Thursday 18 May 2023

Mimosa Painting and Thanks...

Digital Watercolour painting of a yellow mimosa flowers with frondy green leaves
"Mimosa Flowers" by Clare Walker. Update: Now available as a print
(There are no watermarks on prints for purchase)

Hello again

This is just a quick visit, made for so many reasons. As you can imagine from the details shared in my previous post, am not anywhere near back to work yet. But did want to pop in and say....

1) Thank you to every single person who has, in all their various ways, shown so much care (to both Jim and me) during the past few difficult weeks. It's made, and is making, a *huge* difference. And if I haven't thanked you in person yet, I will, but please consider yourself soooooo thanked right this second, also.

2) Quite a few people commented that their own creativity had suffered during experiences of grief.  It became very easy to appreciate just how this happens, so the mimosa flowers in this post (and yes, they are different in style to "before," and who knows where this will all go yet?) represent my first postable effort in that direction.

If the info helps you or someone you know, am also repeating right here that this is the first effort in the direction of creativity that am posting. The first was a doodle. In the second, the next day, the colours were off. In the third, the colours were brighter, but just "off". Several tries later, (and I forget how many days elapsed in total) this suddenly emerged.

It all felt (and feels) like having to run dirty water out of a pipe until the water runs clear again of it's own accord. And am not fooling myself that am yet anywhere near continuous "clear water days," yet.

It's just that creativity brings me joy, and was the road back to joy that inspired the start of this blog in the first place. So my motivation to keep creating is and was, *very high*.

3) The inspiration for this digital watercolour painting was our neighbour's mimosa tree (in the photo below, it's behind the white elderflower, and stretching into four adjacent gardens...).

Photo of a sprawling mimosa tree, with white elderflower blossom in front as well.
My own mimosa reference photo

If you're a regular reader here, you'll know that my own reference photos, like the one above, have a track record of being-less-than-stellar :-). 
But hope that even from this, you can get the idea about just how fulsome and bright this was when we got back from the event to mark my Dad's passing...And it has only got even brighter since.

The odd thing...

Which is odd, considering that this plant is native to tropical and sub-tropical places, and the weather in London for most of this spring can best be described as having been "really cold and wet".

In previous, warmer springs, the flowers have been nothing like this bright and beautiful.

But one of my first associations with mimosa was and is, seeing it on many, many childhood holidays in Portugal, one of the most beloved places of, you've guessed recently-departed Dad.

Coincidence? Maybe. Magical thinking? Gotta be in the mix somewhere. (Though now I come to ponder it, what the heck is wrong with some extra "magical thinking," in a world in desperate need of it anyway?).

And on that note, I'll leave you to ponder the beauties and the mystery of it all. Not sure when am posting next, but will post again.

More soon(ish)

Update 19th May: It has been (gently) pointed  out to me that this plant could in fact be a labernum, which would blossom easily here. So have been busily looking at various pictures...And am still not sure, until I can actually ask my neighbour, who owns the tree. But in a way, whether an especially frondy-leafed and  bobbly-flowered labernum, or a very "waterfalling" mimosa, this plant has done its job.

I've had some lovely memories to enjoy, and a fun art afternoon. You have (am hoping) something you've enjoyed looking at. And at the end of the day, perhaps that's what art is all about.

Enjoy your weekend xx

Thursday 4 May 2023

Digital Art Journaling... and News

Hi everyone.

Not such a cheery post as usual this week-so sorry.

My Dad died last weekend, and so many, many things will now be completely up-in-the-air for a while.

He had however, had an excellent life, visiting more than 40 countries, and having the good fortune to die in such a way that absolutely everything that needed to be said and done, absolutely was.

One of the things he said to me often in the last few months (and indeed, in our very last conversation) was "Enjoy your life."

This seemed and seems to me like such a fabulous and inspiring message/ epitaph, that I really want to remember it, live it, and share it with others.

So, for starters, here is a piece of digital art journaling (in Rebelle 5) that I did the very first time he said that, back in December. It emerged when I was following a physical art journaling tutorial called "Blessings of a Feather", by Tamara Laporte. The mixed-media techniques in that video translated very easily into digital watercolour. Thanks so much Tam, for a lesson that has turned out to be so very important...

Image shows a line and wsh feather, in vibrant shades of purple pink and gold digital splatters, and the words "enjoy your life", in handwritten script.

I was never intending to post this, but it seemed so perfectly designed for the moment, that I had to do so.

The future

I'm going to be taking some time to figure things out (including how best to take forward that instruction to enjoy my life!).

So, I'll be taking a break from here for a while, whilst we all say "Happy Travels" to my Dad, and to speculate about all the ways in which he is probably already enjoying his afterlife.

Please bear with me. There will be more of something, but quite what or when, am not sure yet.

And whatever comes or goes,  please, keep enjoying your life in every possible way.