Friday 31 January 2014

I love you today because.....

I thought I would start February off with a challenge a way to make some small changes on a daily basis and one that you are welcome to join in with.   Valentines day is a couple of weeks away, and traditionally this is the month to show those that you love how much you love them. 

As we grow and share I thought we could also do with a reminder to care for ourselves and to treat ourselves with kindness remembering that before you can love someone else you need to be able to love yourself.  For me I will be just making simple statements that can sit and encourage me in those tough times as a reminder that I am still a work in progress. 

It is very easy to take ourselves for granted, and we have to have a back pack full of encouraging words and statements that you can draw upon every now and then.  What words of encouragement can you give yourself as a reminder?

Another thing that I will be doing during the week is a daily sketch using marker pens, I wanted to experiment a bit more with the following style, and do some self portraits - I have only ever done 2 self portraits in all my time as an artist.  
Image done in Gwenn Seemel Style - Soul Food
Doing quick self portraits allows us the time to really see ourselves, looking at the imperfections that we all have and being alright with them.  While doing Soul Food  course we had a session from Gwenn Seemel, and I really like the style of using marker pens, to make the marks and not worry about rubbing out and being committed to the marks you make.  

Each day I will be spending between 15 - 20 minutes doing a sketch and will post it later during the day, it will be an exercise in observation, each one might not be complete, but I want to be consistent and show up and spend the time. You can see the images that I did as part of the Soul Food class on my Mixed Media Art site.

So if you are up for it join me Monday through to Friday during the month of February and remind yourself why 'you love you' today and every other day, and maybe even try creating a few self portraits as well! Stay Blessed!

Gratitude's and Celebrations - Week 30 - This is a great day! .......and Memories of Home

I missed the Memories of Home post on Wednesday and decided to do it anyway for this week especially because it is about being in tranquil environments or creating one in your space.  Mum has been in her flat now for nearly 40 years, all the neighbours kids that used to live there are all grown up, including myself having now been replaced with a new generation that play football in defiance of the 'no ball games sign'.  I am not sure what they were thinking when they put it up being the only space to play out in, there was never anyone to to enforce it when we were young and me and my brother would race round on our scooters, or play ball with the other kids.
Memories of Home - Tranquillity
Having experienced my first home at different points of my life growing up and now as mums carer I find that there is an unusual peace in her home which I am not sure I can solely attribute to the flat or what I have done myself, but a combination of making the environment suit the purposes and meet whatever the current needs are at the time.

I remember looking around at some things as a child and feeling how tall everything seemed, competing with my brother to check who was actually getting taller by measuring ourselves on the door frame.  He became much taller than me in the end with his 6f 2in frame, covered over are the lines on the frame.  This is my weekend with my mum and I am looking forward to spending time with her, while she is not as mobile and her understanding has diminished some what, she can still enjoy being creative and I am going to work on a mini memory box with her.

I had one of these boxes that contained a storage bag and thought I could recycle it has some potential and could be turned into a memory/assemblage box that could either be hung up or free standing, and would be a great way to capture something!.  I will let you know how it turns out in the recycled projects next week.

Gratitude's and Celebration

I am grateful and celebrate the 90 years my mum as lived, that she is able to see her grand-kids and continues to hold on to her precious life, not giving up but taking each day as it comes.  We are blessed more than we can know and I continue to look at the small things that come my way as a reminder.

Gratitude's Journal in progress
Completed page
This is a great day! 

What have you done so far with the day that you have, what can you do differently to make it even more special? I would love to hear from you and share what you will be doing. As this week draws to a close have a blessed weekend! If you want to see how I made the journal (click here) Blessings!

Thursday 30 January 2014

Little Birdy - More play with characters

As we find ourselves nearing the end of the month I find myself deep in reflection, not only by the changes I wanted to make tailing off from 2013, but what I have managed to achieve this month.  I have been working steadily on the courses and I am also working on a collage one which I will share next week.

 My birds are part of a session on Soul Food with Zorana called Fluttering in Bronze

 Whilst I do like birds I never really gave them much thought within my work, but the more and more I worked on these I realised that they all spoke to me in some way that I could relate back to my role as an artist and symbolized aspects of my journey without this being my sole purpose.
Flying High in the Sky
 Flying high was about me wanting to go further within my work, I love trying new things and embracing experiences.  Sometimes stepping into the unknown is scary, but once your into it you find your way.  It does take a while to get to grips with new techniques, but you have to persevere and you can often be pleasantly surprised by the results.
Homely represents that part of me that loves the security of the home environment but a reminder that the world continues to move whether you do or not.  In this one I added an image which happens to be my brother who passed, and is a good reminder about relationships and taking action as on the day the photograph was taken we had taken all the kids to the park and had a really lovely day.

Looking Back
Looking back sees the bird from the tree looking down and you can see the daily life going on as well as the other birds in the distance.  Something I would love to be able to do one day is to be able to work from anywhere in the world, preferably hot with a beach close by.  As we age it seems as if the world has become a smaller place, technology means that we can communicate much better than we did before from anywhere in the world and there are so many opportunities available to have a better quality of life 9 hours in a plane in any direction from my currently location!

Tomorrow I will share not only the Gratitude's and Celebrations and the Memories of Home posts but some of the exciting things that I will be working on next month and it would be great to have you join me.  If you are taking Soul Food, leave a message and let me know how you are getting on, if not check out and be inspired! 

Tuesday 28 January 2014

Story Book - The Owl and the Pussycat

The idea of the story book was shared with us by Lisa Patencio as part of the Soul Food lessons and is something that I think that I will definitely be doing again.  

I started mine off with some recycled card and added stamps, and paint to it.  I then decided to add random splodges, and this is where the magic happens.  Out of the splodge you create your characters and you end up with a mini story.  

Our theme was the owl and the pussy cat and this is the story line I came up with.,,,

Pete the Pussycat started life as a splodge!
Pete the Pussycat decides to pay Orville the Owl a visit, It a Friday night and he remembers that Orville the Owl had a party to go to at Bobby Beaver's house
Owl says that they have to go by boat and follow the directions that are on the invitation he is clutching in his hands.  They take Orvilles boat the 'Sea Farer' and head off!
 When they arrive on the island Orville is a bit lost, so Pete takes a look and manages to work out how to get to Bobby Beaver's house.
 X marked the spot to Bobby the Beaver's house, they were glad that they arrived safely and were able to meet up with the rest of his friends and party till the sun went down!

As you can see with a bit of paint here and there you can create some really lovely stories.  While it came out of playing with some scrap paper and card you could go on to develop a great story out of the characters that you create.

Why don't you give it a try, take a look in your supplies and experiment.  Do let me know how you get on and leave a comment and let me know what you think.  Blessings!

Saturday 25 January 2014

Realityarts - Video of selection of Mixed Media Art work

 Mixed Media art video

Click on the image or click HERE to be taken to the video of some of my work, hope you enjoy, blessings for the weekend.

Friday 24 January 2014

Gratitude's and Celebration - Week 29 - You are precious..

You are Precious

When you think of something being precious, you think of something being valuable, we have to remind ourselves that our lives have a purpose.  Whether you believe it or not there is more to your life than the life that you are currently living.   There is more that you can learn, more that you can see, there is a world out there waiting for you to visit.  

When you look at your surroundings the place that you live are there any undiscovered places that you haven't been yet?  Often people who visit on holiday see more of the country than those who live there. I often make a promise to myself that I will get out more after coming back from holiday, go out every day and really take everything in.  But I guess because we have it around us all the time we can take it for granted.

Page before completion
How precious is your life?  Since my brother passed I have seen my own life in a very different way.  Each day is special because you don't know if it will be your last, but rather than worrying about it you have to live it to the full, making sure that you use all the gifts, talents and abilities that you have.

Reminding myself that life is precious helps you to focus on the things that are important, the relationships you have with family and friends.  It was Roberts birthday yesterday he would have been 46 years old, I celebrate the life he had, the love he shared and the legacy and memories that he has left behind, and I am grateful to have known and been loved by him. 

I am also taking the time to remind you that you are precious, take some time to think about all the things that you have yet to do, those things that you promised yourself you would do tomorrow or next week, but most of all spend time thinking about the gifts that you have to share with others.

What opportunities are coming your way that could make a difference to your outlook on your life? I would love to hear from you and share what action you will be taking. As this week draws to a close have a blessed weekend! If you want to see how I made the journal (click here) Blessings!

Wednesday 22 January 2014

Peace - Memories of Home

Welcome to Memories of Home, if you would like to find out more information about the series, Click here

Being in a supportive environment is important to our growth as individuals, not everyone has had that opportunity and as adults we try and create an environment that will nurture and bless our children and indeed ourselves.


Mixed Media House - Peace

Every now and again, I find myself still up at 2 or 3am in the morning, in the comfort of my studio, my 9x6 foot compact space that is all mine.  I have usually got carried away on a project and lost track of time unaware how late it has got.  Everyone else is asleep snuggled in the comfort of their beds, dreaming dreams of promises, adventures and suspense.  They stir as they drift in and out of their dream, a murmur or laugh as dream state interacts with real time.  I check in on them and duvets tell the tale half on the bed the other half on the floor as they twirled in their sleep.

The night still, the sounds of the house more prominent, the sounds of the early birds and their comings and goings, the occasional car passes by, headlights catching the lone foxes screeching to a mate in the dark, finding the path to the garden over hedges and carefully placed wheelie bins.  The outdoor cats return from their night time quests through cat flaps with their mouse kill gift carefully placed on mats for their owners and bowls of food and water prepared, they find themselves on window ledges gazing out of windows closed the warmth of radiators and wait for sunrise.

I move from one project to the next, not aware of being tired, fired up with creativity and play.  It brings back memories of childhood with a room of my own to spread my wings, pop- star posters on the wall, record player and mirrors reflection, dreaming dreams of growing up and having a place of my own, not a care to be found.

Those times are so peaceful; I can get lost in my creativity and feel as if I have all the time in the world.  As my bed calls I bring my creative play to a close the birds chattering increases and I snuggle myself down under the covers and loose myself in my dreams to sleep.  

What area of your home do you find most peaceful, how will you take time to encourage yourself to take time out if only for 10 minutes.  I hope you continue to join me on my journey over the weeks, as I share my mixed media houses and look back to the memories of home. I look forward to hearing about some some of your own memories. Blessings and peace to you!

Monday 20 January 2014

Material Mondays - Sewing, Weaving, Crochet

Thought I would share one of the projects I have worked on from Soul Food.  My current one is from the session led by Jeanette House.  Whilst it is not fabric it uses sewing and crochet.


Sunrise - first stage weaving
I took two separate pieces of water colour paper and applied different mediums and then cut holes in one and used the other to weave in-between the sections.

After it was weaved I added some shapes which turned out to be two ladies, and then the rest flowed, with the stitching I wanted to show the horizon line and then added some other elements.

I made some mini crocheted flowers and then got carried away with the details for the hair and the rest followed.

I really enjoyed working with the different elements and then adding the sewing and making the mini flowers, and at some point I hope to work on some larger pieces.  

What I am trying to take from each is an element of the technique that I can use to inform my own work, and also just to be able to play -

If you get a chance why don't you check out the course, do share what you are getting up to, have you used paper and materials in this way, what have you come up with.  Blessings for now!

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Friday 17 January 2014

Gratitude's and Celebrations - Week 28 - The doors are opening....

The doors are opening, are you ready to walk through?

The page before completion

One of my promises to myself for 2014 was that I would learn as much as I could and increase my knowledge and skill base. I have started the year doing that and I am in the middle of a few courses that are already stretching me and getting me out of my comfort zone.

Paying close attention means that I have to take my time, be persistent as things won't happen on their own, to see things through to the end while maybe not being in familiar territory, a different way of doing things, different outlook, but with one step in front of the other. 

I am going into the second week of Life Book and Soul Food and just finished a week of Explorations in Collage. Each of the courses have their own challenges, In Life Book and Soul Food we have been working with a number of creatives who are sharing their techniques. The main thing for me is to take what I need from each and see how it can inform the work that I do. I have been doing things I haven't done in a while, not realising how much I enjoyed them, and with Experiments in Collage III, I am coming into contact with a range of artists that I really admire and working with collage in a different way.  I will share some of the work tomorrow.
Gratitude's and Celebrations Journal - The doors are opening

One thing that I am mindful about is making sure that when distraction and feelings of 'what am I really doing' strike, especially in those times where you need to get past a barrier of thinking, is to have some strategies in place that will put me back on track and re-motivated. Having a page where I can say what I celebrate and am grateful for is a great reminder that often pushes me forward. I know that those thoughts will come as I learn more techniques and try and grow and develop even further.

I celebrate the lives of those fellow artists and creatives that are on the courses with me and look forward to new relationships, interactions and collaborations. I will walk through the doors knowing that I have worked hard, and been persistent to get to where I want to go and I am grateful for the ability to be able to take part in the variety of courses and to really take the time to grow as an artist.

What opportunities are coming your way that could possibly make a difference to your outlook on your work? I would love to hear from you and share what action you will be taking. As this week draws to a close have a blessed weekend! If you want to see how I made the journal (click here) Blessings! 

Wednesday 15 January 2014

Holidays - Memories of Home

Welcome to Memories of Home, if you would like to find out more information about the series, Click here.

Being in a supportive environment is important to our growth as individuals, not everyone has had that opportunity and as adults we try and create an environment that will nurture and bless our children and indeed ourselves.

I guess it is too early to start to talk about holidays, daydreaming about fun times in the sun, the sand beneath my feet and the waves lashing around bringing with it the cool breeze of a Caribbean afternoon.  We begin the year and already 2 weeks into January, a fresh beginning, new start, and a chance to do all the things that you dreamed of and a few that you didn’t.  I often take a glace back at where I have come from as a reminder of not only what I have left to do but also of where I want to go.  Our dreams do not drive themselves and while the ‘good things come to those who wait’ – reminds us about patience, no one will be knocking on your door with the man/woman/career/house/car of your dreams anytime soon.


This year one of the things I would like to see materialize in 2014 is the ability of being able to work from anywhere in the world on one of the many creative pursuits that I currently have in motion and be able to impact the lives of thousands, tens of thousands (ok lets think big) Millions! All this to be done through art and creative expression!  

I want to get up with the sun shining, hearing the tropical birds outside my window, with the trees swaying, and start my work after having a morning swim at the beach that is a stroll away from my house.  After my fruit smoothie with a combination of pawpaw, sweet & sour sop, mango, golden apple, pear, and banana the fruit from the trees in my garden I go into my art studio and start work on a selection of the large canvases series for an upcoming exhibition.  There is a distant sound of steel pans that sound as if they are coming towards the house, strange to hear them so early in the morning, but a great accompaniment to my creative flow.  I make a mental note to order some more paints, the steel pans getting closer, as if they are now outside my window.  

I reach for the latch on the window, but instead find myself turning over in bed and reaching for the mobile phone, now at its top volume after having the snooze button pressed for the final time.  My throat dry as I call out to my son to get up and get himself sorted for school, and wonder how many 6 or 8 legged fiends I consumed while sleeping!

Working for yourself

Being self employed at the moment means that every day is a work day, the dreams keep me motivated, and the mild weather we have been getting gives me the necessary ‘breeze across my face coming from the Caribbean’ feeling.  Looking back in my teenage years I never dreamed I would be calling myself an artist and have worked and connected with a range of inspirational and encouraging individuals, if you asked me after my degree as I launched myself back into the ‘corporate world’ that I would be sharing my journey and encouraging others I would have signed and said ‘in an ideal world’.  
Caribbean inspired

As I look forward I see that I have come a long way, yet the journey has not completed – far from it, there is still so many adventures waiting to be experienced and it begins with today and what I decide to do or not do, but choice there has to be made.

What have you done with your today, and what will you do with your tomorrow.  Have you already found yourself defeated from those promises you made on the 1st January or are you taking a slow and steady pace with your eyes on the prize.  Do leave a comment.  I would love to hear what big and little things you have planned I hope you continue to join me on my journey over the weeks, as I share my mixed media houses and look back to the memories of home. I look forward to hearing about some of your own memories. Blessings and peace to you!

Friday 10 January 2014

Gratitude's and Celebration - Week 27 - Action

Time to take action

Page before I began
This has been a mixed week which has seen me contemplating the passages of time, spending quite a bit of it with my mum, looking back at the things that seem so hard now that were easy for her to do before. 

I guess that I have just adapted to the changes dealing with what is necessary at the time and putting things in place so that she can have an easier time as possible.  She now has to use a wheel chair as walking has become difficult.  It was while we were coming up the 20 stairs to her flat that it dawned on me how difficult it is becoming for her.  I encourage her to lift her feet and take a step chattering at how well she is doing and let her know that there is a lovely cup of tea and biscuits waiting for her, she moves slowly but we eventually get there, she says she is looking forward to the biscuits.  

I am grateful for the time that I get to spend with her, despite her decline still has a strength and resolve about her that see's her get up and with one step at a time hold on to her life.

We never know when we will take our last breath and I celebrate mums life, that gave me life and encourages me to move forward whether going through the ups or downs of the circumstances that may come my way.

I would love to hear from you and share what action you will be taking. As this week draws to a close have a blessed weekend! If you want to see how I made the journal (click here) Blessings!

Wednesday 8 January 2014

Excitement - Memories of Home

Well, it is the first day of the year and I wish you a very Happy New Year. I hope you enjoyed your celebrations seeing the new year in and where ever you are. 

Welcome to Memories of Home, if you would like to find out more information about the series, Click here

Being in a supportive environment is important to our growth as individuals, not everyone has had that opportunity and as adults we try and create an environment that will nurture and bless our children and indeed ourselves.

Mixed Media House

Growing up there was always excitement  that came over you when the New Year celebrations had passed and everything had settled down.  You were back at school, it seemed like everything was made new and you had a fresh slate to try and experience new things.As kids we were always excited about the year to come, you had different celebrations coming up, birthdays to celebrate and you hoped that this year you got at least one thing on your wish list.

Being older the New Year and the first few weeks is of the year still fill me with excitement and it is all about that feeling of newness.  I have got the spring and summer months to come and look forward to making plans.  I plan the things I want to achieve for the year and armed with my diary look at lists and balance schedules.  Another thing I feel compelled to do at the start of the year is a spring clean.  This is currently at the top of our list and we are planning to get rid of a lot of things that are just cluttering up the home and not being used, trying to find a good home for them. We also see courses starting and it is an opportunity to learn new things and get those brain cells moving.

What fills you with excitement about the coming year, have you got something specific planned, ideas that you are working on or are just a thought without a form at the moment?  Speak life into these ideas and give them legs this year, and remember to share how you got on!

I would love to hear what big and little things you have planned I hope you continue to join me on my journey over the weeks, as I share my mixed media houses and look back to the memories of home. I look forward to hearing about some some of your own memories. Blessings and peace to you!

Tuesday 7 January 2014

Course Review and Insights - Life Book and Soul Food

Life Book and Soul Food are in progress and as I said a few days ago HERE the focus for Tuesdays on the blog for 3 weeks out of the 4 will change slightly as I share insights and Ahha moments from the courses that I am doing, while sharing some of the work. In an ideal world I would just be doing my work on the courses, but the reality for most of us is that life still goes on in the meantime. There is no pause button, so being realistic you can’t get everything done at once, it just isn't possible and choices have to be made.

In both courses we have already had quite a few videos to watch and techniques to try out, while we battle with the ‘Critic’, and mine tells me ‘I don’t have the time’ and that it isn’t necessary to grow or stretch myself, and by no means climb out of my comfort zone. My critic is the one who wants me compare myself to other artists as I sit up watching anything on sky tv – flicking through the channels until at least 1am rather than be in my studio space being creative, perhaps what the critic needs is a holiday with a roller coaster ride of adventure to shake it up a bit!

Within all the chatter and the noise the still small voice says don’t be afraid, everything will be alright, you can do all things, I will give you the strength, step out in faith, your steps will be ordered and when you can’t stand, I will carry you, standing in the gap for you!’  

What I‘ve been doing so far on the courses is thinking about what I am learning from each contributor, what is it that is an encouragement to my own work and the processes that I use. There isn’t always going to be something, but even doing something different from the way you would normally do it will help you come back refreshed. 

A couple of things that I am trying to do is be freer with the techniques and playing with the materials, thinking about colour and how I use it in my work and whether I can be bolder experimenting more with the materials that I have. 

In Life Book Tam did some useful exercises around the colour wheel and i thought about the different ways I use it and how I can experiment with colour more within my work.
My Encourager

Be strong in heart because miracles can happen 

This image came out for me as that gentle reminder that I just need to be who I have been called to be through my work.

In Soul Food, Mystele shared with us how she uses her gelli plate, I don’t have one but have been improvising with a Perspex plate using the tools I have and I created a few backgrounds which led to this image;


The perspex is hard and it dries quite quickly, so I’ll continue to experiment and see what I come up with over the weeks.

Yesterday I spent time watching Gwen Seemels contribution
working with coloured markers and pens and working in layers. I’ve been using Promarkers pens and more recently Spectrum Noir and revisited a page I did 

Love yourself..

And thought that I would spend more time working with the pens as I quite enjoyed it. I had stopped using the Promarkers because I felt that I’d hit a wall, but again just needed to push.

I intend to do more pen based images. What also resonated with some of the things she said was about layers and self portraits. Over the course of around 20 years I have only done 2.  I guess with all the faces I have done over the years there is a little bit of me or my personality in each.

Doing self portraits really gets us to look at ourselves and we need to do this from time to time. We can be too hard on ourselves, and walk with the perception of what we think others are seeing and then depending on your frame of mind see yourself how you think others are seeing you or how you think they think you should be seeing yourself! ((Really).... – did that make sense to you?).

I only want to see myself the way God sees me...

My Heart Overflows

When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings an crowned him with glory and honour...Psalm 8:3-5

I want to see the gifts and talents I have been blessed with used to bless others. My word for the year which I’ll remind myself of again is ‘attention to detail’ – what exactly can you hear, see, smell, feel, taste – and being present, all of me in every situation. I want to see the seeds that I planted and tended last year bear fruit this year. I am looking for growth, change, sometimes it will be uncomfortable and awkward, sometimes I’ll share, sometimes not, but we are going to see new opportunities, doors opening, new techniques learnt and we will be speaking of miracles. I don’t want to be the same or do the same things that I did last year and I plant to work hard to see those things come to pass.

Planted by the River

Let me encourage you as you face your own journey, to really see yourself, who you really are, the whole you, not a fragmented image. It is not an overnight transformation but a slow and steady pace, a get you up early and stay focused pace that calls on you to be here in the moment right now!

If you are talking either Soul Food or Life Book or any other course that is great, it would be lovely to hear how you have found the course so far, share your insights. If you hadn’t taken the step yet, it is still early days and you don’t need to worry about catching up. Whatever you do today do it with meaning, passion and intent. I am looking forward to sharing other insights with you along the way. Blessings!
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