Scraps of Serendipity


How to make a decision, how to avoid paralysis of overhwelm, when there are a hundred gazillion options, how does that work?

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Cos here we are, right, in the 21st Century, and if you’re reading this I’m figuring you’re someplace a little bit like here. A place where art supplies are available in more colours, more media, more super-doopy newly formulated zingyness, more variety than you can shake a stick at. 

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And even when you’re on a strict self-imposed use-what-you-got-already-before-buying-more-at-the-art-store diet….. there’s no still shortage of choice. Especially not when you’re compelled to repurpose just about anything into art.

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Scraps of Serendipity. Love it when that happens!

Lately I’ve taken to limiting what I can use to the scraps that are on my work table. These tubes of paint I didn’t put away after last time, these nibbles of torn paper. These choices were made by a previous me, and today’s ingenuity is tasked to find a new way to combine them.

 

Grace (14/52)


Have you ever been followed about by a word?

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Not a new word, just a word you haven’t noticed much before… then it seems to crop up all over the place? It keeps dropping into conversation and reading.

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See, there she is again. I wanted to check against my imagination… is this really happening?

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But when she’s there again, on the facing page when you open up the remains of a dictionary you began to dye and dismantle more than 2 years ago.

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Well ….

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So there she is, Grace, large as life. She was part of my week in all senses.

2/52 Dream Big


One of the purposes of this weekly art journal is to offload some of the stuff I pick up through what I read and hear. Already I’m feeling the benefit of unburdening my busy head! I might never need to read these things again, but it’s a way of filtering them out of my internal monologue.

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This week’s page has got a bit busier since last time I showed you. Curiously, the first words I wrote on this page asked “where are the words?” (on a day when I was unable to find the what I needed to say …) and since then there has been a steady flow of must write that down things.

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Filling up the space with stuff that keeps showing up on my radar….

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I have big dreams – by which I mean I have big plans and hopes for the future – but I also have big colorful episodes of imagination at night time. And I don’t distinguish much between them. Just the nocturnal machinations often want for some translation from the garbled jumble of metaphors my subconscious knits together out of the day’s happenings. It doesn’t always make sense, but often they are fun.

Sometimes the meaning shows up a long while later. sometimes it doesn’t!

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These words  come  from Connie Solera of Dirty Footprints Studio. I love her style and she has a beautiful way of describing the creative process. She brings sunshine into my spirit.

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Signs Everywhere


If I said you: look up from the screen, look about you for something blue. You’d look cast your gaze about and suddenly so many things in your field of vision are blue. You never noticed how many blue things there are about, right?

It’s not a blue thing thing, it’s a noticing thing.

Until you need to get a new carpet, you don’t notice how many carpet shops you pass on your journey to work everyday. Where they always there? Until you think you might be pregnant you don’t notice so many folk pushing buggies, then they are everywhere. When you’re hungry but can’t stop to eat, there are food smells, adverts for everything delicious and people eating whichever way you look.

It’s perception. It’s synchronicity. It’s coincidence. It’s whatever you want it to be. But it’s real and it happens all the while. I like to think of it as a sign, a nudge, the universe saying Yup, that’s where we’re going, you’re on track my friend.

Like many folk I’ve spent time recently considering what shape I’d like my 2015 to take, and this includes developing sides of my life that have gone a little wanting in the past. Personal stuff, and largely stuff that could be termed ambition. The put-off-able, for all the reasons.

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I saw this cartoon today and it resonated so much with my desires to jump into life with both feet, I gotta share it with you.

2015: Setting the Scene


Striding into January, this first Monday always has a first day back feel. Back to school, back to work, back to routine… and I love it. That fortnight of chaos just makes me relish the normal I’m all amped up and ready to run. Sure, I’ve got dull stuff to contrast with the fun, but it’s all in balance. The yin makes no sense without the yang, and flat-lining is no fun at all. And this week is so full of great intentions, which although they might not all last the course, I feel like if I run with them fast enough some will stick with me.

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A little while back I was telling you about my Word for 2015 which at the time was Reach Beyond and the associated frustration that my word was in fact two words, and I was struggling to come up with a snappy substitute.

I pondered long n hard.

The Facebook group of some >1200 or so folk on a similar quest have been amazing – super supportive to each other’s stories and full of enlightening thoughts and amazing links off and about the internets to like-thoughted places. And helped me add a bunch of other contenders to the list of words.

I settled, finally, on Focus.
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My intention is to:

Focus on what I am doing at any one time – I am typing this post, I am mindful of my fingers on the keyboard. It’s all a little brighter and sharper when I’m just considering these words, nothing else. I’m not eating, not fretting, not rushing up to do the thing I forgot earlier because I was only part-minded on the thing I was doing then – part-minded on the previous part-minded task – and so on….

Focus on the bigger picture. Is what I am doing now contributing in a positive way – to my well-being, health, happiness, or is it a foolhardy shortcut, an excuse, another getting away with it? Does it matter? Can I be wiser? Can I act more in tune with this bigger picture I’m compiling, the picture I call my life?

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I’m focussed on my path. I’m there in the now after now after now, footfall after footfall, mindfully aware. Moment to moment to moment. It’s all a bit Zen.

Of course it flickers in and flutters off – my concentration is a butterfly – but my intention for the year is to come back to the focus every time I remember.

Thought forms


This is one where I’m beginning in the middle. I’ll catch you up on the beginning next, but let’s start off here, just coz I feel like it.

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Thoughtforms are a series of relief collages I’m making from the dyed paper (way back… remember the dyed paper?) IMG_3421a

and the don’t-know-why-but-compelled-to-keep-making-them funny little colored rectangle things.

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So these loose ends are also finding each other and forming into slightly more coherent entities.

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Thoughtforms are continuing that recurring theme: trains of consciousness & patterns of thought. More on that later.

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I’ve made 6 of a series that will total 9, 3 are still in progress. These 6 are on display (and for sale – if you’re quick before they get snapped up!) at the Upstairs Gallery

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Each one is named after a fragment of text found somewhere in the piece, serendipity giving them eclectic names such as: Spacecraft, Puddings cakes etc, Fortitude and Adversity amongst others.

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The next series will include more textile elements, but the overall feel will be similar.

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Still with that one theme leads to another, one thought folds round a corner and opens out into a coiled up spring, some buttons and a rivet, stitched onto the overarching idea of something else.

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Or something. Y’know, like it does. The beauty is they can represent whatever you want them to. Or nothing at all if you .

Ephemeral Gecko


If you’ve been following these posts you’ve maybe wondered about the name. So I’ll let you into a little secret…

Ephemeral Gecko resulted from pairs of fave words randomly combined til I hit on a combination that yeilded no Googlings.

In a serendipitous way, the 2 words seemed suited to their purpose: Sharing the fleetingly ephemeral art on the journey to a finished piece – my initial plan for this blog. And my fascination with the Gecko, the +800 variations of this lizard come in a wonderful assortment of colors and sizes, many of which are nocturnal, much like my art.

Fresh from a recent paper-dying harvest, I’ve got many little stashes of paper scraps like this…

Have we gone off on another tangent here? Not exactly, bear with me here.

Inspired by “musings of a muse, dave’s diary”, last week I felt compelled to manifest an Ephemeral Gecko in physical form.

(I don’t know where these ideas come from, but have learnt not to question, it only delays the inevitable.)

He’s already found a home in the page a day book…. but I suspect he could be the first of many.

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Serendipity [noun] “an aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident.”

I think this sums up so much of what I do. Yesterday’s post about recycling was a tangent I wandered down when thinking about how the collage pieces I make come into being.

Paper is readily recyclable these days (indeed it’s often recycled when it’s ‘new’) but I like to get every last ounce of use out of it. Once it’s been printed on (both sides) with info that’s no longer needed, it retires to a life in art.

Images and pictures, blocks of color or gradients, maps, poetry, lyrics, photos, scanned doodles and sketchbook pages, mish-mashed up in photoshop, I let fate take over and set the printer running. And if there are gaping spaces left, the page gets turned around and over-printed again. Serendipity occurs!

The ones that don’t happen into something immediately usable cover my work table to take on new nuances with splashed color, and as testing grounds for paints and inks and stampings. Or used to soak up excess color from dying fabrics and threads (I think this must be where the great paper-dying project originated… one idea bears fruit and blossoms into new ideas and schemes and badly mixed metaphors!)