YELLOW MONDAY


Does this talk of ‘Blue Monday’ get you down? Who needs the media reminding them to feel any less bouyant and joyful than they already do?

I need to counteract this craziness, and my way (as in all things) is to use color!

Monday 16th January 2017 is now YELLOW MONDAY.

Yellow is the color of sunshine, the color of hope and happiness, and the color of January in my year full of color program, TWELVTY.

To back that up there’s a 24 hour offer for new TWELVTY folks: from 9am GMT Monday 16th January for just 24 hours you can get 12 months of color for the price of 10.

Join us HERE

And if TWELVTY isn’t for you, know that you can make your day whatever color you want it to be. Have a great week my friends – don’t let the media tell you how to feel!

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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 treats, plump up its cushions, that sort of thing.)

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Let’s Light up 2017


Things have been weighing heavily around here lately, you noticed that too?  Even when you do your best not to get dragged down there’s still an underlying sense of being, at best, completely unsettled. 

As I’ve shared here before, if it weren’t for my art practice I think I would have sunk many times.

A few days ago I found myself re-watching this TED-X talk by artist Callie Curry, aka Swoon. She’s a real inspiration to me. I love her style, but I most especially love her – her persona – her magic.

She talks about how she created the Heliotrope Foundation. After the 2010 earthquake she was compelled to find a way to help the people of Haiti. But how? in her words, ‘I’m just an artist’. If you watch the talk you’ll see how she brings hope and light and practical support in a way that only the ingenuity of an artist could have thought up. And she continues to spread this magic around the world.

 

“I’m just an artist”

 

Me too. I’m just an artist too… and one who really wants to bring the light into other folks lives in the way that creativity has done for me. But how?

 

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How can I shine light in these turbulent times?

I think about what has helped me in the past, where I’ve turned when I felt like I might just crumple, and that’s what I can share.

My sanctuary has always been in my art. Not just the act of creating – I don’t always have the time, the motivation, the space or the will. But I can always see it. I can see the patterns and the colors and the wonder. It’s a skill I’ve honed over the years and as each year passes I get more from it – it works better – it’s more reliably everywhere I look.

This is what I want to share, and this is my intention with the program I’m starting in the new year. I want to show the way I see, to share the sanctuary I carved out n my imagination and is with me everywhere I go.

I’m gathering a tribe who will all be contributing, in art, in ideas, in insights, and between us we’re going to make magic happen.

Want to join us?

It doesn’t matter if you think yourself ‘arty’ or not – in fact the more diverse the tribe is, the more we all benefit, everyone brings their own magic to add to the mix.

Don’t feel like you have magic to bring? Let me prove you wrong!

If you want to find out more, read more here. Any questions – comment below or send a message on my site. I’d love to have you join us.

Let’s light up the world together in 2017.

reflecting ‘so much more’ 27/52


Every week I create something.

Some weeks I create more.

In fact – most days I create loads – but in terms of the tangible, the painty reality, every week of this year I am creating at least one something: One page of One book of One year

I’m over half way in now, and I’m detecting more and more patterns all the time, every one a metaphor for the unfolding times in which they’re made:

Some weeks start on the first day and incrementally develop a little at a time.
Some weeks are a flurry of fervour, forced into focus in a short few days: blurting out in totality at the start, or squished up against the finishing hours.

They all reflect some underlying aspects, some current cares and the modality of the moment:
Words and feelings ooze in and out.. You might not hear them, but we both know they are there.

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Weaving in the elements: internal and external.
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There’s what rests on the surface, and there’s so much more.

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The surface reflects to you what you project out.
For everyone it’s something personal and new.

Each page, each week, each is contained within a season of interest with the cast of supporting characters who meander about and around my days. These recent weeks have been populated by some images that I printed more than I needed for a project I’ve since finished. Smiling, familiar faces from within the framework that structures these times. Left over faces smile out of these times.

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Here from the perspective of a photo I see all that I’d like to do to ‘finish’ the image. But that week has passed so it’s another that I’ll leave as it is, almost ready, a little soft in the middle and a bit raw in places. It’s all ok.
Time pushes on, I’m over the other side of this one now.

5 Stages of Creative Obsession


I’m working on a new project.

It’s SO Much Fun!

It really crept up on me, without realizing I’d run the full gamut of the

5 stages of taking on a new and seemingly unlikely creative obsession

  1. What the…? Why would someone do that? That makes no sense to me…
  2. I’m not one to judge, but I can’t see any good coming from that. It’s maybe a way of using up time and craft supplies…maybe creating another stage in the life-cycle of a thing in between  ‘no longer fit for original purpose‘ and ‘recycling/landfill fodder’, but…
  3. IDK, I can’t help wanting to know more. If I watch enough of the limitless number of YouTube tutorials, blogposts, etc etc I’ll figure out why folks do it. Yeh. That’s what I’ll do: solve that mystery and just move on.
  4. Y’know what tho, that does look like fun. Fun is the primary reason I do a lot of what I do….
  5. I have to do that now!! Let me play!!

(I’ll show you a bit later.)

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.

Water in Parallel: Bring in the Deities


The two Water paintings have been progressing along since I last showed you. The biggest development has been that they are now populated with deities.

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I’ve invited in the spirits of some gods and goddesses from all parts of our history and mythology.

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In keeping with the themes, these are rulers of water and creativity.

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Over the last couple of weeks they’ve merged into the swirls. As they become part of their environment and with the water theme very much established I’ve released the color rule of only blues. And zing doesn’t the blue become suddenly so much bluer!

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As soon as I can coordinate some good lighting with the camera and paintings in the same place at the same time I’ll show you the finished pieces.

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ideas about ideas about ideas…


I’ve been processing thoughts on and around the creative process over the weekend. Unravelling thought processes.

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In my exploration I can across this article ‘Find your creative currency’. It invites us to explore where our ideas emerge from. Like the author I can happily binge on texture.

concrete. what's not to love.
concrete. Deliciously speckly – what’s not to love.

Tree bark, rocks, skin, textiles, metals (and everything else) – they all have the potential to release a new stream of wanna-make/draw/invent/etc.

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But more so I get this from arrangements of color. A little grouping colors – a patch of nature or a window display, the clothes on a passing stranger or a row of parked cars. These are magical gifts to a color hungry mind. I have been known to stop and gaze at a stretch of brickwork or a row of books on a shelf for just this reason.

Really?

Really, no, not known to. Because I don’t generally tell people that’s what’s going on.

(But I do it, and that’s why.)

What if….


Of all the things we cling to, I find expected outcomes are hard to drop. Some hope of sense of stability or control… That desire to know what’s next, where I’m steering towards and what it’ll look like when I get there. Which I know isn’t real.

Just imagine the possibilities that could show themselves.

I’ve been giving this a lot of thought lately.

Last night I was listening to Darryl Anka. He’s one of those people who has a wonderfully down-to-earth quality offsetting some totally out there ideas.  Some of which I know are hard to entertain for a lot of folks… but I was particularly fascinated by this talk. (It’s a loooong talk, this bit is around 58 mins in if you wanna cut to the chase!)

He’s saying the same — the key to the magic in life:
Do what you love, what excites and enriches you
Do it to the absolute utmost of your ability
Do it with no attachment to the outcome.

So I’ll persevere …

It’s simple: You take so…


“It’s simple: You take something and do something to it, and then you do something else to it. Keep doing this, and pretty soon you’ve got something”

In adopting this premise put forward by Jasper Johns that to create is to: ‘take something and do something to it’ (I like to suspend expectation) then just  ‘keep doing things’.

Popular wisdom cautions us that creation can go too far – ruined by not knowing when to stop, fidgeting and niggling the spontaneity and spirit away, from whence it cannot be reclaimed.

Unless you choose otherwise.

I’m playing with a new attitude.

One in which there cannot be a point where I step back and tell myself, after critical consideration: this is shit; this has failed; I can’t do this; this isn’t what I planned; followed up by I give up. If, at the time I observe and consider progress, there is no judgement; either it’s done, or it isn’t.

And even if it is, maybe some more will be done to it another time.

It’s all ephemeral.