Where I am now – Sitting at my Desk


Hello again!  I am sorry this story is taking so long to tell, but I am hoping that this blog post today will put you more in the picture about where I am on my journey.

So, my last post told you my potted ‘art journey’ history, and there was little point in making it a novel, so I just gave you a quick rundown of how I got to where I am with my work.

Many of you will notice that my work has changed over the past couple of years.  I have gradually moved away from painting towards more paper crafts.  Firstly, let me tell you that I have NOT stopped painting! There is in fact a very valid reason for the painting slowing down the way it has, and for me turning to work that is more desk based.  Basically, I have needed to sit down more!

Many years of standing at the easel for hours, and leaning in onto my right leg has taken its toll on me.  So much so that I believe it has greatly contributed to the fact that earlier this year I was diagnosed with severe Osteo Arthritis in my right hip. With bone rubbing on bone so badly that it has changed the shape of my pelvis, and to add to this there is also a serious degeneration of the discs in my lower lumbar spine.  It was only after a telling off from my oldest son Andrew, after he saw me limping, that I finally dragged myself off to the Doctor.  I think I was in denial for a very long time and just couldn’t face being told what I kind of already knew.

I have suffered pain in my hip for about 5 years now, and the pain has slowly become worse.  I have fought to overcome it.  This past year, as the pain has become much stronger and more prevalent, I have pushed myself to walk miles and miles, (a) because I love walking with Callie and (b) because I refused to let this pain stop me!   I took up training sessions too, since I thought if it was something muscular, getting fit would help me. But it is beating me.

I know I’m not exactly slim, so I know this probably has not helped. There are no doubt many other contributing factors too that are beyond my control.  Osteo Arthritis can happen to anyone, at any age, I have discovered. When the Doctor told me I needed a hip replacement, all I could think was “I am far too young for that!”  But, apparently I’m not.

Daily I am suffering pain.  Some days are better than others.  I have days when the anti-inflammatories are popped far too frequently, and I feel I can hardly move.  There are other days where I can walk well and I keep going, only to find that by the evening I am in agony.  Some days I limp. Some days I walk like you’d never even know there was anything wrong!

Sleeping has become difficult too.  There is not one side that is easier to lay on, and often after an hour or two on my back I wake to move once more and try another position. Restless nights are pretty much how it is now, and I struggle.  Anyone who know me knows I love my sleep.  So, if you meet me and I’m grumpy, it’s not just the pain, it’s the lack of sleep!  I will apologise now.

You would not believe the restrictions that this puts on your mobility.  I am now at the stage where Paul has to put at least one of my socks on for me.  Flip flops have been a godsend throughout the summer, and I now need some winter shoes that I can slip on.  There are many other things that I will not even go into, but anyone who has needed a hip replacement will know exactly what I mean!

From a work point of view, it means that I just cannot stand for even short periods of time, so working at the easel is just impossible.   This is one of the reasons that I have experimented with things like papercutting and crafts this past year particularly.  For some reason, I find it very difficult to paint sat at the desk. I think it is because I just find it hard to paint small scale.  I have always felt more inclined to work with big canvasses, the bigger the better to be honest.  Working small has always felt very restrictive for me.  My trees and abstract work seem to need long sweeping strokes that need me to be standing, and they just do not work small scale.  Believe me I have tried!

So, while I wait for news about when the NHS are going to give me a new hip, I will remain being creative, but with a slightly different focus. I am itching to get painting again if I am honest.  I have loads of ideas that fill my head for paintings I would love to create, and I hope one day I will create them.

Please don’t disappear from watching out for my work.  I am going to have a go at doing some smaller mixed media canvasses, and I am starting one very soon.  Keep your eye out for my creativity please.  I do enjoy sharing it with you, and I love that you enjoy seeing it too.  So please bear with me through any grumpiness.

So, in the grand scheme of things, this is in fact nothing serious. I am one of the lucky ones.  I can be fixed, which is amazing isn’t it?! I am going to stay positive, and especially since I have been told that I will feel like a new woman when I get my new body parts!  How exciting is that?!