Saturday, 9 November 2013

Internal conflicts

I made this blog to be about crafty things, but I feel I need to to post this too. I wrote this earlier this week and posted it on a forum for cfs/me sufferers. It helped a lot of people, so I'm posting it here as well.

'Dear' CFS, Anxiety and depression.

You make me tired. You stop me from sleeping at night. You make it hard to wake up in the morning. You make me want to sleep during the day. You make my brain sleepy. I don't want to sleep during the day. I want to sleep at night. All night. I want to drift away to sleep easily. The Human n me wants to get up early, be productive, carry on til dusk, and then some, doing what I love best. Then fall right asleep.

You make it hard for me to do the things I love. You make me think I'm not doing enough, or that I'm doing too much. You stop me concentrating. You skew or twist people's perceptions. You make up your own perceptions. You stop me from being productive. I want to do all of the things I love, but you make it complicated. I want to crochet all day if I want to. I want to make earrings if I want to. I want it to be ok that I want to do these things.

You make my muscles ache. I want to move around

You make my legs constantly ache. I want to sit without pain.

You make me not want to do things. You are manipulative, cruel and sly. You make me believe I'm not good enough. Therefore, I'm not. You don't help me when I need help to escape from you. I want to escape, I want to be a good person. Not lazy, not tired, not blind, not useless.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Using glass as an Abstract Expressionist medium

I've been getting my Art on reading about abstract expressionism. I'm not sure how I feel about today's multi-million pound Damien Hirst - esque "art" ... I could get myself tied up in knots trying to explain myself and end up contradicting myself and going around in circles. Also, I really hate the term "artist". I refer to myself as a glassmaker/craftsperson. Artist just sounds... merh. Overused? Pretentious?

BUT I do know that, after visiting the Tate Modern in London (after I finished my craft degree, would you believe), my favourite section was the "Surrealism and Dream" section. I was really interested in the messages that the pieces were communicating, the images the Artist was showing us from dreams, memories or surreal past experiences.

So after the confusing headspins I was having trying to explain my opinion on Art and "Art", I got my paws on the book "Isms". This really helped me define my feeling on some areas of Art. and then I found my favourite pages...

I find Surrealism and Abstract Expressionism (AE) fascinating. You get an insight into the artist's mind. You see a visual translation of what they see. Surrealism pieces embody the internal images that the artist experiences. The artist mirrors what he sees, onto canvas. As a dabbler in painting, I have trouble visualising such detail and extravagance in my own experiments. It usually boils down to a rough form of AE, with some figurative flecks in there as well. Surrealism is certainly something I would like to practice. When I view Surrealist pieces,if there is an explanation, I always read that first. Before I view the image in detail, I want to experience the visual with the concept in mind. However, some of the pieces I have been viewing recently (on a facebook page that features Surrealist art spanning decades, up to the most recent art of today), they do not have explanations. As an observer, I am left to my own devices. I try to experience the piece myself, imagine myself inside the image, as a character. I use the colours, the mood, the subtle aspects that create a feeling or atmosphere. Since researching more recent surrealist art, I have found myself really absorbing the image, feeling quite moved by some of the pieces. I feel a sense of comfort in some ways, that that particular artist that painted that particular painting, could have experienced the particular emotion that I felt when I observed said painting. That someone else has experienced those things.

Abstract Experssionist art, in the same way as surrealist art does, shares emotions, feelings, actions, through raw pen to paper. Paint to canvas. Clay to table. Colours are my favourite element to experiment with. For others, Reds and Oranges may convey anger. For me, they symbolise activity, well-ness. For others, blues may 'give them the blues'. My blues merge with greens and mean happiness, uplifting thoughts, fresh mindedness. This is where my experimenting is successful- I can visualise my emotions and feelings through colour, and shapes. A strike of black amongst a red-orange sea is disruption. Disease. Other shapes, such as a sharp star, convey pain. Etc.

I really enjoy using water colours. They are slow, patient, and they put up with me piling on colour and water. I find painting theraputic, especially when I am visualising and physicallising (another word?!) experiences and emotions I have had. Having CFS and Anxiety gives me quite a lot of those. I am a visual learner and teacher. It helps me to teach when I can draw something to explain it. Using my rough little paintings, I find it easier to explain to someone outside my head what the elements are, and how they are interacting on the paper.

So AE and Surrealism can be put onto canvas, paper, and sculpted using clay. I fancy a go at making some glass to represent my AE internals. The colours I use in my paintings are easily found in my glass stash. Glass is a fantastic material to work with. Maybe I can make some beads that people can relate to. A necklace with ANXIETY written all over it. You know what I mean. Art is great in the way that only the artist and the interested observer know the concept or meaning. If I make a bead with my coloured codes on it, only I, and the person/people I explain it to will understand it. Any Jack on the street will just think it is some weird jewellery. It's like a secret club. Art club.

Friday, 27 September 2013


Bit of a makeover. Website built from scratch over a few days. New ish Logo. Nice new font. New business cards. New stalls booked. New glass designs. New glass. New Kiln. Lots of tea with lots of milk and sweetener. New Desk. New area. New people. Old shed. Reclaimed stuff. Finding a job. Making glass. Studying for qualification. Battling with "The Wall". Battling anxiety and CFS.

So lots going on. 

At this very moment, I am constructing a "master" listing type page layout for all of the items on my website. The pictures might be big enough. The space for descriptions might be big enough. I can hide this "master" layout on a page unconnected to my website navigation, so that I can only access it from my website builder. And you could too if you knew the address. But I won't tell you. muahaha. I can then copy and paste this into each item page, then I just replace the text and images in the gallery. Sounds simple, right? I might have to do that little routine over 100 times for all the things I have in my website. Good thing I'm self employed!!! This will bring me business this will bring me business this will bring me business

THEN I've got to do the same for Etsy. Little bit simpler, as all the boxes are in the right place, and once I've listed something it will stay on there, but copying and pasting everything might hurt my little ctrl c and v fingers.

Little rant over. See you on the other side!!!! I'll update facebook when all the many listings aree up. You can still look around my website, except not all thumbnails will have an associated "description page".