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  • Writer's pictureAlanda Calmus

Don’t Stop Me Now!

Original painting

“Unable are the loved to die, for love is immortality.” Emily Dickinson

A Life Well Lived

On 15th April 2021 my dear grandmother passed away peacefully in her sleep at the age of 98. I was fortunate to be the last family member to see her the day before. I was able to give her the biggest hug and tell her how loved she was by everyone. She was laughing and joking with me as usual and we left each other with a smile. As I left the sun was shining and I wished that she could feel its warmth again. I didn’t think it would be possible since she had been in bed poorly for some time. The day she died a small miracle occurred and she was able to spend the afternoon outside with her friends in the care home garden enjoying the Spring sunshine. I’m so grateful that she had that wonderful day and was in good spirits before she left us .

Joan Prentice 23rd Nov 1922 – 15th April 2021

I wrote most of this post before my grandma died and I debated whether to hold off publishing it but Gran was such a fun loving person and the painting I’m writing about here was one of her favourites. Whenever I’d visit her at the care home, she always wanted to see what I’d been painting so sometimes I’d show her photos on my phone and other times, if it was practical, I’d take an actual painting. When I took the original of this vibrant hare to show her last Summer, she really lit up. She loved how bright and cheery it was. I figure this is a fitting tribute to her fun loving side.

Looking on the Bright Side

Maintaining a positive outlook is something that can prove to be rather a struggle at times, particularly under difficult or upsetting circumstances. When we feel under pressure, it can be hard to see the positive side of things. I am not immune to this. I’m a highly empathic introvert who, as a child carried the weight of the world on my shoulders and as a grown adult and mother, still sometimes feel overwhelmed by what happens in the world around me. With experience and some help, I’ve developed strategies to turn these feelings around a lot quicker.

“It’s a helluva start, being able to recognize what makes you happy!” Lucille Ball

One of the best tools I have available to me, to help clear my mind, is painting. Whenever I paint, I naturally zone out the world around me and all the worries in my head just fade away. The stillness I experience whilst practising my art can be as beneficial to my well-being as any form of meditation or spiritual practice. As an added bonus, I find that my work has further reaching therapeutic effects, more than just those provided by the painting process itself.

I highly recommend finding an activity that offers respite during challenging times. Not sure what? Why not try different things until something clicks? You may be surprised at how effective simple pleasures are at reducing stress.

Why So Serious?

Looking back over my life I see how my own seriousness has often held me back from fully experiencing so many of life’s pleasures. It seems to me now though, that the more serious life gets, the more important it is to have fun and be expressive in my joy. Not only for my own benefit but also to encourage others to do the same. I’ve always had a silly streak but my daft sense of humour has mostly been reserved for those closest to me. I need to remind myself to see the lighter side of things wherever possible because life is far too short, even if you reach the grand age of 98, not to try and find every possible reason to be happy.

The Spirit of Joy.

One of the first paintings I created when I began my shift from traditional realism into energy art was this vibrant hare which I appropriately named “Don’t Stop Me Now!” The first expressive paint marks were made whilst listening to that song by Queen.. It has always been a favourite of mine and I can’t help but feel energised by it. The timing of this painting happened to coincide with a full moon and lunar eclipse which astrologically signifies a life-correcting change of direction. Well, that was certainly what happened for me!

Painting this was such a joyful experience that it completely changed the way I saw my work. It made me reflect on what I wanted my art to represent in the future.

First expressive paint marks

There is so much enthusiasm channelled into this painting. It is the raw spark of fun. The message here is clear. Follow the joy. Notice whatever lightens your heart and makes you feel happier. Check in with that feeling regularly because it will give you direction. If you feel stuck, find the flicker of fun in whatever you are doing and watch for where you can encourage more of that feeling. If you find yourself lacking joy in your life, this is your reminder to change your focus to include more of what makes you smile. A spirit of gratitude for even just the little things can make a world of difference to your outlook.

Don’t Stop Me Now

Currently available from The Gallery in Aberlour & Spey Sport

Contact Tel 01340 871 457

79 High Street, Aberlour AB38 9QB


Whenever I feel that I’ve become too serious and external circumstances are getting me down, I tune into the energy of this painting and it reminds me to lighten up. It encourages me to be more playful. It tells me that I need to focus on the positive and do more things that bring me pleasure in life. That little reminder is often all the nudge I need to get me back on track. I remember to be a little silly, hug my loved ones, dance in the kitchen, or sing at the top of my voice. I pause to breathe in life and breathe out stress and to appreciate all that I have.

With each reminder I have found that I am creating a better life for myself.

New Print Release.


Supporting Information

I have thrree sizes of prints available for “Don’t Stop Me Now”. The largest of which is the same size as the original painting including a 2cm white border all round. These archival quality, giclée art prints, are professionally printed on 310gsm Hahnemühle Pearl paper. Print prices include worldwide postage. They are sent direct from the print service provider.

My wider intention for this new visionary work is to affect positive mindset changes in others. I have worked to include more information on the themes present in each image. There are also instructions for how to connect with the energy of each piece. I have compiled this information in the form of complimentary downloadable PDFs. Each PDF gives an overall intention and detailed themes, as well as my personal notes on each piece. It also includes astrological timings, suggested affirmations and a little bit of magic. These are an entirely optional supplement to the print. You can choose to enjoy the images just as they are if you prefer.

Coming Soon.

I will be releasing new original artwork and more prints soon. I also have a free gift planned for you with the next newsletter. If you haven’t already signed up to be notified of updates, you can do so here.

Thank you for your interest in my work. Wishing you joy, fun and laughter wherever you can find it.

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