Sweat the small stuff

I have a friend who likes to write articles contrary to popular opinion and sayings to get you to analyse what is really behind those words and thoughts. Quite often what applies to the majority or what worked in the past no longer applies especially under our current circumstances.

These common phrases often irritate me because while they may apply in some sense to my life they frequently do not. I am not like other people. I am a woman, therefore a human but since I don’t drive, work or have kids that’s where I am vastly different. I have not had the same experiences so I lack that common base.

I am just as intelligent maybe more so in some areas but not in others. It is my differences that seem to cause problems as I am not business minded where as there they would be an asset. I have social skills now although I no longer have any chance to practice them living under my 3rd lockdown. It is tough living with the same people since practically March last year when the first lockdown began.

Banana bread

I now bake bread/cake weekly to keep myself occupied. I didn’t bake in the first lockdown or watch Great British Bake-off but now I have. My bread recipe book and breadmaker are very useful in helping me achieve my edible, creative pursuits.

Pepper and onion bread
Coconut wax dyed and scented candles

I also make candles as gifts. These are comforting hobbies just like encaustic art is. This is an art form that was first made in 6th Century Greece by monks with beeswax and mastic gum from Chios. It is quite tricky to get hold off and to get right so I tried experimenting with lots of different types of paint and wax first because it’s not generally something you have lying around. It’s very tempting but also expensive to order the world off Amazon right now. Jasper Johns also managed to make artworks in this format in 20th century America. Thankyou once again internet, Google and Wikipedia.

Coconut wax dyed, scented and decorated candles

I found that my acrylic effect (sand, silver, gold, white, crystal) paint from Lidl in combination with my dyed coconut wax worked really well. I used some drip paint too (from the Range) for the colouring of my flower meadow. It was quite relaxing to just drip the candle wax where ever but you do have to be careful as it is hot and some candles burn quite furiously if tipped upside down. Don’t do this is you have young kids at home.

Candle wax and acrylic paint on oil paint

In addition to my canvases I have started linocutting also not a child friendly activity. Landscape artist of the year on Sky is responsible for me getting a sudden interest in this and the continuing lockdown that has no end in sight despite progress on the vaccine front.

Linocut test prints

As a result Linocutting is quite calming carving out your pieces ready for printing. The rollering of the ink is surprisingly tricky to get right to produce a good print but I think that is half the fun of it. Enjoying the magic of a process that is both simplistic and random because it is quite the art to getting the ink to stick where it is supposed to and not anywhere else.

Another linocut, the same image but expanded
Trying colours on the linocut

Soon I am going to start indulging in my inner Warhol with screen printing to get better at the ink part of linocutting. That is after all where you make your image come alive. I feel I owe it after visiting the Warhol museum last February. That seems almost a lifetime away now with all that has happened since.


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Athena Minerva

A place for me to write about things that concern myself and the world around me. Please check out my page on Amazon https://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B01G9629BG after you have finished my blog or drop me a line at theenglishintrovert@beyondtheenglishintrovert.com

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