Hopes and Fears

So this week there’s some positive news about a possible new treatment for Parkinson’s disease: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-49713407. It sounds promising and my immediate reaction was excitement, relief and above all a huge wave of hope. Simon and I talk about how amazing it would be if the drugs worked. We read excitedly about the trials and try to find out when they might be complete and better treatment available.

Then I suddenly feel really bad for having these emotions. I shut down the conversation and get upset – isn’t this just further evidence to suggest I’m in denial about my diagnosis and not coming to terms with living with PD? Isn’t this just me grabbing at false hope and unrealistic dreams?

Confused and emotional I went into the studio and tried to express this situation of being between unrelenting hope, and then the constant fears for the future. Trying to look positively forward, whilst carrying a dark and debilitating weight of worries.

Hopes and fears
“Hopes and Fears” Acrylic on Canvas.

Living With Mr P: Our First Anniversary

Jane head 040919

I’m still me! A simple statement. One I wasn’t so sure I’d be able to say on 6th September 2018 when I got the formal diagnosis.
Mr P has brought me new anxiety and physical challenges, but I’m still the me I was before 6th September, same fears, same vanity, same ambition, same desires.

My drawing and painting has changed over the last 12 months. I can’t produce the fine detail of the past, but this has given me a bolder approach to my painting. To compensate for the lack of small detailed hand and wrist movement, I now stand at my easil and paint using the full movement of my body. As a result my artwork is richer in colour and emotion and feels more authentic.
Mr P has made me more creative and daring, and my output positively effects my ability to cope with Mr P.
Art is my therapy!

Mr P has opened me up to new experiences and challenges. In the last 12 months I’ve done:

  • The London 2 Paris bike ride (and the training to do it).
  • Joined a running club.
  • Got involved in Breakdancing and the urban arts scene.
  • Started doing yoga.
  • Had a tattoo!

Thanks to Mr P I have made some amazing new friends. I hope, friends for life.
I now have less time for negative people, and I recognise and love fiercely the positive friends and family I have.
I’ve learnt that the simplest gestures and thoughtful words can sometimes change your world.

Mr P may not define me, but I accept he is now part of who I am.
I am going to make something positive out of this situation. To talk about Parkinson’s and raise awareness of it through positive actions.
I’m determined to try to ensure life doesn’t close in on me, there are too many new experiences, challenges and paintings to be created.

Jane 040909

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

Valuable Distractions

I had all good intentions of going in the studio, finishing a new painting and posting it on here this evening. Instead old friends popped round for an unexpected catch-up. We ended up chatted for hours over multiple cups of tea, leaving no time for painting.

Reflecting on a week where I’ve spoken to a number of friends who are really struggling with life changing bad news, this long, lazy Sunday afternoon of conversations with good friends seems like a much more valuable use of time. I’m glad it took priority over painting.

So here’s a painting from a little while ago that seems to reflect my current February mood:

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