Monday, 18 July 2016

Peace Mandala

I started this piece in early July. I was restless and needed something to sink my teeth into. And I was staring at a painted-white door. Blank. There's nothing like blank, white space to get you off your bum - because it screams: Paint me!!! Paint me!!!

And so I did. Below, is the outline worked first in pencil - mainly the lines that divide the circles. Then, out comes a big, black Sharpie and the design grows. I usually have nothing in mind. Always, I start at the centre, with a dot, and the mandala grows around it.

The finished piece measures 32 x 27 inches (82 x 69 cm). That's one of the biggest ones I've done to date :) 

The big spaces were painted in with: Blues, white, and silver. The doodling was in black Sharpies - a fat nib, and a fine point.

The picture below will give you an idea of how big it is. Because of its size, I couldn't work on it for too long - the old back would ache the next day!!! So, slowly-slowly it went, until it was done. It's taken me about two weeks of on days, and off days. 

Doodling my time away!

Two pieces that didn't take too long to do. A4 size coloured paper, and Sharpies in black, and white.

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Plating it

So lame, no?! Hahahah. But, titles and headlines are so not my thing!!

After a long hiatus, it is always difficult for me to get back into my stride with painting and doodling. But backgrounds - those are always fun to do. So, I started out by painting all the backgrounds, first: ALL in mettalic acrylic paint.

Then, I worked on this plate in white ink/marker.

Having found some confidence with the finished pink plate, I moved to his blue one: Also in white marker, but the scroll-work I did with white acrylic paint. Scroll-work is so relaxing and easy to do, and it makes you feel like you can do anything :)

After all that doodling, it was time to get into some 'real' painting: Simple one-stroke roses and rose buds.

This one is a combination of so many media: The background is painted with every colour in my box of metallic paints: dash-ed all around the plate. Then, the dots are made with dimensional paint, in sequined black. I thought I'd leave the centre plain/empty. But, it looked 'wrong', so I decided to complete the design with some one-stroke roses.

Friday, 3 June 2016

My copper mandala

My copper mandala measures around 18 inches in diameter, on mdf board.

I have been off my art for a bit, and to get me back on track, I've been playing with my watercolours, and doodling. This is my first 'big' project.

The board was covered in dimensional paste, then, painted black. I felt that this copper shade of dimensional paint needed a dark, dark background to really stand out.

Next, I sat with a tee-square and a compass and drew in my chalk-lines that would guide the design. My 'chalk' is watercolour pencil! I love that they can be erased easily with a bit of water on a cotton-tip.

Next, it was time for the design itself. I used dimensional paint, from a bottle with a nozzle and generally worked from the centre, outwards. The paint takes a while to dry, so I had to start off with big, broad areas, from the middle working outwards, and then, letting it all dry. I'd go back the next day, and work in a few more details: always working from larger to smaller, untill finally, the dots and squiggly bits were added.

All in all, this took around two weeks to complete. Mainly because each 'round' took a day or so to dry completely - otherwise my hand or arm would smudge things and create a big, ugly mess.

And that's the mandala, completed :)

Friday, 29 April 2016

Eyes: Update

Well, it has been over a month, and I am doing fine. My eyes are brilliant :)

The right eye sees better for distance.
The left eye sees better for reading.

But, they're still learning to work with each other so sometimes, when I read for too long I feel tired and sleepy. Apparently, that is normal.

My doctor looked into my eyes (!) and says that all is well. I see him again in three months, and an optometrist will evaluate my eyes again to see if I may need glasses for reading. Both the optometrist and my doctor feel that I won't!

Yay!!! Picture me doing a happy dance :)

I am only sixty, and people feel it is young for cataract surgery. Maybe it is. But, the ideal age for this surgery is in your fifties and sixties: When you're still 'young' and fairly healthy, without the complications that can arise from old-age ailments. When you're younger, you're less afraid; you heal faster. This is the first time I've felt young at 60!!! Hahahahah.

My eyes are doing fine!

Saturday, 2 April 2016

The EYES have it!

'Piercing eyes' - a painting by Elaina Wagner, in acrylic

This is not a painting post. It is about my eyes, and my cataracts.

I thought I'd share my experience here, to help anyone out there who has cataracts, or knows someone who does.

I had a cataract in my right eye. It was growing over my pupil, so my vision was cloudy and growing steadily worse with each passing day. I went to see an eye specialist, who confirmed that it was a cataract, but refused to do anything about it - because 'it would make no difference, right now.' She told me to go home and forget about it (!) and come back and see her in six months. My eyes were fine, apparently. I put too much store on seeing clearly, huh?!

That was in June last year. A follow-up visit in January, 2016, had the same outcome. Let's be polite and just say that I did not concur with her.

So, I went to ISEC . And how my life has changed.

I saw an excellent doctor* who confirmed that the cataract in my right eye was 'bad' and that it surely was affecting the quality of my life. He also saw the beginnings of a cataract in my left eye. He suggested a cataract op for both eyes: He planned to pop new lenses in, and give me 6/6 vision. OMG, seriously?!

I scheduled my operations one week apart: the first one in the following week. The procedure itself lasts for only 10 minutes or so, and only requires drops! It is done under local anesthesia, and the only thing to fear is fear itself, I realise now. There was no pain - either before, during, or after surgery. Just a slight discomfort, during. And, a feeling like there's an eyelash stuck under your lid for a few hours afterwards.

The first operation was on my right eye. In the afternoon. This was the eye which hadn't been seeing much for almost a year, but by evening I was seeing fairly clearly out of it. The second op happened one week later. Four days ago. And, I'm seeing out of both eyes brilliantly :)

I was fitted with a lens that allowed for both distance and close vision in my right eye. But, to read, I had to hold whatever I was reading at arm's length. So, to address that, my doctor has fitted a different lens in my left eye. This lens now enables me to read like a normal person. How brilliant is that?

My brain takes over when I need to switch from seeing far into the distance clearly, and needing to focus on something near. But, it's still processing this, so if I do too much stuff online that involves a lot of reading, my eyes tire. But, I can play my word and crash-and-burn games on my tablet without a problem; and the tv is what's keeping me sane while I wait for my eyesight to come into its own.

ISEC is a specialist centre, and it is a top-notch establishment. I called to make an appointment - and from that point onwards, things flowed like a breeze. From the technicians who handled my eye-tests and scans, to the nursing staff, to my consultation with my doctor: every moment was handled with a professionalism that inspired confidence.

I wish everyone's experience could be as good as mine was.

My cataract surgeries were not inexpensive, by any stretch of the imagination. But, my medical insurance provider - Prudential Malaysia - handled it all, hassle free.

Like I said at the start, this is just a sharing of my experience of cataract surgery. There's a lot of misinformation out there, and a lot of it is confusing and scary. I'm sharing my experience because it was brilliant, and I am grateful that I can see again, without problems.

This is my sixtieth year on this earth. I think my new eyes are going to be my best-est present evah!


* Dr Ronald Das - He looks so much better than his profile pix. I promise. Good looking and young - I didn't want no shakey-handed old man cutting into my eyes!!
Time to update your profile pix, doc! ;)
You can find out about eyes and eye issues on his Facebook page, here

Friday, 18 March 2016

Sunrise mandala

My mandala for March has sunrise colours!!! In keeping with the heatwave we are now experiencing here in Malaysia? Yes, apparently, we need even more sun!!!!

It is a fairly big piece - 18 inches square, in acrylic, on board. The design is worked in acrylic dimensional paint that has a lovely pearly glow.

Friday, 11 March 2016

An old staple

Because I am struggling with watercolours, I need to feel that I've not lost it: So, I return to what I know and paint something in acrylics!!! And for peace of mind, and to have a lovely, happy experience with painting, I usually choose roses.

The roses just dripped off my brush this round, and I enjoyed painting them. I filled in the gaps with forget-me-nots, as usual.

The focus rose turned out fluff and in-your-face, but the two off focus ones are really turned out better, I thought. So, here they are, below - getting a bit of focus, even though they're off-focus!

This is a fairly large piece - by my standards, of course! - 17 x 13 inches, on board. In acrylics, of course :)

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