I have been so busy lately and neglected my own wok in taking care of others’!
I am now full time carer to mum and my life is on the back burner. Stress I’ve found, has created a monster. I have knocked off 8 paintings since looking after mum, all worked with snatches of time. (Mainly when she’s asleep!) Daylight is best of course so I have had constant headaches from having my daylight bulb up close and personal night after night. ;o(
My latest project Eternal Treblinka was a real journey done in super fat time. Being vegan and supporter of animal welfare, my heart and brain was on 24/7 overdrive since reading Eternal Treblinka; Our Treatment of Animals and the Holocaust. I had the painting in mind well before the book was suggested to me by a lady from Animal Aid. After having second thoughts about the possibility of offending anyone, she suggested this book. Many survivors of the concentration camps became animal activists because they knew the true meaning of fear, loss and cruelty. This was a revelation to me because I have always seen cattle wagons loaded with cattle as the same thing. As if they are going to Auschwitz.
In our horrendously barbaric history, once the human being began to refer to fellow humans as ‘animals, beasts, less than human’ then slaughter could be instigated with no conscience. The methods of annihilation and ‘clear up’ used in Belsen, Auschwitz, Treblinka, were all mastered after reading about the Chicago slaughterhouses at the turn of the century. This is mind blowing stuff. I have had sleepless nights and even less peaceful days after reading pages of this book. But I can’t recommend it highly enough to meat eaters. This, along with the film Earthlings.com will give them such an insight into the meat industry and our treatment of animals that they will never been the same.
This is a new addition to the blog…somewhere to express my feelings from art to anger – from frustration to elation! My chill out room!
I was wondering today about artists past and present who live(d) their lives through veils of trauma, desperation, passion, tears & illness in some cases. Tragic characters like Seraphine de Senlis, Van Gough & writers alike – they all suffered for their craft; figures desperate to respect and deliver their imagintaion onto canvas, page or instrument. And they were often thought of as mad. Why? Because maybe they saw the world as it really was, & tried to create a world that could be.
FRIDAY JULY 27th
So weird. I have never had confidence in my work. It’s nowehere near as brillaint as some of my fellow artists out there. But….it’s mine & I love every brush stroke. I love the anger of having to re-paint, to scrape off whole sections back to blank with an old butter knife; to walk around the town with black paint on my face and wonder why people are frowning politely; and to finally sign my name on a finished piece that is never really finished until it is ‘out there’.
I love this life & you should too – whoever you are. Whatever you do, if it makes your heart pop with excitement, or your forehead break out on a cold sweat because of what you suspect you can do….then you’re an artist.
And to think it all started by drawing on the wall by my cot….
WEDNESDAY AUGUST 23 2012
Last night I finished work on MONKEY BUSINESS, a childrens book about the plight of the orangutans due to the increase in Palm Oil demands around the world. A massive, massive problem which I’ve been passionate in defending for years. This is my latest baby that I hope will find its place on bookshleves someday in order to help fund the much needed causes that are saving these barbacially slaughtered creatures and their habitat.
THURSDAY, APRIL 3rd 2014
Well time has flown. As full-time carer to my little Mama who has dementia, painting has had to take a back seat. Times are tough, upsetting, painful and glorious with Mum all rolled into one. But because dementia wipes the good as well as the bad, each day is unpredictable, making my caring for her tougher every single day.
Painting and writing has become my lifeline. Last year I completed a screenplay based on a novel I’d written over the space of seven years! After many re-writes I entered Mayfly into the BlueCat screenplay competition 2014.
After a first review and suggestions where I may improve, I dug my heels in and re-wrote again. This time it came up trumps and was given a flying second review which spurred me on to start ‘Noodled’, a series of six screenplays about my life with Mum as her carer.
Screenplay writing has an enormous level of discipline & structure involved; something I need desperately at the moment whilst caring for Mum. In a way I have her to thank for my new found passion. And together with painting, these two crafts are keeping me alive.
NOODLED has been both cathartic and eye opening; writing looking from the outside in. Hard to believe the carer is actually me. But one thing’s for sure – she always has paint on her hands :O)