And the struggle continues

and I don’t know why.

I have lost all enthusiasm for everything. Working in the studio is a chore. I walk with my son’s dog in the morning and see some beautiful wild flowers. I think I really should paint or draw these beauties but by the time I get back home, that desire has gone. It hasn’t helped that there has been torrential rain for the last 10 days but there have been sunny days, it wouldn’t be Texas otherwise, so I have no excuse for not going out.

I have attended a couple of paint outs with the Austin group since I last wrote.



The above was done at Georgetown, a small town about 15 miles north of Pflugerville.  It was organised by the local historical society and there was a little art show a week later to display everyone’s effort. I have shown my work exactly once in public, so I wasn’t too sure about doing it again. But as it was an important show for the group (good advertisement for them), so I decided to participate. There were about 25 pieces in all and I think about 75% were sold, there was one display  unit that was completely sold. I must admit to feeling disappointed there was no red dot by my piece and I suspect this is the reason for my reluctant to show work (apart from laziness, of course). The fear, it wont be liked. Much as I can say, like I did to my son at the weekend, I don’t care what people think, deep down, of course I do.

My last effort to paint was at Mayfield park near the centre of Austin, another paint out with the group. It was mobbed with families and one time I had to stop a child from dipping their fingers into the paint! In the background were loud booms from explosions and artillery fire as they were re-staging an war time event at the Camp Mabry which is less than a ¼ mile from the park. Also in the back ground were peacocks who shrilled loudly every time  there was an explosion or burst of artillery was fired . All in all, not the best place to paint. I failed miserably. I went back on the Tuesday before the rain arrived  but I only made the painting worse!  I don’t think I  could be an urban sketcher/painter somehow, I would get too distracted!


this was after I went back and I still couldn’t cope with it.

I couldn’t and I can’t cope with all the different foliage that was there, plus my scale was off. I had made the archway too narrow.

The main project I have worked on since I last wrote, is a mixed media work based on a photo I took when I was in France last year.  In theory I had plenty of time to sketch while I was in France and it probably would have been a welcome relief to all the house clearing and visiting of my parents. But I didn’t so, in the week Gordon was there, I decided to take random photos of the countryside as we drove between the nursing home and the recycling dump with the intention to use them some way in my art.

So its all a distance memory now and to be honest, one that I am quite willing to consign to history as it was not a good time.

I started with a small painting as this was basically an experiment as I had a kernel of idea as I scanned in all the old photos my parents had.


I then embroidered extensively over all over the surface. I could have gone on and on to be honest but I got to the stage where I needed to experiment.


this was after I went back and I still couldn’t cope with it.

I placed a large piece of cheesecloth(scrim in the UK) over the whole canvas and attempted to needle felt over the embroidery. It was not a success!   I had tried a smaller area on the red house and road way when I realised the canvas was too thin for the process, so I had added a large piece of black felt on the back. as I embroidered the rest of the piece.


Not a great idea. The felt was a good idea but not in black as it started  to show through to the front. Unfortunately the cheesecloth was not a great fabric to use with  needle felting machine as the needles were getting caught up and snapping. I probably went through about 25 needles just to get this small piece done and as I envision a much larger work, I will need to go back to the drawing board

Although I am probably finished with this particular piece, I am going to do one more process to it. Put it in the washing machine when I do my next load of washing.  It will have to go with a dark load as no doubt the red will run ( the colours from experience are no colour fast). It will wreck it but I will be interested to see how it turns out. Maybe I can work on it further once that process is done.

So that has been my month, not a great one. I am unsure of where I am going next. I should probably give up this blogging and Instagram as I see so much good work on both platforms, so it is making me insecure in my own work. Maybe I am just trying too hard and I should stick to painting. I had a total of 15 visitors on this blog last month and my daily average is 1.6 (255 visitors for the year, so my viewers are disappearing as the months go by), so I am basically  writing into thin air However, I have been doing this for so many years now, its hard to give up and really I write to remind myself to what I was thinking/feeling over the years. I have definitely developed an addiction to Instagram. Not a good thing as it only makes me hanker for things that I are beyond my scope. Makes yearn for London, Glasgow, big cities,art and not my 4 walls. Need to visit the Blanton again, been years since I have been there. I doubt much as changed though 😦

My Instagram page – Jacqui Boyd Alden



  1. I am always impressed by your paintings. Do you have oil paintings. I am looking for long width and short height to go over my sofa.
    Once I am better at walking we must meet up again.


  2. Sorry to read that you are feeling so blue but we all go through these doubts about our work especially when you are being experimental. I understand only too well your reservations about working outside with all the distractions. I was working outside a few weeks ago and found myself surrounded by loads of junior school children who really annoyed me. Please keep blogging because your work really is very interesting. 🙂


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