Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Transforming My Studio (Small Victories, Huge Blessings)

This last week has brought with it small blessings that feel like huge victories to me. After a long relapse I feel like my brain is less inflamed and because of that I am able to think more clearly with less brain fog. I feel less depressed and I have even had some flickering moments of joy stirring in my heart center. Reading anything of any length is still nearly impossible and getting around is still very painful, BUT, I have been able to do more and more each day! This week I was able to do some light housekeeping and meal preparation which was a great relief to Don because the burden falls on him when I am sick (So we basically don't eat when I am sick cause he doesn't cook).  I have been able sleep for longer stretches of time each night (that's a biggie in reducing brain inflammation). I also have been blessed to once again snuggle with my hubby which is impossible for me when I am in a lot of pain both physically and emotionally.

Best of all, (doing a happy dance, at least mentally), I have been able to get into the studio for an hour or so, every other day. When the fatigue is so relentless that I can't do anything, never mind paint, my depression skyrockets and I get very bitchy. Being able to get into the studio for even very short periods of time is a huge blessing. I'm doing very quick acrylic paintings, starting abstract with no thought or intent and then letting what ever flows out of me onto the paper happen. I find this type of painting demands the least amount of energy from me.

I really have to try and stay out of my head or I get fatigued very quickly. Staying out of my head while painting is a huge challenge after years of having to paint to meet the demands of the gallery managers that represented my work. Before I began to show my work it was just second nature to paint from my heart and not my head, now it's hard. Now that I am medically retired from my professional art career I am trying to retrain my brain to just allow paintings to happen. They don't "Have to be good" anymore. It's very liberating when I can do it. I often see a tension in the finished piece now where it started out loose and slowly as it progressed my brain kicked in and tried to make something "good" out of it.  That tension bugs me, I want to leave the critic behind and paint looser more soulful work.

Don helped we reorganize the studio which was still pretty much set up as a silk painting studio. We moved all my silk painting stuff out of the way and put a lot of it in the basement. Then we moved all my mixed media and acrylic painting supplies closer to my work area. I was so grateful to have him help me do what fatigue kept preventing me from doing but needed to be done. Now that all my silk painting supplies are not screaming at me that I am no longer a professional silk painter I am more comfortable in the space.

Very early this morning I took some photos with the little camera so quality is not great but it will give you an idea of how my studio is morphing into an entirely new creative space for me. Don is going to build some shelves in the far corner where the silk steamer sits now so I can get more stuff up off the floor.


  1. What a beautiful space. I love it. I understand about the "get out of my head" part. That's a big part of my current challenge also. It's definitely the down side of a university art education (even if it was years and years ago) and being a part of the art world, galleries, resumes, and so on for so many years. I'm getting ready a warp ready for what I'm calling journal weaving. Hopefully it will help me just weave, without an artist statement (now often disguised as a blog post) going in my head. Thanks for this post!

    1. Thanks Linda. Mo Crow just shared this post by India Flint with me and it really expressed how I feel about my art now. http://prophet-of-bloom.blogspot.com.au/2012/11/a-lack-of-competitive-spirit.html
      Good luck with your Journal Weaving!

  2. You have such a positive, enlightened attitude, Linda. I am proud of you and admire you.