Monday, November 07, 2011

In bed with my paintbrush

The artist with prize-winning 'Hydranga'I've been rather quiet here lately due to a combination of computer problems, minor but disruptive health problems and a fair amount of stuff going on. Life, however, is rather wonderful.

As anyone who is anyone in the art world knows, I won first prize in the Aberaeron Holy Trinity Church Summer Craft Fair Painting Competition (Painting of a Flower). It cost 50p to enter and the prestigious prize was £1. And there were, like, twenty other paintings. As far as I am concerned, this makes me a prize-winning artist. Like Tracey Emin, but with better personal hygiene*.

Stephen's Dad made me a device so that I can paint in bed. This is wonderful and has revolutionised the way I paint. No longer must I wait until I'm well enough to sit up in a chair for a while, then paint against the clock with increasing levels of pain, trying to get to a certain point before I have to stop and wait for another window. I can take my time. I can rearrange myself and my pillows. I can take breaks and carry on looking at what I've done while I'm resting, able to reach for a brush if I see that something needs touching up.

Stephen & IThus my painting has become more relaxed and brave. I'm experimenting much more. I seem to be painting faster, although that's probably just that I can do it for longer at a stretch. And that's much better for me. No more angst about a picture I've been fiddling with for five minutes a day for weeks and have now spent so long looking at the thing that I'm never going to be happy with it.

I didn't think this was possible; of course people can paint in bed (Frida Kahlo did) but only when you can't get out of bed at all. I didn't think anyone would let me. But apparently I can do whatever I like! Almost.

TGranny & Alexhis is a painting of my nephew Alexander (5) and my Granny Kelly (87) and I reckon the best painting I have ever painted.

I've also been writing a very great deal, made some tentative steps into learning British Sign Language and I've been teaching Stephen both Latin and the ukelele. We have four ukeleles now. Imagine! Two at my folks' place, two at Stephen's, so we don't have to transport them backwards and forwards. It's another disability accommodation. When we're in one place for good, we'll downsize the collection. Maybe.

[Image description: Top - a photograph of brown-haired white youngish woman smiling and holding a picture of a slightly decaying hydranga. Middle - a painting of the same white woman with an extremely handsome dair-haired and bespectacled young white man. Bottom - a painting of a young blond white boy cuddling an elderly white-haired white woman, both smiling. ]

* This is a reference to her famous installation My Bed which won the Turner Prize and made her famous - I didn't mean to imply that the lady doesn't clean her teeth or something. Except perhaps for artistic purposes.


Stephen said...

Downsize?? Ha. Just wait until I find us a second hand baritone...

Jess said...

...She probably doesn't.

This post makes me happy.

That's some mighty fine art, if I do say so myself, and I do! I really love the one of Alexander and your gran, actually.

You'll be a two-person ukulele orchestra! But you'll have to juggle them. :D

(Stupid Blogger! Let me post! *kicks*)

Never That Easy said...

I like your painting, and your accommodations - it's so interesting, isn't it that we have these mental blocks about things - "I've never done it that way, therefore it can't be done" - and all it takes is somebody else to come in and say "Nope: New plan", to change things around.

Anonymous said...

Nice to see some of your recent paintings.

Vic said...

Wow - that one of your Gran and Alexander is especially stunning. It's obvious you're really finding your painting "voice" now.

If Stephen's Dad fancied making a few more devices (for money, of course), I know some people I reckon would be interested.

Stephen said...

@Vic - let me know a few more specifics. Even if he's not able, I might be able to point them in the direction of something not handmade that could do the job.

And aren't the latest paintings great? She's got some great things planned too :)

Anonymous said...

Wow Goldie- both for the wonderful photo of you as well as your fabulous paintings- self portrait of an artist and all. Love them and thanks for sharing.

Wittygrittyinvisiblegirl said...

i loved this-i have fibromyalgia and my blog is the reverted butterfly. i'm housebound too-and use photos and apps to help show what fibro and pain have done-it is a great coping device and it makes me feel i have some power over it! i adore frida kahlo and her work-to be able to see her pain was what started me doing my own pics...thanks so much for this piece!