Monday, 18 August 2014

Inspired by Anahata Katkin.....




Kim chose Anahata Katkin as her chosen artist for this year's Magical Journal Journey. Kim's journal was already full of gorgeous art and after sitting with her for the past couple of weeks I have fallen in love with Anahata's work. In the above painting I borrowed her way of using black and white areas in her paintings, of having flowers in ladies hair and tattoo type markings on their faces. Other than that I just went where my imagination led me. This double spread was a labour of love and much time that I found really therapeutic. I named her 'Anatola' and wrote about her (more of that later).

Below: the painting on this page was inspired by Anahata's painting "ROOTS":


Anahata Katkin has a series of paintings on rolls of wall paper and so in keeping with this idea, I painted and collaged on to wallpaper for the last page:

The large heart is actually the cover of a little book which tells the story of Anatola whose name is the feminine version of Anatolius that means sunrise in Latin. As my lady helps to wake the world at sunrise I thought this an appropriate name :-) It also struck me as similar to Anahata which was a happy coincidence. If you want to read more about her, I'm happy to email her story to you. Just ask.

Now this last piece is actually the back inside cover. It was still blank when I received it and so I painted and collaged on it. The paint affect is nicer in real life but alas was difficut to capture on camera/scanner. As we are collaborating on our covers, someone else can now add to this.

Yet again I've been stretched artistically, helped further my skills and added to my experience. It is a really fun way to enjoy and develop our creativity.

Amongst the busy summer, this art journaling is a havan amongst the chaos. Another example of me keeping 'Creatively Well'. Thanks Kim for choosing such a fun artist to inspire your journal.

Wishing you all a Happy and Creative week!
Kat :-) x

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Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Keeping Creatively Well with personalised jewellery and card orders...






After a few days of ill health last month I got behind with everything and when I went back to work I had to take it a bit easier. However, since then I've been catching up with lots of personalised jewellery and card orders. It has been so much fun designing pretty things to suit individual briefs. Not to say it isn't a challenge when working around health and the busy/noisy school summer holidays. But being creative keeps me well and I get such a buzz when people are happy with their creations. I won't bore you with all I've been doing but here are a few recent makes. Above was actually a design I recently drew/painted for a Cornish friend's Birthday. I forgot to take a photo of the finished card before I gave it to her but this was the main part of the design. I then used the same design in minature along with a few other details to make the background paper.



This was a necklace I was commisioned to create. I used beautiful purple Czech glass beads, silver plated celtic knots and most of my energy making the multiple fiddly connections ;-) 


The card below was a commission from a customer who wanted a Marilyn Monroe themed card for a male 70th Birthday......


Apparently I made the recipient of the card cry which I think (hope) was a positive thing, lol :-) I know my customer was pleased and it is great when people enjoy something I create. It feels nice to spread a bit of happy!


Below was another bespoke order from a customer who wanted a coral bracelet and necklace set. What I didn't realise at first was that coral can come in a few shades. I enjoyed making this and it was well received. The magnetic flower clasp I used was also gratefully received because the customer had a problem fastening jewellery due to a hand/wrist injury. The beads I used were a mix of natural coral (the smaller beads) and quality shell-coated glass.


Finally, I recently designed the earrings and bracelet below as a set that could be versatile with neutral colours to match many outfits. It was also a little more delicate and I think it is suitable to wear on casual or dressy occassions. The beads used here were non-magnetic hematite.


 My daughter kindly modelled the bracelet for me....


That is a little of what I've been creating recently. If you're interested in seeing more of my jewellery or cards then you can find them on my facebook page CreativelyWellCreations. Please do visit, perhaps 'like' and if you have anything you'd like me to make you can send me a facebook message. Eventually I will get a website and have started looking at having a monthly newsletter with updates of designs and offers. 
  • How have you been creative recently?
  • Do you find that being creative helps keep you happy and well?
Please do share your news and experiences, I love to hear from you.

Wishing you all a Happy & Creative week!
Kat :-) x





Friday, 18 July 2014

Inspired by Chagall (MJJ2014)




I'm a bit late posting my latest Magical Journal Journey pages but in June I hosted the gorgeous house shaped journal belonging to Stephanie whose chosen artist was Marc Chagall. I had difficulty emulating his style but felt in tune with his love of music, folklore and imagination and so focused my art on these elements. Above is the middle spread and below is the front page.


Both paintings are based on the accompanying story I wrote about a girl who loses her inspiration and love of life after her best friend dies. A magical sequence of events leads her to receive a charm necklace the helps her rediscover what she's lost.

On this Magical Journal Journey we are all contributing to the art journal covers. Below is my contribution to a side that was previously painted orange. I'm getting to like drawing/painting whimsical villages....



I've got a little behind due to a problem with a spell of vision headaches but I have lots of jewellery and card orders to do ( CreativelyWellCreations) and am starting to get back on top of things starting with this blog post.  Feeling positive and enjoying being creative :-)

I've discovered a love of creating whimsical villages & town - what new subject/skill have you discovered a joy for using in your creations? Perhaps a new paint or a newfound inspiration.....

Wishing you all a Happy & Creative Weekend!
Kat :-)

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Sunday, 15 June 2014

My creations for sale have their own facebook page 'Creatively Well Creations'

Creatively Well Creations

As you may have noticed my blog and facebook pages have a new web banner. This was the result of many frustrating hours trying to learn how to use Photoshop :-) It is all part of a set of changes & updates I'm slowing implementing online. Another is the creation of a new facebook page entitled 'Creatively Well Creations' on which I shall post some of the creations I sell.

For a long while my efforts to keep well using creative activities has resulted in many gifts for loved ones but also some creations that I sell locally. People have repeatedly suggested I make a facebook page to showcase the kind of creations I sell - personalised cards, bespoke jewellery, paintings, mandalas & various crafty gifts. Anyhow, I finally did it!

To celebrate the launch of this page I shall soon be running a prize draw. So, if you're on facebook, please like my new page & keep an eye out for the prize draw I plan to launch on there this next week.

  • What new projects, ideas or creations have you been working on recently?
  • Or/and what ideas fill your dreams for the future?


My head is always full of ideas and dreams but one that I'd like to bring into reality sooner rather than later is my 'Creatively Well' book. I have it in rough form but I really want to work it into a publishable, hopefully useful and enjoyable read soon. 

Wishing you all a Happy and Creative Week!
Kat :-) x

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Thursday, 5 June 2014

"The Difference a Flower Can Make" MJJ2014



Gemma's chosen artist for our Magical Journal Journey 2014 is Georgia O'Keefe , a prolific artist that inspired me to spend my time studying flowers and plants in fine detail. Georgia O'Keefe also enjoyed painting her surroundings at whichever locatioon she was at therefore above is my painted interpretation of the abundant Cornish grass topped granite cliffs. This is the photo I took of the local lanscape that provided the inspiration:


The photo of my painting doesn't seem to do it justice because it doesn't reproduce the colours and texture very well but it gives you an idea. Although I tried to paint this cliff side in the style of Georgia O'Keeffe I wasn't successful. Yet her influence is in there....you may just have to take my word for it ;-)

For the middle spread I used this photo of flowers in my garden as inspiration:

And this was my interpretation of the flowers (again not a great photo):

I kept in mind Georgia O'Keeffe's way of painting flowers large and in close up.

I spent many happy hours painting this spread which is around A3 in size but felt quite sad when I finished because it ended up so much less than I imagined. However, a few kind friends gave me a telling off about being too self-critical and I reminded myself that the process had been full of joy which was what mattered most. With that in mind I started to look upon the painting with kinder eyes. I hope Gemma will see the love that's gone into its creation.

On the final page I Painted a bright pink gerbera:


This then decorated a large pocket in which I put a short story (email me if you'd like a copy to read) in book form and tag:




I'm not sure that I've managed any of Georgia O'Keeffe's painting style but I was certainly inspired by her love of flowers and nature. Again, it stretched me out of my comfort zone encouraging me to practice new skills. Thank you Gemma: great choice of artist!

Oooh nearly forgot, we also had to contribute to the journal's inside cover art work:


I wrote the Georgia O'Keeffe quote: "I decided that if I could paint that flower in a huge scale, you could not ignore its beauty" along one of the swirly lines of paint someone had created and added decoration to the top right and middle right.

Hope you all have had a joy filled week that has inspired and stretched you in a positive way.

Kat :-)

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Sunday, 11 May 2014

Outside my comfort zone with Jose Merello....




In April & early May I worked in Maggie's journal. Maggie's chosen artist was Jose Merello. I didn't know anything about Mr Merello and so I spent quite a long while researching, sketching & collating ideas. When it came to painting in his style I have to admit I struggled. Therefore for my first painting, a double paged spread I concentrated on incorporating all the things I felt associated with Merello especially his love of Spain and bright colours. And as if this didn't stretch me enough I braved a second attempt at painting a face, something I braved for the first time just weeks ago.

Besides a little use of light pencil I didn't allow myself any pen work to form the lady (Maria), instead forcing myself to rely on a paintbrush as much as possible. Despite my love of using mixed media I encouraged myself to experiment with what I could achieve with only paint. Well....many hours later this lady I named Maria is the result and I'll leave you to make your own opinion.


I learnt a lot by doing; through my mistakes and successes. The hair was difficult as was trying to create the effect of solid shape. I'm glad I tried though because I had a lot of fun.

Not one to be easily beaten I came across this Merello painting:

Merello's Painting

and decided to paint my own version, not as a copy but as a nod to the original:

My Painting

I mounted my vase painting on a page painted with a Spanish flag in order to continue my theme. Success was acheived when my brutally honest twelve year old said she liked my vase painting better thank Merellos :-)! Of course I wouldn't agree but it was nice she thought so.

Next, I wanted to write a story about Maria and to go with it I needed another painting. I painted with everything I'd gleaned about Merello in mind, borrowing a couple of the symbols he used and trying to use his style/technique/preferences.

Struggling with Merello's style for quite some time I finally let go a little and just went with the general feeling I had for Merello and Spain. This painting then became the cover to my mini book:



If you'd like to read Maria's story I'm happy to email it to you if you email me via my google profile. It is around a 1000 words in length.

Finally, I had to add my contribution to Maggie's cover. PritiLisa had added a picture of Merello in the centre of the inside front cover & so I decided to add some panels of images to surround it. I had big problems with paint soaking into the cover and not getting the finish I wanted but here is the end result:


By the time I completed my contribution in Maggie's Merello themed journal I had learnt about another artist but had learnt even more about my own skills. It is good to step outside of our comfort zone but also incredibly scary. However, it proves worth taking the leap and pushing forward past the fear into the new. I certainly feel like I've grown and developed my skills. Even if I don't continue to paint in this style - what I've gained this month will help me in my own art, creative work and confidence.


  • Have you learnt anything new recently? Or/and pushed yourself outside of your normal comfort zone in your creative work? How did it feel? What were the results?

Wishing you all a Happy and Creative Week ahead!
Kat :-) x

e 
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Monday, 21 April 2014

Travelling Self Interview.....




My gorgeous artist & writer friend Lisa Wrighinvited me to participate in this blog hop that involves a mini self-interview. Lisa is one of the participants on the Magical Journal Journey art journal swap I'm blessed to be part of. She is a talented artist and writer who is constantly buzzing with inspiration and creativity.

So here goes my self-interview....

1. What am I working on? 

As the photo above illustrates, I'm making costume jewellery with a focus on bespoke made to order jewellery for people who may need accessories to compliment certain outfits or occasions. I have made jewellery sporadically for many years but last Christmas I did a couple of craft events where people not only bought my jewellery on display but started to make special order requests. I love to see people happy with their affordable bling.


After a few months of bad health, my year has been slow starting. However, I have started to work on my Creatively Well project that includes writing my non-fiction book and developing a better web presence. Creatively Well is based on my own discovery of how creativity has enhanced my wellbeing. It will also include this blog and a section for displaying/selling my creations. So far I have created the above graphic and had a rumber stamp made of it so that I can make handmade tags etc. 

I am also part of the third Magical Journal Journey swap that I regularly blog about. This year we have each chosen an artist to use as inspiration and theme for our journals. My chosen artist is Jennifer Judd McGee

I also continue to sew/embroider, doodle, create mandalas, write stories, photograph, make/sell greeting cards, paint and explore my rusty musical skills.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre? 

This is a difficult question but........... I'd say that considering we are all unique and that my Creatively Well focus is guided by my own personal journal this is what makes it different to others in this genre. Of course there'll be a crossover of similar experiences/influences but my perspective and approach will always have a big part of just me. I also try to mix my variety of creative outlets into new approaches and results; mixing my storytelling with art and music, mandalas with stitches and words. 





3. Why do I write/create what I do? 

Creating and creativity is my daily focus, my meditation, my play and my work. I create from the heart and because my imagination leads me to ideas that want to take flight. The fantasy, magical, whimsey, nature and spiritual elements that seem to show in my work come from my character that is focused in imagination, open to possibilities, enamoured by story and in love with people/life.



4. How does your writing/creating process work? 

Mmm, toughey to answer..... Honestly, every day is different. My biggest challenge is the unpredictability of my health and therefore the best made routines/plans can go awry overnight. Yet, this also teaches me to be flexible and imaginative in my approach. I start with the premise that creating is part of who I am; it is my daily practice and meditation. Therefore, I may only manage to spend half an hour doodling in bed or hours typing away at the computer. I try to assess the day and look for the creative opportunities available in it. And there are always opportunities to create if we look for them. If stuck, I look for inspiration in the world around me, in books, music and especially in observing other people.

This blog hop will be continued next week at the blogs of:

JENNY ALEXANDER of Writing in the house of Dreams : Jenny has written about 150 books roughly half of which are fiction and half non-fiction. She also writes magazines articles and poems and has had her writing published in many different languages.  Jenny enjoys teaching creative writing, writes dream diaries, loves rabbits and lives in Cornwall, UK. You can find more about Jenny at her blog and on her website. Jenny will publish her blog hop interview post on 28th April 2014 but you can visit her before then as well :-)

MELISSA T LIBAN from Melissa T Liban Illustrations blog (she also has a fab new website she's developing): Melissa lives in Cincinnati,OH. After recently having her third gorgeous babe she is looking forward to getting back to her blog of 5 years. Missy is an incredibly talented illustrator of books and digital art images. She has also written children's books and published exciting young adult fiction. Check out her bunny drawings along with Pete and Doris; so cute and funny. Melissa will also be publishing her blog hop interview on 28th April but you may want to tour her website and blog to check out her cute characters and books before then :-)

ANNE BUTERA from My Giant Strawberry is a long time blogging buddy of mine who lives in rural Wisconsin. She is a talented artist, crafter and writer who makes the most amazing crotchet jewellery amongst many other beautiful things that she sells in her etsy shop. When visiting her blog you'll often be treated to the photo evidence of Anne's green fingers and her love of plants, trees and flowers. As well as her art adventures Anne also shares some of her recipes and her travel stories. Everything Anne writes on her blog comes with the most delightful photos that have transported me to places and closer to experiences outside of my own. Anne has one of the loveliest 'about me' sections on her website so I urge you to read that to get a true sense of her beautiful personality. Like the others she'll also be posting her self-interview questions on (or near to) 28th April.

Wishing You All A Happy & Creative Week!
Kat :-) 

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Friday, 28 March 2014

Carmella's Cats....(Magical Journal Journey)

The first journal (apart from my own)  I get to create in on this year's Magical Journal Journey is Lisa Di Nunzio's. As explained in my last post, for our theme this year we have all chosen an artist who we admire. Lisa chose Modigliani whose style includes portraits of people with elongated necks and faces, often tilted to the side.
               Now at this point I have to admit to some shoddy research and foolishness on my part. Seeing quite a few 'Modigliani's' cats I misunderstood that they had been inspired by the fact that Modigliani had painted his own cat once. This led me to my idea for Carmella and her cat portrait studio. However, after painting a few cats I discovered I'd misunderstood. Modigliani himself hadn't a painting of his cat in his collection. Instead an artist called Eve Riser-Roberts had created the idea that Modigliani's cat had jumped up on the chair where his subjects had posed and Modigliani had painted him. Well it may have been fiction but it led to my own story and paintings.

My first painting is of Carmella. Bear in mind I don't/can't draw/paint people so this was a big challenge for me:


and if you click to enlarge the image below you can read the story of how she was inspired to open a cat portrait studio:

Here are a three of the neighbourhood cats that begged to be immortalised with her paintbrush:


 Another new part to our challenge this year is that we are all collaborating on the journal covers. These two cheeky chappies are my contribution. I hadn't named them but my son thought one looked like planet earth and the other like the lava that ran through it. I thought this was a clever observation by my ten year old. So maybe they could be named Lava and Gaia???....
This journal was a huge challenge for me. It stretched my abilities, pushed me outside my comfort zone and forced me to face my fears over drawing/painting faces. However, in the end I thoroughly enjoyed it :-) I do feel a little embarrassed about believing that Modigliani had actually painted his cat. However, who knows, maybe he did. Meanwhile, hopefully Eve Riser-Roberts won't mind that her blue Russian cat inspired yet another story and some characterful cats into existence.

Wishing you all a Happy & Creative week and weekend!Kat :-) x


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Wednesday, 12 March 2014

MJJ14 - Creating With Friends!




This March brings the start of a new Magical Journal Journey for 2014. I'm a bit late sharing pictures and it has been far too long since I last posted. I shan't bore you with my reoccurring reasons for struggling. Instead I wish to celebrate the beginning of this new collaboration. This year we have all chosen a favourite artist to inspire our journalling. My chosen artist is Jennifer Judd McGee. My daughter recently introduced her to me and I loved her work.  I also felt her style tied in with some of my own ideas, yet would challenge me greatly.

We are collaborating on our book covers for the first time this year so that we should all end up with front and back covers as a collage of everyones art.  I decided to repurpose an old Scooby-do annual to make the journal covers. I covered the annual's covers in countless layers of Gesso and glue.....


....and then painted/collaged a portion on the front. On the back I left a little of the original cover showing:



On the inside of the front cover I created a drawing that opens up to reveal a type of sign in page that allows each artist to create in a square. When this is finished I imagine it will resemble another piece of collaborative art. I've also included the black and white drawing that preceded the final piece:





The following are from the first two pages and introduction/letter. I have used printed minatures of my art to create a collage tree and do the windows of the house.....



Please do visit the other MJJ ladies,........the links to their respective blogs are on the right. Next I am lucky to work in Lisa DiNunzio (priti.lisa) journal. Her chosen artist is Modigliani and you can see the beginnings of her journal on her blog here. I have to admit I'm quite nervous about attempting to paint portraits. I've never drawn/painted people and I have visions of nursery standard paintings spoiling Lisa's journal. But I shall try my best and hopefully if I approach it with a bit of 'me' and lots of love it will mean something nice to her at least. Or provide her with something permanent to make her laugh when ever she's feeling down ;-) Either way it will be unique, lol :-)

Wishing you all a Happy and Creative week!
Kat :-) X

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