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Monday, January 30, 2012

'Emma Dean'

This is a small painting I did, a 5" x 5" mini Acrylic on Canvas portrait of the wonderful miss Emma Dean. Emma is a talented singer/songwriter/pop cabaret performer. I have had the privilege of getting to know her as a friend, and seeing her perform.

This portrait comes from a photo of Emma Dean with guitarist Nathan Moore, taken by Nick Shears at the Green Earth Festival on Sat 13 March 2010.

My favourite song by Emma Dean can be found on YouTube:
Something They Can Hold - Emma Dean (Official Film Clip)

Friday, January 27, 2012

"Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie (Alanis)"

'Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie (Alanis)' by Shiloh Moore
Note: I do not own copyright to this image. I painted it as an exercise, it is not for sale

This painting is a portrait of Alanis Morissette from a photo in the booklet of her second CD, 'Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie'. I was drawn to the picture when I first saw it in 1998. I love the movement, the pure joy that emanates from the image.

Firstly I drew this black and white drawing of a close up of the picture.

To me this screamed 'I want colour'. I am not very experienced with watercolour or guache and I was scared I'd ruin the drawing.

So I started on a canvas with acrylic paints.

This is a photo of the original picture, with the colours completed on my acrylic canvas. I was just starting to do the black.

My favourite song on this album was 'That I Would Be Good.' In 1998 when it came out, it was particularly poignant as it mirrored the losses in my life at that point from illness:

"That I Would Be Good" by Alanis Morissette
(c) 1998 Maverick Recording Company

That I would be good even if I did nothing
That I would be good even if I got the thumbs down
That I would be good if I got and stayed sick
That I would be good even if I gained ten pounds

That I would be fine even if I went bankrupt
That I would be good if I lost my hair and my youth
That I would be great if I was no longer queen
That I would be grand if I was not all knowing

That I would be loved even when I numb myself
That I would be good even when I am overwhelmed
That I would be loved even when I was fuming
That I would be good even if I was clingy

That I would be good even if I lost sanity
That I would be good
Whether with or without you

Finally I played on the computer with my original drawing and came up with this.

I've really enjoyed making this piece!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

"The Dancer - Talia Fowler"

I put aside a photo of Talia Fowler from the Courier Mail in 2009 soon after she won the second season of Australian 'So You Think You Can Dance.' I love the movement, the freedom, the grace, beauty and simplicity of the photo. Today I did this sketch.

I played with it a bit to give it a shaded background:Then played with some colour:

Then some subtler pink:

And this time with blue:

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Living With ME and FM Series - Lying Down

'Living with ME and FM Series - Lying Down Collage'
copyright 2011 by Shiloh Moore

This is what the majority of my life is like. I sleep on average 14 hours a day, and most of the rest of the day is spent lying. To me this is natural - it is how I have lived my life in private since the age of 15. When people see me sitting up it's for a brief outing after which I return to the lying position. These illustrate my life in bed:

1) 'Lying With Fibromyalgia' - copyright 2011 by Shiloh Moore
I have pain always. Even lying down exacerbates the pain. Sitting and standing are always painful. When I'm in a bad pain flare lying gets unbearable too. I continually have to change positions until I'm in the least pain. Resting alone does not take the pain away.

2) 'Lying Reading' - copyright 2011 by Shiloh Moore

This is a rare pleasure. It is painful to hold books, difficult to concentrate and take in what I am reading. I go in and out of 'reading space'. The precious times I can read are priceless!

3) 'Lying Listening' - copyright 2011 by Shiloh Moore
I often listen to soft music. When first bedridden I used to choreograph dances in my head. But even thinking of this was exhausting so I'd have to stop the music. Other times my sound sensitivity would trigger complete exhaustion and drain my energy so again I would have to turn the music off. Nowadays I can usually handle music softly to pass the time.

4) 'Lying Writing' - copyright 2011 by Shiloh Moore
When I'm up to writing I most often write lying down. When I'm not well I write pressing matters in note form. When I'm going well I'll write a letter or journal entry. When I finished high school and attended uni briefly I did all study lying down.

5) 'Lying Typing' - copyright 1998 By Shiloh Moore
When I was bedridden in the 90's and was slowly improving, I wrote my book, typing on my laptop, lying down. I knew how to touch type so I'd close my eyes and type, then check and save my work.

6) 'Lying Talking on the Phone' copyright 2012 by Shiloh Moore
I take most calls lying on my bed with a headset on the phone so I don't have to cramp my arms holding it.

7) 'Lying Pondering' - copyright 2012 by Shiloh Moore
Last year when I first released these images, 'healthy' friends commented how it made them realise I did everything lying down. They didn't realise that most of these things I did on 'good' days. Most of the day I need to rest completely - and by 'rest', I mean fully switch off and do nothing. No TV, no music, no talking, nothing. I wanted to add this last picture to illustrate what I 'do' most of the time: 'Lying Pondering.' Most of the time, in the silence, and for hours on end, I have perfected the art of lying in solitude, thinking, pondering, and processing. I think deeply and most of the time I am bedridden, I am surprisingly not bored. My thoughts entertain me, I am busy thinking through my grief until I accept how things are, and then I ponder life and am grateful and happy just to lie there and 'be'. After all, I am a human 'being' not a human 'doing'.

Over the past year I have been able to sit up more - but this is still limited to about 4 hours per 'good' day. But I am so grateful for this. I can sit up and make cards or paint or socialise for brief periods and this brings me such joy. I still call it 'sitting up', never 'sitting down' as it is always an effort and never 'relaxing.'

I still have pain flares which set me back for no reason for weeks or months on end. But when they ease, and I can sit in relatively less pain, life is so much easier and more fulfilling.

So there's an insight into the life of someone with ME/CFS (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) and Fibromyalgia.

Note on Awareness Day, May 12, 2013:
I would like to add that when drawing this, it felt like I was drawing the mundane of daily life.  It wasn't until I showed it to my mum that I realised this is not how most people live!  Living 'upright' all day is as bizzare to me as lying down all day is to most people.  I have lived this way since I was a child/teen so I barely remember living any other way.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Tree of Life

I wanted to make an image of life with intense colour, and intense shadow and beauty. I used flourescent colours in the background (which look much brighter in real life,) and in the foreground did the deep shadow of a stylised curvaceous tree using spirals and leaves in circles. Beauty can come out of darkness, even when it seems impossible when you're in it.

Acrylic Flourescent Paints on Canvas, with Nikko Pen Foreground.

Monday, January 2, 2012

'Shukuru' (I Am Grateful)

Friends and I adopted an orphaned elephant from the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. This charity hand-rears orphaned elephants in Kenya, so that when they grow up they can return to the wild. http://www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org/asp/fostering.asp

The elephant we adopted is named 'Shukuru' which means 'I Am Grateful'.

This line drawing is dedicated to Shukuru and makes me think of all I am grateful for.