Sunday, March 31, 2013

Photo Heart Connection: March

I sit here struggling to put into words the way March has been full of contradictions but this image goes some way towards illustrating how . . . . .

The words 'beauty', 'art' and 'joy' are barely visible (but there if you chose to see them) for they were hard to come by this month. The play of light and dark represents not only the changing of the seasons but also the shifts in my own mood.  The lightness expresses hope . . . the red pain.  The trees demonstrate strength and the clouds dreams.
What image did you feel a special connection to this month?

Linking up with with Texture Tuesday and Photo Heart Connection.

Happy Easter

Friday, March 29, 2013

Recent Projects

These are just a few of the recent projects I have been working on.

I hope to have some finished work to share with you soon.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Scintilla Project: Life

Prompt: What would it have been like if your life had turned out the way you wanted when you were a kid?

I recall wanting to be a prison officer or a farmer . . . where those ideas came from I honestly don't know.  I was never the tough strong type and I've been known to pass out when blood and needles are involved so I wouldn't have lasted one minute inside a prison.  As for a farmer . . . all those early mornings, hard work and animal poop . . . I don't think so.

In truth I think those were jobs I came up with because everyone seemed to have it all figured out and I felt like the only one who didn't.  I didn't know what I wanted to be, what direction I wanted my life to go in and still don't.  The difference is that now I don't stress about it as much.  There are days when I feel guilty, when  think I could have done better, been better but if just one thing had been different I wouldn't be where I am now (with the man that I love living in a beautiful home ).
The Scintilla Project

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Love Bug

The vet always asks me how Connor manages to stay so clean.  It's probably because he's an indoor cat and spends a lot of time washing himself.
He's quite the snuggle partner.  Not only does he like to hog my blankets but also likes to curl up in the crook of my legs while I'm lying on the sofa.
Out of everyone in this house he has the best personality.  He's never grumpy and is such a love bug, he always makes me smile.
Right now he is curled up on my lap, purring away, kneading my leg and lifting his head for kisses.
His fur is a nightmare and gets absolutely everywhere but that's a small price to pay for such a bundle of love.

If only the other three animals were as easy to live with!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Scintilla Project: I Didn't Know

Prompt: The saying goes "What you don't know won't hurt you," but sometimes the opposite is true.  Talk about a time when you were hurt by something you didn't know.

 Self Portrait by Kathryn Dyche Dechairo

I didn't know
I would spent a year in excruciating pain
I didn't know
the depths it would take me too
I didn't know
how debilitating pain could be
I didn't know
how much strength I possessed
I didn't know
the majority of medicines would prove ineffective
I didn't know
 if life was worth living
I didn't know
I would contemplate suicide
I didn't know
that my husband would save me
I didn't know
I'd be here a year later writing this post
I didn't know . . . . . 

The Scintilla Project

Friday, March 22, 2013


It remains cold outside but the sun is shining and bird song fills the air.  It seemed like the perfect moment to share some of my latest bird images with you.

I hope you've enjoyed a little glimpse into the world of my feathered friends.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Scintilla Project: Lost

Prompt: Talk about where you were going the day you got lost.  Where you alone?  Did you ever get to where you meant to go?

lanes of tarmac turned to dirt
each worse than the last
fear and panic my only companions
on these roads to nowhere
trapped in a living hell
would I ever find my way home
The Scintilla Project

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Scintilla Project: Preconceived Notion

Prompt: Write about a time when a preconceived notion or opinion (about a person, place, thing etc) turned out to be wrong.  What did it take to change your mind?

Sure I've used crayons and pencils, paint and felt tip pens, even glue and paper mache but no-one would have ever called me creative.  It seemed like one of those indisputable facts that just was.  I never thought to question it.
Then in my early thirty's a chain of events changed all that by becoming a catalyst for this somewhat strange and inspired journey I found myself on.  It was as though the 'off' switch had suddenly been switched back 'on'.

I experimented with many different mediums but loved the way I was able to lose myself in the process when I painted.  When I sold my first painting online I felt validated in some way.  That someone else truly saw me and liked my work enough to purchase it and hang it in their home.

If someone had told me all those years ago that I would have given up a career, moved to America and become an Artist I would have laughed in their face and thought them a little crazy . . . but having sold my work online and in store for the past two years, I guess the joke is on me.
The Scintilla Project

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Scintilla Project: Event Horizons

Prompt: What have been the event horizons of your life - the moments from which there is no turning back?

The movers were packed up and gone and the house now sat empty.  I lingered a while absorbing the silence and then, taking a deep breath, I began my check of each room and silently said my goodbyes.
Running my hand over the gloss work on the windowsill, tears began to prick my eyes.  My dad had spent afternoons here painting for us and through each brushstroke he had became a part of this house . . . . . part of this house that we were now leaving to set up home in a new country.  He would never see my new home or experience the country I was going to be living in for he had died a year earlier.
The hardest part was saying goodbye to friends and family with everything that had happened the past year but there was no turning back now.  As we drove to the airport, tears rolling down my cheeks, my husband took my hand in his and I knew that everything was going to be ok.  Our lives may be about to change forever but I began to embrace this new adventure we found ourselves on.
The Scintilla Project

Linking up with Texture Tuesday.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Scintilla Project: Character

Prompt: Describe a time when the content of your character was tested.

I originally wrote this post at the end of last year but it seemed apt to share it for today's prompt.

Hot metal spikes stab deep into my cheek bone with the force of a pneumatic drill. Meat hooks tear at my flesh and the weight of the large rotting carcass they carry suddenly overpowers me. My whole world is turned upside down as though Quentin Tarantino and Roald Dahl have cast me in a sinister version of 'The Twits'.

In this altered state of reality everything appears normal but is anything but. Badly furnished doctors’ offices become the norm where the ticking of the clock is always too loud and time takes on the appearance of a bad car wreck. The waiting is almost as unbearable as the pain. 

While my house begins to resemble a small pharmacy, and the list of side effects I experience reads like a bad novel, I acknowledge that now is not the time to be an anomaly.

Blood work and tests, CT scans and MRI's, surgery and acupuncture . . . . . nothing alleviates the pain and I feel the blackness closing in, trapping me in some kind of living hell.

Days turn into weeks, weeks roll into months and the sofa becomes my life raft. I cling to it desperately . . . . . sleep my only respite.

For over a year his grip remained strong. Even as my fingers weakened and I began to lose all hope his determination never faltered . . . holding on . . . holding the two of us, knowing that if he could keep going we'd find a way through.

Misdiagnosis after misdiagnosis eventually led them to a label . . . . 'Atypical Facial Neuralgia' also commonly referred to as the 'Suicide Disease'. Not that giving it a name helped.

Every direction I took I faced yet another road block and the blackness continued to close in. Not the comforting black of a night sky but a thick dark all consuming black that wrapped its gnarly fingers around me, choking the air from my lungs and plunging me into depths I'd only ever heard about in hushed whispers.

The person I was no longer existed. No thoughts. No feelings. Just excruciating pain and whether I had the strength to make it through one more minute.

With no obvious way through I wanted out and so I began to let go . . . to release my grip. First one finger, then another but I could hear something in the distance. It was a voice. It was his voice telling me "you are strong”, "you are the brave".

I was slipping, slipping, slipping. My fingernails bloody and broken from trying to claw my way back . . . my muscles tired and weak from the long fight. Every fiber of my being wanted to let go but that voice was like a niggle that I just couldn't shake.

Then up ahead I saw a flash of light. Not in the aaaaaah, singing angels kind of way but more a twinkle of light that you know deep down holds the promise of hope. Moving towards it I held my hand to my eyes, shielding them from the sudden brightness and there he was saying "you are strong", "you are bravest person I know". What he didn't realize was that it was his own strength and his own bravery that saved me.

The Scintilla Project

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Scintilla Project: I Think I Can

Prompt:  Being trapped in a confined environment can turn an ordinary experience into a powder keg.  Write about a thing that happened to you while you were using transportation.

She never understood why train stations held such an allure for their enthusiasts.  They were cold, lonely places that gave her the chills and she avoided them as much as possible. 
Standing on the platform her eyes were drawn to the yellow line which caused her stomach to lurch.  A single strip of color that shouted "stay away from the edge".  She averted her gaze, looked around uncomfortably then feigned sudden interest in her finger nails. 
As the train pulled into the station her heart rate quickened and she felt the surge of the people surrounding her.  The yellow line continued to shout "stay back" but she was swept forward regardless.  One by one passengers stepped up onto the train and then it was her turn.

Looking between the platform and the train was a gap . . . a gap that she had to bridge . . . a gap which terrified her.  Closing her eyes she breathed in, steeled herself and then jumped.  Her hands were shaking but as she opened her eyes she found herself in the train carriage.  The breath she'd been holding came out hard and fast. 
Feeling a little unsteady she found the closest seat and sat down.  Leaning into it she blocked out the stains she'd glimpsed and the smell of fast food that hung heavy in the air, simply thankful for the solidity of it against her back.  Her pulse began to slow, her breathing returned to normal.  She felt her body relax a little and she settled in for the ride. 
Arriving at London train station, jostled by the crowd she was thankful to have her feet on solid ground.  The entrance to the tube station loomed ahead of her and she began to sweat.  Turning her head over her should she glimpsed a taxi rank sign and quickly headed in that direction.

The Scintilla Project

Friday, March 15, 2013

Scintilla Project: Lose Yourself In The Music

Prompt:  Talk about a time when you were driving and you sang in the car, all alone.  Why do you remember this song and that stretch of road?
Travelling to work along back country roads, hedgerows blurred and my mood darkened with each mile that passed.  Anger was building inside of me and it wasn't even 8.00 am.  Eminem's music blared from the speakers . . . . . my angry music, my therapy.
A particular song started and I instinctively cranked up the bass.  The wing mirror vibrated and I could feel the beat pounding in my chest.  I waited for that moment . . . the point where the beat overpowers you until you find yourself lost 'inside' the music, as though a part of it. 
Shouting along to the lyrics I felt a release.  My anger and frustration began to ebb away.  The day became lighter and brighter and my mood began to lift.  Still lost in the music I was surprised to find myself turning into the car park and coming to a stop in an empty space.  Placing the car in neutral I turned off the music and removed the key from the ignition. 
I smiled as I put on my HR face (my game face) and began walking towards the front door.  Thanks to my 'angry' music I was able to face another day.
The Scintilla Project


Last chance to enter my giveaway for an 8"x10" painting.  Click HERE for more details.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Scintilla Project: Drunk

Prompt: Tell a story about a time you got drunk before you were legally able to do so.

A taxi driver stood in front of their family home and rung the bell.  Opening the door a nine year old boy took in the lifeless form of his sister lying in the mans arms and ran into the house screaming "dad, she's dead, dad, she's dead".

It had all started out innocently enough . . . . . two fifteen year old girls getting ready for a school disco. 

Heading out they stopped at an off-licence, a place known to sell alcohol to underage kids.  She stayed outside, nervous and unsure, staring intently at her feet while her friend approached the store.  'M' had the confidence of someone who had done this before and she envied her for that.

Peering into the bag 'M' now carried she saw a pack of stella and a large bottle of cider.  A feeling of excitement coursed through her as she was offered a can and took her first sip.  It tasted awful but it wasn't about taste, it was about getting drunk and having a good time.

Walking through town, alternating between swigs of larger and cider, she began to feel a numbness creeping up on her.  It was strange and scary but good to feel out of control.  Inhibitions went out of the window when, desperate for a pee, she relieved herself in an alleyway while 'M' kept guard. 

She began struggling to put one foot in front of the other and her speech became slurred.  Her limbs seemed to have taken on a life of their own, as though they no longer belonged to her.

She could barely stand by the time they reached the disco and she wondered if she could act sober enough to be allowed inside.  As though answering an unspoken request a group of friends surrounded her, holding her up and guiding her inside without raising suspicion. 

Staggering towards the dance floor her eyes caught those of a guy she knew.  She held on to him to steady herself as she slurred the words "will you go out with me"?  She was unfazed when he turned her down and asked him to point her in the direction of the toilets.

She took her time navigating the stairs, smiled at a group of people playing pool and then moments later found herself crashing into a toilet stall.  Locking the door she fell to her knees and hugged the toilet bowl.  She couldn't stop the vomit that fought its way out and was thankful that she'd made it to the toilets in time. 

The cubicle spun faster and faster as the blackness started closing in.  She heard someone say "are you alright, open the door" and with all the strength she could muster she turned and pulled back the latch before completely blacking out.

The Scintilla Project

Interested in winning an 8"x10" acrylic painting? Click HERE for more details.

Saturday, March 9, 2013


venturing deeper and deeper into the woods
she lost sight of her path
no breadcrumbs to mark her trail
branches tore at her hair
thorns pierced her skin
and blood soaked her clothes
but she found herself entranced
drawn to the colors
like a moth to a flame

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Self Portrait - A Tale Of Two Halves

Many of you know that I have struggled with atypical facial neuralgia (facial nerve pain) over the past two years. Since it's been a big part of my life it has found its way into my artwork and I've starting working on a number of portrait paintings.
The bronze brown background represents the dull edge that this illness brought to my life for it affects every part of it, the red part of the face symbolizes pain and the distortion is a reflection of how my face often feels even though it appears normal. The texture signifies normal everyday bumps in the road while the gold side of the face characterizes what others see.
8"x10"x1.5" Mixed Media Art Painting

Saturday, March 2, 2013

No More

Warning:  The images in this post may disturb some viewers.

Opening the blinds to view the bird feeders my heart broke wide open.  There lying submerged in icy water was a dead sparrow.  I'm not sure exactly how it died but my guess is that it flew into the window, was momentarily stunned, and then plunged into the water below. 

This may sound a little strange but in my own way I mourn each death I witness.  Whether its a dead deer at the side of the road, an animal that has been run over or an insect that's under attack.  It's often hard to witness but the more time I spend in the country the more I've seen that this is a part of life.  It will come as no surprise that I am often described as 'too emotional' (and it certainly has its downsides) but I'd rather feel that not at all.
There was a lump in my throat as I took these images and my stomach twisted but even in death I saw beauty.  My hope is that when you look at this image you don't see just a dead animal but the beauty of this bird too.