I realised recently that I had forgotten how to simply be alone.

Not lonely, just alone.

This world we live in, with all its noise and technology, seems to foster an environment of constant connection and that in turn, I think, leads to us losing the ability to switch off and just be still.

I have always needed noise around me, even as a young girl, before the availability of ipads, computers and the internet, I would fall asleep with the sound of the radio.  I had a small novelty “Pepsi” radio that had batteries that seemed to last forever.

And as I grew into adulthood, and shared my life with a husband and then children, the noise changed and continued, and became part of normality.

I resisted getting mobile phone for the longest time, perhaps sensing that the noise in my world would increase, but eventually giving in when Hubby’s concern for my welfare when travelling for work over rode my objections.

Now I have not only a radio, but an ipad, a new shiny phone and a computer all making noise and keeping me in constant connection with the world at large.

This is my “normal”.

And as much as I can try to justify the dependence..”oh I only have the phone because…” there is that thrill when the “ping” of a notification sounds, a thrill that is both addictive, distracting and ultimately dangerous.

For when that ping doesn’t happen, or when the noise changes or stops, that is when the addiction truly shows and insecurity kicks in.

It isn’t healthy for me, all that noise.

So I have been turning down the volume.  And finding that being alone with my thoughts isn’t such a bad thing.

There is no radio on as I write this, and I have no idea where my ipad is.  My phone is in another room, and switched to silent.

It isn’t the easiest thing to, to find the quiet, but it is necessary.  The need for noise, for constant connection has caused me too much grief.

Mind you, I still crank the music loud when I paint… that particular noise is all part of the joy.

Now that I have finished with the D &M part of this post, I want to show you something that I am very proud of.

This is a painting of my Grandfather, from a photo taken after he enlisted in the Air force back in 1942.

Very different from all my previous portraits.

It is oil paint on linen,  and the sepia effect was created by simply painting in raw umber and white.  Parts of the canvas is unpainted, using the natural colour of the linen as one of the values.

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I hand drew the original sketch and then traced it onto the linen.  The painting is a gift to my brother who was in the military and plans to frame it with a copy of my grandfather’s service record.

From this, I have been commissioned to paint another portrait in a similar style and despite the departure from my usual palette of vivid and bright colours, I am incredibly honoured and excited by this new project.

This blog is going to be my place to showcase my process as I create art.  It is also going to be the place for my random musings about life, the universe and everything.

And now that this is done, it is time for me to head out into the sunshine.  The sky is finally blue after days of rain and grey,  and I have a coffee date with a young friend in the city gardens.

Where the noise there will be birdsong mostly, and laughter hopefully.

And my phone will continue to sit silently in my bag until I am ready to listen.




6 thoughts on “Quiet

  1. I’m grateful for the technology that connects our friendship across the globe but I do enjoy reading a book in a quiet house or meditation to unwind my crazy busy mind. The portrait of your grandfather is just incredible. You have grown immensely as an artist is a relatively short time. So proud of you!

  2. Criss

    Agreed, we are far too surrounded with noise, and have forgotten the art of being still and just listening.

    Such a beautiful protect. Brilliant effects. Subject close to your heart.

    Enjoy this sunshine.

  3. cwmartin13

    I know I’ve said it before on FB, but that portrait is awesome! I’m glad to hear you have a new commission, as I think it is well deserved.

    As for the quiet, well, my brain is the noisiest place for me to be, and I would dearly love to have an off switch.

  4. That painting is amazing. You should be very proud.of that.
    I don’t have a cellphone or a tablet. I don’t spend as much time on the internet as I used to.

  5. As I sit and read this there is no noise from a tv or radio only the sound of the washing machine in the laundry I often have nothing on during the day, I don’t feel the need to have noise when quiet is nice my nanna always had the radio going from first thing in the morning till after tea at night which was when she would turn the telly one she didn’t like a quiet house, I love a quiet house.

  6. I hope your brother enjoys the portrait. It’s also great that doing something nice for your brother has turned into a new set of commissions. It is a little different from your usual art but you did a great job with it. Even with my phone and computer I barely make any connections so I’m still very adapt at being alone. I learned at a young age there is a major difference between being alone and being lonely.

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