I’ve been studying portraiture with graphite in the last two week. It’s been so good to apply my art and observation skills to the page again.
Below is my first animal portrait in graphite on acid free cartridge paper (my visual diary). It’s a side view of Miss Poppy and her fluffy ragdoll ruff.
Below is a short time lapse that I created of me drawing the above portrait.
I’ve also been studying the basics of human portraiture using graphite. Here are some examples of the lips, ear and hair that I’ve done.
I’ve also been studying the nose and eyes with a focus on light and shadow.
I enjoyed sketching each section of the human face and learning about light and shadow techniques. I also learned about the angles of the eyes, nose and lips. Each technique built on the other and I’m another step closer to creating portraits that look and feel the way I want them to be.
I’m going through a real art phase right now. Still writing and editing my story, but for now, I find that when I get absorbed in my art, I forget about everything that has been bothering me. All the anxious thoughts disappear and I am in the moment. There is no future, no past, only the present moment. That’s why I love art so much. It is a truly healing activity to do.
Until next time, I hope your creative projects are underway and you are having wonderful time too.
I confess that I have not stepped on my yoga mat for about three or four months. Not until this afternoon have I been able to step onto my mat and move through a sequence.
I will tell you soon.
Today, I did the following Yoga with Adriene which is titled, Yoga for After Disaster, which is central to filling me up with healing and positive well being and sending that out to those in need. For me, this was a truly healing practice.
In recent times there have been so many tragedies in the world.
So many things out of my control.
Sometimes I feel … tragedy fatigue.
And then I come to yoga and I am once again reminded to let go, to allow and to know that I cannot control such things. Even the small pains in my life are not in my control. I must feel them and experience the pain but it is how I choose to act in response to the pain that matters most.
Now, I begin to feel a moment’s peace.
Yet there is much more to my story than seeing and feeling compassion and pain for those who have been touched by such tragedy in the world. The shootings, the terrorist attacks, the hurricanes, the volcano threats, the threat of war based in two over inflated egos.
So many disasters culminating.
There have been disasters in the past – big and small.
I feel I am rambling but this is what I must write. I need to write.
I am not insensitive to what is happening in the world, but sometimes it is all too much for me to bare and so I need a little healing. I need to turn inward. To silence the chatter of my busy mind. To silence the news, the social media and the psychic drain of those in power who seek to control others in the world and cause harm to people, animals and the environment.
Sometimes it is all too much and I begin to disassociate because that is how I cope when things get too big and overwhelming.
Thank God for yoga and meditation. I give thanks for the philosophy and the teachings that it is okay to heal oneself and then be in a position to give to others. I give thanks for taking time to find peace and relaxation inside.
So why did I walk away from my yoga mat?
About three or four months ago, we noticed that my mother’s dementia symptoms were escalating. When the realisation hit that mum was forgetting. Forgetting so much. It hurt. A deep hurt. So painful, all I could do was function in the world and get through the day.
I walked around in my own haze learning to come to terms with what dementia was and how my brother and I can begin to cope with this disease and extend the care our mother needs in a respectful and loving way.
So I walked away from yoga because I couldn’t step on the mat.
Strange that, when yoga brings me so much peace, but there you have it.
Now that the initial shock of mum’s escalating dementia has subsided I have been able to give myself my first 30 minutes on the mat and I feel so much better.
But dealing with this heartbreaking pain, the realisation that dementia is erasing my mum before our eyes and ears, has been a very hard thing to bare witness to. And even though I do not live in the same place as my family, I still feel the acute pain of losing my mother to such a wasteful disease.
Quite simply it is devastating to watch and hear someone I love so very dearly deteriorate.
In recent months I have cried many tears. I have been immobilised. Unable to give more because I had nothing left to give.
The pain was and still is deep.
I cannot express it more. Not now. But one day I am sure I will open up and plumb the depths of the grief I know I am experiencing at this time in my life. One day.
But not today.
Today, I have given myself the gift of healing and I feel refreshed for the first time in months.
If you have been going through a tough time, no matter how big or small, it is my hope that a little bit of Yoga with Adriene will bring you a moment of peace should you choose to step on the mat.