I decided to start a blog around my art and writing as I will soon be embarking on a new journey at university (at the ripe old age of 35!) doing a ‘BA Hons Drawing’ degree with the University of the Creative Arts. I am taking this degree with a partner of the university as a distance learning degree part time from home.
All through my life I have enjoyed drawing and painting. Recently I took some drawings I had made when I was 5 and re-drew them age 35..
In addition to this I have been working on an art journal over the last few months, a few pages of which I will post here:
A couple of months ago I decided to take the plunge and apply for my BA Hons in Drawing and took the leap and applied to do it with the Open College of the Arts who are partnered with the University for the Creative Arts, where a few current artists and designers have enjoyed their education, Tracey Emin, Zandra Rhodes and Karen Millen, to name a few.
Buoyed by the prospect of being able to study part time and at home I decided to go for this university as I have a number of health complications which prevent me from being able to venture outdoors safely all that much, I officially applied and was accepted onto the course and applied for my funding with the Student Finance England- student loans people- and applied successfully for my disabled student’s grant. All this has been approved and the next stage is actually starting the degree!
In this flurry of excitement I actually began to pick up my pencil again for the first time in years with any seriousness.
I began by designing a few things for my parents website (still under construction) for their new business venture- “Pangothica” a realm of all that is alternative in the crafting and sewing and art world, starting with their logo:
and eventually designing tattoo and embroidery patterns for use on their site.
Again, fully bolstered with enthusiasm for drawing I began to do something that I have not done in years- draw properly. In the past I have sold multiple paintings and drawings and made a few quid in the process, but after a serious incident in my late teens I stopped drawing and painting altogether for a number of years. Prior to this incident I was a voracious painter and drawer on any and every surface- paper, canvas, walls, floors, velvet, wood, my own body… you name it!
After the trauma of this incident- I won’t go into details at this point but am aware after years of therapy that these things are wont to inform us in our creative endeavours so I have no doubt that it will become the subject of my creativity at some point and then maybe I will discuss it some more- my creativity ground to a halt. Instead of making beautiful, haunting marks on paper I started carving awful, damaging gashes into my own skin with a vengeance. I suffered and stuffed myself through the agony of undiagnosed mental illness and eating disorders, drug and alcohol addiction and very nearly lost my entire family completely. It is only in the last 18 months, since I was 34 that things have really turned around with my family, and in the last 6 years that things have turned around for me in terms of my relationship with myself.
I reached critical mass. Literally, I was grossly obese, desperately suicidal and unhappy, terribly lonely and felt that I had nothing to live for. My body is now a faded roadmap of that journey, scars fading into silver lines both externally and internally as I have found happiness with my current partner who has been my rock (and my hard place!) for the last 5 or so years. I also have my beautiful dog, Molly, as ever, by my side (I can’t help but include a picture of her here, she is so beautiful…).
I have since lost in the region of 16 stones in weight, trained to become a highly qualified Clinical Hypnotherapist, (My Website) which I hope will become 50% of my work in the future- the other 50% will be my art, of course! My journal, like my journey- in and round and through this wonderful landscape of creativity and growth- remains unwritten, undrawn and incomplete as I find my own completedness. I will continue to write, read and draw my way through this part of my life with prose, poetry and pictures and will continue to do so as long as I can hold a pencil and draw breath.
I will leave you with a poem I wrote called “Hope”
you were lots of things to me
7 of you, my 7 reasons
Some stability through
The changing of life
If I had known that you’d all cease to be
As I have known you
My journey in and round and through
Would carry the burden of fear
But knowing that this closeness and
Directness and the Beauty of Truth
Never has an ending
I have been able to live it,
And I am changed for knowing you,
Those lessons that caused me pain then growth
Are now part of the fibre of me
And that which was a message, a place, a feeling
Transcends it’s moment in time,
I could never have walked this path alone
On craggy cliff tops, with the ocean-wild beating out
Rough and broken rock.
And at first even together we could not come to the edge of that cliff
For we could not fly
We could not fly because we were too sad, too broken, too afraid,
But in spite of our selves we ventured to that ledge,
And they pushed us
And we flew.
‘Til next time…. Over and Out!