Thursday, April 17, 2014

Spring Inspiration.......

With so many trees covered in beautiful blossom, I couldn't help but feel inspired this week & so I started working on a few projects using the colours of nature around me as inspiration.

This is going to be part of some wedding stationary I'm creating for my sister in law.

Fairy & flower project in progress which will be part of a bedding collection.

Wishing everyone a lovely Easter weekend!

Love & Light

P.S Need more floral inspiration? Please do read my interview with artist Becky Blair. Her paintings are just beautiful! Click here.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Your life is a one time only special offer.....

Believe it or not this was on my smoothie juice packaging! I loved it so much, I just had to share. Wouldn't it be amazing if other companies sometimes shared positive messages & affirmations on their packaging too? If nothing else it would hopefully make the reader smile....and smiles can spread : )

I think we all need to slow down, stop & pause everyday & look at everything around us that we can feel grateful for. I've had so much mind chatter going on in my head this week that I didn't even notice all the spring flowers that had appeared in my garden. I saw them but I didn't "see" them if you get my meaning. It was only when I forced myself to go outside & take a quiet walk that I really saw all the beauty around me & it totally lifted my mood & made me feel so much better. It doesn't even matter if you only have 5 minutes spare a day to become still, just do it, it can honestly alter your entire perspective on your life. Ask yourself everyday "What am I grateful for today?" I think it was Eckhart Tolle who said:

"If the only prayer you ever said was "Thank You" that would be enough."

Is this just a co-incidence? I don't know, but literally 2 minutes after writing the original post above, something captured my attention on Facebook. WATCH IT! It's funny & brilliant & explains perfectly the theory I wrote about above. Just how spooky is that?! Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

29 ways to stay creative

I recently found this wonderful poster by Edhall & I've been looking back on it this week as I try to create a schedule that works for me, to try & create more balance in my life instead of feeling like I'm constantly on a hamster wheel! This of course is a tricky one & I think I'm on version 4 of that schedule already! Any tips would be much appreciated!

I've been working on a few projects & I've also been dedicating more time to just sketching. I normally draw straight onto the computer with my Wacom tablet but it's been so great to get back to where it all started for me & draw again- I know! With a pencil & everything! Hee hee. It's so weird to think how long its been since I picked up a pencil & just sketched. I even found my old tin of pencils from uni. they must be nearly 20 years old now but I knew I'd want them again someday : -)

Here are some peeks into what I've been up to.

Love & Light

P.S In case you missed it, do click here for my latest interview with artist Becky Blair who also offers some great advice for all creatives.

Doodling away on what turned out to be a surprised lion

Cute monster sketches! I think this will definitely be turned into a design of some sort

 Easter design in the making

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Interview With Artist Becky Blair

I am so excited to share April's interview with you all. I ADORE this lady's work & so was thrilled when she said yes to doing my interview. 

I first discovered Becky's work in 2007 when I bought a calendar featuring her paintings. I was so drawn to the colours, collage & textures that I cut out her images at the end of the year to frame & put up in my home. Imagine my delight when I accidently came across her new page on Facebook where I could see her paintings in progress & her new work! Although at the time I didn't know there was such a thing as 'Mixed Media', Becky was the first mixed media artist I had found & admired. Her work is beautiful, vibrant & full of such energy & movement. I do hope you enjoy this interview with her.

Hi Becky, can you tell us a bit about yourself & how long you've been painting professionally?

I'm 41 and live in Brighton with family, Ben my husband and my daughter Eva. I've been painting 'professionally' for about 20 years, but for the first 10 years I combined it with lots of travelling, it wasn't until I turned 30 that I applied a business approach to my career.

I know you used to use a lot of collage in your work, how do you think that has led to your style today?

I did use collage papers for a few years, usually on smaller paintings, but with time I started to create my own collage papers because I wanted there to be a closer relationship between the collage and painted aspects of my canvas'. Later I took then those techniques straight on to the canvas.

When starting a new piece of work, staring at a blank canvas can be daunting. What is your go-to/favourite method you use to create your backgrounds/start your paintings?

I find a blank canvas a very exciting prospect. I just start laying down colours and building textures. The beginning of a painting is so far from the end that I just love the freedom at the start, it's the time to let go and have fun. The middle and end of a painting is when you need to balance and edit, that's the hard part!

What are your favourite supplies & techniques currently?

I use Golden paints and mediums, as far as I have experienced they are the best in all ways. Sometimes I will buy cheaper paints or water based inks for a quirky colour. I have loads of different techniques, I can't think of a favourite. I suppose recently using a sponge to create shapes and washes of colour has been happening a lot.

When you work for yourself as an artist you have to wear many hats & take on many roles. Sometimes I find no room to fit in anything creative into my day! Can you give us any tips on how you organise your working days to ensure you have time to create & what percentage of your time is 'creative time' during the week versus everything else?

My first rule which has worked well for me is no computer access at my studio so no internet, and also my studio is away from home. I do the paperwork stuff in the evenings when it needs to happen or if there is loads going on I just put a morning aside. The creative part is the most important part, if you don't do it then what's the point of any of the other stuff. I currently do 5 hours painting 5 days a week, it was more before I had Eva. Personally any less than 3 days painting a week and I can't keep my creative focus, but it's also important to have time away from the process so you can return fresh eyed. It's all about balance and everyone is different in that respect.

For anyone trying to turn their passion in life into their career it can leave you feeling vulnerable- you want to succeed so badly that you can start to doubt your abilities & whether or not you can succeed. We all have these thoughts & emotions at some point on our paths. Most of us compare ourselves to others also, which can leave us feeling depleted. How did/do you overcome any negative thinking about your business & career as an artist?

You just have to get yourself out there into view of the public. It can be nerve racking and stressful, particularly I find before a solo show. But that's part of the deal, and that's what makes you push yourself to do your very best. If you know you gave it your best shot that's the only control you have over what the response will be. Not everyone will like it, but that's ok. I think the idea of 'succeeding' has two paths, you want to succeed in creating amazing work, that's great, that's drive and that should always be pushing you forward and on to new discoveries, but wanting to 'succeed' in a sales and notability, that's a long slow path and not a great focus as it will only come with exhibiting, taking opportunities as they arrive.

For anyone starting out following their creative dreams what did you find was the best way to get your work out there & seen? i.e galleries? art agent? Facebook? Blog? Website? A combination of all?

I started out before the internet became what it is today so I don't have the best insight. I started with exhibiting in galleries and by galleries taking my work to art fairs. I think websites, blogs and social networks are all incredible platforms to have your work accessed, and an online profile is almost essential so you can be contacted by interested parties, whether that's buyers or galleries. I have employed publicists in the past to do pr for solo shows which is an amazing way of getting people interested and boosting the success of a show.

What other artists are inspiring you at the moment?
I have a Pinterest account which I love. So much incredible imagery and a great way to discovery less famous artists. That's where I go when I want to be inspired. So many names of artists I love, Elizabeth Blackadder, Gillian Ayers, Matisse, Hockney, Frankenthaler, Clive Hicks-Jenkins, I could go on and on.

Thanks so, so much for taking part, please tell us where can we connect with you?


Becky is also about to exhibit in Brighton this May for the Brighton Open Houses Festival at this house:

P.S If you are enjoying my interviews you can read two more here. Or click here for my interview with Mique Moriuchi or here for Micki Wilde.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Symbols in my art

Here's some snippets of what I've been up to recently. A little woodland design, circus design & yes, still drawing the sun & lots of clouds! Some artists talk about the same symbols coming up in their art time & time again, I find that very interesting & I also think it makes the design/painting more interesting as it gives you a glimpse of the artist behind the design. I'm noticing these recurring symbols popping up in my work now- I wonder what the reasoning is behind drawing suns & clouds? Perhaps it's just the simple reason that I'm desperate for summer now. Let's see if my symbols change once summer is here!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Chances We Didn't Take

This quote is giving me comfort today.

I had to think long & hard about my artistic journey & career this weekend. I had to say 'no' to something & that was so, incredibly hard to do- to turn down money. I had so many thoughts rushing through my head like 'Are you crazy? How can you possibly turn this down? We are in a recession Woman!!' or 'You'll loose a contact over this' & even 'You can't pick & choose your jobs, you should be thankful & take it'. My ego rattled on & on in my head but then I remembered an interview I heard at the Creative Thursday blog with Matte Stephens & how he struggled to make ends meet in the beginning, selling his paintings on Ebay, but he carried on regardless. What courage that must have taken. I also then thought of Eckhart Tolle who was very poor for a while & somedays didn't even have enough money to eat properly but still carried on the path he felt he should be on. I'm very fortunate that I'm not in that situation & certainly wouldn't go hungry by turning a job down but still I have this inner argument going on inside of me. It's definitely a money thing. If money didn't come into it, it would be a no brainer & there-in lies the answer. When I said 'no' I felt instant relief, whereas the thought of saying 'yes' made me feel miserable. I'm just going to have to be brave & trust my instincts as who knows what work I may produce in the time I would have lost if I had said yes? Let's wait & see.....

As I write this I have a little bunny sleeping next to me- just too sweet for words- I had to share it with you.

And I wanted to share a mother & daughter collaboration that we finished a while ago. I've had this huge canvas for years & just didn't know where to start on it, so I let my three year old go wild on it!
We put a layer of paint down first, then pens & pencils. She then stuck down paper on top, which is how our Cheetah came to life & I then immediately thought of Africa as we had used lots of hot colours, so we added clouds & a sun & moon with a stencil I made. We loved every minute of it & it now hangs above her little desk in her play room :)
I'll be back soon with some more work to show
Love & light

Thursday, March 20, 2014

New Paintings

So I've been slowly working my way through Danielle Daniel's Her Story e-course. Considering it started last September it's taking me a while to complete! Lol! I'll get there, never enough time in the day is my mantra- I need to fix that- perhaps a sabbatical? (unpaid) Then I can just paint, paint paint!

Anyway the course has been so much fun & Danielle really makes me laugh, she's does have a way with words- I can see why she loves to write as well as paint.

Here are the new paintings in progress, I only meant to start with one but now have four on the go, it was just too much fun, you could hear me squealing (with joy) as I created the backgrounds!

I have also finished painting 22 & 23- now available to buy in my Etsy shop.

Painting 22
Titled 'Happy Being Me'
Available to buy here

Painting 23
Titled 'I'm Home'
Available to buy here

I've named this creature Bob. Bob can change colour whenever he feels like it. He thinks today is a lilac sort of day............

Have lovely weekend folks!
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