Some write blogs to advertise, some write blogs to teach, some write blogs as a train of consciousness babble about their life like a public diary so why do I write one? I do like to share my art with my dedicated followers who probably roll their eyes when they see my blog pop up in their email and wonder how they can possibly 'unfriend' my blog and I like to share my little insights, learning progress and my excitements with my beloved friends and family who occasionally skim my pages in their busy lives. Is there more to it than that? Yes I like to promote, in my small way, when I have a story in an anthology or art in something. I do like to promote other people's successes, I am better at that than promoting myself. I sent a wish off to a star for a personal organiser and personal trainer but so far I have not had them manifest. I expect they will arrive in the car I also wished for.
I shall stop babbling now and share some art. I created a LOT of art in the first few weeks of this month. A LOT of art and developed an allergic reaction to the oil pastels which adversely affected my eyesight. Very scary for an artist. I packed away the pastels and all the pastel art and my eyes were back to normal in 12 hours. Now that was an adventure. I had all the symptoms of an allergic reaction but my antihistamines were not knocking it on the head like I had expected. I had the house blacked out and wore sunglasses in the dark as the slightest light caused such intense pain in my eyes. I removed and checked for all my known allergens, was rinsing my eyes with warm salty water and using eye drops and taking anti histamines but nothing eased it for almost five days. Each morning while I was feeling somewhat better I would squint over my art making more of it and wondering what was causing such a reaction. Then my friend Mica mentioned her adverse reaction to rosin which stopped her playing violin and that statement had my brain turning cartwheels. I removed all the oil pastels, packed up all the art which was all over every spare piece of wall in my bedroom and by morning I could see, the swelling was gone and I could open the curtains and blinds. No more oil pastels for me. I realised that periodically I would have these issues with my eyes but not so severely and when I checked my art folders, each flare up had corresponded to when I was using oil pastels for the 52 week Challenge. It would settle after a few days with at least on intensely sensitive day but this time I had produced over 67 pieces predominantly in oil pastel within the space of three weeks. No wonder I reacted so badly. All is good and here is the art en masse for you.
I won a prize, well actually I won lots of prizes back at the beginning of the year and the last of my prizes from March arrived yesterday.
I critiqued a friend's work recently and he has threatened to give me a no holds barred retaliatory critique in return. I am looking forward to that show down. I have found too many critique partners are too nice and too scared to say 'hey this doesn't really work with all the criteria expected in a book of this ilk'. Critique partners don't have to like the story but I expect they know the building blocks of a story and if the story fits those blocks. I am really looking forward to my friend retaliating in kind. :)
I didn't stop entering competitions by the way. Just never expect to win them or to get the prize if I do. I won a computer system once but they would not give it to me because I didn't live in the right place. sigh I won a piano in a writing competition but it was burnt in a bushfire. I have won tickets to concerts, psychics, movie premiers, theatre and I have won books, posters, clothes and gadgets all in those 25 word or less competitions. I usually give the things to friends and family because most of the time I just want to do the writing and 25 word or less competitions require a sharp and tight use of words. Usually the prizes are in a different state or 4 hours drive away, very urban centric. I wish I still had the piano.
My kitchen is wafting delicious scents my way. I made lasagna to freeze and taught my youngest lad to stud an onion for the bechamel sauce. (this means pin a bay leaf to a cut onion using whole cloves and sit it in the hot milk to imbue it with extra flavour). I have the cauliflower au gratin ready, the potatoes and pumpkin roasting, honey carrots cut and primed to go and the roast smelling awesome. Thank you little sheep for the gift of your meat.
Okay a final word before I go make gravy. In the 52 week art challenge there have been two art swaps. I was involved in both the official ones. Earlier in the year I received some lovely art from an artist named Kelly and I sent art away to someone else on the list of participants. I hope they liked my art. This time I sent art work away and I believe they liked one of the three pieces I sent, at least they seemed enthusiastic about it. Each recipient during this art swap has been sharing their art swap parcels with joy and enthusiasm and lots of photos. I was a little wary of participating again because other people seem to have plenty of money to splash around and compete with each other to make their parcels full of extra things from pencils and paper to stickers, book marks, all sorts of little treats as well as multiple pieces of art. I don't really have that kind of budget in my household. I would love to be able to splash gifts on complete strangers but I usually restrict that kind of cash outflow to the charities I support. I am not Bill Gates that's for sure, not even JK Rowling and I don't have a partner with a second income in my household nor a wealthy benefactor, patron or fairy godparent so I simply can't do it and I felt very uncomfortable and pressured albeit from my own sense of wanting to join in like the others. I don't think I will do it again.
Wanting to belong is a huge need for us as humans and we naturally want to be accepted by the groups we join but sometimes fitting in, joining in and being part of something is simply too costly.
The highlight of this is that the art I received came on its own and it is lovely. It did not need sparkly treats and flamboyant wrapping for me to appreciate its loveliness. On that note, the gravy is calling.
May you feel a sense of belonging that fills your love bucket. <3