Saturday, 19 June 2021

Helping to save the planet

Thinking about texture. I've used acrylics for this
An abandoned duck egg by the path
Had a play with felt tips yesterday !
Two beautiful pieces of cloth from a local charity shop. £2 each

I'm thinking about what we, as individuals, can do to help save the planet. I expect you already do all the things I'm about to list, but I'll list the small things I do which would have some impact if everyone did them too!

I don't buy new clothes apart from underwear.

 I buy everything from charity shops. Once items have been washed they are as good as, if not better than new. I prefer natural fabrics (cotton, silk, wool) not the synthetic stuff that many shops offer today. If I see something I think would look great on one of my daughters I buy things for them there too. 
I've just been visiting family near Berkhamstead. That town has GREAT charity shops and is a lot cheaper than Petersfield. 

Eat local and eat in season.

It annoys me that fruit and veg in supermarkets are often grown far, far away from here. I wish supermarkets would source food locally eg. apples. I try to buy food in season. We don't need strawberries in winter. So many nice things to eat can be grown in our gardens or window boxes. Local food saves polluting air miles and is tastier and can be cheaper. Cook from scratch if you can. 

Ditch the car

I've had to do this recently as my old car needed too much money spent on it. I haven't missed having a car yet - I am sure I will do soon but my immediate plan is to buy a bike instead. 

Use public transport - it's not pleasant to always be wearing a mask, especially on long journeys but again if everyone uses trains and buses in preference to cars it will have a good effect on the enviroment. Yesterday I had to go on the tube for the first time in ages - not recommended but do-able!

Switch to green electricity

Be as healthy as you can be, smile a lot at others and see friends.

Walk, talk and be creative. It would be great if we could have a positive effect on everyone we see, just by smiling at them. We are all going through hard times which are set to continue and there are many people having a horrendous time at the moment. The rules on what we can and cannot do keep changing and many of us are confused. Plus there is no definite end date in sight... 
What makes me happy is first and foremost talking and listening to others - strangers and friends, and secondly drawing/ painting/ experimenting on paper with what I have. I wonder what keeps you  happy in these strange times?




Wednesday, 2 June 2021

Dancing into Summer

The joy of  sunny weather and flowers blooming everywhere!
Finished this Klimt inspired painting
My neighbour got these fantastic giant peonies for her birthday
Quick flower painting. (Nice as a tea towel!)

Life is busy with four extra people in the house but I have decided to paint anyway and from now on I will be more productive on the art front.    It is so important to do what we love, especially when there is a lot to worry about. Immersing ourselves in drawing or painting gives us valuable stillness which is so good for our mental health...

I hope you are managing to find the time to be creative... whether it's cooking, arranging flowers, making jewellery or painting a picture - whatever floats your boat... to be creative every day is so so good for us.

Sunday, 9 May 2021

Embroidery and art

A bit of embroidery decoration on daughter's t-shirt
Klimt inspired drawing unfinished.
Just doodling


Chagall inspired flying woman
Recent stuff I've been doing as art therapy during lockdown.

Although life seems a bit easier lately here in the UK with the number of cases and deaths well down... we are constantly warned of new variants that may shut us down again.
I am really looking forward to May 17th when we can have people in our houses again, that is people outside our 'family bubble'... As I said previously, my bubble is waiting to move into their new house and staying with me right now. So I am lucky to have their company. But drawing, painting and writing are definitely on the back burner for the time being.
Are you ok?

Friday, 23 April 2021

Art and family

Watercolour pencils
At last I've made another painted collage
I've copied this from a Matisse line drawing of dancers and added details and colour

I can't believe that it's a whole month since I blogged. Apologies. Something life changing has happened and there's very little time for art any more. 
My daughter and her family are in the process of buying a house in Petersfield and while they wait to move in they are living with me.
It's lovely to have them here but while we all adapt to sharing my little house I just haven't been able to do any art.

This week it was a joy to get out the paints again as I decided I wanted to prioritise writing and painting again. 
The Matisse picture is of dancers. He did a line drawing. I've just copied it much bigger and added colour and detail. It isn't for sale so I reckon it's ok to share it with you.

The sun is shining today and I'm going to pull up some of the many weeds that have appeared in my garden. Have a good week.

Wednesday, 24 March 2021

Painting Peonies

I enjoyed using watercolours and watercolour pencil for this
Pink peonies with watercolour
Pussy willow seen on a walk

Apologies for being late to post this week. It's been a busy one.
I enjoyed painting with watercolours instead of acrylics. I used a dark red watercolour pencil to draw the outlines and then filled in with watercolour. I like the way watercolours bleed into each other.

It is such a joy to be outdoors at the moment. There are new lambs in the fields and pregnant horses. New leaves are unfurling themselves on the trees and everywhere wild flowers dot the banks and hedgerows. Violets, celandine (which look like open buttercups) primroses and blue periwinkles have replaced the snowdrops now. I am so grateful to live in Petersfield with unspoilt countryside to see on every walk.

I want to achieve another flower picture this week. Flowers in a vase, similar to the tulip pictures I did but with various different flowers.
I hope you have something to look forward to and that you can get outside and appreciate nature too.

Saturday, 13 March 2021

Cards and a canvas

A new style of card by Jenny Stacy
Just scribbling and enjoying colours


This is a big canvas.I did yesterday.

This blog is a record of what I'm doing: making cards, painting on paper and occasionally on canvas...

At one stage I posted every single day. That was when many more people looked at it. Now I only post once a week but all the time I enjoy sharing I'll continue, if only for my own pleasure and the ability to look  back in years ahead on twelve years of a creative life.

It's been nearly a year now of lockdowns and learning to live without socialising. Using paints and appreciating Nature has helped me. What has helped you to keep going?

Saturday, 6 March 2021

Seen

Pale pink camellias in a Petersfield garden
A bike for four plus a big shop !!
Ancient yew in a churchyard
A church prepares for Easter...
 
Wish I could remember how I did this !

Hello. During lockdown I am thankful for being allowed to walk each day. Nearly a year now since restrictions started and of course, the pandemic has been with us far longer than that. But at least we can walk and I discover new bits of countryside every week.

 Now that Spring is breaking through the cold earth there is so much interest out there. Birds are singing extra loudly. Clumps of violets, primroses and snowdrops on the banks.

The slightly warmer weather gives me new energy to organise the house because one day, hopefully not too long from now, I look forward to having guests !

I hope that you too are feeling a bit more optimistic about the future.

I have been going through boxes and spotted this bit of painting. I love the vibrant colours and that combination of colours. But I can't remember what paints I used to achieve it. I will let myself experiment once the tidying up is completed. Carrot and stick...

Thursday, 25 February 2021

Walking and painting

Painting and cutting out petals on painted background
More experimenting. Klimt style background
First primroses seen on a walk
Yesterday's walk was special

Apologies that I forgot to write on Monday. Sometimes being in Lockdown makes us a bit vague as to what day it is!!
Since I last spoke to you I've done a couple of paintings, just trying things out for an eventual bigger painting.

Walking is my other joy. Going off in a different direction yesterday I had to take a picture of this natural avenue through the trees. Perfect.
I was also lucky enough to see a white egret resting on a branch above the river and this first patch of primroses... 

Monday, 15 February 2021

Making art?

Tulips in Jug by Jenny Stacy. A4 size
Spring chasing Winter away, Collage by Jenny Stacy. A4 size
Tulips in Jug by Jenny Stacy. BIG.

I have a problem with the word 'art'. What is art? Is it purely a subjective reaction to someone else's efforts? Now, as I struggle to produce pictures which could be attractive in someone else's eyes I feel confused.
Looking through The Art Book which has hundreds of 'artists' works I see some I recognise, I've maybe seen them in a gallery. Some which look simple and some which I can't think of as Art at all. For example I like photographs but I don't see them as art. 

The shame is that many artists are not recognised in their lifetime at all and die in poverty. Only later do other people benefit by selling their work.  Indeed the very word artist conjures up a tortured soul determined to keep on painting even though they are earning no money through it and might be thought of as irresponsible wastrels by members of society. What drives them? What makes them different to other people?
What do you think?
Meanwhile I have a glimmer of an idea for another picture...

Tuesday, 9 February 2021

Hearts and flowers

So good to buy Spring flowers this week. I knitted the bunny slippers for the youngest family member.
Love collage. I made a dozen Valentines cards this week.
The heart shape gave me an idea....
A Love Bug designed and made by Jenny Stacy

It's that hearts and flowers time of year again!

Just when winter is feeling a month too long we have this nice distraction of telling everyone we love that we love them!

And the first daffodils and tulips are showing up in the supermarket.
I can't resist Spring flowers! They are a brave reminder of better times ahead.  That could also apply to the weird, disquieting times we are living through...

What are you missing right now?  Number one I miss my family and number two I miss my friends. Memories of meeting up, checking out a few shops and then settling down in a warm, welcoming cafe for cups of tea and a shared piece of cake... That all feels a bit unreal now. A distant memory.
The other thing I miss is having a shop or other peoples' shops to sell my stuff through. This is the first year I can remember when I have not sold loads of heart cards. And when I invented the Love Bug I could have done more and different shapes, sizes and colours but with no obvious place to sell I probably won't do any more.

Thank goodness for WhatsApp video, Face Time and Zoom ! So good to see people and communicate directly with them! It still feels like magic, especially when talking to my friend in Australia and she's wearing a sleeveless cotton top and I'm wrapped in three layers and a shawl!!

Things to be grateful for - modern technology and the West Wing which I missed first time around but I'm now enjoying watching every night.
What are you grateful for?

Monday, 1 February 2021

Yay! February

Peony in the snow
I made a snow lady
Layering painted paper
Walking through the woods

The days are getting longer and Spring will soon be here. 
This week it was a delight to see snow. Even if it only lasted 24 hours.
Children, perhaps seeing snow for the very first time,  had snow ball fights, built snowmen and slid on trays. A welcome respite from lockdown.

It is a struggle to stay upbeat and creative right now. I miss my family, as I'm sure you do. But sunshine helps and walks into the countryside, hearing bird song and seeing buds on the trees and the first snowdrops. We are getting there. Life will improve. Stay strong dear readers.

Monday, 25 January 2021

Card making

Collage 'J' card by Jenny Stacy
Collage 'A' card by Jenny Stacy
Collage 'B' card by Jenny Stacy

This week I've been making cards. I think this is a good use for my pieces of painted paper.
It's great when you feel in the mood to do something creative. It doesn't happen every day to be honest,especially at the moment with the world battling our invisible enemy...
Then snow came and for a moment we forgot our problems and just stared at how pretty it made everything look. Snow pictures next time.
Go carefully.

Wednesday, 20 January 2021

The Latest

Still addicted to painted papers. Simple beads.
Purple carrots. Never had those before.
So many berries on the holly. Hard winter?


I've realised that I can't get a blog post published with more than three pictures and that's ok. I'll post the other pictures later this week.

Most days during this lockdown I get the paints out as you can see above. The simple beads use some of my painted papers. You don't have to use painted papers... gift wrap, magazine pictures, drawn on paper, anything you fancy will work.
Today I'm planning to make collage cards out of painted papers too.

Are you finding enough things to do while living with these restrictions?
I've been making up stories for a grandchild in which he is always the hero. He loves it. I'm wondering if I could illustrate a story using collage somehow.

I try to shop for food as little as possible now. Yesterday the death figure for 24 hours in the UK was 1,610. I think that's a record. So many deaths daily. It does feel that staying in is best with an hour's walk at some point during the day.

I spotted purple carrots in Marks and Spencer. Never tried those before. They were in a mixed bag containing white carrots and orange carrots.  When I added a sliced purple carrot to my usual vegetable soup I was amazed to see the soup turn purple. All that colour from one little carrot. But it tasted good. Even better than usual.

I saw this holly bush while out on a walk. So many berries! I've always understood that lots of berries signals a particularly cold, hard winter.
When the weather is cold and (worse) rainy we just have to try extra hard to stay cheerful and spread some positivity to others.
I smile at everyone I see while out walking. They probably think I'm eccentric but when you get a return smile it just makes your day.

Monday, 11 January 2021

Thinking ...

Sending you love and good wishes with this heart I made a while ago
A truly beautiful card made by my friend Bee Mellor which arrived from Australia this week.
Peonies that I dried last year in May when the bushes bloom in my front garden

This week the UK's death figures passed 80,000. The highest figure in Europe. It feels like the walls are closing in to be honest and it is hard to still think positive. I feel lucky that I can lose myself in painting or making something and it is always fun to plan projects for future happy times.
What are your dreams? A friend looks forward to being beside the sea.
I look forward to seeing family again and giving friends a cup of tea and biscuit inside my home.

We are being urged to stay at home but to preserve our mental health we all need contact with other people. And some elderly people aren't able to communicate on Zoom or Face Time or WhatsApp. How is society looking after them? That is something bothering me at the moment...

On a more positive note. Now is the ideal time to improve our cooking skills and to read books we've always meant to read but haven't had time to do so. To thoroughly clean and sort where we live (this is my unrealised dream as yet!)  Maybe to re-watch the incredible wildlife photography in David Attenborough's tv series.  But I don't find any of those things satisfying enough. My joy is to walk in the countryside or a  park and hear the birds singing and see the seasons unfolding and buds unfurling, taking us forward to better times.