Awareness, By Gum

I went to a new dentist but it set up a chain of pain, so I’ve been pretty sick.

However, while organizing my last two sketches for my old sketchbook project, I decided I needed a proper set of gouache paints. I’ve been limping along with the extremely cheap and chalky Reeves set, which is about 15 to 20 years old, so for Christmas I ordered a Winsor & Newton set of 10 gouache tubes and ordered one extra tube of titanium white, which is a little different than the zinc white that comes in the set and I need them both.


BLUE GUM FLOWER – (Eucalyptus globulus) Healing

I am mixing the Australian Wildflower Reading Cards with the old but charming Nature Spirits Oracle Cards.

Acceptance for what has gone before , and a time to move forward, not getting bogged down in details. Look at other ways to heal and be healthy and look after yourself.

Awareness is always a struggle I find. Mention is made of paying attention to details but the Blue Gum says not to get bogged down in them. Be more focused and attentive, observe, it’s a good time to make changes.

Art is a healing thing, sometimes it’s good to get away and draw.

When we were in the dollar store this week they had this at the checkout counter, so I bought it for $2 to set on my drafting board while I work.


Castiglione Rides the Carousel of Life

I notice I have several people following me on both my blogs who could be described as life coaches or lifestyle mentors. It seems to me that they would have no reason to follow my blog except to advertise their services. You know, “Buy my book, buy my video, only I have the magic secrets to unlock your potential.” Better than telemarketing, and cheaper, they follow blogs, get their advertisement in, waiting for you to say “This guy has the answer!!!” and get out your credit card.

I find it amusingly predatory, manipulative, and uninteresting.

In one of my DVD art lectures he was discussing a painting by Raphael that I was not familiar with, a portrait of Baldassare Castiglione. Castiglione wrote a book, a courtly ideal of dinner conversation at the court of Urbino that went through over 100 contemporary editions and was eventually translated into six other European languages plus Latin.

Here is a link to a digital version of the English translation of 1903 in several formats.

Even in our more recent time, Baldassare Castiglione is fascinating; we love our philosophers. Castiglione’s book is in-print and also available in a paperback edition of this 1903 English translation, and in a Kindle edition from Penguin Classics, both available at Amazon. Now this is a man who is interesting. Of course I had to do him as a digital jigsaw, and it was a tough one, given that black, grey, taupe and beige are the predominant colours. I nearly gave up, but kept chipping away at it. (Click to enlarge)


Is there a lesson there that a life coach can’t teach you? Someone said to me that they wouldn’t have the patience to do a jigsaw. I like the ones that are difficult, it’s a mental challenge, an exercise in patience, an exercise in minute recognition of pattern and colour. You teach yourself patience and reason in many actions, you cannot buy it from life coaches.

While I had the file opened to take a screen shot, I placed a dozen more pieces. There you go, you chip away at these things, fitting pieces into place, changing in increments, like life. To make your life better you sometimes have to wait and think and feel, no one can make your life but you. Buying advice does not work, you need to perform the actions of change yourself.

If you get down one day, so what? The predators might see that you’re down and think you a likely customer for their feel-good wares, but eat properly, get some sleep and keep finding those pieces.

Yourself. You cannot purchase a different life.

Oh jolly, let’s have a card…today we are…



Mary Poppins has been to visit you and while riding the carousel with her, your horse has taken off and is flying over a lush maze that has taken years to grow. Blossoms and bubbles and ribbons in the air, your heart expands and nearly bursts with the feeling of freedom and the blue of the sky surrounding you.

“You have the power to see things from a higher perspective.” Soar above life’s challenges AND opportunities and a new perspective appears. Like a maze, you can’t see the pattern while you are walking it, you have to look at it differently. No one can sell you a different view, you have to create it yourself. Exactly so.

Hey, I’ve got a video on how to say the same thing 30 different ways, only $49.95 plus shipping. You will be amazed at the awareness you will receive.

Or you can use your time to work it out yourself.

Maybe while doing a jigsaw.


She Sells Sanctuary

Daily Draw June 5th, 2009

I was up at 1 a.m. with sciatic pain and other nerve pain in my legs. I haven’t been conscious of overdoing exercise but I guess my body has other ideas. I took an aspirin and went back to bed and when I got up it started all over again so I held out for an hour and then took another aspirin. I couldn’t sit comfortably or get anything done and got in a bit of a teary state. So my husband walked over to a new bag of dog food and picked it up, and said “This is how much weight you’ve lost.” It was a 20-pound bag and I could hardly lift it, so the awareness that about five of these bags are still strapped to my body hit home. No wonder I get sore!

Then after I moaned about not being able to exercise he asked me how many times I’d gone up and down the stairs today. So far about eight, by the end of the day it might be twelve after doing some laundry. I got the point. I cheered up and spent the rest of the afternoon appliquéing my final Sunbonnet Sue block. I started making these back in 1995 or so and lately I’ve been finishing several half-done blocks in order to do a sampler quilt and use things up. After the sunbonnet blocks I have two Celtic designs with bias strips to finish, and then I can hand sew some new blocks.

Getting there, bit by bit, like getting my health back. It’s all part of the same vibe to get myself back, to recover my health and peace of mind and what I truly enjoy. And to augment that bit of awareness I drew a card from the wonderful Fradella Adventure Tarot:


Same card as yesterday. Gee, someone’s trying to tell me something. I like the guy up in the right hand top corner soaring above and looking like he’s having fun.

Sanctuary, an island retreat from ordinary life, free from the usual grudges and battles. Wealth, affluence, and a happy home, and loads of peace. I’ve been getting money cards all week. Very strange. But I’ll take the peace and the happy home aspect.

Here is one of the Sues getting finished on the sunporch. She is happy and looks forward to getting some embroidery on her hat.