Happy New Year!

Welcome to Paradise spread with copyright

Hello friends

I hope you had a lovely Christmas and I wish you a very happy and healthy New Year.

I’ve been on leave from work since mid afternoon on December 22nd and I go back on Tuesday January 2nd 2018.  Christmas was a quiet time for us, we had lunch and spent most of the day at my parents house on Christmas Day, and on Boxing Day we had a friend visit us for lunch.

Other than that we have been decorating.  On Christmas Eve I started ripping wallpaper off the bedroom walls.  I’ve been meaning to make a start on this for some time and I figured that once I had made a start we would have to finish.  We have lived in this house since 1996, the bed was given to us, the furniture was either ‘hand me downs’ or the cheapest we could get (as that was all we could afford) and the carpet had previously been in the living room of the flat we lived in before moving here.  We have repainted the walls a couple of times, but still the room was looking very tired and neglected.   So this work was well overdue.

I am planning on retiring some time in the next 3 years and before I do that I want to get the house up together as much as I can, so the bedroom is now going to get a complete makeover – new bed and furniture, new carpet and new wallpaper, I’m excited about this :-).

It’s going to be a massive job and because of the cost of the new furniture we can’t afford to get someone in to do the work so we are having to do most of the physical work ourselves.  Unfortunately we don’t have another room we can sleep in so we have to move furniture and keep tidying up in order to sleep in there at night, even so it’s still really dusty and unpleasant.  I think it will take us several weeks to get this work done.  Painting the ceiling is going to be the hardest thing, we both struggle now doing things above our heads (I’m  pretty sure that’s an age thing)! When we were younger we did things faster, but the older we get the slower we get too.  Still it will be worth it in the end (I hope).

The cats are not happy about all this disruption either they are quite disturbed and grizzley with each other and need lots of reassurance from us!

So that will be the start to our New Year, however you spend yours I hope you have a lovely time.

The image above is from my ‘Bringing down the Moon Journal’ and it’s a another spread I did at the Call of the Wild Soul Art Retreat in an workshop run by Orly Aveneri, you can see the first page I did in her workshop here.  The first page was a collaboration with another artist but this page was supposed to be more personal, my page was actually about my wedding in Tobago in 2007, but unfortunately when I got home after the retreat the pages were stuck together and the spread was spoilt.  The only things remaining from that original page are the ‘Welcome to Paradise’ sign in the top left hand corner and the statue on the right hand page.  Ever since then I have occassionally tried to add things and improve it, it’s never been a great success but it is what it is.

I shall probably be missing again for a while now until we get the house back in some kind of order but please know that I wish you all the very best.

At the close of the year I just want to share this with you by the fantastic artist Ephemeral Gecko aka Mixy Gecko aka Penn Gregory:


I love this artist she has a You Tube channel  here a blog/website here.  If you are a colour addict like me you will LOVE her art.

That’s all for now folks see you sometime in the New Year and in the meantime stay happy and healthy.

Big love

AJ xxx




© Janette Gregson and ajsartjournal, 2011-2017 unless otherwise stated. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Janette Gregson and ajsartjournal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.




A Challenge/Commission :-)

Framed picture for conference room at work for blog

Hello friends,

This framed image, which is A1 size, is hanging on the wall in the conference room at work.  My manager recently challenged me to produce some art which included this quote from the World Health Organisation.  We work in the water industry so the quote is appropriate to me and my colleagues.

The blue background is my attempt to portray clean water, the leaves in the corners are because some vaccines are derived from plants and in the black border are my interpretation of what some of the killer diseases look like under the microscope.

All of these diseases can be mitigated or controlled by the vaccine programme and one, smallpox was declared eradicated in 1980, the last known case was in Somalia in 1977.

I find it fascinating that that some of the most deadly cells can look so beautiful.  Starting in the top left hand corner and working clockwise I’ve depicted Polio, Influenza, Mumps, Smallpox, Cholera, Chickenpox, Typhoid, Dengue Fever, Tetanus and Diphtheria.

It was a good challenge, I enjoyed making this piece of art.  It’s also the first time I’ve seen any of my art framed.

On November 11 I went up to London to see the Jean-Michel Basquiat exhibition Boom for Real a the Barbican and also to meet up with some friends.  I only found out the day before that it was also the day of the Lord Mayor’s Show, a big carnival type of affair, and most of the roads in central London were closed to traffic.  It’s was so strange walking around London with no traffic, there were lots of people on bicycles and also lots of policemen making sure cars did not enter the closed roads.  Unfortunately I got a bit lost and didn’t arrive at the Barbican on time to meet my friends.  I assumed that they had already gone into the exhibition and hoped to meet up with them inside, which is exactly what happened.

I’ve been to the Barbican once before to see a concert but this time I realised just how much I dislike the place, for me it’s just too big and noisey and confusing.

I was really moved by Basquiat’s art, there were over 100 pieces which is amazing as they were produced in just a few years, between 1981 and 1988 when he tragically died of a drug overdose.  The paintings look like they were done with a great sense of urgency, fast and furious, like he had important information to impart to us through his art.  There is no sense of perfection, things are crossed out and rewritten, there is lots of repetition and symbolism and a fantastic use of colour.  I just loved being in the presence of such great art.  It’s such a shame we were not allowed to take any photos as I would have liked to have at least one photo of his work.  There was also some really interesting reference material but I didn’t even have a note book or smart phone to record notes.  However it did mean I just had to be in the moment with each piece of art and that’s not a bad thing. In fact it’s probably better than having photos.  I think I could live with any one of those pieces of art, because in each piece there is so much to see and learn.  In reality though I couldn’t afford it.

Normally it’s always colour that draws me into a picture, but in Boom for Real there is one piece called Tuxedo. It’s just white screen printing on a black canvas, it’s big – 151.8 x 260.8 cm you can see it here.  I went back to it several times to soak it up.  As I stood in front of this piece I had the feeling that it probably contained answers to … something? … but I’d have to spend a lifetime trying to decode it. I love art that reveals something new to you everytime you look at it and I got that sense from much of Jean-Michel Basquiat’s art.  There is a depth to is that you can’t get from just one look.

I couldn’t afford the hard back book that was produced for the exhibition, it was about £40! but I bought a smaller soft back one which I’m half way through reading.    What a fascinating man he was and what he shame he died so young.

It was so lovely to meet up with Lisa, Kelly and Cairrai who I first met at the Call of the Wild Soul Art Retreat and also meeting Michelle for the first time.  We had a great day. I was shattered by the time I got home 13 hours after leaving 🙂

And you can take a 360 tour of Boom for Real at the Barbican here:

You still have time to see it 🙂

That’s all for now

See you soon

Big Love

AJ xxx




© Janette Gregson and ajsartjournal, 2011-2017 unless otherwise stated. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Janette Gregson and ajsartjournal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.