We are captive on the carousel of time…


On the carousel of time, we can only look behind.

I am reminded, especially in June with two birthdays and a wedding anniversary, of years passing.

When, for a second time,  I sketched my oldest grandchild, I hummed Abba’s lyrics, "Slipping Through my Fingers", for days. The first portrait I painted of her is found at the end of this blog post.

So, as I look back to this youngest grandchild who will be nine on Tuesday next week, I think of Joni Mitchell's song, The Circle Game. (This post was first published in June 2018).


pointillism - Christmas 2013

Christmas (2013). Mixed media on 6 X 9 Watercolour Bee Paper.


I am captive on the carousel of time.

There is a kind of melancholy that sets in when I see how quickly my grandchildren are growing. We are all captive on that same carousel of time. And the reality of the whirlwind of years going by, is captured in photos, and now, in my paintings as well.

In 2013, I set myself a goal of painting my grandchildren with Prismacolor pencils. As you can see, it took me three years to have all three completed. Of course, I didn't work on each for a whole year, but it sure felt like it!

Cooling off 2010 - prismacolor
Prismacolor portrait - completed in summer 2013

Back then, I had not started using acrylics and other mediums. I worked with pencils only, a very time consuming, labour intensive project.

First artistic goals reached.

Looking back on these portraits, I see many errors. However, I am satisfied that I met my goal. They capture something of a likeness of the children. At the time, it was the best I could do.

Of course I feel a bit of trepidation sharing these early photos in which I see my flaws. But then, I tell myself we all have to start somewhere. I am satisfied that I started and continued through the challenging parts when it would have been easier to give up. Thankfully, I had so many other artists encouraging me and telling me that everything I was experiencing was entirely normal.

It was the beginning of my journey as an artist. I already had the pencils for painting pet portraits of which I had done a few even while working. So I simply used the materials I had at the time. Since then, I have moved on to acrylics and my coloured pencils are gathering dust. No doubt the urge to use them will return some day!

As June comes to an end, and two birthdays are celebrated, I think of the seasons and the years going "round and round", faster and faster.

framed Cooling off 2010- Prismacolor pencil

Cooling Off - framed and gifted in 2013.

And the seasons they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We're captive on the carousel of time
We can't return we can only look behind
From where we came
And go round and round and round
In the circle game

- Joni Mitchell (Canadian singer and songwriter)

2 Responses

    • Thanks Sally. I am glad I got them done in less than three years! I think I was more focused when I had only coloured pencils as supplies. Now that I have so much choice, sometimes, I don’t know where to start! Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. I look forward to opening up my WordPress dashboard to see what you have written! xx

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *