Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Slowly & Surely

I wanted to introduce you to someone Im working with alot right now - shes this little character that is emerging and shes alot to do with my daughter - Im totally inspired by her as a little person and it felt natural to incorporate some of her natural innocence into my art.

This is a sweet but short post, I have lots to do and not alot of time...suffice to say, there is something big on the cards, Im pulling out all the stops and Im not quitting until Im 1000% satisfied with what Im doing...sound mysterious? I suppose it does, but forgive me for not sharing just yet - I want to be sure Im doing the right thing and once it feels right, I'll probably write about what Im up to here.

The little one, my tiny muse is waking up - time to go and play Mum again...back to the drawing board tonight.

With love xxx

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Nocturnal Art

'Serenading the moon' ~ oil pastel on board

Im becoming a night owl. Time is becoming so rare at the moment for art that I resorted to buying a daylight bulb so I could spend time working at night. The results of one of my nightly art fests can be seen above, it took a few days (or rather a day and several evenings) and was a delicious and tactile piece of work where I used oil pastels, crayons, ink, brushes and fingers!
I love the texture that you can get from working in oil pastel ~ on some parts I didn't work so thickly so there are glimpses of white board showing through the colour. In other places I added layer upon layer and then scratched back to reveal colour underneath before painting gently over some parts with a little turpentine to dilute the oil pastel and create a more painterly effect.
When the work had air dried a bit (and I say 'a bit' because oil pastels don't really dry through) I went back to it and worked some coloured ink into the picture with brushes. This created a nice scratchy effect as my brush was a very old and trusty hog, guaranteed to make good bristly marks in the pastel into which the ink seeped and stained wonderfully. Excess ink was mopped up with tissues and smudged in with fingers.
As well as this, Ive been using my sewing machine to create some textile pictures which I intend to turn into cards at some point. Its hard to tear myself away from my work and take myself off to bed sometimes and its sheer torment to have to admit (through practically closed eyes and alot of yawning) that I really have to stop and pick up again the following night....too many hours in between doing other very necessary things seem to drag until I can let myself loose on my art again.
Counting down the hours til tonight, when small ones sleep and time becomes my own again...
J x

Tuesday, 13 January 2009


A Hare in the Grass - Pastel on paper

I haven't sat down to a full art day for some time now, the distance on the calendar between my last full day (that actually produced anything) and this one feels long and I felt a prickle of anxiety this morning as I awoke and remembered what day it was, that familiar feeling of expectation to do something fabulous creeping up my spine. I decided I didnt want to burden myself with the pressures of producing a masterpiece, after such a long time idle from getting down to business, it would probably be creative suicide to have an attitude like that anyway - best thing is to get back to the fun side of stuff, get all the different mediums out and mess around.

So this morning I did a small pastel drawing of a hare sitting in a sunny field - I feel very drawn towards this magnificent animal and have often drawn him in my sketchbook. I once did a very nice monoprint of a hare but left it at that as I felt I ought to be doing other, more serious work - lets face it, theres no fun in being serious when it comes to creating so Ive decided to let him loose in some of my newer works (that are on the cards).

As well as this tiny piece, I have begun an oil pastel on board of a moon gazing soul, a white winter hare and it is now on the table drying out until its ready for the next coat to be applied...more about this next week when its finished.

The pleasure in today was painting or drawing with nothing in mind...by which, I mean making art for arts sake rather than for a purpose. When I create with financial gain in mind my work is marred by something, like an utter lack of spirit. I can personally identify the pieces that have been rushed out with such a frame of mind and these works are all languishing in a portfolio and will probably never see the light of day because they lack the essential essence I like to see and feel in an art piece.

The same can be said when I apply big dollops of pressure to create something that in my imagination, is already framed and hanging in a gallery...this is a burden that weighs much too heavily on my little shoulders and from the outset makes the process of creating less of a joy and more of a chore.

I guess we learn as we go along that if we play with our art, let it just emerge from us in all its glory then we stand a chance of it being honest and truthful, it will tell its own story and come alive by its own essence ~ one that can only be achieved when the artist is painting for pure pleasure purposes.

I intend to apply this aspect to my random meetings with my art, like those that occur at 9pm at night when my little one is asleep and a precious hour or so can be claimed as mine...I intend to torment myself during the day with thoughts of putting brush or pastel or crayon to paper and canvas and delight myself with my imaginings until I can let myself loose on it for real.

Make some art playtime for yourself, find a chunk of time in your busy schedule to sit with paints and crayons and see what unfolds before your eyes. How many of us (me included) have put off creating, even for just half an hour, when we are thinking deep down that its not worth the effort if its not going to be an instant masterpiece? Take your time, release the self imposed pressures and burdens we inflict upon ourselves and let your little artist out to play.

Take tiny steps towards playing with art.



Have FUN!

Wednesday, 7 January 2009


A delicious new year has dawned, full of promise and opportunity...but I find myself feeling impatient and wanting to press an imaginary fast forward button to propel me into the future.
I want things Im dreaming and thinking about to have already manifested, for the paintings Im doodling in the back of my mind to already sit colourfully in frames...for the new business venture my partner is undertaking to have passed through the tough fledgling stages and made it into a strong established company.
But life doesnt work like that.
We each have to traverse some rocky terrain at times in order to achieve what we desire or dream of. We have to deal with all manner of emotions that arise as we walk the path towards creating something new. For me, as well as joy, happiness and elation these feelings can also be deep frustration, anger, fear and terror...
I feel frustration that I dont have enough time to paint, print, write, whatever. I feel cheated and pained by lack of time.
I feel angry that when I do have a few hours to paint, it doesnt always happen that I feel creatively inspired.
I feel fear and terror at the sensation of nothing happening...at times it feels like life has stalled, is not going anywhere and there is a heaviness that remains in my belly.
But deep down I know I hold the key to make new pockets of time, to barter with myself over what would be a more nourishing thing to do...change the beds or sketch out some new painting ideas for half an hour while the little one naps....? Thats an easy one, the beds can be done later with the little one helping as she loves to throw herself in the duvets and makes changing the beds so much more fun anyway.
I can also trade an hour of evening tv for more creative time.
Already, the pressure is off - no longer am I fearing never having enough time to do what I want, Im making it happen bit by bit. And if it transpires that I dont feel inspired at that time, it can wait. Time is flexible, we can shuffle things about til it does feel like the right time.
Slowly the feeling of fear and terror subside, as with each step towards making time and creating art I feel as if I am moving forward. Time travels alongside life, and unfolds at its own pace - there are no fast forward buttons, all is as it should be.
This year promises miracles and opportunities, Im looking for them right now - I am lucky to have 24 hours this day to play with, and I intend to make the most of them.
What about you?
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