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

 


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What 3 months of color looks like…


These are the art journal pages from the first three months of Twelvty: This is the story so far.

January: Yellow

 

When I look at these pages I’m whisked back the to adventures and explorations of the first month of this year long adventure. Using just one color brings out nuances and subtleties too quiet to hear above the sound of other colors. 

I chose yellow as a starting place in the color wheel because it is simple, it is small. 

There’s not much space or contrast in yellow – take it darker and you have shades of ochre, tan into browns. Only a smidge lighter before you hit white. No room to step either way before falling into yellow-orange or yellow-green, and they have their own months in Twevlty.

Yellow is compact with well defined parameters. 

 

February: Yellow-Green

Yellow-green: the first tertiary color we explored – and suddenly there’s a depth of tone to play with. Luscious lime to opulent olive.  Chartreuse. Char-freaking-treuse, people! 

And here’s the beginning of the “is it or isn’t it?” questions that will bob up all through this year. When does it stop being yellow and start being green? Where’s the spot in the middle? We’re navigating a continuum, there are no strict boundaries. It’s all part of the fun 😉

March: Green

Another month, another step round, deeper into greens. Each collage scrap and cut out shape here has a story and will serve to remind me of ideas that were born and then took a turn I didn’t foresee. I’m only the vehicle through which these ideas come to being, sometimes I forget this and try to control them. But, like water,  they find their own way.

 

This book is the place a leave seeds of ideas to incubate: reminders to a me-in-the-future. We’re nearing the end of a month of blue-green as I type this to you, and about to dive into the ocean of blue for May. Check back to see the cool bluey loveliness that emerges!

 


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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 on Wednesdays.

5 reasons I art journal


As part of my journey round the color wheel this year I’m creating an art journal. It began life as a world atlas which seemed kinda fitting for an adventure like this. Old and dog-eared, it’s time had come for reincarnation as an altered book.

As the idea for this adventure sprang from a year long art journal project it seemed amiss not to include that part again this time round.

At the end of March I was looking back over the first three colors of the first three months (yellow, yellow-green, green) and remembering a time not that long back when art journalling wasn’t a part of my life.

For reals. 

Is it part of yours? If not, have you been curious why some folks get so giddy about it?

Here are five of my reasons

  1. A home for the offcuts and scraps of paper that are enough to remind me of an idea I had, a reminder of something to try again – or not to.
  2. A place to explore – what happens if I use this paint on this material? Do these pens work on this paper? Does this pen still work, or will it inklessly scratch marks, and how do they look?
  3. It’s the page I scribble notes to me-in-the-future: the name of the book or the band or the thing I just remembered, the meme that made me laugh or think or a bit confused and might want to about again. These might well get obliterated under layers, but once I’ve written something down I often remember it anyway. 
  4. A safe zone for mess – there’s nothing precious here, it can all get covered up and that’s fine. It’s all transient. If this get drips and splashes, they add to its charm. 
  5. Unplanned & unstructured, this is the organic way that most of my art grows. Every page in a book like this can spark hundreds of ideas. 

 

Want to see how the TWELVTY book is progressing? Check back soon, I’ve got more to show you! X


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)

Your email is utterly safe to me. It will be filed under ‘S’ for ‘Super Important’. I will bring it tea and biscuits as required. (subject to availability)

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

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YELLOW MONDAY


Does this talk of ‘Blue Monday’ get you down? Who needs the media reminding them to feel any less bouyant and joyful than they already do?

I need to counteract this craziness, and my way (as in all things) is to use color!

Monday 16th January 2017 is now YELLOW MONDAY.

Yellow is the color of sunshine, the color of hope and happiness, and the color of January in my year full of color program, TWELVTY.

To back that up there’s a 24 hour offer for new TWELVTY folks: from 9am GMT Monday 16th January for just 24 hours you can get 12 months of color for the price of 10.

Join us HERE

And if TWELVTY isn’t for you, know that you can make your day whatever color you want it to be. Have a great week my friends – don’t let the media tell you how to feel!

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I made this little ebook all about color if you’d like to get an taste of TWELVTY.
It’s all yours when you hop on my newsletter list here.

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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 treats, plump up its cushions, that sort of thing.)

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that time again! (1 of 2)


Looking back at things I made in 12 months makes the year stretch back further. January feels like a lifetime ago now…

My 2016 in art journalling has looked like this

January

February

March

April

May

June

The tail of the year, the time to look back & look forward, funny cos in so many ways it’s an arbitrary number, tomorrow will still be tomorrow whatever we call it. But I enjoy the process of evaluating where I am in this life from time to time, so now’s as good as any!

Join me tomorrow and I’ll show you the second half of my 2016 in art journaling.


Want to make 2017 brighter and more colorful?

Join me in TWELVTY!  beginning January 1st.

Can’t wait that long? sign up below and get a lovingly hand crafted ebook all about color right now!!  

…then join TWELVTY…obvs! 😉 

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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

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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.)

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

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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.)

Happy holidays


Be warm, be well. Much love to you all 💚💜

New Moon Momentum


Last month I began a new practice of creating an art journal vision-board type spread with the New Moon.

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New Moon Vision: Nov/Dec 2016

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.

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Transform Your Life: I have high hopes for this book!

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!)

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A Lifetime’s Obsession with Collective Inspiration: I am the culmination of my thoughts so 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.

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Bright, Vibrant, Unique Art: subconscious reminders… in case I forget!

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.

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Heavy on Metaphor: planting seeds for new ideas

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. 

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Happy Serendipity of Collage 

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.

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Let’s join together in 2017 and Create the Marvellous!