Illustration: The Sadness I Carry Everywhere

The Sadness I Carry Everywhere, Spray Paint on Cartridge, 2013
 Oh dear readers you must think I've forgotten you. Well! I haven't, as a matter of fact I've just been awful busy. So let me treat you to a miniature essay and two new pieces of work...........

While on holiday I went on a Street Art Tour and attended a workshop where we cut stencils and learned a bit about techniques and ideas in graffiti and Street Art.

I have for a long time been enamoured of spray paint and have used it in the past - designing and creating my own stencils and using different layering techniques. I had never actually read anything or been taught anything about using spray paint and had simply been experimenting and coming up with my own methods and ideas. The workshop really taught me a lot and I was very keen to put the things I'd learned into a bit of practise and see what I could come up with.

Given I was on holiday and had a limited budget I decided to limit myself to black, white and one colour: red. I figured that was all I needed for the basics, to make my design stand out.

I looked back at a stencil I'd done previously, in response to a brief to represent an article on how people felt/thought about their exes. I think I have posted a couple of early responses and experiments earlier in this blog. I ended up experimenting with the female having her heart blown out of her leaving a huge empty hole in her middle. I wanted to link that up to this piece, hence this character having a hole in her middle.

The Sadness I Carry Everywhere, Spray Paint in-situ, 2013
I wanted my piece to be semi-autobiographical, but also something people could relate to.. a representation of sadness and low mood- and how you can carry that with you- even when you are in an amazing place, doing amazing things, meeting amazing people.. sometimes there is just a little knot of pain/grief/sadness sitting within you.

I decided to represent that with a cloud, as the sadness and grief is something that can be let go.. and the girl in this piece could potentially cut the string and let the grief/sadness disperse/float away. However at this point she is holding on to it, almost like a pet or an extension of herself.

After faffing about in the back green/basement with an initial stencil onto card, and coming up with three variants- I cut a new and slightly improved stencil and took myself out to a "Wall of Fame" where it is legal to paint and experiment.

I had two variants that I wanted to paint but only managed one and a half as a creepy man turned up and sat in the park.

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