5 more days ..... Can't believe the year is almost over.... And what a year it has been. With very low lows but luckily also some highs. But for me 2013 will always be the year my sister died. I still recall the sinking feeling in my stomach when I got that phonecall, the feelings of bewilderment and denial and disbelief. There are days I still can't believe she's gone, that I still think she'll be there when I visit Belgium... But she wasn't there when I went there in October, and it was such a strange and sad experience to see her husband and her 3 beautiful daughters walk in the door. Without her...
Life isn't fair. I guess we all know that. I'm blessed that I still have 3 sisters left. And I feel as if the bond between us had become stronger since it happened. That is something to be grateful for. But her death has made me afraid and uncertain. I almost look with dread to the new year ahead. Thinking: what's in store for us now? Who else is going to go? Very morbid thinking, I know. But some days I can't help myself.
Do you remember this little mini-painting I made during AEDM?
When I was making the backs of these little canvasboards to take them with me to the market, I realised this painting didn't have a title. So I went to my file where I keep all kinds of sentences and words and phrases that I like and where I look for inspiration for titles. And one phrase jumped out at me: "maybe you're still here". I knew right away I wanted it for this little painting, it just seemed to fit. And then the weirdest thing happened: I turned it over to look at it again, and I suddenly realised that it looks a lot like my sister. The same hair, the same lips. It was as if she was there and she was saying: don't worry, I'm still here, I didn't really leave.
It has been standing near my computer since then. No way I was taking it to the market with me. This painting will stay with me, it'll never go somewhere else. Because maybe, just maybe, she is still here. Somewhere, around us, not being able to contact us but being able to leave little messages like this. And like the rainbow on the morning I flew to Belgium for her funeral.
This'll be my last post for this year. I don't want to end it in sadness. Because there have also been a lot of happy things this year. It's just that at this time of year memories often become stronger and more overpowering. It'll pass, I know it will.
Meanwhile, I have been adding more layers to my new painting. This is how I ended last time:
It bothered me a lot, I had the feeling I didn't know how to paint anymore, got really frustrated but in the end I kept going. It got a lot more layers after this ....
This is where I am now: (I'll show all the different layers when the painting is finished)
I was looking for figures in there and I saw a rabbit. A rabbit! I never see rabbits. I see birds and faces all the time, but a rabbit! The kids saw it too, and thought I should use it. But I didn't feel like having a rabbit in my painting. So I resisted, turned it over and over and over. But the rabbit kept appearing, and in the end I went with it. And now I really like it, it looks so sweet, almost as if it's asking for a kiss.... ;-)
Not sure yet what to do with the upper left corner. It's far from finished. But I'm glad the painting finally started speaking to me. Working out the images is the fun part.
Well, that's it for now. I'm linking this as every week to Paint Party Friday, the last one of the year! It's a great bunch of artists that link up to it every week, not only do they share beautiful art but they share so much more than that. Last week they had a virtual "tea-party" for Tracey, a well-loved artist who is battling cancer and is crazy about tea. So many artists made an artwork with a tea-theme for her. It must've been such a great feeling for Tracey to see it all.
I want to wish you all the best for the new year ahead, and thank you from the bottom of my heart for keeping this blog alive, for visiting me and leaving encouraging and uplifting comments. It has meant more to me than I can tell you, and I want you to know how much I appreciate it. Here's my New Years' wish for you:
I'm taking a few weeks off blogging to enjoy the summer holidays here in Australia. Thanks so much for being here, for being you, and have a safe journey into the new year ♥ ♥ ♥ See you there!