Marianne Morris | Artist

Living Life in Full Colour

Art Journal: Going with the Flow

Art journal page with splashes of paint and a line drawing of a bird

A page from my art journal. Layers of angry writing underneath all that paint. I suppose that squawking crow is me… yelling at the swirling mess that is life.

What a week it’s been. A surprise win in the US election for the guy nobody expected could pull it off. Outrage and shock for half the population. The whole campaign was like a three-ring circus, and up here in Canada we got out the popcorn and got engrossed in the show. I tried not to get too tied up in it, but it was difficult. My American friends were emotional about their candidate, and some of the stuff we heard was very disturbing. Mostly I just tried to understand what people saw in their chosen one. That was more difficult than I expected. There’s something about the algorithms used by Google and Facebook that limit your exposure to differing opinions. Already established as fairly left-leaning, pretty much anything I saw about Trump was truly awful. It wasn’t until near the end when I saw a couple of his ads on YouTube that I understood how people could ever find him appealing. Of course there was a lot of negative to overlook, but in the two-party system, folks were limited in their choices.

The thing about continuing to complain about something that you are powerless to change is that it just makes you feel worse. I know this from recent experience. At work we have moved into a new space that no one likes, that is loud and overly bright. We had a new dress code forced upon us. We now have photo ID security passes we have to wear. And in the interest of “rebranding”, I have lost the only part of my job I really enjoyed. It is going to be done at our other facility. It feels like every day there is some new thing we have to adjust to. It’s a bit draining. The thing is, we have no power to change any of it. I can either adjust, or get a new job and leave.

This week I’ve decided that it is time to just stop complaining. I have to start going with the flow, for the sake of my mental health. I went out and bought some new clothes, which felt unexpectedly good (even though I really hate shopping. That part was torture. But it was nice to have something new to wear). I took my good headphones to work so I could block out the noise. And I found an app on my phone that will help when I’m getting angry about it all (calm… 10 minute meditations). When I feel the urge to bitch about something, I will force myself to STFU. It’s the best thing I can do for myself right now.

I’ve been neglecting my art journal for most of the last year. I don’t know what it is, but I’ve been procrastinating by doing pretty much anything else. Last week I had planned  to head to my studio, and actually caught myself thinking “but the bathroom needs cleaning…”. The day I put scrubbing a toilet over painting is the day I have to reexamine how I’m spending my life. So I got out my journal and my pens and started in. It took me most of the week to finish it, but I’m glad I did it. Maybe now that I’ve got one done I can use that momentum to do the next. And maybe I should stop listening to the news for a couple of days until I can regain some equilibrium.



  1. Yes, this.

  2. Love your “blogs” & although I don’t usually leave a comment, but on the American elections– President elect Trump will do just fine( I hope) & I am so proud to be Canadian & living in the greatest country in the world.

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