Sunday, 31 August 2014

What I Wore and What I Painted

I'm feeling a bit more like myself today, though happiness and creativity are not quite leading to intelligent thoughts and beautiful prose.  As summer winds to an end the days are cooler and more comfortable, which somehow feels less like being in survival mode.  I am not a fan of heat.  When people ask me how my summer was and what I did, I imagine they are expecting to hear of trips to the beach, camping or having guests, the usual sorts of things people associate with summer.  There is much invested in this season.  Nobody says 'oh hey how is your winter?  What did you do this winter?'  While I enjoy the variety of the seasons, and yes, summer does offer up festivals and the possibility of picnics, I mostly do the same things as I do year round.  I read, write, paint, do laundry and wash dishes.  What changes is whether or not the windows are open and how long the daylight lasts, if there are flowers from mum's garden in a vase and whether I burn candles or incense or a fire in the fireplace.

This year my response to 'What did you do this summer?' has been to say 'I painted my bedroom'.  Apparently this is an unexpected response judging by the reaction I get, a pause and then 'Oh....what colour did you paint it?'  Nobody is impressed when I say I painted it white.  And being both an explainer and a lover of colour, I immediately have to explain why I chose white.  White is the best choice considering I am no good at limiting myself to a colour palette, a scheme or a plan.  I love colour; lots of it, and I have colourful things everywhere.  They need a neutral, restful background, literally a blank canvas.  I change my mind all the time too, so that when three years from now I decide I want my bedroom to feature colours other than purple, teal and merlot,  the change is as easy as new covers for the pillows, new art (self made) and perhaps some new randomly applied textiles found at the thrift shop.  There will be no need to paint any walls.

So with things looking a little more normal in my world, or at least inside my own head, I thought I would share a little peek. 

For an exciting day of getting cream for my coffee at the store down the road and a little painting, nothing less than one of my favourite outfits will do.  Three cheers for cooler weather and layers!

              Sitting happily in my art corner, squinting into the morning sun.

As usual, the flowers in my painting are from my imagination.  They may resemble real flowers but I always paint something I have imagined in shape and colour and not from any actual arrangement or photograph.  It's rather lovely to always have such flowers permanently residing in my head.  Now I will look at this painting for a month and suddenly see something I need to add.  Even now I have thoughts on that, but this can be considered a mostly finished piece.


  1. Shawna! I love your painting and thanks for sharing it! In fact, everything you post on Pinterest that I see I also love. We have a lot of the same taste though I cannot paint well like you. I guess that's why I stick to the calligraphy thing.
    The outfit you have on is exactly what I would wear too, and consider it a favorite. Blogging within this "style" blogging realm always makes me stretch a bit and seek out things outside the box at thrift stores. But in reality my taste is very plain and simple with lots of layers in basic neutrals and blacks, etc...

    Can't wait to see your bedroom. Is it going to look like that one room you pinned with the sun/moon art on the walls??? ;D That was gorgeous!

    I've been doing a ton of laying around the last few days, so nothing exciting going on here. But my mother once told me that she heard a quote that went something like "the hardest thing in life sometimes is to live a life of simplicity without the expectation of excitement and entertainment all the time." I love to read Thoreau for that reason.

  2. Glad you're feeling better! I'm not a fan of the dog days of Summer when it's 105 in the shade, either, but we're still in the thick of it down here in Nashville. Nevertheless, I've started the hunt for cold weather sweaters.
    I understand why you'd want to go with white walls. It does lend itself as a blank canvas for change. Not a single wall in my house is white. I've put all of my 3D paintings on a digital picture frame that hangs in my office, sort of a decorative portfolio of my work. My office is painted deep purple - of course ;-)


  3. No wonder you've been beat. You painted your bedroom! Not an easy feat energy wise. I loooove your painting, from the subject matter to the texture and the colours. Beautifully done! I wish I had flowers in my head all the time. I have no visual memory. Mine is aural. So I need to see something/one to paint it.
    People really don't ask "how was your Winter" do they? Mind you, our Summers are so ridiculous, we mostly ask "how are you surviving the heat?" I remember when we lived in Canada being surprised at how party like Summer was. People put flowers in hanging baskets and festivals were everywhere!
    Nice to see your face :-) xo JJ

  4. loooove this painting!!!!! soooo beautiful!
    the colors, the strokes, the energie! awww!
    around here people ask how the winter was. because most years we have "real" winter with lots of snow, 2 digits frost and usually a flood in the end. and people do a lot in winter - going skiing, hiking or traveling.
    cant wait to see your bedroom. white seems a good choice, with all your colorful dec and the gorgeous light from the sea. and you have central heating :-) in our coal stove heated house white would feel to cold in winter..... (and will get grey very early)
    you look comfy and happy in your tunic-skirt-leggings combo. a random fact: in the GDR we called leggings "palucca pants" after the great dancer Gret Palucca who had a famous dance school here in Dresden :-)


  5. You have ready-made flowers just sitting your head waiting patiently to come alive on canvas? That's brilliant! I have no such wonderful art planting itself in my brain although I can completely understand your need for a white bedroom so you can change your mind about the decor whenever the whim takes you. Today is the first day of spring here and it so happens we had a beautiful, mild day so windows and doors were opened briefly. Our summers here in Brisbane can be six months of hell so I understand where you're coming from. I usually hide. Sort of reverse hibernation! Hugs xoxox

  6. You are so right, no one ask what you do over winter, I guess that is because most peeps take their holidays over summer and do stuff. I am a bit like you, I do pretty much the same all year round. I will go to the beach any time of the year, or take off for a weekend. Excellent work on your painting, the colours are fabulous. Did you do the ones behind you in the photo of you standing?

  7. Shawna!! Your painting of flowers is beautiful and it makes me happy that they are imaginary!!! What a lovely mind to reside in!!
    I think you're right about white-you can do so much with it!!! Our house is cream and I wish it was white but it is rented so we don't change much!!
    Your right about summer-you feel guilty if you've not done something stereotypical!!! And it reminds me-my husband and I chose to go to switzerland for our honeymoon and we got some v lacklustre reactions from people who expect you to go to tropical islands!! X

  8. Love the painting ... I've missed seeing your art :0)

  9. Lookin' good, buddy. You look like you're living life. Which is more precious than we view it.

  10. Good to know you are feeling a little brighter and more energetic, Shawna, and you're looking long, lean and lovely too!
    What a wonderful painting - is it going in your freshly-whitened bedroom? xxx

  11. I'm glad to read you're feeling better. I'm sure your creative outlet of painting is very therapeutic for you. I envy your talent. I once went to our local art store and purchased paints and paper with the idea that I would sit at my desk and paint. I painted one yellow bird cage, that came out decent. After that I grew frustrated with it and gave my supplies to my youngest son. He's quite the artist.

  12. Glad you are feeling brighter Shawna. Love the painting. xx

  13. So happy to hear you are starting to feel more like yourself again.

    The painting is lovely. The colour palette you chose is beautiful.


  14. It's a beautiful painting! Love the colors, the shapes, the whole aura of it - I would definitely be happy to hang it in my home. And I love it that you paint from within! I think your outfits show that you are coming to yourself, in the best sense. I hope you understand what I mean.

    Summers are not meant for work - that bit of wisdom I only understood this very summer. The fact that you managed to paint a room in this warm weather is pretty big deal! I did not do ANYTHING this summer. :)

    Much love xxxx

  15. Glad to hear you are feeling more like yourself.

    As you move into the cooler weather on your side of the world we are moving into the warmer weather here on my side of the world.

    LOVE your painting and I agree on a muted palette as you can then put anything with it without having to paint the room again!!!


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