Tuesday, 12 March 2013



The challenge this week from Jenn at Artist's Play Room was, for me, a difficult one.  She asked: "What makes you tick, who are you, tell me about you".  The difficulty was to create a piece of artwork  that related to her question.

Have you heard the lines from Robert Burns' poem, (slightly anglicised here) - 'Oh would some power the giftie gi'e (give) us, To see ourselves as others see us'.  Jenn is asking us to let others see us as we see ourselves!

Probably like most of you I would regard myself as a pretty private person on the whole, and I had to find a way to tackle the challenge.  After all, if it's not difficult, then it's not much of a challenge!

I struggled with trying to think "well, who am I", and in the end asked my husband to "tell me who I am" - seeing myself as others see me.  This was his answer, which I wrote down verbatim (in shorthand):
  • You are always dreaming and walking into everything, and go into another world, day-dreaming or reading.  When you're painting you are in another world.  
  • You are an extremely complicated woman, and I love you, although you infuriate me from time to time.
  • Life with you is unexpected, even after 55 years, anything can change at any moment.
  • You're a laugh a minute, life's never boring, and it's fun.
  • The other side of you is that you are extremely artistic, and at the same time practical in every way one can think of - sewing, cooking, tiling, decorating, laying flagstones ........
  • Even today you have a 'dumb blonde' approach to life which fools people, and hides the strength as well as the softness of your heart.  Like any other woman you have a tiger in you if anyone threatens your family.
  • You are utterly determined on anything you do, and are extremely dedicated, loyal and loving.
  • You are a very complicated person
WELL, I ASKED FOR IT, DIDN'T I!  And my father always used to say, "If our Jez can walk around  something or walk through it, she'll walk through it".

My daughter Zoë phoned a few minutes later, and never one to leave well alone I said "Give me five words that describe me".  The immediate answer was:

Believer in Justice

I think that's more than five words, but I'll accept them.  Quite a surprising list.

Well, Jenn, that's a start for you.  Thinking about what my loved ones had said, the idea popped into my mind that I could represent my 'essence' as a maze.  How far anyone gets towards knowing me depends on how good they are at unravelling my maze.

Pitt Artist's Pen, Butterfly Stick-ons, 
Blue and Pink and Frame added in Photoshop.  Jez

Obviously it would need to be a very much more complex maze than the one I drew here, but this is the first maze I've ever tried to draw, and a complex maze would not make a very 'readable' image.  Enter from any one of the five 'gateways'.

My private side is represented by the blocked roads, and in places by the completely enclosed and locked 'secret' rooms.  How far anyone gets towards, or manages to find, 'The Real Me' depends on how hard they try.  Most people don't try, but accept the 'dumb blonde' facade at face value!  Good, good!

So all the serious stuff of the maze is surrounded by the butterflies of my 'Butterfly Mind' that flits from one thing to another and settles for a short while, and all the bubbling of ideas that is constantly coming to the boil all around.

Well, this is certainly not the post I expected to write, but I'm happy with the idea for the artwork, and I have to say I'm glad I battled through the difficulty and enjoyed it in the end.

Probably many of you will own similar 'mazes', and you may be brave enough to ask your loved ones to let you see yourself as they see you.  Are you brave enough?


  1. awesome response to the challenge! I love the artwork, the maze inside your mind and your description. I'm still struggling with this one, but your answer has given me some things to think about.

  2. what a BRILLIANT post - both your fantastic maze artwork and the accompanying text. And of course I have met you online only, but I certainly don't get the 'dumb blonde' impression from you!

    I love your hubby's and daughter's descriptions of you.

  3. Wow, this is a really unexpected interpretation of the APR theme! Well done, Jez! I really enjoy reading this post and looking at your pictorial response. :-)

  4. Love your 'Me maze' and your families thoughts on what makes you you, :)

  5. Wow! What a fantastic post Jez. I just love your mind maze and the fabulous discriptions your family gave you. Your interpretation is so creative and thoughtful.

  6. absolutely spectacularly done Jez, could we be separated at birth, lol. I call the butterfly mind "SQUIRREL!!", it's from the movie UP when the dog is talking or doing something and a squirrel would pass by he'd immediately stop what he was doing and yell SQUIRREL!! Yep, butterfly mind covers it too, hehehee. great depiction through art there.

  7. this is a wonderful post, Jez, and so inspired. same as others, I am a bit in the BEfore stage of my APR#48, but I am getting warmer Now, having wandered about with a little bit MORE of an open minded approach...

    I love how it is to see me as others see me, when others are around to see me, that is... I think in these last 7 years on my own I have BEcome someone nobody really "knows" and that is okay...

    I also think this is the first time I have really KNOWN MYSELF. Curious business ;~D

    Thanks for this post. It lifted my heart.

  8. You really did some amazing self-searching, and better understand why you are respected by your loved ones. I love your self-portrait too. Blessings!

  9. superbly done Jez!!!! I can't say more than anyone else already has.
    I too am still struggling with how to interpret this theme. I fear I may run out of time :0) Mo

  10. It takes a creative mind to come up with such a creative subject. Neat!

  11. oh Jez, this was so much fun to read!! And you are obviously surrounded by people who LOVE you. Your husband's (and your daughter's) answers touched my heart. NOW i understand your "butterfly mind" banner! Not an easy question to answer! you did a fabulous job. I love who you are. xox

  12. I love love love this post!! Wow sounds like a Gemini!! lol..Or Aquarius... Sounds like you are the perfect combination of my daughter and I! Her being the more private one... also uses the dumb blonde thing to fool people. Everything else is so much me!! Wow, love the art to show the mind... Your family truly has you down pat...that's awesome. You are very lovable and they know it!! This exercise would be wonderful for anyone trying to find themselves!!

    Hugs Giggles

  13. I Love YOU! What a wonderful solution to who you are! I think most "dumb" blondes are really mostly the opposite!

  14. I loved everything about this post Jez,
    It was a total pleasure from every angle. The maze is A~MAZING! lol
    I also thought how brilliant that your family were so supportive to your challenge.
    I dread to think what my husband would answer to that question...so I'm not going there! How's that for being a coward!
    I also know that Robert Burn's peom too and that made me smile. I haven't heard it for years :D

  15. This post is wonderful!!!! Your husband's words about you and who you are have touched me extraordinarily, I got goose bumps! I love your "map" as well! It is great how you have described all these female things.


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