Monday, January 14, 2013

Gratitude for 2012

Shew! Tough year, 2012. 

Funny how, as animal lovers, our years are marked by animal-related events. For me, 2002 was the year I got my first dog as an adult – Velvette, she's on the left in the pic above. 2003 was the year 6-month old Joe came to live with us (he's on the right).
The year after that was the year I lost my mare Melody. I'd been dreading the thought of ever having to euthanise my horse and 2004 was the year it happened.

Fly's final resting place – between the mountains and the sea.

2012 was the year I lost my Thoroughbred, Fly, and eight months earlier I had to say goodbye to my Jack Russell Jackie. In between all of this, both my grandparents passed away too. 2012 sure wasn't a year for sissies.

It was also the year in which I realised a life long dream: to live between a mountain and the sea. It's not easy adapting to temperamental coastal weather when you've spent your entire life living in and around Johannesburg – a city known for its relatively consistent climate. It did, however give me the opportunity to spend the last 6 months of Fly's life caring for him by myself. Without having to depend on anyone to give him his meds or bandage his legs when they needed it, made me feel a whole lot better. 

Stuck between the proverbial rock and a hard place, I made a few (more) life changing decisions; as one does when faced with a series of challenges you strongly suspect might finish you off.

I promised myself to finally JUST BE AN ARTIST, instead of putting it off any longer. It probably sounds ridiculous, but it's literally taken me the best part of 40 years to actually refer to myself as one. I can remember wanting to be an artist from the age of five, but I was convinced I couldn't draw. My life drawing lecturer at art school reinforced that belief for me; so I spent the intervening years making up excuses instead of just being one.

So, thanks 2012, I'm happy to declare myself AN ARTIST!

To celebrate this declaration, I created (my first ever) video of all the portraits I drew during 2012.  

I'm often reminded how lucky I am to be able to share my talent in a way that it helps people who love their animals as much as I do. If my art eases some of the pain of losing their animal friend, then I'm grateful and glad that I could help. 
I know how much it hurts.

"I still can't believe what I saw this morning. This is a patched version of two pics together. It was so huge I couldn't fit it all in one shot! I spent a year after my mare's passing wishing and begging for a 'sign' from her, that she was okay, still around... and here this was, the very next morning after I said goodbye to Fly."
3 April 2012.

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