Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Some thoughts and art shared

It's been busy busy these last few days and I haven't had time to post at all.  I have missed you! And a big welcome to all my new followers too, I get a flutter in my heart every time I see I have a new follower, it thrills me to think that someone out there would care enough and be interested enough to want to follow my very blog. Thankyou.
I have had a very full heart these last few days and have spent a lot of time thinking about people from my past, mulling over things that bother me, and generally getting very het up inside for no reason at all other than what keeps popping into my mind, sparked off my memories, objects and actions. I have always found it hard to let go of things, as The Weepies put it I have "it's funny how we animate colourful objects saved" and "I held so many people in my suitcase heart,".   I really do feel like my heart is a suitcase and I am carrying around so much junk.  When I was at University doing my Fine Art Degree I created an art work based on my brother whom my family and I had left behind in Birmingham when we moved to Wales.  He had decided that he did not want to move, so stayed living in our old house until it was sold.  At that time I was feeling quite distressed at having to leave the home that I had grown up in, I felt like I was leaving my childhood behind, and my brother was a representation of all my feelings of loss.  The art piece was a suitcase which contained photos of my brother and memories about our old house and the happy years we had spent in it.  The idea was that I could then pack up all my feelings about my brother and the house and take all the memories and everything with me in the suitcase.
Over the years I have filled many many suitcases like this in my heart, and I drag them all around daily, it can be very tiring.  I am trying to let things go more, the Bible says there is a "a time to keep and a time to throw away", I must learn to identify when it is time to throw away.  I have the seed of an idea for an art piece about letting go, I am waiting for it to grow into something that can be manifest with paper and paint, it might even be a suitcase.  I am torn at the moment between making meaningful artworks that could sell and making very personal expressions.  There are certainly things that need to be said, but I also need some money!  I will just have to see how it goes, but one thing I can say for certain is that having these Wednesdays are doing me a world of good, my mind is growing so many branches like a giant tree, or perhaps it is roots, I am not sure but there are connections being made and new ideas, thoughts, meaning being created in there.  It is an exciting time when I feel like this I begin to think about possibilities, creating new things to put out into the world.  But it scary too.  I am still playing it quite safe with my art, although it is definitely me out there, but I am not totally exposed, I am sharing truths that we all know and not yet sharing truths that are very personal to me. That's the scary thing, if I put them out there, what will happen?  Then there come the doubts, rejection, criticism, people won't like it, they will think it is silly, It's not any good, I will just be wasting my time, paralysis and failure.  The gremlins rear their ugly heads and suddenly I am in a cage.  I am still learning how to get out, an image of a caged bird comes into my mind, the bars being the aforementioned emotions.  Getting out can be hard to do and it takes bravery but it is that bravery that is essential and a growing, deep understanding that my truth is important.
Bruce Mau in his Incomplete manifesto for change says:
"Forget about good.  Good is a known quantity.  Good is what we all agree on.  Growth is not necessarily good.  Growth is an exploration of unlit recesses that may or may not yield to our research.  As long as you stick to good you'll never have real growth."
This is what I need to remember, not everything I do will be successful in terms of "good"  but everything I do is successful in terms of growth, if I am not worried about it being "good".

Here is something I made today:


  1. Helen, I think that this is a wonderful and open hearted post. Choosing to make your art your business is hard, but one thing that I have learned is that if you want it bad enough, you will sacrifice some things to get where you want. I read a quote somewhere (and this is not word for word) that said that doubt was what drives us, it is what makes us do better and it is the only way to live because everything is always changing. it sounds kind of harsh, but if you think about it, when you live in doubt and make it a good thing, you learn skills to help you through anything.
    also, there is nothing more important that being happy in life. that is not to say that there won't be moments where things are stressful or sad, but if you are doing something that makes you happy, everything else is easier to deal with.
    Good luck, your work is beautiful! I wish you all the best!

  2. Good morning Helen! I feel it is a great privilege and blessing to me to have "found" you again, your writings and your inspiring art work are so transparently beautiful that I feel very much that (even though the age gap is ENORMOUS) that we are one in mind and in spirit. But also we have the same Lord who is The Great Creator and in our own little way, we share in His Creating as we strive to make something with our own hands, minds and hearts. Keep on keeping on and in doing so honour Him with your art.
    Please don't forget my teacup! and if ever you make another key ring, please put it on one side for ME!
    Remember 1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your burdens on Him for He cares for you Helen.
    love Val


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