My Brain went on Vacation. I Did Not.

I realized this morning that it’s been over a week since I last posted. Maybe longer. That’s not because I’ve been doing anything productive, believe me. More like my brain has decided to go on vacation without me. That’s very sad, and really leaves me for a loss. I mean, the brain is a rather necessary thing to have in your life – even if it doesn’t get used as often or in the way it should.

So after a week of sitting around, more or less blithering nonsensically, I’m going to give putting some words on virtual paper a go. Just to see what comes out. I must warn you to proceed at your own risk. There are no guarantees about what might follow.

I have been having some issues with dizziness for a couple of months now. In the beginning, I figured it had to do with a wax buildup in the ear canal, so I did all those things the internet suggests to clear that up. Nothing came out that proved that theory, so my brain moved on. Building a mountain out of an ant hill, of course, because that’s one of the things it does best. It decided first that I must be anemic, but how could I possibly be anemic? Then it went, well alright, maybe you’re not anemic, maybe you have a brain tumor. Oh, that’s so much better, I said to my brain. Maybe you should go to the doctor – but no, maybe not, because people with the flu will be at the doctor’s office and I’ve been avoiding a lot of contact with the public sector during this flu season. Besides, you know the doctor will just want to run a lot of tests, and my past experience is they test for a lot of things, but never quite the thing that is actually causing the problem.

Then one day, a Facebook post on one of the alcohol ink groups stopped me in my tracks and made me think a bit. Yes, I can do that when I must. A woman posted how her husband was concerned that she was working in their basement without much ventilation with alcohol inks. Of course, the inks contain alcohol, and a lot of regular alcohol is used in doing the paintings. Alcohol = fumes, he said. Toxic fumes. So they tested the toxicity in the air in the basement when she was painting. Not good! Really not good! Which suggests if you are in a space that is not well ventilated you should probably use a respirator – most masks will not filter out that type of toxicity. I decided to forego inking for a while, just to see what happened. You want to know what is happening? The dizziness is gradually going away. My conclusion is that unless I wish to prepare as if I was entering a hazardous waste zone, I should find some other hobby.

My choice – let’s try acrylic painting. After all, I worked with oils several years ago. So I did some shopping – online and at my local-ish Michaels. Nothing is really local here. What did I learn? Starting a new hobby is not cheap. But the shopping for it can be fun. I’ve been watching You Tube tutorials, which may or may not be a good idea, because the people doing the tutorials are so good and make it look so easy, what if my attempts are . . . bad? I watch tutorials and think about sitting down to canvas with brush and paints at hand. Maybe today. . . I’ll keep you posted.

Otherwise, things in the news keep me sort of alert. Sort of angry, too often, sort of laughing sarcastically sometimes, making me wonder what so many have done with their brains, since it appears they’re not being used to their maximum ability. Or even minimum ability. I’ll delve into politics no further this time.

I watch the birds and the squirrels as they dine on the food I put out for them. I wonder why it is that there seems to be a limit to the number of each of them that can “sit down at a table” together. There’s more than enough room for three squirrels, for instance, but the third one is rarely welcomed, usually chased off. It’s the same with the Asian Collared Doves that appear – there is always one dove that does not tolerate another one within eyesight. They have quite a lot in common with humans, my brain says, when it’s talking to me.

That seems to be what I have to say this morning, so maybe I’ll go watch another painting tutorial, or maybe I’ll actually sit down, pick up brush, put some paint on the palette and give it a go. In the meantime, I’d like to share with you what might be my last ink, or might just be the last ink I do before I can open windows in here. There is always light at the end of the tunnel:

About Carol

I'm me - nothing unusual, just me. Widowed, 2 grown children who are my best friends, 1 dog, retired, loving being retired. I am woman, I am strong.
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23 Responses to My Brain went on Vacation. I Did Not.

  1. pattisj says:

    Wow, I’m glad you likely found your answer, and look at all the money you saved by not getting poked and prodded! Buy art supplies with it! One of my granddaughters has a severe reaction to alcohol.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. dawnkinster says:

    I hope this is not your last ink. Though I think it’s stunning, reminds me of northern lights. Let’s just say you’re giving inks a rest until spring. You can have a spring/summer/fall hobby and a winter hobby. I am looking forward to seeing what happens with acrylics. I’ve been thinking about them too, and have watched a few tutorials. Have you seen the ones where they mix it with some sort of something, in cups, and then stir the colors somewhat together and then tip it over on the canvas and let it run The chemical they put in, which I can’t remember what is, makes bubbles and the paint swirls around. It looks fun, though a royal waste of paint…and I don’t know how many of them I’d want to do, but it still looks fun.

    I think I need a drawing class before I try more watercolors. And maybe watercolors won’t be my thing, as they seem less then spontaneous. Still I like messing with them. So we’ll see. I have no idea how to do acrylics. Guess I should go watch YouTube. In fact I think I was attempting to do that when I found the bubble videos.


    • Carol says:

      I’ve seen several of those pouring with acrylics – they use a liquid acrylic for that and I’ve heard what makes the bubbles, but now don’t remember. Some people will pour with a combination of ink and acrylics, others mix one of the two mediums with resin and pour. I agree, the results are interesting, but the amount of paint used must be incredible. I tried watercolor back in the day when I was doing a lot of oils, but I was never able to really master it. It caused more frustration than anything else for me. I liked oils, but I did not like the clean up. I think working with acrylics will be much like oils, except they do dry much faster. And I think I probably will do inks again, when the weather is warm enough to open windows and have a fan going. I’d say to you, go for whatever sounds interesting – at least then you’ll know if it’s something you want to continue.



  3. dawnkinster says:

    PS: Do you drop salt into the inks to make that effect? OR something else?


    • Carol says:

      That one started out completely different from how it ended up. I did one thing, didn’t like it, changed it some, didn’t like it, poured alcohol all over and let it run down, then started to see trees and there was a light spot where the light is, so I added some yellow ink and started lifting the ink to make white tree trunks, but this one was on Yupo and it stains pretty easily so I wasn’t getting white enough. That made it time for a brush and brown ink. Then I decided I needed leaves, so I took a small piece of sea sponge and dripped some alcohol on it to lift the inks, which created the leaf affect. Then I dabbed the dampened sea sponge around on the ground area. Strange things often happen with inks.


      Liked by 1 person

  4. Robin says:

    Oh my goodness, Carol. That ink work is gorgeous. I love it. I’m so glad you figured out what was making you dizzy. Things in the news sort of keep me alert, too, and all of those other things. Maybe some of the higher ups in government need to check to see what kind of toxic air they’ve been breathing. It’s making their brains weird.


  5. Oh my stars and garters!

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Donnalee says:

    There is a wonderful blog called Muddy Colours that you may know, and in the past six months or so they did some writeups about toxicity in paints and working with it., especially for artists who work at home or have small studios. That might be of interest to you. The artciels are free and I love the blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. loisajay says:

    You are so right about the clinics being filled with potential flu patients! I’m glad that you found out what is causing the dizziness, Carol. All those what-ifs can drive you nuts. You are a talented artist so I am looking forward to seeing your work with acrylics.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Ally Bean says:

    What a strange turn of events. I’m like you in that I won’t get messed up with any doc unless it’s totally necessary. Your realization is wonderful news if only that it keeps you away from the medicos. I look forward to seeing your artwork with your new paints– and learning about how working with them is for you. A woman who is not dizzy.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Lisa says:

    I was going to suggest dehydration as a reason for dizziness but can totally see the inks being the culprit. Perhaps, if you’re in a room with a window, you could set up a fan by a cracked-open window and circulate the air. But, if you choose to try acrylics, I’m sure you’ll be very good at that as well. I’ve always wondered the same thing about birds and bird feeders. Seems like the finches play well together, but no one can inter-species with the feeder! And, I’m completely with you about staying away from places where sick people gather (doctor’s offices, hospitals etc) This flu is nothing to take lightly this year. Very scary. I hope the coming week is kind to you. xoxoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  10. leendadll says:

    glad your dizziness turned out to be something simple! good luck with the acrylics. i’ve never tried painting with acrylic or oils.
    in my yard, the hummingbird limit is 2… though it seems to be a territorial issue. 2 seems to get along but a third, which usually arrives solo, is often run off by any hummingbird that is already here.


    • Carol says:

      They are very territorial. I generally end up with 2 or 3 pair of Anna’s and 2 or 3 pair of Rufous in the summers, with occasional visits from the Calliope, and I put 4 feeders out, but it’s rare when more than one hummingbird can eat at a feeder at a time.



  11. I am glad that you worked out what was causing your dizziness but I hope you don’t have to give up the inking altogether. Maybe a warm weather hobby as some have suggested. In the meantime it is fun to shop for a new hobby and the change of pace might stir the creative urges all over again.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Joanne says:

    I’m so pleased to hear you worked out the cause of your dizziness Carol, but giving up ink painting?! You are so good at it and I love your work. Have you considered trying a different brand of paint? Painting outdoors? Of course, painting outside in the open air would be seasonal for you. But as you said, there are other hobbies you can pursue also…
    And if you give up ink painting, I do have my beautiful hummingbirds to admire. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I’m glad the dizziness has an explanation now – and a simple one. I noticed a similar thing with birds at our bird feeders – there might be 8 blue tits all waiting to eat, but only two or three would ever be on the feeder at once (even though there would be room for more). I wondered if it was some kind of safety thing – they always need to have colleagues on ‘guard’ in case of predators.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I am relieved to hear the conclusion to the story about your dizzy spells. Unfortunate that you will have to wait until you can paint outside, but wonderful that there is a simple explanation and no medical exams. Thankfully, we are halfway through February so maybe within 2 months you can try your inks again. Until then, enjoy your acrylic venture!

    Liked by 1 person

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