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.

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)

Your email is utterly safe to me. I’ll sing it to sleep when it lands with me, and bring it tea and some cheese if it wakes up.

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.

 

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:

that time again! (2 of 2)


picking up where we left off yesterday, looking back at what I made this year. Yesterday I showed you January- June, here we catch up on July-December

My 2016 in art journalling has looked like this

July

August

September

October

November

December

What a trip it’s been! I hope you’re able to look back and smile at some parts of 2016 , and have new adventures to look forward to in 2017.  Whatever unfolds next, I wish you well dear friends, as we continue to walk each other home. 


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

**********************************

(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.)

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! 😉 

yearfullofcolorbypenngregory_page_01

Be well, my friends, Much love to you all X

**********************************

(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.)

 

 

 

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!

Color in connection


 

A while ago I found a scrap of paper in my studio, on it was scribbled the name Neil Harbisson. Neil who? I don’t think I know any Neils these days… my mind wanders back in time to past acquaintances, the connections, the links, the friends of friends…

No. No Neils there.

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Some times passes, some weeks, I go on my usual drifty way blundering through my days, cherishing my studio time. 

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Another day, while rooting round for just the right scraps to collage into my art journal, the color that pings, the shape that blends, that one piece that harmonizes and unifies and completes.

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And I see him again, this Neil I don’t know, scribbled on a scrap, and my memory rolls back in: the thought process that produced this scribble.

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I was listening to the radio in the studio, and this guy – Neil – he’d either been in an interview, or the presenter had spoken about him, enough to make me want to find out more.

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But more what? The memories weren’t stretching that far and they didn’t hold any content.

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All I had was this two word note that me-in-the-past had dropped in time for me-in-the-future to happen upon and to investigate further.

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(More time passed.) 

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Then on one of those days when I must’ve had a deadline so close, a task so pressing, so so much, that I was on the brink of shutdown.

Those times when the overwhelming emergency  of it all is so loud all I can think to do is nap or run away.

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And the easiest run away of the moment was to dive down one of the rabbit holes on  the internets and hide out there until bedtime. Or a little later.

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And I remembered this name. I visualised the scrap. I recalled the recall.

I urgently wanted to know what was so fascinating I couldn’t let it float by in the past. I’d anchored that moment for a reason, and I was going to find out why. 

And here is what I found:

I smiled at the notion of becoming fascinated with something so very visual I’d heard about on the radio. The magical crossover of hearing and seeing was repeated, overlapped in a pleasingly elegant irony.

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So why am I remembering this to you? Why here and now?

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And where exactly are we here and now anyway?

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We’re back in my art journal, the one of the moment. This is the place my mental fallout lands.

I began it on the last Equinox a couple of months ago and I figure it will be my art-ing abode until solstice. (I’m alligning my makings this year, it seems out be working out well)

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And when are we?

We’re (well, I am – and you seem to be here with me too) riding the rapids of thoughts and ideas that unless I take these diversions I’ll be utterly swept away.

I’m putting together a program all about color, so previously explored rabbit holes like these are the mileposts along my journey.

And I figured you might find this interesting too.

And if you like this, you’ll almost certainly want to play with me next year in my TWELVTY program. If you haven’t already – sign up here and you’ll be the first to hear all about it.

(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.)

Turbulence


It seems to be speeding up, but is it though? is it really? seeing it telescope up and out as time passes and individual perspectives shift. And the volume’s winding up all the while.

(this image is from my new-moon-vision-board-book .  not as a statement of fear or doom, but shift and transformation) 

 

But FFS, it’s relentless.

Right? I mean, isn’t it?

It doesn’t let up.

I can’t process it in any particular order, so I spend little bits of day here in my world, releasing confusion into my art journal.

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This is a world populated by mismatch and clash.  In that sense, perhaps it isn’t so different from the one outside.

Looking out, looking in. Trying to digest. Thinking forward, plans to make a positive contribution and fighting the voice inside that laughs in the face of that notion.


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If you’re disconbobulated in scrambled emotions, if you’re feeling helpless, if you’re full of fear, my thoughts are with you. Much love, my friends.

New Moon – New Plans


New Moon – New Plans

I got back from my travels last month so wiped out with jetlag, post giddy-with-deleriously-excited induced tiredfulness that I lost most use out of almost a full fortnight. Then no time at all later I went and took off again. I’m back now, this time long enough to catch my own tail, to take a deep breath. And again. And to make some plans. 

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Last weekend brought a new moon, which on this side of the world was the second new moon in the month making it a black moonI’ve loved the mythology, the tradition, the woo-woo – the whatever you want to call it – of aligning with the lunar cycle since I was a wee scrap. It’s part of my way of fumbling through this life.  The new moon is the time to sow seeds – literal and metaphorical. Actual plant seeds want you to pay attention to the season for best success, but the seeds of ideas can be planted any time. I like the belief they get a head start when fuelled by intention and belief.

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Inspired by a couple of dear friends I’ve met this year, this new moon I was inspired to begin this new moonly ritual.

A New Moon – Moodboard – Art Journal – Scrapbook. … Snappy title, right? ha!

The idea was introduced to me by  Kate Robertson, I love it so much as it brings together a bunch of things I already do – the art journalling, the new moon intention setting, my unending love of cutting up and gluing together images… I haven’t moodboarded much before, for want of getting around to it, and finding a space for the thing to live, so to have it in a book is the perfect solution for me. Said book is now propped up open at the current view and in my line of vision where I sit and do my artly doings.

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The process was enriched by the influence of Hali Karla, who I was delighted to meet up with in real life on my travels. Hali is an artist, intuitively in tune with an astrological practice that she weaves into her creativity, she provides an Art Practice New Moon audio recording each month you can listen to here. On Sunday I settled myself down with the big ole box of magazine pics I’ve been hoarding forever, a big new art journal, and as I listened to Hali’s words I chose the images and thoughts that shone out to me as what I want to bring into the coming month.

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These shorter darker days call in more than ever the warm bright glowing colours for me, for cosiness and comfort, for the mental hibernation and reconbobulation I’m looking to toward the end of a year of big changes and personal re-routing.

I’ve got a sense of releasing the past, letting go and lightening up. Looking into the place where the dreamworld meets the real world, matching the edges together and seeing what I can make next.

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In doing this I’m piecing together new plans for 2017, plans I intend to nurture this month. (Much more on that soon)