Sunday, May 16, 2010

Artistic Tangents: A Hidden Gift From MCS by Liberty

Thank you Mokihana for providing such a wonderful diversity of categories for this Canary Caravan!

The category that I felt most drawn to was 'Tangents' - in your words, "Tangents are the unexpected and often unplanned paths or off-shoots of a life planned; places and experiences that spontaneously happen because we are human and because MCS might have had something to add to the old 'normal.'"

Having MCS has led to a number of positive tangents in my life and my favourite is the way it has effected my art.
Prior to having severe MCS, I used acrylic paints and a number of other mixed medias - many of which were high in VOCs and contributed to me developing MCS.
When severe MCS hit, I became unable to use those mediums without becoming very sick.  I experienced deep grief over the loss of my ability to paint with the mediums that felt natural to me and with which I was comfortable.

In time, however, this 'limitation' led me to try different artistic mediums/methods such as watercolour painting, drawing, colouring, art journalling as well as learning to make my own non-toxic glue.
At first, my attempts in these directions were very disappointing and I gave up for a few years.

Eventually, however, my need to create made me try again - and persist until I became more comfortable with these mediums.
After getting over the learning hurdle, I am now in love with watercolour as a medium and I don't feel the least bit 'deprived'!  I am also growing to love many of the other art forms I've explored that I wouldn't have if not for MCS.

Even severe chronic health problems or disabilities can bring gifts if we look for them.  I am very grateful to MCS for providing the 'tangent' that led to the evolution of my art!  I now spend time being creative almost every day and it is a very healing part of my journey through life.

About this Canary Caravan Contributor:

Liberty is a 30-something Canadian who is passionate about the healing power of creative expression (in any form) and blogs at Divinity Withinity - art, creativity, fun as well as sharing her MCS improvements at Moving Beyond MCS.


Mokihana Calizar said...

Oh my dear friend Liberty,

Thank you for posting this grand example of a 'tangent' from your home space. Your words are such reality and hope; your art sweet and equally hopeful. How grateful I am to be within the tent, a caravan of beautifully resilient folk who are making life anew.

Lucky us to see this art and someday I would love to try watercolours for fun ... along with milk paint what gentle media.

Mahalo, mahalo friend,

Liberty said...

Thank you Mokihana!
I am honoured to be 'in the tent' with you :-)
You have such a gift with words to make people feel special and see! Thank you~
When the time comes to try watercolours, feel free to contact me and I can give some tips to make them easier from an MCS standpoint.
Many blessings,

canary said...

Liberty, I enjoyed your joyful,bright artwork. Could you tell me the brand names of paints/ink/pens/markers you use. And could you share your non-toxic glue recipe?



canary said...


Thank you for pulling together such a great Canary Caravan Carnival!

I'm still enjoying exploring it.


Susie Collins said...

I love your artwork, Liberty! Joyful.

Mokihana Calizar said...

Aloha All,

I'm back at the library computer with my I Can Breathe Mask in place and a seriously challenging sinus problem.

Thank you all for your Carnival comments. It has been a wonderful manifestation. Difficult doesn't mean it can't be done ... with cooperation, and acceptance of my limits I do what I can and ask for help.


Liberty said...

thank you Cheryl and Susie!

@Cheryl, I am working on a post on my MCS blog about art supplies that have been safer for me.
When I was worse than I am now, I was not able to use any markers and only one brand of pens (and no inks).
The pens that worked for me were Uniball Vision line and Uniball Deluxe line.
Now I can use pretty much any pen - even ballpoint (I used to be unable to be in the room if they were being used).
The first markers I was able to use were Prang fine line. The first paints were Prang semi-moist watercolours. They are not wet - they are a solid cake in a pan that you add water to as you paint. The w/colour paints in tubes mostly have a lot of toxic stuff in them. There are a number of pan w/colours but there worked best for me out of the ones I tried and had the bonus of being affordable.

The non-toxic glue recipe is one I had some trouble with when I was worse because it has some vinegar in it. Which I reacted to. But I am now fine with it.
Here's a link to the recipe:

I have tried making my own casein based glue too but it's far more work and this stuff works alright. I keep it in the fridge and rewarm it when I want to use it. It can take a bit of experimenting to find the ratio of ingredients that works best for you. And it's a different method of applying because it must be done quickly before it begins setting.
I can now use gluesticks by Elmer though they are not perfect.

If you end up sharing any of your creative endeavours online, please let me know! I'd love to see them :-)