Thursday 25 September 2008

Somewhere in the mayhem...

...I found peace.

It felt like a miracle - after several days of major work and upheaval we have new windows and smooth flat walls in our kitchen - the rest of the house is still upside down but I managed to clear enough space to work today for a little while.

At the moment Im creating a class for a student Ive got next week, so its all go but in a good way. Im sending more prints out to the gallery and designing some new Christmas cards, but I expect it will be a couple of weeks before they are put together.

When I have lots going on, I can easily feel overwhelmed, I don't make time for myself as much because Im constantly running through mental lists like 'go to the bank and get the plasterer his money' and 'go to the DIY store to buy screws and new sockets and switches' as well as 'ironing, cooking and cleaning' and the big one 'keeping everything dangerous from the kitchen out of the way of investigative little fingers (which is pretty much most things - lol)'

So I plan extra long baths, where I can dream up new art work in peace. I have been listening to some great tunes on my ipod in the evenings to help me unwind and have discovered a somewhat unbelieveable distraction called Bowling Buddies on Facebook which has relieved me of some unwanted tensions (beware, if you seek this game out you stand to become addicted!!)

Another way Im coping with the strains of decorating our kitchen (perhaps the most utilised room in the home) is to look at the positive aspects of the experience - to visualise the 'before and after' that I have in my mind, to pick the soft furnishings, to browse cool tiles in shades of mellow sage and faded blues, to flick through shabby chic websites and choose wrought iron heart hooks, a new clock and french linen tea towels...its so exciting!

I can be creative amongst the worst mess!

Im taking pictures of the work in progress, when the whole thing is completed, I'll share here the creative project with you all.

Oh ~ a nice thing happened - I was put in the Etsy treasury! Well, one of my paintings was! Here's the link if you want to take a peek:

I'll check back soon...probably next week.

Sending soup mugs of warmth and crispy autumnal walks to you-

J x

Friday 19 September 2008


This is just the beginning!
Rainbow beakers, egg cups, mugs, ramekins, garlic jar, bowls, plates....

We're having alot of work done to this little old house over the next week - new windows, a plasterer coming to deal with the horrible artex that has the kitchen in its present state looking like a scary lemon meringue topping! (bless the plasterer!)
Inevitably, things are moving out of the kitchen so the decorating work can begin and slowly taking over the dining area - I didn't realise how much stuff I had!

Needless to say, myself and the little one will be moving up to Nannie-Mums house next week so I don't know that i'll have time to post let alone paint anything for a week or so until the house is a little more habitable!

I'll be in touch - and if by some miracle I have time to share anything arty or faintly creative with you i'll stop by!

See you soon
Creative thoughts are bubbling - back soon x

Tuesday 16 September 2008

Journeying through time

Taken from 'Bird in the Hand' available in my Etsy store as a print and as an original at
At the moment Im exploring feelings and meaning in my work - Ive been compelled to follow these ideas after watching my daughter at play with her art, and feeling my own need to let go of rigid ideas I sometimes have when creating my own.
I am really happy with what is evolving, this is the second of a series of fairy angel paintings which are depicting messages of positivity and joy.
I wanted to keep the work simple and playful - again I used a variety of mixed media such as glazes, crayon and paints etc and really 'let go' of trying to create a perfect piece of art.
I am using my angels as a learning experience, a chance to try and paint more freely (I can paint so TIGHTLY at times!), a chance to indulge my inner child whilst at the same time adventuring with more a illustrative style.
This is really working for me right now - I feel swamped by ideas and most evenings Im doodling furiously in my art journal before they evaporate ~ when you have to fit in art around a little ones schedule its the best thing to do as in the past I have had sparks of inspiration, only to have forgotten the detail a few days later without having a chance to get it down on paper.
Im also trying to be a little more organised with my time, instead of watching hours of mundane tv, Im being gifted an artists daylight lamp which means I can spend time painting and creating when my girl has gone to bed. I was thinking how much time dissolves away, on simple things like telephone calls, dealing with emails etc...Im trying to find a way of cutting these activities down to a minimum (no more messing about on facebook for long spells anymore lol) so that I can devote more of this precious time to what I enjoy the most - my art.
I hear alot of people say that they 'never have enough time' - but we each forget (me included) that we are the keepers of our own time, and it is absolutely our own choices that dictate how we use it.
Time for lunch.
See you soon x

Thursday 11 September 2008

Angels and Children

'Catch a Falling Star' available at my Etsy shop

I was watching my daughter yesterday, she had her fingerpaints out and big sheets of sugar paper and she was on her knees in her little waterproof smock and Ive never seen so much joy emanate from such a tiny little being - her whole body was enraptured with the feeling of plunging her chubby little hands into the bright paint (shes only 15 months old and doesn't quite grasp the concept of 'finger painting' which is great, its her definition of how she feels she wants to use something!) and dropping it onto the paper before splurging it around making swirls and shapes.

It got me thinking.

Why dont we paint like that.

Why dont we open ourselves up to just playing, feeling the stuff we're working with - smelling the paint, touching it, loading up a brush and daubing it and mixing it just to see what happens?

I was inspired by her enthusiasm, for the colour and the baby art she was making - I couldnt help feeling a touch envious of how easily she did it, nobody to impress, nobody to prove anything to - she was just making pictures and that was enough.

Can we ever grasp that as adults? Can we let go enough to just enjoy it?

I was trying this concept out today - it being art thursday- and played about with some sketch ideas I had a while back for a fairy angel series. I used lots of different media, got acrylics, crayons and shimmer glazes, scribbled into the painting, sanded bits out, re-worked parts, and then smudged pastels into it with my fingers. After a while I felt lost in what I was doing...the Amelie soundtrack was playing and I worked along to the rhythmn of the music - time flew by, I had an absolute ball!

The finished piece is above, 'Catch a Falling Star' - I love it, it sings with something...I cant define it, I just know I felt joy as I created it.

Search inside for your child spirit - ask them to come out and play.

Monday 8 September 2008

Getting Crafty and Connected

I wanted to share this with you today, its a picture of a scarf I crocheted for my 15 month old daughter in very soft, very beautiful cashmerino wool. I taught myself to crochet a couple of months back and this was the first thing I made-Im quite proud of it and she seems to love it, parading around the room with it draped about her little person!
One of the reasons I decided to learn a new craft was to give me a relaxing diversion from my art. It is great to be able to switch off and focus intently on one thing, unlike when Im painting when I sometimes seem to dwell on all manner of things, and sometimes I talk myself out of a painting because Ive already convinced myself its not good enough before Im even started!
It was whilst crocheting the other evening that I began to think of how often I compare myself to other artists, I weigh and measure myself against their successes and make myself feel hopelessly miserable in the process. I began to acknowledge that although it is ok to be inspired by anothers work, it is not ok to condemn yourself or your art because it doesn't look or feel like someone elses.

It became increasingly clear as I finished work on the scarf that I was capable of creating a totally unique item for my daughter that I could feel very excited and proud of - so where was this feeling when I was painting...? Where was that feeling when I was comparing what I did with what others had done and finding myself feeling somewhere at the bottom of the heap, rather than glowing at the top of it?

Today, my friend Niki serendipitously passed on a link to a video by the lovely artist Wyanne - and I let her words sink in (so timely and necessary) about how we shouldn't try and be anyone else - how art becomes hard when we try and emulate or compare ourselves with others. Inevitably we have to acknowledge the talent that lives inside ourselves, and grab it with both hands and thrust it out there into the big wide world to show what we are capable of, what is possible when we believe in our own gift.

So, when I hold the scarf I made and think, yes-I did that, I didn't copy anyone, or try and make it like anyone elses - I chose the colour, how long it would be, to put flowers on just there at the corner like that, I know that I hold something beautiful and unique that was created with skill and from the heart - I know that I can apply this process to my art when Im feeling challenged or overwhelmed.

To simply remember that 'I am me' and that my art is 'me' - to go inside of myself and paint what feels the need to be expressed in my own style...this is the only way to do it.

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