Marianne Morris | Artist

Living Life in Full Colour

Month: October 2016

When you think it’s over but it’s not over…


Drawing of a sleeping dog

My sleeping dog. A pencil drawing.

On thanksgiving weekend, my 90lb dog could suddenly not stand up. She’s old. 14 is a good, long life for a large dog. She had seemed quite healthy apart from a problem with one back leg that didn’t always do what she wanted it to. We’ve had to cut the length of the walks down a bit in the past year, but her enthusiasm has not waned at all. But given her age, when we had to carry her down the stairs to get her into the car, I was pretty sure this was it.

The vet wasn’t so sure. Apparently, older dogs sometimes get this thing called “Vestibular Disease”. It’s this thing with the inner ear that makes them really, really dizzy. It was difficult to diagnose because she refused to even try to get up, and resisted all efforts at assistance. But without really expensive testing that would be even more stressful for her, we couldn’t tell if it was that or something more severe. We decided to give her some time and see if she would recover. Apparently, many dogs will be up and around within a week or two.

For the last two weeks we have been assisting her outside, feeding her by hand, holding her water dish so she can have a drink, doing constant laundry to make sure her bedding is clean and dry. My husband is even sleeping in the living room because we know that she will attempt the stairs if we both go up.  That could be disastrous.

Gradually, she has improved. And yesterday, for the first time since it started, she actually went for a very short walk. She attempted to eat standing up today, but promptly fell over, so that will likely be another week or so. Improvement has been gradual, but every little thing she can do on her own is a positive sign. Such a relief to know that this is not the end. I know it will happen eventually, but she’s good company and I want her around as long as possible.

Inktober Drawing Challenge

Ink drawing of a woman

One drawing for #Inktober from this week. Prompt for that day was “lost”.

Anyone in the online art community has heard of Inktober. For those that haven’t, it’s an online art challenge that asks artists to produce 31 ink drawings in 31 days. I haven’t done it before, because I’m usually immersed in some project or other and can’t scrape together the time. I’m not being religious about it though… the point is to have a no-pressure project, so beating myself up because I didn’t get a drawing done that day kinda defeats the purpose. And since drawing is like meditation for me, so it seems like a no brainer.

This year, the founding artist has produced a prompt list. I guess sometimes people have trouble figuring out what to draw when doing it day after day. I’m only going to turn to the list when the word grabs me… I have my own goal. I’m going on a trip in January, and as it’s been many, many years since I’ve done travel sketching (and ink is my preferred medium), I thought I’d get some practice in. Since most available daylight hours are spent indoors in a windowless room (see last week’s rant), I’ve decided to go on a couple little photo excursions to provide reference for me. It’s been quite fun… but I’ve taken a lot of crappy pictures. Better work on my photography skills as well.

New Abstract Painting: Under the Forest Floor

Abstract painting with metallic copper

“Under the Forest Floor”, 11×15″ Acrylic abstract on Paper. Available.

The past little while I’ve had very little time to paint. It’s also not really been a priority, as life stuff has been deemed more important right now. I had plans for things I wanted to try out, stuff I wanted to learn, and none of it has happened. It is 4 a.m. as I write this, having gotten up because it was pretty obvious by the thoughts swirling around in my head that sleep was just not happening. I hate it when that happens. But on the upside, it is really quiet.

I’ve been trying out a few things to reduce the stress in my life… so far nothing has worked. I was doing ok until the middle of last week, when a ridiculous conversation with my manager left me fuming. It’s not financially possible to just quit my job, but if ever the urge was there to tell someone they can go f**k themselves, it was then. I was angry for the next two days.

Working in a corporate environment is a completely soul-sucking experience. So many rules… I want to take a vacation, but before I am even allowed to submit the request I have to check with everyone and their dog to make sure it’s ok with them. So many minutes allowed away from my desk, account for every second, don’t talk, don’t text, don’t talk on your phone. Follow this workflow. Doesn’t matter that it doesn’t make sense or makes your job more difficult than it needs to be. This is not optional. Do as you are told. F. My. Life.

I keep thinking that there has to be some creative way I can take all the crap I see every day and use it. I started to write a novel at one point… thinly veiled character studies of my coworkers and their impossible tasks. It was too depressing so I abandoned it. I thought about painting my coworkers… but then I’d have a series of portraits of angry people that would only serve to remind me how bad it is for all of us. Not what I want hanging in my house. It will come to me eventually. Or early retirement might come first. I think I might prefer that option.