Tuesday, 28 January 2014

#InMyStudio - So much happening...

Wow it's been rather exciting #InMyStudio and so much happening.

I've been keeping up with watching my tutorials from both classes and trying to get started on some homework, still have most of them to finish but at least some of them are started.... finishing projects is easier than not starting projects are all.  There aren't enough hours in my day and I wish there were.

So here's what's been going on...

I finally got my #artsupplies to make my large portfolio to keep my finished pieces of art in...


 This was a photographic project.
We had to write a poem to accompany our pictures, which is completely uncharted waters for me.
I'm not sure how I did it, but I woke up (again) with a poem on my heart.
I shared it in the classroom.  I've decided to leave it there.
It was deeply personal and the classroom feels like a safe place for it to stay!

I still have my drawing exercises to do.  But I'm sure that will be this weekends projects.


This was my start last night with the Lantern... 
I am completely in love with this project.

 I couldn't resist doing a little bit this afternoon, when I got home.
Cut out my window and started painting my "Shine" Girl!
Still have a long way to go with much painting and lots of holes to make for the light to shine through!
My lantern has 3 panels and I've decided that each panel with have ladies on.
But so far... loving this.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

#InMyStudio... Showing up!

Whenever my online courses start - I can get overwhelmed with fear of starting!
I have this dialogue with my studio.  It calls me and I say "just a minute, I have something I must do."
It literally goes just like that.  This year, my extremely excited daughter, Corks is doing FullCircle with me and she was nagging me to get started with our homework.  And I'm so glad I did.  I feel so excited with the weeks course material and I feel so inspired.  And I have to say, having a painting companion #inmystudio is rather delightful.
Sharing this bond together with my beautiful girl - is a beautiful gift!
So this is a start with my first homework and I have many hours of homework sessions planned for this weekend.
#Happy dance!

Sunday, 19 January 2014

#InMyStudio... Entwined, Klimt, StudyingUnderTheMasters and getting ready for FullCircle

I took this week off to help the girls get ready for school and also to schedule some much needed {quiet time} and forced rest.  My mojo is still quite low and I'm not sure why.  I wake up and do some stuff and an hour later, I feel a nap coming on.  On the most part, I'm just going with it.  But my low mojo has been affecting my creative mojo too.  I've hardly done anything since November.  For whatever reason, I obviously just need the down time! 
My new courses are starting and with my creativity taking a bit of a sabbatical, I have been nervous my heart won't be ready for class, albeit exciting.  Needless to say my first class... Studying Under the Masters - week 1 commenced this week and I'm happy to say I've watched all my tutorials.  And it was just beautiful!  We studied Matisse and I loved all the history to bits!  However, I haven't had enough mojo to do my homework yet.  But my pattern cards are ready to start doing some in my spare time next week when I'm waiting in the parking lot at extra murals!  And tomorrow FullCircle starts, with Misty!  My studio is all clean and sorted to begin!  I know I won't rush into homework either but I will make sure my tuts are done!  The classes are jammed with video tutorials and all of that takes time... thank goodness for iPads for the stolen moments on the road and in the parking lot... my creative bags are ready for the week.

Entwined - 18"x24" on Canvas Board
 I've been a little reluctant to share this piece completely because it's been quite a journey and perhaps an annoying journey for me... it has taken me months to finish her.  Literally!
I'm still not sure how I feel about this piece!  I struggled with her right from the beginning!
And I guess in many ways we are still struggling with each other... 
That being said... I've decided to call her a day!

I've called her "Entwined" because of the vine that's creeping up her and wrapping itself around her neck!  That and because we seem to also be so entwined, at this stage.  While I was painting her someone asked if it was a self-portrait!  And I guess in many ways it could have been... I can get annoyed that I sometimes come out of my paintbrush.

I love painting big but without a full plan, covering a large canvas can be daunting!  And half way through I got stuck... I wasn't sure how on earth I was going to finish her.
I decided to add some ephemera to see what unfolded, and the vine was tame at her side which I just loved but I felt like it needed to do more... each time at I looked at her perfectness...the more I wanted to strangle the "perfectness" right out of this piece, maybe even her... So I took my Stabilo watercolor red and carried on the vine.  After all, I had nothing to loose.
It's a place that I have to constantly challenge myself... to go deeper, to be a little unsafe and more out of my comfort zones.  It doesn't have to be perfect!
We are now more able to look at each other... she brought out lots of emotions for me!
Lots of which I wrote about in my morning pages!
I guess that's what I love about painting... it isn't always just about pretty pictures... it's about the journey, the dialogue, the sometimes crazy tear up the piece moments, the pushing through and the hard work... even when it's fighting back!

Here is a link to see the progress through this piece.

The other day I found two mugs with Klimt paintings on, which I got for my parents for Christmas.  I totally fell in love with the mug with this image on.  It's a tiny bone china mug and to expanding the image to this size canvas wasn't easy... and the image on the mug isn't completely true to Klimt's original piece either.  I also do believe I have the image reversed because it's how it is on that side of the mug.

I have about 5 big blank canvas' on my easel at the moment, because I want to paint large this year.  It's still my first love to paint big because it's the way I first learnt to paint.  I started this piece in the week and it completely overwhelmed me into avoidance.  Not sure if it was the sheer size of it or all the Klimt detail.  That coupled with my still pretty low mojo - I was left with no desire to paint at all... I never feel like that and I have to say I'm not liking my lethargicness at the moment.

Sooooo I just started adding gold paint and tiny details today to see what would happen... which lead me to continue painting and at last... it just started to flow right out of my brush!!  It was just what the doctor ordered.  Before I knew it poppies popped up on the side and I've now changed all my circles to poppies... I'll continue some of the Klimt gold details but at this stage not sure where we will go together... but so far I'm just loving the joy I'm feeling again with having my paintbrush in my hand but more so just enjoying having the desire back to paint.

I'll keep you posted as this interesting piece unfolds.
But for now... the sleepiness is overtaking me so I'm off to bed!
Sleep tight!

Sunday, 12 January 2014

OneWord for 2014... ~ Quiet ~

Finding the {quiet}
So I've chosen my #OneWord for 2014.  But I've been trying to find the right image to best represent it... My word is {quiet}.  Last night, the whole house was in bed sleeping and I couldn't sleep due to my late evening nap... I was feeling a bit bunged up, so I was drinking a hot-toddy and just enjoying the solitude and {quiet} of the house... it's worth staying up late to have the {quiet}, when I quite by accident found my image.

I'm finding that I'm constantly seeking {quiet}.  I thought it was because I was getting older but the more I'm understanding it... the more I am realizing I need {quiet} like I need oxygen.
I absolutely crave it!

I find my world is so busy and can be really loud, sometimes I feel like life is literally yelling at me.
This year I want to focus on stealing the {quiet} and purposefully taking these moments for my own well-being.

I had hardly any {quiet} in December and I started my January off fast.
But I have the next 8 days to myself and I have lots of hours of {quiet} planned.
Can't wait...

Saturday, 11 January 2014

#InMyStudio - my first painting for the year...

After a really hectic December working and with a hectic festive season, my creative mojo and just my mojo in general has been at an all time low. And starting the week off with some hectic deadlines - hasn't helped with my already low mojo.  I have some quiet moments coming up... so I guess I've been doing somethings to get my head and space ready for some creative time... 

I started off by sorting out my studio and cleaning up my creative space and setting up a beautiful visual board of little images I've been sent through the past year.  I'm all ready for my new upcoming courses... starting to get excited!

"I'll walk you to the moon" - 18"x24" on Canvas Board

 So this piece on the left I did months ago.  I loved the chickens down the side but that was about it really!
So a while back I completely gessoed over most of it!  With my low mojo - I wasn't sure I would have the capacity to save it or fix it.  I almost abandoned the idea completely.
Eventually, I casually charcoaled in some faces and in the right face... I saw something that made me feel hopeful... I guess that's all I needed to get me going again... a spot of hope!

And finally on Friday, I started painting again!
I was beginning to feel I may not be able to paint again... it had been a bit long!
I'm so thrilled with this complete transformation!
It's dreamy and gentle and I love that... I am loving their togetherness!
I've called this "I'll walk you to the moon".
It was a great place to start for my first painting of the year...
I'm starting to feel excited for my creative journey for 2014!

Friday, 10 January 2014

#InMyStudio - what's been happening...

December has been one of my quietest months #InMyStudio
My creative mojo has been low... although I haven't been doing much creating... 
Things have been happening!  Here's little glimpses...

I sold this little lady a few months ago.
But she came back to me... 

I signed her after I sold her and my purchaser wasn't happy with where I signed her.
It took her 6 weeks to find her way back to me.  She's now a well traveled lady of the world.  I'm happy to tell you, I managed to save her and fix her and she's currently on her way back over the seas.  It was a valuable lesson I learnt - that the image I load in my shop must be finished in it's entirety...
complete with signature.  Luckily for me, my purchaser was so willing to work with me and I feel like I made a new online friend.

I'm happy to tell you this piece sold on New Year's day.
What a gift to start my year off with a sale!
Thank you!
It's still one of my favorite pieces.

I've been working in my DiaryofFaces Journal.
I did two new faces in my Diary and hoping to work through some more tutorials and faces next week.
I started my year off with going to see the Irma Stern Museum... completely inspired!

I started this painting on Friday - it was awesome to be back #InMyStudio!
Been too long... this sure felt good!

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

#InMyStudio - Morning Pages and Finding Water

Every year for the past 5 years I've started off my year working through a Julia Cameron 12week workshop books and this year is no different - I have started this year off with Finding Water.

So far the prologue has been incredible!  Hard to believe I've been writing for 5 years and that I can still be surprised.  I've read Julia's notes about Morning Pages plenty times before but this time, it blew me away!  I think I just had complete understanding of the power of Morning Pages, more than ever before.

The most incredible thing happened before I started this week - I read my very first journal with one of my first exercises from The Artists Way.  It was a list of dreams and guess what was on the top of my list... "One day I would like to do a painting holiday in France".... I was like "WHAAAAT"...  Okay... so I didn't end up going to France... but I did end up going to Italy to paint last year!  The funny thing is I don't recall writing that and it was the first time I had read that since I wrote it 5 years ago... it literally took my breath away!!

As I read through more of my dream lists and exercises that I had worked through the years - most of the things I had written there have come to pass.  As I flicked through that last 5 years of private writings, I realized one most profound thing... I have changed.  I always believed it was my time in Jhb that had changed me but I now realize it was my journey through my Morning Pages and these workshops that had changed me, adjusted me and led me.  And I do believe, continue to do so!  The other thing I realized was how many answers I got through the years, to my many struggles and questions... I know it sounds magical!  But I guess it's something you will have to experience to truly understand!  It's taken me 5 years and many journals to fully grasp the concept.

If I ever doubted the power of Morning Pages or this beautiful gentle quiet time, first thing in the morning - I am no longer in doubt.  Here's to the next 5 years of writing, dreaming and to forever changing and adjusting who I am and what I'm doing, to line me up to be who I was always called to be!

Monday, 6 January 2014

#InMyStudio - a little field trip...

So I've been trying to get to this little hidden treasure all year... And finally on Thursday, my last official day of holiday (at home)... I made it happen...

I found out about Irma Stern via my Diary of Faces online course - it's Week 7 tutorial and homework... after some research... I discovered that Irma Stern was a Cape Town based artist and her old house and now, museum is literally right up the road from my house.  Some of her portraits have reached up to $2 Million.
My sweet family insisted on coming with me... and it was just so precious, sweet and such a wonderful treat!
I plan to go back for sure!!!

 She does a variety of different works but her portraits were my favourite, for sure!
These ones captivated me.  And I absolutely love that she painted big!

I was completely inspired.

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Recapping on my OneWord for 2013... {Kindness}

(Image was sent to me from a friend)

{Kindness} was my OneWord for 2013.

Kindness {noun} a quality of being friendly, generous and considerate.

Kindness is such a big deal for me and it's a value I have been growing in my girls from small... {kindness first, at all costs} and we honestly try to live by it.  I would like to say I cracked it all the time - but I know I didn't.  The more I dwelt on this word and consciously acted it out, the more I knew kindness was completely wrapped in generosity and I just can't seem to separate the two - which in turn lead me right to the door of abundance.

I think we have the tendency to take {kindness} for granted, in giving it but especially in receiving it.  To me, there is beauty in {kindness} and I believe it's fast becoming a rare gift.  I absolutely love that it's a tangible thing you can see in a person's face and I long for that.

But my question to you and where I was at times challenged... is how do you operate in {kindness} in a world that is governed by self and speaks the harsh language of selfishness and is often at times, rude.
Let's be honest, it's really easy to be kind to kind people and even easier to be kind to people who give back!
But how do we exercise this when it is uncomfortable?
My other challenge is how do you remain true to {kindness} without feeling taken for granted especially when {kindness} is mistaken for weakness.   How do we find the balance without loosing our voice (my constant struggle)?
Do we switch it on and off when it suits us or when it's easy or difficult?

I would like to say I remained authentic to this value in it's truest form as well as being wise?
As a free gift of grace, in spite of another person's values and quite possibly in spite of myself.  I tried to be wise in the ways I displayed generosity and I was selective so I didn't burn out and when my value was challenged - I had to dig deep so I wasn't governed by another person's behavior but rather by kindness, itself.

With every conscious decision to operate in {kindness} as a choice - it came back to me in abundance.
I loved that!  It's like the unspoken universal law at play!

Being mindful of this this year has made me value every single act of {kindness} I received and gave, as treasured gifts!  And I received so much in return this year... I found {kindness} in abundance and I made some beautiful new friends from all over the world!

And I will never forget that... that 2013 was my year of {kindness}, generosity and abundance, in both giving and receiving.
Long may the value of {kindness} continue to grow in me and my family!