Thursday, 17 June 2021

A Mermaids' Tale/Tail

 Mermaids...

Strange to think that something so lovely can also be seen as terribly deadly.

The part of our memories where fear lurks, tells us that these females can lure men to their watery graves if they listen to their songs.

You would think that these ladies had better things to do with their time...?
You would be right.
No one would want loads of human corpses floating around the seas when there are so many other human things floating around to clean up.
 
As you can see, my mind is doing thinking stuff.
Which makes my art do thinking stuff too.
So, I was thinking about the beautiful coral seas and how they need to be protected.
(Along with all of the other seas)
And this idea of a beautiful strong female found her way into my sketchbook.
Along with some of these other scribbles... 

Can you guess which one she is?


So I started painting her, well that was the idea...
But she didn't look right to me, her tail was wrong, it was too chunky. 


I also didn't like the angle of the tail.
The hair looks a mess right now but I have plans for that, so it doesn't concern me too much.
Just that chunky tail.
Time for some repainting...
 
Now, I have to confess here that I forgot to take more pictures of her being painted.
So I'll try my best to describe my actions...
I did all sorts of daubing and scraping and mopping of brows.
I did layering of paints and then wiping off the same paint because it was horrid.
I even did hair styling!
After lots of chocolate and many cups of tea...
I think she finally looked how I saw her in my head.
(Although paintings are never really as good as the ones in your head!)
Here she is, finished, along with her story.
 

 
'Coral Sea Guardian'

This lovely mermaid is one of the Guardians of the Coral Seas.
She swims many miles in the beautiful water each day making sure the reefs are safe.
Sometimes she takes a little rest and gives the coral a (careful) hug.
She is caring and protective and tries to ensure that no one harm the precious sea bed in any way.

(Painted in oils size 12 x 16 inches or A3

 

Monday, 24 May 2021

The Water is Lovely, Dark and Deep...

 Oh my, it appears that I have been absent long enough, so I thought I would show some of my work in progress.

As you can see, I change my mind many times while I paint.
It will also show some of my horrendous mistakes! 

I had an idea for a mermaid/siren, floating (see what I did there) around in my head.
She started as a rough sketch as usual, like this

I'm not sure red is my colour...

Here she is as I start the painting.
The first layers of paint make her look a little creepy!
 
The water is lovely, dark and deep...  

 
I think she is a little too skinny for my idea...time to give her a little more flesh...
Also, something needs to be done about that hand!
 
After a few snacks  😀
That's better...she has some fingers and flesh.
Now the part where I leave the painting to fend for itself whilst I get on with other 'important' stuff. 
(Like looking on ebay :o) )...
 
Some time later...
After buying tacky items which Oscar Wilde would love...
(I'll show and tell one day, just so everyone can laugh at my taste).
 
She now has a little more colour...not too much as I want her to look fishy.
Just a dab here and there with the makeup, and maybe a new hair do.

Because she's worth it...

Almost done...now is the hardest part of painting.

Everything in the early stages is just blobs and changes and big brushes and daubs.
When you get near to completion it is so much harder.
Small brushes, tiny strokes, lots of mistakes to cover.
 
Then comes the time when you have to ask yourself if it will ever be finished...well, will it?
I do not think that I am ever truly happy with a painting.
They are just never as 'good' as the painting inside my head!
They never will be either.
But that's the thing which drives you on.
Never being quite good enough.
 
So here she is, along with her story...
 
'Sea Guardian'
 
'Guardian of the Seas'

The sea is so vast and so precious.
We need to protect it any way we can.
This is how I envisage the Spirit who guards and protects the waters of this beautiful planet.
She may be a Mermaid.
She may be a Siren.
She may be a Nereid or Naiad.
She goes by many names and in many guises.
She loves the waters and keeps them safe for us all to share :o)

(Painted in oils size 12 x 16 inches or A3)

Hope you enjoy your next visit to the beach ;o)

- Cee





Thursday, 23 January 2020

Sparkly Spiders, Latin Inscriptions & Other Fairy Tales

I'm not sure I want to share this post.
It has taken me a few days to write it...

Firstly, let me just say that right now, I am very happy.
I'm calm and feeling groovy and I am okey-dokey.
I just feel that it is important for people to know about this...so here goes...

Last year ended with me in Intensive Care.
I woke up after being unconscious for some time.
I could see sparkly bright coloured, teeny-weeny 'spiders' dropping down from the ceiling, really pretty and gentle.
There was also gold writing in Latin carved over the walls, (?), this went away after a couple of days.
I just lay in a tiny bed, like Snow White - (the ICU is also the children's ward, it's Wales...).

Artist, J Batten
 I felt completely happy.

I had no idea how I got there.

A few days before this I had been to the same hospital for tests.
They had taken lots of blood and scans, sadly they didn't test for the right things.
My bladder had stopped working so I was given catheters to use myself, which I did, and was given some antibiotics.
The antibiotics made me vomit and I had a weird reaction to them.
My own doctor wanted me to have some more tests next week...they didn't happen.

I am usually very healthy, eat well and exercise three times a week, don't drink, don't smoke,
(wow that makes me sound such a goody-goody he he he).

A couple of days later...  I fell unconscious and Steve (AKA 'The Giant Troll' ), called the paramedics, who got lost and took and hour and a half to get to us.  (We live up a mountain in Snowdonia).
I was taken to A&E.

Steve told me what happened...I have no memory of anything that was done to me, which seems to be the best thing really.
He watched everything the A&E team did to save me, sounds horrific.
Glad I was not there to witness it!
I just woke up with rows of IV drips down both arms and groin and a big fat catheter.
See, I will do anything for attention ;o)

Turns out that I had Sepsis and went into Septic Shock.
Google it and it is really scary reading.
You can be very healthy one day, and dead the next morning!
So please, find out about it, learn all of the warning signs and act quickly.

Sepsis kills more people each year than cancer does!

The team said I had about an hour of life left in me.
The A&E doctor told Steve to bring my children to the hospital to say goodbye to me.
Mmmmm...that part makes me cry...
The thought that I would not have said goodbye to them...
Steve said, 'You don't know her, she will be up and walking around next week'.
I was. (Though it was hard).

I was moved to the ICU, I was there a few days.
It was a very odd place.
About five beds and some children's toys. 
There were a few very poorly elderly folks and a me, then a young woman (maybe late 20s) was brought in next to me.
She died.
The young doctor was distraught, she kept sneaking back to check that she was really dead.
So upsetting.
She was sitting upright propped up on pillows and looked so young and peaceful.
I hope she went somewhere nice.
Steve had walked right past her and not noticed she was dead.
Until they covered her face with plastic.
Steve asked me, 'Is she really dead?'
'Yes, she died this morning'
'But she's so young'
'Yes, she is'

December, the most wonderful time of the year!
We had been tidying up ready for our Yuletide celebrations.
That was put on hold until I came home, so our decorations are still up.
I'll take them down when I feel like it, they are a comfort to us at present.
A reminder that life could have been so very different this year.

I know that I have not been myself this past year.
Trying to motivate myself to finish things became harder and harder.
I felt drained.
I was tired all of the time without doing much really.
Naturally, I put it down to just being a lazy old sod.
Artists can find any excuse to not paint :o)
I could still draw every day because I just sit on the sofa to sketch.

Sketching ideas 

Painting and sculpting...now that is harder.
I do my 'Art' and sewing in the kitchen,  so everything has to be moved and then put back, way too much effort for lazy old me!
(Even sewing had become a tiring chore, yet I did manage to finish a special Memory Quilt.)

I  had also been hungry all of the time, stuffing my face, yet strangely getting thinner and thinner.
My children said I looked like a Wraith.
(Scrawny does not suit old women, they just look really really decrepit, like when the 'fountain of youth' goes wrong and they rapidly age then crumble to dust !).
Magic diet?
You bet!
The kind of diet where your body burns all of your fat, just to make sugar...till you drop down dead.
Magic indeed.
It appears I was a diabetic and no one had picked up on it.
Which was why my body could not cope with the bladder infection.
I now know that I had a thing called DKA.

So, I now have type 1 diabetes.
I'm old (57) to get this, usually it arrives when you are much younger.
Guess I'm just lucky hey?  ;o)
Told you, anything for attention!

I have this little kit of things to check my blood/glucose levels.
There is a little black thingy.
I call it my Tamagotchi of blood.
No matter how much I feed it, it always wants more!

I want your blooood

And a pricker for my fingers, to draw the blood, which is fine if your hands are warm, mine never are, so I sometimes have to do it a few times.
Where is that Spinning Wheel and spindle when you need one?

Touch the spindle dearie...

Then it says if you are within the correct levels or,  'having a Hypo, or a Hyper'.
This little black thing is really judgy!

Then you are okay to inject yourself with insulin... four times a day, (yup, 4).
Before meals and at bed time.
Three in the tum and at night, in your thigh.
Fun and larks eh?
I also have to check how many carbs I'm having and not eat too much, otherwise you have to have lots of insulin.
I'm greedy, so this is no fun :o(
I like big dinners.
I don't like the effects of having loads of insulin though...dragon tum, just saying.
The diabetes nurse gave me a magazine about type 1, it was a cheery read.
If you aren't 'good' you can get all sorts of lovely complications like lower limb amputations, blindness, organ failure...see, very cheery :o)
I think I'd prefer to read 'Pretty House' mags instead!

The doctor/specialist at the hospital was a right beggar, so lovely and sarcastic.
He was small, skinny, totally bald and looked like a goblin.

Arthur Rackham must have met my doctor ;o)

He shook my hand and I said, 'Oooh your hands are freezing!!'
To which he replied, 'The heart is colder!'...:o)

He told me I had been a bit crook, (his words), which I think summed me up.
He would come to see me in the mornings.
He asked me how I felt about the needles and having to do this.
I just said ''I have no choice'.
Which I don't.

He asked me what I did for a living, I told him I'm an artist.
He said, 'That's a job is it?', then went on to talk about the artists he was reading about.
He knew quite a lot about art really, for someone who thought it wasn't a proper job.
I love sarcastic people, they are so amusing.
He was also a really good doctor.
He said the A&E doctor, (the same doctor who said I was dying), ran down the corridor to him when I arrived, to ask his advice.
Glad he did.
The A&E team saved my life.
The ICU team helped me recover.
The diabetes ward, (most folks there didn't have diabetes, it's Wales ), helped me get stronger and learn to become a diabetic.
I am eternally grateful to them all.

My doctor works a day a week on A&E and came to see me on the ward, she found me walking down the corridor and looked up at me and said, 'My god, you're strong!'
I'm not sure if I am...
I'm stubborn see.
I knew it would come in handy one day!

So, that's about it.
This is my life now.
The sepsis alone can affect you for years afterwards, it can make you sick for a long time, some folks get flashbacks or PTSD from it.
As I cannot remember anything about being in the A&E, I'm hoping that won't happen!
The type 1 diabetes is enough for me.



As it is now a new year and a new decade, I'm going to look on the bright side.
Maybe when I feel stronger I will be able to get some of my UFOs finished.
At least I have a 'real' excuse now though, so I might milk it a little he he he.
I'll post some pics when I can...you see I have this bone in my arm...

As for the 'sparkly spiders' and 'Latin inscriptions'?
I have no idea what they had given me in those drips...

I just know that when I fell unconscious at home that I had left my body and didn't come back until it was safe.
My children say that I was 'away with the faeries'.
Well, the Fae do know that I love them, so I like to think that they took care of me.
I will make something special for them when I can.

Seems the Fates didn't think it was time to cut my thread just yet...
Thank you ladies :o)

Artist, J Strudwick