My Facebook page is blocked

Not Part of the Plan by Joy Murray

This weekend, my facebook account was both hacked and blocked. The hacker somehow got into my information and changed my contact email and phone number. So after I figured out the difficult process of how to report it to facebook, they wouldn’t do anything anyway, because they had a different email than mine. They won’t accept my phone number either. So after over a dozen years of friendships and sharing, I am off Facebook now.

I’ve been frantically changing all my passwords and trying to make the programs I use more secure.

Another frustrating thing is that I’m afraid the hackers are posting and messaging as me, and screwing up other people’s accounts. I don’t understand why anti-hacking isn’t more of a priority of the Metaverse but there’s not a lot I can do about it.

If you are a facebook friend of mine, please unfriend me. And don’t take facebook Joy’s messages or advice. She’s evil. (I guess I do have a sort of evil twin now.)

I’ve thought about quitting facebook lately for their weird algorithms. I also don’t get information from friends — it’s all become so random and tic-tocky. I kept at it because I have friends from all over the world I won’t hear from otherwise. It also cuts down on the isolation of having mobility and transportation problems. And I often find out about events I wouldn’t have heard of otherwise — though not as consistently as I used to.

I’ll probably post more on the blog now, and you can leave comments for me here. You can subscribe to the blog and it’ll be sent to your email address.

Thanks to all of you who have followed me on facebook all these years. So many times you’ve brightened gloomy days.

Keep safe and change your passwords often.

If you scroll to the bottom of this post, past the comments, there’s a place to subscribe to the blog and it will be delivered to your e-mailbox each time I post.

She Came Back as a Tree, by Joy Murray

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Thanks for reading my blog. Feel free to share it, if you’d like.

This blog is brought to you by the generosity of people who support me on Patreon , buy my art, and who support me in so many different ways. 

If you’d like to make a one time donation, you can do so at paypal

Cards and prints on some of my art is available on Redbubble.  

You can subscribe to this blog by email in the link below this post.

If you find a typo, let me know, and I’ll send you a postcard.

New Painting: In Recovery

About two years ago, I got a package of 5 canvases, and one of them had a small hole in it. I wondered if it could be patched. I painted it red, then I set it aside for a long time. About a year later, I got some gold and silver foil, and wanting to experiment, I used the old red canvas with a hole in it. I put on the foil then set it aside for another period of time.

One day last month, I came across it again. I decided that I should rip the hole open more and make some sort of abstract collage. I started blending orange, red and yellow. I painted an egg shape. Then I started just making intuitive marks around the shape. I ripped the hole a little more. I worked without a goal. I just played around until an idea developed.

I heard a story from a friend about his friend who was shot in the face a few years ago, but survived. Her life has been a series of surgeries and recoveries since then. It changed the way she looked; it changed the way she saw life.

And I thought about how long recovery takes, and how sometimes, we don’t recover, we transform. I also thought about Kintsugi the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with gold.

I stitched up the torn canvas with gold thread. Then let the painting tell me what to do.

It’s now finished. It’s In Recovery.

In Recovery by Joy Murray, 16×20, mixed media

In Recovery detail
In Recovery detail
In Recovery detail

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Thanks for reading my blog. Feel free to share it, if you’d like.

This blog is brought to you by the generosity of people who support me on Patreon , buy my art, and who support me in so many different ways. 

If you’d like to make a one time donation, you can do so at paypal

Cards and prints on some of my art is available on Redbubble.  

You can subscribe to this blog by email in the link below this post.

If you find a typo, let me know, and I’ll send you a postcard.

The Hundred Day Fail?

This past year, my creative life has been sputtering and stalling like an old car. I’ve been distracted and lacked the energy for my daily creative processes and practices.

So, 100 days ago, I joined a 100 day challenge hosted by Sulieka Joauad, author of Between Two Kingdoms, about her struggles with leukemia that was diagnosed when she was 22. “During her treatment, she wrote a column for the New York Times, “Life Interrupted.” She created the Isolation Journals, “a community creativity project founded during the Covid-19 pandemic to help others convert isolation into artistic solitude; over 100,000 people from around the world have joined.” The group encourages creativity and gives voice to those who are dealing with long term disabilities and illnesses. It’s a website and has a facebook page. Soon after I joined the group, Suleika found out the leukemia had returned and she would have to endure another bone marrow transplant, hospital isolation, and again an interrupted life.

So, as she dealt with this devastating health challenge, she started a 100 day project for herself and the followers of the Isolation Journal, as a way of keeping creativity flowing through a difficult time. It was something I felt really drawn to, because I want to get back into the habit of drawing or painting daily, as well as doing my daily morning write.

These creative habits have slipped out of my life, as if the shelf that held them has lost its support. and everything has piled into a mess on the floor. I can’t seem to get that shelf reattached.

So I started sketching and writing, and then I quit. It wasn’t a hard goal I’d set up, just to do something creative each day, not to put too much pressure on myself. Everything creative counts.

But I couldn’t get my process and practice back to where they were. So, I felt like a failure.

Self portrait in pencil of being blocked in a blocky wheelchair

As others were writing about what they’d done in the days before the end of the 100 days, I wondered if I’d lost some essential way of opening my heart.

But one morning, I woke up and looked at a painting I’d been working on that I thought was almost finished. (My studio and bedroom are the same room.) And an unusual inner voice of authority and kindness said, What if this had been your 100 day goal? You wouldn’t feel like a failure, you’d be proud, because you did it. And remember that painting you donated to the Memphis Area Women’s Council a month ago, you painted that, too. Why not make that your goal, in hindsight?

The Kiss by Joy Murray
Still Life Awakening by Joy Murray

At first, I dismissed that thought, out of a sense of playing by the rules. But whose rules? I’ve proved to myself over and over again that I work better if I don’t put a lot of rules and deadlines and definitions on what my process is. In the past 100 days, I’ve had a few health scares, I’ve had bereavements, I’ve had to process all the chaos of our changing world, I’ve experienced loss and confusion. In the past, when I faced challenges, the structure of a daily practice helped. But not this time. I needed room to process things. I needed empty space not a full shelf.

Being part of the group was so helpful in coming into this new insight. I didn’t fail, I just didn’t understand what I needed to commit to 100 days ago. Having a creative mindset got me through a lot of days that seemed too challenging. The surprise is that the100 days, for me, were meant to develop that more confident inner voice.

Avoiding what I thought was my goal made me spend more time with friends. It made me seek new facets of my identity. I found a way of working that resulted in 2 pieces I was happy with. And I did do my morning write some days. And some days I sketched.

I gardened. I read. I lived.

I think my take away from this challenge is a new sense of maturity and more gratitude for hindsight. A goal interrupted is not a failure. It’s the lesson I was meant to learn. It’s the way to honor the creativity and mystery of what life is offering when I open my mind and heart enough to see it. Life is rarely linear, and hindsight is a gift I will more easily treasure now.

So thanks to the Isolation Journal members for that.

Have you ever recognized what you thought was failure as actually a success?

I highly recommend the Isolation Journals and Suleika’s book Between Two Kingdoms. The book is full of grace and light, with many insights on illness, isolation, connection, life and love.

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Thanks for reading my blog. Feel free to share it, if you’d like.

This blog is brought to you by the generosity of people who support me on Patreon , buy my art, and who support me in so many different ways. 

If you’d like to make a one time donation, you can do so at paypal

Cards and prints on some of my art is available on Redbubble.  

You can subscribe to this blog by email in the link below this post.

If you find a typo, let me know, and I’ll send you a postcard.

Look Closer #6: The Kiss

I had so many challenges in the past year, I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to keep working on paintings bigger than 8×10″, but I still wanted to work on the Look Closer: Disability and Sensuality series, which I wanted to be on 20×24″ canvas.

I also wanted to borrow compositions from famous paintings but use people with disabilities in them. I decided to try to work on a piece inspired by Gustav Klimt’s famous The Kiss.

The Kiss by Gustav Klimt, 1908

Of course, I could never match Klimt’s work but it’s such a well known piece, that I thought I could use the composition as a statement on the passion all people feel, no matter their physical state. Klimt used gold leafing, but I stuck to gold and yellow paint.

I worked on layering, color blending, and small repetitive brush strokes so I would not get overwhelmed by the size of the canvas (which is really not that large) or my own insecurities about painting. It took over a month and my painting went through many changes, but after about 2 months I’ve finished it.

I chose to keep the figures and wheelchair simple, and let the emotion of all the bright colors carry the painting.

Look Closer: The Kiss by Joy Murray

I kept the wheelchair structure very minimalistic, but obvious I hope. I wanted it to blend in with the figures
The Kiss by Joy Murray, detail

What do you think?

Here are the other pieces in the Look Closer series.

Look Closer: Her Secret Colors by Joy Murray
Look Closer: The Color of Air by Joy Murray
Look Closer: She Unlocked her Door by Joy Murray
Look Closer: Ever After by Joy Murray
Look Closer: Desire Seemed to Expand by Joy Murray

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Thanks for reading my blog. Feel free to share it, if you’d like.

This blog is brought to you by the generosity of people who support me on Patreon , buy my art, and who support me in so many different ways. 

If you’d like to make a one time donation, you can do so at paypal

Cards and prints on some of my art is available on Redbubble.  

You can subscribe to this blog by email in the link below this post.

If you find a typo, let me know, and I’ll send you a postcard.