Welcome and thankyou!

Thankyou to all of you friends and family that are taking the time to check this out. I know I am a BIG TIME NEWBIE in the world of blogging......well actually anything computer wise and otherwise on the big wide world of internet, so thanks for being patient, kind, loving and understanding. Please feel free to help me out with insights and instructions and even suggestions.........just as long as they are nice. (smile)

This is me...............

This is me...............
What a beautiful place I live.....see that lake and mountians behind me!

About Me

My photo
Shasta Lake/ Hayfork (always our real home), Northern California, United States
Love, love, love art. My favorite art theme is Jesters/Jokers, Gemini, Drama masks and gnomes/fairies. I Love my art friends. I Adore my hubby Bill, my 4 kids and my sweet doggie Uno. I love to read, travel, sports, music and most of all I LOVE TO LAUGH.....even at myself!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Art........Hurt or Help?

I often hear people say that their artwork is their salvation, their getaway and even their sanity. I can honestly say that I probably fit each one of them and then some. Those that know me well know that I used to work on an ambulance......many, many OK.....way to many years ago. I was hurt while on the job and then was diagnosed with a soft tissue injury that I attempted to work through and continue working part time jobs for three years following that. After much pain and severe migraines that seemed to continue to get worse rather than better, it was found that I had severe bone damage and breakage in my neck, which was not what they thought I had injured......unfortunately I was diagnosed originally with just a lower back injury. Needless to say this was a very difficult time in my life and over the years I really struggled with the fact that I could not return to work and was put on permanent disability. I have had two neck surgeries and surgeries on both shoulders as well now. I was always a very active, independent and go,go go type person. So being told what I could and couldn't do was not easy for me, but even worse was the fact that my body betrayed me and I could not do a lot of the art forms that I had always able to do over the years. I could no longer sew, quilt by hand, wood working and even lots of painting forms are hard on me. But me being the rebellious type, I would move to another art form or other trying to at least hang on to the one thing left that was 'MINE' . Now any of you in my boat understand the mine thing, it is very similar I am sure to someone who is taken from the home, family and friends they know, to be whisked off to another country that does not speak their language and they are left to their own means basically. There are certain things that we hold to dearly when our life is turned upside down. Even when we have fabulous spouses,like me. Even when we have wonderful children, like me. Even when things are somewhat normal in their lives.......and yes like me, sorta anyway, we have our 'water wings', our training wheels etc. Mine has always been my art throughout my life. If I am having a bad day, I go into my art room and work on a project. If I am hurting to bad to work on my art, I may just go into the room and play my favorite music, while I admire my collection of other artist's mini masterpieces in my ever growing collection of Artist Trading Cards and such.
We often do not realize how much we rely on our comfort habits to help us through tough times. I was whammied with the loss of both in-laws, both grandmothers and my mother, as well as several family friends in a much too short span of time lately. I found myself shutting the art room door and trying to find a way to deal with the lose of my grandma and between many tears and just sitting still moments, I found myself resorting to one of my favorite high school art forms.....collage. I had done a tiny bit of scrap booking and had seen a lot of the new craze in 'altered art' in all the magazines.......so I combined my love of traditional collage, with a form of altered art to make a very large tribute to my grandmother. I used vintage buttons,ribbon,sewing items that were hers, old lace, tassels and combined everything in a very 3 dimensional art piece that was all a melting of pictures of her over the years. every picture had her in it, her wedding, with her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and even a few great greats. some of the pictures were very small, some very large, but it took me many, many hours to do. I had no idea til I was done how many days I had went into that room and worked on the project. I used lots of roses and glitter which she loved and antiqued everything to give it a warm and lovingly 'grandma' feel to it. Grieving is something that some might think is easy, but it is not. I am a pretty outspoken person, but grief is something that I found hard to deal with. I did not want lots of people around, or lots of condolences.........although they are always appreciated, I just wanted to 'FEEL' my grandma. When I lost my mother and other grandmother less than a year later, I had the same hard time. But this time I knew what I not only needed to do, but what I wanted to do. I made art that when I look at it, all I see is the spirit of the person I loved and lost. I wanted something that when I look upon it everyday.........I will smile, even if I still shed a tear or two also, I can feel them there in that item. Some might think I am weird or tilted a tad, but I think it is important to have things around us that remind us daily of the loved ones we lost. Even if it is not a huge art piece, it can be something as simple as what I did with a friend that passed. I used one of her refrigerator magnets on my frig. and now every day I see that and think of her. She was a wonderful person and is still a blessing in my life when I look at item, little as it is.
Our worlds are always going to be stressful, sad and hurtful at one time or another, and there really is no better way to deal with it than doing a little art. Those that knit, crochet,sing,compose music, play musical instruments, draw, paint, do photography,write poems,write stories, landscaping,I could go on and on..........really just ask my kids, if you have something that is making your world tilt a little, try doing those things that you love to do. If you used to have any of the art forms as a hobby and think you do not have the time, the money, the energy etc. to get back into it....................I say poooooppppyyy! There are so many groups on the Internet that you can hook up with, groups in your towns and cities. Many organizations and big craft stores hold FREE arts and crafts classes. You can also find many, many used or barely used art supplies for almost nothing on sites like ' Craig's List','eBay' and 'Etsy'. I am sure there are more. I often participate in swap on the www.atcsforall.com site and many times I have seen group swaps for art supplies and even people giving away free art supplies so that everyone that wants to, can try a new medium without spending a fortune. Those people that have no time or energy due to busy schedules...............I say, you got it pooooooppppyyy! I have a great friend who runs a business, works long hours, takes care of her beautiful house, and has a yard that is something out of home and garden. (kudos to her hubby too, because he is a sweetie and great guy) But regardless of how busy or tired she is , she finds time for her love of art. She makes amazing jewelry, altered art, paints, draws, does collage and every other form I am not saying.......a lot of her art she does for the love of it. She trades and swaps, which is out of love of collecting and love of giving too. She also has time to run an art gallery and sell on other sites and joins more art groups than I can read in one sitting and ohhh yeahhhh she blogs and award getting blog too. So if she can do it, so can you.
I think everyone would find their pain, stress, high blood pressure, grief and tiredness a little easier to deal with and maybe even getting a little better if we take just a little time to set aside each day for ourselves and our art. no matter what art form you choose. There are many therapists out there that get paid big bucks to do art therapy with people to learn to equal and balance out their lives. So there must be something in that philosophy..........and if not, at least you have fun anyway!

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'lady jester' ATC

'lady jester' ATC
pen/marker pigment ink drawing