Finding your Joy Part 2.

I never did get back to the ‘finding your joy’ taster course. It wasn’t exactly a scam as the instructor was very upfront about this being a marketing exercise, but it felt like one. Reading the Facebook discussion which followed as she announced each practice exercise was very distressing. Lots of people became convinced they couldn’t paint as instructed, which made them feel like failures. Who wants to deliberately make an ugly painting, which is what the 2nd exercise was. However, I hung on to the bitter end as I wanted to see the last video call where Louise talked about the 10-week course. Of course, it was about money like anything these days, £895 or $1230 for an 8-week study with two catch up weeks. Last year she had more than 900 people sign up (that might be a marketing ploy, an exaggeration, but given the number of members of this group, it might be even more!). That would add up to a whooping £805,500 for eight weeks! No wonder she has managed to build a beautiful fancy studio in the few years since she started these courses. Since I did this taster course, my Facebook feed has (predictably) been filled with similar adverts, so now I wonder if it is a pyramid scheme like the make-up companies such as Younique or Fields and Rodan.
Above is just my opinion. However, I did come across someone else who felt the same way.
As I didn’t continue with that course, I worked with the Westalee rulers I have recently purchased. I signed up for a class on their University page at Sewsteady.com which featured just one ruler, the 12″ arc template. I will write a separate post about that next.

Depression, anxiety and art

Many people seem to think that anxiety, depression and art go together as an artist and that aids the creative process. For me, that is not the case. My mind comes to a grinding halt! As a life long sufferer of depression and anxiety, I can now feel when a period like that is coming along and usually I can mange to side swerve the worse of it by doing very routine things by just plodding along. Not this time!  It has taken almost 8 months to get pass this stage and it is still a struggle but one that is getting better. Unfortunately, I am not yet back to painting.  For the last 2 weeks my body has also decided to rebel against me as I battle a vicious allergic reaction which has left me with nasty welts all over my body and clothing being my enemy. As we are also going through a heatwave at the moment,  so any movement causes sweating which in turns makes the itching even worse. So plenty of cool soothing baths, showers and just keeping still has been the order of the day. Today temperature is meant to top 105F/40c. the joys of living in central Texas!

However, I have finally been making process with the online embroidery course I decided to take in December. It took me 6 months to get the first stage complete!  I have almost finished the 2nd part in less than a month so signs of progress only stopped this week by incessant itching.

Below are some of  the work I have done on this.  Part one  exploring stem stitch , chain stitch and fern stitch beginning with mark making exercises.

Part 2 has been been exploring line though using cut, torn and folding paper.

Finally line in paint through mono printing which amazingly I have never tried before. Not sure I have achieved this so well but I enjoyed the playfulness of this method of working and can see using this again.

Unfortunately I think this is where I acquired up my current allergic reaction as I pick up some plant matter and I suspect I touched some poison ivy in the process, stupid me!

Next step is explore the composite stitches of whipped stem stitch, Pekinese stitch and raised chain band. I have completed the samples so they should come along quite quickly but we have a short stay in Mexico City to enjoy before then. Really looking forward to the Frida Kahlo Museum and obviously I will be looking at any needlework/textile work I get my greedy eyes on.

Painting is also on my agenda but not a priority as it will come along when it is needed but it has not been abandoned. It will always be part of my life in some form or another.

I have done one drawing in the past month or so. I got a sheet of A1 cartridge paper and painted it with acrylic  gesso with no real idea of what I was going to do with it, other than I didn’t want it to be the tight smaller drawings I was doing last year as I wanted to get rid of the inhibitions to drawing that I have developed. For the one drawing it worked out quite well and I planned to do more ( I already have several prepared with gesso) but then the embroidery came along. As I have about 500 or more sheets (send to me by mistake by the supplier and they let me keep them several years ago, nice  🙂 ) , it is definitely something to explore in the coming months.

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