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Weekly Photo Challenge and Travel Theme: Paint A Happy Place

Claremont Gardens

Weekly Photo Challenge and Travel Theme: Paint A Happy Place

Before fibromyalgia affected my manual dexterity I painted in many mediums, oils being my favourite. Chronic illness can’t destroy my creativity though! Art is not simply something that I do, it defines me. I just love Painting With Light, almost the literal meaning of photography. I’m often at my happiest finding scenes that inspire me, like these ones captured at Claremont Landscape Gardens, and using my imagination and creativity through digital processing to paint my visions. For these pieces I first processed my images in Camera Raw then worked on them extensively in Photoshop. I wanted to capture the essence of an old masterpiece by Constable or Turner, focusing on rich tones with strong elements of light and shadow.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Work Of Art – My Paintings

Weekly Photo Challenge: Work Of Art - My Paintings

Weekly Photo Challenge: Work Of Art – My Paintings

Twenty years ago I was studying Fine Art at college. My work included painting, drawing and photography. My favourite medium was always oil paint! It’s such a pliable medium and pleasure to work the paint, before and after it’s applied to the canvas or board. I really miss it!

I focus on my photography now because my disabilities have stopped me from working with paint or pencil. It’s just too painful and I can’t control the mediums any more! Painting with light has always been a joy though and so I continue to create works of art through the medium of photography 🙂

I thought I’d take the opportunity to show you a few of my old paintings and drawings (apologies for the quality of some of the older photos)

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Abandoned

Weekly Photo Challenge: Abandoned

Weekly Photo Challenge: Abandoned

This weeks challenge brought up a mix of emotions for me. Living with chronic illness for almost twenty years has often led to feelings of abandonment.

Whenever emotion becomes overwhelming I try to let it out through art and poetry. It’s a hard thing to do when life and society knocks you back again and again.

I’m fortunate to have my art as an outlet and a wonderful support network of family, friends, care workers, Specialist Nurses and Consultants. They all love my art too!

These wonderful people have helped me to rebuild my life every single time that my illnesses have tried to break me apart. They will never abandon me and I love them dearly for that and so much more!

My featured image this week is a photomontage called “Not Yet Dead” (2008/9). It’s an evolutionary piece following an oil painting made shortly after my diagnosis with Crohn’s, entitled “To The Grave” (1996/7).

These self-portraits and their companion poems document the hard times but are also a statement of intent, I won’t be kept down or left behind no matter what life throws at me!

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Brush Stroke

Brush Stroke

Daily Prompt: The Power of Touch

Textures are everywhere: The rough edges of a stone wall. The smooth innocence of a baby’s cheek. The sense of touch brings back memories for us. What texture is particularly evocative to you?

Photographers, artists, poets: show us TEXTURE.

Our home is filled with my artwork! The paintings hold precious memories for me. Those memories are bitter-sweet as I can no longer paint due to Fibromyalgia.

This photo is from a small section of an oil-on-board that I painted many years ago and still has great tactile appeal. I often find myself running my hand across the painting as I walk past it.

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Reprise

Reprise

Daily Prompt: Ballerina Fireman Astronaut Movie Star

When you were 10, what did you want to be when you grew up? What are you now? Are the two connected?

Photographers, artists, poets: show us DREAMS.

I always wanted to be an artist. To create, to share, to teach, to inspire. That’s my dream.

This post is inspired by a previous post, called Sweet Dreams, that I’ve had some truly lovely feedback from.

Sweet Dreams – Reprise

Sweet dreams are made
In varied themes that
Convoluted, curve as
Does the rain-swelled
Stream, tripping over
Rocks and stones,
Tumbling away into
Some disinterested
Play of thought
And lack thereof.
The mind bridges
These vast chasms,
The dam busts,
The bubble bursts.
Left high and dry
In an endless desert.
Is this a mere mirage,
Visions blurred gauzily,
Subconscious schemes to
Subvert all pleasantries?
Sweet dreams are
Made of such extremes.

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Fancy Fish

Fancy Fish

Weekly Photo Challenge: Nostalgic

IN A NEW POST CREATED SPECIFICALLY FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A PICTURE THAT MAKES YOU NOSTALGIC.

As with most of our photo challenges, we’re keeping this one wide open to interpretation. Some ideas:

  • A meaningful family photograph.
  • A snapshot of something or someone that reminds you of your past.
  • A “throwback” image of a thing or activity you once loved.
  • A picture of your home, home city/country, or a place that you long for.
  • An image edited with a vintage filter

Most of you don’t know this but I actually studied Fine Art Drawing and Painting. Our little flat is practically an Art Gallery in its own right!

Fibromyalgia has sadly put a stop to this aspect of my art. My manual dexterity is pretty poor these days. I’m so grateful that I still have my photography!

For this challenge I chose to take photos of parts of one of my treasured watercolour paintings. These are Black Moor Fancy Goldfish. They “swim” together with five other goldfish in a painting from 2002. This painting now hangs above the sofa in the sitting room as I’m just loathe to part with it!

My paintings stir up many memories for me. Sometimes I feel sorrow that I can no longer paint but mostly they transport me to the time the painting was created and all the wonderful emotion surrounding their conception.

I kept fish for many years, whilst still living with my parents, lodging with my friend Lou and when I first moved into my current flat. With two of us living here now we sadly don’t have the space to keep the tank going.

Here are three of my fondest memories that this painting evokes.

  1. My first ever goldfish, called Jaws, who ate every other fish we ever tried to introduce to the tank. He was HUGE! Even the cats from next door were scared of him 🙂
  2. My mum, watching me through the conservatory door whilst I worked on this very painting. I always hated being watched while painting, and she was always very sneaky!
  3. Coming back home to find that, somehow, Lou had managed to move the 50 litre tank and it’s contents across the sitting room……..again! Lou was even shorter than me, about 4’11”. I never did find out HOW she did it! This painting reminds me of Lou in a good way.
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Light Flower

Light Flower

Daily Prompt: Morality Play

Where do your morals come from — your family? Your faith? Your philosophical worldview? How do you deal with those who don’t share them, or derive them from a different source?

Photographers, artists, poets: show us THE SOURCE.

For myself, as a visual artist, the source has always been light.

As a person, my source is in nature.

Even when I’m painting with just light and colour, my love of nature, the beauty and forms of living things, tends to influence my composition.

It’s often quite subconscious but I do enjoy the results 🙂 I hope you do too!