Monday, 31 December 2012

A personal thank you

It was never my intention to mix my creative work with my personal life on this blog but I just want to put it out there in the universe that I'm grateful for a cancer free year that it has been lovely to get back on my feet again after years of fighting a long hard battle against cancer - not once, but twice. Thank you universe for giving me health and giving me time - the two most important things in life.

Now to make me feel better about including that here on my creative blog I thought I'd share with you what I've been up to this afternoon. I've made a card for a friend who will be celebrating her 50th birthday next month. I hope she likes it.

Call of the Wild Soul Retreat

WARNING: This is going to be a long post - I have so much to share with you .... Call it serendipity, call it synchronicity, call it whatever you will but there was one common thread amongst each woman I spoke to last weekend. We had all heard the call and we were all meant to be there, at a retreat set on the edge of Exmoor at Croydon Hall (near Minehead) in Somerset, UK. Approximately 60 women (and a few honorary husbands and children) left the hectic pace of their everyday lives to join their fellow wild souls as we set off for four days to find our tribe.

I cannot even begin to explain the sense of camaraderie, community and oneness that was shared between the women at this event. It really did feel very tribe like and extremely powerful.

From Katariina Fagering's initial welcome talk at the beginning of the weekend when she inspired us with stories of strong, audacious women (including her own very touching story), to the end when we had to say farewell to new friends, it was the most inspirational 'time out' I have ever had. I am about to become an art retreat junkie.

I found the weekend quite by chance by Googling 'art retreats' over a period of a few months. I had come across a few which seemed to be geared towards watercolour or acrylic weekends but nothing of the kind I really wanted. Then, one day, the universe must have listened because I found Call of the Wild Soul where Teesha Moore and 3 other American artists would be teaching. I couldn't actually believe it and read on just to find out if it was some kind of joke or even a mistake - why would these amazing artists come to the West Country. I could hardly imagine why these women would choose to come to the UK when they had such a worldwide following. However, after reading on I realised it was true and completely awesome. I was sold - I just knew I had to be there, I was meant to be there.

The only down side for me was that we had to choose 3 of the 4 classes on offer and I wanted to do them all. I didn't want to drop any of them.

The first class I undertook was Teesha Moore's class. Teesha is very often one of the first teachers you will come across when you take the first steps into art jouraling. Teesha is certainly the one you will hear most about when you get into art journaling. Teesha has a style which is very much her own, colourful, bright, beautiful, quirky and a lot of fun to create. You'll either find out about her by 'chatting' to other art journalers, via You Tube, her awesome blog or via other art journaling sites. Just Google art journaling and you will find her awesomeness very quickly journaling style very soon appears before your eyes. Another fabulous surprise relating to her visit was that she brought her husband, Tracy, with her (he is also an art journaler creating some awesome artwork). Teesha is also one of the nicest people you could wish to meet, so unassuming very inspirational and extremely encouraging. It was such a pleasure to create with this lady. Please come back again Teesha. You can find Teesha's creations here.

Teesha and Tamara Laport chat after our class. That was also an added bonus - meeting Tamara Laporte (and her lovely family). Tam is the awesome lady behind Lifebook and so many more fantastic great value on line classes. You can find Tam's website here. We all came away with something that we were pleased with which shows how inspiring Teesha is.
Above is Clare Campbell one of the wonderful ladies I shared a room with during the retreat. Clare also runs amazing art retreats (I will be blogging about her wonderful Mermaid Retreat that I attended last November, very soon). Clare is the founder of 100 Women Create and a Goddess of Glitter and all things beautiful. Her website can be found here.

The beautiful Madelyn Mulvaney was the next class I took. I don't get along that well with my camera (as most people who view my blog with probably verify). I just don't really 'get it' .... that is, until I took Madelyn's class. I love other people's photography and find it very inspiring but I'm just not that good at it myself so I chose this class just to see if it could awaken my hidden passion for photography. Let's just say that since I've come home from Wild Soul I've taken my camera everywhere. Does that give you an idea of how much I enjoyed her class? If it doesn't, it should. My camera is now my best friend, I'm even using the camera on my phone to record things I love. I took some great photos during the weekend, some of which I will share here with you. I hadn't been prepared for the emotional outpourings that came about as a result of taking this class but it made me even more aware that the people who were around me were all meant to be there, that we were trusting each other and laying our souls bear to scrutiny, sharing stuff that maybe we would never have shared with others. I met a wonderful lady called Joolz Benner who live in Sweden at the retreat. We shared a great deal of the weekend and particularly this class. Here is a picture that I took which has special significance for both of us.
I can't really articulate how precious this weekend was to me. Madelyn Mulvaney's amazing photography class and her website is here.

The last class was Flora's class - what a wild woman - what a goddess. This woman embodies everything I would have loved to be in my younger years - wild, free, no boundaries or restraints, sexy, audacious the word free, free, free, just screams at me when I think of her. She is truly ALIVE. It would be hard to choose a favourite class but if someone had told me that I would produce an abstact type painting that I truly loved I would have laughed at them - but I did. I created a painting which embodies the wild soul for me. This is Flora's resultant picture from the weekend which she later presented to Erin as a thank you gift.
Flora's blog is here You would be doing yourselves a massive favour by taking any of these ladies classes they are wild souls of the highest order creating beautiful art in their very own unique styles. Amazing, juicy and oh so sexy :) The whole weekend would not have been possible however if it were not for the gorgeous Erin Faith Allen who brought us all together by hosting the retreat at Croydon Hall. Erin had given birth to a beautiful baby daughter, Poppy, only 12 days before. Erin, and her husband Simon, did the most amazing job of hosting the weekend seeing as though they had only just brought their first child into the world.

Monday, 3 December 2012

Almost redundant .... but thankfully I'm not talking about the Christmas Fairy

I haven't posted anything for a while because I've been dealing with life. I was at risk of redundancy from the university I work for therefore I had to spend my spare time writing job applications for new posts within the university. Fortunately I started my new job in placements for Occupational Therapists and Physiotherapists today. There's a lot to learn. Thank goodness for art - I may just get through the first week with my sanity intact. This is my first Lifebook offering for a while. It's one of Tam's lessons for Week 45 I think. It's the last painting lesson of Lifebook 2012 but fortunately I've signed up for Lifebook 2013 and another year of wonderful creativity.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Clear Joy

Hi there peeps, I've not posted for a while mostly because life has been pretty hectic in one way or another. I've been away on a wonderful art retreat called Call of the Wild Soul, set in beautiful Somerset with four wonderful artists from the USA and about 60 other artists who were just such an inspiration to be around. I'll be posting on that in the near future, showing you what I created etc. but there's a lot of info to get through there so I'm taking my time (might give you a preview before the main post). I've recently joined a Rumi quotes challenge which is great fun. This first journal page was in response to Rumi's quote on Clear Joy. The quote isn't that clear but it reads "Do not give your heart to anything but the love of those who are clear joy. Do not stray into the neighborhood of despair. For there are hopes. They are real. They exist. Do not go in the direction of darkness. I tell you: Suns exist."

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Watercolour Dalliances

Every so often I get a craving to do something entirely different and swerve away from portraits and whimsy. Here's a selection of my watercolours that I've enjoyed creating in those moments.

A few more pages of Lifebook

It has been a real pleasure to get home after work and pick up the paintbrushes this week. I'm under threat of redundancy at work and the atmosphere is pretty awful. Artwork is a real escape from the mundane at the moment. Here are a few more recent pages. The first is a page from Kylie's workshop where we created a healing angel

This one was based on Effy's class based on healing our experiences from the past and repairing some of the things that had happened when we were young.

Saturday, 25 August 2012

A new creation for a friend

A friend of mine will be ending her contract and leaving our workplace soon. I've made her a little farewell gift. I hope she'll like it. I've also made a few more as presents for others.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Trying to keep my mind off redundancy

The last few weeks have been very hard and very challenging as I come to terms with not having a job after Christmas (31st January to be exact). I find art really helps to keep my mind off my worries and gives me space and time to forget everything that's happening around me. It focuses my mind on creativity and allows me to forget all my worries for a while.

I've been working on a mixed media under painting inspired by an artist called Jodi Ohl on Willowing's Lifebook. It's about healing the inner critic which we all have. There's a lot more work to go yet but I wanted to record how it looked along the way.

Saturday, 4 August 2012

New additions for my blog

A few weeks ago I had a lampworking lesson to make glass beads and I picked them up from the kiln this morning. The tutor's are on the left and mine are on the right - all in all I'm quite pleased with the way they turned out.

I've also been working on a new Lifebook Painting from Adrianna Almanza's class called the Hope Fairy and here's my effort ...

I think I'll add a bit more fairy bling to her and make her shine.

I was looking through some work that I've done over the last twelve months that I haven't posted up

The first Lifebook class was given by Tam herself - this is my painting that resulted from the class

Thoroughly enjoyed doing Tam's class it was a lot of fun and very relaxing.

Another of Tam's Lifebook classes was called 'honouring your past' and this was the resulting page from that exercise

This was another lovely little lesson from Juliette - such a sweet little class.

Friday, 27 July 2012

Time to catch up

Time for a bit of a catch up I think. Life's been a little hectic so I've not had time to upload for a while. Here's a few of the art journaling pages that've been keeping me sane (yes I know that's debatable, lol). Some are inspired by Ady Almanza's dollies others have been inspired by Willowing's Lifebook, all I've enjoyed creating immensely.

This is Ella - I've yet to add some text to this journal page - probably a quote, can you think of one that would be appropriate for her?

This is a page I keep coming back to adding here and there - but I think she's finished now
This could possibly be one of my favourite journal pages to date - I really like the way it turned out - I shall be recreating it on a canvas shortly.
Another page I have returned to on a few occasions but again I think it's done now.
Another page I really enjoyed doing but again I think it needs a quote - your suggestions are welcome.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Your chance to be a fairy

... Jay the Viking is producing a video on fantasy/fae art. Click here for your chance to be immortalised as a fairy on the cover of his DVD.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Another Lifebook Lesson

I am going to have to come back to this one to let you know who put the tutorial up for this, I'm sorry I can't remember but it was a fabulous lesson and I learnt a lot by doing this. There were a lot of processes involved and it was quite messy in parts but it was very enjoyable and I thoroughly enjoyed doing it.

Jodi Ohl's Lesson - Week 20

Jodi's lesson was really interesting, a technique I really enjoyed and something I can see myself using in my journals in the future. It created such a lovely effect.

Wk 21 Rhomany's Lesson on Lifebook

I absolutely loved Rhomany's lesson on Lifebook a week or so ago. It was based on the very intricate art of Audrey Kawasaki who creates the most beautiful paintings - here's her website. She also creates the most beautiful cut out ATC work, very intricate indeed, true works of art in their own right - a few examples can be seen here on the 'doodle' area of her website. Her art is extremely feminine and in a way innocently sexual - very beautiful pieces. I would so love to own some of her work.

Fairy Headdress

Very soon the fairies, merfolk and pirates will be gathering once again in Cornwall to party and frolic for a weekend of summer festivities. I have been making costumes, wings and other bits and bobs for the weekend. Here's the headdress I've made for the first day of the event. I will post up the costume when it's finished.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Memory Box

Have been wanting to do something with this box that a friend from Scotland sent me for some time now. Duckegg blue and brown is my favourite colour scheme (at least for now) and I've been totally absorbed with colour schemes this weekend as we've been decorating the stairs and landing and we're soon moving on to the living room soon. My craft room is already in these colours and I love them, they're so restful but my other half doesn't want to shift too far from the terracotta and gold scheme we already have there. I think he's probably going to win the battle as I've got it in my craft room so I've already indulged myself.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Darcy's Postcard Challenge - Norway

Norway was inspired by Anders Malmo a Norwegian Artist who loves to paint dogs in his very original style. You can view his art here

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Devon with the new background

Well here's my dreamy lady (I've named her Devon) with her new background and stamping. I'm quite pleased with the way she's turned out. I really enjoy Ady's classes they're fantastic and I always learn something new from her.

A class from Dreamy Ladies (Ady Almanza)

This is my first effort from Ady's Dreamy Ladies class which I've been meaning to get around to for some time. This isn't quite finished yet but I like the way she's coming along and I though I'd take a photo now before I mess it up ... it has been known, many times, lol. I now need to add some stamping but I'm going to add white acrylic to the backgound first to provide a base to stamp on - not quite what Ady did, just deviating from her version a little bit.

Week 8 - Darcy's Postcard Challenge - Cuba

My favourite week so far. I really enjoyed doing this one. I chose Che Guevara as my inspiration for Cuba, watched The Motorcycle Diaries not long ago and really loved the film. I learnt that I should reverse the image before I use it as an image transfer (if it has writing on it) - up the backwards revolution, lol. I really like the faded grungy look that it's created.

Week 10 - Darcy's Postcard Challenge - Canda

I could've done better here but I was really trying my hardest to catch up with the postcard challenge this weekend while I had time on my hands. I wanted to do another try on the Canada theme (maybe I will at some point) but for now here's my effort. It was an image transfer which didn't go quite to plan but hey ho ...

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Friday, 17 February 2012

Some work in February 2012

These are some of the pages that may be finised. I say 'may be finished' because very often I revisit pages I think I've finished, some time later and add more detailing or words - whatever appeals to me at the time.

The first is a double page spread on my Top 10 Pet Hates. I'm surprised that I listed "taps left running" at No 10 as it's actually is much nearer the top of my list than that - probably my No 3.

This next page was painted over a page of writing about how I felt on a certain day regarding what had happened to my health. Cancer does change your life forever, but not everything is negative.

The final piece was inspired by Violette and an exercise from her wonderful book Journal Bliss.

It's a piece I keep coming back to as I'm really not sure it's finished. It seems to be crying out for something ... a border perhaps?

I've also been doing more work inspired by the wonderful Adrianna Almanza - who gives me so much joy with the work that she creates. These pieces are inspired by her big eyed dolls. Please may I ask that if anyone copies her style (as I see so many people doing with Ady's work, and with that of Suzi Blu's work, that they respect the artist that inspired them and always reference back to those that deserve some credit).