Challenge / Zambia

I found this photo (via facebook Group) of my class when I was in Grade 2, in 1974, in Lusaka, Zambia. How great is that? I do remember a few classmates – vaguely. I suspect those whom I have a clearer image of, I was with them in later grades as well.

So, the challenge – which lovely young (and messy) lady am I??

Wonderful ancient class photo Grade 2 in Zambia, 1974!!

+With the recent Black Lives Matter movement, topics around racism have been brought to the surface and there are conversations happening that have been too quoet for a long time.

Therefore, it is really interesting to note that in the early 1970’s, in Africa, we were brought up together. We had friends of all colours and religions (I like the feasts with gold leaf the best). We intermingled and had sleepovers with nothing but curiosity at that which was different to our family and culture.

White children were about 45% of my class. Zambian Independence had only happened 10 years previously (and peacefully). The key seems to have been fore-sighted teachers and school officials ensuring that we were all brought up to share our commonalities and to explore the unknown. I remember being totally overwhelmed by the American Embassy – where my school friend lived. The food, the accent, the decoration was all foreign to me, and I was never completely at ease. But my Hindu friend and i were spoiled by her mother making us gorgeous saris to wear (I felt like a wonderful princess with magical abilities.)

In fact I had so many interactions that were fun and interesting.

And it must be noted that this was Not a case of “redress” or “affirmitive action” or “window dressing”. It was genuine – all classes of all the years have similar photos in terms of ethinicity.

So I say again – 1974 – in Africa

What has happened since then????????

Art – Swan

After the roller coaster ride of my lovely ladies, I was rather tired. Swans are always beautiful – and as my Art class teacher showed me – white is not white. It is never pure white. It is mostly shades of colours. In this case more of a grey tinge. It was a new and fascinating concept to me, and it applies to many other features as wel..

I learnt that I have to examine carefully the colours of my subject. and a simple way is to punch a hole in a white piece of paper and hold that against your subject. This is a much better representation of the real colours (and so simple). I often put a dab of a paint colour that I have mixed up on the paper next to the hole to judge how close I am (that is if I am going for realistic colours).

Thanks to Nichola for such an easy tool that is so powerful!

Swan Study

Bi-Polar Intro.

When first learning about Bipolar, normally there is a string of “symptoms” for the Depressive Downs and one for the Manic Ups. There are on-line questionnaires you can perform a self-assessment on. However, it is my belief that unless you do have bipolar, these questions appear rather bizarre, almost “what on earth??”

Even if this list is understood (in the literal sense), it provides no explanation of what these phrases really are like. If we talk about, lets say, racing thoughts; what does that feel like? What do you do when having these thoughts? How does it manifest to other people? Can it be controlled (as is)? Does it feel good (at that moment)? How does it affect your behaviour? Does it upset or stimulate those around you?

These “symptoms” encompass a range of emotions, actions, non-actions, negative and positive interactions with people (both in your circle, and out). They can be harmful to one’s self and to others – sometimes (not all the time). The severity of these states of mind covers a huge range. For example, on a scale bar of anger emotions, the most extreme actions that can occur are: Actual suicide (anger manifests towards one’s self) and Murder (against another). These are the most drastic actions that we must guard against as much as possible). For myself, luckily I have never actually tried to murder anyone, but I have had multiple suicide attempts (surviving against the odds medically).

I am going to post a few images of the “dry – text book” explanations, and a couple listing famous people who have / had Bipolar.

Here is the standard blurb about Bipolar
The blue shading is “normal” mood swings: the graph is bipolar. Personally, I have been through all stages including the mixed state (which the worst)
Typical theoretical list of (some) symptoms
Symptoms List
This is interesting – I certainly never knew that Lithium was used in Roman times!
Mortality Rates: Suicide is the biggest cause of death in Bipol
Famous people with Bipolar

More modern celebrities include: Catherine Zeta-Jones, Mariah Carey, Jeanne Claude Van Damme, Kanye West, Kurt Cobain, Russell Brand, Sinead O’Connor, Amy Winehouse, Mel Gibson, Stephen Fry, Demi Lovato, Vivien Leigh (Gone with the Wind), Carrie Fisher (original star Wars), Frank Sinatra, Jim Carey and Britney Spears.

This is more important than maybe thought. It can send one deeper into depression and maybe the straw that broke the camel’s back.

New Lady (Mongolian)

After the previous grumpy girls, I decided to have another attempt at portraits, and chose this lovely, happy, enchanting lady from Mongolia. I did some research first on facial features and proportions, on skin colours and shadows. This took quite a while, and helped me understand what I was doing a bit better. But I seem to have ended up painting not really sticking to anything I had researched in any detail: more just feeling my way. I spent way too long on it, over worked it, struggled a lot with blending; but I had fun, and she always makes me feel better and brings a wee smile to my face.

I found this wonderful photo on the internet (sorry – not sure who took it), but it is cut out and altered