a calling to the tribe


Edit 17 December: There are just TWO SPACES left to fill. If you’re hovering on the brink of signing up, this may be your last chance….

…You can whisk yourself over to HERE to soak up some more of the details to help you decide.

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A couple of posts ago I was telling you about IGNITE, the course I took with Dirtyfootprints Studio. I’m still resonating from the abundance I found there. 

If it’s something you’re interested in exploring, Connie Solera, our beautiful guide and genius behind it all is offering a free information call on Monday December 14 @ 12pm PST / 3pm EST / 8pm GMT  

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If you can’t make the date there will be a recording available to all who register. 

 

It’s all a mirror…. 41/52


The year winds on, the weeks flip by, the book of weeks fills up.

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I’m finding out stuff I didn’t even know was there.

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You remember back to January? I set my word for the year, after much deliberation, to Focus.

It took some fathoming, and even then I wasn’t positive I’d picked the right word… or the right word had picked me.

But as I let it settle we found our connection with each other. And time and again I’ve been surprised at what has become my focus of attention.

As the year bumps along my focus shifts. 

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More than a few times I’ve felt myself careering down a route I didn’t plan.

(with practice this gets easier: stop trying to steer at high speed – see where you land up – it’s all part of the wild ride of life)

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Racing headlong toward something I’ve avoided in the past.
For fear. For fear of…? Fear of what’s behind it all?

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This sentence appeared in my world – loud and timely enough for it to become what  this page is based around. Loud, Bold Lettering – which some weeks gets covered up – not this week.  The organising committee in my mind had other plans, and only allowed the doodles to skirt the edges. To enhance not to obliterate. Ok….I thought….Ok. You trying to tell me something here?

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Back in the real world, this particular week the final project was almost due part of an online course I’ve been taking. I was in a state of suspended procrastinatory blur: the deadline was 5 days off when I emailed the course leader to confess I was beaten, I couldn’t pull it together in time. I had to quit.

This left me with just two problems.

Problem #1 – quitting wasn’t followed by the enormous wave of relief I’d expected. Instead a slightly sorrowful shame that nearly a year’s worth of work hadn’t reached it’s completion, it had just damply fizzled out.

Problem #2 – no amount of saying ‘I just don’t know what to do’ would quieten these big bold words I was mindlessly doodling around in this weeks page. I did know what to do, I also knew I didn’t want to do it. But I did:  It needed doing. It was going to be difficult, emotional, raw. I was a bit scared.

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Ok. I’ll do it. This idea had been drifting around in the margins for some months now. Trying to creep into focus I nudged it away. Repeatedly. But ideas can be stubborn and this one finally flew out before I could stop it, unraveling in front of me.

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I had 3 days to go and I faced my demons, I did what I know needed doing: I sat and wrote my story.

My story is my art and my art is my story. As is this book, I’m the sum of my days. Until I face up and focus for real I won’t ever see who I am behind the mirrors.

As time settles the rawness in my mind, I’ll bring bits of it over here to show you. X

“The Creative Flow”


Set with the challenge to create two works – any media, any format – with the dual themes of Water and The Creative Process.  If you’ve been following the story that started out a few weeks ago, then you’ll know I finally reached the point I’m calling these paintings finished!

I loved the way they evolved. I made it my mission to let go of any fixed idea of final outcome, and let the creative process flow like water. You know me, I love a metaphor! Would I do anything differently if I did this again? sure I would! But that’s why it’s called a practice, right?

Anyhoo… you’ve read enough words, now for the pictures!

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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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Water In Parallel (part 4)


The story so far, has lead us to this point

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Now, if you know me at all, you’ll understand that I need colour like I need coffee, sleep and oxygen.

So while the peeling back process had restored some of the original brightness, it’s not enough for me. I’m getting hungry for colour and there’s only one remedy there: throw some ink at it:

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Swished with water as well (yeh – Water theme – Water literally. It’s the method acting school of artistry)

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Plus some black for more contrast, and some lime green and chartreuse for good measure (and for the fact they’re colours I adore)

If I were to try and define my process as a shape, it would be zig-zag: No sooner had I reinstated the brightness, I felt a call to white a load of it out. I know – don’t ask – I’ve stopped trying to second guess where I’m going, I’m just hanging on for the ride now. So I feel like wavy shapes will bring in more Water-y feeling (that I just can’t see now it’s ink drenched). I neeed more wateryness!

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This is a 50-50 mix of white acrylic and matt medium for a semi-transparency. painted on and dabbed about with a cloth for a dabbled bubbly sea wave froth look.

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Yeh? maybe not so, but I still like the effect. On a roll with the wave shapes, along came some more collaging from scraps that got in the path of the flying ink a few days earlier. (No paper ever goes to waste here!)IMG_4014

I’ll leave you here for now. Next post coming soon……….

Water In Parallel (part 5)


The ongoing story of the two paintings about Water bumbles on… collage on top of painting on top of collage.

Next? Next came more painting!

I love the stuff that going on here, it’s expressing the watery vibe I want it too. But there’s a lot of it with no central focus. It’s uncoordinated jazz that needs summoning together into something more melodious.

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Blocking out bigger areas in white was the best way I could find to start this stage of the process.

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Then I got thinking about ripples….

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I’m really nearly done on this now. I’ve got some more pulling together to do – and I know just what (I’ll show you next post). This came to me in place of sleep last night. Insomnia is a double edged phenomena: it leads to tiredness and inconvenience, but it also provides the space for thoughts that just don’t seem to have room to surface in the bustle of daytime.

Water In Parallel (part 3)


Having left off at this point, the next question inevitably is: where next?

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Well. Now it’s dried the hasty haphazard approach to the initial gluing has resulted in a bumpy bubbled surface. Which kinda appeals, not least as a literal interpretation of the Water theme. But it doesn’t give the substrate the integrity we all know it needs, given I’m just into week two of a six week projected plan, and I’m not gentle with my art. It’s gotta be tough to survive.

So some surgery is required:

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Delicately lifting the blisters and… oh who am I trying to kid?

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Stabbing and slashing with a palette knife! pulling up anything not firmly adhered….

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preserving the torn scraps in water to replace and patch with later.

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Part way through the slash and patch process, I’m loving the way splashes of colors emerge back to life in places. And there’s almost  a suggestion of composition beginning to emerge as well! Lordy whatever next!!

Water In Parallel (part 2)


Last post I had just constructed these thick papery substrates on which I had not the foggiest idea what was to happen.

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Which is a really exciting place to be!

When in doubt, I like to make a big move: a doing or an undoing, doesn’t really matter which. Time to make a change: lose the colors.

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They were there to serve a purpose: get focused on the theme of Water. Now move along! IMG_3959

Diluted white gesso on scrumpled paperis just lush – all those lovely rivulets and wrinkles were already there, but they needed shining up and showing off!

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Next installment coming soon….!

Water in Parallel (part 1)


I’m working on a project over the next 6 months, part of which is to produce a collection of eight works, two at a time through each six week cycle.

So…. 6 weeks, huh?

I’m just into week 2. The logical, ordered part of my mind says ‘so you’re like about 25% done, right?’ Then when I stop laughing, collect myself, I can get on with showing you where it began:
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I’ve got a theme: Water. But I’ve got no limits, no plan, and no expectations. Apart from – this is gonna be so much FUN!

Experience tells me straight off:

  1.  Make it Big (I’ve gone A1, cos I have that sized cartridge paper, and post-masive-sort-out, I’ve got that sized working area, both on table and floor)
  2. Make it Strong (I know me; paper gets dog-eared and crumpled just by touching it. If I’m playing with this for more than a few days it’ll get holes in and ripped and all manner of fucked up – unless it’s super-tough) So this substrate’s gonna need layers! That’s where the heap of other papers comes in to play.

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Ooooh tearing paper – inner kid – she’s in her element here – construction from destruction (yeh – eventually – but first let’s relish a bit of ripping deconstruction!)

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Like day follows night, gluing follows tearing.

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Working the two in parallel (here’s the plan) will keep them in sync. It’s now layered two to four thick, much more substantial to hold up over the coming weeks!

More developments in due course…………….!