embodying art


This week I joined in  the 21 day  painting challenge from Dirtyfootprints Studio #21emBODY which runs up to the start of the new 21 Secrets release which is – you guessed it – called emBODY.

Everyday there’s a prompt. I love this kinda thing! Some direction to my art practice, no pressure, dip in and out as time allows.

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I bought a new sketchbook especially for this!

Yay! 

But this isn’t just a painting challenge for me.

It’s got an edge of something a wee bit more challenging for me. Not just that I don’t usually paint ‘real’ things.

No, that’s not the big part of the challenge for me.

Here’s a thing you might not know about me: I am super squeamish. Like, properly, pathetically so.

Like all of us, I’m custodian of a human body for the duration of this life. It’s got the usual collection of giblets – sorry – offal – no, wait, what is it … organs. (see, I joke, but I don’t like to even type about the squishy oozing mechanics of the insides).

I’m massively blessed that mine are well behaved and seem to get on with doing their thing without much active attention from me. For this I am, massively grateful. Massively.  Thank you, insides.

Nonetheless, it would be very helpful to get over these squeams, so I’m taking this on as a project, as much to befriend my insides, as to practice my art.

The challenge began on Monday with lungs.

Oooh err… *slight swooning… *

With a loose sense of the geography of a lung… it’s like a cross between broccoli and a sponge, right? Fractal-like, branches branching off branches off branches….

I ventured into Google image search with some trepidation. Certain it understood I wanted lung diagrams for reference, not a screen full of redness, people-meat and horror.

Here’s how my ‘lungs’ came out… it was fun. Yup – progressing from something a bit like the diagram quickly into upside down ears, a butterfly, filled with upside down trees, sea monsters, more swirls… and many layers of color. Here are my evolving lungs:

Ok…Onto the heart next. Question is, do I look for another medical diagram, or do I bale and do something


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hatching plans…


I’m planning to put together a video showing the evolution of these pages.IMG_7642

From their kinda ugly beginnings based on indecision – paint – no, pen – no this colour – no, blobs not spirals, no -wait, ….

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through the messy phase (phase!!)

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The bits that look more complicated than they really are (maybe)

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Over and over in layers

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We’ll be able to see the bits that get obliterated along the way & the bits that keep shining through

doubtless we’ll be joined by some of the recurring creatures -like these cut out birds who keep flying back in…

I’m intrigued to watch the process from the outside too – let’s hope for a nice bright day at the weekend and I’ll see what I can conjure up!!

Have a wonderful weekend everylovelyone 😀

 

 

 

 

 

 

derailed logic


You know me well enough by now – you know not to expect a simple train of logic, don’t you?

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When I found this anonymous model, the leopardskin, that sultry seductive look, and all the glamour of the 1940’s ‘do — and I don’t remember the exact connecting train of thought that same next –– I just straight away thought mermaid.

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Of course, right? <welcome to my world!>

the str-e-e-e-tch


This guy was in a yoga magazine before he got here. In between times he’s been hanging out in my collection of cut out magazine snippings.ephemeralgecko72Trikonasana.jpg

I haven’t attempted this asana for a long while, it’s one that feels amazing at full stretch with straight limbs like this, but limbs and joints don’t always want to cooperate…

So he’s here as a reminder of what I can do on a good day, and good days are returning.

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Meanwhile I’ll focus my dexterity on scissor work and paintbrush wielding 😉

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circus of uncertainty


It’s a continuing theme…

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We are back in the book again. Come in, have a stroll round…

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It’s a bit wordy underfoot so mind your step.

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There’s a regularity to the irregular once you get used to it here.

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There’s a quiet comfort in the uncertainty.

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And as in the parallel world outside, no-one’s really sure what’s going on.

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“Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart.
…live in the question.”

Rainer Maria Rilke

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Welcome to my circus of uncertainty

 

 

 

merging emerging


Last night I couldn’t sleep. So I painted. And I pondered.

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The magic of metallic paint on cushiony soft paper, that biro marks indent and cast tiny shadow outlines.

Life is as quick as a flash, a sprint through some generations and it’s done.

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And life is a slow evolution, spiralling up through understanding new layers of the game.

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It’s both.

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Everything & Nothing. Empty & Full.

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Contrast & Confusion. Zigs & Zags.

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Deep & Shallow.

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Some folk like to scramble the edge, following the truths they’ve chosen to absorb, busying away their days in occupation and activity, punctuated with ritual and escapism.

IMG_7349.jpgFearful of treading over the lines, getting their toes wet, or worse.

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Some folk run at it fast, not leaving anything to chance, escaping the dangers by out-running and out-witting. No way is right, no way is wrong. We’re all just making it up one bit at a time.

~~~~~

I’ve been listening to Pete Holmes’ podcasts: You Made It WeirdHe kept me company through the night, kept me laughing and thinking. So far I’ve really love love loved his interactions with Liz Gilbert & Deepak Chopra and been curiously riled by Noel Gallagher &  Tim Minchin.

Scraps of Serendipity


How to make a decision, how to avoid paralysis of overhwelm, when there are a hundred gazillion options, how does that work?

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Cos here we are, right, in the 21st Century, and if you’re reading this I’m figuring you’re someplace a little bit like here. A place where art supplies are available in more colours, more media, more super-doopy newly formulated zingyness, more variety than you can shake a stick at. 

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And even when you’re on a strict self-imposed use-what-you-got-already-before-buying-more-at-the-art-store diet….. there’s no still shortage of choice. Especially not when you’re compelled to repurpose just about anything into art.

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Scraps of Serendipity. Love it when that happens!

Lately I’ve taken to limiting what I can use to the scraps that are on my work table. These tubes of paint I didn’t put away after last time, these nibbles of torn paper. These choices were made by a previous me, and today’s ingenuity is tasked to find a new way to combine them.

 

daily learning


Do you have daily practices?

I kinda do, but my progress moves like a caterpillar – that scrunching-stretching motion, so while it averages out as daily, it might not always be technically daily.

This is the thing: – I’m acknowledging this now instead of berating myself. I’m learning my rhythms and working within them.  I’m letting the process be the lesson.

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2016: A work in progress/process

Since the start of this year I’ve been adding to this book of ‘daily’ doodles. Mostly every day I complete a 1″square. The days when I don’t, I return to, always within a day or two, and as I doodle I reflect back on that day. Sometimes there’s a word or a shape or a scrap of something to glue into the square. Everyday is similar, yet every day is unique.

It’s another unfolding metaphor.

 

 

thoughts de jour


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Traditional journalling – the outpouring of words and thoughts and the recording of happenings, events and reactions is quite linear: these things occurred, then were recorded; these things were planned and projected, then recorded.

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Art journalling is far more holistic. Even the most literal illustrations are cast in the light of the mood, defined by the view of the artist and constricted by the limitations of their style and skill.

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And then there’s this whole exploration of the psyche that forms from the deluge of abstraction that some of us create.

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Like many other artists who play this game, mine is largely an unplanned stream of consciousness.

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As life ebbs and flows there are periods dominated by torrential outbursts of imagery.

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I’m driven by a force beyond my thoughts to combine and construct these collections of objects, images and notions. They make no sense at the time and only sometimes later can I pick out an impression of context, a reflection of thought.

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Meanwhile, I enjoy the colours and the nonsense. Another metaphor for life.

the ‘because’ of art journaling


 

I’ve got old journals – the ‘dear diary’ variety – dating back over decades. Of no interest to anyone but occasionally me, I see what me-in-the-past was up to on this day however-many years ago.

At art school I began to keep sketchbooks, filled it with thoughts and plans, doodles and scraps. Mainly visual references and test grounds for techniques and materials. And they’re as rich in memories to me as the purely wordy versions that preceded them.

Last year I experimented with Julia Cameron’s morning pages in an on-again/off-again fashion. Not every morning has the space to accommodate all those words, but a bigger block is that part of me resented the paper it required for long, one-way streams of consciousness that I shouldn’t want to revisit. And the thought of scrawling longhand every last niggle and fuss didn’t sit comfortably either. I get the ‘better out than in’ motive. But I didn’t want to hold volumes of this in my life thought; that seemed to be merely displacing it from my head to another place of permanence.

 

Three things about things I do in books.
Without much connection beyond my voracious consumption of stationery.

Until I read this blog post by Deanna Jinjoe where she speaks of the power of transformation in burying words, thoughts, sentiments into the soul of our art we can transform them into a new beauty.

So the art journal I’m working through now is starting to embody this essence. With traces of the therapeutic brain dumps that keep my mind clear, intertwined with the doodles and splatterings of colour that keep my spirit buoyant.