Happy Holidays friends,
If you’ve been wondering where I’ve been, here’s where we can catch up 😉
When I’ve got just a few minutes to spare I go to my art journal, find a blank page or a space, and doodle.
These are the background layers that inspire what comes next.
This is how I fill the scraps of time while I’m waiting for paint to dry, or a file to upload, or just waiting for ideas to land.
There’s a real freedom in knowing it will get covered in sketches or collage, more doodles and scribbles. I don’t plan this, I don’t even choose the colors, I use whatever pens, paints and brushes are there on my desk.
Sometimes you just got to let art happen.
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I like an outrageously crazy challenge as much as the next person.
I’ve been known to dive into some over ambitious projects without thinking it all the way through (for risk of talking myself all the way out in the process).
But even I know while I’m not in my studio every day, finding time for painting every day for 100 days isn’t realistic. I listened to my inner adult, and together we came up with a plan:
My 100 day project is to paint as often as I can, and post an update every day for 100 days.
To make that possible and prepare I let these paintings take over a long weekend at the start of the month in order to get ahead.
(Best. Weekend. Ever!)
If you haven’t seen the posts, I’ve been time-lapsing the process to share on Instagram.
This filming shrinks down the rate of progress to just 10%, making a half hour of painting flash by in 30 seconds! It’s fascinating to watch it back, to literally watch over my own shoulder as I paint. I follow my instincts and don’t plan what I’ll paint, so the images evolve out of nowhere, and then recede back under the newer layers.
Today we reached the quarter way mark, day 25.
To celebrate I’ve joined up the videos of the first layers of the first canvas I began working on. It’s still a work in progress, but already it’s been through so many evolutions.
I’ll be making little videos like these for all 5 paintings as I go along.
If you’d like an exclusive preview of these, and other things I’m making, join up for my email newsletters. At the time of typing, they go out just once or twice a month, so I won’t be flooding our inbox!
Here we are, after much squirreling around I’m delighted to let you know: TWELVTY is now on sale!
TWELVTY is a brand new program I’m launching today, it will run from January through December 2017 and it’s all about color!
Intrigued? Find out more here
Y’know the thing, where you’ve cleared some time, you’ve made some space, you’ve got peace and quiet for a reasonable stretch of time. All those obstacles that prevent you from creating in the usual day-to-day-ness of life………….
……….. and where’s your muse gone?
…… when did that perpetual freaking flood of imagination dry up?
Sometimes (I think) when the ideas sense you’ve made space especially for them – they simply evaporate. ‘Perhaps’ (they think) ‘we aren’t as wild or breathtaking as we seemed from a distance.’
They get shy and they hide. And they lurk, hushed, round the back of your mind, behind the mis-rememberings and the fluff. Where it’s quiet. They fall asleep there.
So It feels like your muse has abandoned you: but all those ideas just need to be coaxed back to the foreground where they can shine again.
In all my years of being and spending time with creatives I’ve seen this happen over and over. And I’ve learned a few ways to entice them back:
Since I relaunched my website a little while ago, some folks have commented on the loop of images scrolling round at the top of the home page.
Loads of sites use scrolling images, and there are umpteen plugins and gizmos to magic up some kind of animated doodad like this. I used Electric Carousel, but there are many others out there.
Like everything, it’s easy if you know how. So I’ve put together this thing on how to prepare the pictures for a seemingly seamless picture-roundy-thing. It will assume a working knowledge of Photoshop.
So here’s how:
What we’re going to do is put all the images together as a super wide picture like mine up there, then slice them up into separate images again. This’ll make sense again in a few steps time.
In order to do this we want a much wider canvas to work on. For the sake of the screenshots I’ve done 300% width, but in reality I think I did about 1000%. Eyeball it. Use your best judgment. Or actual pixel numbers, if you’re that way inclined.
*Be sure to do these things:
From here you can bring in your other images as new layers and arrange them as you wish. (I haven’t done this, pretend there are more images in the middle of this)
Now to chop it back up into separate images set vertical guides at regular distances across the width of the image. View>New Guide…
Grab the Slice tool and hit Slice From Guides.
And finally, File>Save For Web & Devices [Shift+Alt+Ctrl+S]
Set your settings where you want them and hit Save
I hope this is of some use to someone out there – drop me a comment if it is/n’t, or if there’s anything I haven’t explained clearly.