Ink the Colour of Bruises

There are good days and bad days, but most days are a combination of both. Some swing wildly from one extreme to another.

The project is going well, and for that I am grateful. Chuffed to have had the Drawn In exhibition at Glitterball Showroom, and to have it so well received…especially the songs! Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to listen.

Work in my studio is going well. 

I’m not having a moan, but I am observing that just when I need my body to feel fit and well, it does not (yes, I know it could be worse, but it is what it is). I am exhausted by the constant activity in our new house since we moved in at the end of January. Gardeners, decorators, electricians… blah blah… an imminent load of carpet and flooring to be fitted means loads of boxes have to be shifted from one room to another then back again. And yes again, I know I am fortunate, but acknowledging my privilege doesn’t make my body work any better. It might be tiredness from all the activity, or the getting up early to receive the workers, or the fact I’m not eating properly because half the time I can’t be bothered to prepare properly, but my arthritis is bloody shocking at the moment. Anyway… I’m not saying this for sympathy, I’m fine… 

I’m saying it because it is having an effect on the way that I’m working. Unrolling the large paper is difficult and painful, so I have ordered some large flat sheets instead. It’s also having an effect on the colours I’m choosing. In the last couple of weeks I’ve moved away from the soft and smooth Payne’s grey watercolour. Instead I’ve been using ink not just to do the drawing but to lay down some initial colours too. I’m using leftovers (hate wasting materials) so the ink is smelly and bitty and grainy. It feels appropriate. The gritty bits feel like the bit of floating debris in my joints. I draw around them, draw attention to them. The colours feel right too. Yellow ochre mixed with black to give varying tones from the sharp but dirty yellow through a sickening green to grey and black. Today I have a selection of jars filled with dilutions of carmine and black. The colours feel sore and inflamed. Bruises. Today I am using large brushes to sweep these branches of colours over wet paper, then half dry, then completely dry… my painkillers kick in as the paper undulates, then starts to dry and straighten out. In about twenty minutes I will be able to hold the slender pen to dip the nib and draw some lines and marks…

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