Tuesday, 6 January 2015

New year, new beginnings

Happy New Year to all my blogging friends. ;-)

For me, 2014 wasn't a great year. It started with me packing up my parents belongings and selling their home of nearly 50 years, helping them to move away from the town they've lived in for almost all of their 68 years of marriage. They now live 130 miles away with my sister, and whilst that has been the best result for them, it has been difficult for all concerned .... and I miss having them nearby. They have both had periods of illness that involved many journeys up and down the motorway visiting them and providing support to my sister. Sadly Dad passed away in October. He was 96 and suffering with Alzheimers, so in many ways it was a blessing I think. Mum has had more than her fair share of problems but, at this time, she is doing very well.

My art will never be more important to me than family and so it has been on the back burner. There have been periods during the year where I've found myself with the time to pick up my brushes or pencils, but I just haven't been able to get excited about painting or drawing anything. Sure, I've tried, and there have been times when I've made a determined effort to get back into my art, back into blogging, and back into following what the rest of you are doing. But those times have been very short-lived.

Just before Christmas my aunt, during a brief pre-Christmas visit, saw the pencil portrait of my two dogs hanging on the wall of my lounge and asked if I'd drawn it. When I said I had she wasted no time in asking me if I'd do a similar drawing of her daughter-in-law's two dogs. Though she wanted to give the drawing as a Christmas gift, she wasn't concerned if it wasn't ready in time. With some trepidation, I agreed.

My cousin, a co-conspirator, sent me a number of reference photo's and I set to work just before Christmas, finishing the drawing around the New Year. On Sunday we all went out for a family meal and the drawing was handed over. The reaction was out of this world and I couldn't be more pleased with the way the portrait was received.



As I drew the dogs I felt myself buzzing .... enjoying every moment .... and thinking about what to draw next. Many times I've been asked if I have made any New Years resolutions and I always say "No", because I don't do that. However, something inside me is telling me that 2014 has finished and that 2015 is going to be a much better year. And so it is that as soon as the dog portrait was finished I put a clean sheet of paper on my drawing board and started the next one. It's my most ambitious yet ... I'm buzzing with excitement .... loving every minute of it .... and it's almost finished.

I think 2015 might bring me renewed enthusiasm for my art and I hope it brings you whatever you're wishing for too. 

20 comments:

  1. Sorry to hear that you had such a difficult 2014 John. I am pleased though that you picked up with your art again, it can be very therapeutic, we can lose ourselves in artwork and that can be such a good place to be. All the very best to you and yours for 2015.

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    1. Ann, how lovely to see you here. Yes, art can be very therapeutic though I've found that sometimes we need to be in a place of well-being before we can start. I've also missed visiting blogs and I'm off to visit yours now. All the best for 2015. ;-)

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  2. You've certainly been through a rough time, John. It's difficult to create good work when it has to be fitted in at odd times, so I'm not surprised that you haven't felt motivated. I hope the excitement you are feeling will continue and lead to a good year.

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    1. Thank you for your continued support Keith. I have to say, I'm really enjoying drawing at the moment and do feel excited about the coming year. I hope it lasts. ;-)

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  3. Sorry to hear the sad news, John, and of the death of your father. Let's hope 2015 sees a reversal of bad luck and a restoration of you to your enthusiasm for art. If the dogs are a sign of things to come, then we are in for a treat.

    I'm back in circulation now, having taken 9 months to change out lives completely, which encompassed a move of 300 miles to West Wales after 26 years living in Yorkshire.

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    1. John, how lovely to see you here again. Yes, I'm aware of your move .... a life-changing step I think, and I see you've settled in well. Love the new studio.
      Thanks for the lovely comment.

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  4. This was a very emotional post, John. I'm SOOO sorry to hear about your Dad... I think a few of us can relate to this situation. I will be praying for you and your family... This portrait of the dogs is fantastic and so well done!! Their faces are adorable and love the way you drew their eyes.. Fantastic!!

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    1. Thank you very much Hilda. I really enjoyed doing this drawing and think our 'mood' sometimes shows through into our work. I'm very pleased with the way this one turned out.

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  5. It was certainly a sad year for you John. Lets hope you have a brilliant 2015. The drawing is excellent. All the best .
    Vic.

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    1. I have a good feeling about 2015 Vic. Thank you for your lovely comment. All the best.

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  6. I'm sorry you too had a grim 2014.
    If the two conspired, they did you a huge favour and got a wonderful portrait from it too! I am so glad for your sake that you feel enthused again. My best wishes for a bright 2015.

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    1. Yes Pat, I'm certainly feeling enthusiastic at the moment .... long may it last. I wish you a good 2015 too. ;-)

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  7. It's funny - I also have good feelings about 2015 John! And I prefer to set myself 'goals', rather than 'resolutions'... I always write them down as this way I am more likely to achieve them too. It's amazing how easy it is stop drawing and how hard it is to start... but it's true that often all it takes to get the buzz is to pick up a pencil and sketch something. I am so sorry to hear that you lost your Dad and now your Mum has moved away...Life seems to have 'era's' and this is clearly the beginning of a new one for you. I'm at a different stage. My kids have now either left home or are entirely independent. We also have our first Grandchild! Each new stage is scary...but often brings with it positive things too... I hope you keep drawing John! :0)

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    1. It's really lovely to see you here again Sandra. You're right that life moves in phases and I'm really excited about the next phase of mine, as I'm sure you are yours given your first grandchild. What a lovely time for you all. ;-)

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  8. Beautiful drawing! So sorry for the loss of your Dad. However, I'm excited with you regarding 2015. May your dreams come to fruition!

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  9. John...what a wonderful beginning to the New Year.

    I am so very sorry for the loss of your father and the year of illness and unwanted changes. Life will have it's way with you but I'm learning, like you, that while we are deeply affected by what goes on around us, the whole thing comes down to how we handle those changes and you are handling them wonderfully.

    i find, after almost 3 years, that I still flounder where my art is concerned. Suddenly it becomes unimportant and we become uninspired. i'm finding that it's normal and the Universe will guide us back if that is what we want. and look how you were guided! your feelings of desire to work coming back while drawing the pups made my heart sing for you.

    the pups drawing is just wonderful and i am so glad to read that you are on the mend after a hard year. i wish you and your family all the best in the coming year and i hope your Mom is doing well. i am sure of one thing, our loved ones NEVER leave us and are there to talk to all the time.

    wishing you the very best and looking forward to seeing your artwork!

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    1. Suz!! How lovely of you to visit. 3 Years already .... good grief, where does the time go? You have always been a massive source of inspiration for me, even during your 'floundering' times. I wish you all the very best for 2015.

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  10. Sorry for your difficult year. My dad died in Jan 2014 and with his dementia it was a blessing as he was getting more angry with himself as he got more confused.

    This is a lovely drawing to get a pencil back in your hand and I am not surprised they loved it on receiving it.

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    1. Yes, I'm aware you lost your Dad and also that he suffered dementia as mine did. Your words "getting more angry with himself as he got more confused" really struck home to me as that's just how Dad was. Thanks for your lovely comment.

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