100 days: 1-7


MY last trip to the art store was for essentials: gel medium and canvas. I passed through aisles filled with rainbows of paint and pens and all manner of glorious goodies. I resisted the urge to take home so much of so much. 

Until I saw this.

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my companion for the summer

I keep seeing on instagram folks doing this #100daychallenge and feeling the tug of a challenge I wanted to play along too… straightaway I knew this little sketchbook would make the perfect companion for me through this summer.

Beginning 1st June I’ve been taking my morning coffee with this new friend. Together we ease into the day. The light mornings mean my days begin earlier in the summer, it’s still quiet out in the world and nobody knows I’m awake, not even the internet.

Each day I choose a photo from the extensive collection in my phone (I’m forever seeing and catching patterns or shapes that intrigue me – finally I’m using this library – to begin my day’s doodles)

Here’s the first week of the adventure:

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Photo from the Pink Floyd retrospective at the V&A – PF have been part of my life since I was a kid and I’ve got so many memories tangled up in their music. I don’t listen to it much these days, so hearing some of those songs again, I got quite emotional. When I was a teenager I went through a real hippy dippy phase. (It could be argued I haven’t come out if it yet) and I adored early PF and all the psychedelic things.

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Still in the V&A, I forget what this is the detail of, but the patterns appealed and was enough to form the beginning of today’s doodle. I was listening to an Unruffled podcast, chichis where the quote “comparison and envy are just a different form of procrastination” came from. Food for thought for the day.

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Today’s doodles began as I absentmindedly drew round the shapes showing through from the page before. The indentations in the paper. The shadows and ghosts of yesterday. Then the shapes from a photo in the Cathedral in Barcelona, I was really taken by this arrangement of diagonal lines and circles. It’s one of a few similar photos 😉 .

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The photo that launched today’s doodle was a shop window display. My inner magpie saw those colors, those zigzags, and had to catch them. The reflections making new shapes on top were a bonus I didn’t see until later.

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The photo is of a metal grid thing at the train station in Sacramento, I saw while waiting to leave on the second part of my big train trip across the US last year. I like the perspective, the contrast in grid shapes. It set the scene for this doodle.

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Mmmmm…. foxgloves. What more can I say – aren’t flowers amazing?!

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Continuing the theme of nature being amazing, with this twisty tree from Kew Gardens. “Healing in Expression” was a phrase I heard as I played. Which is truly what this is.

If you want to follow along this project day by day I’m posting on Instagram (where you can also see more WIP & detail pix) & Facebook

 


Would you like to get sporadic updates on my thoughts and drawings delivered right to your inbox? 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. It will be wrapped up in blankets. I will bring it tea and biscuits as required. (subject to availability)

 

 

What 3 months of color looks like…


These are the art journal pages from the first three months of Twelvty: This is the story so far.

January: Yellow

 

When I look at these pages I’m whisked back the to adventures and explorations of the first month of this year long adventure. Using just one color brings out nuances and subtleties too quiet to hear above the sound of other colors. 

I chose yellow as a starting place in the color wheel because it is simple, it is small. 

There’s not much space or contrast in yellow – take it darker and you have shades of ochre, tan into browns. Only a smidge lighter before you hit white. No room to step either way before falling into yellow-orange or yellow-green, and they have their own months in Twevlty.

Yellow is compact with well defined parameters. 

 

February: Yellow-Green

Yellow-green: the first tertiary color we explored – and suddenly there’s a depth of tone to play with. Luscious lime to opulent olive.  Chartreuse. Char-freaking-treuse, people! 

And here’s the beginning of the “is it or isn’t it?” questions that will bob up all through this year. When does it stop being yellow and start being green? Where’s the spot in the middle? We’re navigating a continuum, there are no strict boundaries. It’s all part of the fun 😉

March: Green

Another month, another step round, deeper into greens. Each collage scrap and cut out shape here has a story and will serve to remind me of ideas that were born and then took a turn I didn’t foresee. I’m only the vehicle through which these ideas come to being, sometimes I forget this and try to control them. But, like water,  they find their own way.

 

This book is the place a leave seeds of ideas to incubate: reminders to a me-in-the-future. We’re nearing the end of a month of blue-green as I type this to you, and about to dive into the ocean of blue for May. Check back to see the cool bluey loveliness that emerges!

 


Would you like to get sporadic updates on my thoughts and drawings delivered right to your inbox? 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)

Your email is utterly safe to me. It will be wrapped up in blankets. I will bring it tea and biscuits on Wednesdays.

tree of life


Life often moves in a spiral motion: I’ve been here before, haven’t you?

The view is a little bit different through today’s lens but what I see looks distinctly familiar.

It feels like no time passed, in so many senses, but the numbers tell me it’s approaching 10 years since I drew this.

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I remember so vividly, when this drawing came through me. (Not to me, most definitely through me)

Have you had this happen too?

I had the strongest sense of just being a vehicle through which this drawing wanted to be made real. It could have been anyone.

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Of everything I’ve ever drawn, I’ve felt the least able to claim this as ‘mine’. If anything, I am its.

I remember the day it happened, I remember the big pad of watercolor paper, the watercolor pencils and paints, the frenzy of leaves and curves and wispy bits.

I remember watching it happen in front of me: Connected, and separate. Both at once.

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The drawing had its own spirit, and was not willing to stay on paper.

It wanted to grow, to have more color, more depth, more vibrancy. What It had me draw was only a skeleton.

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it demanded scanning and tinkering, new layers of color, new detail.

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Even all these years later, through it’s many incarnations and variations, it’s the most loved of all my drawings.

It’s me, and it isn’t me.

It’s an enigma.

It is, Tree of Life.

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To celebrate 10 years of Tree of Life I’ve adapted it for printables, so it can manifest itself around the world.

Would you like to give this drawing a space in your world? It’s available from Society6 in many shapes and forms.

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Art prints in many sizes, framed or unframed

Notebooks for musings & doodles, lists & lyrics, poems & plans. Cases, covers & skins for phones/ ipods. Totes & zippy pouches for carrying important things around in! And more! 

 

 All these & more can be found at: society6.com/mixy

 


If you like this, and things like this, you can get sporadic updates on my thoughts and drawings delivered right to your inbox. 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)

Your email is utterly safe to me. I will ensure it is guarded at all times by dragons. Hungry dragons.

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.  


Would you like to get sporadic updates on my thoughts and drawings delivered right to your inbox? 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)

Your email is utterly safe to me. It will be wrapped up snug and nestled with a hot water bottle & a kitten until the spring arrives. I will bring it fresh socks every three weeks, or as required.

because


because a squillion things need doing.

because my eyes have soaked in so much color lately.

because time-lapse is the most fun thing in world.

 

today I made this:

Playing 


“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”

~ George Bernard Shaw

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don’t stop  😉

that time again! (1 of 2)


Looking back at things I made in 12 months makes the year stretch back further. January feels like a lifetime ago now…

My 2016 in art journalling has looked like this

January

February

March

April

May

June

The tail of the year, the time to look back & look forward, funny cos in so many ways it’s an arbitrary number, tomorrow will still be tomorrow whatever we call it. But I enjoy the process of evaluating where I am in this life from time to time, so now’s as good as any!

Join me tomorrow and I’ll show you the second half of my 2016 in art journaling.


Want to make 2017 brighter and more colorful?

Join me in TWELVTY!  beginning January 1st.

Can’t wait that long? sign up below and get a lovingly hand crafted ebook all about color right now!!  

…then join TWELVTY…obvs! 😉 

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

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

 

 

 

The more I look…


…the more I see.

I was in London all day Saturday. A rainy grey day, the view from our second floor window crossed over a patch of garden to the grey stonework and concrete of the buildings opposite. These short December days barely get light and the wet and wind dulled out any colours.

The only life on view from up here was a solitary grey squirrel scampering along the spindly limbs of the near naked tree-tops.

But amid the gloom was the last remaining brightness of the season: with every gust of wind a few remaining golden yellow leaves danced about, tumbling, sprinkling, shining.

I was transfixed.

My mind is full of color, it is my ‘thing’.

And as I’m focussed on yellow in the prepration of the first chapter of TWELVTY I suppose it’s no wonder I was so captivated. But it made me ask myself if that’s why: would I have noticed so keenly? Would I have seen it in such glory? Would it have held that measure of magic? 

I have no control group of me, no comparison, so these questions are unanswerable

But I have come to observe that the more I actively look, the more I absorb, and the richer my life becomes. When there’s so much enjoyment available from the everyday and mundane, life is lusher and days are fuller.


 

I’m so full of ideas for TWELVTY, I’m almost bursting! so much so I’m waking up in the night and having to write stuff down. I’m literally dreaming about it! It’s filling all the corners of my mind.

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The program begins in the new year with shiny bright yellow so I’ve been warming up my drawing-and-painting-in-just-yellow vibes in readiness.

I love to use just one color (I love using ALL THE COLORS!) but one-at-a-time has a really special quality. This is one of the big things that I want to share and explore further with you.

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I’m putting together a Q&A

If you want to know more about what TWELVTY’s all about comment below to let me know 🙂

  • What would you like to know?
  • What would you like to learn?
  • What really lights you up about some colours, and not others?

Read all about TWELVTY & sign up here

just lurking


Hello lovely friends of the internet, I’ve missed you, where have you been?

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I haven’t posted in a little while due to an absence of images.

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This is the coming together of a doodly thing I did a few weeks back

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Watercolour and fountain pen,  intricate and involved but in a stilted inhibited style, so I left it there

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My creative mojo has dropped off temporarily, the tide’s gone out, so I’m patiently waiting it out.

Meanwhile, I wish you all a beautiful Solstice, whatever that means to you. Be well, lovely souls X

something familiar going on…


We’ve all got our own way of categorising, organising, ordering our worlds about us. And we often aren’t even aware of this until we encounter someone whose ways differ greatly from our own.

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For me, it’s by colour.  (no shit…really?)

Back in a previous life when I was an office bunny who shuffled papers and rattled at a keyboard all day I sought out opportunities to invent new systems I could colour-code.

I’d spend any spare time buried in the stationery catalogues, choosing folders and files and highlighter pens.

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What I came to realise much later on was that I just had a thirst for colour and creativity that was going unquenched.

Beyond that, colour is the defining visual attribute I’ll notice over any other: He’s the guy in the blue shirt, it’s the house with the red paintwork, the shop with the green & yellow signboard … I don’t know any of their names, but I usually know what colours they are.

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It occurred to me today, as I edited these images from my current journal to show you, a habit of mine to spend a time with a group of colours.

 I revel in their company, their character, the memories they muster and the feelings they stir up.

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When sated, I can move on, visit a different range of the spectrum.

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I never know which colours will appear next, or how long I’ll be in the company of my current companions. But while we’re together, they will seep into aspects of my day without me even realising.

I put these images together, here I am in the realms of purple and a little to either side, and I felt a pang of familiarity, a sense that something’s closer than I realise…

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I looked down at what I’m wearing….

Oh yeh… I see what’s gong on here!