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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(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 in a fluffy blanket & nestled with a puppy until the spring arrives. I will bring it tea and a bun if it wakes up.

 

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

mental noise


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Amid the hubbub of chatter inside my head I’m sometimes aware of one group of voices much more clearly than all the others.

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it’s louder, more forceful than the rest of them.
More strident, it’s shoutier…  y’know?

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In order to distance my own thinking from theirs,

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I’ve named them the ‘chorus of cynics’.

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Some days they’re so vocal, they’re so convincing,  their opinions stretch the full spectrum of topics. They’ve got a snide sideways aspect on every last subject, if I couldn’t disconnect from their scorn and derision it would still bite like it used to.

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I’ve heard our immediate reaction to a situation reflects our early programming. Let that pass and listen for our next thought, that comes from our true self. So I’m learning to let that knee-jerk of harsh sarcasm wash past; a more empathetic aspect will be close on its tail.

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That reflex derision does no good to anyone. The insight of affinity is warming to the soul.

The chorus of cynics will laugh and mock this as mimsy.

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Now I let them. 

 

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I don’t want their fights.

 

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Charles Bukowski

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There’s a department in my mind that holds onto criticism and scorns, these memories, filed under P for Potential to Spiral Out Of Proportion, is kept closely guarded these days.

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Too vague, too woolly, too dull and simpery soft-bellied.
You’ve got no definition, no essence, no core.
Too proud, narcissistic, all haughty and vain
Idealistic, unrealistic, unaware of your privilege:
That girl – Go Home!

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Twisting out from some comeback,
Flips extremes to befuddle, bemuse and condemn.

Try harder, work harder, do more in less time.
Be valid, be worthy, be helpful, have value, be more than you are.

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Of course, the older I get, the less I care.

What I make, what I think, what I care about and focus my life around, these are my choices. I’m gratefully blessed to be alive in a part of history and geography where I’m free to express these without fear.

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But the older I get, the more experience adds volume to the chorus too.

My nativity gets dinked and dented as I discover there are more people more capable of more hatred, more inconsistently judgemental, more out and out mad. And their voices accumulate.

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Their  comments can bubble up from time to time in the clamour of the committee and I can choose whether or not to listen. 

hidden in plain sight


Sometimes I’ll notice a thing, it’s been there all along, just hiding from my awareness.

Case in point:  I ran a year long project a few years ago, where each month was dedicated to a colour.

Conveniently there are 12 months and if you use the Primary, Secondary, Tertiary groups there are 12 colours. I called it ‘12 in 12‘, beginning January with Red-Purple cycling through Purple, Blue-Purple, Blue…etc. finishing up in Red.

For the whole month I filled a few pages in this book. I feasted on the colour and resisted straying into another month’s territory (not easy for a colour glutton). I was strict and disciplined and it meant all the other colours exploded into my art outside this book with a new found gusto.

The year produced a lush rich rainbow of mixed media and collage.

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 I’d thought of doing this many times before, but for some reason I hadn’t gotten around to starting it. It wasn’t until around 3 colour/months in when it dawned on me… the year was 2012…so this was 12 in 12 in 12!

I bring this up now – not just as I love a bit of subconscious synchronicity – and this one still makes me smile years later – but because this project has inspired new ideas too.

I’ll be reviving this idea later in the year, and this time you can join in too! Watch this space, I’ll tell you more about it in the summer.

 

circus of uncertainty


It’s a continuing theme…

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We are back in the book again. Come in, have a stroll round…

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It’s a bit wordy underfoot so mind your step.

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There’s a regularity to the irregular once you get used to it here.

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There’s a quiet comfort in the uncertainty.

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And as in the parallel world outside, no-one’s really sure what’s going on.

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“Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart.
…live in the question.”

Rainer Maria Rilke

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Welcome to my circus of uncertainty

 

 

 

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.

thoughts de jour


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Traditional journalling – the outpouring of words and thoughts and the recording of happenings, events and reactions is quite linear: these things occurred, then were recorded; these things were planned and projected, then recorded.

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Art journalling is far more holistic. Even the most literal illustrations are cast in the light of the mood, defined by the view of the artist and constricted by the limitations of their style and skill.

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And then there’s this whole exploration of the psyche that forms from the deluge of abstraction that some of us create.

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Like many other artists who play this game, mine is largely an unplanned stream of consciousness.

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As life ebbs and flows there are periods dominated by torrential outbursts of imagery.

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I’m driven by a force beyond my thoughts to combine and construct these collections of objects, images and notions. They make no sense at the time and only sometimes later can I pick out an impression of context, a reflection of thought.

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Meanwhile, I enjoy the colours and the nonsense. Another metaphor for life.

The Stretchiness of Time


 

2015 was tied up in this book, in the rigidity of one page: one week, when some weeks felt empty of expression and some pages felt too small for all that was flooding out of my imagination.

 

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By mid year it had taken on a thick, heavy persona with paint all gooey and chewy and some weeks where no amount of layers would cover up the uncomfortable truths of ugly: a parallel to the world it was illustrating. Something intangibly off. Something meh. Some things I didn’t like, didn’t like confronting, didn’t like to witness. I didn’t want to relive, repeat, or even properly acknowledge.

The book served a purpose: A lesson in being a grown up is knowing when to persevere, and when to stop. I persevered. And when the year was up I was glad the book was full. Finished. Finally time to move on. Onto what next. 

What next?

 

…And then a really long time seemed to pass, and I rested. A really long time that went quickly, and dragged slowly and passed in a flash.
Because Time is Weird like that…

 

I found myself cutting out shapes from magazine pages, scrap paper and junk mail. Something was stirring, I didn’t know what…

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Last week I fell into a new facebook group run by the gorgeously art journally Orly Avineri. It was the catalyst I needed to jump into this new book.

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I’ve got gesso under my nails and ink on my face again.

I feel like I’ve come home! 

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This book is different, there are no limitations and no rules.

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Free to fly in and out, land a while –

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‘Take a closer look’ –  the serendipity of the cut up.

– chat with my thoughts, flit off again.

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It takes as long as it takes.

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I’m getting more and more aware that by pouring out my unconscious I can steer myself through this life in a fashion not like anything else.

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It’s a compulsion.

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You get this too, right?

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Everything that was feeling stale and sludgy has dropped away since just this first page.

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Life feels like spring time: new pages are beginning to blossom.

all things reddish


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Twelvty-Twelve


Hey folks, remember the 12 in 12 in 12 project? One book: 12 colors in 12 months. Serendipitously conjured up in the year called ’12.
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It’s been a little while since the last update, and as well as the recent (unseen) month-color-pages I’ve been hopping back in time to add little bits and things here and there.

So as we arrive in the 12th of the 12th of ’12, here comes the first of (…hey – guess how many…) daily snips of pages you’ve not seen yet!

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