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.

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Ancient Places

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Hello friends

I hope all is good with you, there is such a lot going on in my life at the moment I’m struggling to keep all the balls in the air, just got to remember to keep breathing in and out, and repeat.  Unfortunately I have no time for making art right now as other things are taking priority.

So while I’m waiting for life to return to some sort of normality, or at least calm down a bit I thought I would post something I finished earlier this month.

It’s a spread from my Internal Landscapes Journal, it started off like this:

003 Ancient Places spread s

Then progressed to this:

003a Ancient Places spread s

and ended up as the image at the top of the page.

I messed up the bottom right hand corner ‘big time’ and in an attempt to salvage the spread I collaged on the head and hat.  It wasn’t very successful, but the rest is OK apart from the fact I don’t really like the colours.

But there you go, it’s just an experimental book, so even if I don’t like the end piece I can always learn from the process.

Look after yourselves and have fun.

I’ll see you soon

Big love AJ xxxxx

 

 

 

© 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.

 

 

 

 

Internal landscapes

002 finished for blog.jpg

Hello friends

I hope all is good with you, here everything is ticking along as usual.  I spent much of March trying to get back into the routine of being creative every day.  Decorating the bedroom was also a creative act but completely different from putting paint or collage on paper and I had missed doing that.

I still have the big piece of wood (30″ by 44″) to paint to go on the wall above the bed but I need to get some ideas before I attempt that.  So I purchased this book in a local charity shop:

001 Landscapes Cover small

It’s a big paperback book measureing 12″ wide by 16″ high of photographs of landscapes taken from the air.  I’m using it as a kind of sketchbook to develop some ideas.  I am using what is on the original page to inform and inspire what I put over the original images.

Unfortunately I didn’t take a ‘before’ photo of the page above, but it was the index page.  It had images on the left hand side and text on the right.  I gesso’d over most of the page leaving just three small elements of the original images on the left hand side which are now contained within circles.  I added the circle to the right hand side of the page to give some balance.

In case you are wondering I ALWAYS leave the covers of my sketchbooks/journals until last.

This is also part of my long term project Inside/Outside in which I am looking at all aspects of inside and outside.  A book showing images of the surface of the planet are ideal for my investigation.  I have a feeling that when the book is finished it will be all about Interior landscapes.

I’m not too sure how I feel about  the finished page above but it was good to be working with paints again and I do like the colour combination.  I generally find green the hardest colour to work with!

Inside the book I stuck some of the pages together to give a firmer surface to paint on.  I’ve had varying degrees of success with this as some of the pages didn’t stick very well and there are some air bubbles trapped!  But it’s just an experimental sketchbook so I’m not too bothered with the end results at the moment (and I’ve never been bothered about perfection anyway)!  For now it’s just more important to be going through the process of getting paint onto paper and having some fun.

Just before I go, here is a treat for you 🙂  I discovered this amazing artist today and she is only 9 years old.  Incredible Talent!  Here is Pakritee from India, if you like this video perhaps you will leave a comment and encouragement for her on the YouTube page https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fo_Ha-JkGQQ.  There are other videos of her painting too.

That’s all for now folks

Take good care of yourselves

See you soon

Big love

AJ xxx

 

 

 

© 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.

 

 

It’s finished! (Well almost)

Bedroom 1

Hello friends

I hope all is good with you and you are well and happy.  It’s taken 10 weeks but the bedroom decorating project is finally finished, well almost!  The new furniture arrived a couple of days ago and we’ve been moving piles of clothes and stuff back into the room this weekend as well as breaking up old furniture and taking it to the local landfill site.

There are still a few things to do, I need to put shelves up in the left hand alcove and that big space above the bed needs some artwork.  Fortunately I have a big piece of wood that will fit the space and providing I can paint a good enough painting it will go there. We also need to get some better bedside lighting.

The white patch in the centre of the bed and on the headboard are just sunlight shining through the window.

Here are a few more photos:

Bedroom 2

Bedroom 3

We had to move everything out of the bedroom, apart from the bed, while the work was being done, so we’ve been living in chaos for 10 weeks!

Here is a photo of the work in progress:

Before 1

This was taken early on in the project because we soon realised that moving all the furniture out would make life a bit easier.  Unfortunately T got the flu early  in January and was really poorly for a few weeks, then even when he recovered from the flu he had terrible back pains so wasn’t able to help much.  Fortunately before he became ill we had stripped the walls back to plaster and filled in all the holes, and sanded down and painted the woodwork.  After that I was pretty much on my own doing the decorating whenever I got a few minutes to spare.  I washed and then painted the ceiling, it took three coats of paint before it looked good, and doing stuff above my head really hurts my neck, but I was determined and so relieved when it was finally OK.  I also put lining paper on the walls first and then wall paper – red on two walls and cappucino coloured on the others.

The house was built around 1860 and the floorboards were uneven and had big gaps between then so I purchased hardboard and covered the whole floor with it to make it more even before the new carpet was laid.  That was a whole weekend wetting the hardboard and then attaching it to the floor by hammering nails at 4″ intervals across the whole floor.

The thing I am probably most proud of is the window sill I made.   I always thought it was strange there was no window sill in the bedroom.  I looked at putting a wooden sill in, but it would have cost of lot of money and I’m not sure I’d have done it properly.  Then one day I was down in the cellar and I found a sheet of PVC that was left over from when we had the soffits and fascia boards replaced at the back of the house a few years ago.  So I decided to use that as it was free.  I cut it to the right size and cut it into the wall, stuck and sealed it all in place.  It matches the new PVC window we had put in last year, and the window looks so much better with a proper sill.

Here’s the before and after pictures:

There has been so much stuff  crammed into my art room for the past 10 weeks I haven’t been able to do any art, even if I’d managed to find the time (which was impossible).  I’ve missed that kind of creative activity and I’m looking forward to getting my paints out again soon, although at the moment it is still far too chaotic to be condusive to creativity.

I am really pleased with the bedroom, it has a lovely calm feel about it even with the shocking red walls and red carpet.

The two cats have been quite disturbed about the whole decorating project, but I think they approve now it’s finished.  Bill Kat was so impressed he spent a little while investigating the new furniture, then he went out and a short time later came back wtih a lovely present – a live rat! which he delivered to me and let go under the new bed!  Fortunately T was able to capture said rat and liberate it outside.  I think Bill got it again though because yesterday I found a dead rat of a similar size on the path at the back of the house.  I know that the little ‘presents’ he brings in are to show how much he appreciates us, but honestly I wish he wouldn’t do it, it creeps me out!  Especially if I have to deal with live rodents on my own.

So I hope all is good in your part of the world and I’m hoping to get back to normal, whatever that is, soon.  At the very least to get back into some sort of regular art practice.

Look after yourselves and I’ll see you soon.

Big love

AJ xxx

 

 

 

© 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.

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

Finding Strength

It is in herself for blog

Hello friends

I hope all is good with you.

This is the last post in the Radiant Warrior series and the last of my big paintings reproduced from my Warrior Women journal.

Immediately after I posted my previous post I went to bed, I had had a really difficult day at work, not for any particular reason, but I was so sensitive to the noises my colleagues were making just having normal conversations, they were driving me crazy, or at least that’s what I thought.  But the next day I woke up feeling very unwell with a migraine, which in retrospect accounts for me being so irritable the day before.  I spent the whole day in bed trying not to move because every time I did move I was violently sick and that just made my headache worse.

At 9pm that night T phoned the ‘out of hours’ medical advice line to see if any thing could be done to help me, but apparently I wasn’t so ill I needed urgent medical attention.  But I did get some advice that was helpful.  Applying a warm hot water bottle to the back of my neck did ease things a little and I was finally able to take and keep down some pain killers.  I spent a total of 3 days in bed and the next two days feeling a bit ‘washed out’.

On Monday I was feeling a bit better and as it was a pleasant day I went for a walk along the beach, as I had had no exercise at all while I was feeling so sick.  On Tuesday I went back to work.  I’ve been taking things easy and slowly been getting back to normal.

Fortunately T has been a lot better so he’s been looking after me.

Seems like these days we take it in turns to look after each other!

The image above is 30″ by 22″ and is a reproduction in paint of this page in my journal  made up of paint, collage and penwork and measuring  15″ by 9″

In Herself

I think it is the most successful of the big paintings I’ve done which is why I saved it till the last.

Similarly this Radiant Warrior mask is my favourite too:

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This mask and the previous one were inspired by the images of the people of the Omo Valley in Ethiopia in the video below.   I would have liked to have made more masks, but I’ve run out of space to store them, so the series has come to an end for now.

So here is the inspirational video of the beautiful people of the Omo Valley photographed by Hans Silvester.  Every time I see these images the beauty of the people touches me deeply.  I hope you enjoy watching this as much as I do 🙂

 

Next Saturday I’m off to London to meet up with some of the lovely women I met at the Call of The Wild Soul Art Retreat in September 2012 and to see the Jean-Michel Basquiat exhibition ‘Boom for Real’ at the Barbican.  It’s going to be a great day 🙂

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

Big love

AJ xxxxxxx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

© 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.

Everything will be OK

In the End for blog

Hello friends

Hope all is good with you, it’s been hectic around here recently.  Life on the roller-coaster has been intense.  It goes like that sometimes.  We sometimes can have weeks or months of relative calm and then this tsunami wave hits us and knocks us completely off kilter –  either up in the air in all directions at the same time or down into the deep dark depths.  It’s hard to watch someone you love going through so much turmoil and distress and not be able to help.  Imagine how much harder it is for the person in the middle of a bipolar storm inside their head.  After years of dealing with this I’ve finally learnt that I can’t fix it I just need to be here to give support where I can and be here as a witness.  Only time and medication can calm the storm and even then not completely just for a while, sometimes for a long while other times just for a short breathing space.  It can be bloody exhausting for both of us.

At least now you might understand why I’m so erratic in keeping my blog, why I’m so unrealiable at working with other people on projects or even keeping in contact with blog friends.  But that’s life and I truly believe what it says in the image above ‘in the end everything will be OK’.

The painting above is a big reproduction of the back page of my Warrior Women journal, it measures 22″ by 30″, and here is the original which is collage, paint and pen work and measures 7″ by 9″.  In this instance I prefer the original.

Everything will be OK

In the midst of the chaos that’s been going on I managed to do two things for myself recently, first I went to an Open Studio in Southsea to see the artist My Dog Sighs:

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The Welcome Sign

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A book

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008s 009s

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The artist My Dog Sighs talking to another artist.

I took the photos but copyright for the art belongs to My Dog Sighs.

My Dog Sighs is the creator of Free Art Friday and here’s a video about him and that subject:

What a Star! 🙂

Also last week I went out for a meal with my lovely friend Gina to a restaurant called Karma in Newport.  We had a great meal and a lovely chat, it did me good to be out with a friend for a short while doing normal stuff 🙂

This is the penultimate Radiant Warrior, and I must admit I like this one even though she has a wonky nose.

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That’s all for now, hope you are keeping well, happy and creative.

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.