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.

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

Doubling The Drawing Challenge

We doubled last night’s life-drawing challenge by having two models instead of one. Jane and Ann stuck a series of short poses with the common theme of emotions. We then tackled two longer poses with varying results within the room.

The challenge of drawing two models who are connected in pose is the need to work fast to capture as much as you can and make sense of what you’re seeing.

We always talk about the drawing process being as important as the end result – well that’s good, as my results were poor this week. My proportions were out and my quality of line, and tonal work were off form tonight. I’m hoping it’s a blip and a reflection of the double drawing challenge rather than a reflection of my potentially my meds becoming less effective.

45 minute sketch – Jane sitting, Ann lying.
30 minute sketch. Jane standing, Ann sitting.

What Makes Us: Memories and Dreams….

At life-drawing last night the model whilst looking at our sketches said she thought the artist’s representation of the model says a great deal about how they see themselves, and their self image.

I’ve been attempting to explore a related idea through some experimental work. I’m building a collage from images, creating layers of visual references relating to memories, the present, and how I saw the future.  Gradually the piece is developing a 3D nature. Through the layering process images are being painted over and covered by other images. This feels appropriate – our self image changes and has to adapt. Memories,  hopes and dreams are superseded but they don’t go away – they continue to make us who we are and affect the way we see our world.

This is early stage wip – I’ll post more as it evolves.

img_4176
Work In Progress. Mixed media collage