Tuesday 31 December 2019

Head, Heart & Hands

I have started working my way through a workbook called Head, Heart & Hands: A Workbook for Developing Your Creative Voice.  You can buy it as a book or as a download.  I've got the download which is useful because I have been able to print things on the back of some of the pages.

One of the exercises in the book is to choose two pieces of your work and ask people to give you 5 words to describe the work.  I used these two pieces and put them on Instagram and Facebook.

You could join in if you wish, by putting 5 words in the comments below.

Another exercise is to have a daily practice.  I have chosen the heart practice.  For this I have to take a photo, 6 days out of 7, for 7 weeks.  That's 42 photographs of things I love.

I've only just started so there's only a few!

It will be interesting to see where this leads.

Thanks for joining me today.

Saturday 28 December 2019

Workshops 2020

Some of my friends feel I should join Workshops Anonymous!  If there isn't such an organisation perhaps I should start one.

I spent many months this year saying I wasn't going to book any workshops in 2020.  But then signed up for 3 in January & February.  Then I said I wouldn't book any past March.  Yeah right!

So what have I signed up for?

January: Unlocking the Mystery of Creative Play with Lesley Morgan.
‘How do I make better work?’ We will look at simple language and principles of design found in the physical world. Working from a personal starting point, discover tools to create contrast and harmony using colour, value, size, shape, and texture. Bring your curiosity to discover what you like and how to achieve the elements you need to work with your theme and create effective compositions.

February: Abstract Calligraphy with Simon Sonsino
In this workshop we will explore abstract calligraphy with expressive form. We will work through exercises creating abstract letter form with different mark making tools.

February: Poetry of Stitch with Christine Chester
There will be a concentration on using the sewing machine, but also looking at hand stitch as the heavier and more ‘spotty’ marks that is tricky to do on the machine (though not impossible). We will explore your machine’s potential through use of tension, straight and swing stitches, and the occasional use of an accessory or two.  There will be an emphasis on trying lots of small sample pieces rather than working towards a larger piece, but these can be combined to form a book towards the end of the course.

April: Colour Studies with Lesley Morgan
We will learn how to use procion Mx dyes to develop an extensive palette. Build harmonious colour and value schemes to create contrasts that will enrich, energies and pop!  Use mark-making to create a visual reference of colour relationships and establish a method to explore any colour and value scheme of your choice.

May: Improvisational Curved Piecing with Leslie Morgan
Improvisation is the act of coming up with something on the spot. Improvisational Piecing is drawing with a rotary cutter. The act of improvising is to act or to start a piece without planning ahead, spontaneously making decisions as you go. Improvisational piecing promotes muscle memory, intuition, innovation, creative mistakes, repeatable mistakes, freedom ...

July: Land - Marks Summer School with Cas Holmes
A mixed media workshop exploring the qualities of cloth and paper for creating a mark and as a surface for print. Spend the first two days printing onto layered cloth using a variety of techniques, and the last day using some of the pieces to create a stitch - collage.

November: Layers in Land & Sea with Amanda Hislop
A 2-day workshop to explore land or seascape imagery through a process of layering; working on a fine background to build layers of recycled and specialist papers, natural fragments and threads. Experiment with ways of changing the surface of papers which will then be incorporated into landscape compositions developed from your own personal material. Acrylic paints are then applied using techniques to enhance and give depth to the colour within the piece.

And that ought to be enough!

However Liske keeps adding temptation at Littleheath Barn Studio.  It's 25 minutes away and I can live at home.   Sooo tempting!

But looking on the bright side!  I've only signed up for one online course: Wanderlust.

Thanks for joining me today.

Tuesday 24 December 2019

Happy Christmas

On this Christmas Eve I hope you will be able to find time to listen to this song by Casting Crowns.

Happy Christmas

Thank you to all of you who have followed along with me on my creative journey this year.

Saturday 21 December 2019

ATG Landscapes

Last year I joined in with a Seasons themed series of workshops at Littleheath Barn.  This year the theme for the Art Textile Groups is Landscapes.

Liske introduced us to various drawing and collage techniques.  I used photos of canals for this session.

I looked online for photos of people's work that I admire and I hope will provide inspiration.

We did some mark making and I used photos of the coast as inspiration.

In our latest session we started with painting dye and paint on fabric.  I worked on this piece of scrim laid over silk noil.  However I didn't much like the colours and wasn't inspired at all.  This was mostly because I was still confused about which landscape I was concentrating on - rural, coastal or urban.

After discussion with a friend I took her suggestion of concentrating on coastal.  When I turned the fabric the other way up I can see how I can make this coastal!

I then started working with my favourite colours and back in my comfort zone.  This was mark making on silk noil.

This was using up the paint with torn paper and a dry brush.

I used dye on this piece of silk noil.

I prefer the back of it.

It will be interesting to see how this develops next year.

Thanks for joining me today.

Tuesday 17 December 2019

Choosing a word for the year

I don't usually write about my next year's word this early in the year or do I mean late!  I quite like to reserve the big reveal for the new year.  Although when checking out the links below I found I'm not always consistent.

I have been choosing one word for the year for a while now.  You can see my words here:
Restore 2011        Focus 2012
Present 2013        Participate 2014
Thirst 2015     Purpose 2016

So, on to 2020.

Looking back at the words I have chosen or have chosen me I can see some sort of link - apart from Thirst - which was a bit of a disaster anyway!  But probably at the beginning of every year the goals I set are very similar and at the end of each year I find I haven't really achieved them.
In light of the above quote - which is reminiscent of the one: If you keep doing what you've always been doing, you'll keep getting what you've always been getting, what road do I need to take in 2020.

What goals should I set for the year?

What do I want to see more of in my life and how can I work towards that?

My friend Valerie has made a great video about how she chooses her word for the year.

I'm not really quite so purposeful as Valerie.  Nor do I include God and prayers in my decision making as she does.

I tend to think about choosing a word a lot.  Last year I had a short shortlist of possible words but this year I have really only had one.  And to be honest I couldn't see how it would work with Bible verses as the word doesn't exist in the Bible (I know - I've looked!).  I looked at synonyms and that didn't throw up any help either.

And just as I was going to give up on this word, I suddenly thought of the passage in Ephesians 6 about the armour of God.

The next day on my Facebook Newsfeed I saw a link to a project in Australia which talked about this word.

Can you guess what has chosen me?

It's (drumroll please): resilience

I wondered though about my previous words and decided that really I need to have an action which might provoke me to do something positive.  So my word(s) for 2020 is
be resilient
There's a couple of weeks left of this year to sort out how I'm going to record this - if at all.  I'll let you know what I decide at the beginning of January.

Thanks for joining me today.

Saturday 14 December 2019

My journal for 2019

My word for 2019 has been {Commit} or {Commitment}. In my first post this year I listed the things I felt I needed more of in 2019:
  • Read the Bible more frequently
  • Pray more regularly
  • Trust God more
  • Move every day (walk, exercise etc)
  • Create everyday
  • Finish things

Did I succeed in including these things?  Yes and No.   I don't necessarily do any of them every day but I have managed to finish things, including my A-Z journal.

 Let's look at my pages for 2019:

There were so many photos that I think I need to write another post about finding a word for 2020 rather than including it here.

Thanks for joining me today.