Remembering those we’ve loved and lost

How do you remember those who you have lost?

I’ve been struggling with this one for a while. I’m not one for visiting graves, it’s not something I’m comfortable with. Breaking down and crying while strangers could see me – heaven forbid. I want to be able to sit and think about those people we’ve lost and miss so much, in private when I want to. Not necessarily on an anniversary. Not to mention, I am not able to visit all of the graves of loved ones as they are either in another state and some in another country.

Lavish Pink Lavender – also in my front garden

A few weeks of each year are the anniversaries of several lost loved ones. Yep, one particular week has 3 significant dates and is always hard to get through. I’m not great with remembering dates, but some how my subconscious must know and those particular weeks because I’m a blubbering mess.

This year I was struggling a lot, with life and one of those weeks in particular I was having a really hard time. I actually started crying at work, for what I thought was for no reason at all. Until I realised what week it was.

I have an obsession with purples of all shades. Artwork I created to decorate my gardening journal.

One of my work colleagues, who I now consider to be a good friend noticed I was upset and asked me about it. Obviously I was highly emotional and nearly fell apart. Some of my grief was – how do I remember all these wonderful people? How do I show my respect, honour their memory if I can’t remember dates? She had a wonderful suggestion, knowing that I was slowly getting into gardening. To plant a tree for everyone I’ve lost. A tree, not just a plant, that will be there for many years to come, more than likely it will out live me.

I can’t plant one tree for everyone that we have lost, I’d need a few acres for that. So I’ve altered the idea slightly. I’ve designed our front garden to be a memorial to those we’ve lost. I’ll have a couple of out door seats and a cute little table to be able to sit surrounded by nature, and be able to remember all of those we’ve lost. I’ll cry and smile, and hopefully laugh at the memories we shared.

I’ve got a lot of work to do, I’ve only just started with one garden bed at the front. It will be a labour of love, I’ll take my time.

Melaleuca Thymifolia – native to Australia’s eastern coast.

The first plant I planted for someone. A Melaleuca Thymifolia. It’s a beautiful native bush with beautiful purple flowers. This one reminds me of my Grandma. Her favourite flower was actually an Angel Face rose (her nickname for me), which I do plan to put in if I can find one. They are super rare so I have to be patient. Grandma loved Bribie Island, she loved walking along the beach. She loved her garden, she would always tell me to go and smell the roses. She loved to read and taught me how to knit. Now, I’m teaching my daughter how to knit. We would sit together and read, I used to take her grocery shopping when I was old enough to do so. I miss her dearly. We were close. She was the first significant loss in my life when she passed.

Just having a plan to create something like this, a memorial has given me a lot of peace. Even if it does take me years to complete it. The sobering fact is, it will never truly be complete. Unfortunately their will always be new names to add. The good thing is, a garden, trees, plants the ecosystem that will be created will long out live me and be a beautiful calming place for all.

Wasting a few Canvases

One of my first little pieces – my purple tree. It is still one of my MOST viewed and bought prints. I remember creating it like it was yesterday. I loved trying to create it from an image in my head. I didn’t know whether it would work out or not. I felt I was really stepping out of my comfort zone not having a reference photo.

Purple Tree

This was four years ago and I still never know whether a painting is going to work out. I mean I always hope it does but I’m not too upset if it doesn’t. Sometimes I’ll revisit it, sometimes I won’t. The point is I tried to create something that was in my mind. I tried to bring an image to life.

I’m starting to realise, as I get older that I’ll regret not trying things way more than I will wasting some money on a few canvases! Art has helped me grow a whole lot more than anything else I’ve done. It’s helped allow me to show my compassionate and caring side.

Cabin by the River

Another one from that year. This was one of the first pieces I sold. A real ego boost. I remember selling it and how that made me feel. I have always favoured the thought of having my own business. I love to create.

The only other thing that has helped me grow an enormous amount in the last couple of years was With You With Me. I started learning Data Analytics and from there I started to teach. More on that in a later post. So many people look at me weird when I tell them I’m an Artist and a Data Analyst. Most people don’t think these two loves don’t go together, but if you think about it you see many similarities.

Check out my next post to find out how I got into Data Analysis and how the two careers are similar.

Obsession – Abstract Art

Obsession uses my all time favourite colours. Aptly named, I have an obsession with the colour purple. I like to have some drama in my paintings, the more contrast and texture the better.

Starting off with some basic colours and soft blends. I love to blend the paint together on my canvas, mixing the different colours by adding different amounts of each colour.

Adding more depth of colour and changing shapes where I think I need to. Nearly finished, I have to just add some more texture with the palette knife and I’m all done! I’m using packing tape to hold my canvas sheet to my board. It’s a really handy tool as it will give me a lovely little border around the edge of my sheet.

If you fancy popping over to see my next piece in progress, I have progress pictures available on my Facebook and Instagram accounts.

If you’re ready to purchase one of my paintings please pop over to my Etsy store.

Cheers guys,

Chrissy xx

Eternal – Abstract Art

My latest piece Eternal, I think, is one of my best abstract pieces. I loved creating it so much. It brought joy to my day, even if it started out terrible. Now that I have finished it, I don’t feel sad that it’s over. I feel excited. Excited to put it out into the world. No matter what anyone’s reaction is. I’m endlessly proud of my work and it’s the closest to perfect I’ve managed to obtain this far in my new found love and appreciation for abstract art.

Above: The first stages of creating Eternal.

Most people see an abstract piece and think “well that must have taken all of 2 seconds to slap the paint on.” But let me tell you, Abstract art, a good piece takes hours. It takes mastery of techniques that most people don’t think of as techniques at all. When the only map or blueprint you have is in your head it is incredibly difficult to transfer that on to a canvas. It also takes a skill that I’ve been finding the hardest to master so far and its probably the most important……. knowing when to stop.

In the picture above I am introducing some deeper colours and shapes with green, blue and purple. I love soft blends and cloud like shapes. I love adding the deeper colours to give the piece more drama.

The texture of paint is what I love, using paint brushes and palette knives to create depth and interest in the piece is something that is new to me. I am really loving learning about how the palette knives work and the interesting shapes you can make using them.

Above: Eternal – the finished piece.

With my new found fascination for soft blends and dramatic depth of colour I think I will be creating many more pieces similar to this one.

If you would like to follow me on my art journey come and follow my Instagram or Facebook pages. Want to own one of my pieces? That’s easy, go to my Etsy store to check out what’s available!

Cheers,

Chrissy xx