Resourceful Art

Artists and Creatives – Do you think you are resourceful when it comes to creativity? It’s a very broad question and one which can be interpreted in many ways. The reason I came up with this topic is that I recently fractured my dominant hand and have struggled with trying to make work with a cast on my hand. I have really missed having the freedom to do whatever I want to creatively and have had to channel some new ways of thinking and process. Obviously this is just one strand of being resourceful as we artists have to work with limitations most of the time, but just by having the drive and determination to keep going always reaps great rewards.

My hand is back to normal now and it certainly has made me appreciate being able to have the freedom to make art, its actually been quite a prolific time it must have been the break away and the drive to get going again!

My thoughts this month relate to the actual style of work that we create, do you stick to a particular style or are you ever evolving? I find that I have to keep moving forward striving for something else, something that I haven’t yet discovered. That must be the joy of art – the little moments where we surprise ourselves.

A Promise

Hope and anticipation are the words for January for me, the hope of the brighter days ahead being full of art, laughter, fun and the promise of an end to the pandemic. I think we all need to hang on to the promise of things to come..

It’s the same with creativity as there’s always tomorrow to start afresh or carry on with a process that is inspiring and pushes you to new realms of possibilities, bringing a feeling of excitement and achievement to the everyday. Every year we look forward to Spring and the bright, green days that are to come, it’s almost a metaphor for life that there is something always brighter if only you look for it.

I’ve started on a new way of thinking about creativity and found Gareth Edwards and Kate Reeve-Edwards book ‘Painting Abstract Landscapes’ so inspiring, it has given me the boost that I needed to move out of safety and challenge painting again. Below are some images of that process.

Winter Solstice

As winter winds surge across the landscape so does the feeling of turning our backs to the cold, the dark and hunkering down with our friends and families. It always makes me concerned about the people who have no-one to share Christmas with and these past few years have probably been the worst yet. Yet there is hope as the year turns on its axis and the days start to lengthen again we can start to look forward to the brighter days to come.

Sharing my work and writing this blog is my way of sharing a little brightness and cheer to others, to hopefully spark something that may help others to see that being creative can have many rewards, it can take our minds away from the everyday and create a sense of calm, it helps to see the beauty all around us too. Even if it is just appreciating someone else’s creativity it can add something to our lives, to our outlook and the way that we see the world.

Wishing everyone the very best for 2022.

Creative Freedom

What does the phrase ‘Creative Freedom’ evoke in you? I suppose that each and everyone of us has a different response because creativity is so subjective, it lends itself to so many perceptions of meaning its difficult to put into any given explanation. Also creative freedom can come in different guises not only art related but so many avenues of life and environments.

Personally the meaning for me starts with my art, it gives permission to create without any clear path, to be experimental and to enjoy process for its own sake. It brings with it the agency to forget what has gone before and to let the mind wander into a creative state or ‘In the zone’ feeling, it’s what drives me ever onwards on my creative journey.

Here are a few of my purely experimental pieces, I’d love to hear your thoughts on Creative Freedom.

Time to Shine More!

I have just completed the very informative and enjoyable course with Alice Sheridan the ‘Time to Shine’ course, who also hosts the fab Art Juice Podcast. The course is a two week bite sized daily prompt to encourage a greater presence online and to meet other artists and creatives to develop their potential to show up on line. It is full of little gems of information for those starting their journey into being more present digitally as well as those who are already showing up online to refresh and learn new techniques to socially engage people. It really makes you think about what you are actually doing and where you want to go on social media as well as your website etc.

It’s brought a greater sense of ownership and control over what I want to share going forward and helped me to break down barriers that I had unknowingly set myself. So for the last few weeks I have been trying to break these barriers and am slowly evolving, I can’t say its a quick process for me but it has certainly made me think very differently about how I show up!

It’s all very easy just to concentrate on making work as I love painting and being creative as it answers a need to be present and in the moment- but now I can see that things need to move on, to expand, explore and share! So watch this space and my social media pages and enjoy!

Creative Tools

Writing here over the last months has been deeply influenced by the situation that we have all been part of and I suppose it’s only natural that happened, so I want now to get back to what this blog is supposed to address. My thoughts about writing are a sharing of ideas, techniques, tools and process of making art, so this is a new beginning where you are more than welcome to add your thoughts and ideas so that everyone can benefit from being creative.

Sharing of ideas is so important to me as it helps others to get benefit from being creative and also how important it is as an outlet for the stresses and strains of contemporary life.

How has the last few months been for you? Creatively for me it has been a time of fallow, where I have found it quite difficult to be creative and I put it down to our experiences of late. Do you have periods of flow and then fallow? How do you get out of them? For me it is just to keep trying to work and push on through, also it’s the inspiration that is lacking and that is probably because I have not been out exploring the landscape as much, this has influenced my art work by keep pushing for change and trying out different ideas. I have been trying to be more expressive and loose and hopefully I can push that further over the coming months!

Slow Down Time

Its taken time to get to this point, a point where time separates and finds its own rhythms.

Its taken time during this global crisis to appreciate time as not a commodity to be used for achieving and striving forward for its own sake.

Time is a precious gift to be savoured, appreciated and to be acknowledged.

Take the time to sit with the moments of quiet and of beauty in our frantic world.

Stand out from your thoughts and just be.

Humdrum

I haven’t posted for a little while as things have been just well – a bit slow, or the other way of saying it is stagnant with a hint of apathy. I’ve been going through a sort of uninspired and humdrum existence over the last few weeks, have you felt like this?

The pandemic has a great deal to do with it I am sure, my reserves are running on empty and the tank needs replenishing with new sights, sounds and adventures! Its what we all need and lets hope that this will happen soon!

Working on my art through all of these last couple of months has been a real test to how important my creativity is to me, as there have been days where I really could have done nothing but have pushed myself to carry on regardless. One of the many things I have come to realise over the years is that there always comes a renewal after a period of difficulty and that if you push on through, things will come good again. So that has been my motto and I have stuck to it and slowly things are starting to feel better which is a relief I can tell you! Do you have these times of indifference? If so how do you deal with them?

I have been trying to get myself out and about and seeing new places as much as I can at the moment, which is helping and also not to dwell on the fact that I am in a slump of inspiration and it has really helped to get me feeling positive again. I do think working through it makes you challenge yourself and the materials you use to come up with fresh ideas and ways of doing things, what are your tricks?

I thought I would post some images from this period so that you can see whats been going on!

Art Thinking or Process?

Creative process – what does this mean to you? What’s the connection between spontaneous creative process and creative thinking? Is there a connection? These questions have been milling around in my head for a while now as being an artist my work is based on spontaneity and intuition and they are a driver in my work, so there is a certain amount of managed detachment from engaging my brain when working. To me this is getting ‘in the zone’ to be able to work freely without any constraints as to what will happen but if you try and add creative thinking i.e rationalisation into the work it fails to be an authentic process.

Could this be explained by painting spontaneously and intuitively, that I am using my creative brain to make decisions in a detached way and is this classed as creative thinking?

Going back to the phrase ‘Creative Process’ I wanted to talk about the importance of this activity and how crucial this is for all of us as it dominates everything we do and without it there would be no artwork anyway. Have you ever thought about ‘process’ as being more important than the finished piece and how this is the part that motivates us to keep moving forward. It develops us as artists and ultimately the final outcome will reflect the enjoyment of experiences along the way. For anyone who needs help with anxiety or low mood can benefit by experiencing the creative process to distract from everyday worries and thoughts that can overpower us too.

When I try to rationalise these questions it seems to me that one cannot exist without the other and we are using both process and thinking simultaneously all the time, even consciously deciding not to engage fully with my art is a thinking process in itself.

I would love to hear your thinking behind these points and look forward to your comments !

Long Live the Arts!

Anticipation or trepidation – which are you? The news is on everyones lips the end of lockdown – well, as we have known it for the last few months at least. The feelings and anxieties that we all have had for so long maybe at long last start to dissipate and we can start to enjoy some small things again.

I have found this latest lockdown the most difficult of all, the dark nights and cold weather have compounded my feelings of isolation and loneliness. Creatively it has also been a bit of a slow period too, feelings of negativity have filtered into my work making it difficult to be enthusiastic and motivated.

On the positive side of things I have sold quite a few paintings which has filled me with a sense of optimism and pride that my work is appreciated and given me a renewed sense of purpose. The whole time I have been thinking about places I have visited in the past few years and using them as points of reference and I am also learning about ways of working and processes that went unnoticed previously. Its amazing by just giving a little more of my time to concentrate on creativity has reaped so many rewards, not only artmaking but spiritually and emotionally too, it has given me the space to be myself and has surrounded me with the comfort, routine and stability that we have all needed.

If there ever was a strong argument that the arts is so important for our wellbeing this has been it, without the arts and creativity during the pandemic the world would have been a very sombre place indeed. Long live the opportunity to appreciate and engage in the Arts!

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