30 Days of Unfurling - Day 18: Creating a Life You Love

Today was a sweet and happy day. I was reminded of how lucky I am to be living this creative life. You need days like this, because some days I feel completely the opposite and question why I left the security of a day job. But not today.

This morning I dropped my car off to have a faulty airbag replaced. It was an excuse to walk to a café and spend a couple of hours with yummy food, coffee and my notebook. I am saving up to buy a laptop so I can do more work from different locations but for today there was something super satisfying about pulling out my notebook and scrawling my ideas the old fashioned way.

 
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Once I started scrawling, I couldn't stop. It's funny how being in a different environment can really get the creative juices flowing. It's a bit like when you go on holidays and you have all that time to dream and plan. I drafted about five blog posts in the same time that I would normally write one post!

It got me thinking about how part of the joy of being an artist is not only being able to create artwork but also being able to create your own life. Choose our own rituals and rhythms. It's taking me a while to figure out how I work best but I'm starting to find my way. I'm using a digital calendar to block out studio time and admin time. And now I'm thinking of adding one morning a week where I work off-site. As much as I love being at home and truly I do, it's definitely good to get out and about. Also, today I wasn't wearing old paint-stained clothes. I've decided it's good for the self esteem to get dressed nicely at least a couple of times a week!

After I picked up my car, I picked up my husband and we went to another café, this time one where I display my work. Together we hung my latest painting, 'Fragile Beauty'. It always gives me a boost to see a painting in a place where it can be enjoyed. It took me quite a while to get good at finishing my paintings. I'd often lose motivation just at the very end and of course things like painting edges and varnishing paintings just aren't as thrilling as starting a new painting! But I've realised that completion feels good too and it's also a way to keep the perfection monster at bay.

 

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With the painting up, it was time to head home and collect my son from kindergarten! It was a day well spent and one that reminded me that it's not really about creating paintings, it's about creating a life that you love.

Back tomorrow and I've got some great blog posts brewing that I can't wait to share Xx

 

30 Days of Unfurling - Day 17: Books, TV & Podcasts

Well it's Sunday evening and I find myself wondering what I could share on the blog today? I've been continuing to focus on keeping my weekends mostly free from art making. So with that in mind, how about I give you a bit of a wrap up of what other things are keeping me entertained at the moment. What books I am reading, podcasts I'm listening to, which Netflix series I have been obsessed with. So here goes:

Books

Over the last two years I have rekindled my love affair with reading. Things got a bit rocky when my kids were babies but now that they are older I am back reading fiction almost everyday. I don't really have the time to curl up with a book for hours at a time. I'm more of a sneak a chapter in here and there type of reader. Because of that, I have really been getting into modern psychological thrillers. The page turning nature of this genre helps me to keep myself hooked on a book even if I am constantly being interrupted! This winter I read the ones below and I have to admit that while Girl on the Train is probably the most well know, it was my least favourite. The other three are all brilliant with better twists and turns in my opinion.

TV Series

Aah Netflix, what did I do without you? Most nights I try and get all my bits and bobs done by 8:30pm and then I reward myself with an episode of whatever Netflix TV show I am watching. I am by no means a binge watcher, occasionally I'll watch two episodes back to back but mostly I just watch one episode per night. So what do I like to watch? Well, I am pretty obsessed with British TV which you will see is well represented in my recent TV playlist below:

It's hard to pick a favourite but when it comes down to the show I really couldn't wait to see the next episode, it would have to be Happy Valley with the incredible actress Sarah Lancashire. I really loved her in Last Tango in Halifax too but Happy Valley wins because it is so utterly gripping. I'm not sure what has happened to me as I never used to watch cop shows and murder mysteries but now I can't get enough. Broadchurch was another one that had me hooked and the scenery is truly breathtaking. I have just started watching The Fall with Gillian Anderson and Jamie Dornan. In fact if I wasn't writing this blog post, that's what I'd be watching now. I've only seen two episodes but it's already creeping me out in the best possible way!

Podcasts

My other favourite way to unwind is by listening to a Podcast. Mostly I listen to podcasts when I am walking my dog. I must admit I am pretty new to the podcast world which means I have years of podcasts to catch up on! At this point, I'm only listening to creative podcasts as I am so fascinated with the lives of other artists and I find them super motivating for my own creative business.

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Here are my favourites so far:

The Creative Superheroes Podcast, Andrea Scher

Artists Helping Artists, Leslie Saeta

The Alchemy of Art, Addie Hirschten

Savvy painter, Antrese Wood

The Creativity Habit, Daphne Cohn

Heroine: Women’s Creative Leadership, Confidence, Wisdom, Majo Molfino

Art for Your Ear, The Jealous Curator

Well that's it for today, I hope you've enjoyed my little wrap up of what has been keeping me entertained during the Winter downunder. I'm always on the lookout for new books, TV shows and podcasts so if you have any recommendations, I'd love to hear!

See you tomorrow Xx

30 Days of Unfurling - Day 16: Inspiration from my Home

Yesterday's blog post really sparked something in me. It made me realise that inspiration can be right under your nose. You don't need to be hiking up a mountain or exploring a rugged coastline to be inspired (though I do really love doing those things).

But I also love being at home. And I have decided that I want to paint a series that explores what it is that makes me feel like I am at home. What colours, textures, patterns and imagery do I choose to surround myself with? This is a bit of departure from my nature inspired work but I think in the end there will still be a connection to nature. Time will tell.

To begin with, I want to gather inspiration from all the things that I have brought into my little world.

I kind of wish I could say I live in a 100 year old home full of character and quirky little nooks and crannies. I don't though! I live in a 1980's brick veneer home in a cul-de-sac in a coastal suburb in Adelaide. It's the type of home that would fit right in on the set of the TV show 'Neighbours'.

Inside though, it's my haven. There's the jumbled up feature wall that I love to re-arrange with pieces of art and photographs. The chair in the window where I can see the ocean from (only just, but it's there). And then there's all the little details - candles, vases, plants, mugs, books, baskets, throw rugs and more. I love all these things, they make me feel cosy and happy. Let me take you on a little tour.

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Here I am sitting in my favourite spot in our loungeroom. It gets the most beautiful light and it's where you will often find me drinking a cup so tea and reading or writing. Everyone in the house knows that it's my spot.

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When it comes to coffee table books, here are two of my most treasured. The New Bohemians by Justina Blakeney and Gypsy by Sibella Court. And you know what, I actually have the coffee table that's on the front of The New Bohemians. I bought it before I knew about the book!

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Here are just a few little things that I've collected, mostly from thrift shops. How gorgeous are those candle holders with the geometric patterns! I must get a photo of the cabinet that these are sitting on as it's a stunning vintage cabinet. It's where I store my finished small paintings unless I'm displaying them.

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This little vessel was also a thrift shop find. As was the carved wooden box that it is sitting on. All those beautiful etched in patterns. I can just imagine scraping something similar into wet paint.

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I absolutely love mugs from Anthropologie. I bought this one to drink out of but it's huge and quite heavy, so now I use it to store pencils in. If you watch some of my painting videos on Instagram, you'll often see an Anthropologie mug in the mix.

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Here I am again in my spot. The chair I am sitting on has a turquoise floral pattern on it. It was one of my first home purchases when we moved to Adelaide. I was in a turquoise obsessed phase of life and when I saw this chair on sale in the back of a shop, I had to have it. I've used the shape of the flowers in quite a few of my paintings before!

Well that's it for today. Tomorrow I am going to look at other ways I can gather inspiration for this new series that I am working on.

Until then, I hope you have a good day or night, depending on where you are in the world Xx

 

 

30 Days of Unfurling - Day 15: Re-igniting an Old Flame

Today I wasn't really feeling it. I had a window to do some painting but I was feeling really uninspired. I just didn't know where to start. Much of my recent work has been inky botanical paintings such as this one:

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But today, I was craving something different. I still wanted layers of pattern but I didn't want any recognisable imagery. I also wanted a slightly more muted colour palette. When I look around my home and even my wardrobe, the colours are soft and earthy - sage green, terracotta, linen, ochre, dusty pink, forest green ...

More and more I am wanting to see these colours in my work.

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I started pulling out old paintings and unfinished pieces of work and I came across a series that I was working on last year that I never completed. At the time, it didn't feel quite right, I couldn't find the connection with the series so I abandoned it. Strangely though, today when I looked at it, I felt a deep connection.

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The colours and patterns reminded me of all the ceramics, textiles and baskets that I have filled our home with. It gave me a feeling of comfort, you know that feeling that you get when someone says 'I'll just put the kettle on'. I say that all the time because I am one of those people that believes that tea solves most problems!

The paintings reminded me of simple comforts. It wasn't my original inspiration when I started these pieces but that often happens to me. By allowing myself to just sit with these paintings I started to see new things and in doing so I re-ignited a spark.

I am now envisioning this series being about all the things that bring me comfort. A patchwork blanket, a scented candle, a vase of flowers, a mug of hot tea ...

And there you go from feeling blah to hurrah!!! Now my head is buzzing with thoughts and ideas for this new series or perhaps I should say reinvented old series.

I think though it might be time to put the kettle on. More on the blog tomorrow Xx

 

 

 

30 Days of Unfurling - Day 14: Creating Contrast with Colour

If I had to put into words, the most useful thing that I have learned since I started painting, I would have to say, it is that 'Contrast is Key'.

When I started focusing more on having contrast in my paintings, my paintings improved dramatically.

Without contrast a painting fails to make an impression. Our eyes will often skim right over it if there is nothing to grab out attention. Contrast creates interest, it captivates our eyes. It adds that bit of drama or excitement that makes a painting stand out.

Essentially, contrast is about creating areas within a painting that are different to each other.

There are many ways to add contrast but one of the easiest ways is through your choice of colours.

You can create contrast by using complimentary colours on the colour wheel (i.e. blue and orange, red and green, violet and yellow).

Another option is to vary the hue of colours. Using a highly saturated colour against a more muted colour creates a visual pop. Just think of how great bright colours look up against greys.

And then there is value contrast. Value contrast is the degree of variation in a painting between light and dark.

In the early layers of a painting, creating contrast is one of my primary goals. I often start with high contrast because I know that as the painting progresses I can tone it down.

Recent paintings where I've started with strong contrast. You can see how much the orange is popping against the complimentary dark blue.

Recent paintings where I've started with strong contrast. You can see how much the orange is popping against the complimentary dark blue.

Sketchbook page with contrasting cool and warm colours.

Sketchbook page with contrasting cool and warm colours.

In the following excerpt from a painting video, you can see me adding the second layer to a multi-layered abstract acrylic painting. In this layer, my main focus is on getting some dark and light colours down. I'm also inspired by a sketchbook colour study that includes contrasting cool and warm colours.

Here is the video:

 

As I progressed this painting, I added even more layers and in doing so I introduced other ways to add contrast.  Smooth v. rough tectures, organic v. geometric shapes, opaque v. transparent paint and so on. I'll see if I can find another video that demonstrates this but for today I'll leave you thinking about how your colour choices alone can create contrast.

Back again tomorrow Xx

30 Days of Unfurling - Day 12: Finishing Frenzy

Sometimes the best thing you can do is to throw reason out the window and break all the rules!

Today I went into the studio with a plan. I wanted to finish off a painting that I have been tinkering with for ages. Mentally I prepared myself - 'Come on Laura, just a short session, maybe half an hour to tidy up any loose ends, don't make any major changes, just get the job done.'

Can you guess what happened?

Well the thing is I haven't been painting as much lately. I've been tweaking my website, writing this blog and just getting my head around running a business. So I had this pent up energy and when I let myself loose on the canvas this crazy painting lady showed up. You know the one that paints as if her life depends on it. So after a 3 hour finishing frenzy, I stood back and this was the result!

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When I paint like this, I really don't have much recollection how I got to where I got to. You hear people say it's like someone else is doing the painting and I completely understand what they are saying!

I also feel like I have run a marathon. It's the type of painting that gives your whole body a work-out!

I've called the painting 'Fragile Beauty' as in a spontaneous moment I etched the words 'How fragile life is. Fleeting moments of Beauty. They are Always There'. I think these words have come up for me as there has been so much hardship around the world lately, particularly with all the natural disasters going on. I really hope that for those suffering, there are still moments of beauty that lift them up and remind them of the good in the world.

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Without going into 'crazy lady painting mode' I find it hard to stay loose in the final layer. But if I am painting quickly without overthinking, I can keep the painting feeling fresh and I have the courage to do things that I probably wouldn't do if I stepped back to really think about it. Like adding these flowy white branches. They could have been a bit of a disaster but I love how they turned out against the dark background.

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I guess the lesson in all this is that you can go in with intentions but it is also okay to throw caution to the wind and just allow things to happen in a way that couldn't possibly be planned.

Well I think I am going to put my feet up, grab a cup of tea and relax. I need it after that mega painting sesh! Thanks for popping by Xx

30 Days of Unfurling - Day 11: Translating Ideas to a Canvas

I'm always experimenting with new ways to approach a painting. Often I go in with little plan and just respond to what is happening in each layer. Eventually I start to see something or more importantly feel something and the painting evolves in it's own time.

Recently though, I have been starting my paintings with a few parameters. Making deliberate and conscious choices even in the very early layers. Thinking about colour palette and design elements and narrowing the focus from the outset. This is particularly useful for commissioned paintings where it is important to be able to work with a client's needs.

Today, I took it even a step further and made some inspiration swatches for an image that I knew was an important inclusion for a particular painting - a rainbow. You can see below my experiments on paper. These are just small squares, about 12 cm x 12 cm. I spent about 20 minutes just playing around with ideas for creating a loose textured rainbow.

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These mini-paintings are really helpful for taking the next step of translating the idea to the big canvas. Below you can see the beginnings of this rainbow on the canvas, there are more layers and textures to be built up and it will eventually be blended in more with the rest of the painting but it's a starting point and I'll play with it for a bit to see if it sticks, or if not, I'll cover it up and try again!

In a previous studio session I created other inspiration swatches with colours and details that I often use in my work. Below you can see me holding up a swatch that reminds me of a starry night. I am thinking about how maybe I could add something similar into this painting. It's helping me to visualise and translate ideas.

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I find it helpful in the studio to have things to draw on, it's not often the case that I can stand in-front of a blank canvas and a whole painting will just flow out effortlessly. It happens once in a blue moon like that but if I am honest it's not the norm for me, especially when it comes to my larger paintings. My process involves a lot of painting then pondering. When I am pondering I will often flick through sketchbooks or look back at other paintings I have completed to gather ideas. I'm not a super fast painter and I am okay with that. I enjoy the contemplative moments just as much as the energetic bursts.

Even if I don't use the little mini paintings, they are so fun to create. A really great warm-up exercise. I have a short video here where you can see me creating a little rainbow. Doesn't that just make you want to smoosh some paint around, it certainly makes me excited to head back into the studio tomorrow Xx

30 Days of Unfurling - Day 10: Sneak Peek Process Videos

Ah it's Sunday and I feel like relaxing and unwinding with a cup of tea on the couch. So with this in mind, I think I might make's today's post a Sunday Couch Session. Go on, grab yourself a cuppa, put your feet up and I'll upload a few short inspiration videos to close out the weekend.

In yesterday's post I shared a variety of pieces of art that had been inspired by pebbles. Keeping with that theme, today's videos are all pebble videos.

The first video is a watercolour pebble painting. You'll see me also adding in details with acrylic paint pens.

Now onto another video. Sometimes I create watercolour paintings such as the stacked pebbles above and if I'm not happy with them I cut them up and turn them into something else like a layered collage as you will see in video number 2!

And sometimes I paint on pebbles themselves. For this I use Sharpie or Posca Water-Based Paint Pens on the smoothest pebbles I can find. When I am finished I seal the pebble with Mod Podge.

Well that's it for today. All these midnight blogging sessions have caught up with me. I need to get some shut eye. Wishing you all a wonderful week ahead Xx

30 Days of Unfurling - Day 9: Squeezing the Juice out of an Idea

I often get asked how I come up with ideas and the truth is that I don't come up with that many ideas, what I tend to do is get an idea and squeeze as much as I can out of it as possible. I remember in high-school my biology teacher used to encourage us to look at something from every angle, she would enthusiastically urge us to get under it and over it and really see it. With my art I take a similar approach, once I get an idea, I try to approach it in many different ways using a variety of art supplies.

The idea usually starts with something I love, for example I love pebbles. I live near a spectacular pebbly beach that looks a little something like this...

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By now if you have followed my posts here or on Instragram, you will know that I have painted a pebble or two. But that was really just the beginning.

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It wasn't long before pebbles were showing up in my watercolour paintings.

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Then they showed up in my sketchbook and a hint of whimsy started coming through. Castles, old stone walls, my imagination was being swept up on this pebble journey.

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The pebbles emerged again in one of my watercolour collage projects. Again I was thinking of stone walls, hidden doors and magical kingdoms.

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It was bound to happen and eventually it did. Pebbles started appearing in my large acrylic paintings. 

 
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Do you see how one simple idea can provide so much inspiration? That's what I like to call 'squeezing the juice out of an idea' and I've still got more squeezing to do. In fact I suspect I have probably just scratched the surface!  

Will be back with more musings tomorrow Xx

30 Days of Unfurling - Day 8: Why I Always Have Creative Side Projects

It's not possible for me to be painting on big canvases everyday. Some weeks, I barely even make it into the studio. It is important though to maintain momentum and that is where I think having a 'side project' can really help. Something that's easy and accessible. This is the art that I often do at the kitchen table, on the couch or outside in the sun.

What I love about side projects, is that they are exactly as their name suggests, they are projects that you do on the side. They can bubble away in the background and you only need to stir them every now and then.

There's an ease that comes with a side project. It doesn't need to have a strict deadline ... or be complicated .... or even have a purpose. That's the whole point, in fact the real beauty of a side project is it's underachieving and unassuming nature.

Over the years I have had quite a few side projects. A personal favourite would have to be my adventures with pebble painting. My sister introduced me to the simplicity of painting on pebbles with an acrylic paint pen. No fiddly brushes or clean up! This really is couch art at it's best.

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Then there was the time that I decided to unravel the mysteries of watercolour. As you can see from the photo below, there was a lot of experimentation involved. There's something cool about having absolutely no knowledge about a supply and then just playing with it and making up your own rules.

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Gradually over time, I started to develop my own style of watercolour paintings. I discovered that I could create these watercolour worlds full of patterns and happy accidents. In fact, if you look closely, you can see that some of the designs I was making on the pebbles, I started incorporating into the abstract landscapes. See how one project can lead to another!

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After a while, I had so many watercolour paintings (many that weren't all that good) that I decided to cut them up and I started making collages. I never anticipated creating watercolour collages but I fell in love with the process so much that a new side project was formed and I went on to make a whole series.

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You can see how one project often inspires another. Without the pressure to perform, your creativity has a safe haven to thrive in. The smaller nature of these projects also makes them perfect for fitting in to busy lives. If I know that I won't be able to get into my studio for a while, I can keep the creative juices flowing with my side projects and then when I do get back into the studio, you can guarantee that I am going to bring plenty of inspiration with me.

So that my friends, is why I think that everybody should have a side project or two or three ;-)

See you tomorrow Xx

 

30 Days of Unfurling: Day 7 - Watch a Painting Unfurl

Today was a non-painting day. Usually on Thursdays, I head into my studio to paint big but today I went with my son on an excursion to the local school's library. That was only in the afternoon though, in the morning I spent time faffing around and adding more photos into yesterday's blog post. Hmm, I seem to be on the back foot with my blogging challenge already, argh!

So to keep today's post quick and easy for me, I thought I'd share a sped up video from a recent studio session. Recently I've been experimenting with laying down a quick watercolour landscape scene and then coming over the top with acrylic paint and loads of patterns and details. Sometimes I leave quite a bit of the original watercolour showing through and sometimes, like in this one, I get a wee bit carried away and just keep adding more and more and more, but hey that's all part of the fun! Hope you enjoy the little glimpse into the process Xx

Here's a close up of all those delicious marks and patterns. Makes me want to get my paints out. I'm definitely painting tomorrow!

Here's a close up of all those delicious marks and patterns. Makes me want to get my paints out. I'm definitely painting tomorrow!

Ta da! The final piece :-)

Ta da! The final piece :-)

Wow that was actually a very quick blog post, well done me!

I'll be back ready to share more tomorrow Xx

30 Days of Unfurling - Day 5: Falling in Love with the Process

Some days I just know deep in my soul, that it's going to be a good painting day. I feel it in my heart, body and mind.

Today was one of those days.

Each move I made gently lead to the next. It doesn't always happen for me like this but when it does, my heart feels like it is going to explode from the sheer love of the process.

From mixing up the paint and discovering new colours ...

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To hearing that gorgeous scraping noise as you drag a tool across the canvas. The sheer excitement of discovering a new mark!

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The quiet moments when you are adding delicate details ...

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It's all so physical and yet so emotional.

Perhaps the video below can capture it better than I can with words. Enjoy Xx

30 Days of Unfurling - Day 4: Finding Focus

I often get the feeling that my artwork is all over the place. One minute I'm working on a big flowy botanical painting, then I try something more abstract, then I lean into something whimsical. I seem to have my fingers in a lot of pies. Usually, I say to myself - it's all good, you are experimenting, you are learning, have fun, don't worry .... but deep down I know that there is also some important benefits to be gained from deeply exploring a theme rather than just scratching the surface.

Quality work takes persistence and repetition. Doing it again and again is one of the best ways to get better and measure your progress. There are also many commercial benefits - a series of work is easier to market and helps your audience to recognise your work.

Knowing all this, I still find it a struggle. I am a bird that likes shiny new things. Ideas tempt me everyday even though I know that I have unfinished business with ideas that have already taken my fancy.

I yearn for creative discipline and it is a quality that I admire in other artists. Beautifully curated social media feeds by artist's that have a clear vision and the discipline and dedication to follow it through.

I wonder at what point did they gain this vision, did they too bounce around for many years? Am I trying to hurry this process? Or am I making an excuse again to justify my lack of clarity around my path?

It's such a delicate balance isn't it? On the one hand wanting to be open and curious to new ideas and on the other hand knowing how important it is to be focused and committed to develop an idea fully.

30 Days of Unfurling - Day 3: Art Supplies

Yesterday's post was all about boundaries between studio time and family time and here I am today, pushing those boundaries! Surely a family walk can also be an art supply photography shoot - it's multi-tasking! The kids were happy exploring and my hubby got to get his camera out so I think we'll call it a win-win situation. Or at least it was up until my son fell in the stream! Ah well, that's all part and parcel of being an adventurous kid. We're all back home and cosy now - so all's well that ends well!

Since it is Sunday and my daughter is keen to watch a movie with me, I am going to keep this post short and let the photos tell a little story about some of my favourite art supplies.

Firstly, here I am with my trusty basket of paints. I love popping in to the local thrift shop to find cool baskets, boxes and vessels to store my art supplies in. They seem more inviting if they have a sweet home to live in.

Firstly, here I am with my trusty basket of paints. I love popping in to the local thrift shop to find cool baskets, boxes and vessels to store my art supplies in. They seem more inviting if they have a sweet home to live in.

My beautiful brushes. Most of them are the cheap ones from the local art and craft store. I can't justify spending too much on brushes as I don't look after them very well - sorry brushes!

Creamy, buttery acrylic paint. This brand is called Holcroft and is available in Australia through Riot Art & Craft. It reminds me of Golden heavy body paint, though it's a more affordable option for us in the Southern Hemisphere.

Creamy, buttery acrylic paint. This brand is called Holcroft and is available in Australia through Riot Art & Craft. It reminds me of Golden heavy body paint, though it's a more affordable option for us in the Southern Hemisphere.

My favourite pencils, well actually pretty much my only pencils are Prismacolor pencils. They are very heavily pigmented and super soft for easy-blending. They also work great over the top of acrylic paint. I haven't used them for a while which makes me think I should put them on my kitchen table where they are easy to access.

My favourite pencils, well actually pretty much my only pencils are Prismacolor pencils. They are very heavily pigmented and super soft for easy-blending. They also work great over the top of acrylic paint. I haven't used them for a while which makes me think I should put them on my kitchen table where they are easy to access.

Ah, how I love these teeny tiny tubes of goodness! These were a recent splurge and my oh my they were worth it! The thing I have learned about watercolour is that quality counts. If you have good watercolours and good paper, you are halfway there! Daniel Smith watercolours are so vibrant and the colour range is divine. My nature loving self is particularly fond of the PrimaTek range that are made from natural mineral pigments .

Ah, how I love these teeny tiny tubes of goodness! These were a recent splurge and my oh my they were worth it! The thing I have learned about watercolour is that quality counts. If you have good watercolours and good paper, you are halfway there! Daniel Smith watercolours are so vibrant and the colour range is divine. My nature loving self is particularly fond of the PrimaTek range that are made from natural mineral pigments .

And here he is - 'Swamp Disco Boy'. He was demonstrating how to have a disco in a swamp. This photo was taken before the swamp gobbled him up!

And here he is - 'Swamp Disco Boy'. He was demonstrating how to have a disco in a swamp. This photo was taken before the swamp gobbled him up!

Well that's it for Day 3 of my '30 Days of Unfurling'. Looking forward to getting into the studio tomorrow and sharing more about my creative life. I hope you have had a wonderful weekend Xx

30 Days of Unfurling - Day 1: Owning My Truth

It's the first day of Spring and I'm feeling Springy! There's something about the change in seasons that always boosts my mood and this Spring is shaping up to be super sweet as it's the first Spring that I will be working from home on my art business and not taking myself off to an office job a couple of days a week. Yep, I guess you could say I am now a full-time artist! Although with two young children, it's not very full-time but that's part of the beauty of it!

Feels a bit funny writing a blog post. I used to be quite into blogging but I haven't had an active blog in years. I created a new blog last week to participate in the Life Book blog hop (I'm teaching in 2018, still can't quite believe it) and it got me thinking about getting back into blogging on a regular basis. I started writing a few posts and so far they haven't made it out of the drafts folder. I seem to be feeling self-conscious about blogging!

I've also been feeling a bit of anxiety around posting on my social media pages lately. The truth is, I never expected to gain such a big following, particularly on Instagram, I'm still not quite sure why or how it happened. But it did. I remember having this goal of getting to 1,000 followers and now I'm edging close to 40,000 followers! Don't get me wrong, I am super grateful and I love the online art community. It's just that every now and then I have a little freak out!

Sometimes I wonder what people think. Do they realise I haven't been painting for that long? Do they know that I never went to art school? Have they figured out that I don't have it all figured out? Will they be disappointed with the truth of it all? 

So this brings me to the title of this post and a personal project that I have embarked upon - '30 days of Unfurling'. When I think of unfurling, I think of a flower opening up and revealing itself fully. A fresh start, a new beginning full of hope. All seems very timely for the first day of Spring! I've decided that I am going to personally unfurl by writing a blog post everyday for 30 days.  

One of my paintings aptly titled 'Renewed Spirit'.

One of my paintings aptly titled 'Renewed Spirit'.

Recently I was listening to Gavin Degraw's song 'I Don't Want To Be' and I couldn't get over how relevant the lyrics were for how I have been feeling. Here's a little snippet of the lyrics from the song:

I don't want to be
Anything other than what I've been trying to be lately
All I have to do
Is think of me and I have peace of mind
I'm tired of looking 'round rooms
Wondering what I've got to do
Or who I'm supposed to be
I don't want to be anything other than me

Pretty cool huh! It's made me realise that I don't need to be anything other than what I am. Liberating!

With that in mind, I don't really have a plan with these posts other than just sharing whatever is happening on any given day. Many of the posts will be stories from the studio but I'll also include some everyday life stuff to give a bit more of a fuller picture of what goes on around here. 

Well I think that might be enough 'unfurling' today! I'll leave you with a photo of me in my studio earlier this week. Wishing you all a happy first day of Spring or Autumn, depending what side of the world you are on! Xx

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