Please

I didn’t have a sixteenth birthday party
I’d fallen out with me dad
Over a Beatles song
Who knew a man could be so mean
To snap his purse shut
For being proved wrong

Did he love me?
Yeah, yeah, yeah
Well, he said he did
But he wouldn’t pay for a party
For an ungrateful girl
Who disagreed with her dad

So while hippies swayed at Woodstock
And the man walked on the moon
I sat in my room and cried
Over my own stubborn streak
And a dad who didn’t
Please me.

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On the Quay at Fishguard

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We sat and stared at the sea
its distant calm expanse
as blue as the sky.
Closer, the kaleidoscope of grey patterns
hid its secret creatures,
as the seaweed danced
to natures rhythm.

Boats slid across the surface,
or, captured by a buoy,
swayed sadly in the wake.
Gulls gossiped and watched
as the crab man came
and unloaded his catch,
startled red within their cages.

Then the ferry loomed,
its bulk altering perspectives
as it steered imperiously to port.

 

Contortionist

Posted in response to the Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge. This week’s theme ‘Twisted’

This determined little chap had to really contort to get at the bird’s peanuts!  I admire his fortitude, but he is a bloomin’ little nuisance.. keeps busting the feeder. D’oh!  He seems quite pleased with himself though 🙂

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A little bit of Green

The diggers have come and destroyed the daffodils on the green,
creating a vast hole in my childhood.
The rocket ships that looked like swings,
the slide to the bottom of the big blue sea,
the café and the benches where mums sipped their tea,
all gone.

That tiny park of recreation, a slice of nature nestling
between the buildings.
Football on Saturdays, cricket on Sundays,
and marigolds on a dismal day.
The place of get togethers and breaking hearts,
all gone.

Replaced with those tick tack wall to wall houses.
Their mean gardens room enough only for a
trampoline and barbeque.
Maybe the laughter from the past will reverberate
through the lives of the families living there.
Those that have stolen my space.

The artist in me

IMG_1738As you may have noticed from previous posts, I am a member of an art group. To be honest, I find it a bit of a paradox.  Generally it seems, that just from the fact I am a member of an art group, people assume I am some sort of artist.  I can assure you this is not the case.

I joined the group a couple of years ago, as a ‘something we could do together’ thing with my husband.  I’d never really painted before, but knew I could draw a bit, so thought I’d give it a go.  My husband had painted in the past but not for a while and was happy to take up his brushes again.  I was in for a bit of a shock.  Shocked at how talented my husband is, and shocked at how cack-handed I am.

Oh, I’ve always been cack-handed and clumsy.  Can’t throw or catch, and my hand writing is, frankly, an embarrassment, but somehow I thought even I could create something wonderful by slopping a bit of paint onto some paper. It might not be Rembrandt but it would be my own.

Since the very first session, I have been nothing other than frustrated with the whole caboodle.  I have ideas, loads and loads of ideas, and I pick up my brush enthusiastically, only to find those perfect, exciting, unique pictures in my head, come out as a muddy mish mash when applied to paper.  I’ve tried watercolours, acrylics, pastels… all with pretty much the same outcome, though my pencil work is marginally better, and I quite enjoy creating collages even though they’re messy and again, not quite what I intended.

Now don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the art group, the company is wonderful, and everyone has their own talents, and sometimes, mishaps.  However, despite their encouragement, I still feel embarrassingly bottom of the class, and wish to hell I could manage to just translate my imaginings on to paper successfully, just now and again while I’m there.

I try to be philosophical about it, honest I do, and am generally able to make a joke of it when I’m at the group, however, at home, I feel monstrously angry at myself and my ineptitude. It must be the paper/brushes/paint I think, and end up buying tons of equipment in the futile hope that it will miraculously make me better.  I watch endless youtube videos to learn about techniques, and pour over books that promise to give me new insights into where it’s all going wrong.   Not a single thing seems to help.

Is it worth throwing the towel in?  Giving it up as a bad job? Going off to sulk and sob in a corner to tell myself that I should have known better than to try?  Burn all that expensive equipment?   No.

NO!!!

You see, I’ve also been watching the painting challenge currently on the BBC.  The people taking part are amateur artists who clearly think they are good enough to enter the competition.  While I still think all of them, to a man/woman, are far more talented than I (those in glass houses etc..) they are having some real disasters and seem to make many of the same mistakes as I do.  Of course, the work they do, in private, at home, in their own style, looks far more interesting and accomplished than any they try to do whilst ‘on’t telly’ and under pressure. The styles they are expected to replicate for the judges are often decidedly outside of their comfort zone, so appreciably more.. um, duff.

It has led me to ask the question of whether or not you have to be able to paint anything, in any medium or style, to be considered an artist.  I think not.  This is as true for people on the X factor trying to sing in an alien genre, or a ballet dancer trying out ballroom.  We can all have a bash at something but we will always be better at doing the thing we naturally lean towards.  Although Picasso did some admirable work in other styles, we generally think of his cubist pieces when we think of him.  Turner and his seascapes, Constable and his green and pleasant lands, Manet and his dancers, most of the brilliant artists I can think of have a particular style or subject that they are particularly known for.   That’s not to say they were one trick ponies, but those are the paintings that we all know and love them for, and the ones they seem to have produced the most of (I may be wrong here, I’ve not done much (any) research on this – just thinking out loud).

So basically, I guess the trick is that I really should appreciate and keep working on the things I have slightly more of a flair for, whilst striving to improve without embarrassment or losing my temper those things which I find elusive.  It’s a hard ask.  But I won’t give up just yet. I’ll keep telling myself that I’ll never get better if I don’t keep trying. So, I’ll carry on slopping on the paint in between doodling and sketching, and one day I’ll create that damn masterpiece.

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What I consider to be one of my slightly more successful pieces, done in my own time and style, in watercolour.

Simple Pleasures

Posted in response to the Daily Post weekly photo challenge. This week’s theme: ‘I’d rather be…’

Since my daughters have grown up we’ve only had one holiday together, and it was this one in Northumbria a couple of years ago.  It was a typical summer holiday in England – dull, cold and windy, so not wanting to waste such a brilliant beach we bought ourselves a kite.  Those four people (this includes my daughter’s partner) right there are the ones I love most in the world (as well as my mum of course – I have to say that, she reads this 🙂 ), and I remember watching them in the shadow of Bamburgh Castle, attempting to fly the kite in what felt like a gale, and generally being daft, and thinking just how lucky I was to be in such a beautiful place with such beautiful people.  Yep, I’d take that over a Caribbean holiday any ol’ time…

…on second thoughts, sod the cold, ideally I would be with them in the Caribbean swimming in a warm sea or lying on a white sandy beach sipping at a rum punch…oh yeah…!

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