Monday, 20 June 2016

the storyteller

Tim Walker (from here)


mistake by

an amateur photographer


for me the most

inspiring because

it charms so







if you






- Tim Walker from Tim Walker: Story Teller . p. 49

Feeling inspired. Let's get snapping!


Sunday, 29 May 2016

Combining creativity & wellbeing - what happens?


It's a perfect Sunday. The sun is shining. I like working. Working on new ideas maybe? The Winter has finally disappeared and like Spring (think I mentioned this before) something has started to spring up in me too. Soooo many ideas.

Where to begin?

What creative project next?

Stitching or collaging?

How can I take that photo spectacularly?

What thought can I delve in to next?

What book is the best one to read?

Do you have ever this? Where there is such an abundance of ideas, things, thoughts, projects, makings that you quite simply aren't sure where to begin?

Where I'm at Right Now & How it Links Creativity with Wellbeing:

Well, I thought I'd share with you where I am at right now.

Getting older comes with restrictions and well certain freedoms too. Do you mind less what others think? Now you can do what it is you are truly here to do without worrying as much as you did about other's judgements of you? I've heard it said and now I'm beginning to wonder if it's true.

I've had so many disordered thoughts about my fine art practice, my blogging adventures, my wellbeing interests - that there's been a little paralysis about where to go with each next, how to balance and where to blend (and not, as the case may be!)

What if what you (or I) thought in the past wasn't 'right' or 'wrong' but just was, and it was we who put those interpretations on that thought?

What if it wasn't for the radical thinkers that had gone before us who paved a pathway of trial and error that eventually lead to new ways for us followers? We wouldn't have had those ideas sparked!

Recently I keep reading that trying out an idea badly is better than never executing a 'brilliant' idea!

I'm thinking that unless I try (and as you may know from reading my blog before now, that it's all about daring to do!) I will never know.

I have spent the years since writing this blog going on such a personal journey.

I have shared so much and yet there is lots I haven't shared too.

You may know that I have two children. One is about to be 23 and the other is 13. I am 43 (just in case you didn't know) and yes, I still feel about 23 sometimes because of the way I think and behave.

I have learnt through dealing with special needs not to 'judge' others so quickly, because no one knows what is going on for another, what they might have 'going on' that isn't visible to the eye.

We are all vulnerable in our way, we all want to be loved, heard and accepted. And most outward behaviour is a reflection of inner thoughts.

In the time since blogging, I have gone from having a 6 year boy who is now a teen. I have spent years living in fear that the beautiful partner I have will let me down like others have (single parenting is not fun, but does come with some of its own individual perks - that's probably in a blog post somewhere in the past!!), and in this time I have also had to address health issues that have arisen, re-educate myself quite fundamentally about how what I put in and on my body affects me (and all of us).

You may have journeyed with me through some of it (that that I have shared) on this blog, and some of the times I've gone quieter are because the tough bits can (and have been) super tough. I have been dealing with an ex partner for years that for want of a better word has caused immense 'stress' through his behaviour. I have come to accept that I don't understand and that I don't need to, I just don't need it in my life anymore because it is not acceptable and that is okay to say THAT IS NOT ACCEPTABLE TO ME (anymore).

The Practice of ongoing CREATIVE development:

I am currently seeing an acupuncturist, who is helping me on this ongoing journey to healing. So, along with reading (oh how I love books to re-educate myself), changing my diet, looking carefully at what I put on my body, developing my own art practice, of (single) parenting (and learning the art of that too), experimenting with ways of being creative in life, art, business, food, relationships - I am keen to develop a way to blend these new found elements to my life and to share it too.

The CREATIVITY and WELLBEING retreat is underway:

So with thoughts of how to blend my experiences and findings with health & wellbeing with my love of art and creativity. I thought I would write openly these changes, my findings and ways of blending them in order to share with you too, without having a total identity crisis!

Oh my, we could all drive ourselves crazy with questions and self-analysis. I intend to enter a period of casting that aside and trying this out so that you can share what I've learnt to, from a place of ENHANCEMENT and POSITIVITY for all.

There is no RIGHT or WRONG in how we do it (something), it JUST IS. I dare you to do, to try, to cast aside analysis and just take ACTION. Why? Because I'm going to try it and I thought it might be fun if you wanted to try it too :)

What if nothing was what you thought it was? And you were able to have a totally different thought about it?

This is where creativity comes in for me...

And what if....

What if, we just did it. Then we can get feedback, refine, hone and change if needs be?

What have you found to be the most important elements to your life, or art, or business, that just WORK because you dared to do in the first place?

If you would like to be first to know more about my (soon-coming) online 'creativity and wellbeing retreat', please remember to subscribe to my e-course mailing list here (or top left) and you will also receive '21 creativity tips and art ideas' e-book.

There is more coming soon.

I have Rosemary burning in my soto diffuser (in pic above), it helps with focus and concentration apparently :) More on that though in the retreat ;) Oh, and by the way there is FREE DELIVERY all this weekend with anything ordered via Neal's Yard + free hand cream when spending over £40 :)


Tuesday, 24 May 2016

#creativetuesday | postcard experiments + thoughts from Hockney's Pictures

Hello there,

Here's playing around with images from books, collage, erasure, all mounted on a #postcard - ready for upcoming postcard fundraiser.

Been considering a multitude of art projects. As life changes, art changes. I find.

And so some thoughts from David Hockney for you:

"How do you represent a changing, three-dimensional world, through which we move, and by which we are moved; and how can you achieve that in a still image on a flat surface? How, indeed, do we see the world? How do we represent it to ourselves, inside our own heads? How can an artist convey that internal representation to others?"

I am definitely intrigued by not only how we perceive and 'see' the world around us, but how and where those inner & outer experiences meet and get depicted. 

I've been doing some simple drawings from my immediate environment too. Something about capturing the essence and simplicity of one's life. Slowing down & observing. Something Hockney obviously did a lot of.


Wednesday, 11 May 2016

#Cupid #Collage & Creating the 'Online Creative Retreat'

I'm ever so slightly obsessed with taking square photographs at the moment (thanks iPhone). The challenge of trying to get what I want in to a square frame. I stood for ages trying to get this frame 'right' with people at the V&A not knowing whether to walk in front of me or not! Here is Cupid.

Ran my collage workshop today at Imperial College. What a lovely group. And walked home through the thoroughly soaked streets of London (Kensington). I haven't been out in to central London for so long. I forget what's 'out there', beyond my home and life in South London sometimes.

I bought in some new postcards images to work on some new postcard works.... more to come ;)

I am busy developing a new online idea/project. This one has been bubbling away for a while, and now I'm in full swing on it (the clue is in the title). So if you'd like to find out more, head on over here and join the mailing list and you will be first to know :) 

subscribe here (or on the side of my blog too!)

Here is a sneak peak of today's group working hard in Studio SW7. There are drop in sessions on Wednesday afternoons too, with artist Mindy Lee.


Sunday, 8 May 2016

21 tasks in 21 days (art & creativity)

a photo taken from a Winter Walk earlier this year....

We are celebrating a spring in to Spring and Summer here. With it a burst of creativity always comes. I am busy preparing works for the Postcard Show at Sprout coming up next month & I'm teaching a collage workshop next week at Imperial College - an annual event for the last few years now. I love these lunchtime art sessions.

For you, I thought I would put together a list of 21 creative tasks in 21 days. An adaptation from a friend's art course project. I have tweaked and personalised to suit the experimental angle I always enjoy.

1. Make a canvas stretcher (across four bits of wood of any shape), using an unusual fabric, such as: old piece of clothing, bedsheet, already used canvas that you will re-purpose for this project, super-thick paper even? other? Then create a painting using both water & oil based paints

2. Do a watercolour painting on a typically non-artistic surface - what do you not usually paint on? Create an unusual watercolour of your day today. Paint a feeling (think Rothko), or the sky from your window, or the creases of your bedsheets, or the ripples of a reflection...

3. Collage together some photographs to create a new composition; cut, tear, scalpel parts out and then reposition on a new surface (paint this too if you feel so compelled)

4. Collage together found photographic imagery with text to create a new word and image piece

5. Combine 4 materials together to create a collage or sculptural piece using items bought only from a DIY or hardware store

6. Take a photograph and make a print without using a traditional camera - how else can you take an image? (clue: Solar Paper). See this article for some camera-less imagery inspiration.

7. Take a photographic image in a location and at an angle where the scale is ambiguous

8. Take an image using your camera but make your own lens/filter (non photographic)

9. Take a photographic image without touching your camera - what can you set up? how can you do this? what effects come from this process? through a cushion at the button?!

10. Print an image on a non-paper material or surface.... what can you use? what effects arise?

11. Film a journey to a location you have never been to before? Think of different ways you can film, capture, document the journey and make a mini film

12. Film or photograph the same object or subject many times in different locations or circumstances

13. Create a film work by piecing together 'found footage' i.e. other pre-existing footage. See Christian Marclay's 'The Clock' for inspiration

14. Select a variety of materials to create your own sculptural relief piece

15. Make a simple mould by pressing an object into clay or similar (or other process) and cast it - you could use melted household tea-light candle wax?

16. Create an unusual 'assemblage' by unifying multiples of 2 opposing objects or materials of your choice together

17. Display a found object or 'ready-made' object of your choice in a way that allows for a re-interpretation of the original context/object

18. Re-configure, adapt, modify an already existing object bought from a shop, car-boot, or other to make a 'new' sculptural piece - how can you add to, or take-away to create a 'new work'?

19. Make a negative non-physical space physical... think Rachel Whiteread's work

20. Create an 'accumulative' piece by doing the same thing on a daily basis for a set period of time 

21. Make a large poster-sized drawing of items in your everyday environment: you can draw with your eyes shut, by not taking the pen off the paper, by using another part of your body to draw with other than hands - be imaginative in how you could do this large drawing of your every day items/environment

Document all the above tasks and keep together as your 21 tasks in 21 days project.



Saturday, 30 April 2016

The World Of...... (insert name here)

In the imaginary world of somewhere else, this is taking place. Who is her creator? And what defines her? Who are you?

I have not been here for a long time. This is because I've been on one helluva journey. It is GOOD, but it has also been tough. When rites of passage hit hard. When realisations of what hasn't been dealt with need to be dealt with hit home. And it can be private. It can be energy consuming, it can feel un-ending and it can sit with the possibility that you (I, in this case) don't know where it is going to end.

However, with Spring new things come forth. There is new birth, renewal, survival. A kind of lifting from the depths of murk that can feel so good.

I am shedding skins and realising the journey is never-ending. But I like the concept of 'mind-movies' at the moment. Remembering as often I can, that I am a creator as well as recipient. Positive focus on where one is headed whilst trying to scatter the thoughts that leap up to hinder and remind, taking us a journey into the past, or to fear. Always a tension between light and dark - the balance is to be found. I am searching.

This piece is in Sprout Affordable Art on show until Saturday 21st May (opening times 11-5pm Tuesday to Sunday). I was invited to put a piece on and this piece is from work done on Mimesis with Evy Jokhova. 

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

something to knit (simple knits for easy living) #creativetuesday

There is ground frost here, but the Sun is bright in the sky! A frosty February morning in half term.

One day I won't have half terms, just days, weeks, months rolling one into the next. My kids are getting older and I can feel a  new lease of life dawning slowly but surely. I'm still young enough (at least I feel) to do tonnes more. Dreams I held just before I started having kids (I started young), are beginning to pop their head back up again - it's quite strange.

This time of year always seems to bring a burst of creative energy and it's when I start dreaming about creating a home built, stitched, created by me in every way. So I've started a knitting project and thought I'd share it's simplicity with you + I haven't had a #creativetuesday in quite a while!

I love looking on Pinterest and getting ideas. 'Chunky Knit' seems to be happening all over the place (now that I'm looking). In my local hobbycraft store I saw this wool and thought yes! It's Rowan wool made with merino ( I intend to knit a large set of squares to make a cosy warming bedcover for my double bed up in my attic room.

Also inspired by this book Simple Knits for Easy Living, I adapted the moss stitch squares to make a bedcover (they suggest a box for bathroom bits). So, this is what I'm working on:

- cast on 19 stitches, then start with a plain stitch (therefore you end with a plain stitch)
- moss stitch is: knit, purl, knit, purl etc
- repeat until you end the square with a plain stitch
- cast off in moss stitch too (i.e. knit one, purl one until you're cast off) at least that's what I'm doing!
- create as many squares as you desire for your project

When you have enough squares for your project, stitch together to make cushion, blanket etc of chosen size. I may still be knitting this in a year's time, but I find having a project like this is a great way to keep me occupied and have something to focus my energies.

I find myself dreaming of country lodgings too these days, hence my purchase of Country Living Modern Rustic.

Some other knitting inspiration for you:

Enjoy and do feel free to share any simply knitting projects you're working on: links, projects, ideas etc....