'A sense of humour lends you poise, it gives you balance and it helps you to bend without breaking'

(HH Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda)

Menoptical; eye of the beholder

Last week I wrote about the unexpectedness of writing. Not report writing, or reviews - they will always have a focus (if not, one ought to rethink the whole business of writing altogether). Creative and journalistic writing though, teeters along an edge of risk. Will it work or won't it? One sets out on the flight of fancy but does not necessarily know where it will land.

The same applies to art. Whether one is into fabric and needle-working, all the various craft styles which are out there, or the fine arts, if one is inclined to attempt them oneself, the outcome will only be known when the work is complete.

I have always indulged in fine arts; pen and pencil, pastels, acrylic and water colour paints. Adventures in oils tended always to result in glug. Not my medium. Results from the others though, produced quite the portfolio. Most of it unhangable, but interesting nonetheless; for the fact is that one can express through colour and texture much which cannot be put into words. Indeed, very often, allowing the colour to flow will result in an expression beyond what is even known or felt directly by the artist. This is particularly true if one is taking the route of abstract and expressionistic style. That is my preference. Not that still life and landscape or portrait have not been approached, it is just that I prefer to explore what is 'inner'.

In my home in OZ, the walls were covered with my works - photographic and pure art. When it came time to leave and I had the Great Yard Offering (I did not ask any money for anything, but a few folk gave 'donation'), it was interesting to have several of my canvases readily taken. One young couple were particularly keen and asked if I took commissions!!! Out of sheer curiosity I enquired what they would pay for the likes of the larger sun piece and they said easily $100... on deeper enquiry it turned out they were 'upcyclers' with a market stall and they would then put a price of $250 on works of similar style.  Good grief. I had been missing a money-making trick all this time. Never thought any of my work would genuinely be of interest to anyone else.

Except it is not as easy as that. Any artist, amateur or professional, will tell you that this is not to be considered a 'bread and butter' business. Often, it is necessary for artists to have a 'real job' in order to be able to survive. It may still be in an artistic environment, but very often not.

Since OZ, my artistic endeavours have been almost entirely centered on the photographic and digital medium - you have seen the gamut of mandalas on Saturdays for the past several months. Latterly, have been 'creating' for RedBubble. There have been a few sales (the tote bags are popular, as are the leggings and scarves), but one certainly wouldn't plan on buying the weekly milk from the proceeds. It doesn't help that the artist only gets 15-20% of the price the customer pays there. Of course I didn't take up RB with the making of a fortune in mind. It was merely an outlet for the creative in me - a place to play.

Nothing, though, can really take the place of getting one's hands busy in proper art; messy art; smelly art. Recently visiting the RSA Open Exhibition, Mac1 again 'chivvied' me (as she has over the years), saying that I ought to submit some work. She has always been encouraging, but one tends to think that family and friends will say such things to boost one's esteem. However, that young couple a few years back, plus feedback over the years from many others, does suggest that there are some beholders whose eyes enjoy the style of 'yammacca'. It has to be said, too, that there were plenty works on offer this year which resembled my own style and which, I am sure, I could equal or better.

The beauty of open exhibitions is that one does not have to be a professional artist, or necessarily have gone to art college. They give the chance for skilled amateurs to measure their work against others. To be picked for the exhibition is a profit in itself.

I caved in. Last week I ordered a whole plethora of paints, brushes, canvases... it's time to get messy again. It'll take a while to rediscover that visual voice - it will also now be informed by a further six years of life and experience.

Watch this space!!!


  1. This is so exciting. (And I had been wondering how the Red Bubble thing was working out). Not a strongly visual person myself, exceot perhaps in matters like the play of light on the landscape, I can certainly recognise the quality of your 'eye in your wonderful photos, and look forward to seeing the results of your latest endeavour).
    Gail (currently overnighting in Appleby en route back to Aberdeen, Bertie and I are sitting in one corner of a snug bar, in the corner opposite is a black Labrador and on the table across the way; three very sleek whippets. All dogs behaving immaculately. So far!

  2. YaYa your artistic eye with the camera continues to delight us but oh are we excited to see your hand art...we'll be waiting with baited fishy breath(me not mom). Nice winter time hobby too
    Hugs Madi and HiC

  3. Oh, we can't wait to see what your "mess of success" will be! Unfortunately mom does not have an artistic side at all.

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

  4. I wouldn't call my self a master but I like to dabble in creative world.
    I'm on my way posting some of my creative dabbles...I got my self a new lap top.
    Coffee is on

  5. oh that was a good idea... and I can't wait to see some art pieces... I once tried to become Bobette Ross but it ended not the way I eggs-pected... none of my creations made it to a wall LOL

  6. Hello, I love the wall of art in OZ. Very pretty. You are talented. I am looking forward to see your latest new artwork. Happy Monday, enjoy your new week!

  7. I am not a painter. I once had a painting class, but even though it conveyed my feelings very well (well, I understood it anyway), it was not something to be hung on any wall. Could have had something to do with the big black blob in the middle. The very big black blob! I think I will stick to writing, my own or other people's stories. And knitting mice of course!

    I can't wait to see what you'll produce though. And that wall you had in Australia looks fantastic. You never know, one day you might have a similar wall in Scotland.

  8. I did not realize that you created the beautiful mandalas! For me, your vibrant art adds another layer to your already impressive creative output.

    1. Hari OM
      Aw, thank you Stephanie Jo! I certainly do have a strong creative gene and it is a wonderful therapy outlet if nothing else! Yxx

  9. Talent oozes from you. Namaste Janice xx


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