Wednesday, 22 December 2010

A doodled festive message for you!

With the school holidays and visitors staying - time and energy for blogging/tweeting/facebook will be hard to find. I'm going to take a break from posting on here for a week or so whilst I focus on my kiddies, family, friends and keeping well. I shall still stop by your blogs whenever I can. Meanwhile I'd like to say to you my inspirational blogging friends: thank you for your company in 2010. Here's a doodled message for you:
   (click image to enlarge)

Look forward to sharing 2011 with you all!
Kat Xx

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Sunday, 19 December 2010

Inspiration Avenue: "Believe"

Here is my submission for the Inspiration Avenue weekly challenge on the theme " Believe". I spent time on a mandala that started with snowflakes in mind but ended up a snowflake star mix. I also found myself journaling and writing around the theme. Realising that the mandala looked quite festive and choosing some of the words I'd written I combined the two to make a hanging decoration. The white card is only a background to beable to take the photo successfully but I have the actual decoration now hanging from the centre of my kitchen dresser.
Here is a close up of the mandala:

I began in pencil and ink. Then section by small section I added glitter, pearlescent and metallic embossing powders. It was time consuming because before heating embossing powders can easily bleed, be brushed away etc. but I was happy with the result. Unfortunately I was unable to show the multi tone and sparkle effects on a photo but you get the idea.
Here is a close-up of the words:

These were a selection of lines I wrote which I then printed onto glossy paper, mounted on silver and embellished with some die cut stars.

The theme "believe" sparked many ideas for me. It is great when something captures the imagination. The time of year certainly seemed to influence this piece. Similarly I've been writing fiction ideas and poetry with winter and holiday themes. This time of year can stir a variety of positive and negative feelings and evoke a multitude of memories.
  • How is your creative work influenced by winter, Christmas and the holiday season?
I hope all of you are enjoying the festive season. For those of you who celebrate it: I wish you a very Happy Christmas. For everyone I send happy wishes for the winter holiday season.

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Thursday, 16 December 2010

Creative first aid during the Christmas craziness....

Daily creativity has been a challenge this past few days. I've been a little overwhelmed by the crazy season and a few niggling health issues. Writing in my journal yesterday helped stabilise my mood and put things into perspective. Some days I'm not sure I would get out of bed if it wasn't for the release of writing in my uncomplaining journal. I realised that by allowing myself to get caught up in medical poop and pre-Christmas madness I had inadvertently pushed my creative time away.  I'm sure that if I'd managed to carve out more creative time in those three days I would have avoided becoming so stressed.

How did I get out of my three day mood & energy slump? My first aid measures were instinctively journaling; thankfully this is a practice that never fails me. Yesterday, unable to embark on a larger project, I did a spot of doodling. Both writing/journaling and doodling are easy, portable and can fit into a limited time slot. This is why I always carry a small notebook and pen in my handbag at all times! I also like to keep a camera with me whenever possible.

  • What are your creative first aid tips?
  • When time is limited or you're away from home which creative activities keep you sane?
  • Which creative tools do you carry with you at all times?

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Sunday, 12 December 2010

Inspiration Avenue: "Peace"

This week the Inspiration Avenue challenge was based on the theme of "Peace". This was my take on the theme. It should read: "Let peace grow inside so you may spread love far and wide". I have painted this on a box canvas using acrylic, ink, and 3D pearlescent/gloss paints (which are difficult to appreciate in the photo).
This last few days have again been taken with Christmas festivities: the kids nativity, a Christmas dinner/party and today we're putting up decorations. Its been fun but I'm exhausted. Nevertheless I'm glad I made the time to create; I always feel much better. Yesterday I put the first layers of paint on when I was meant to be getting dolled up for the party. Which inevitably made me rushed :-) Then later in the evening when we were back home I applied more paint layers. This morning I managed to put the children off from starting the tree and finished the rest. Now the decs are only partly up, the house is a mess but I'm ready for a sleep. Lol.
How do you fit your creative work in during busy times?

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Thursday, 9 December 2010

Frosty Writing/Art Journal Inspiration....

Christmas preparation and celebrations seem to have taken over much of my time and energy this week - hence the lack of blog posts. But today I hosted a writing group meeting. For this meeting I prepared the above collage for inspiration. I used random words and photos I've recently taken (you may recognise one from a previous post but the others were taken a couple of days ago.) Having provided lots of pens, paint markers and paper I encouraged everyone to not just write but create an art journal page that could include words and images. We had about half hour for this exercise but because I was busy being hostess I took twenty minutes and produced the page below.

Just a few doodles and a Haiku but it was a fun inspiration starter for further creative work. If you notice in the last line of the haiku I use the word 'heads'. This was meant to be 'head' but after making the mistake of pluralising I realised I quite like 'heads'; it stretched my imagination further. A happy accident :-) The other members of the group all produced beautiful and different images, prose and poetry. After sharing individual work, our joint imaginations created further musings and ideas. As always, a meeting with the writing gang was incredible fun.

Feel free to use the above collage as a creative prompt. If you do, please let me know how you get on. I'd love to see more results from the same prompt.

Do you belong to a writing/art/photography/creative group? Who inspires you and why?

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Saturday, 4 December 2010

Inspiration Avenue Weekly Challenge: Once Upon A Time - stepping out of my comfort zone....

Okay, so I can't draw real life stuff (yet). I'm okay at doodles and am quite proud of my mandalas (see recent posts) but I evidently need some classes on perspective etc. However, hopefully you appreciate the ideas behind my entry for this weeks Inspiration Avenue's Challenge that had the theme 'Once Upon a Time'. I am not putting myself down though because I am actually quite proud that I tried something outside my comfort zone and was brave enough to post it. This year I've finally learnt to just enjoy and not worry about the results. The benefits come from enjoying the process. It is good for me to stretch myself creatively for both psychological and learning reasons.

When's the last time you stretched yourself creatively? Have you recently tried to create something that required using a different skill set? Give it a go. Abandon all expectations. And just enjoy the process!

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Friday, 3 December 2010

A new mandala & an 'air' themed haiku...

I spent all morning and a little of this afternoon totally engrossed in drawing this mandala. Normally it'll take me a couple of days to finish one but I just couldn't seem to stop until I finished! Its actual size is 18cm in diameter.

Materials used: Pens - Berol fine line, staedtler black triplus colour, Tartan pink permanent & Marvy LePlume no.64 plum. I attached some acrylic gems using Golden gel medium. It was drawn onto heavy white card.

Also this morning, with the Creative Every Day theme of 'Air' in mind, I wrote this whimsical Haiku:

Bitter air biting
Asserting icy power
Wool scarf rescues me!

I played with this final line also coming up with even sillier versions like 'Saved by Super-Wool' and such like. I regularly use this 5-7-5 haiku format to record thoughts, moments and feelings. I'm obviously not sticking to strict Haiku rules but I find this short poetry a great way to focus on the present moment. My moleskine notebook is full of questionable haiku. Another method I use to focus on the now is taking photos. On a daily basis I like to write in my journal; an invaluable place for me to spill all my crazy thoughts.

How do you like to record moments,  thoughts and feelings? What about when you're in a rush or on the move?

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Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Art Everyday Month 2010: Day 30 - Endings, beginnings and change....

The last day of AEDM2010 has been both a reflective and a productive one. I have spent a couple of hours creating background papers for future art using pearlescent acrylics, fabric dyes and ink. Below are a few examples:

I made more than is shown here but I struggled to get a good photo with all the pearlescent and metallic paints I used. I enjoyed this creating today because it allowed me to experiment and get messy :-)

So along with the header at the top of this post - that was the productive part of my day. The reflective portion included musing on aedm2010. I'm pleased to say that I produced art 29 out of 30 days and posted 28 of the days. This is extra special to me because it shows that I've been in good enough health to do this. Hurrah! I have enjoyed.....:
  • ...connecting with lots of new inspiring creative people
  • ....trying new techniques and ideas
  • ....feeling supported by a lovely Internet community
In addition I've used this time to focus on where I am on my creative journey. This year I've worked hard trying to be present in the moment, following my intuition and allowing myself the freedom to create. I've consciously explored how being creative is linked to my health and well being.  During this month I've developed, clarified and explored these things further.

I know I recently changed the look of my blog but further changes are afoot and in the next couple of days you will see more alterations that will incorporate the look and message of the banner at the top of this post. Within the next week I'll be offering free blog buttons, adding an inspiration page to this blog and getting started on the interviews I'm planning. The interviews will introduce creative people working in a variety of ways and focus on how creativity affects their well being.

Thank you, all the people who've left me lovely comments and inspired me this month - it has meant a lot to me. And a BIG thank you to Leah for organising Art Everyday Month - my experience has been invaluable.

Wow - that sounded a bit like an Oscar acceptance speech. Lol :-)

How was Art Everyday Month 2010 for you?

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Monday, 29 November 2010

Art Everyday Month 2010: Day 29 - Finished Mandala in black, white & red

As you can see: I've finished the mandala doodle that I began yesterday. This is the first time I've used colour in my mandala doodles. I think the use of the cherry (Marvy Le Plume II - no.65 brush pen) creates the illusion of the white parts having been cut out and placed on a red background. Admittedly this is an irregular wonky mandala but I found it relaxing and fun to create - which is the most important thing for me.

There is something therapeutic about mandalas and indeed they've been created for hundreds of years by spiritual groups and artists. One explanation of what a mandala is and can be, as well as some examples, can be found on Margi Gibb's website here. But I'd highly recommend you visit Tammy at Daisy Yellow - her mandalas are beautiful!

I've always liked mandala art work but never tried to create one myself until aedm2010. What creative work/technique/medium have you tried for the first time during aedm2010?

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Sunday, 28 November 2010

Art Everyday Month 2010: Day 28 - wonky mandala in progress....

It has been a busy but fun weekend with friends. Today I knew I had limited time to create some art. So after dinner with friends I asked them for paper (I had pens in my bag) and drew around a couple of their plates. Then whilst drinking tea and chatting I doodled this mandala. It is a little wonky and early on I was tempted to rip it up but then a pattern started to reveal itself. As you can see it isn't complete but I shall continue tomorrow and then post the finished result.

Doodling and writing is so portable. Do you feel able to create when other people are around? I would find it hard if I was working on a novel but am quite happy to draw/sew/write notes & ideas in the company of others. Nevertheless I usually like my quiet time alone with my creating and so couldn't work all the time with distractions.

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Saturday, 27 November 2010

Art Everyday Month 2010: Day 27 - 3 handmade new baby cards...

Today I've made three new baby cards using a mixture of digital print (for the wording), assortment of papers that photos don't do justice to, ribbons and various embellishments. I'm quite pleased with the results and am looking forward to giving them. Hope they like them. Here they are:

Do you hand craft cards and gifts for family and friends? Do you like receiving handmade gifts and cards? I know if I receive something handmade it feels extra special.

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Thursday, 25 November 2010

Art Everyday Month 2010: Day 25 - Snowy Writing Exercise...


We had a covering of snow this morning; early and unusual for Cornwall. This photo wasn’t taken today but in a previous dusting of snow. It is part of the view at the back of my house. In honour of the early snow I thought I’d do another of my photo and word timed writing exercises. The six words were chosen at random from a book selected by my daughter – “Skulduggery Pleasant” by Derek Landy. I had fifteen minutes. The following are my unedited results:

He watched her from where he crouched high up the slope, partially sheltered by the skeleton branches laden with snow and a few helpful evergreens whose eternal foliage aided his secrecy. His legs ached in this position but he didn’t fancy sitting on wet snow; he was cold enough already.
           Rearranging his scarf to avoid the bitter air that had begun to bite his neck he wondered if he would ever be able to speak to her again. Just to see her had taken much of his strength. Suppose she bridged the gap though? She had always liked solving puzzles. If he could just leave her a clue he felt sure she would be intrigued enough to try. Sometimes she’d stop what she was doing and look his way. Two days ago she’d been washing the dishes and suddenly looked up. She’d stared through the window and straight at him.          
           The light went out in the kitchen. He sighed; he would miss her face overnight. Now was the time for him to rest and try again tomorrow. He’d reach her. He had to make contact. He had to warn her: time was running out.

I feel like I want to write more and was a bit sad when my time ran out. So perhaps there is more to write for these characters just freshly formed today.
Please feel free to try this exercise using the photo and words. If you do, please let me know how you get on. If you don’t fancy a writing exercise then you could try using as a prompt for any creative expression you choose.

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Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Art Everyday Month 2010: Day 24 - Bookmarks & Blocks...


Today I made this large bookmark. Unfortunately I struggled to get a good photo. (note: The colour is closer to the photo on the left.) It is a watercolour background, with embroidered snowflakes and corners, sewn on glass beads, acrylic ribbon yarn  and mounted on double thickness card. It is prettier in real life because the glass beads catch the light and the embroidery threads add texture. But with the aid of your imagination I'm sure you get the idea.

It has been a busy old day and because of my limited time and energy I feel I've really struggled to create today. Whilst in the oxygen tank I tried to write and doodle but just kept feeling blocked. So having done this bookmark was an achievement. Most of the time I can get myself out of a creative block but today I think the fact I was so tired and didn't have much time to rest nearly got the better of me.

How do you cope with creative blocks? Do you have any tips you can share? Usually for me a rest, outing or/and a change helps. Often a good book, film, music & other people's art help fuel my imagination. I think often we just need time to refresh and stock up on inspiration and energy.
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Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Art Everyday Month 2010: Day 23 - My head is a dream machine....

On Lisa Wright Stuff's blog yesterday I was introduced to the Inspiration Avenue challenge that posts a weekly theme to inspire art.  This week's theme was 'ingenuity'. (Check out Lisa's fab intepretation of the theme) This got me thinking about inventions which got me thinking about a dream machine inspired today's Art Everyday Month contribution. (You may have to click on it to get larger size & detail - I had difficulty getting a good photo)

Art Everyday Month 2010 has helped me connect with so many inspiring projects and people. I've also been introduced to techniques and ideas that have furthered my creative journey. It's fab! Its encouraged me out of my comfort zone and helped me experiment with art.

How has aedm2010 been affecting your life and creative work? Will you be sad to see it finish? I know I will. Well we have 7 days left and I'm looking forward to seeing what or who I'll be introduced to next!

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Monday, 22 November 2010

Art Everyday Month 2010: Day 22 - Resting & Writing...

On day 22, whilst sitting cuddled up in my comfy chair and wearing my winter woollies, I've been resting & writing. I've done my daily journal writing, worked on some poetry and tried to put into words my creative journey. As part of  recording this month in my dedicated aedm2010 journal and so as to have a visual in this post I created the above. It describes where I am on my creative journey today.
Where are you on your creative journey? For me the answer to this question changes frequently.
Thank you so much for all the get well wishes and positive support - it's invaluable and so much appreciated.
I've felt a bit better today but not had the energy to sit long at the computer and visit you all - so apologies for this. I promise to get over to your blogs as soon as I can - I hate to miss out on seeing your latest creations.
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Sunday, 21 November 2010

Art Everyday Month 2010: Days 20 & 21: A Little Tree Therapy- creating whilst feeling poorly...

I've been feeling poorly after having the flu jab a few days ago and felt sad that for the first time this month yesterday (day 20) I wasn't able to post. However, I did do a little wordy doodle (LHS) whilst resting. It was an exercise in cheering me up with bright colours and positive words.

Then today (day 21) and still feeling rubbish I set myself up on a comfy chair in the lounge with a black pen and a water colour pallet.

And created this:
And despite feeling resistant and considering just going back to bed I actually ended up enjoying this. I love trees and seem to fill my art journal with little doodles, photos and collage items inspired by them. Similarly my fiction writing and poetry is often inspired by them. So what is it about trees? To me they symbolise growth, wisdom, grounding, comfort, strength......I could go on but basically to me they have a beauty and energy that is revitalising. So anyway, I felt much better mentally when I'd completed this watercolour and ink drawing.

What do you find recurring in your creative work?

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Friday, 19 November 2010

Art Everyday Month 2010: Day 19 - Re-designing my blog....

On day nineteen of AEDM I decided to redesign and personalise my blog using my art work from Day 13 as a focus.  I spent most of my day playing with paper, taking photos, experimenting with 'Paint' and wrestling with the joys of Blogger's design programme when using a slow broadband connection. Above is one of many ideas I had for backgrounds as I photographed interesting papers and arranged embellishments. But in the end the background that worked best was the simplest one (below) that I created on 'Paint'. So here is my new blog design. There are many amendments I'd love to make but without html experience I'm a little limited. Nevertheless I do feel this new design is more personal and better reflects my creative journey. Please take a look on a full screen view and let me know what you think.

It felt important to at least try and personalise and update my blog to reflect where I am on my creative journey. Visually changing something be it house decoration, personalising an art journal or dyeing my hair is like a celebration and positive marker of where and who I am.
Have you recently made any visual changes? If so, what did those changes mean to you?

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Thursday, 18 November 2010

Art Everyday Month 2010: Day 18 - My Music Collage Learning Experience

I started this music themed collage last week but put it aside whilst working on other projects. You can check out photos of the first stages here.  I nearly finished it today but have had to halt the process to allow things to dry. So I still have some finishing touches to add.

So far I've used distress inks and water on a 12"x8" canvas to create a base. I took photos of instruments in my home and scanned in vintage music score. I used a sepia effect on the images and messed with the tones a little. I printed out my images onto handmade (coated for printer use) paper. I tore, cut and arranged images. I cut out some musical notes and treble clef shapes from some of my prints. I glued the images down using Golden regular matt gel medium. I attached some silver charms using Golden Heavy gel medium.

What I learnt: Handmade paper printed on with a normal ink jet printer does not like being handled and glued. I had quite a few setbacks with prints being ruined. I guess I need a fancier printer with steadfast ink. But I still enjoyed and its always good to learn.

What lessons have you learnt during aedm2010 through trial and error? I know I've learnt a few and usually the hard way :-)

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Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Art Everyday Month 2010: Day 17 - Doodling from inside a hyperbaric oxygen chamber...

On day 17 of aedm I was having my weekly oxygen treatment and I thought that as the World Doodle Challenge is asking for doodles from a variety of locations I could doodle from inside the hyperbaric oxygen chamber. So that's what I did.

Do you ever get busy creating art (in the widest sense) in unusual places?

PS - if you take a look in the right hand column you'll see I have a new 'I'm a free spirit' blog button that was kindly donated by Shannon from Free Spirit Knits. Visit her blog and you too can display this pretty creation and learn about competitions she'll be holding soon. But first why not click on the button and read the wonderful creative list Shannon has created.
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Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Art Everyday Month 2010: Day 16 - Journaling, writing and felt brooches...

On day sixteen of aedm2010 I've been feeling a little flat; probably over tired from a busy few days.  I did some writing and doodling in my journal and I made this felt brooch for my daughter to pin on her bag. It is part sewn and part glued. I attached a  safety pin onto the back with a scrap of matching felt and some stitching. The writing, journaling and art improved my mood as they almost always do which in turn helped me cope with the energy slump.

How does your creative work help you?

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Monday, 15 November 2010

Art Everyday Month 2010: Day 15 - MY 100th POST with lots to celebrate!!!!!

This is my 100th post on this blog *cue trumpets and fireworks*!  Today I've also been celebrating my daughter's 9th Birthday. And I'm pleased to say at the halfway point through Art Everyday month I've managed to post everyday. It may be true that some days 'art' may have been a dubious label to attribute to what I was offering but, nevertheless I'm happy that health wise I've been creative and posted everyday. Hurrah! So today, obviously my day revolved around my children but my favourite creative time of the day involved making art with my daughter's present: a "Bendaroos" set.  

Basically Bendaroos are strips of wax that you bend and shape into animals, objects or pretty much anything your imagination fancies. As the photos show my two were totally engrossed. It is a pleasure to note that although my daughter received a second hand laptop as a joint present from all the family (so she could write her books and thoughts on it. She's not allowed her own Internet connection yet) when they got home from school they quickly got engrossed in making their own art (and so did I). Below are some of our creations (they were in charge; I just got to help a little):

It's fantastic to create with children. Whether in the creative writing I've done for work with school children or especially with my own two babes - I'm constantly inspired by children. They don't usually set themselves expectations, express themselves freely, have untethered imaginations and create from the heart.

Do you ever try to view life and create through a child's eyes?
Admittedly it's difficult but when I try to do this I laugh or cry at how I can sometimes limit myself with my cynicism and jaded adult perspective.

Today is a celebration for me. What part of your day would you like to celebrate today? What was special? What made you look at life with different eyes?

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Sunday, 14 November 2010

Art Everyday Month 2010: Day 14 - Celebrations...

This is a quick post because its been a very busy weekend celebrating children's Birthdays and I'm quite exhausted. Tomorrow is my daughter's 9th Birthday. After a busy day out I didn't think I'd post at all today. But after decorating the house with balloons & banners I found myself with a cup of chamomile tea and doodling. Its a really rubbish doodle but I realised that it sort of looked like party decorations. It seems the numerous Birthdays recently had subconsciously played a part in this. So I then wrote around the sides of the doodle with the first thing that came to mind and that was:
" My baby girl is 9 tomorrow. In my memory she can sometimes still appear as the tiny premature baby she once was. Now she's the tallest in her class, funny clever and strong. Tonight I've been decorating ready to celebrate the birth and first nine years of my precious, special little girl".

So after writing that I decided I ought to share my rubbish doodle and my personal writing because along with Birthday card making and house decorating I had created some art for today.

Hope you all had a good weekend. Tomorrow will mark the half way point of AEDM2010.
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Saturday, 13 November 2010

Art Everyday Month 2010: Day 13 - Imagination & happy accidents...

In yesterday's post I mentioned a project I was busy working on. Here is the finished piece:

I had the idea of using this design as the focus for a new blog design. So I added a couple of removal extras so that it could also look like this:

It's difficult to show the different materials used in these photos. For instance the round circles are wood, the stars are rusted metal & the buttons have pearlescent finish. But hopefully you get the idea. This project did not go to plan at all but I like to think of it now as a happy accident.

Have you experienced any happy accidents with your creative work during AEDM2010?

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Friday, 12 November 2010

Art Everyday Month 2010: Day 12 - Work in progress (with my kitten's support)

It's 8.35pm here in the UK and my kitchen table is still covered in art supplies, my hands stained with paint and I'm still working on a project that I hope to finish tomorrow. But I thought I better check in and say that I have most definitely been creating art today. I can tell you the piece I'm working on includes: paint, glue, ribbon, yarn, wood, metal and paper. But you'll have to wait until tomorrow to take a peek. Don't get excited, it's a bit of an experiment and at 3.00pm it was turning into a disaster. But I think I've turned a corner and am beginning to like the way it's going.

So anyway, I just wanted to check in and say that I'm not sleeping on the job but as you can see in the photo - my six month old kitten 'Alfie' most certainly is! But I'm presuming he's offering me his sleepy support.

How has your day twelve been? Who has been offering you moral support?
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Thursday, 11 November 2010

Art Everyday Month 2010: Art Explosion in progress....

Day 11 and at only 3pm I have managed to: take lots of photos; paint first few layers on two canvases; progress with my music collage and play the recorder. I've experimented with fabric paint, acrylic, distress inks, glue, water, scissors and a heat gun. I've been matching up threads, buttons and charms for consideration. My kitchen looks like I've exploded a box of art and craft materials and my hands are stained with ink. Do I feel happy - hell yeah!! And my day and my art projects are not necessarily over yet. But my kids will be home soon and my eyes are pretty tired so I though I'd post a bit earlier today. Thought it would be good to show work in progress and confess just how messy I can be.

  • Do you ever go crazy with loads of art materials at once?
  • Are you a messy or tidy when you are creating?
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Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Art Everyday Month 2010: Day 10 - Autumn Treasure

This photo, I took a couple of weeks ago, is of my son's gathered Autumn treasure. He is very proud of his haul :-) I can't believe Autumn is over already. Here in Cornwall the trees are just hanging onto the last of their leaves; in the milder climate we seem to get some of the first blossom and last leaves in the country.

I've had a very busy day including some eye therapy. Therefore my creative efforts are small but I feel pleased to have done something. So to accompanyt the photo today I've written a Haiku. Both photo and poem are inspired by my children's love of collecting conkers in the Autumn. They get very excited when they start to drop from the trees and it is a delight to see them take pleasure in the simple things nature can offer.

Shiny copper jewels
Heralds of autumn's glory
Children's loved treasure

copyright Katina Wright 10.11.10

  • How does nature inspire you?
  • In what ways do your children/grandchildren/other people's children inspire your creative work?
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Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Art Everyday Month 2010: Day 9 - Music inspired art, craft & writing

Today I've done a mix of creative projects that were all inspired by music.

I began my day by downloading some traditional English folk sheet music to play. With a musical themed collage in mind I then started to take photos of musical objects and scan in some antique music score. To give my collage texture and interest I printed these photos onto handmade paper (a selection shown above). I now have the basic elements of my collage ready to start.

As a separate project I made a Birthday card for my Grandad (seen on the left hand side).  My Dad's Dad is Greek Cypriot and 'Bapou' means Grandad. He has been a classical and folk musician all his life and therefore the musical theme seemed appropriate. For the backing paper I copied some manuscript, used a tearing technique and then mounted on black card. I used peel-offs for the lettering which I matted and layered on matt black and silver metallic card. A very very simple card but one that I think turned out quite well.

Tomorrow I shall continue making the collage which I intend to build on canvas.

I'm passionate about music and its theme repeatedly occurs in my creative work. Its often surfaced in the characters I write as well as in craft, gifts and art.
  • Do any recurring themes appear in your creative work?

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Monday, 8 November 2010

Art Everyday Month 2010: Day 8 - Another writing exercise...

mastermind * leave * laugh * insults * moment * warmed

Today I did another writing exercise using a photo I took at Golitha Falls and six words chosen randomly from "The Shadow of the Wind" by Carlos Ruiz Zafon that I must include. (I've underlined these words) I gave myself 15 minutes and here are the unedited results:

"Okay Mastermind: what now?" Sean asked me.
I shrugged. I was stuck. I knew this tree stump, that to my eyes resembled the ruins of a fairytale castle, was the gateway but not how to open it. No amount of Sean's sarcasm or insults would help me  remember how. In fact his attitude was making it harder to think.
"You're having a laugh!" Sean said, frowning into the dimly lit distance.
I turned to look in the same direction. I couldn't see anything but the silhouettes of the trees against the misty evening sky.
"We're being tracked," he said quietly, walking over to the small fire, a few metres away, that had warmed our tinned soup earlier. He began to dampen it.
"We have to leave," I scrambled to my feet, anxiety tightening my chest. "We can't reveal the location."
Sean turned, "Maya, don't panic, we're okay for a moment, remember I can see further than sight."
But I was panicking. The people likely to be following us had already proven to be violent and willing to do anything to learn how to cross over.

I was itching to edit it but know that it is part of my learning to share something raw. It was tempting to write for longer as the characters started to form in my head. Perhaps, at some point,  I shall develop this and the results of the exercise I did on day 6.

Once again you are welcome to give this exercise a go either as a writing prompt or inspiration for your creative work. If you do, please let me know how you get on. You are welcome to use the photo but I'd be grateful if you could please link it back to me.

What did you create on day 8 of the Art Everyday Month challenge?

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Sunday, 7 November 2010

Art Everyday Month 2010: Day 7 - Mandala Doodle & what it represents to me

Yesterday I posted a bit of writing. Today I attempted a mandala doodle. I started yesterday but did the majority today. I plan to enter it into the World Doodle Challenge.

For those of you who haven't followed my blog I have had long periods where I've struggled with my vision and other things like dexterity due to relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis. Its not something I like to talk about on this blog because, well frankly its quite dull to me - I'd rather my focus be on creativity; so please don't think I'm about to go on about being ill all the time as I have no wish to on here. But I just wanted to share how significant doing these doodles and being involved in the online AEDM2010 challenge is to me. Apart from the deep enjoyment I experience from being creative and despite it often giving me a headache - completing one of these doodles is a little triumph that gives me a buzz because I am well enough to do it. Similarly being able to sign on to the computer and be part of the daily AEDM chatter is also much appreciated. It may help explain to you why I may suddenly temporarily disappear from the online world. It may also explain the personal experience and passion I bring to the exploration of the links between creativity and well being.

On day 7 what did you find yourself grateful for?

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Saturday, 6 November 2010

Art Everyday Month: Day 6 - Writing Exercise

attacked + naked + hammering + irritation + kept + interested

Today I did a ten minute writing exercise. My inspiration was this photo I recently took at Golitha Falls in Cornwall and the challenge was to include six randomly & blindly chosen words (shown above) from Paul Hoffman's "The Left Hand of God".  Then I gave myself ten minutes (although I cheated by using twelve) with no chance to prepare and wrote whatever came to mind. Here is the unedited (bar two words) result:

My sword had been stolen when I was attacked and now I felt naked without it. I kept moving, the feeling of vulnerability a constant irritation to my pride. I had to reach The Falls. The hammering in my head, the result of the earlier blow, made me nauseous. My vision was distorted and my balance upset causing me to keep tripping over the ancient tree roots that snaked across my path. I could feel the wise ones watching. They were not shocked by my failings; trees as old as them were used to human weakness and stupidity. Interested they observed  and lent a little of their powerful energy to my failing body.
         Then I saw it. Or maybe I felt the warmth first. Light burst through the green foliage refracted by bark and beautiful in its magical energy. I stumbled to my knees. I'd not been forgotten. They were here.

I love doing this type of exercise. It is great fun, perfect for exercising the imagination and stretching writing muscles. I've often created the first ideas of a character or story during this type of writing. 

Do you have any favourite creative exercises that you like to use? Feel free to use this photo and words and please do let me know the results. If you want to, post the results on your blog/website but especially if you use the photo I would appreciate you credit me with a link back to my blog. It is always fun to see what different creations are made from the same stimulus.

Hope day 6 has proved an inspirational one for you all!
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