Saturday, 8 September 2012

Up the Creek and 29 Faces

Face 7

First, I taking part in the 29 Faces in September Challenge At Ayala's. If you want to see the other 6, just click on the label 29faces below.
I brought some gouache yesterday and couldn't wait to try them. I am not sure whether she is startled or the look is “In your face, Mate!' At the moment I am just calling her Little Missy.

Up the Creek – a story of restoration

I have finally started on Up the Creek, it has has taken me 10 years to get going. At long last.... The triptych is the story of those 10 years. I have never painted autobiographical work before, so it is a bit scary.

It started with me being involved in a serious car crash in my final year at art school. Walking was a problem let alone painting. (I was awarded my diploma as I had a large body of work – pays to be a workaholic! And I could finish my thesis in hospital) While I was in rehab I did a drawing called “up the creek”(in NZ slang it means in a right old mess!) – me in a boat clinging on for dear life while the boat was being tossed and turned. I would show it here, but I gave it to the nurses and I think it is still on the wall in their office (well, it was on my last visit). I have been in and out of hospital ever since. On one of other visits I did this work in watercolour pencils. 

The idea has been mulling around in my head for ages. I have been unable to paint very well because of being unable to lift my arm much higher than mid chest. That is why I turned to pencils and computer because I could rest my arm on a desk. Well last year a miracle happened and my shoulder improved so that now I can lift my arm to shoulder height and sometimes higher. People have different theories about how it is healing. My belief is that God healed it. I became a Christian 2 ½ years ago and have been praying regularly for healing. There is a lot more to heal but I am on the path – one day I will walk without crutches!

Well, all this means is that I can paint again! I was slow getting started because I had got into the rut of believing I couldn't do it. But thanks to this blog and the wonderful comments people have made with my Proverbs series I feel that I have the confidence to do it.
So basically the triptych is about restoration – my path of recovery.

So here is the drawing for the first painting. This week I tinted the canvas with Prussian blue and it is large 1 metre by 1 metre! The canvas has been sitting and waiting for 10 years! I haven't posted it as a plain blue canvas is boring. At this stage I am not sure whether to make the boat fill the canvas or to make it smaller to signify how small we are. Next week I will draw the large boat with chalk on the dry background to see whether it is right if not I can wipe it out and do it smaller. I will post as I go on this on PPF days.

Have a happy PPF day everybody and thanks for visiting.

Scripture for the triptych
Painting one - Up the Creek
But why, why this chronic pain, this ever worsening wound and no healing in sight? You're nothing, GOD, but a mirage, a lovely oasis in the distance--and then nothing! Jer 15:18 Msg

Painting two - The Waterfall
As for you, I'll come with healing, curing the incurable, Because they all gave up on you and dismissed you as hopeless-- that good-for-nothing Zion.' Jer 30:17

Painting three – Restoration (Still waters)
"But the river itself, on both banks, will grow fruit trees of all kinds. Their leaves won't wither, the fruit won't fail. Every month they'll bear fresh fruit because the river from the Sanctuary flows to them. Their fruit will be for food and their leaves for healing." Eze 47:12


  1. Little Missy is adorable, love her colors! She seems to be skeptical by what's been said though!!Up a Creek, without a paddle very colorful and a perfect way to depict your situation! So wonderful you have more movement in your arm. Hopefully the rest will come!! Having faith really changes things. Finding healing in art is such a comfort!! Can't wait to see that huge canvas!! Hope you will share the progression!!

    Hugs Giggles

    Hugs Giggles

  2. lovely work, that last one is a large piece!

  3. What an amazing life story! I am glad you are healing!!!! Your paintings have impressed me from the first one I came across. I love this image of you in the boat (both actually)...was thinking of the top one in color.
    But I see the newer, weller you in the second drawing. I look forward to seeing the growth and development of this on canvas.
    I pray your healing continues, and the power of prayer is not to be discounted in any way. Hugs and HPPF!

  4. I love everything about this post... the art work... the words and the intentions... all very inspiring...xx

  5. Love the look on her face! I go with a strong will for that look!

  6. Loving Little Missy with all her yellow and green hues and feeling of summer with her goggles! :)
    Happy PPF!!
    Mixed-Media Map Art

  7. I am so happy for you. Your post moved me to tears, and I cannot wait to see your new finished painting. I love Up a Creek too and Little Missy too btw. Wishing you continued healing and many, magical happy art-filled days.


  8. Love Little Missy ~ there is a special delight about her ~ and your Up the Creek is wonderful ~ so glad you are working on it again ~ "Life interferes sometimes" ~ I have gotten back 'in the boat' ~ several times and it is my inner faith that keeps me living well each day ~ Admire your faith as well as your art ~ (A Creative Harbor)

  9. What a wonderful gift to be able to paint like you do. I've always wished I had that talent. Thank you for sharing your inspirational story.

  10. I really love the first one.. your little swimmer is marvelous. All are beautiful, can't wait to see the last one complete. Happy PPF

  11. Wow - I really appreciate reading your story, and seeing your pictures. I'm so glad for your healing. I wonder if you know a lovely blogging friend of mine called Serenata (from NZ, but now in the UK). She is constantly suffering with pain and when I read your 'Stage 1' it really reminded me of what she is going through. Her blog is 'The Balancing Kiwi'.

  12. Love Little Missy, and the work you are working on now, and the meaning and inspiration behind it. Take care.

  13. Little Missy is has a wonderful expression and colors and your WIP looks very intriguing, very inspiring to read the story behind it! Great that you are healing! HPPF!

  14. The triptyk is amazing. I love the expression, the creativity and hoping the healing continues. Blessings, Janet PPF

  15. Love your gouache face! Lovely colours! I'll have to try gouache as well.
    The triptych sounds like a great idea.It's a good way to come to terms with what happened. I love the drawing you made. Can't wait to see it on canvas!