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 launch!


Hi friends!

Here we are, after much squirreling around I’m delighted to let you know: TWELVTY is now on sale!

I am SO excited! 

To celebrate I’m offering a 2 month discount off the year long program if you sign up this week

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

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Squirrelling, Busying & some Re-jig.


Hi folks, I hope you’re enjoying your summer (or winter to those who reside on the other side of this little blue ball).

What’s new with you? I’ve been busy squirrelling away on so many things and I haven’t been over here in wordpress world to share them with you.

 

I’ve been preparing my class I’m teaching in the 21 Secrets online program that’s out for pre-sale now, releasing in September. That kept me reeeeally busy for a while! I’ll show you some little snips of it here and there pre-launch – like this…………..

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Ooooh! All those colors!!

AND busy busily busying art journalling as usual, but not in my usual fashion. <GASP!>

I believe it’s good to shake stuff up, re-jig, re-orient and sometimes reinvent ourselves. The world and its contents keep evolving and the only alternative is stagnation. And that’s no fun at all. Uck!

Art-journal-wise I’ve shaken things up this time. No nice new sketchbook, no repurposed new book, this was a tatty old ledger I found in among my dad’s old papers and desk whatnots, boxed away for years in storage. From the pencilled pre-decimal price inside the back cover I would date it around 1950-something. About a third of the pages had been torn out, the remainder were a little yellowed, but blank. Fresh for painting and collaging and doodling and whatevering all over.

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My usual strategy is to progress page by page as one finishes I flip the page and start again.

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This time I’ve been opening the book randomly and splashing, doodling, writing and out-pouring with no regard to any sense of the linear.

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If you’re in a rut, this is a great shake up. As a process it ripples out into life as little shifts make dramatic differences.

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In the case of an art journal, it meant for a few weeks there was nothing aesthetically worth sharing, all oddments of scribble, stark paint scrapings, lonely fragments.

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Then all of a sudden faces started to emerge

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The pages are filling up and feeling closer to completed. Coherency emerges.

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This is the third journal I’ve been working in this year and they appear to be following the seasons, this one fully in the season of summer.

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A few weeks time I’ll be ready to begin my book of autumn, I’m already looking forward to that.

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The more you look…


…the more you see.

Have you ever been on a color hunt? You can do it right now – pick a color and look around you, as soon as you choose to see, it pops up all over the place. I went looking for primaries in the everyday everythings…

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You don’t need to go anywhere special, you can cast your eyes around while you sit at the traffic lights or stand in line at the shops.

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Look around your town, your home, your wardrobe, your bookcase, your refrigerator…

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Tune in to a color and it will appear like magic!

 

 

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.

 

friday afternoon thoughts


The unfolding of my days now includes this nightly ritual,

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no matter what time I have between getting home and going to sleep, at least part of it is spent between the pages of this book. I make the time, eke it out, surprise myself how much page can be covered and how many doodles will flow.

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It’s a dumping ground for thoughts and feelings, fragments of information, part formed thoughts. Ends of words that doodle off into a cat’s face. That sort of thing.

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(the dictionary pages are back… yes, the same dictionary)

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And collaged people. I don’t know who they are or where they came from.

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This one emerged from nowhere. I don’t know him either.

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Wishing you all a good weekend, dear friends. X

A Treasure Hunt


Yesterpost I shared an exploration into the evolution of an abstract photo. If you liked that, you might like this too: My regular post on Dirty Footprints Studio  gives a bit of insight into the process of gathering these images.

Happy idea-gathering, folks 🙂

wandering mind


Cooking dinner one evening last week, waiting for the pot to boil:

The condensation forming on the lid was developing into this fabulous leopardskin effect. Too good to miss. I love the ephemeral beauty in the everyday. It’s everywhere, once you start to look.

So I took this photo and shared it on social media in the circles who see abstract art more than the crazed doings of some weirdo who takes photos of her dinner before it’s even made 😉

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And it made me think. 

How far can I chase this one idea?
Where could it go?
How far can it evolve?

So today (following the theme – waiting for dinner to cook) I tweaked the colour a bit and printed it out.

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And then I began to play: Doodles, re-photographed… leopard spots are evolving into seashells…

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more doodles, different camera angle, slight colour tweaks…

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more doodles, new camera angle, colours inverted…. I love the way the pen lines seem to sit on top of the photo, they’re in a different dimension of contrast.

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Or shape shift: add dimension with concertina folds and photographed from every which way.

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I’m sure given more time I could play with light and shadows for more drama. You get the idea, the possibilities go on… I hope this might spark some ideas for you too.

 

take 5: episode 1


Y’know how I’ve been revisiting my digital art? I’ve also been rooting through my online galleries. Some of those pieces date back almost a decade, and some still hold up well. But some were looking a bit tired, a bit shabby, or just plain meh. So I archived them away.

I’ve still got most of the images from which they were made, so over the next as-long-as-it-takes I plan to re-photoshop some of them into new works: Hybrids of old and new ideas. I love digital for many reasons – the ability to do this is a big one.

So you can guess the plan from the title, right?

I plan to Take Five images, and frankenstein re-imagine them together into a shiny new beautiful something. 

These are the first Five contenders for the project.

At the time of posting I’ve reached a crossroads in the making of the hybrid. I’ll explain later…

the other side of the ugly (18/52)


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Yesterday I was sharing about the ugly side of creativity. When it’s in that worse before it gets better zone.

The only way outa here is forward: Charge on forward through this zone.

If you can’t carry on right now, let it rest.Let it settle.

When you come back it’s going to look different:
—If it looks better – let this spur you on in hope.
—If it looks worse – take the nothing left to lose impetus to make changes:

Whatever you’re creating, from a painting to a song, a novel or a dance, a dress or a manifesto, try any variations of these things:

  • Paint over it.
  • Mix up the harmonies.
  • Cut it up and reconfigure the bits together in a new shape.
  • Record over sections of it.
  • Photograph it from obtuse angles: review it through the viewfinder, on screen, through squinting eyes, or print its negative.
  • Speed it up, slow it down, add trumpets.
  • Change two of the colours.
  • Stitch, glue, staple, splice. Rinse and repeat.
  • Play it backwards / turn it upside down / inside out.
  • Take out every other word, or every other adjective, or swap about all the words beginning with vowels.
  • Pick it up by the ears and shake it hard.

Do some radical dismantling, recreate with hope and a conscious understanding it’s only wrong at the moment; it’s maybe uncomfortable but it isn’t doomed.

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Know that you’re through the worst because if you’re moving you’re making progress: It was the ugliest thing in existence, so by logical deduction it must be getting better, right?

Right. Then keep on going. If the bigger picture is freaking you out,

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Just look at the detail…

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Find some solace there, some shhhhhsome calm

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Befriend the details. Examine them closely for inexplicable creatures.

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The only thing not to do is sit and dwell on how a different course of action somewhere in the past would have made it different. That then is gone. Focus on the now of it.

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Then see where you find yourself, recombobulate, know the process works, and carry on.