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!

 


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derailed logic


You know me well enough by now – you know not to expect a simple train of logic, don’t you?

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When I found this anonymous model, the leopardskin, that sultry seductive look, and all the glamour of the 1940’s ‘do — and I don’t remember the exact connecting train of thought that same next –– I just straight away thought mermaid.

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Of course, right? <welcome to my world!>

the str-e-e-e-tch


This guy was in a yoga magazine before he got here. In between times he’s been hanging out in my collection of cut out magazine snippings.ephemeralgecko72Trikonasana.jpg

I haven’t attempted this asana for a long while, it’s one that feels amazing at full stretch with straight limbs like this, but limbs and joints don’t always want to cooperate…

So he’s here as a reminder of what I can do on a good day, and good days are returning.

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Meanwhile I’ll focus my dexterity on scissor work and paintbrush wielding 😉

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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.

Create Your Own Map (22/52)


This recurring instruction: Create Your Own Map.
It’s what I’m endeavoring to do.
I’m mapping my way as I go.
I document when I remember,
I share when I think it might help.

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Starting out in the usual fashion:

Colours and curls,
Cut outs, collaging the inconsequential,
daubs, dabs, smudgy smear.

State the intention.

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Then populate:

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Look up, look down. Look around

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Remember it’s the journey not the destination.

Two Views (21/52)


Art journalers who embrace the unplanned,

who find their mojo in the serendipitous,

whose ideas bloom out of happenstance:

these folks will know this old trick: Squash that inky stencil between future pages of the book in which you’re playing and get the two-folded benefits of not wasting a drop of delicious colour and planting the seed for a creation yet to be born. That’s where this page began:

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And another familar trick: glue in a load of the offcuts of paper that are littering the work table. Much of this was soon to be lost under layers of heavy paint. But that’s the nature of the ephemeral.

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Last week’s pages were dominated by these faces. And where there are cut outs, there are the spaces from which they are cut. Add them to the gluings:

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So I felt called towards bigger colors. More defining. Louder.

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It came out as something a bit Easter Islandish, I like the way they are looking out:
One into the past, one into the future.

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.

butterfly overflow (9/52)


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Week 9 of this year is made out of the colours of Spring, honoring the sense of Spring as the world comes back to life after her quiet  dormant months. And some of last week’s butterflies have flitted across into this week too. I had a big old tidy up after finishing that project and all the left over butterflies have landed here. (I say all of them… a few got away as you’ll see on the next page).

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The week fell on the crossover from February to March, so warranted another list. Seems like there’s a reason for a list pretty much every week now. It’s in the background, but it can germinate there. I’ll patiently await the first shoots of development as the month wears on.

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Another week, another meme:

When you do what you fear the most you can do anything.

Ok, yeh, I can take that on as a challenge. I’ve crossed some metaphorical bridges lately, and my metaphorical-bridge-crossing skills are notably sharper as a result. I’ve also come to realise I can’t always tell the difference between the pit-of-the-guts anxiety feeling and its close cousin, the visceral buzz of anticipation feeling.

So I’ve actively decided that henceforth, if I’m in any doubt, I’ll assume its the latter.

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It is the feeling of butterflies.

New Beginnings


It’s that time of year, time of life, time of day.. it’s also the name of an exhibition I have some work in.

The title is open to interpretation but it got me thinking about the saying What the caterpillar calls the end, the rest of the world calls a butterfly.

an untidy desk is the sign of...
an untidy desk is the sign of…

So with my fav kind of glorious inky messy, the divinely joyous, the snipping up of little bits of paper, the gluing bits accidentally to my sleeves, hair, floor… and the itsy small doodles on the wings… the magical making process, another project began to unfurl.

I remembered how I hadn’t done this for so long – let the inner kid out to play without any rules or boundaries – well, one – just do butterflies. We jumped in with both feet!

IMG_3847I began with 3 different butterfly images, digitally reduced to grey-scale, then high contrast mono before printing in a few different sizes. Some flipped over to fly in the opposite direction.

Enough of the tidy digital world, enough of the pristine pixel arrangement. Time for IK to make a mess with layers of inky goodness before cutting out the little beasties for collaging, and extra doodles.

So far there are 2 framed collages, and a series of cards. I’m in the process of setting them up over on DeviantArt so prints are available too  ……….. and I’ve got another little side project where they’ll be flitting through too -> watch this space!

for the love of paper


Isn’t there something irresistable about paper? this page is centred around play with handmade paper. Not made by me I hasten to add – that’s a game I haven’t played (yet)!

It lends itself so well to roughly torn edgery, and as I discovered this week, tearing it when wet makes for even fluffier edges. Now I don’t remember what this paper is made from, it’s (I beleive) Indian and has super-long fibres. I painted it with Koh-I-Noor dye paints then gently tore it while it was still soggy.

The contrast on the magenta page really ZINGS!

I did the cut-out thing with a scalpel, the out-cut-bits then glued on top making multi-levelled layered shape, surrounded by doodle. With some more of the hairy edged paper and dyed envelopes glued to the underside of the page to show through the cut out holes, the next page was starting to take shape too. But more of that later.