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!

 


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(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.

 

because


because a squillion things need doing.

because my eyes have soaked in so much color lately.

because time-lapse is the most fun thing in world.

 

today I made this:

The more I look…


…the more I see.

I was in London all day Saturday. A rainy grey day, the view from our second floor window crossed over a patch of garden to the grey stonework and concrete of the buildings opposite. These short December days barely get light and the wet and wind dulled out any colours.

The only life on view from up here was a solitary grey squirrel scampering along the spindly limbs of the near naked tree-tops.

But amid the gloom was the last remaining brightness of the season: with every gust of wind a few remaining golden yellow leaves danced about, tumbling, sprinkling, shining.

I was transfixed.

My mind is full of color, it is my ‘thing’.

And as I’m focussed on yellow in the prepration of the first chapter of TWELVTY I suppose it’s no wonder I was so captivated. But it made me ask myself if that’s why: would I have noticed so keenly? Would I have seen it in such glory? Would it have held that measure of magic? 

I have no control group of me, no comparison, so these questions are unanswerable

But I have come to observe that the more I actively look, the more I absorb, and the richer my life becomes. When there’s so much enjoyment available from the everyday and mundane, life is lusher and days are fuller.


 

I’m so full of ideas for TWELVTY, I’m almost bursting! so much so I’m waking up in the night and having to write stuff down. I’m literally dreaming about it! It’s filling all the corners of my mind.

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The program begins in the new year with shiny bright yellow so I’ve been warming up my drawing-and-painting-in-just-yellow vibes in readiness.

I love to use just one color (I love using ALL THE COLORS!) but one-at-a-time has a really special quality. This is one of the big things that I want to share and explore further with you.

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I’m putting together a Q&A

If you want to know more about what TWELVTY’s all about comment below to let me know 🙂

  • What would you like to know?
  • What would you like to learn?
  • What really lights you up about some colours, and not others?

Read all about TWELVTY & sign up here

New Season – New Art Journal


Maybe it’s a throw back to school days, for me September has never lost that New-Beginning-y feel.

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This bit of year where the edges of summer and fall meet up, crossover a little, shimmy back and forth for a week or two before chillier times set in for proper.

I love all the seasons, but I most enjoy the beginning part of each one.

All the first-in-a-long-whiles  — the little things, the details — I revel in these. Now is the season of crunchy leaves, soup, socks, dark evenings with candlelight and blankets, all of it has novelty value for the first few weeks.

As the season turned I came to the end of my art journal that I played in through the summer, so last week – to coincide with the Equinox – I began this new book.

I also began I new way of documenting – by time lapse photo.  I reckon by the end of this book I’ll have perfected the recording and editing, it’s a learning curve, which I’ll share with you here.

Here’s the makings of this first page: “Wandering Doodles”

Enjoy! 🙂

Color Collage


Who needs a bit of bright sunshiny colour to start their week off? I know I always do.

Bring on the yellow!

Happy new week, all!

(curious where this idea came from — or where it could be leading to? well, it sprang from my ‘take nine’ class in the new 21 Secrets program. … and it’s leading to some more things I’ll be workington this week and showing you really soon 🙂

Just For You!


EDIT 25 Sep: the lucky winners will receive notification from Dirty Footprints Studio by email before the launch on Monday 26 September. But it’s not too late – you can still sign up right here

 

Hey dear friends — I have a gift for you!

To celebrate my online class teaching on 21 Secrets I have TWO FREE COPIES of COLOR, COLOR, COLOR! the 2016 Fall Edition of the 21 Secrets program to share.

 

But be quick – it’s only a week until launch day!

Sign up here to enter the Prize Draw – two lucky winners will be drawn on
Friday 23 September.

Squeeee! It’s exciting! If you aren’t lucky enough to win one of these free spots you can still sign up for the super bargain price of just $98.

For Lessons from 24 great artists this is fabulous value, and yours to download and keep forever.

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Get a sneak preview at my class: “Take Nine” over here


By entering this prize draw, you’ll be added to my newsletter list too. The newsletter is still young, and fairly infrequent – you can expect it dropping into your mailbox no more than once a month – or maybe if there’s something super spectacularly exciting I think you’d like to know. You can unsubscribe any time you like, no hard feelings.

Your email is absolutely safe with me,  inside my computer where even I won’t be able to find it most of the time. I’ll just pop by and check up on it time to time, feed it biscuits, plump up its cushions, that sort of thing.

 

which color?


If you only had one color to use, which would it be?

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Or how about just two or three? Do you find you have a handful of colors that you tend to stick with? The colors your comfort zone is decorated in?

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Ever fancied straying outside this palette but not known where to begin? How about an encouraging nudge to open up a wealth of new opportunities, or a little tweak to liven up your regular practice?

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Well folks, that’s right where I can help you!  

In just a couple of weeks the new 21 Secrets COLOR COLOR COLOR! program is launched, where I and another fab 23 teachers take you into our creative world to share some color inspiration. 

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If you’re intrigued at the thought of tuning up the range of colors you use, or joining in some fun exercises and projects involving looking at color in a new way:

CLICK RIGHT HERE *
to sign yourself up for a feast of delicious colorfulness!

My class “Take Nine” explores new ways to combine a simple palette of the primaries, secondaries with three neutral shades, and then sets you up with lots of exciting ideas  to develop from here!

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In the interests of full  disclosure this posts contains affiliate links: at no extra cost to the customer I receive a small commission on sales of the 21 Secrets Fall 2016 program made through this post. Big thanks in advance if you choose to join in here🙂

 

knowing when


I’ve heard it said the key to painting is knowing when to stop.

Conversely, it’s also important (to my mind) to know when to keep going. 

How many abandoned sketches and paintings are there in the world? I would guess a great many more than those that finished (or past that point).

My current art journal is teaching me this more than I already knew.

The nature of dipping in and out of a book means most of the pages are, for a long time, just scraps of whims, streaks of paint, isolated doodles and jottings. And they are quite loud and ugly.

In a book of no intrinsic value, it means nothing to open it up and find a space to wipe off my paint brush, to test out an old pen, to blurt and vent some spleen. A dumping ground for bits of thing laying scattered on my work table. Cut outs and scraps, they all go in.

Nothing to lose. Some would argue (shhh — they don’t understand), nothing to be gained.

We know different, right?

Again I remember, how it’s all a metaphor for life. Keep pushing through, it’s ugly now but keep going, it’s a phase. If you have that strength of belief to carry you through it can come good.

At no point in this process do I have an idea of finished – what it will look like or when it may happen. (or if… tbh there’s always an if)

Then I catch a little corner, in my eye or my camera, and I know it will be ok.

 

21 Secrets!


 

If you’re an art journaler or a mixed media artist who follows what’s new online, you almost certainly know what I mean by 21 SECRETS. 21-SECRETS-2016-Color-artistblock-penn-gregory.jpg

I’m thrilled to bits to announce that in the fall 2016 program, I’m joining the 21 Secrets family as a teacher!


 

Twice a year Dirtyfootprints Studio release a brand new 21 Secrets program, where 21 teachers from around the world offer some of their secrets – their style, techniques, methods and wisdom – in the form of an online lesson. These are bundled together in a 150+ page downloadable eBook filled with 25+ hours of videos, full colored photos & templates. And you can join the gorgeous community who gather in the 21 Secrets facebook group to share their art and ideas. There’s no time limit on the program – once you buy it it’s yours to download forever!

All this is available for the amazing value of $98

The next 21 secrets comes out 26 September 2016, and I would like to invite you to The Early Bird Sale starting 3am PST on Wednesday, August 17th and closing at 12am PST on Saturday, August 20th.

The Early Bird Sale is a discount of $10 when you use Coupon Code COLOR

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This time round there’s the added bonus that there are 24 teachers!

In the interests of full  disclosure this posts contains affiliate links: at no extra cost to the customer I receive a small commission on sales of the 21 Secrets Fall 2016 program made through this post. Big thanks in advance if you choose to join in here 🙂

 

Reinvention


A few years ago I created a year long project, dedicating each month to a single colour. Beginning in January with red/purple – that gorgeous magenta I keep falling back into – I cycled my way month by month through the primary/secondary/tertiary colours, ending the year in Red.

Ever since I’ve had the desire to follow up on this and reinvent the idea.

So while I haven’t been over here in the world of Ephemeral-Gecko-ing, I’ve been busying myself on a new project ….but you will have to wait until tomorrow for all the details….

Meanwhile, here’s what the 12 colours in 12 months adventure looked like: