enjoy a few days of vacation & enjoy the beauty of Van Gogh's art. Yes, some things can only be appreciated up close & in person. And tourists suck! Especially when they are annoying & disrespectful!

    Thank you for sharing your art. They are wonderful. Best wishes & Good health to you, Dave, & your loved ones.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. For me and my work, abstract art is an attempt to get to the "thingness" of the thing, without drawing/painting the thing.

      I started making these shapes years ago and when I picked up my sketchbook early in the year, I started again. I'm experimenting with colours, techniques and media until I can fail better.

      My sunflower sketch shocked me to be honest. Like you, I don't do representational art, cause I can't. But it did and it was.

      Massive hugs darling.
      xx

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  6. Anonymous1:16 am

    There is a heart with a chunk out of it on the upper left of Interconnectedness. I like that. I think, for various reasons, we all have hearts with chunks missing.

    I hope you do sunflowers in colour one day.

    Well done to Dave on all his treatments! My fingers are massively crossed that this trounced the nasty tumours.

    Much love and hugs to you both. xoxoxo

    PS: Interconnectedness II reminds me of Pick Up Sticks, a game I played as a child. ��

    Ponita

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are paintings in the planning stages. Be patient.

      xx

      Delete
  7. I love Interconnectedness. Sort of like Mondrian but very different too.

    You'll never get rid of the monkeys. I have a few as well. I let them roam around a bit, they can be entertaining.

    Glad to hear Dave's treatment is finished. Cross fingers there are no further problems.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When I started out, I didn't intend it to be like Mondrian. I kinda turned out that way.

      I don't expect to get rid of the monkeys, I expect to train them. They are just contrary little bastards.

      I'm not going to cross my fingers because I need them. There will be further problems, it is inevitable. The tumour stopped shrinking and it can't be excised.

      That's part of the difficulties we face. Knowing that it's a "when" not an "if".

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  8. Marvellous Art! I really like Interconnectedness - especially for the doesn't-look-it-but-actually-is-connected blue triangle on the right, and the yellow triangle-headed stick effigy in the bottom centre.
    And interconnectnedness II reminds me of a game of Kal-toh goone horribly wrong! But in a good Vulcan-vexing way.

    P.S. Well done Dave!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks lovely.

      It is a bit like that, isn't it? Anything that vexes a Vulcan has to be a good thing.
      xxx

      Delete

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