I have been blessed with a complete week of being left alone at home, to read, write, paint, sing, watch movies, do no cooking and generally relax. I cannot even begin to tell you how much I needed this, and how grateful I am that my family had no problem removing themselves from the house in order to give me this time alone! 

And I AM using it creatively!

I am still working on The Perplexing Case of Seraphim Karalis. It's now up to about 37,000 words...and counting! It's flowing well and my enjoyment of this story has not faded at all. But, I have also done something I've been wanting to get back to doing for about 20 years now...namely, paint!

When I was younger, and especially in art college, I would paint a lot, and it was an equally good way of expressing myself and extrenalising what was going on inside me, in the same way that writing was and is. But, what with raising a family and working every now and then, my time was not that plentiful any more. I know, I know...I was making excuses - I don't have time, the house will get messy, I will get dirty, blah blah blah! Well, no more excuses!

Having colour in my life, is just as important as having words near me. I didn't realise just how important art was to me until a good many years into happy family life, when my husband and I went away on a trip to Vienna. On our last day there, we decided to explore the city on our own, and I spent my time going from one art exhibition to another! I soaked in the shapes, emotions, splashes of colour in front of me. And my hunger only grew! I should have realised then that I have to let art back into my life but, as with a lot of things, we find ways of hiding what we really want or need from ourselves! 

But, the desire was there, and it was strong! Luckily, it was helped along when one of my dearest friends, the very talented writer, Val Waterhouse, who came to Athens for a visit, and I showed her my old art work. She kept insisting that I should get back to the easel post haste! I, of course, didn't do that! Haha! Once again, I found plenty of excuses not to!

This is where this week has come in as a great boost. Being left alone in the house has been like a mini-awakening! I told myself that I now have NO excuses for getting back into painting, no excuses at all! I'm glad I listened this time round...

When I write, I want total silence. I do not want to be disturbed, don't want to hear little noises or music, either. But, when I paint, I HAVE to have music. And I sing along! Always! Therefore, painting is a dual enjoyment for me: image and music.

I am adding this self-portrait on the site, not because I think it's anything spectacular, I really don't, but because I am overjoyed at having overcome myself. Laziness is no longer an option, and it never should have been. But, the time for making excuses is now over.

Of course, not working on something for so many years makes one stiff, unpraticed, crude. My hair, nose, mouth, flesh tone, all need work, a LOT of work. And self-portraits are a tough form of art, probably the toughest! It's challenging, strips you naked. You are faced with yourself and only have yourself to account for. My task was not an easy one! But, I think that's fitting - it's good to jump in deep waters from time to time, to step out of our comfort zone, feel vulnerable, notice our weaknesses, explore what's inside.

I hope to paint a lot now, from still life to images from dreams I have, although, I confess to having a weakness for faces. Unbeknownst to them...my children are up next! HA!

I'm not sure if I will paint myself again...but, at least, I've made a start!

And, I want to thank Val for that push!




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