100 days: 8-13


So here’s the thing: I’m not ordinarily a jump-out-of-bed-filled-with-enthusiasm-for-the-new-day kinda gal

(Oh, how I wish… I’m working on this one)

And I get twitchy at the thought of constraining myself to  a regular routine. 

I’m not quite sure why the disparity between the me I’d like to embody and the me I currently am, other than  – the reason for most things – people are complicated creatures.

It’s part of my BIG WHY behind taking on this challenge

It’s a practice within a practice, the bigger challenge of this life: to keep learning, keep evolving, keep shape-shifting – to become a morning person, a person who carries a sketchbook, a person who can draw circles and faces and recognisable things without drowning in judgement and criticism…. a person with a wholesome, creative, regular daily habit —  to who knows what next.

I figure only practice will get me from the version of the person I’m being now to the one I want to be next. One step in front of the other, one page at a time.


Here is week 2:

 

8/100

8 7

I am magnetised by trees, hypnotised. I can just stand and stare at them. And I do. One of the (many) reasons, I love the shapes the branches make – the gaps and spaces – like windows to the sky.

 

9/100

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I forget what or where this was. I don’t think that matters much. What’s most interesting to me is all the metaphors this brings to mind. Today I’m thinking about junctions, connections, the joining togetherness and shifts in direction.

 

10/100

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I notice how today I’m just not feeling it. I get caught up in the details and miss the bigger picture. The perspective is skewed and botched. And I say ‘but it’s art, it’s a drawing not an exact copy. It’s *inspired by* …’ while all the while I’m wanting to practice and get better at observing, at seeing the whole picture, at planning and scaling and accuracy and all that stuff. It’s all metaphors and it’s all practice.

 

11/100

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This is a path I’ve walked down hundreds of times, a shortcut between two rows of houses. In the morning the sun shines through the tunnel of overhanging trees and dapples the path. Already I’m thinking I’d like to revisit this photo, see it through the eyes of a me-on-another-day.

 

12/100

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I found this curious group in a shop in Washington. I was travelling light so could only come away with this photo. In my drawing I could only fit three of the characters, so the others might appear later in the book (I feel like they should be together in some form). In the drawing the two on the left look a little conspiratorial while the green dude on the right looks worried. I only noticed this just now. What do they know that I don’t? Has separating them from the herd caused some friction? 

 

13/100

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It’s curious (to me) how taking a photo traps a moment, a memory, and holds it, contained in a little rectangle. This rectangle contains the mixed feelings of the drive to the airport, going home from a holiday, in a place I called my second home for sometime.

 


 

If you want to follow along this project day by day I’m posting on Instagram (where you can also see more WIP & detail pix) & Facebook

Do you have a daily creative practice? I’d love to know how you find it effects the way you make, the way you process your ideas…

 


All through this summer I’m offering a special discount in my Etsy Shop to all the folks on my mailing list – so clickety-hop aboard today if you want to snag a bargain!

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(and I’ll send you my ebook A Year full of Color as a thank you for joining)
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100 days: 1-7


MY last trip to the art store was for essentials: gel medium and canvas. I passed through aisles filled with rainbows of paint and pens and all manner of glorious goodies. I resisted the urge to take home so much of so much. 

Until I saw this.

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my companion for the summer

I keep seeing on instagram folks doing this #100daychallenge and feeling the tug of a challenge I wanted to play along too… straightaway I knew this little sketchbook would make the perfect companion for me through this summer.

Beginning 1st June I’ve been taking my morning coffee with this new friend. Together we ease into the day. The light mornings mean my days begin earlier in the summer, it’s still quiet out in the world and nobody knows I’m awake, not even the internet.

Each day I choose a photo from the extensive collection in my phone (I’m forever seeing and catching patterns or shapes that intrigue me – finally I’m using this library – to begin my day’s doodles)

Here’s the first week of the adventure:

1/100

Photo from the Pink Floyd retrospective at the V&A – PF have been part of my life since I was a kid and I’ve got so many memories tangled up in their music. I don’t listen to it much these days, so hearing some of those songs again, I got quite emotional. When I was a teenager I went through a real hippy dippy phase. (It could be argued I haven’t come out if it yet) and I adored early PF and all the psychedelic things.

2/100

Still in the V&A, I forget what this is the detail of, but the patterns appealed and was enough to form the beginning of today’s doodle. I was listening to an Unruffled podcast, chichis where the quote “comparison and envy are just a different form of procrastination” came from. Food for thought for the day.

3/100

Today’s doodles began as I absentmindedly drew round the shapes showing through from the page before. The indentations in the paper. The shadows and ghosts of yesterday. Then the shapes from a photo in the Cathedral in Barcelona, I was really taken by this arrangement of diagonal lines and circles. It’s one of a few similar photos 😉 .

4/100

The photo that launched today’s doodle was a shop window display. My inner magpie saw those colors, those zigzags, and had to catch them. The reflections making new shapes on top were a bonus I didn’t see until later.

5/100

The photo is of a metal grid thing at the train station in Sacramento, I saw while waiting to leave on the second part of my big train trip across the US last year. I like the perspective, the contrast in grid shapes. It set the scene for this doodle.

6/100

Mmmmm…. foxgloves. What more can I say – aren’t flowers amazing?!

7/100

Continuing the theme of nature being amazing, with this twisty tree from Kew Gardens. “Healing in Expression” was a phrase I heard as I played. Which is truly what this is.

If you want to follow along this project day by day I’m posting on Instagram (where you can also see more WIP & detail pix) & Facebook

 


Would you like to get sporadic updates on my thoughts and drawings delivered right to your inbox? Hop onto my email list right here.

(and I’ll send you my ebook A Year full of Color as a thank you for joining)
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Your email is utterly safe to me. It will be wrapped up in blankets. I will bring it tea and biscuits as required. (subject to availability)

 

 

art is everywhere…


…but you knew that, right?

I’ve been looking at some of my old sketchbooks. Back in 2011 I did a textile art workshop. The topic for our designs was grids.

The week before I’d been to the Kniting & Stitching Show at Ally Pally – I came home with bags of new goodies to play with, and a camera full of ideas.

I was really struck by these images of the frondy leaves against the metal framework of the glass roof. Grids!! These were the grids I focussed on at the workshop…

…which quickly evolved into these…

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You can see the real frondiness of the cut out pages come to life here…

The magic of this sketchbook, even 5 years on, I still get new ideas rush at me as I flick through the pages.

Do you look back through old art journals and sketchbooks? Do they keep sparking new ideas even years later? Next time you’ve got a few minutes spare and they’re ready to hand, open one up somewhere in the middle and see if it stirs some long forgotten inspiration. Seeds of thoughts you planted way-back-when. They might yet grow into something beautiful!

 


Would you like to get sporadic updates on my thinkings and doings delivered right to your inbox? Hop onto my email list right here.

(and I’ll send you my ebook A Year full of Color as a thank you for joining)

Your email is utterly safe to me. It will be wrapped up snug in a fluffy blanket & nestled with a puppy until the spring arrives. I will bring it tea and a bun if it wakes up.

 

TWELVTY Prize Draw


This week I’m giving away TWO FREE places in TWELVTY.

TWELVTY is an adventure in color that runs all through 2017 where we explore the 12 colors of the color wheel one month at a time. 

In TWELVTY you get access to a wealth of delicious color resources, exclusive videos of my creative process every week, and can join a wonderful online community of creatives. And much, muchier more! (More details here)

Want in? just sign up to my email list here and reply to the welcome email with the subject line “I’m In!” to enter

Winners will be notified on Saturday 25th Feb. Good luck!

(and I’ll send you my ebook A Year full of Color as a thank you for joining)

The doors close to new members of the TWELVTY tribe at the end of Feb, so if you get lit up by color and think this is something you’d like to be a part of you have until 28 Feb to jump aboard. I don’t know if I’ll run this program again – next year I have other adventures lined up – this could be now or never!

(here’s the project that planted the seed in my imagination to create TWELVTY)

Want to know more? Ask me in the comments below 🙂

Happy Birthday!


(But more on that in a moment… first let me set the scene…)

I was telling you about how TWELVTY has begun to take on a life of its own. It’s just a few weeks into its year long life and it’s not going the way I imagined…

Instead of being the set of 12 individual colored months, like I first planned, TWELVTY is turning into a story made of 12 chapters. They are woven together and already I can see that taken separately they lose the essential essence of the story. The full year of color has a life the months alone can’t provide. 

To begin I wanted to make this program available to join throughout the year, but what I didn’t know then was how all-encompassing it was to become! It’s grown beyond my imaginings, and to be honest if someone was to join later in the year I don’t think they’d get the full magic of being a part of TWELVTY just by accessing the material retrospectively.

So I’ve decided to close the doors on TWELVTY at the end of this month.
No more new recruits after the end of February. 
 

But wait up! that’s not all….
Before the doors close, as today is my birthday ………

I’m going to gift 2 FREE PLACES in TWELVTY 2017 in a Prize Draw.

The prize draw runs from Friday 17th Feb for ONE WEEK.
Winners will be notified Saturday 25th February.

 

Are you someone who gets all lit up about color?
Would you love to join a tribe of creatives who are just like us?

If so, just jump on my mailing list here and
reply to the welcome email with the title “I’M IN!”
to add your name to the hat for the prize draw.

(and as a welcome, you get this little ebook all about color when you join my list)

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Want to find out more about what’s in TWELVTY – it’s all  over here . I also did a big ole Q&A post over here. Or ask me in the comments – I’m massively excited about this – ask me anything! (anything about TWELVTY…I don’t have answers to much else!)

I don’t know if I’ll be offering this program again. Next year has different adventures in store for me, so this could be ‘now or never’, folks! 

A life of its own…


colorwheelspiralY’now I’ve been immersed in color for the last few months.  Not my usual multi-colored chaos (although there’s no escaping that) – but a very specific niche of color – as I explore and examine the color wheel.

It’s a project I played with a few years ago keeps returning to in one way or another.
It keeps coming back.
It’s a compulsion.

But this time is a little different: this time I’m joined by other artists and creatives, and we’re on this adventure together. And I’m totally loving it!

 

We began the year in shades of sunshine & lemon with YELLOW, and now in the second month we’ve stepped round to the luscious lime and sumptuous olive tones that fall into YELLOW-GREEN. Next month we explore GREEN… so on, cycling around the color wheel, a month at a time.

 

 

The thing is, since I decided to share this color journey, it’s taken on a momentum and is developing a character of its own. (As big projects so often do).

 

As I plan forward into the upcoming months of colors I see this adventure develop into one big ongoing story, rather than the 12 little self-contained, single-color tales I first envisaged. I anticipated TWELVTY being the kind of course folks to hop on board any time through the year, with instant access to all the material to date.

…..But 6 or so weeks in, TWELVTY has become something much bigger than I realised it would be, and that simply isn’t the way it’s decided to grow.

So I’ve made a decision. 

Which I’ll tell you about on Friday.(Because Friday is special

Want to find out more about what’s in TWELVTY – it’s all  over here . I also did a big ole Q&A post over here. Or ask me in the comments – I’m massively excited about this – ask me anything! (anything about TWELVTY…I don’t have answers to much else!)

 


Hop on my mailing list here to get irregular updates on my colorful makings & doings direct to your inbox.

(and as a welcome, you get this little ebook all about color when you join)

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Playing 


“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”

~ George Bernard Shaw

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don’t stop  😉

Dawn


This morning I launched my newest project – a year full of color – “TWELVTY” All as scheduled, 9am my time, so the early wee hours for the cross-pond recipients.

Each month this year has it’s own color: January is yellow, and it’s flooding my thoughts.

It’s the sunrise of a new project. 

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each month I’ll be making art in just one color for TWELVTY: yellows gathered in readiness!

The idea came to me just a couple of months ago when I was on holiday. Bumbling about taking photos… as one does.

I notice color everywhere.

I had a moment of profound realisation when I found myself taking photos of a group of tourists emerging from their (red & blue) coach, just because almost all of them seemed to be dressed to match in some shades of red & blue….

I had one of those momentsDo other people see this too? 

Like the fish who doesn’t know it’s swimming in water, my ideas have only swum in my mind, I’ve got no comparison unless I step away and try to look in from outside.

I mentioned the tourists & matching coach to someone a few days later – with gushing enthusiasm – but was met with blank nothingness. Not even the edge of a WTF? response I sometimes get when I share arty revelations like this, just a totally empty, disinterested blankness.

That was the moment I knew: I need to connect up with others who see & appreciate what I see & appreciate. My tribe. We need each other.

We need each other in a world of unknown areas of empty, disinterested blankness, a world with WTF? reactions to gushing arty revelations.

We need to reflect back to each other the magic of seeing some crazy spontaneous colour synchronicity, of seeing some beautifully matched chance happening, some little something somewhere that gets overlooked by most but makes our hearts sing just because of its orangeness, or blueness, or purpleypink, or whateverness.

I love how the idea is resonating among the folks who’ve joined already, the excitement bubbling up, and most of all the anticipation of what will emerge from this group as the year unfolds.

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It’s going to be bright and glorious and I love it!


Want to make your 2017 brighter and more colorful?

Sign up below for more news on my doings & makings through the year, and get a lovingly hand crafted ebook all about color 

…oh, and you can join TWELVTY too !

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Be well, my friends, Much love to you all X

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(Your email is absolutely safe with me, I’ll just pop by and check up on it time to time, feed it biscuits, plump up its cushions, that sort of thing.)

TWELVTY Q&A


Still wondering if TWELVTY is for you? 

Not sure what TWELVTY is all about?

Read on…!

Q.  How long is the program & how much time will I need?

A.  TWELVTY runs from January through December 2017. Each month is dedicated to a single color.

How much time is your call, some months & colors will feel more inspiring and some months you’ll be more occupied in life. That’s how it goes 😉 It’s yours to fit in as it suits you – one month can blend into another like one color blends into another! 

The content for each month will take maybe an hour or two to read through, watch and absorb.

The material is full of prompts & inspiration more than tasks & homework – this is a resource you get to keep forever and can return to as often as you like, feeding it into your existing creative practice.

The online forum will run all year and be there to dip in and out of as you choose.

I will pop by the Facebook group at least 3 or 4 times a week, and you can email or message any time with questions. I aim to get back to you within 48  hours (usually much quicker!)

Q.   I only like *a specific color* – can I join for just that month?

A.  TWELVTY is about diving deep into the whole color wheel. I’ll be focusing in on a single color each month, but the real value is seeing each segment in the context of the whole.  If there are some colors you don’t much care for, then it’s only a month until we move on! And you might be surprised how much you find you like other colors when you explore them!

Q.   Can I join any time in the year?

A.   Because of the volume of content the doors to TWELVTY will close to new members at the end of February. If you join after January you will have immediate access to all the material up to the date you join.

Q.   What kind of content will there be & how often?

A.   At the start of every month I’ll send you a 15-20 page fully illustrated ebook  with loads of information about the month’s color. Something different each month to keep it inspiring from design, art through the ages, fashion,  color in nature, associations and meanings connected with the color, historical and cultural links around the world …loads of resources to follow up further if something really grabs your attention.

PLUS I’ll send you a weekly newsletter where I share videos & posts about my process as I work with the month’s color.

Q.   I’m a *specific kind of artist* is TWELVTY suitable for me?

A.   The program is adaptable to any medium, as the common link is color. Already we have a range of creatives including a writer and a weaver – so there are no limits on how color can be used to inspire!

I work mostly in mixed media and textile art, but every member of the tribe will bring something unique to the group, so the more diverse the group, the more inspiration we’ll be able to share together – I’m really excited to see what the group brings! 

Q.  How does the TWELVTY forum work?

A.   The forum is a private Facebook group for just the members of TWELVTY 2017 to share images of art they make and information they wish to share with the group. If you’d like to collaborate with someone in the group this is a great place to begin! When you sign up I’ll send you the link so we can add you to the group. 

Each month/color has its own Pinterest board where links to color related articles & such-like shared on the Facebook forum can be mirrored to build an online collection of resources color by color.

Q.   What materials and art supplies will I need?

A.   Part of the challenge of working in one color & restricting your palette so your imagination gets stretched. Less really is more in this case! So unless you’re asking for a reason to go shopping, you can probably use what you already have! 😉

That said, how you choose to take TWELVTY into your practice is a personal choice. 

Ideas for series you might want to play with:

Photography: each month’s color in nature, urban landscape, people and animals, fashion, architecture…

Painting (watercolor, acrylic, oil, pastels, digital art…):  each month’s color in portraits, landscapes, abstracts… One big painting or a series of small ones each month… One BIG canvas divided in 12 that you work on through the year…

Art Journalling: each month’s color for page backgrounds – painted, printed, collaged, mixed media techniques. Journal about how the color makes you feel, connections it has in your life, memories it conjures up. Find quotes and poems and inspiring words to add.

Textile Art (Sewing, knitting, quilting, weaving, embroidery, patchwork…): A piece each month in each color that can be combined at the end of the year… A fabulously colorful garment or large work you add to through the year…

Poetry, Prose, Word Art: Take the information on each color to inspire your writing, develop a character, set a scene, describe an atmosphere… Maybe set a weekly/monthly word count target for each color. Decorate your writing with the color to fully embody it.

Video, Film, Vlogging: Find ways to bring the month’s color into your scene, discuss what the color means to you, where you find it, take us on a journey to seek it out! 

Incorporate the color in your life: Not a creative practice, per se, but keep the color in your awareness by keeping something with you: maybe an item of clothing or piece of jewellery, or something small like a badge or pin you can wear through the month.

Maybe set the wallpaper on your phone or laptop to the month’s color, or an image you love in that color. A little reminder your subconscious will notice long after you forget it’s there!

Or how about a note to yourself, an affirmation, a quote, written in/on that color to keep in your pocket or wallet, or somewhere you’ll see it everyday like a bedside table or on the fridge or mirror…

What else? Let me know! Let’s jump into 2017 and bring the color alive!

Want more color inspiration? get my Year full of Color ebook:

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Be well, my friends, Much love to you all X

**********************************

(Your email is absolutely safe with me, I’ll just pop by and check up on it time to time, feed it biscuits, plump up its cushions, that sort of thing.)

The world is bigger…


So here’s the thing I keep coming back to: how many people do I know? how many do you know?

Finding the color in everyday things

I’m not big on movies & tv & such, I don’t remember actor’s names or follow their public lifestyles. Despite this I’m aware there are way more folks in my orbit than there would have been for someone like me just a few generations back. Maybe you’ve got more?

I ‘know’ some of people who will read this, we haven’t met and probably never will, but we share thoughts an opinions from across the world and life feels richer as a result.

I’ve got a sense of knowing some people through youtube & blogs & social media – they don’t know me at all but they bring a brightness into my days with the parts of their lives they show.

In the big scheme, this is very new.

Noticing the color in everyday things

Because of social media and modern life I’m in touch with friends from waybackwhen and family I previously didn’t know at all.

Suddenly it became so easy to type little messages to each other, to find common ground through memes and whatnot, to ‘know’ more people, sort of spend time with them.

Looking at the color in everyday things

So together we’re all trundling along this finite lifeline, we don’t know when it will stop and our job (IMO) is to make the best of what we have in this blip of time.

Seeing others we know (in any sense) fall off that time-line is a reminder of our mortality. There’s a sense of don’t leave me here – I don’t know where I am.

The wonder of the color in everyday things

So what to do?

Find the joy where we can, hold each other up, share the moments of love and fun and lightness, let it ripple outwards and who knows how many lives it might reach.

That’s all we really got.

Because color is everywhere in everyday things

We’re all here to find our own way; find what works for us and when we find the ones who share what lights us up there’s a sense of being on track. Whatever it is we’re meant to be here for, we’ve got each other. We are walking each other home, as Ram Dass said.

Enjoying the color in everyday things

My passion is color. If yours is too, or if you’d like to find out more about my fascination, I made this for you. Just add your email below and I’ll send it over to you.

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Be well, my friends, Much love to you all X

**********************************

(Your email is absolutely safe with me, I’ll just pop by and check up on it time to time, feed it biscuits, plump up its cushions, that sort of thing.)