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Awareness and Art……..

Paul 55mins
Paul, 55mins

It was a strange day yesterday: the eve of World Parkinson’s day, and my six month PD review appointment at the wonderful QMC Nottingham. The waiting room provides a harsh reminder of the stages and effects of this condition. If anything makes you aware of the importance of funding more research for new treatments and to find a cure, it’s sitting in this waiting area as a relatively newly diagnosed patient.

My appointment was over an hour late, but who cares? These Parkinson’s professionals are amazing and I can’t thank them enough for dedication, support and efforts to help make the situation as bearable as possible.

As for me, I stay on my 10mg of Ropinirole, keep up the running and cycling and keep my fingers crossed for a longer ‘honeymoon’ period. As part of PD Awareness Week and World PD day, I decided to ‘come-out’ at my regular Wednesday evening life-drawing group, and it felt good!  For me a problem shared is a problem halved, and by speaking about my own condition it feels like I’m doing my own little bit for PD awareness. As for my art, I thoroughly enjoyed creating bold, bright, positive drawings last night, which I’m sure reflected my mood after sharing my diagnosis with creative and supportive friends.

Weekend Creative Wanderings.

This weekend was a wonderful example of how throwing yourself into challenging creative projects can be the best therapy for mind and body.

On Saturday I went to Lincoln for a day of contemporary life sculpture with The New Drawing Group. The Drill Hall venue was great, and the tuition was just right, providing direction, but allowing personal exploration. I loved the outcomes of the process more than the final clay sculpture, but I’m content with that and had an excellent challenging day.

Sunday was our extended 4 hour life drawing session at the Canalside Heritage Centre in Beeston. I though caution to the wind and got the acrylic paints out. I captured Julie’s form early on, but started to lose my way with the painting. Thankfully fellow life drawers  Liam and Jacqui suggested going bold with a yellow/ green background. It worked, if only to get my enthusiasm back with the painting. The outcome was bold and daring for a usually conservative me.

The weekend has helped me to be a bit more carefree and experimental with my work. I’m happy with that!

 

Julie PaintingJulie shadedwire 2d framemetal frame

Ropinirole, Robins and Running

Wollaton Robin

My day started with a talking and physiotherapy session at the Rehabilitation Unit at the wonderful City Hospital, Nottingham. My right shoulder continues to be stiff and I’ve got a sore bicep and general pain all down the right arm, This is annoying as I’m left handed and it’s more than likely connected to the PD. We talked about my Rapinirole meds and my impending drugs review in April, I can feel the inevitable upping of meds coming over the horizon.

Next was my trip to Wollaton Arts Group to do a two-hour painting demonstration to about 25 artists. I’ve never done a demo like this before, but managed to create another robin painting within the time.  It was smaller than my last robin painting, but similar in style using acrylic paints on canvas. I enjoyed the whole experience and managed to create the painting above from scratch in 2-hours. Thanks go to the Wollaton Arts Group for their attention, interest and positive feedback.

I made the short journey home and then went for a 5-mile run in the fading sunlight around Beeston, following the new path and ‘Boots’ bridge. My enthusiasm was thwarted by crampy right toes, worse than I’ve suffered since starting on my meds last September.  Today was a day of highs and lows, but with interactions with some great people and plenty of positivity,

Every time you draw you go on a mini adventure.

Drawing is as much about the journey as the final destination.
To draw is to accept the challenge, take a risk, to potentially look a fool, with no guaranteed outcome. The unknown outcome is part of the joy and frustration we face every time we pick up our pencil or piece of charcoal.

When we don’t reach the desired standard we’d hoped for, we try to remind ourselves the process is as valuable as the outcome. We learn from our efforts and move on to the next mini adventure.

“Creativity takes courage” Henri Matisse.                                                                               but then “Life takes courage”!

Janet Lifedrawing