contrast


Sometimes I take sideways look.

A change of perspective is refreshing and replenishing.

I’ve always surrounded myself in color, it lights me up and brings with it so many of my ideas.

And I love contrast.

I’m someone who thrives on change and novelty. I bounce along with the momentum. So alongside all the bright clashing colors I wrap every day in, I get a big zing from zebra stripes, dalmatian dots, and nothingy neutrals too.

So here I am.

After 3 months of prepping and planning and immersing myself in TWELVTY the year full of color, followed by a frantic fantastic cram-it-all-in-three-day-trip to the color-drenched delight that is Barcelona (more on that in a future post) my eyes and mind were full to bursting of full color.

I had to restore some balance before I could move forward.

Which is why, earlier this week, when I was up to my elbows in deadlines and adulting duties I had to spend time making this.

For so many reasons.

So, so many.

A slow learned life lesson for me has been fully grasping the importance of taking a few hours out of a really full day – counter-intuitive as it may seem – as this time will more than repay itself. Always.

It replaces the hours otherwise spent spinning aimlessly between tasks in the appearance of being really busy but not achieving anything. Apart from more confusion.

Cos while I work like that I only get bits of jobs dome, I don’t remember where I left off and have to do them again anyways. And it’s exhausting.

Y’know the old saying:
Too busy to find 10 minutes a day for mediation? Then you need to meditate an hour a day.
It’s how it works. 

So I made this.

The book I used is the art journal I’m working in throughout TWELVTY. Each month this year, which is dedicated to its own color, has a few pages for single colored doodles.  At the end of the year it will be a rainbow of mixed media, not unlike this.

I used a page toward the end, so in a few months time when its time arrives I’ll add some color to it. (Some time in the autumn, which will be in the Orangey-Red season – watch this space!)

Want to see this all coming into life? Here it is…

What’s your best way to keep swimming through the chaos every day life keeps throwing at you?

Have you got a creative practice that’s a sanctuary for your soul? I’d love to know.  


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merging emerging


Last night I couldn’t sleep. So I painted. And I pondered.

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The magic of metallic paint on cushiony soft paper, that biro marks indent and cast tiny shadow outlines.

Life is as quick as a flash, a sprint through some generations and it’s done.

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And life is a slow evolution, spiralling up through understanding new layers of the game.

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It’s both.

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Everything & Nothing. Empty & Full.

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Contrast & Confusion. Zigs & Zags.

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Deep & Shallow.

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Some folk like to scramble the edge, following the truths they’ve chosen to absorb, busying away their days in occupation and activity, punctuated with ritual and escapism.

IMG_7349.jpgFearful of treading over the lines, getting their toes wet, or worse.

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Some folk run at it fast, not leaving anything to chance, escaping the dangers by out-running and out-witting. No way is right, no way is wrong. We’re all just making it up one bit at a time.

~~~~~

I’ve been listening to Pete Holmes’ podcasts: You Made It WeirdHe kept me company through the night, kept me laughing and thinking. So far I’ve really love love loved his interactions with Liz Gilbert & Deepak Chopra and been curiously riled by Noel Gallagher &  Tim Minchin.

Contrast and Agreements (42/52)


Sometime earlier this year I fell upon the Four Agreements (Miguel Ruiz). This week they fell back into my mind, so I caught them here on the page. If you don’t know them,

The Four Agreements are:

1. Be Impeccable with your Word: Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the Word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your Word in the direction of truth and love.

2. Don’t Take Anything Personally
Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.

3. Don’t Make Assumptions
Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

4. Always Do Your Best
Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.

I remind myself of these to keep on track. Again and again. There’s something magical about the physical act of writing words.  I think the process is wired up to a special section of the brain that remembers differently.

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There’s a lot about contrast. By which I mean to say – everywhere – it’s all about contrast, isn’t it? And on a smaller scale too.. Yester-page saw the words shouting out unhindered by art. This page is the opposite as from almost the outset the wordage got drowned out by heavy paint.

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But it’s ok, I know what I wrote. The words are still fresh in my mind and readily retrievable from this bountiful online repository of stuff.

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This page saw me in the mood for change. Random artifacts. Desk findings.

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‘what if… it happened. what if…’

Moleskine users will recognise this addition (I never had cause to use these stickers – or these others that turned up a recent tidying flurry – but as somehow-un-throw-out-ables, there’s quite a collection to use up now)

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It’s been a few pages since I played with the paints. So that was the spark to the first layer of word covering.
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But…oh…

too dark.

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Bring contrast: Add white

splurged on white

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Thick dollopy white – oh THE PATTERNS!

OH MY DAYS!

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But…..

Now too much white?

glimpses survive, but … more color to balance that white…

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Like the proverbial kid in the sweet shop, or the bull in the china shop, I am the loon with the oil pastels, making the lumps and rhythms in the white paint come to life in all the colours of autumn that my eyes have been unconsciously soaking in.

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Not usually a fav medium to me, I’m just developing a fondness for the slightly icky messiness involved.

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And yet again, while the page (week) has a certain overall heaviness (ugliness)

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that I didn’t have time to remedy,

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the details (moments) hold the beauty.

 

 

upsidedowneries (20/52)


Life’s little upsidedowneries; they entertain, baffle, bemuse.

I considered not posting this page, tbh I was just relieved I took these first pics before I got too far in, so at least I had something to show for the week if I couldn’t bring myself to unveil the way it went from here….

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Mmmmm yummy Golden fluid acrylics: I have like about 5-6 of these weeny little bottles. They are expensive, but they are so lush. Delicious. Mmmmmm…. And just a few little drops scrape out soooo much colour:

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I love! I love these colours, I love the blending, I love so much about these paints. I recommend them wholeheartedly.

So maybe that’s exactly why it all seemed to fall apart when I began gluing other stuff all over this start to the page.

Eurgh. Hasty move.

But y’know what, I’ve been doing this for years and I’ve got good at letting go and moving along, overcoming those WHYDIDIDOTHAT?s and getting straight into the next OOHBUTNOWICANDOTHIS!

This week though, try as I might, they weren’t coming together for me. And then suddenly it’s the end of the week and I’m all WHAT!? where did that go? Cue: Massive flurry of activity.

So when I tried with some more of the lovely-insided envelope and a bit of Inktensity I just wound up covering over a load of what I had liked with something I liked a lot less. A lot less 😦

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‘Meh’

In a frenzied state of compulsive collage and paint scraping I hit it with all I could muster before I ran out of day. And I got this:

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I didn’t like it much. And then I went to bed.

This morning I got to taking the photos and as I was looking at them, something odd happened: Do you get this sometimes?

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A thing can be a thing, then with no warning, it becomes its opposite: It flips, reverses, and it nearly never gives you any warning.

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All that was rushed, ugly and scratchy the night before was now curiously deliberate looking.

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Almost artful…

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The colours that were chosen by serendipity: what’s on the table in front of me…IMG_4631

they’ve flipped from hideous clashing mismatch to interesting contrasts.

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In combination with taking photos at odd angles, I do believe this is really warming up to be something I like.

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Even the ubiquitous eyes have evolved. And now I’m looking at it here, I can’t help see how the purples go with the purpley background on screen, Well whaddayouknow.

tree prints


Did I tell you before?
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I love to screenprint.
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My latest screen is from a photo I took in Hyde Park.
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I reckon there are something close to an infinite number of uses for screen printed trees.
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(But these are just 4)

Monochrome Monday


I’ve thought about a black and white page for a while.
I’ve even tried.
But resisting any color at all was harder than I cared to admit!

Anyway, prompted by John Clinock of Art Rat Cafe I determined to give it another go. Armed just with black and white gesso, black and white Dr PH Martens’ Bombay Inks, black and white gel pens, this is what happened!

I’d do it again – thanks for the nudge, John!

Contrast (with buttons)


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