Slight Changes

In the past 15 years or so, since I started blogging and being a part of the internet community — the world wide web — this blog has undergone many changes and formats.  I have written on dealing with chronic pain and long term illness, art, books, and life around me.  My appreciation for it all.  Gratitude, beauty, reality.

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Still life in motion, 2012

I’ve posted from my journal, my visual journal.  I’ve promoted my art.  So much thinking, observing and blathering.   I wanted to share the interesting, ephemeral, and beautiful things that pass through my life.

Shifts in my life, cause shifts in the blog.

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About 10  years ago, I began keeping a morning journal, where I just write.  I start the day with words, trying to improve my memory, trying to keep some tenuous relationship to story and poetry.  For a while I kept one journal that had both stories and sketches and art.  At some point, I separated out the morning write, the diary part.  Too much  personal information and rumination in it.  I liked to show my visual journal, but I also want to write about private things — puzzle out life in a secret place.

I feel that I haven’t really written “real” stories and essays for a long time — other than this blog.

Dandelions

I’m now organizing my studio and journals.  I have the space now to put them in chronological order.  I’ve moved so much, that I have at times purged all my journals, but since 2010, I’ve tried to avoid that urge.  That insecure feeling that my writing is worthless, that what I do takes up too much space.

And why I am hanging on to all this?  Why shouldn’t I let the past flow on by me like river water, let it go, let it drift away.

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But since life is a puzzle, I write and draw to try to figure out it.  I try to preserve bits of my life and thoughts, good and bad.

Years and years ago, I read an interview with the poet Audre Lorde.  She was going through cancer treatment and couldn’t write poetry.  She kept a journal though.  When she was well, she went back and looked through her journals and found an abundance of poetry.  It wasn’t something she set out to do, but it was part of her, she wrote and when she was ready, she read and found her poems, bits of herself.  She held the space for the future in which all she’d been through began to make sense, or at least shine with a kind of beauty that became poetry.

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Though I started writing poetry in my teens, I leaned more toward prose as I got older and then in my 30s, I started making visual art. First in fabric, then in watercolor, now in acrylic and collage.

Storyteller 1

My artistic inclinations are married to my physical being.  If not for art and stories, I don’t know if I would have survived my Hereditary Spastic Paraparalysis (HSP), a rare degenerative disorder, most likely caused by a genetic mutation.  My symptoms started when I was 16 and for 30 years I had no diagnosis, and was considered abnormal, with possible MS.  Then I got a diagnosis of Transverse Myelitis.  Now the diagnosis is HSP.

Dandelion

So, as I organize my journals, I’m going to glean out what strikes me as relevant to others, or particularly important to me — things I did to keep living and cultivating delight.  Even if it is infused with tragedy, there is delight here on this confusing earth.    This imperfect, beautiful mystery,  entwined, riddled with tragedy.  Filled with light, muted by night, giving so much, explaining so little.

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And that’s what I’ll be sharing more of here.  The stories I find as I re-read the life I wrote of myself out a compulsion to understand my life, and to capture the stories that swirls around me.  It won’t be in chronological order.  Just what I find as I read through the piles of blather.

I guess that’s not so much different than what I’ve been doing with this blog all along.

 

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Thanks for reading my post.  If you like it share it.  If you find a typo, please let me know and I’ll send you a thank-you postcard.  

You can now follow me on facebook here,  Instagram@joymurrayart.

You can get prints and cards of some of my work on Redbubble.  They also print my work on lots of other items, including phone skins, tote bags, shirts and journals:

https://www.redbubble.com/people/JoyMurray?asc=u

If you’d like to support my art and writing, please consider becoming a donor on Patreon.  If I get enough supporters, I can make this blog ad-free!  Here’s a link to my Patreon page:

https://www.patreon.com/user?u=8001665

If you prefer to make a one time donation, you can do so at paypal.com  Please email me at joyzmailbox@gmail.com if you’d like details.

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Reblog from Kam Redlawsk

I shared this on my facebook, but wanted to make sure my blog followers saw it to — gardening, art, inclusion,changing how we see our destiny and being our best, healthiest self.  Artist Kam Redlawsk speaks about creating in a fragile human body, and Ron Finley is leading a way back to the garden:

https://www.kamredlawsk.com/blogblog//ron-finley-choose-your-weapon?fbclid=IwAR3qo6LSAhiboMGZOw_Evd1z_epyWA4-IMRf-k2HOdJPf203oelwENZM1pQ

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Moon Flower Winner!

I put the names of my 8 great Patreon supporters in my favorite purple beret and drew out the winner for this painting.

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I’ve contacted the winner and it will be on it’s way to its new owner tomorrow.

On the last day of the month, February 28th, I’ll be giving away this Moon Flower painting:

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Moon Flower 8×10″ watercolor

 

Patreon is a micro-donation platform that allows people who support my art to give a little bit each month to  help me buy art supplies, pay living expenses, and have a little security.  Even a little bit helps me so much.  The monthly donation is automatically taken from your credit card each month.

It’s gotten increasingly hard in the past year to manage medical co-pays.  Budget cuts in Medicaid have taken effect, and the political world is so screwy that I don’t know from one month to the next if I’m going to have coverage at all.  Patreon is like an island of security in an insecure ocean that gets a little more wishy-washy each month.   As a person with a long term degenerative disability (HSP), the support I get from patrons is a life-line.

Thanks again to everyone who helps me through Patreon and in other ways.

Everyday, I learn the power of interdependence and how generous people can be.

Life is good.

~~~

Thanks for reading my post.  If you like it share it.  If you find a typo, please let me know and I’ll send you a thank-you postcard.  

You can now follow me on facebook hereInstagram@joymurrayart, and Twitter @joymurrayhere.

You can get prints and cards of some of my work on Redbubble.  They also print my work on lots of other items, including phone skins, tote bags, shirts and journals:

https://www.redbubble.com/people/JoyMurray?asc=u

If you’d like to support my art and writing, please consider becoming a donor on Patreon.  If I get enough supporters, I can make this blog ad-free!  Here’s a link to my Patreon page:

https://www.patreon.com/user?u=8001665

If you prefer to make a one time donation, you can do so at paypal.com  Please email me at joyzmailbox@gmail.com if you’d like details.

Patreon Give-Aways!

Monday I’ll do the first give-away:

joy murray --art ~ stories ~ life

I am having two give-aways of original art in February for people who support me on Patreon.

Both are watercolor paintings on Arches cotton paper, painted with Daniel Smith watercolors and ink, and are interpretations of moon flowers — one of my favorite flowers.  They bloom as summer is coming to end, opening as the sun sets, only living for one evening.

The first give-away will be on 4th (in time to get this for a Valentine’s Day gift for a loved one.)  This is a watercolor study for a larger painting.  An intuitive painting, honoring the influence of the moon on all living things.  The moon so much more subtle and easier to look at than the sun.

img_20190126_0001_new Moon Flower, 2017, 8.5×11″  The moon  and some of the hands are glazed with iridescent paint

I’ll draw a winner from the names of people (from my purple hat) who support…

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