Studio Tour

Here is a video of my creative space built at the end of November last year. After years of renting damp, dank studio spaces in dilapidated factories or constantly packing and unpacking materials in the home I share with my partner and three kids, I finally have my own creative space. It’s not huge, but it has changed my creative life for the better in so many ways. I hope you enjoy this video and are perhaps inspired to carve out your own creative space in your home or backyard shed or if you have the means to build.

Till Next Time,
Share the Love.

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.

Share the Love

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

Upcoming Exhibition ‘Beyond The Surface’

Come along to the opening of 'Beyond The Surface'

Come along to the opening of ‘Beyond The Surface’

I’m excited to announce my upcoming exhibition ‘Beyond The Surface’ at the Gauge Gallery 68 Glebe Point Rd Glebe. Opening night is Tuesday the 11th of August from 6-8pm and on Saturday the 15th of August from 1pm my fellow exhibitor, Photographer Claire Holsinger and I will be giving an artist talk. Please come along!

This body of work began after I broke my toe badly. It refused to heal and I was forced to stop and literally put my feet up. During this time I began to use social media, really for the first time. I also drew lots and watched my yard explode to life through spring and summer. My paintings in ‘Beyond The Surface’ are a resolution for me of the contradictions I observed during this time, between the superficial gloss and connections of social media and the enduring, interconnectedness of the natural world of which we are all a part.

'Despite The Looming Storm' Acrylic on Canvas form Exhibition 'Beyond The Surface'

                                       ‘Despite The Looming Storm’ Acrylic on Canvas form Exhibition ‘Beyond The Surface’

Social media appears to hold great promise of connection and community, but all too often delivers a faux intimacy. Endless sparkly posts show nothing but a veneer, a sanitized version of life; exotic holidays, great hair days and enviable nights peppered with smiling faces frozen in time. Rather than connection for me there were times when a gulf loomed, tinged with anxiety. My ordinary flawed life could not compete with those ‘Friends’ whose lives appeared more interesting, happy and successful. Of course I  immediately knew I was not alone in this feeling, that it’s inherent in the medium. Social Media is reliant on our need to compete, to keep up the façade of an enviable life and yet in keeping it up, we are distanced by the false nature of the life we construct for public consumption. The reality is our ‘Friends’ can easily become our competitors and who wants to appear vulnerable to a competitor.

Contrasted with this man-made online world masquerading as community was the view from my window. Our yard exploded with life! Our new neighbours planted winter melons whose tendrils grew like Triffids, invading our yard at an astonishing rate, smothering everything in their path. Birds, our seasonal tenants, returned to their nests, picking bugs from plants to feed the tiny mouths of an endless round of hatchlings nesting in our pergola and backyard trees. Seeds my daughter and I planted flowered prolifically with a kaleidoscope of hilarious blooms. Hot pink, sunny yellow, purple and red vied for attention and space. The sanitized world of social media contrasted so sharply with this intricately balanced ecosystem. Self assured flora and fauna danced with life and purpose, they appeared  completely comfortable and independent, while still totally reliant on all other organisms for survival. We too are part of that ecosystem.

This couch time forced to stop and watch the world and reminded me how funny we humans are. We kid ourselves globally, that we are somehow separate from nature and individually we often feel separate and alone, disconnected from life around and within us. The truth of course is we are all part of that same universal soup. We are all connected, all reliant on each other and everything around us. Our lives are all messy and fragile, confused and confusing, passionate and vulnerable, not shiny and perfect as they appear on Facebook, Linked in, Instagram etc.  After all everything is just space and matter, molecules in an endless array of combinations, unique and full of potential. The notion of separation is really an illusion we construct ourselves for innumerable reasons.

My paintings explore all these ideas and hopefully capture them in a more beautiful and playful way than my words ever could. The works are colourful and layered, both thoughtful and intuitive. They are inspired, but also show pattern and structure, just like all of us and the world we inhabit. I hope you can pop by and see ” Beyond The Surface”

Till next time,

Keep Sharing the Love!

Fear V Love

I’ve been working hard since I last wrote here. I’m developing skills in photographing and the editing of my artwork, I’ve exhibited my work in several group shows, I’m making new friends with other artists for fun and collaboration, posting on social media, painting, attending workshops, you name it, I’ve been there, pushing, forcing myself into increasingly uncomfortable places, far from my comfort zone.

Growth Has It's Season Gouache and Acrylic on Canvas 12 x 12 inch

Growth Has It’s Season Gouache and Acrylic on Canvas 12 x 12 inches

There always seems to be so much to do and with every step forward, more questions arise! With each new direction, or decision, fear and love my life long companions whisper in each ear, each one fighting to be heard, in an endless battle for supremacy. I know I’m not alone, all of us experience this battle. The further from our comfort zone we get, the louder fear becomes, whispering at first, then nagging like a shrew; “You can’t do it”……… You’re too old, young, fat, stupid, poor, whatever put down perfectly fits our personal repertoire of insecurities. Fear often has the loudest voice as it has shame, guilt and failure as allies, but if we listen closer, beneath fear’s undermining soundtrack, the sweet tones of love sing a different tune. The song of love resonates with our destiny, our greatest passions and desires. The song of love has truth, serendipity, miracles, magic and so much more as allies. The song of love resonates within our cells, harking back to a time when we were new and fearless, when life was a beautiful, safe adventure.
My commitment is to continue to look at opportunities and challenges and make my decisions based on love, not fear. Fear will undermine, doubt and be suspicious of adventure and opportunity, begging us to stay put, to not take risks, to be careful, to ultimately be less. On the other hand, decisions based on love feel exhilarating, like plunging into a cool stream! The energy feels expansive and exciting, still challenging, but somehow, just right.

Communion  Gauche and Acrylic on Canvas12 x 12 Inch

Communion Gouache and Acrylic on Canvas12 x 12 Inch

I’ve got lots of work to put up on the website in a new gallery for 2015, but as I mentioned, there’s so much to do. I’m working on some products for sale and want to get a professional portfolio done for licencing designs and approaching galleries. It would all happen a lot faster, if I could just clone myself!  Anyway, I’ll pop a couple of images up with this post and check me out on instagram @emeljurd to see loads of my drawings and progress images of paintings as well as a few random shots of our new puppy Eddy. Good luck with your challenges and decisions and remember, love, not fear!

Til next time,
Share the Love!

Growth Curves.

I know I haven’t posted anything for a couple of weeks, but I have been far from idle. Along with having the kids at home on school holidays, I have been on an exponential social media growth curve! I’ve signed up to Instagram, Pinterest and re activated my Facebook account. I’ve been drawing up a storm ( it’s easier to squeeze in, between sandwiches, arguments, HSC pep talks and loads of washing, than painting) I’ve also been posting the results on my new found social media platforms. I hope to create a drawing gallery here on my website in the next few days, so I can show a collection of my favourite drawings in one place.

IMG_0664-1.JPG

Finally and just as importantly, Leanne, my dear friend /business partner and I have launched our new business “Art Journeys” and have completed 2 concurrent, 7 week group programs called ” A Life Well Lived”
The workshops engaged clients between the ages of 40 and 93 (Amazing!!!!!) in creative and relaxation/ meditation exercises, designed to increase wellbeing, while having a lot of fun. Leanne and I were both so overwhelmed with the impact the program had on all the participants. They reported incredible benefits to their self-esteem, mental health and general sense of connectedness to life, each other and their creativity. Many new friendships blossomed and amazing work was created, both during classes and through the week as they worked on their ‘homework’.
Our intention was always to create a thoughtful, supportive and creative experience and I feel so privileged to have met such wonderful people and to have been able to share some of my time and skills with them. I am also humbled by the gift of achieving way more than we dreamed we could over the time we shared with each group.

Stay tuned for more news regrading “Art Journeys” and our “A Life Well Lived ” program as we now write reports and follow up on leads to provide the program to other organisations. Leanne and I also need to create another website specifically for ” Art Journeys”, but as it doesn’t exist yet, I couldn’t resist writing a little bit about it here.

The growth curve continues…….

Till next time, Share the Love!

Setting Up My Gallery

Well exciting news! (At least for me) Rather than waiting for the perfect images or the perfect blog to post, I have decided to just start and no doubt as time goes on I will get better at all things related to this site. Being a perfectionist can be so crippeling, perfect rarely exists in the way we think it ‘should” and there’s so much more fun and learning in imperfect. So to counter this particular personality challenge, I have created a mid-years resolution:  Just give it a go! Simple, but profound. This website is one of the many results of this new perspective and through it I hope to share many other challenges and outcomes, as I journey toward transforming my life again.

Thank you for reading my first post and please visit my ‘Gallery’ page to see  images of my work from the last few months. (Click the bars at the top left of this page)There is also an image I just posted on the New Work page, giving a preview of the direction my current work is going in.

I would love to hear your feedback and hope to put more information about my work, inspirations and  images in the near future.(probably after the school holidays)

Till next time, share the love.

Emel