Monday, 22 June 2015

Art at a Snail's Pace

As I look round the studio and reflect on last week I realise that once again I actually got more art done than I thought I had.  That said, most of what I got done was starting things rather than finishing them.  Oh yes, there's a lot of work-in-progress!  But this morning I've decided that that's ok.  What's the rush to get things finished?  For the most part I can set my own timetable; indeed I don't actually need a timetable except where I am taking part in swaps and I want to meet the agreed date for the swap.  I think this need to march on and get things done is a hangover from my previous existence where things had to be done by certain times and where I had project plans that were as long as I am tall.  So that's the past and this is now.  I want to enjoy the process of creating rather than just focus on having the product completed.

I find that I need to have more than one thing on the go partly because I seem to have taken on so much and also because I need to have drying time between layers on paintings.  And of course sometimes I just need to step away from a piece of work and leave it be for a while.

One of the things that I started last week was a free course from Hali Karla called 7 Directions.  This is available from
It's a really interesting approach to creative journaling and one that I intend to use over and over.

This image was the output from Day 1

I'm several weeks behind with the Documented Life Project 2015.  This is a great project with challenges and prompts that are of themselves very creative.

Sometimes though I'm struggling to think what to do or I get started, get the background done and then come to a halt.

As I've said above I want to enjoy the process and not just focus on having completed products and so I've also decided that I'm going to take my time with this.  Some pieces may remain as work-in-progress for a long time.

I noticed that in one of the galleries, I think in London, there is an exhibition of unfinished works.  The article I was reading also went on to talk about how artists decide when a piece is finished.  And so, I've decided that it's ok to have unfinished work and it's ok to go back and tinker with or redo some things on pieces that I might have previously declared as finished.

One thing that I did manage to finish this week was a face. For this exercise (I'm trying to do 100 Faces) I generally don't do any background - I really just want to focus on the face.

So, other than the swap items that I need to have ready to post later this week I'm not going to set any deadlines or work to any timetable.  I'm going to try and paint for at least a little while everyday but if I can't, then I can't.

It's art at a pace that's right for me and one in which I can really enjoy the process of creating.

Monday, 15 June 2015

A Little Bit of Art Goes a Long Way

Last week was another busy one though I felt that I didn't actually do much by way of art projects.  Good weather provided the opportunity to try and catch-up on garden tasks and jobs.  Oh the joy of sunny, dry weather.  I really missed spending time on painting and art journaling but as I look back now I realise that I did more that I actually thought!

Above is a detail from a journal spread for the Document Life Project.  I'm weeks behind but I'm sure I'll catch-up over the next few weeks.

I started my Garden Art Journal - I altered the journal by gluing pages together so that they would stand up to mixed media and applied a light coat of gesso - I still wanted some of the lines to show through.  My first page was inspired by daisies growing in the grass - this is a detail from it.

I also completed this page which was inspired by the Lisa Cheney workshop The Savage Mirror from 21 Secrets available from Dirty Footprints Studio.

So all in all I feel that I got more done than I had thought.

This morning, I took a trip to our local town and visited a few charity shops and a bric-a-brac shop to see if I could pick up some old books and other items that I could use.  Quite pleased with my little haul. It includes an old dictionary given by a teacher to a school and the inscription is dated 1948. It will be a great to use the pages in mixed media art but I'm actually quite loathe to pull it apart. I need to get over that!

Monday, 8 June 2015

Home is Where the Art Is

It's been a week since my first blog and it's been quite a busy week.  As well as setting up the blog I set up a Facebook page and got started on Twitter and Instagram.  And as well as that I found some time for arting.

Last week saw the final spreecast for the Painting the Feminine e-course.  I really got so much out of it that it's hard to do it justice in a few words here.  So, I've decided that I will do a review of the course in a week or so once I've had time to reflect on it.  I was amazed at the volume of work that I created during the course and all in all I was really quite pleased with what I produced.  I actually made a video flip through of all my paintings which I then shared with the group; I so enjoyed making the video.

I also managed to do a couple of faces for a Facebook Group that I participate in.  I recently got some Neocolours IIs and I created this face with them and added some markings with a black posca.  I need to practice more with the Neocolour IIs especially on the blending.

A friend sent me this sweet little journal for one of my other passions - gardening. Lots of pages in it for recording what's going on in the garden as well as plans and dreams for it.  I've decided that I'm going to make it my Garden Art Journal and to this end I've been taking some snaps of flowers and plants that are out at the moment.  I might prints some of these and glue them in or I might use them as inspiration for drawings; more than likely I'll do both. Looking forward to starting it.

The image to the right is the first stage of the completed journal page at the top of this post.  I didn't have anything in mind when I started the page and what came out at the end I was quite surprised at. But that is the joy of art journaling and intuitive painting.

This week also saw me set up my new studio space which I'm really excited about.  It's not very grand and it's in one of the outbuildings at home but I repurposed some furniture and I've now got all my supplies organised and put away. And I've got my little art desk that I can work at as well as space on the walls to display paintings.  I've recently received some items from other artists as part of art swaps and these will also go up in my studio for inspiration. I'm just so pleased to have some space to call my studio.

Monday, 1 June 2015

Starting Out

Close-up of a part of a journal page I completed as part of Painting the Feminine 2015 e-course run by Connie Solera of Dirty Footprints Studio

It's been a while since I blogged and I'm having to learn how to do it all over again!  But here I am with a new blog just starting out on this new journey.

I've always been an artist but I've not always practiced my art.  Other aspects of life always seemed to take up so much time and for so long I put art near the bottom of a long list of priorities.

I've been making changes in my life and as part of that I made the decision that I would spend more time on art.  And that's what I've been doing for a couple of years now.  I've especially been focussing on mixed media and art journaling.  And I've never enjoyed my art more than I'm enjoying it now.

There are so many great and inspiring artists out there and I expect I'll be mentioning a number of them as I blog more.

In the meantime, I just wanted to get this blog set up and started.  I really want to share this journey, this adventure, this new start with anyone else that's interested.