Monday 26 June 2023

Playing with Faces - The Benefits of Spending Time in Your Art Journal


Spending Time in Your Art Journal

Welcome to today's art journal.  Today, we're going to explore a mixed media art journal that I created and consider some of the numerous benefits it brings to your creative journey. If you've never tried art journaling before or you're looking for some inspiration to reignite your passion, you're in for a treat!  Check out the video to see how I sometimes play in my journal and fill up some of the pages, prepping them for future use.

Art journaling is a unique form of self-expression that combines elements of visual art, writing, and creativity. It's a personal space where you can freely explore your thoughts, emotions, and ideas while experimenting with various art techniques and materials. Whether you're an experienced artist or a beginner, there are countless reasons why spending time in your art journal can be incredibly rewarding, let's take a closer look at some of these benefits.

Stress Relief and Relaxation:

Engaging in art journaling can be a soothing and calming activity. It offers a chance to disconnect from the hectic pace of daily life and immerse yourself in a creative sanctuary. As you focus on colors, textures, and the act of creating, you can experience a sense of mindfulness and find relief from stress and anxiety.

Creative Exploration and Experimentation: 

Your art journal is a playground for artistic exploration. It's a space where you can let go of expectations, rules, and judgments. You can try new art techniques, experiment with different mediums, be inspired and push the boundaries of your creativity. The freedom to make mistakes and learn from them allows for immense growth and discovery as an artist.

Creative Confidence and Courage:

Art journaling nurtures your creative confidence and encourages you to take risks. As you experiment, play, and explore, you develop a sense of trust in your own artistic abilities. This newfound confidence often spills over into other areas of your life, empowering you to embrace creativity and take on challenges with courage.

It's a personal journey that can bring joy, healing, and growth. So, grab your favorite art supplies, find a quiet corner, and let your creativity soar! 

Your art journal is waiting to be filled with your unique voice and vision. I hope that you take the time to work in your art journal/s finding that space and time to share your stories.

These are just a few of the many benefits of spending time in your art journal - you can catch the full list on my Patreon on Tuesday, why not sign up for the 7 day FREE Trial.

Thursday 22 June 2023

Material Mondays - Dragonfly Slow Stitching and Beading Project

I have a stitched project from my last Material Mondays to complete and in the video that I share I show you how I would continue to work on this project.

I share with you how I would continue to work on this project by adding beading to the surface. I love incorporating beads into my stitched projects and I have managed to gather quite a collection over the years. Beading enhances your project and enables you to tell your story, there is also a therapeutic experience that goes hand in hand with slow stitching and quite a satisfying feeling on completion of the project.

Check out the video below to see how I go through the process of selecting the right beads for the project.

Here are some additional ways that incorporating beading to your project will impact in a positive way to your overall health and wellbeing.

Bead Selection

Choosing beads for your slow stitching projects can be a sensory journey in itself, carefully examining their colors, textures, and shapes, allows you to indulge in the pleasure of selection - deciding what looks best for your project. Each bead holds the potential to enhance your project and become a tiny work of art in its own right. As you take your time to select the right beads, you tap into your intuition and creative vision, creating a connection between your stitched design and the chosen embellishments.

A Meditative Process:

Incorporating beads into your slow stitching projects invites you to enter a state of mindfulness. As you thread each bead onto your needle and place it within the fabric, you focus and the repetitive motion of beading becomes a form of meditation.

Visual Delight:

Whatever type of beads you choose, each bead carries its unique color and sparkle. You spend time looking over your selection of beads and additional uses for projects come to mind. 

Completing a Project

Completing a slow stitching project already brings immense satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment. When beads are incorporated, this feeling is magnified. The process of threading and securing each bead adds an extra layer of dedication and attention to detail. It serves as a testament to your creativity, patience, and the story that is told through your work.

Personal Style and Storytelling: 

Beaded embellishments offer a unique opportunity to infuse your slow stitching projects with personal style and narrative. With each bead, you have the power to tell a story, evoke emotions, or be reminded of a memory. The selection and placement of beads enable you to create a deeply meaningful connection between your stitched art and your own personal journey.

Incorporating beading into your slow stitching projects comes a transformational experience, intertwining creativity, mindfulness, and personal expression. The therapeutic effects of selecting the right beads, mindfully adding them to your stitches, and seeing the project completed is so satisfying.

So, embrace the magic of beading in your slow stitching journey, and witness how each tiny bead adds a touch of sparkle and soul to your stitched masterpieces.

Before you go...

Sunday 18 June 2023

1000 Dog Portraits - Work Published

In keeping with the post I shared a while back about celebrating your achievements, I thought I would share some of my artwork that got published in a book some time ago, but we can still celebrate!  In fact I have a journal dedicated for things that I have achieved, so that I can look back as a reminder and see how far I have come.  It is important that you write down all your achievements, not matter how small.

The Book that my work was published in was published in 2014 and is called 1000 Dog portraits, curated by Robynne Raye. I created 2 playful paintings which were selected.  It was a reminder to me to 'go for it' and not hold back and allow the critic to voice their untruths.

On the Run - Amanda Trought, 1000 Dog Portraits

My main focus was to have fun and bring out the colors in each of the paintings, and I like the cartoon like feel of my dogs, and they may one day feature in a children's book of their own.

Amanda Trought Art - Dog Portraits

It was great to see the diversity of work from both artists and designers from around the world, and to have my work published alongside them.

I think I might spend some more time playing about with colors and shapes, and see what other playful characters that I can come up with
Why not try it out yourself.

Cole my dog is wondering when I am going to do a painting of him, he loves posing for the camera, and makes sure we only get his best side!

Cole, Such a majestic looking dog

Hanging out with Cole

Stay blessed and be a blessing and keep your eyes out for many other creative goodies that will be coming your way.

You can check out the book  HERE on Amazon 


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Saturday 17 June 2023

The 100 Day Project - Collage Art - Reflections

 100 Days of Collage

The 100-day project has come to an end, and it's an exhilarating feeling to look back and admire the collection of 100 unique collage art pieces I have created.

Each artwork, crafted on a book page or card, incorporates a selection of collage ephemera and uplifting words or phrases. Throughout this creative journey, I have not only discovered the joy of creating collages but also explored various other ways in which collage can be used in my creative practice.

It was a real joy creating the pieces, I selected all the ephemera that I had, all the handmade paper, painted paper, paint, stencils, doodling and much more and had fun putting them together.

Collage is fun and spoke to the multipotentialite in me that loves working in on different pieces of art, 100 to be exact. I was able to explore all the different combinations of materials such as paper, photographs, fabrics, and found objects. The tactile experience of gathering and arranging these elements added an extra layer of excitement and creativity to the artistic process.

Creative Expression

Collage art provides an opportunity to express one's personal narrative.  I love providing encouragement in my work and telling a story. By incorporating meaningful imagery, symbols, and words, each piece can tell a story or evoke specific emotions, allowing for a deeper connection between the artwork and the viewer.

Experimenting and Play

Collage art encourages experimenting with your supplies and spending time playing.  By staying flexible and not limiting yourself it enables you to explore different compositions, textures, and color combinations. This can lead to some powerful pieces.

Therapeutic Collage

Engaging in the process of creating collages can be meditative and therapeutic. The act of cutting, arranging, and gluing materials can be a form of mindfulness, providing a sense of relaxation and focus.

I hope seeing some of my collage art from my 100 day challenge has inspired you to maybe try a challenge yourself, it is so much fun, and great to see what you have produced when you look back.

My art pieces will be made available on my Red Bubble site should you want to buy a print or have an image on a journal.

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Wednesday 14 June 2023

Material Mondays - The Joy of Textile Art and Slow Stitching for Health and Well-being.

Material Mondays

Welcome to Material Mondays, In this video I share some of the projects that I am working on and how I would take some of them forward.

I always find getting started on a new piece is an exciting, and I am inspired by the fabric, threads and embellishments.  I take a stitched piece to a particular point, then are drawn to other pieces. As artists, we often find ourselves surrounded by numerous incomplete projects at different stages. I find that there are quite a few benefits of having several projects on the go and will share some of them below. 

Variety is the spice of life:
Having a range of incomplete projects allows us to explore different techniques, themes, and ideas. Each project represents a unique creative journey, providing us with opportunities to experiment, learn, and grow as creatives. With multiple projects in progress, we can switch between them based on our mood, inspiration, or specific skills we wish to enhance. 

Inspiration from Different Stages:
Projects at various stages offer inspiration and new perspectives. When we review our incomplete projects, we gain new insights and ideas for their completion. The early stages of a project may spark our creativity, while those nearing completion motivate us to add the finishing touches - some of mine include extra slow stitching or beading.  We are then able to discover unexpected connections between ideas.

Stitched projects at their final stages

The Therapeutic Power of Slow Stitching:
I love slow stitching on projects, it provides a tranquil and meditative experience. Engaging in slow stitching allows us to immerse ourselves in the process, savoring each stitch, and enjoying the journey. This mindful activity promotes relaxation, reduces stress, and enhances overall mental wellbeing.  What better way to look after yourself!

Health Benefits of Creative Activities:
Participating in creative activities has been shown to have numerous health benefits. These activities promoting feelings of joy and accomplishment, and boosts self-esteem. Art also serves as a powerful tool for self-expression, enabling us to express our emotions and thoughts.

Check out the work that I share in the video, I eventually choose to work on a dragon fly design that has been wax resisted on cotton, and I will be adding stitching. 

If you find you have multiple projects to complete, go easy on yourself and don't become overwhelmed.  Allow your intuition and creative spark to guide you and know that as you are mindful about your activities you are impacting your mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing. 

So, whether you're exploring new projects, revisiting incomplete ones, or immersing yourself in slow stitching, embrace the joy of textile art.

You can check out some of the other Material Monday posts on my YouTube playlist - HERE  You can also check out some of the videos below.

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Tuesday 13 June 2023

We Came on Merchant Ships Exhibition - June 2023

I was selected to be part of an exhibition called We Came on Merchant Ships, at the Queen's Park Gallery as part of the Central Bank of Barbados Crop Over Visual Arts Exhibition. It is Open throughout the Season of Emancipation, this exhibition explores the rich history and cultural contributions of the African diaspora.

This is the first of the 3-part series, We Came on Merchant Ships – Movement and examines movement with the works of 29 artists showcased through paintings, sculptures, mixed media pieces, installations and more. It captures the reasons why people move, modalities for movement and the various cultural manifestations of migration – forced and free – with a special emphasis placed on the transatlantic slave trade.

The Exhibition was curated Oneka Small, and runs to the 22nd June 2023

Here you can see a gallery of the opening event and the art work on display.  I will share in another post the work that I have on display and let you know a bit about their story.

You can also see some of my work on my website HERE

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Sunday 11 June 2023

Kaleidoscope FREE Taster Week 😍


It is that time again when you will be able to join Kaleidoscope FREE Taster Week.  I am looking forward to being on the other side of teaching and gain insight into the work and play of other creatives and artists and have fun.

There is a fantastic opportunity to take hold of that starts tomorrow, Monday 12th June 23.  The Kaleidescope Taster Week is finally here, and it's going to an amazing time of creativity with 17 FREE taster art classes.  So, block out your calendar and get ready for an unforgettable experience starting tomorrow.

Taster Week is special because you get to glimpse the teaching styles of the artists and some fantastic lessons from painting to sculpture, photography and mixed media, they have got it all covered. Whether you're a seasoned artist or just starting your creative journey, there's something for everyone.

Each artist will be sharing a Giveaway which include free printables, PDFs and free classes and you will also have an opportunity to win a spot on Kaleidoscope 2023? Each teacher will be giving away one spot for Kaleidoscope. 

You can sign up to the Free Taster Week HERE.

Get ready to unlock your creative potential, make new friends, and embark on an artistic journey that will leave you inspired for years to come. This is going to be a fantastic! See you there!


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Saturday 10 June 2023

Developing your Creative Practice and Dealing with the Critic

Developing a creative routine and managing the critic are integral aspects of nurturing your artistic practice. We don't always have the hours we crave to be creative, but you can look at ways that can help you identify areas that you can incorporate into your routine.

Here are a few things you can do to develop your creative routine - 

Developing Your Creative Routine:

  1. Allocate time for play: Make sure to dedicate time to indulge in activities without any specific end goal. This helps you enjoy the creative process and explore without restrictions.
  2. Create a schedule: Establish a morning routine that sets the tone for your creative day. Consider incorporating elements like gratitude exercises and spending time in nature to stimulate inspiration and mental well-being.
  3. Be Flexible: While having a routine is essential, remain open to adjusting it based on your needs. Allow yourself the freedom to spend more time on certain activities or projects when necessary.

You can find additional tips on my Patreon platform.  

Why not check out the 7 Day FREE Trial to take a look at some of the informative videos and digital downloads that you can have access to.

Tuesday 6 June 2023

Enchanting Discoveries in the Garden - Tropical Garden Tour

Hello and welcome, time for a garden treat and you can join me for a stroll in my tropical garden.  I will give you a quick update on what has been happening in the space.

First off, I'm thrilled to share that my passion fruit vines are flourishing. Out of a hundred plants, I'm proud to say that five have managed to survive. These resilient vines have encountered a challenge in the form of spiky, brown caterpillars. I've been diligently picking them off to protect the leaves from their ravenous appetite.

Despite the daily battle, one of the vines has grown quite tall, winding its way up a tropical black sage tree. The plan is for it to eventually hang down and bear delicious passion fruits, minus the catapillars. That would be a tasty sight!

Check out the video and see some of the changes for yourself.  The plants were struggling, but a good rain shower last night seems to have revived them. With a combination of sunshine and rain, I anticipate a lush and vibrant garden in the near future.

One challenge I'm currently facing is the overwhelming growth of my Clammy cherry tree. Its branches have extended beyond my reach, and it's encroaching on my neighbor's space. I need to trim back the branches and maintain its shape. I often repurpose the pruned branches for my deadwood hedge. The tree had another unexpected issue when all its leaves suddenly fell off. However, it has bounced back and is now adorned with lots of fruit.

Now, let's talk about mango trees! One of my mango trees has started to flower for the third time, and I'm hopeful that this September will bring some delicious fruit. I have a few more mango trees in my garden, but they are not mature enough to bear fruit yet. I've been researching techniques to keep them at a manageable height for easier fruit picking.

As we continue our garden tour, we come across a tree that I believe to be an apple blossom tree. I've been investigating its identity for a while, and the flowers seem to resemble those of an apple blossom tree. If you have any insights or different information, please leave a comment and let me know.

Throughout the garden, the lush scents of various plants fill the air. The henna plant, with its tiny flowers, adds to the delightful fragrance. Even the shack shack trees, known for their unique fragrance, contribute to the amazing aromas of my garden. Their delicate yellow flowers and sweet scent create a tranquil and enchanting atmosphere.

A lot of the plants in the garden are good for attracting pollinators, such as bees and butterflies. They love the flowers of the moringa tree, scaevola plant.  It is good to have a variety of plants which provide essential food sources for these important pollinators.

I hope you've enjoyed this glimpse into my ever-evolving garden. It's a place of constant discovery and joy, where nature's wonders unfold before my eyes. Gardening has become my creative outlet, allowing me to express my love for nature and cultivate a sanctuary of beauty and tranquility.

If you have any questions or would like to know more about specific plants or gardening techniques, feel free to ask. Happy gardening!

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