Art as Therapy

Time for something a bit different

Hello friends, I hope all is good with you.

I have had no time or inclination to make any of my own art recently. T has still been very unwell, it all got pretty bumpy on this roller-coaster ride. The highs have been very brief and the lows deep, dark and long-lasting. He seems to be a lot calmer just now and more stable, I’m holding my breath in case another massive wave of depression comes crashing in.

It’s all been very worrying and stressful but you just have to keep going don’t you? Fortunately I get a lot of support from my colleagues at work even though I know there are times when I am not functioning at full capacity. I am so grateful for the understanding and the leeway they give me during these difficult times.

So I gave myself a treat

Earlier this week I gave myself a much needed treat and some ‘me’ time. My favourite artist, David Shillinglaw, has a new art installation in London at Morgan, 1 Dallington Street, Clerkenwell. It opened on Tuesday 9th April with the private view party 6pm to 9pm. Because I live so far from London I couldn’t attend the party but David told me I could go earlier in the day.

I left home at 10am and travelled by train, ferry and train to London arriving at Waterloo Station at about 1pm. Then I started walking along the south bank of the River Thames. It was drizzly and damp but not too cold. I walked to London Bridge and then crossed over the Thames, I went through Pudding Lane where there is a monument to the Great Fire of London and then on into the East End.

I really like the East End of London, it’s very diverse, a bit shabby and ‘lived-in’, and I saw lots of street art, some of it good some of it not so good, but here is a selection

Most of these photos were taken around the Brick Lane area. From Brick Lane I walked to Old Street and at 4pm I had to stop for a coffee and a short rest as my legs were aching from 3 hours of walking. I got to Morgan at about 4:30pm. David hadn’t yet arrived, the place was busy with people making preparations for the opening party but they still let me in and even made me a cup of tea.

Morgan is a design furniture show room and every year they commission an artist to showcase their art along with the furniture. This is the second time David Shillinglaw has installed his art at the venue. Other artists featured have been Remi Rough, Expanded Eye and Mark McClure. You can find out more about Morgan here: https://www.morganfurniture.co.uk/blog/

While I was waiting for David to arrive I had plenty of time to admire the art, it’s very impressive. It’s called Alive in the Human Hive. The wall (which took three days to paint) is so colourful and fascinating it just lifts the spirits. It looks good in the photos, but really you should see it up close, the colours really zing! One of the things I love about this art is the repetative symbols, it all looks very simple but for me it’s deep and meaningful, a universal language that touches my heart. On the wall there are some new works on canvas too. I think the installation will be there for several months so if you are the Clerkenwell area pop in and have a look.

Lily Mixe and David Shillinglaw

David and Lily arrived at about 5:10pm and I had to leave at 5:30 but they spent the last 20 minutes chatting with me which was lovely. David is as sweet as I remember him from the first time I met him in 2015 and it was lovely to meet his partner Lily who is also a very talented artist. They are a lovely couple. In a way it’s good that I had to leave before the party started because I am such an introvert I would probably have felt out of place and awkward. But I’m sure it would have been a great success. As it was I got to see the artwork by myself for half and hour and then had a lovely chat with the artist.

You can find out more about Lily here: Lily Mixe and David here: David Shillinglaw Artist

Here is a video by Nick JS Thompson about David’s installation

After I left Morgan I got the tube back to Waterloo just in time for my train to Portsmouth and I got home just after 9pm. It was a really good day: I enjoyed my own company, walked more than I’ve done in a long time, enjoyed the street art and different views, then to finish it off I met David and Lily and soaked up the happy vibes coming from that amazing wall. Couldn’t ask for more. I was exhausted and I slept well that night.

One day normal service will be resumed in my art practice and on my blog, just not sure when that will be, please bear with me…

I hope all is good with you and life is treating you kindly.

Big love from me

AJ xxx

❤


© Janette Gregson and ajsartjournal, 2011-2019 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.

Just for clarity David Shillinglaw owns the copyright on his art and Nick JS Thompson owns the copyright on is wonderful video.

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Another Lost Weekend

Hello friends

I hope you are all well and happy?

So here is another page from my Landscapes Journal, might be a landscape of the microscopic, who knows? Certainly not me.

Not that happy with the end result of this page, but I enjoyed the process of making marks on the page and that’s what counts.

This is the original page before I did anything with it:

So this is another lost weekend in our house, it just seems relentless at the moment, the waves of the Bipolar sea just keep crashing in with little time for recovery before the next one comes. There is nothing I can do but try and be supportive and try not to take things personally (which is harder than you would imagine) and keep busy until he’s ready to come back from that deep, dark place.

Yesterday I found out where the leak is in my van so hopefully I can get it sorted out now. After that T (who seemed to be OK at the time) asked me if I could prune a shrub in the garden and bag up the waste. We didn’t have any empty bags so I took a car load of full bags to the tip and when I got home about an hour later I pruned the shrub while T went for a nap. He did get up briefly after that but I could tell the black cloud had descended upon him and he soon went back to bed where he has mostly remained. He gets up occassionally but he’s not looking good and doesn’t really want to converse so I guess it’s good that he is spending as much time as possible asleep.

Today I have done housework and washing, the sun is really bright today but it’s very windy and a bit cold, fortunately so far the garden fence panels are still in place but I hope the wind dies down soon. I really don’t want to have to replace them again!

In a while I will go and see Mum and Dad to see if they are OK, They are both still struggling since they returned from their respite care in the nursing home after their accidents. Mum no longer has to wear the neck brace, but her lower back gives her constant pain. She is managing to get out of the house a bit. Dad seems to have a constant chest infection and he is hardly leaving the house at all, he seems a bit depressed to me which isn’t really surprising as his world has shrunk considerably over the past year. Hopefully he will cheer up when I visit.

That’s all for now folks, take good care of yourselves and I’ll see you soon.

Big Love

AJ xxx ❤

© Janette Gregson and ajsartjournal, 2011-2019 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.


It’s a Zine

Hello friends

Sorry I went AWOL again last week. T was really unwell and I wasn’t in the mood to be sociable, did a lot of cleaning and though, so it wasn’t all bad 🙂

I made a zine, I’ve always loved zines and I’ve collected a few over the years but I never made one myself until now. It is just 4 sheets of A4 paper folded in half which gives 16 pages in total including the cover.

The contents of the zine are just some of my doodling so don’t be expecting any great artwork 🙂

Actually I made it sometime last year, but I couldn’t think of a title for it and also I lost confidence in it so it never got printed then last week I found it again, thought it looked OK and decided to call it Cosmic Chaos. I have given it the number 1 as I may produce more in the future. As you can see I printed a few copies so if you think you might like one please let me know and I’ll post it to you. You will have to give me your name and address and the best way to do that is to send me an email to subagua(at)gmail(dot)com, but you will have to leave me a message either on here on on facebook to let me know as I rarely use that gmail account, it’s the one I use when people insist on me giving them an email address (like when I purchase something online or sign a petition) and then continue to bombard me with messages I really don’t want. So it’s normally just a dumping ground for unwanted emails. I have a different email address for my normal emails but I don’t want to post that address on the internet.

I am still working on that page in my landscapes journal that was on my work desk when I last posted, but progress is slow. I think that might be because I’m not really ‘feeling’ it but I will persevere.

Here is a young British artist I discovered today, I like Bolaji’s art and I love his philosophy of playing and having fun – let’s go with the flow and see what happens 🙂 Very impressed with the studio too!

That’s all for today folks, I hope you are keeping well and happy and I’ll see you again soon.

Big love

AJ xxx

© Janette Gregson and ajsartjournal, 2011-2019 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.

Studio view and some WIP

Hello friends

Hope all is good with you.

I have no art to post this week as both T and I have been feeling unwell for a few days and there has been other stuff to do. So here is a photo of a corner of my messy studio with another page of my Landscapes Journal, in progress, on my table. This time it’s just a single page, not a spread, and to be honest I have no idea where it’s going, currently it’s just one almighty mess, but I’ll keep at it until something decides to show itself to me.

The stack of books on the right are some of the journals that are currently also in progress. Some of them were started years ago. Occasionally I pick them up and and if I get inspired I restart and do some more pages, but I think that some of them will never get completed. However in the back ground (if you look very carefully amongst the mess) you can see some of the journals I have completed. In total there are 26 that have been completed and another 12 or so that are in progress and many more that have not even been started. Then there are the little note/sketch books I carry around in my bag to doodle in whenever I get a spare few minutes.

I just love working in books, either books that I alter or books I make. What I like about them is they are very personal, private and easily transportable. They are also the one thing that has kept me practicing art. Throughout my life I have attempted all sorts of art, but I am so lacking in confidence I never progressed or really found my ‘thing’ until I discovered art journaling. The first two journals I created I didn’t show to anyone, not even T until they were finished. With journals the whole always seems to be than the sum of the parts, if you know what I mean 🙂

Next week I hope to have something new to show you

Take good care of yourselves

Big love AJ xxx

© Janette Gregson and ajsartjournal, 2011-2019 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.

Island Life

Hello friends

Here is another spread from my Landscapes journal. This is all about Island Life. I have always lived on the Isle of Wight, an island off the south coast of England.

The Isle of Wight is sort of diamond shape and is approx 23 miles from East to West and 13 miles North to South. It has a population of approx 140,000. There are several towns, many villages, lots of open countryside and miles and miles of beaches.

Although I have travelled extensively and I have worked off the Island for periods of time, it has always been my home and I love living here. By coincidence all of my favourite holidays have been on Islands. We loved the Island of Tobago so much we visited three times and we even got married there on our second visit.

Here are the original pages before I painted over them:

The quote: “There is something about the ocean that never fails to amaze me, the way she never fails to kiss the shores even though she is sent away. The way her waves can be both calm and terrifying and the way she never fails to soothe my soul” is by
Tilicia Haridat.

I messed up a bit with the writing on the second page where for some reason I decided to make it fit between the lines rather than just sitting on them

I have a need to be near the sea, and I am comforted by that edge of land and sea defining and enclosing the space where I live. I love walking on beaches, drawing in the sand, and collecting pebbles, shells, driftwood and bits of flotsum and jetsum that wash up on the shores. Where ever I am on this Island I am never more than half an hour away from a beach These days I always try to pick up and remove the bits of plastic I find washed up on the shores too. Sadly there is always some to pick up.

That’s all for now folks

Take good care of yourselves.

See you soon

Big love AJ

© Janette Gregson and ajsartjournal, 2011-2019 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.

Cosmic Chaos

Hello friends!

Long time no see, so I hope you are keeping well and happy.

There has been a lot going on in my life over the past year that has distracted me from my art practice. Close members of my family have been poorly and needed more of my attention and although I am fit and healthy there has been a lot of stress and my art has been well and truly neglected.

One thing I have realised in the past is that the more I practice art the easier it becomes and when I take breaks it gets harder and harder to get back in to flow. But I have also realised that practising art is good for my mental well-being so in an attempt to restart my creativity I decided to continue in my big (12″ x 16″) Landscapes Journal by just making marks. It all got a bit chaotic and I can’t say I am really pleased with this spread but it’s a start, right?

There is nothing left of the original images on the page, but they informed the end result:

I really did not like the orange bit at the bottom! So I painted over it 🙂

So there we have it the finished spread is a visual depiction of how disorganised and jumbled my life gets at times. Still right now things are not too bad and I am enjoying having a breather and the ability to spend a little time on myself.

Take good care of yourselves and I’ll see you again sometime.

Big love AJ xxx

© Janette Gregson and ajsartjournal, 2011-2019 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.

Geography of the Soul

Castle 02 a

Hello friends

Things are still pretty hectic in my life, but they are getting better, I’ve just got to make sure I keep things moving forward and keep breathing.  I hope things are good with you and less chaotic than they are for me right now.

Here is another page in my Internal Landscapes Journal, I finished this at the beginning of the month. I am fairly pleased with this one because I liked the way it progressed.

I started off with this page and this is how it progressed:

I overpainted the original page trying to extract and simplify the main components, but I still was not happy with the end result.  So on the facing page (which originally had mainly text) I gessoed the whole page and I decided to extract even more from the original image and the end result is the image at the top of the page.

I was trying to produce something that might look OK painted big on a wall, I still don’t think I’ve achieved that, but I do feel I’m getting closer.

The quote is by Josephine Hart and I think it’s from a book called Damage.  I haven’t read the book but I believe this is the opening line and it’s such a perfect piece of writing.  Here is the quote in full:

“There is an internal landscape, a geography of the soul; we search for its outlines all our lives. Those who are lucky enough to find it ease like water over a stone, onto its fluid contours, and are home. Some find it in the place of their birth; others may leave a seaside town, parched, and find themselves refreshed in the desert. There are those born in rolling countryside who are really only at ease in the intense and busy loneliness of the city. For some, the search is for the imprint of another; a child or a mother, a grandfather or a brother, a lover, a husband, a wife, or a foe. We may go through our lives happy or unhappy, successful or unfulfilled, loved or unloved, without ever standing cold with the shock of recognition, without ever feeling the agony as the twisted iron in our soul unlocks itself and we slip at last into place.”
― Josephine Hart

And here is a proper wall artist in action and delivering lusciousness 🙂 :

 

That’s all for now folks see you soon.

Big love

AJ xxxxxxx

 

© Janette Gregson and ajsartjournal, 2011-2018 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.