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Copyright © 2017 by Jo Barlow
Art and a Wobbly Brain
8th July 2018
Today these pictures pop up in my Facebook news feed. Memories of 2011. When I could paint.
I have always loved copying art work and did these paintings for a friend. I loved it, getting paid to have fun and what felt like a skilled accomplishment. But today it just brings up some pretty strong and horrid emotions. I just cannot paint like this at the moment. By brain simply cannot do it and it’s so damn depressing!
I first felt like I was struggling badly with my art in 2015. I had tried copying some simple art work, and couldn't do it properly so made the images more abstract and a bit rougher. I think looking back I had been finding things slowly getting tougher than normal before this, but thought it was as I was doing things slightly different to my usual. I had assumed I was going long sighted and needed some glasses. So went to the optician. I didn’t. Clearly my brain tumour was causing issues with my eyes and coordination long before it was unmissable in the rest of me…
I have painted some abstracts painting since my tumour was removed, but even over two years later my fine detail is still awful. I cannot even colour easily in between lines of colouring books and certainly not well consistently. So today I just sit and sob that I should have done more art years ago-
But it’s still shite. My kids are almost all grown, three of them are adults, only my youngest needs me as much. There is time for me now and this time should be increasing, time for my art – and right now it feels it’s no longer there. I find it hard on so many levels. Down to the fact that I cannot just go and paint and experience the bliss I once had. The satisfaction.
As it was I chose to have my kids when I was young and my ‘career’ was never a consideration. When I sit and really allow my tears and feeling, I am so glad in so many ways as ‘if’ I had a career and waited until I was older to have children it might never have happened. Plus if after surgery I had young children I think it would have destroyed me and my family. Personally I would never risk having another child after a brain tumour. I couldn’t knowingly bring a child into this world and then possibly not be there for it. Plus how much of an extra risk would it put on my body? So I guess, given the two options – kids or career, I chose the best. It helps me accept my reality slightly more.
Although I didn’t choose my brain tumour, I didn’t choose it to affect my vision and coordination, to affect the thing I wanted to do in my future. I know I might still be able to do something art-