Sunday 26 January 2014

Being True!

This last week's lesson in the Life Book 2014 e-course was by Kelly Hoernig and she encouraged us to make a collage that incorporated at least three of our favourite things and was "true" to us.  

I haven't been making collages much at all over the last few years but I really enjoyed getting back into it and you can see my collage above.  I have so many favourite things - my stamps, keys, lovely colours, text and typography, butterflies, printed tissue papers and then I love paint splatters and dribbles and and get the picture!

This e-course has really motivated me and I am enjoying it all immensely, including the semi-peripheral activity of buying new art supplies and tools!

Sunday 12 January 2014

Inner Artist Guardian Angel Painting

The first main lesson in the Life Book course (that I mentioned last post) was to paint our "inner artist guardian angel" - the guardian that will protect us from our self-criticism, our fears, our negative self-talk etc.  It was also a technique lesson in faces and mixed media backgrounds.  Backgrounds I love, but faces have never been something I have painted much.  In fact the only ones have been in classes at art retreats, in particular with Misty Mawn and DJ Pettit some years back.  They were great classes and I learnt a lot but I didn't do any more after the classes (which of course raises some questions about me I guess!)

Anyway in the spirit of openness that I am now trying to adopt, I had fun with the Life Book exercise and held off my inner critic from having too much impact! Of course I can I see lots of things I'd like to change in the painting (particularly the hair) but I am seeing these as lessons learnt rather than reasons to hide the painting!

And, as a footnote, one of the materials on the supply list for the course was Posca Pens.  (That is what I have used to write my word for 2014 around her throat.) How did I ever live without them??? So lovely and opaque and able to write on so many surfaces! I am now seriously in love with them and fortunately Jacksons sells them, so I don't even have to wait for them to be delivered as we have a store not too far away!  I had a blissful time catching up with my beautiful friend Susie yesterday (hello Jenny too!) and while I talked, I managed to get all of my new pens out of their pesky individual wrappings and to activate them!  A productive use of time given that I am spectacularly uncreative when there is good conversation happening!

Thursday 2 January 2014

Blogging Reflections (& a New Start!)

Well this is going to be interesting - it has been so long (nearly 2 years) since I last blogged that I am not even sure I remember some of the technicalities, let alone understand the changes!

So from blogging pretty solidly for a number of years I then dropped off to just a few posts over a couple of years.  The main reason was that my life changed dramatically with a relocation from Kalgoorlie to Perth, a new job, physical proximity to more family members & associated with all of this and of most relevance, I got less creative!  Less time, less interest & motivation...and then in time other big personal stuff, some fantastic and some terrible.

But I am starting a new chapter in my life and blogging seems to provide me with discipline and structure and amazing connections with like-minded people so it is time for a fresh start.  2014 is going to be a big adjustment year for me in many ways and I am counting on my creative outlets to provide a daily recognition of the abundance that is in my life and my continuing gratitude for each and every day no matter what they bring.

One of my rituals since moving from the edge of the desert (Kalgoorlie) to a coastal location (Perth) is to sit on the beach and watch the sun set on the last day of each year.  I reflect on the year and allow myself to anticipate the year ahead.  Sometimes the sunsets are amazingly beautiful and sometimes they are just sunsets!  This was the sunset at our local beach this year (and there were plenty of people, including the guy in my picture, who were hoping for a more dramatic photo).

And to celebrate and encourage my creativity, journaling and personal development I have enrolled in Tamara Laporte's Life Book 2014 - an e-course that runs all year.  This is apparently the third year that Tamara has run a Life Book course and I suggest you check it out here if you are evenly remotely interested.  It is extremely reasonably priced and also includes a lot of other well respected artist teachers from around the world.  Personally I feel as if I was meant to do it having come across it just a couple of weeks ago on the amazing Flora Bowley's blog.

The course started yesterday and we commenced with a warm-up exercise to encourage us to get over any blank page fears (something I thankfully haven't had too many problems with, being a doodler from way-back!).  This is my "quick and dirty" warm-up page at the top of this post. "Release" is my word for 2014 - if you aren't familiar with the "word for the year" concept read about it here!

So I am looking forward to my creative journey this year and blogging will be a big part of it.

Sunday 5 February 2012

Washi Tape - A Journal Page (Plus Mixed Media Houses & Flora's Bloom True E-Course)

I (along with the greater part of the paper arts world!) love washi tape and Cute Tape - where I have purchased the majority of my washi tape collection - recently had a giveaway.  I thought about entering but I have been away most of the last week with work and I didn't get around to it but today I thought I would make a point of using some while I was doing a journal page.  

Ever since doing Flora Bowley's workshop in March last year, I have been using up any excess paint on my palette or brushes on my journals.  I apply the paint very randomly and imprecisely and it provides a ready background when I decide to do some journaling.  This page has two washi tapes on it - the green text and the magenta birds and flowers (with silver dots in the background).  The rest is just doodling and writing using a less than perfect white pen on the painted background.  

And, while I am still on the subject of washi tape I found some in the Typo stores here in Perth just recently (not sure how long they have carried it but it was a pretty exciting moment for me). I bought the black and white measuring tape style and the green and white check - a very pretty two pack.

A few blog posts back I shared the results of the beautiful Aus Art Sisters Mixed Media Hanging Houses and I have finally hung them up in my "bliss box" (where I get to play with my beautiful art and craft supplies!).  Last weekend's effort fell off the wall so hopefully today's system will prove to be more durable!

Tomorrow the new Flora Bowley "Bloom True - Brave Intuitive Painting" e-course starts and I can't wait.  I had the wonderful experience of being part of Flora's March three day workshop here in West Australia last year but it left me hungry for more.  I've cleaned out my tiny little "bliss box" and made as much room as possible for BIG canvases and lots of messy paint.  I've checked all my art supplies and got out all the drop sheets and rags and mark-making tools I have collected over the several years of my fascination with surface design.  So you know what I will be doing when I am not at work or asleep over the next five weeks! 

PS If you are in Australia and have even the smallest urge to paint intuitively, I really suggest you get yourself to Melbourne in June for Flora's only Australian workshop in 2012

Sunday 29 January 2012

Zentangles - A Sampler This Time

 As mentioned a little while ago I have developed a zentangle addiction.  Doodling has always been a way for me to stay focused (for example, in meetings I am able to concentrate a whole lot better if I can do a bit of doodling) but lately I have been doing a lot of doodling at home and it is really quite meditative and calming.

I bought heaps of Strathmore Artist Trading Card (ATC) packs when Jacksons had them on sale last year so I have a ready supply of blanks in my ATC tin.  I like to do a zentangle ATC as a creativity warm up exercise whenever I sit at my craft desk (although often I just keep going on the zentangles instead of moving on to something else) but over the last few months I have also been working occasionally on this "sampler".  I haven't got into shading yet but I can see that will add a whole lot more depth to the designs.

I quite like having the larger size page to work on - again it is a Strathmore product - this time it is the A4 size mixed media journal.  They have beautiful quality paper, strong covers and a spiral binding.  A couple of weeks ago I bought a tiny version of the same journal so I could doodle ATC size pieces when I am on the train (30 minutes each end of the day) - I usually read or do addoku or killer suduko puzzles, but I thought it would be fun top have another option.

So now I am noticing patterns everywhere and I am trying to expand my instinctive urge to do swirly patterns whenever I have a pen in my hand!

Sunday 1 January 2012


My painting for Sue Ettridge for the Nanga 8 December Exchange (30x30cm)
Happy New Year!  
Let's hope we all have a wonderful 2012. 

I only managed 21 posts in 2011 so I am not making any promises to myself about blogging this year - it will all depend on how much creative time I get and how creative I am feeling at those times because that is what this blog is about!  I am, however, doing the wonderful Flora Bowley's online Bloom True painting course in February so hopefully that will provide me with heaps of creative motivation.  Look here for details if you think you might like to give it a go too.

Christine Kane promotes a "word for the year" concept to replace the traditional New Year Resolutions and it has worked really well for me over the last few years.  I have been mulling over my 2012 word for a few days now and last night, sitting on the beach, watching the waves as the sun went down and saying my goodbye to 2011 and welcome to 2012, I realised that my word is going to be FLOW. 

I want to let go of my desire to control (and fix!) situations, to be liked, to please others, to achieve specifics.  To let go of fear. I need to be like water - to just flow with it, to wash around and over hurdles and to accept that ebb is part of flow. I want to let my creativity flow too!

Ciao for now & enjoy this first day of a whole new year!

Sunday 2 October 2011

Zentangles - An Addiction!

Yes, I am officially addicted - zentangles are just so much fun!  This is a selection of recent ATCs I have made in the zentangle style.  So far I haven't tried shading them - just black and white doodles, some with borders, some without.  

My favourite pens at the moment are Faber Castell Drafting & Sketching Pens (Ecco-Pigment) - they are technical drawing pens and come in a pack of four with sizes ranging from 0.1 to 0.7.  Absolutely wonderful!

What I think I like most is that you can just work on these ATCs in very small bursts of time - there is no excuse when you only have five minutes plus they are so transportable!  All of these ones are on Strathmore Bristol Smooth ATCs.   

Let me know if you love zentangling - perhaps we could trade???