My Art Challenge In Progress – Update 26/03/19

My art challenge was to copy a photograph of a tulip and background foliage and use soft pastels.  I started art classes in February so am a real novice.

Below is the photograph to be copied. IMG_20190321_123521 (2)

To start with I did a sketch.  I did several sketches and trial drawings

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Last Friday I drew the small tulips as a mark of respect for New Zealand, I was happy with them.  I drew at tulip for practise – I think that was ok.

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Yesterday I had another go at the challenge and couldn’t seem to get the shapes and blending right for the leaves etc.

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This morning I had another go. The tutor did say that the colours don’t have to exactly match and also not to worry about several white blotches.  I really like today’s effort but still can’t get it right.

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I am open to constructive criticism  and any hints from the artist who read my blogs.  I am a Virgo and always aim for perfection. Am I being too hard on myself ?.  I value your comments please  and will not be offended.

Have a great day

Cheers Ally xx 🙂

PS: Thanks to everyone for your compliments, encouragement and helpful hints on  improving my challenge…..I am grateful. I have made some changes to the last drawing and now  have decided to leave it at that.   I will take it to the class next week.   Cheers everyone xo

Update:  I attending art class today.  The tutor gave me a pleasing critique of my work, it could do with a couple of minor improvements.  I am so happy  🙂  🙂  🙂

The class stops now until April 23rd for Easter and School Holidays. After the holiday’s we start on Watercolours.

Homework for during the next 4 weeks is to create a picture with any type of medium on A3 , it needs to take up the whole page.

I might decide to paint Autumn in Australia   or  the rainbow lorikeet that visited my backyard.






Paying Respect to the people of Christchurch.

Christchurch New Zealand is where I lived for many years 1954  – 1980.  I am deeply saddened about the recent unnecessary massacre, the deaths and injuries to so many people. My prayers, love and support go out all those affected.   My family home is only 5 minutes walk from the Linwood Ave Mosque. The other Mosque by Hagley Park is also close by.  I have walked past both places many times and never ever would have imagined that such tragedy would happen.  My two brothers live right there, I am so thankful they are alright.

I drew these tulips today in memory of the people who have passed away. May they Rest In Peace . IMG_20190316_152102 (3)

The Art Class

Even though I am having problems with cataracts in both eyes I will not let it get the better of me.

I did pull out of the choir because I couldn’t  focus well on the words and music.

As for the art the tutor was happy with my homework. There’s always room for improvement.

There are no rules.

It’s my style and my impression regardless of how it turns out.

At the end of the day I don’t have to impress anyone except myself – I am satisfied with my work.

I will share my homework with you plus a birthday card I made today for daughter.



Tea tray



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Homework for the next two weeks is body parts.

Cheers to everyone.

Life Changes:

There are no guarantees in life.

You can make lots of plans for the future.  Sometimes the plans need to be postponed or cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances  such as health, finances, relationships, work etc.

Three years ago an optician told me that I had an early stage Cataract in my right eye. I wasn’t surprised because my mother had surgery for cataracts. The optician at the time said we will monitor it.

March 2018 I had moved to another location and had to see a new optician . He agreed that there was early evidence of a cataract developing and told there was nothing to worry about. I came away without being told to have it reviewed in 6 months and in actual fact there  follow-up was offered or recommended.

During the last 6-8 months I have been experiencing blurriness in the peripheral of both eyes. I have been cleaning my specs several times a day thinking that the blurriness might be because of dirty specs.  I have also been having issues with reading, watching TV and driving.

A couple of weeks ago I was meeting a friend for lunch.  As my friend was walking towards me her form was a definite blur, I was shocked.  We chatted about it and decided I should  get it checked out asap.

Last week I saw a new optician. We discussed my eyesight issues. I was given a comprehensive eye test, it was confirmed that both eyes have cataracts and need to be treated as soon as possible.  The optician has referred me to an eye specialist.

Unfortunately I am not in a private health fund and will need to be on public hospital waiting list. Meanwhile I need to accept that this happened and change some of my activities and plans.

Even though the optician said I could still drive for a few more months I don’t feel comfortable so I will use public transport.

Because  I have had problems with reading and focussing I decided to pull out of the Concordia Choir for now.  The good thing is I can join again next year.

I will continue with my art class for now.   I can now start to understand what life is like for people who are blind.  I am not presenting myself as ‘poor me’  I will continue to enjoy my life and have a positive attitude.


Enjoy life to the fullest and be thankful.


Ally’s Homework from Art Class

I have been to two beginners art class.  So far so good, it’s interesting and enjoyable.

I will show some work from the first class.

This exercise was all about ‘Mark Making’.  Sorry these  drawing are a tad light.

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This one is about Basic Shapes and Simple Drawings.

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More shapes. I definitely haven’t mastered faces, hands and feet……needing heaps more practise.

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We were given a copy of Picasso sketch of Igor Stravinsky. We were asked to draw a graph on the sketch, then draw a graph on a black sheet of paper , then turn them both upside down and create the picture. The tutor said if you cheat and do it the right way up he would know. One student did it both ways and the tutor was able to correctly pick which was which.


This picture is the start of my homework from the second class. It’s about perspective, light, dark, shadows etc.   Later today I am going to be sketching trees.

Just did the trees and decided to add some colour. That was all free hand.




The past os over.  I choose to love and approve of myself in the NOW !   I am worth loving.

Every experience is perfect for our growth process.  I am at peace with where I am.

I give myself permission to be all that I can be and I deserve the very best in life. I love and appreciate myself and others.

I am willing to change and grow.

It is safe to be me.  I am wonderful just as I am.  I choose to live.  I choose joy and self-acceptance. I now choose to live life fully .

I comfortably and easily release the old and welcome the new in my life.  I am safe. Letting go is easy.

I release the pattern in my consciousness that created this condition.  I am willing to change . I love and approve of myself.

I move beyond old limitations and now allow myself to express freely and creatively. 



Affirmations For Having a Great Day

I choose to feel good about myself each day.                                                                                   Every morning I remind myself that I can make  the choice to feel good.                                 This is a new habit for Me to cultivate.

I am joyous today.                                                                                                                                   Humour and fun contribute to my total well-being.

Every thought you think and every word you speak is an affirmation.                                     So why not choose to use only positive affirmations to create a new way of thinking,         Acting and feeling ?

Life brings me only good experiences                                                                                               I am open to new and wonderful changes

I deserve to enjoy life.                                                                                                                           I ask for what I want, and I accept it                                                                                                 With joy and pleasure

I am free

The ultimate key to freedom is recognising                                                                                     That everything is a choice.


Peace and love to all who read this blog. xo

Happiness is your choice.

Lately I have across people who are sad and unhappy , this disturbs me.  I have been in that situation, I have been to hell and back and managed to find a solution and peace in my heart.

I have lived through an abusive childhood,  have been sexually abused as a child and as an adult, have lost a baby half way through the pregnancy, have had two mentally abusive marriages, also have lifelong medical issues.

I had four children.  They are all in their 40’s now. Two them have chosen to cut me out of their lives because I asked for respect.

I will not allow the past abuse to continue to hurt or control me. If thoughts do enter my mind that are negative I distract myself and push the thoughts away.  If I was to dwell on the negative I would be allowing the abusive person/people to keep controlling me.

Today I am happy and contented.

I felt compelled to share …..there is a solution and happiness is your choice.

I do understand that not everyone can experience happiness. I specifically give a mention to people who have Clinical Depression.  Blessings to them and also to the wonderful mental health teams that do their best to help.

I know that contentment and happiness is not easy for everyone, it is tough and hard to achieve and may not be achievable for some. I struggled for years to achieve what I have today.

Wishing everyone happiness in your life.



PS:  There is more that I will add , all this happened in my last place of employment.

I was repeatedly bullied at work by a male nurse and he got away with it.

I was threatened several times by patients that were in my care, they too got away with it.

I jarred my back at work while pushing a heavy trolley.  I already had a scoliosis of my spine  – the injury made it even worse. The specialist recommended that I stop work full-time or end up in a wheel chair for the rest of my life.  Management of the hospital gave me no support.  My career was now over.

For months I sat at home feeling sorry for myself and feeling miserable.  After a lot of hard work on myself I managed to crawl out of the black hole that I was in.

I had to accept what had happened to me, move on and make something positive out of a negative. I am so glad I did..


It’s a matter of choice – the light at the end of the tunnel / black hole.

light at end of tunnel