Looking forwards


The What & The Where

Throughout 2017 I’ve been running an online program called TWELVTY in which we explore the color wheel one month and one color at a time. It’s been a fantastic journey (which isn’t over yet: we still have orange-yellow left to explore)

What’s really beautiful, is within the group of creatives brought together by TWELVTY, there’s such a diversity of talent & range of expression. 

From painters to weavers, textile artists, photographers, mixed media creatives and writers. Between us we are much more than the sum of our parts.

When you take a subject like color which can be applied to most every medium, it translates such variety of techniques and media and manifests a constant source of inspiration:

I see that embroidery and it inspires an idea for a photo series; I see this painting and the idea for a video starts to come to life. The drawing which tells a story, inspires a song or a poem.

Ideas are cross-pollinating all over the place!!

When I set out on this adventure at the beginning of the year, I really thought it would be a one-off. But so much has surprised me along the way. TWELVTY soon began to gather momentum, to take on an energy of its own, and it seems like it doesn’t want to end here.

So I’ve made a couple of little tweaks, and I’m excited to present: 

TWELVTY 2018: What’s new?

The structure has shifted:  Instead of each month dedicated solely to one color, we are quickening the pace of the color steps in order to spend a little more time exploring the territory for our color adventure.

This gives us time at the start of the year to get to take a bird’s eye view, get to know the the color wheel, and gather our colors together.

Then we’ll take each segment of the color wheel in a three week block.

At the end of our journey there will be space to consolidate what we’ve learned, and bring it all together.

As well as all the resources I’ve gathered and curated for each color through this first year of TWELVTY, I’m also planning something new!

Something colorful and fun! Something that will bring joy to your inner kid (or actual kids – this could be a family project)

Each color segment will have a step-by-step illustrated guide where I show you ways I like to play with mixed media. You can use these for inspiration, or your own techniques, as in each color we are going to add to our year long project: To create a 3-D Color Wheel!

This will be a resource you can come back to again and again when you ‘re looking for ideas in your creative practice.

We begin the journey in the new year, but registration is open now

I think it speaks for itself that some of this year’s Twelveteers have already joined up for a second trip around the color wheel in 2018!

 I’ve reduced the price this year to make it accessible to as many folks as possible. The cost for the year long adventure is just £97.00 GBP

Wanna hop aboard now? Click right here! 

I’ll post some more info in a Q&A later in the week – so if you’ve any Qs that need an A – ask me in the comments below and I’ll add them in! 

Just some of the colourful antics from TWELVTY 2017!


Be first to hear about my colorful antics, 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)
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Your email is utterly safe to me. I’ll sing it to sleep when it lands with me, and bring it tea when it wakes up.

A life full of color


Some lifetimes ago, a sixteen year old version of me failed to get the place in art school that she’d pinned all her early hopes to.

Dismissed by the grown ups who’d repeatedly explained: ‘being an artist isn’t realistic’ led to years floating adrift from my calling.

(They were wrong. And this isn’t what I do, I’ve come to realise, it’s what I am)

A few years ago, rattled by some mid-life reminders of mortality, I finally fulfilled my life long ambition. But being an art student was as far as I’d thought this plan through. After spinning around in a self made feedback loop of regret for two decades, while I loved my time at college, I’d completely lost sight of the purpose.

My confusion was confounded when my course was cancelled after the foundation year. Before I’d time to consider my options my personal life fell apart, as a few weeks later my mum died.

Now I was free falling and had to find something to grasp onto, something simple I could rely on to slow the descent.  

I needed a project to latch my focus to. I needed a subject I could immerse myself in. It had to be something creative, it had to be something colourful.

It just had to be color.

 

 

I hadn’t the bandwidth for anything more complex. I needed colors, but one at a time. No other rules. Just me, a book, and whatever paints and pens and things I had to hand. In just one color. I began with the color I felt most drawn to at the time, which was red-violet, magenta. It was soothing. It was all I had space for.

I took that year, one color at a time, one month at a time.

 

 

After another family bereavement a couple of months into my year long color project, I knew I needed some accountability, some way to keep this project afloat. That’s when I started this blog.

By the end of the year I’d created a this whole book full of color.

 

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It’s still with me in my studio as a resource for inspiration – (that’s something I didn’t foresee when I began this project.)

(You can see it page by page here)

12 in 12 from mixy gecko on Vimeo.

 

 

As I showed my book of 12 colors to more of my artist friends, the idea of revisiting a year full of color began to develop. And they wanted in on it too.

So in 2017 I invented TWELVTY,  a way of sharing the adventure around the color wheel with other creatives as an online program.

It’s been an astonishing journey, (which isn’t over yet) and I’ve learned so much (more on that in another post).

I didn’t expect to run Twelvty as a program with others again after this year – it’s been all consuming and I had other plans for 2018 – but Twelvty has plans for me too, it would appear. 

So here we are, in preparation for:

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We begin the journey in the new year, but registration is open from November.

I think it speaks for itself that some of this year’s Twelveteers have already joined up for a second trip around the color wheel in 2018!

There are a limited number of discounted places available to folks on my mailing list. If you aren’t signed up already – what the hey?!! – scoot down to the end of this post to add your email before they’re all swooped up!

The magic of magenta


2017 is my year full of color, each month I dedicate to a new color: “TWELVTY” – 12 colors in 12 months, is a trip around the color wheel. And what a trip!

In August we explored red-violet: the magic of magenta, mauve & maroon!

Each month gets a few pages in the TWELVTY art journal, where I dive deep into pattern making and monochrome mixed media doodling.

 

Here’s how August’s pages turned out …. 
 

In September we explored the color Red — I’ll catch you up on this month soon!

 


Meanwhile, I’m fine tuning the details for the 2018 iteration of Twelvty. Yikes! 

Are you interested in exploring the color wheel with us next year?

If you’re even a little bit intrigued, why not hop on my mail list today. I’ll send you my eBook all about color to give you a flavour of the program, AND you’ll be first to hear about the launch closer to the time.

 

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a braid of ideas


A three ply art project in the making:

This is my Inktober inspired Sketchbook Project for Twelvty 2018: Three ideas smooshed together between the covers of a 5 x 7 inch book which will be the springboard into a new adventure for next year.

 

……..this is a story that began in July……..

Part One: The Sketchbook Project

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The Sketchbook Project is just as the name suggests. It’s a collaborative art project, and it’s enormous. It’s 36,130 artists’ books contributed by creative people from 135+ countries over 11 years. In 2018 it will contain at least one more, and that will be my one. 

My book arrived in the mail on Monday 31 July, straight away I set to work on doodling a first page with my initial thoughts and ideas:

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Contented that I’d made my first mark, I set the book aside while I waited for the ideas to formulate. Then I got sick, and was away from my life for a while. The up-side to hospital-strength pain relief is that although I wasn’t able to create anything for a while, the visual ideas flooding my brain were far beyond what my usual imagination can conjure, and I’ve still got a solid grasp on what I saw inside my head.

Yes, they were colourful. (more on that in part three).

………. now let’s fast forward to September……….

 

Part two: Inktober

Inktober is an annual ink drawing challenge held online every October. Again, the clue is in the title.

I was dithering as to whether I’d participate this year, historically I’ve been rubbish at commitment. Is this a good reason not to play along? That’s what I was pondering on n off through September.

Until I hit upon the way my three ideas perfectly fit together. 

Ink drawings are the scaffolding for the content of my sketchbook project – the top layer of which I’ll explain in part three  – combining to make real what my muddled little opiated brain saw in hospital. And leading me into a project I’m planning for 2018!

“OHMYGOSH IT’S LOOKING A LOT LIKE A PLAN OF ACTION”

 

…………. now fast forward to October 1st……..

Today began page one of the sketchbook, #inktober doodle number one, a commentary on my thought process as the project reveals itself to me. It’s all quite meta. 
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(you can see daily progress here on Instagram…. )

Black and white drawings are all well and good, as they form the scaffolding for the content of my sketchbook, but in order for it to be ‘me’ it needs some color, right? Of course it does.

……. Which brings me to ……

Part three: TWELVTY 2018

Twelvty is the environment in which almost all my art has evolved this year:  With each month a new color – as conveniently there are 12 colors in the color wheel if you count the tertiaries (which are by far my favs) – this perfectly fits one year.

complementary colors: opposites in the color wheel
complementary colors: opposites in the color wheel

An aspect of this color wheel journey I’ve enjoyed exploring more deeply this year is the ways that each color fits in amid its neighbours; how they interact. How they dance.

I’ve developed a real fascination with balancing the pairs and groups of colors – the complementaries, the triadic groups…

This is something I intend to explore more thoroughly in a second variation of Twelvty in 2018.

This is also the way I plan to add color to the Inktober doodlings in the sketchbook project book.

 

The Plan:

So there we have it: The doodles and drawings of Inktober will form the structure of my vision for the sketchbook.

In November I’ll add the colours, which will be the pairs and threesomes of color theory illustrating the beauty of the color wheel.

This in turn will be the visualisation of a new program all about color balancing for the new year.

YIKES!

 

I’ll tell you more about these 2018 incarnations of Twelvty at a future date. Meanwhile I’ve got important doodles to do!

Be sure to get on my mailing list if you’re even a little bit interested in finding out more about TWELVTY 2018 cos there’ll be special deals for folks on my list!

My Indigo June


Twelve Colors in Twelve Months: 2017 is my year full of color. I called it Twelvty. Because that’s just the way my mind works… and because I like made up words.

Each month I take another step around the color wheel, and focus on making art in just this color.

I like the liminal places – like dawn and dusk – neither one nor the other – just on that tipping edge in between. So naturally, I’m especially drawn to the tertiary colors (which is great – there are six –  so every other month I’m back into one of my favourite color zones).

 

Last month’s color was blue-violet: the moody-mauvy, midnight-indigo, and the fragrant bluebell & lavender space in the spectrum.

Last month also marked the half way point through the year, which is a place I like to step back and reflect.

These are some thoughts on the story so far.

 

Each month, along with its own color, has its own flavour, it’s own particular energy. It moves in its own speed, and I’m coming to realise, this is something over which I have next to no control.

Each month as I focus my creativity in the current color, I’m learning to bide quietly and see what comes out. To begin, I thought this was from the associations each color invites, but now I’m  seeing it’s also from the cumulative volume of spirit this entire investigation is amassing. 

The power of a single pointed focus in color is in its absolute simplicity.

Restricting the dither attached to one choice frees up space to play with the others, and to maximise them beyond the usual stopping point: tone and shade, materials and media, size and shape. Or then stripping it all back to its origin: just pure color. 

 

 

I’m  compiling an art journal of my ideas and experiments as I move through the year. It’s a re-purposed world atlas (cos this is an adventure – it seemed fitting). Each month’s has about 4 pages of playing space, and at the midway point this book is bulging with inspiration, expectation, and possibilities.

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Would you like to see this month’s pages?

If you enjoyed that, you can see the previous month’s pages here

 


All through this summer I’m offering a special discount in my Etsy Shop to all the folks on my mailing list – so clickety-hop aboard today if you want to snag a bargain!

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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 will ensure it is guarded at all times by dragons. Hungry dragons.

 

Flashback: Color, Color, Color!


IMG_9429Last year I had the great pleasure of producing an online class for 21 Secrets all about color. (If you know my art – you’ll know this is my thing!)

In the class I teach you how to make a really fun variation on a color wheel, using collage and mixed media painting techniques, to inspire new ways of combining colors in your mixed media art. This would be fab as a school holiday project for creative little ones!

And another 23 teachers (yes – this time there are more than the usual 21) share how they use color in their art.

This week there’s a Flashback Sale!

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From 1am PST on Monday July 3rd
(CLICK HERE for time zone conversion)
to 11:59pm PST on Wednesday, July 5th 

You can grab Color, Color, Color! For just $77
(a discount of $21).

Click Here & Enter Coupon Code: FLASHBACK

 

(By purchasing through the links in this post, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.)  

 


All through this summer I’m offering a special discount in my Etsy Shop to all the folks on my mailing list – so clickety-hop aboard today if you want to snag a bargain!

penngregory_Mailchimp12TEtsyBanner

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

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Little Green Things


colorwheelspiralIn my year full of color, I’m taking one step around the color each month. 12 colors in 12 months. 

It’s a logical progression at a steady pace that suits my practice well.

I’m documenting and sharing my experience as I go in an online program, TWELVTY, along with all the myriad resources I gather along the way.

There’s a new creative project every month, and there’s an art journal that has a few pages devoted to each month. Over the year this book will develop into a mixed media color-wheel-book. (A bit like this one – which inspired this year’s journey)

At the end of each month the art I made is available to buy online, and I make some little flip through videos of the art journal pages for my YouTube channel.

 

If you’ve visited this blog before, you will have seen some. They look like this

 

Months 1, 2 & 4. Erm…?

 

If you know me at all, you’ll know that this logical, consecutive, stepping order is not in keeping with my natural method. Any attempt to follow a structured system is liable to cause a part of my brain to misfire. I plan, I organise, I wander off route. Every freaking time!

Over the years I’ve found ways to make peace (mostly) with these quirks. I dance about in my own kind of high octane chaos. I enjoy making these colorful little schedules and lists. These are the compass by which I course-correct along my wiggly route.

 

 

At almost the half way point in the year, I’ve kept order to the creative part, but the end of month sharing schedule has gone a little catawompus.

Which is why – having shown you Twelvty-Four’s blue-green creative output already – today I want to show you the little green goodies I made during  Twelvty-Three!

In this month of Green I made this small collection of greetings cards from little bundles of hand dyed papers, held together with stitching. But they are more than that. They are also pieces of art you can frame and love forever. These are delicate and intricate, the more you look the more you see.

If you hop on over to my Etsy shop you may be in time to snap one up before they go.


Would you like to have news on my doings and makings delivered straight to your inbox? Would you like to hear about my colorful doings and makings before anyone else? 

~~~ AND ~~~ AND ~~~ AND ~~~

As a treat for the summer there’s a special discount code for my Etsy Shop especially for folks on my mailing list.

Sign up here and I’ll whizz it right over to you

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

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Your email is utterly safe to me. I won’t let it stay up late or eat junk food, it can sleep in late on weekends if it wants to.

tick.. tick.. tick…


I don’t want you to miss out: today is the last day you can join TWELVTY!

What is TWELVTY?

  • It’s an adventure in color that runs throughout 2017.
  • It’s an enormous feast of resources to inspire your creative practice.
  • It’s an insight into my creative practice with weekly newsletters and videos.
  • It’s a community of like minded artists and creatives.
  • It’s an exploration into working with a single color at a time.
  • It’s an opportunity to build a body of work through the year.
  • Exclusive TWELVTY discounts in my Etsy store (where the fruits of my one-color arting appear at the end of each month)

………………….and so much more!

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I’ve made the decision to close new registrations at the end of February because  TWELVTY has really taken on a momentum far bigger than I expected! It would simply be too much to catch up on beyond this point.

Will TWELVTY run again next year? 

Right now, I really don’t think so, it’s taken over so much of my time and become all-encompassing. I love it – but next year I have other adventures lined up so it certainly won’t repeat this same format. It’s a real now or never!

Sign up today and you’ll get instant access to everything we’ve done so far. I really look forward to exploring the rest of the color wheel with you!


If TWELVTY isn’t your thing, but you’d like to be first to hear about my colorful doings and things, hop on my mailing list here

(Your email is absolutely safe with me, I’ll just pop by and check up on it time to time, feed it raisins & chocolate, maybe sing to it for a while, that sort of thing.)

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

TWELVTY Prize Draw


This week I’m giving away TWO FREE places in TWELVTY.

TWELVTY is an adventure in color that runs all through 2017 where we explore the 12 colors of the color wheel one month at a time. 

In TWELVTY you get access to a wealth of delicious color resources, exclusive videos of my creative process every week, and can join a wonderful online community of creatives. And much, muchier more! (More details here)

Want in? just sign up to my email list here and reply to the welcome email with the subject line “I’m In!” to enter

Winners will be notified on Saturday 25th Feb. Good luck!

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

The doors close to new members of the TWELVTY tribe at the end of Feb, so if you get lit up by color and think this is something you’d like to be a part of you have until 28 Feb to jump aboard. I don’t know if I’ll run this program again – next year I have other adventures lined up – this could be now or never!

(here’s the project that planted the seed in my imagination to create TWELVTY)

Want to know more? Ask me in the comments below 🙂

Happy Birthday!


(But more on that in a moment… first let me set the scene…)

I was telling you about how TWELVTY has begun to take on a life of its own. It’s just a few weeks into its year long life and it’s not going the way I imagined…

Instead of being the set of 12 individual colored months, like I first planned, TWELVTY is turning into a story made of 12 chapters. They are woven together and already I can see that taken separately they lose the essential essence of the story. The full year of color has a life the months alone can’t provide. 

To begin I wanted to make this program available to join throughout the year, but what I didn’t know then was how all-encompassing it was to become! It’s grown beyond my imaginings, and to be honest if someone was to join later in the year I don’t think they’d get the full magic of being a part of TWELVTY just by accessing the material retrospectively.

So I’ve decided to close the doors on TWELVTY at the end of this month.
No more new recruits after the end of February. 
 

But wait up! that’s not all….
Before the doors close, as today is my birthday ………

I’m going to gift 2 FREE PLACES in TWELVTY 2017 in a Prize Draw.

The prize draw runs from Friday 17th Feb for ONE WEEK.
Winners will be notified Saturday 25th February.

 

Are you someone who gets all lit up about color?
Would you love to join a tribe of creatives who are just like us?

If so, just jump on my mailing list here and
reply to the welcome email with the title “I’M IN!”
to add your name to the hat for the prize draw.

(and as a welcome, you get this little ebook all about color when you join my list)

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Want to find out more about what’s in TWELVTY – it’s all  over here . I also did a big ole Q&A post over here. Or ask me in the comments – I’m massively excited about this – ask me anything! (anything about TWELVTY…I don’t have answers to much else!)

I don’t know if I’ll be offering this program again. Next year has different adventures in store for me, so this could be ‘now or never’, folks!