My Indigo June


Twelve Colors in Twelve Months: 2017 is my year full of color. I called it Twelvty. Because that’s just the way my mind works… and because I like made up words.

Each month I take another step around the color wheel, and focus on making art in just this color.

I like the liminal places – like dawn and dusk – neither one nor the other – just on that tipping edge in between. So naturally, I’m especially drawn to the tertiary colors (which is great – there are six –  so every other month I’m back into one of my favourite color zones).

 

Last month’s color was blue-violet: the moody-mauvy, midnight-indigo, and the fragrant bluebell & lavender space in the spectrum.

Last month also marked the half way point through the year, which is a place I like to step back and reflect.

These are some thoughts on the story so far.

 

Each month, along with its own color, has its own flavour, it’s own particular energy. It moves in its own speed, and I’m coming to realise, this is something over which I have next to no control.

Each month as I focus my creativity in the current color, I’m learning to bide quietly and see what comes out. To begin, I thought this was from the associations each color invites, but now I’m  seeing it’s also from the cumulative volume of spirit this entire investigation is amassing. 

The power of a single pointed focus in color is in its absolute simplicity.

Restricting the dither attached to one choice frees up space to play with the others, and to maximise them beyond the usual stopping point: tone and shade, materials and media, size and shape. Or then stripping it all back to its origin: just pure color. 

 

 

I’m  compiling an art journal of my ideas and experiments as I move through the year. It’s a re-purposed world atlas (cos this is an adventure – it seemed fitting). Each month’s has about 4 pages of playing space, and at the midway point this book is bulging with inspiration, expectation, and possibilities.

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Would you like to see this month’s pages?

If you enjoyed that, you can see the previous month’s pages here

 


All through this summer I’m offering a special discount in my Etsy Shop to all the folks on my mailing list – so clickety-hop aboard today if you want to snag a bargain!

penngregory_Mailchimp12TEtsyBanner

(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.

 

Little Green Things


colorwheelspiralIn my year full of color, I’m taking one step around the color each month. 12 colors in 12 months. 

It’s a logical progression at a steady pace that suits my practice well.

I’m documenting and sharing my experience as I go in an online program, TWELVTY, along with all the myriad resources I gather along the way.

There’s a new creative project every month, and there’s an art journal that has a few pages devoted to each month. Over the year this book will develop into a mixed media color-wheel-book. (A bit like this one – which inspired this year’s journey)

At the end of each month the art I made is available to buy online, and I make some little flip through videos of the art journal pages for my YouTube channel.

 

If you’ve visited this blog before, you will have seen some. They look like this

 

Months 1, 2 & 4. Erm…?

 

If you know me at all, you’ll know that this logical, consecutive, stepping order is not in keeping with my natural method. Any attempt to follow a structured system is liable to cause a part of my brain to misfire. I plan, I organise, I wander off route. Every freaking time!

Over the years I’ve found ways to make peace (mostly) with these quirks. I dance about in my own kind of high octane chaos. I enjoy making these colorful little schedules and lists. These are the compass by which I course-correct along my wiggly route.

 

 

At almost the half way point in the year, I’ve kept order to the creative part, but the end of month sharing schedule has gone a little catawompus.

Which is why – having shown you Twelvty-Four’s blue-green creative output already – today I want to show you the little green goodies I made during  Twelvty-Three!

In this month of Green I made this small collection of greetings cards from little bundles of hand dyed papers, held together with stitching. But they are more than that. They are also pieces of art you can frame and love forever. These are delicate and intricate, the more you look the more you see.

If you hop on over to my Etsy shop you may be in time to snap one up before they go.


Would you like to have news on my doings and makings delivered straight to your inbox? Would you like to hear about my colorful doings and makings before anyone else? 

~~~ AND ~~~ AND ~~~ AND ~~~

As a treat for the summer there’s a special discount code for my Etsy Shop especially for folks on my mailing list.

Sign up here and I’ll whizz it right over to you

(and I’ll send you my ebook A Year full of Color as a thank you for joining)

yearfullofcolorbypenngregory_page_01

Your email is utterly safe to me. I won’t let it stay up late or eat junk food, it can sleep in late on weekends if it wants to.

Collections


I love sets of things, I love arrangements & collections.

When I hear a song I love, I have to scurry off as soon as I can to find the album it’s from, find the artist, track down the other tracks. Fall in love again.

When my eyes are magnetised by a piece of art, I race to seek out the artist and soak in everything else they’ve created.

I’ve done this with authors and poets, actors, directors, blogs and my current jam: podcasts. I get hooked. I have to absorb all I can until my attention is hooked someplace else. 

This energy directs me, and now I’ve identified it, I can see how it plays out in all kinds of ways.

I’ve had attachment to all sorts of obsession, with habits and ritual, with a certain style of living or eating or being, with a form of minutiae that maybe only I notice, but it’s place in my days has been critical. For the moment. Then gone.

Sometimes it’s a few days, sometimes a few years, or anywhere in between. The more life I live the more context for this observation and the more patterns I can see.

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Right now I’m channelling this obsessive method into making. I’m filling every moment, pouring every ounce of energy into making, and will do so until the next hook catches me. That maybe tomorrow – maybe next year – I’ll show you when.

It’s manifesting itself right now as a collection of paper and fabric collages, I’m calling the Peacock & Mermaid collection. This is part two. I don’t know if there will be a part three – I might get called away by another muse.

All of the pieces shown here are available in my Etsy shop. The first part of the collection sold out the first day – so hop over quick if you’d like one of them in your home!


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 hidden in a secret place, I will feed it tea and biscuits as required. 

Mermaids & Peacocks


colorwheelI’ve just spent a month dwelling in a color I love so much: blue-green, and I have to admit it wasn’t easy to move on!

In this year full of color, as I journey around the color wheel, I’m devoting each month to a single color, and April was all about teal, turquoise and sea-shades of aquamarine. These are the colors of a magical world inhabited by peacocks & mermaids. And me!

At the end of each month I add the fruits of my makings to my Etsy Shop — there are only three of these in existence, so catch ’em while you can!

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Mounted on 8 inch square canvas board, these are layered collages of hand dyed paper and cotton & silk fabric intricately detailed with little weeny glass beads and stitching. 

They are ready to hang as soon as they arrive in their new homes. 
Welcome to the underwater realms of my imagination … 

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.

gecko-versary


This week marks 5 whole years since I first posted here, since Ephemeral Gecko was born.

For reals? Yup.

This blog is the ongoing project of documenting those in between stages of my art – the ephemeral places – that places buried beneath layers of paint or existing just briefly before being deconstructed and reconstructed. Why gecko? idk…Just because. 

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Marlene Glickman

So here’s a thing:

When I looked back I found my very first post here was about a textile artist – who I recently connected up with on social mediaMarlene Glickman. 

I love when life circles back on itself like this.

I first saw Marlene’s work when I was researching artists at college. I fell in love with her colors. There was a quote from her that really struck me:

“Making color and design decisions is sometimes difficult so I challenge myself to use only one color from the color wheel each month during my daily design exercises.”

I was so taken by this idea, I set upon a year long project of playing in just one color each month.

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12 colors in 2012

At the time I began this blog I was just 1/2 way through my third month, and that’s what my first post was about.

And now, here I am 5 years later — a whole lot of adventures and changes and challenges and life later — here I am: 1/2 way through the third month of the same project again.

This time it’s bigger, I’ve called it TWELVTY and I’ve got others journeying along on this adventure with me, but I’m in a parallel place again. Life moves in spirals.

 


Would you like to get sporadic updates on my thinkings and doings 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 tea if it wakes up.

Spring Greens


Ever since I was a little kid, I always loved to sew.

Not just to be able to make things, but the actual meditative act of stitching.

The up & down, the back & forth, like the inhale & exhale, it’s a rhythm I melt into.

 

Textile Collage on Etsy

 

As part of my year full of color project, TWELVTY, I spent much February stitching together these gorgeous little textile wall art pieces from layers of hand-dyed recycled fabric, paper, buttons, beads and embroidered together with happy thoughts.

 

Textile Collage on Etsy

All of these concoctions are in the color of the month: ranging shades of yellow-green from luscious lime to opulent olive.

These ones are mounted on 8″ square canvas board. There are four, they’re equally lovely on their own, or grouped together as a little family.

 

You can find all of these creations (and more!)
in my Etsy shop

 

 


Would you like to get sporadic updates on my makings & doings 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 tucked up snug and nestled with a hot water bottle until the spring arrives. I will bring it fresh socks every three weeks, or as required.

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.

tick.. tick.. tick…


I don’t want you to miss out: today is the last day you can join TWELVTY!

What is TWELVTY?

  • It’s an adventure in color that runs throughout 2017.
  • It’s an enormous feast of resources to inspire your creative practice.
  • It’s an insight into my creative practice with weekly newsletters and videos.
  • It’s a community of like minded artists and creatives.
  • It’s an exploration into working with a single color at a time.
  • It’s an opportunity to build a body of work through the year.
  • Exclusive TWELVTY discounts in my Etsy store (where the fruits of my one-color arting appear at the end of each month)

………………….and so much more!

color

I’ve made the decision to close new registrations at the end of February because  TWELVTY has really taken on a momentum far bigger than I expected! It would simply be too much to catch up on beyond this point.

Will TWELVTY run again next year? 

Right now, I really don’t think so, it’s taken over so much of my time and become all-encompassing. I love it – but next year I have other adventures lined up so it certainly won’t repeat this same format. It’s a real now or never!

Sign up today and you’ll get instant access to everything we’ve done so far. I really look forward to exploring the rest of the color wheel with you!


If TWELVTY isn’t your thing, but you’d like to be first to hear about my colorful doings and things, hop on my mailing list here

(Your email is absolutely safe with me, I’ll just pop by and check up on it time to time, feed it raisins & chocolate, maybe sing to it for a while, that sort of thing.)

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

Prize Draw :)


Today is the last day of the TWELVTY Prize Draw!

 

Just sign up to my email list here and reply to the welcome email with the subject line “I’m In!” to enter and win A FREE year of TWELVTY! All that colourful loveliness! All for you!

Winners will be notified tomorrow: Saturday 25th Feb. Good luck!

(and I’ll send you my ebook A Year full of Color as a thank you for joining)

The doors close to new members of the TWELVTY tribe at the end of Feb, so if you get lit up by color and think this is something you’d like to be a part of you have until 28 Feb to jump aboard. I don’t know if I’ll run this program again – next year I have other adventures lined up – this could be now or never!