Posted on: August 26, 2013 at 11:04 pm | Work | 3 comments made

Very pleased to have finished the tree painting I’ve been working on.  I photographed every stage of the process with the not so brilliant camera on my phone.  Recipient of painting is happy.  Next task: submission for graphic design course.


Posted on: August 22, 2013 at 10:15 pm | Stuff | No comment made yet

Set of 4 paintings with wee hooses found in charity shop.Today I went shopping round all the charity shops in the west end with my lovely friend Lorna.  We pretty much exhausted them.  All of Dumbarton Road and then on to Byres Road.  Good times.  And I found these.

Yeah, I know.  More trees.

I think they’re brilliant.  The houses remind me of the film Paperhouse which I loved in the nineties (Young girl, ill at home.  Draws things that start to become real.  Big ol’ house).  Al was a little unconvinced, but hey!  The artist had for some reason glued pebbles on to the canvases,  which spoiled them to be honest.  Careful use of a craft knife and they’re gone.  I am now painting over the small gaps. (Okay, I admit my hand slipped on one of them and I put a hole in the canvas… Fixed as best I can)

No signature.  No idea who painted them.  But there’s Something About Them.  I lived in China for a while and all the foreign teachers had their scroll paintings of the four seasons bought from the night market in Chengdu. Maybe it’s that. But with added Paperhouse.

They were on sale in a charity shop in Partick and I got them for the price of £4.  Not each.  In total.  Made me sad that work (bad choice with pebbles notwithstanding) that is pleasing and has some merit (to me at least) was given to a charity shop and was sold on for next to nothing.

Admittedly, now that I’ve attacked them with a craft knife and patched with hastily applied acrylic, any worth they had might be somewhat dimished…

Sketchy Sundays – 4th August 2013

Posted on: August 8, 2013 at 9:49 am | Sundays | No comment made yet

Drowning not waving...Guess who got turned down for two jobs this week?  Neither were particularly good jobs and yet I still felt gutted.  This post is going all serious.  Sorryboutit.  We are so quick to feel rejected by others.  Or is it just me?

Something made me realise during the service on Sunday that I don’t really enjoy being loved.  It sounds crazy, but I finally understand that I perceive the love of others as a burden.  Something that I need to live up to, if not earn.  I feel that if someone loves me then I am responsible for them or that I will have to change myself.  Not that if I love THEM.  The other way round.  I find it very hard to accept the love of God.

The love of othersHow can I accept the unconditional love of God if I don’t want the responsibility of keeping Him happy and feel that I need to placate Him?  This is of course a nonsensical way to think.  God doesn’t need me at all.  He doesn’t need anything.

I am not alone in this.  We have all consistently had such a poor model of love from our parents and from others that we end up with a twisted perception of what love is and how it manifests.  For some, there’s debilitating guilt whenever we let the ones we love down.  For others, it’s love and abuse mixed up so that one cannot receive love at all. We all have gremlins lurking in our psyches.  They wreak havoc.  Without being able to receive love, how on earth can we hope to love others.  No wonder we’re so spiritually deafened to God’s constant screaming that He loves us.  To quote one of my heroes, the fierce RuPaul: ‘If you can’t love yourself, how the hell are you gonna love somebody else?’  Can I get an ‘Amen’ up in here?

Handholds of grace...On a retreat at The Bield last year, one of the other guests said something to me that I liked.  She said that what gets us through are the handholds of grace.  The little things that bring you life and help you to remember that you are not in this by yourself.  They help you to find the safe path through, if you make sure you look out for them and take them when you can.

This Sundays preaching from Darren at Re:Hope was on the subject of angels.  But I sketched nothing relevant to that subject.  Good message nonetheless and I did listen.  I have the notes to prove it.  Full sermon can be heard on the Re:Hope website.

Sketchy Sundays – 28th July 2013

Posted on: July 30, 2013 at 10:00 am | Sundays | No comment made yet

headSilence is necessary.

I am an introvert and I need times of quiet, but living in a small flat with my husband and a three year old daughter, I don’t really get them.  It has taken me 37 years to figure out that I don’t function well without times of quiet.  I don’t think anyone does, really.

We are not encouraged to have times of quiet.  I sometimes wonder if we are actively discouraged by our society and the powers that be.  Time of quiet is time to think and evaluate our lives.  Maybe when that happens we see things as they really are and we start to realise that we are being lied to… Sorry, wrong meeting!

I live in the city, I spend ridiculous amounts of time on the computer and I watch a daft amount of foolish shite on the TV.  Even when the electronics are switched off in my home, I live right beside a trainline and near a main road.  There is always noise.  ALWAYS.

We have lost the ability to sit and be still and NOT communicate.

I took up meditation and times of quiet last year.  I took a couple of days out and went to The Bield at Blackruthven, which is an amazing retreat centre near Perth.  I think I spent my first two hours there sobbing with the relief at being away from the trappings of my life and in a place where I felt at peace.  I waited.  And felt that God met me in that place.  Not because of the location (which is beautiful, by the way), but because I shut the fuck up and watched and listened instead of just moaning at Him about the circumstances of my life.

I try to discipline myself to switch off the babbling, idiot electrons and make time for silence.  I find that when I do that, I change and sometimes my circumstances change too (whether or not you believe that God intervenes in our lives directly).

This Sunday at Re:Hope, Darren Rusco spoke on the subject of waiting on the Lord.  It was timely.  I had lost sight of my need to shut up.  I’m going to start again.

My mum was with me.  She didn’t tell me off for drawing in church.

Amateur hour

Posted on: July 26, 2013 at 8:15 am | Work | 4 comments made

People are a challenge.  I have been doing ‘mates rates’ for years, mostly because I have undervalued my work for a long time, in the belief that because I didn’t go to art school, my work wasn’t as good as other people’s.  This meant that in general, I have allowed potential clients to walk all over me, because ‘I’m not a real designer’.  I have the fear, like most creative types, I think, that everyone is just humouring me and that really my work is a bit pish and kind of embarrassing.

Where creative work is concerned, you expose something very personal to people who might not give a crap or think it’s all a bit desperate.  You are exposing not only the way you think and what you value but also your natural ability and, merely by showing work, you communicate to people that you think your work is good enough, so you expose your standards and tastes too.  And everyone loves to rip the pish out of people with poor taste.  I know I do!

Just look at the Failblog, with its massive collection of ugly tattoos or Awkward Family Photos, both of which consistently make me laugh so hard something pops.

I recently volunteered to design a logo for a conference that my church is going to be running.  As usual, I failed to follow my own rules about establishing the needs of the customer beforehand – meet with customer, get as much information about requirements as possible before you start work and get things in writing where possible blah blah blah.

For the first time in a long time,  I found my stride quickly and I think it’s turned out well.  In general, I only use one or two colours in logos, and make it easy to photocopy.  I have broken the rules with this one, but as it’s a vector graphic, it will be easy enough to change, if needed.  I hope!

This was a nice change, as recent work I’ve done has been a bit of a nightmare, from customers who didn’t tell me what they wanted despite being asked over and over and then mutually agreeing to half payment after I dumped the job in frustration before finally only paying me the equivalent of £5 per hour; to people who tell me to fix their logo, let me spend hours and hours of work on it before deciding to stick with the ILLEGAL image that they were using in the first place and not paying me at all and most recently, a larger organisation for whom I did workshops and a logo design and then didn’t return my calls or even acknowledge my emails or invoice.  So you can see why I started to ask, ‘Is it me?’

The simple answer is basically, ‘Yes, bitch!’.  Not because of the standard of my work, but because I don’t manage the process!

My next task is getting my paperwork in place to make sure that I don’t do any more jobs that don’t give me clear instructions because I haven’t asked the right questions from the beginning!  Mates rates can bite me!!!

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