2016: Keep Creating

It’s a bit late, but what the heck! I like to keep my New Years resolutions simple so I can reapply them every time I fall off the resolution wagon. This year’s is no different and follows the extremely successful resolution of 2015, which was CREATE! In 2016 my resolution is KEEP CREATING! 

I know it sounds like I’m cheating, just rehashing last year’s resolution, but it’s truely not. One of the challenges of being a creative person is that you can’t stop. I mean obviously you can, but if you do, it’s so hard to get going again. So while 2015 was a great year, with my paintings being exhibited in Rome, having a successful exhibition at the Gauge Gallery, winning second place in an art prize and having my work shown in another 8 or more group shows, I really need to keep building on that momentum.

  
Wild  Mixed media on paper

Keeping on track can be hard. It can often feel like the world is conspiring against you. Everything starts to look like it’s just as important as everything else. Kids, house, work, exhibitions, projects, the fact that the bathroom needs renovating before it falls apart……….all of it begging for immediate attention. I find making a plan is good. I make lists most days and tick things off as I go and if I get distracted, I go back to my list. So simple, yet so effective! I also create a collaged vision board  with all my major goals for the year on it. I put it next to my bed, so it encourages (or taunts) me every morning. All this discipline, lists and the like sounds very un- arty, but it’s actually really helpful. It keeps me on track and stops the innumerable distractions of life from hijaking the day and wasting energy that could be channeled into the big life plan. You know, the “why I’m really here” plan. We all have them and they’re as varied as we are and they need to be on the top of the list! 

  Underwater Romance  Mixed media on paper.
Anyway, before I start preaching, if you’re struggling with staying on track, or even getting started on something that really matters to you, give some of these ideas a go. Make a space in life for the big plan, whatever yours is, work toward it in some way, every day and KEEP CREATING! 

Til next time,

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Turning My Art Into Fabric

I feel like it’s been ages since I’ve posted anything in my blog. Travelling for the best part of November, then the whole Christmas/New Year adventures, throw in school holidays and repainting our living areas at home and bingo, it’s nearly the end of January!
I have managed to create some new work while the kids have been off school and have a group show opening on the 2nd of Feb. at the new Tap Gallery.(My first for the year)!
I’ve also created some gorgeous fabrics using my paintings and drawings and I’ll share a bit about the process and outcomes in the attached video.
I hope you find it inspiring!

Till Next Time,
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Why Draw?

I love to draw! I started drawing way before I was able to write and it’s still one of my favourite things to do. In this video I talk about why drawing is such a valuable tool to nurture creativity. I hope you enjoy it and as always,

Till next time,
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Art Journaling

I thought I’d try something a bit different and post a video, rather than writing my blog. I loved how immediate the creation of a video is, though I have to say, the upload took a ridiculous amount of time! As always I follow my usual mantra of being “perfectly Imperfect’ and all things considered, I think it turned out really well. Big thanks to Ben for overcoming those sneaky technical issues, that threaten to dampen (or tsunami) my enthusiasm!

Till next time.

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And maybe give art journaling a try, you never know where it might lead!

Reflections

As you know,  I have started an informal collaboration with a writer on Instagram. He contacted me this week with a short story and asked if I was inspired, could provide a drawing. For Instagram purposes, his stories can only be 250 words long and I realise now, my drawings should be in a square format, or they will be cropped and lose details from one end. Fortunately the image is not hampered by these restrictions here on my website! Please enjoy ‘Reflections’ by @jcenno, illustrated by  @emeljurd check us out on instagram. Oh and I’m still working on my website and will be today, so it may look different, or a mess, depending on how much work I get done. Let me know if you like the collaboration idea and/or my new look website.

REFECTIONS.

The ornate mirror hung off the wall innocuously. It’s silver filigree of curves ran around its border like a river of mercury that never ended. I stood in the doorway watching Kristy wash her face. The white basin that stood before her caught her restless dreams and drank last night away.

She was the strongest woman I had ever known but today might be the day. As she padded her face with a small towel, her eyes peeked every now and then into the mirror. Eventually she slowly lowered her towel and stared at her reflection. As tears welled up in her eyes, her hands gripped the basin; a mixture of anger and sadness. The unbearable loss, I knew she was feeling, began to take its toll. The mirror silently reflecting her anguish.

Reflection

With sudden fury she threw a cup causing a rippling web of splinters and cracks across the mirror. Kristy crumpled to the floor sobbing.

I knelt down and gently wrapped my arms around her.

“I’m sorry,” she said.

I knew exactly what she was referring to but asked anyway. “For what? There’s nothing to apologise for. It was beyond your control.”

She knew exactly what I was referring to and didn’t need to elaborate. Instead she said, “I broke the mirror.”

I answered, “Reflecting on the past can make us stronger but there’s nothing wrong if it doesn’t.” I looked at the fractured shards falling in the basin and added, “Besides it’s just a mirror.”

Creative Process

I’m so proud! I finally put up a brief overview of my career on the ‘About’ page. I found it really difficult to condense the last couple of decades into a few paragraphs and quite odd writing about myself in that way. I tend to be very productive in any area I commit myself to and I also tend to be involved in several things at once, so there was a lot to cover. I realised at the end I had skipped huge chunks of my story. Never mind, I think it’s good enough and I want to continue to practice what I preach and not procrastinate because I haven’t created the ‘perfect bio’.

In this post I want to write a little bit about my creative process. Firstly, I draw compulsively! It ranges from absentminded doodling on any surface available and unconscious drawing during meetings and any type of learning environment, through to drawings that are a final art piece if you like. I post a lot of my drawings on Instagram and have started to put a gallery of drawings together on this site. ( again, not perfectly) 🙂 The images that look like rough sketches are often the ones that I turn into paintings. They’re unfinished and are a shorthand of ideas that are enough to capture the essence and can be expanded on later with further drawings or developed on canvas.

I paint in two main ways. One that is intuitive, where I start without much of a concept and let the painting process evolve through layers of paint. The images come from the act of playing and working with the medium. Images appear from the canvas, to be refined and a mental dialogue occurs that directs the painting. It’s like an active meditation or a direct link to the subconscious. It’s fun and for the most part spontaneous, at least in the initial layers.

The other way I work is to use my drawings and sketches to inspire me. I might use elements from several sketches or simplify just one and create a painting from that. I am constantly reading and learning about whatever fascinates me at the time and these fascinations as well as life long themes become symbols and metaphors within my work. My paintings are my joy and my therapy, they make perfect sense to me and express things I don’t have words for. Though they are obviously personal, I hope that they can be enjoyed by others too and I don’t like to get to prescriptive with their meanings. Though I’m happy to provide their meaning to anyone who is interested. I think each person responds to a painting differently because of their own unique perspective and while some themes are really obvious to me, I enjoy and can be inspired by other people’s perspective of my work. In the end, If there is something in them that you can take away with you that somehow inspires, then that is enough, my work is done.

Thanks for taking the time to check out my site.

Til next time, Share the love.