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.
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Last month I began a new practice of creating an art journal vision-board type spread with the New Moon.
I’ve used the new moon as a time to sow seeds of intention for many years, usually in a journal or diary. This got the intentions out of my imagination in the form of words on paper, but within a day or two they were lost under the ensuing pages.
Now I have this visual reminder I can keep in my eye line in the studio – for now it’s propped up against a shelf opposite my workspace. The simple beauty of it being in a book means it can travel with me wherever I go. (Even though it’s quite a BIG book – it likely won’t travel that far!)
It’s now the second time I’ve done it … and I’ve lived through hundreds of new moons, so it’s early to judge… but so far I like this method much more.
I expect over time it will evolve to include more writing too, the process will fine tune and evolve, as all things do.
This and last month both have writing under the collage, so in that sense those words are even more buried than usual. Meanwhile it’s a place for all those collage bits I snipped out of the lifetime’s supply of magazines I dismantled last year.
Do you have a new moon practice? or a vision board practice?
How do you find they work for you? I’d love to know.
This Moon/Month I’m pushing all my energy into launching my biggest project yet:
The TWELVTY program. After a final flurry of readying, I opened the doors yesterday, and the first subscribers jump right in. I’ve got a really good feeling about this – we’re building a community of makers and doers, artists and creatives, and together we’ll explore how color impacts our lives, our moods, our work and our art. We’re going to delve deep into one color at a time and soak up all its lovely juicy spirit.
If you want to find out more, it’s all here on my website. If you’ve got any questions or want to find out more, comment below or message me through my site and I’ll be happy to answer all I can.
Let’s join together in 2017 and Create the Marvellous!
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 didthat 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 waysto 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:
Starting out with one of the images you want to include, open it up in Pshop.
Now go Image>Canvas Size… [Alt+Ctrl+C]
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:
Uncheck ‘Relative’. Otherwise it’ll make it taller as well as wider. We don’t want that.
Move the anchor point to Mid-Left. We want all our new canvas area on the RHS
Using the Rectangular Marquee tool you can select the LHS half of this image and copy to a new layer Layer>New…>Layer via copy [Ctrl+J]
Drag this new layer over to the RHS.
Shuffle your original layer to the left until the raw edges meet up and just touch, so you can’t see the join. Zoom right in.You wanna get this bit pixel-perfect. There will be an annoying hiccup if it isn’t bang on.
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
Give it a great name like scrolly_thing.jpg or RoundAndRoundAndRound.jpg or whatever…
Be sure it’s showing Format: Images Only & Slices: All Slices in the options
By the magic of Photoshop you’ll now have a set of lovely images, neatly numbered in a file called ‘images’, ready to load into the whizzy-roundy-thing of your choice.
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.