Friday, June 9, 2017

to make a long story short. Or long. :)

You need to spend time
crawling alone through shadows
to truly appreciate what it is
to stand in the sun.
- shaun hick
hello friends!
I was thinking the other day
about why I paint what I paint.

I've been painting or sketching
about things that don't sit well with me
for years now.

Basically, I've been painting
about life.

You all know by now,
that I don't just paint pretty pictures.
If you love painting pretty pictures,
good for you! 
Carry on.

I like painting pretty pictures too
but I also like painting sad, angry ones,
if that's how I'm feeling at the time.
I am inspired by anything & everything,
but more often than not,
I am inspired by what is happening
in the world,
and how I feel about it.
This painting/collage was done in about an hour
and it happened a day or two after
the recent bombings 
in London.

I kept thinking of the song
we used to sing as children:

London bridge is falling down,
falling down,
falling down...
And after a day or so,
I picked up the paint brush.
When something happens
in one corner of the world
we are all affected, one way or another.
Some of us (the sensitive ones) are perhaps
more affected than others.
So we do what we have to do
to help us deal with the craziness
and to make sense of our lives again.
Some people turn to God or religion or faith.
Some people turn to drinking or drugs.
Some people shut down from the world.
And others (like me) turn to things like
and art
and music
and reading
and meditation
and poetry.
We turn to something
that allows us to express our worries,
fears and questions.

I've been painting about things
that I don't understand

for a long time now,
and somehow,

it has helped me better accept things.
It doesn't mean I understand them,
but the accepting seems to come easier.
I painted this one (above) 
right after mom found out she had
ovarian cancer.
I painted this one
right after the devastating earthquake
in Haiti, in 2010.
I painted this from a photo I saw
on the newspaper,
because it tugged at my heartstrings.
A WW2 veteran at the tombstone of a friend
who died in battle.
This was done years ago,
the day after one of my son's friends
was killed in a car accident.
The car caught fire
and they couldn't get him out.
I couldn't imagine the pain
in his mother's heart.

This little sketch was done a year or so
after mom died.

Little snippets of a life.

I've also painted (and still paint)
fun, happy things too - 
when the mood is right.

This little bird on acid. ;)
his cousin the cow. 
You know when people say:

" make a long story short"

and by the time they say that,
it's already a damn LONG story?!?

Well, this kinda feels like that.
My own long story.

I'm sure some of you out there are wondering
about the point of this long blog post.

The moral of the story is:

Do whatever YOU need to do
to make sense of your world.

If it makes you happy to paint flowers,
then paint flowers!
If it makes you happy to PLANT flowers,
then plant flowers!
Life is short.
Do what you love as often as you can,
'cause before you know it,
you'll be old & gray.
And bitter if you didn't do
what makes your heart happy
once in a while.

When I first started painting (in my mid teens),
I practiced A LOT with wall calendars.
I'd find a photo of a beautiful landscape,
and practice my technique to make the painting
look as close to the photo as possible.

I got good eventually and everyone would OOOOO and AAAAAH
and it worked for a while,
but then it just wasn't cutting it for me.

I wasn't proud of what I had done,
because I had basically just copied and
because with practice,
ANYONE can make a painting
that looks like a photograph.
(yes, you can).  :)

But not "anyone" can see the world
through my eyes.
Only I can do that.

Just like only YOU can see the world YOUR way
and only you can show the world what you see!

Art to me was about expressing
what I felt inside.
It was about the pleasure of painting or sketching.
It was about giving a specific
moment in my life meaning.
It was about keeping a visual record
of something that happened
or someone I loved.
It was about helping me remember
certain moments in my life.
And of course, it was a 
reflection on what was happening
in the world and
in my life at the time.

I'm not sure this makes sense to anyone,
but there you have it.

My long, short story. 

Happy weekend everyone!


  1. Wow I think you are speaking for many of us right now! I am feeling silent, and one with my colour these days!! You wear your heart and your art on your sleeve... All poignant! Those last three would make amazing prints for a child's room... I love them so hugs..what a wonderful things to wake up to daily!! You are talented far beyond words!! I hope this will inspire me to blog this week...I'm just not feelin it!!

    Hugs Giggles

    Ps.... I thought of that nursery rhyme right away too... and I never taught my daughter one nursery rhyme because of their history. Instead I introduced her to uplifting music right from the womb!

  2. Beautiful art, and I am sure there is a reason behind everything we do. Have a great weekend, happy PPF, hugs, Valerie

  3. wonderful posting!!!
    Touching words and images in my heart
    Happy weekend

  4. Your words are eloquent and resonate with us all, I am sure. And your art is always vibrant, alive with your thoughts. Thanks for a GREAT post today! Happy PPF

  5. Thank you Pauline for your long short story. your are inspiring authenticity and that's not always easy but so worthwhile. I also artjournal and love how the pages always have something to teach.

  6. Wow, such strong paintings, both in motive and colors! Beautiful! I'm glad I opened up to painting, it gives me so much. And yes, we need to express frustration and anger also.

  7. I'm sorry to hear about your mum. Hope she will get well soon.

  8. There is always such emotion here, so good to pop in again and read all you have to express and view your soulful paintings. I wish you well and continue to let it all out with paint and pens!

  9. Thank you for sharing your short, long story Pauline. Every word and every picture speaks to me and your post leaves me inspired and all charged up to do my thing.
    Thank you from a grateful heart:)
    hugs. xx