circus of uncertainty

It’s a continuing theme…

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We are back in the book again. Come in, have a stroll round…

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It’s a bit wordy underfoot so mind your step.

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There’s a regularity to the irregular once you get used to it here.

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There’s a quiet comfort in the uncertainty.

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And as in the parallel world outside, no-one’s really sure what’s going on.

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“Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart.
…live in the question.”

Rainer Maria Rilke

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Welcome to my circus of uncertainty

 

 

 

merging emerging

Last night I couldn’t sleep. So I painted. And I pondered.

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The magic of metallic paint on cushiony soft paper, that biro marks indent and cast tiny shadow outlines.

Life is as quick as a flash, a sprint through some generations and it’s done.

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And life is a slow evolution, spiralling up through understanding new layers of the game.

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It’s both.

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Everything & Nothing. Empty & Full.

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Contrast & Confusion. Zigs & Zags.

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Deep & Shallow.

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Some folk like to scramble the edge, following the truths they’ve chosen to absorb, busying away their days in occupation and activity, punctuated with ritual and escapism.

IMG_7349.jpgFearful of treading over the lines, getting their toes wet, or worse.

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Some folk run at it fast, not leaving anything to chance, escaping the dangers by out-running and out-witting. No way is right, no way is wrong. We’re all just making it up one bit at a time.

~~~~~

I’ve been listening to Pete Holmes’ podcasts: You Made It WeirdHe kept me company through the night, kept me laughing and thinking. So far I’ve really love love loved his interactions with Liz Gilbert & Deepak Chopra and been curiously riled by Noel Gallagher &  Tim Minchin.

Scraps of Serendipity

How to make a decision, how to avoid paralysis of overhwelm, when there are a hundred gazillion options, how does that work?

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Cos here we are, right, in the 21st Century, and if you’re reading this I’m figuring you’re someplace a little bit like here. A place where art supplies are available in more colours, more media, more super-doopy newly formulated zingyness, more variety than you can shake a stick at. 

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And even when you’re on a strict self-imposed use-what-you-got-already-before-buying-more-at-the-art-store diet….. there’s no still shortage of choice. Especially not when you’re compelled to repurpose just about anything into art.

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Scraps of Serendipity. Love it when that happens!

Lately I’ve taken to limiting what I can use to the scraps that are on my work table. These tubes of paint I didn’t put away after last time, these nibbles of torn paper. These choices were made by a previous me, and today’s ingenuity is tasked to find a new way to combine them.

 

friday afternoon thoughts

The unfolding of my days now includes this nightly ritual,

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no matter what time I have between getting home and going to sleep, at least part of it is spent between the pages of this book. I make the time, eke it out, surprise myself how much page can be covered and how many doodles will flow.

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It’s a dumping ground for thoughts and feelings, fragments of information, part formed thoughts. Ends of words that doodle off into a cat’s face. That sort of thing.

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(the dictionary pages are back… yes, the same dictionary)

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And collaged people. I don’t know who they are or where they came from.

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This one emerged from nowhere. I don’t know him either.

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Wishing you all a good weekend, dear friends. X

hello/goodbye

Yesterday I went to the funeral of the mother of an old friend. I don’t see him much these days, our lives distanced in different directions, but as a teenager I spent some time hanging out at his house and with his family, so I went along to say hello/goodbye.

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The last time we saw each other, a few years ago, was the funeral of another of the group who used to hang out. The brother of our lost friend was there as well. The previous grief rolled back in. As I walked home after my mind was flooded.

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The sanctuary of this book was waiting for me, glad of the space between it’s pages to drift and soothe and hush the thoughts. There are no rules in here. Nothing appropriate or other. Just release.

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Revisiting the crematorium, I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve been there, from my cousin when I was 15 through generations of friends and relations. With every attendance, every ceremony, each the same and each achingly unique, another layer of mourning.

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The logical mind tries to interpret grief intellectually as profound sadness associated with an inexplicable ending, but it isn’t, it’s much more confusing than that.

It’s all of the emotions, all of the feelings in accelerating succession, then as that rhythm starts to normalise, another avalanche. And repeating, and repeating. Inexplicable, inappropriate, quite strange. I remember  feeling indestructible after mum died.  In conversation yesterday someone was saying how he floated in an unexplained elation for months after a close loss. Troubling and comforting in balanced measure.

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I often think of how different our lives have become in just a few generations, since the media driven onslaught of communication. By partaking in modern society our circle of acquaintance is inflated to absurd proportions in unrestricted encounters.

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These encounters zip back and forth in time, meaning for the first time in humanity we can spend time in the company of someone – albeit a one-way version of them – at any point in their lives. Years aren’t played out in consecutive order and the resultant discombobulation unsettles us, I believe, more than we understand.

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Perhaps this is the shake up we need, rattling us out of the old paradigms.

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on letting go, on moving on

Continuing from yesterpost, as I’m finding my place in this book, it’s finding its place in my days.

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I’m loving the contrast of my art against the books original purpose (which I spoke of more over here). The waves and the lines criss-crossing the verbal nonsense. More than this I’m enjoying the meditation of the evening ritual this book plays out in my life. It’s very lack of specific purpose is becoming it’s purpose.

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It’s a bit solid ground in uncertain times as I’m feeling unsettled in aspects of my life with the turmoil of transition, that awkward movement into unknown territory. It sits in part of my world where I know I can keep moving, one little step at a time.

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Behind the noise of confusion I soften the day, here is my haven. I leave the other realities, partially dismantled, they can wait for now.

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I’m drawing in a series of moments of now.

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I’m relishing the freedom: detaching from outcome , delighting in the hope, focussing on process,

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the less I plan, the more fun I have.

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The more I let go, the more I let go.

 

 

 

 

 

unruliness

Last month I declared my intent for a new phase of being me.

The new rules? there are no rules. This is my age of unruliness! 

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So to start off I’m simplifying; I’m streamlining.

I’m de-cluttering my life both  literally and figuratively. Honestly, permanently and fundamentally. It’s proving a wrench to begin, if I’m honest about it, but I do believe once I build up a bit of momentum there’ll be nothing to stop me.

I’ve heard good things about Marie Kondo’s book “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up”, so I’m watching this as a substitute for reading it. I can’t add to the pile of to-read-next books that’s remained untouched for an uncomfortably long time now. And I love irony. I still can’t.

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Through the first 45 years of this life I gathered and collected. I took things on and things built up – actual things and symbolic things – I inherited these traits along with a lot of accumulated junk and an assortment of mismatched thought patterns and beliefs.

And the conclusion I’ve drawn from looking into this? it’s exhausting, confusing and not something I’m prepared to pursue any further.

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I’m really going to shake this whole bag of nonsense up and see what sticks and what falls off. If it falls off it’s not mine to care about any more.

Climbing out of that old existence.  This time is my time.

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I plan to free up enough space that I can stretch out both arms and touch the outer edges of my imagination. I think that this colourful outpouring is part of that process and all these troubled tense scribbles are an outlet. As are the hectic dreams of monsters and gremlins that bite my arms and chew on my feet in my sleep.

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I want to be free to explore the dreams I always knew would find their time.

Their time is now.

stream of consciousness

I’m so enjoying this book, it’s a book without rules or boundaries.

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Previous art journals have always had a Reason

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Or arbitrary parameters to guide the content.

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Often it was based around a time frame: a page a day , a colour a month, a spread a week

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But this book is finding its own natural rhythm.

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It started a few weeks ago and seems to be averaging a page every 2-3 days.

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I date them, but that’s really just for me-in-the-future to look back and reflect on if she so wishes.

IMG_7252Only things going on here are a bit of a brain bump, whatever colours, media and materials that are to hand, some words I hear, some images I find.

It’s all a stream of consciousness.

A questioning mind…

You know me – you know how I love to puzzle something out. I was wondering about my current art journal recently.  Join me over on Dirty Footprints Studio for my monthly guest post where I unscramble these thoughts about just this.

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thoughts de jour

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Traditional journalling – the outpouring of words and thoughts and the recording of happenings, events and reactions is quite linear: these things occurred, then were recorded; these things were planned and projected, then recorded.

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Art journalling is far more holistic. Even the most literal illustrations are cast in the light of the mood, defined by the view of the artist and constricted by the limitations of their style and skill.

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And then there’s this whole exploration of the psyche that forms from the deluge of abstraction that some of us create.

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Like many other artists who play this game, mine is largely an unplanned stream of consciousness.

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As life ebbs and flows there are periods dominated by torrential outbursts of imagery.

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I’m driven by a force beyond my thoughts to combine and construct these collections of objects, images and notions. They make no sense at the time and only sometimes later can I pick out an impression of context, a reflection of thought.

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Meanwhile, I enjoy the colours and the nonsense. Another metaphor for life.

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