Tuesday, 31 December 2013
Towards the end of 2012 I decided that I was going to get a drawing board and started clearing out my little room at Kew so I could accommodate one. No sooner had I embarked on this plan when my landlady decided to put my rent up. It was more than I could really afford. Simultaneously, a room came up at Henry's house on the other side of London. Being a great believer in serendipity, I took the room and moved in with Henry - about time, we had been dating for three years!
Along came February (please don't worry this isn't going to be a month by month review of 2013), and Henry, who had been getting steadily poorly was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. He had lost several stone in weight, his hair was falling out, he wasn't sleeping and he smelt of pear drops. As a biologist I should have twigged what was going on sooner. So to cut a long story short, this news gave way to a hellish Spring and Summer. Spring never spung - it was the winter that never ended. I had runner beans taking over my studio, eagerly awaiting to be planted out. If it wasn't for Drew my drawing board and the spectacular Rory McEwen Show, I probably would have pulled all my hair out with the drama that was turning out to be my life in 2013.
I made a decision towards the end of 2012, after a failed PhD application to Royal Holloway, that I would concentrate more on my artwork and paint bigger subjects. I like to think I achieved this in 2013. I was, however, tempted by another PhD that came up at Edinburgh University in July. I think I can safely say that this little sod of an application took the life out of me. I spent much of July's heatwave studying in the library at the Wellcome Trust, soaking up as much information as I could about the history of science. After my interview I had to make a dash to Germany for a wedding. Those 4 days were nuts. I didn't get offered the place and to this day I felt like the whole thing was an absolute waste of my time. It felt like they were only interviewing me to tick a box. The experience was not only exhausting but also very expensive.
So anyway, after a few more months I then hit rock bottom. I am sure many of you have noticed how scanty my posts have become of late. After I turned 29 I hit a force 9 wind which blew me miles away to a distant land. I felt lost and even more exhausted than I was in July. I had lost a stone and a half in weight and hadn't slept properly in days. Henry and I almost broke up and we are still teetering around the edge.
Life is tough, but I know that I am not alone in my battles. I have lots of friends who are very poorly at the moment, including Henry. Friends who are even more lost and I find myself finishing this year with the mindset that it is my duty to not only encourage and inspire the people around me but to do the things that I want to do and to not feel defeated in any shape or form.
So with a bucket of Pakoras and a bottle of Champers, Henry and I are off to the south coast for New Years Eve with my family. Let's draw a line under unlucky 2013 and learn from it. My lesson - that my health is the most important thing. This is what I take into 2014, that and another one of those PhD applications, my membership to the Chelsea Physic Garden Florilegium and of course Cosmo.
They say when times are tough the only way is up. I disagree - I am doing an awesome job of spreading. When times are tough it's good to lie down like a snow angel, arms out stretched, ready to give and ready to receive.
Wishing you all a very Happy New Year and a magical, stretchy 2014.
Tuesday, 17 December 2013
|Paintings of roses by Regine Hagedorn|
|Magnolia sieboldii subsp. by Barbara Oozeerally|
|Magnolia glabosa by Barbara Oozeerally|
|Magnolia x soulangeana “Brozzonii” by Barbara Oozeerally|
|Seedhead of Magnolia 'Pegasus' by Barbara Oozeerally|
Sunday, 24 November 2013
Thursday, 14 November 2013
On Sunday, I decided to run away from the Big Smoke and spend some of my holiday at the seaside - in true British style! It is so lovely down here... The pace of life is so much slower and its quiet. The sun has been out nearly everyday and it's very beautiful. The sun glistening on the lapping waves, no wind and all that fresh air. On Monday night we had a storm and the following day I decided to have a walk along the tide mark and go for a paddle. There were so many beautiful seaweeds there, covering nearly every colour of the spectrum in an array of shapes and sizes. They'd make such beautiful subjects to paint, especially when wet and shiny. The way the light dances on them is really rather beautiful and I felt that it would be a good challenge to this depict accurately. Just think of all those reflections!
Anyway, I had a look online and found this lovely collection of seaweeds which I felt accurately portrayed the diversity of form found in this group of 'mystical' flora. I rather like them all as a collection and thought I'd share them with you.
Thursday, 7 November 2013
|Tulip 'Reduced to Clear' - work in progress|
|Close up on 'Buy One Get One Free' - place where the two flowers meet|
|Tulips 'Buy Three for the Price of Two' - work in progress|
|'Tulip 'Reduced to Clear' - work in progress|
Subtleties of Light by Jane Jones
Understanding how Reflected light works by Christopher Schink
|Painting of the Great Roman Hazel Nut with a red squirrel and frog below|
Tuesday, 5 November 2013
|Little Gem Lettuce - work in progress - watercolour on paper|
|Map of Kew Gardens|
|Wood cut of a Lotus Flower growing at Kew Gardens|
|Wood cut of Kew Gardens by Lalande Patteson|
|Ginkgo biloba leaves|
|Maidenhair Tree at Kew Gardens|
Friday, 1 November 2013
at The Gallery, Redchurch Street, London, E2
from 29 October to 10 November