My art practice is so erratic – chronic pain has really stuffed me around and prevented me the satisfaction of becoming obsessed with a subject and making a decent body of work.

It’s hard to explain how the brain responds to constant pain but one word that fits is ‘interfering’. Not only does pain interfere with me physically and keeps me from establishing a basic routine (eg the palette is too heavy to hold for too long, can’t stand too long etc) but it also seems to penalise me if I begin to establish ‘patterns’.

In 10 years I’ve learned my brain’s pain signals are confused by new and different (light) activity but once I establish a routine, the brain seems not distracted by this newness and so it resumes its pain communication again.

No one can work with that.

You’ve read how much Theo helps me with my printmaking and you would have guessed how much inspiration and education comes my way just from being in the QG&W environment. I’m happy to report my print world is becoming well established in its scattered way.

My Byzantine Iconography is setup in two locations – its a ‘light’ practice, thanks to eggs and pigments in bead containers, falls well within my limits.

I have an A5 journal in hand for quick sketches which I can now manage to hold day to day (that took almost 9 years and two neurostimulation implants!).

I’m slow, needless to say, and although the jumping around feels erratic and messy, these various work snippets eventually make few finished works.

I didn’t think I’d paint again – it was too difficult to manage and I got so sick of throwing out dried out paint. But I participated in one of our QG&W workshops with Philip Davey and learned that it will be possible for me to paint again.

I have set myself up in a small area of our church mezzanine where I can alternate position, have all my things out (eliminating the physical cost of packing/unpacking) and this is my haven – where I can also rest, exercise, lie down and hide if/when I need to. Solution!

Today I began a second portrait of Missy (Ms Soula) since moving to Queenscliff. She’s caught my attention all over again, kind of like I’ve just seen her for the first time. She does this alot.

I can’t help but relate to her, still. Even though I’m managing chronic pain very well, it does still run my days and demand many sacrifices. And Missy seems to tell that story better than I can.

Her new pending state perfectly explains my current status – I don’t like not owning a home and life in Queenscliff is still very new.

The progress images are something I like to do – looking through the camera is helpful and I love the ‘process’ of making art which is why I’m happy to begin this post and keep you in the loop… if you’re interested.

…check back again in a few weeks – ever the optimist!.


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