Threads of Creativity

How much value do you place on freedom in your creative practice? 

Have you given yourself the space and permission to explore new ideas? To follow a creative thread to see where it leads. 

A few months ago I pressed pause on commission work to give myself more space. Space to go completely and unashamedly off brief. I used to get frustrated at myself for getting off track, getting swept up in a side project instead of the main project but now I try to remain as open as possible to diversions. 

I love following a creative thread to see where it takes me. When I do this, I am listening to my inner wisdom, allowing my deepest creative desires to lead the way. I know that this is where the magic is.

This only happened to me the other day. I was working on a new series on paper, playing with ink and water, making soft round shapes. Enjoying the delicate sheerness of the work, when I started wondering if I could translate what I was doing to my canvas work. 

Suddenly there was a thread, I could see a connection. What if I used ink and water on top of one of my acrylic abstract paintings? What if I allowed the ink to be transparent and delicate. It was late at night but the spark was there so I pulled out an old painting, an abstract background I created last year and I started playing with a wet-in-wet ink technique on top of the canvas. I introduced a soft and sheer botanical image to the abstract design and the potential got me really excited. 

 My new neutral series in progress

My new neutral series in progress

 Translating the wet-in-wet ink technique  to a canvas, this time using soft botanical forms. 

Translating the wet-in-wet ink technique  to a canvas, this time using soft botanical forms. 

I love these threads between my work. One piece inevitably leads me to another. Sometimes the connection is obvious, sometimes it is subtle but it's always there. I know that there is no end to the thread, just endless opportunities to play and explore. What a blessing that is! 

 

 

 

 

Boldly and Bravely Staying the Path

Have you ever wondered what happens to the paintings that just don't work out, the ones that turn into a big muddy mess, the pieces that I knock bottles of ink on top of or accidentally glue to the table? 

They don't get tossed out, they get to go on an even longer art adventure. They get reinvented and revived with new layers. 

I have a new series dedicated to this special breed of painting. I've called it "Bold and Brave" as these paintings are the courageous ones, the ones that hung in there even when the going got tough. 

These paintings are the rebels, the misfits, the ones that never wanted to be like the others. The paintings that stayed on the path, even when the path went into scary unknown territory. 

I have three of these paintings that are ready for their next adventure. If you would like to give one of these paintings a home, click on the photo gallery below for more details. I'll be adding more pieces to this series over time; as for every painting that is born with ease there are many that overcome adversity and take their time before they boldly and bravely arrive. 

 

Finding a Gentle Rhythm to My Days

After nearly a year of working from home running my art business, I think I might be finding a gentle rhythm to my days. When I was working part-time I would often only have one day during the week to paint and it usually ended up being an epic back-breaking session lasting 8-10 hours.

These painting sessions would get the work done but would leave me feeling completely exhausted and a long way from living the life that I truly wanted to. 

Now that I am able to spread my work across a full week, I'm having much shorter but more focused painting sessions. I usually paint for between 2 - 3 hours a day with a few short breaks. 

Today I spent time on my larger abstract paintings. For the first time ever, I am working across five paintings. I love the gentle dance from one painting to the other, there's such a freedom to it. 

At this point, my main focus on all five paintings is to build up a good foundation. I am using thin layers of glaze to add richness and depth. Later I will think more about what marks or imagery I might want to add but for now I am happy just slowly building up the colours and seeing what compositions emerge through the process. 

These two are coming along well so tomorrow I will work more on the others to try to bring them to around the same place. Then I will have five canvases to spread my ideas across! I wonder if that will be enough? 

 

 

Learning More With Less

A small window of creative time, a cup of coffee and not much more than a bottle of acrylic ink in Payne's Grey. My intention was comforting in its clearness, 'just see what you can do'. So often I make things more complicated than they need to be. There's something so satisfying about stripping things right back. Taking the time to linger with a new technique or supply and get to know it intimately. 

I pulled out a sheet of cold press watercolour paper. I needed a starting point, a container to safely explore within. My chosen container was a grid-like pattern of puddles. This gave me a structure so that I could focus my energies on exploring all the subtle variations I could create within the puddles. 

Using different ratios of water, ink and a few splashes of my cold coffee I created puddles that look like they belong together yet are all completely different. The simplest of tools (a skewer, a few brushes and a sheet of paper towel) allowed me to push and pull the ink and get different effects. 

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It was so easy to get lost in this process and I am thankful I did as I love the end result. There's something so cool about the organised structure vs. the uniqueness of each and every puddle. Each puddle is a pocket of learning. A wonderful way to build creative muscle! 

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