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;

Fly

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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