Saturday, 29 May 2021
First Australian Mountain Dulcimer Retreat at Tasma House Daylesford
Friday, 16 April 2021
Making Personal Progress with Procreate During the COVID-19 Pandemic
It has been more than 15 months since I've had the privilege of travel between America and Australia. Since early 2020, my husband and I have been waiting (semi-patiently) for the return of our back-and-forth travel routine and for a healthier world. We are thankful to have Tasma House and Gardens as our place to be "locked down."
During the past year of the pandemic-slow-down, I've been enjoying my new art studio. I've been making art as often as I like without the stress of any deadline or need for perfection. My art studio was made out of an old shipping container. It's fully-fitted-out with a kitchen, bathroom, and washing machine! I have thoroughly appreciated having the luxury of an independent creative space during the COVID-19 lockdowns in Australia.
It's hard to maintain a relaxed environment in which to make progress, when daily life brings anxiety and sadness. I know my personal problems are minimal compared to some people's situations, but as someone recently reminded me, my problems are still my problems.
I acknowledge that my COVID-19 pandemic-induced anxiety is real and my sadness comes and goes, as these feelings are mixed-up with daily moments of thankfulness/happiness/amusement. Isolation PTSD is what I've been calling this emotional rollercoaster that can cause a real panic attack if I don't remember to look around me and appreciate good things in the world. When I find something good to focus on during anxiousness, then I have found a beautiful distraction.
I also acknowledge that I love beautiful distractions!
Beauty is inspiring.
I was in my early 30's when I realised that I am inspired by beauty. When the realisation hit me, I was surprised to know that by "beauty" I didn't mean fashion or glamour. I meant the beauty of everyday life and the world around me. I'm very easily distracted by everyday things...especially beauty.
Sometimes I'm angered by distractions, because I don't need or want a distraction; but, at other times, I'm grateful for a beautiful distraction that instantly takes my anxiety and/or sadness away.
Learning something new or working to improve a skill in a relaxed environment helps me with the problems of anxiety and sadness. Creating blogs and learning to use them -- having places to categorise and write about my thoughts, memories, ideas, and hopes -- has been quite therapeutic for me for nearly two decades. My blogging skills are self-taught (with support from my brother, the Memphis Guru), and self-motivated, all the while being interrupted and distracted by things that I end up blogging about. It's a curious cycle of activity that I am happy to share.
Currently, I'm independently learning via Youtube tutorials played on a smart tv in my art studio which is located in a beautiful garden (with a pond) that is constantly visited by Australia's beautiful wild birds. I'm always distracted, in a delightful way, as these birds come and go and practically knock on my door to get my attention.
With or without distractions, I am very appreciative of the online learning opportunities that are available via Youtube. As I watch Lisa Bardot's wonderful tutorials on how to use my iPad and Apple Pencil with a software application called Procreate, I can pause her video, learn at my own pace, rewatch the bits that I missed or didn't understand, and easily follow the information. In a regular classroom setting, I have had trouble in the past, as teachers went too fast for me or because it seemed the teacher couldn't be interrupted without disrupting other students' flow of learning.
I know that a lot of people have been forced (by the COVID-19 pandemic) to use online education or services/businesses. Hopefully, the future will bring a balance of meaningful in-person, real-life, business and/or social activities and practical, stay-at-home-when-necessary activities, and the privilege of personal-choice as to when we enjoy either situation.
Here's a little glimpse of yesterday's beautiful distraction.
Thursday, 23 January 2020
The Holy Moly - My American Home - Clarksdale, Mississippi
Saturday, 21 December 2019
Delta Blues Dulcimer Revival at The Holy Moly, Clarksdale, Mississippi