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.

 

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.

Prize Draw :)


Today is the last day of the TWELVTY Prize Draw!

 

Just sign up to my email list here and reply to the welcome email with the subject line “I’m In!” to enter and win A FREE year of TWELVTY! All that colourful loveliness! All for you!

Winners will be notified tomorrow: 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!

A life of its own…


colorwheelspiralY’now I’ve been immersed in color for the last few months.  Not my usual multi-colored chaos (although there’s no escaping that) – but a very specific niche of color – as I explore and examine the color wheel.

It’s a project I played with a few years ago keeps returning to in one way or another.
It keeps coming back.
It’s a compulsion.

But this time is a little different: this time I’m joined by other artists and creatives, and we’re on this adventure together. And I’m totally loving it!

 

We began the year in shades of sunshine & lemon with YELLOW, and now in the second month we’ve stepped round to the luscious lime and sumptuous olive tones that fall into YELLOW-GREEN. Next month we explore GREEN… so on, cycling around the color wheel, a month at a time.

 

 

The thing is, since I decided to share this color journey, it’s taken on a momentum and is developing a character of its own. (As big projects so often do).

 

As I plan forward into the upcoming months of colors I see this adventure develop into one big ongoing story, rather than the 12 little self-contained, single-color tales I first envisaged. I anticipated TWELVTY being the kind of course folks to hop on board any time through the year, with instant access to all the material to date.

…..But 6 or so weeks in, TWELVTY has become something much bigger than I realised it would be, and that simply isn’t the way it’s decided to grow.

So I’ve made a decision. 

Which I’ll tell you about on Friday.(Because Friday is special

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!)

 


Hop on my mailing list here to get irregular updates on my colorful makings & doings direct to your inbox.

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

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12 things about TWELVTY


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  1. Unlike other online art programs, in TWELVTY each segment is all about one color. There are no assignments or structured projects, just a feast of content to inspire you!
  2. TWELVTY is designed to integrate in your existing creative practice, if you use color, you can use TWELVTY!  Every month begins a new color so it’s super adaptable and every month you get to start over!
  3. We’re journeying round 12-part color wheel, this means every second color is a tertiary “inbetweeny” color (think yellow-green, turquoise, magenta…) Personally these are my favs, but if you skip over these you’ll still have a complete spectrum of art by the end of the year.
  4. TWELVTY is a brilliant way to make use of the art supplies you neglected in the past, explore colours you wouldn’t usually use, especially the things you only have cos they were part of a set!
  5. Working in just one color is a great solution to blank canvas overwhelm. Begin with a paint splodge, wash or doodle, a collage scrap or an abstract photo of found color. Or just give some thought to what that color means to you…The ideas will follow close behind! Overcome this challenge and open up to a world of creative possibility!color
  6. TWELVTY is also a community of likeminded people from around the world and with a wide range of creative backgrounds. Join our tribe and share ideas and inspiration, even collaborate together.
  7. Then there’s our collection of online color resources which you get immediate access to. And I’m constantly adding to it!
  8. Every month you’ll receive a 20+ page ebook especially for TWELVTY. It’s full of illustrations, photos & juicy rich content about the month’s color. From the history of how  it’s used, to connections and meanings attached to the color around the world, as well as art & design.
  9. I invite you to join me as I work just in the month’s color. Every Monday I send you a newsletter where I share my creative process through video & photo galleries of works in progress. This content is only for TWELVTY members and is available in the TWELVTY archives all year long.
  10. At the end of each month the art I made as part of TWELVTY will go in my online shop. There are special discounts just for TWELVTY members.
  11. Looking out for color invites you to observe the world around you on a new level. It adds to the richness of the everyday places and things, and brings back a childlike sense of fun and wonder. 
  12. All of this works out at just £12 a month! That’s about the equivalent of one fancy cup of coffee once a week. (I’d make my own coffee once a week for all this, wouldn’t you?) 😉


Ready to jump in, or intrigued and want to find out more?

TWELVTY 2017 is here! 


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 raisins & chocolate, plump up its cushions, that sort of thing.)

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

on letting go, on moving on


Continuing from yesterpost, as I’m finding my place in this book, it’s finding its place in my days.

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I’m loving the contrast of my art against the books original purpose (which I spoke of more over here). The waves and the lines criss-crossing the verbal nonsense. More than this I’m enjoying the meditation of the evening ritual this book plays out in my life. It’s very lack of specific purpose is becoming it’s purpose.

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It’s a bit solid ground in uncertain times as I’m feeling unsettled in aspects of my life with the turmoil of transition, that awkward movement into unknown territory. It sits in part of my world where I know I can keep moving, one little step at a time.

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Behind the noise of confusion I soften the day, here is my haven. I leave the other realities, partially dismantled, they can wait for now.

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I’m drawing in a series of moments of now.

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I’m relishing the freedom: detaching from outcome , delighting in the hope, focussing on process,

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the less I plan, the more fun I have.

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The more I let go, the more I let go.

 

 

 

 

 

daily learning


Do you have daily practices?

I kinda do, but my progress moves like a caterpillar – that scrunching-stretching motion, so while it averages out as daily, it might not always be technically daily.

This is the thing: – I’m acknowledging this now instead of berating myself. I’m learning my rhythms and working within them.  I’m letting the process be the lesson.

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2016: A work in progress/process

Since the start of this year I’ve been adding to this book of ‘daily’ doodles. Mostly every day I complete a 1″square. The days when I don’t, I return to, always within a day or two, and as I doodle I reflect back on that day. Sometimes there’s a word or a shape or a scrap of something to glue into the square. Everyday is similar, yet every day is unique.

It’s another unfolding metaphor.

 

 

where’s my muse gone?


Y’know the thing, where you’ve cleared some time, you’ve made some space, you’ve got peace and quiet for a reasonable stretch of time. All those obstacles that prevent you from creating in the usual day-to-day-ness of life………….

……….. and where’s your muse gone?

…… when did that perpetual freaking flood of imagination dry up?

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the thing I was going to do that involved torn book pages and photos. Erm… Meh…

Sometimes (I think) when the ideas sense you’ve made space especially for them – they simply evaporate. ‘Perhaps’ (they think) ‘we aren’t as wild or breathtaking as we seemed from a distance.’

They get shy and they hide. And they lurk, hushed, round the back of your mind, behind the mis-rememberings and the fluff. Where it’s quiet. They fall asleep there.

So It feels like your muse has abandoned you: but all those ideas just need to be coaxed back to the foreground where they can shine again.

In all my years of being and  spending time with creatives I’ve seen this happen over and over. And I’ve learned a few ways to entice them back:

Check out these top tips to Reconnect with your Muse  I put together for Dirty Footprints Studio. 

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the other side of the ugly (18/52)


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Yesterday I was sharing about the ugly side of creativity. When it’s in that worse before it gets better zone.

The only way outa here is forward: Charge on forward through this zone.

If you can’t carry on right now, let it rest.Let it settle.

When you come back it’s going to look different:
—If it looks better – let this spur you on in hope.
—If it looks worse – take the nothing left to lose impetus to make changes:

Whatever you’re creating, from a painting to a song, a novel or a dance, a dress or a manifesto, try any variations of these things:

  • Paint over it.
  • Mix up the harmonies.
  • Cut it up and reconfigure the bits together in a new shape.
  • Record over sections of it.
  • Photograph it from obtuse angles: review it through the viewfinder, on screen, through squinting eyes, or print its negative.
  • Speed it up, slow it down, add trumpets.
  • Change two of the colours.
  • Stitch, glue, staple, splice. Rinse and repeat.
  • Play it backwards / turn it upside down / inside out.
  • Take out every other word, or every other adjective, or swap about all the words beginning with vowels.
  • Pick it up by the ears and shake it hard.

Do some radical dismantling, recreate with hope and a conscious understanding it’s only wrong at the moment; it’s maybe uncomfortable but it isn’t doomed.

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Know that you’re through the worst because if you’re moving you’re making progress: It was the ugliest thing in existence, so by logical deduction it must be getting better, right?

Right. Then keep on going. If the bigger picture is freaking you out,

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Just look at the detail…

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Find some solace there, some shhhhhsome calm

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Befriend the details. Examine them closely for inexplicable creatures.

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The only thing not to do is sit and dwell on how a different course of action somewhere in the past would have made it different. That then is gone. Focus on the now of it.

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Then see where you find yourself, recombobulate, know the process works, and carry on.

midweek mayhem (18/52)


Y’know when you hear about a new thing, then you hear about it again within a really short time, and you think:
Hey, Universe, are you trying to  tell me something here?

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Well, this week I’ve read in more than 2 places the suggestion of freeing up your creative mojo by drawing freestyle, playing about at mark making, with your non dominant hand. It kicks the brain into action in a way doing the usual things in the usual way just can’t.

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So with some degree of awkwardness I set about some cack-handed doodles. Scribbles. Scraping of pencil across page.

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Not pretty, not descriptive, but after a bit of warming up the eye-brain-hand coordination came together a little better and it did at least begin to look and feel a bit more deliberate. And it’s only a first layer. With some more colour it’s already becoming much more backgroundier.

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There it goes, merging behind, blending away.

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Some collaged layers begin to add structure and I’m back to my usual right-fisted chaos. But…….

The other reason I’m posting these stages is to make the point that pages can go through really ugly phases; totally scrappy and uncohesive. I mean really, really URGH. Really WTF is going on, ‘I honestly thought I could make pretty, creative, loveliness…. then I go n do this thing and it’s just so… just so… I can’t even look at it….’ <sob>

The key to getting through this is to keep on going! Don’t stop here!! It’s just a phase. It’s easy to get despondent looking at such an incoherent ugliness. It’s a shambles. But it’s only a shambles at the moment.

It’s a very rare art that can’t be pulled back from the edge of ugly in some fashion or other.

I’ll be back tomorrow with how this got saved, there is ART after URGH.