Wednesday, 30 December 2009
This time last year you promised yourself to write (nearly) every day. Well done girl. I bet you had no idea that starting a blog would open up such a rich vein of creativity, shrink the world a little and give you the wonderful gift of new friendships.
What will 2010 bring I wonder? Please keep up the writing and, whatever you do, don't stop painting. When you hold colour in your hand spells get woven and imagination soars. Above all don't forget that creativity is as much for you as anyone else; it's about forming something you are proud of and reflecting a little of what resides in your soul out into the big wide world.
Don't stop dreaming but maintain some focus. It's not going to be easy setting up in your chosen career. You'll need to learn to cope better with rejection for a start. Dig deep for those hidden reserves of stamina and determination. You're already well on the way to achieving your ambitions so don't fall at the last hurdle.
Start thinking about your birthday now. 40 is a time for celebration. Don't let the day slide by unmarked. Plan for the party.
Spend a weekend in London. You know how much you love it there.
Give that novel one more try then, if it doesn't work, start another. Don't give up. You will be a published author.
Now, let's get down to a few specifics. We need to talk about your 'office'. You simply cannot work in that mess. Make to do lists and stick to them. At the end of every one write the word TIDY UP AND FILE and do it. I want to see some targets drawn up for both work and personal
ambitions and regular review. Give yourself a quarterly appraisal and if either a little bonus or a big dressing down depending on how well you score yourself.
OK Lisa, enough now. You've never been a person for too much structure. Sieze every day and grab all the opportunities you can. Remember that life is not a rehearsal. This is your movie. You are the star - go grab everything you can and enjoy!
Tuesday, 29 December 2009
No weddings here, just an entry for an art challenge. The Three Muses' prompt delighted the Muse who has found her MoJo again.
I'll tell you in a minute how I made it, but you know me and my Muse; we never can be content with just posting up a pretty picture. We like to ponder and stretch fingers across keyboard.
Something old: I feel my age. In just a few days I shall reach the year that sees my 40th birthday. When are you middle-aged? Surely not yet? I don't feel middle aged that's for sure. I have far too much still to do before I start watching Countdown and buying comfortable shoes.
Something new: I may be nearly at the top of the hill, but I have something new. Today I received official notification of my Ltd Company status. The Wright Stuff Communications Ltd has been noted by the Inland Revenue. The Tax Man is watching me... I am a Company Director which sounds rather grown up and highly suitable for a soon-to-be-4o-year-old.
And now to the art...
Ancient arches and crumbling ruins. Ghostly remembrances and forgotten romance. What histories have danced through this garden? What overlaps between past and present seeping between the cracks in masonry? Old and new collide and compete but the magic remains constant...
This piece was inspired by a page in a magazine. I painted a strong background then attempted to transfer the image using gel medium. Half way through the rubbing off process I stopped and kept the backing page. It seemed to have melted into the other scene like it was meant to be - a magical overlap. I added lots more paint and the old book to add to the sense of ever-changing stories.
It was fun and another almost 'accidental' piece. If you're still feeling creative, I'm running a challenge on my blog looking for submissions of accidental art. I'd love to see what you might have.
Monday, 28 December 2009
Popping along to Mixed Media Monday's challenge seemed the cure. Paint something with a colour you don't like. Hmmm.... Well, that's a bit tricky but mustard immediately came to mind. Reminds me of the suits my English teacher used to wear back in the 1980s when they were never fashionable.
I took some sludgy looking paint and brayered it on. I started thinking ugly, decaying thoughts. I made a rather dreary background planning for a miserable picture and, for my Muse, this was the final straw. She leapt out of her apathy and vented at me in Italian for several minutes. I was surprised as I've always thought she was Greek.
As I don't speak Italian (or Greek for that matter) I hadn't a clue what she was screaming about, but it did at least prompt a chain of thought. It's coming up to New Year... I really want to go to Italy this year... Shall we list as a resolution? I think so, don't you?
My Muse wasn't finished with me though, not by a long chalk. Naturally she fancies a holiday under the Tuscan sun but she was also concerned with me finishing something today and getting back to blogging.
She muttered something about inspiration being di fronte al tuo viso and the penny dropped. A leftover from Christmas feasting - not a mince pie or Turkey leg - a napkin with an Italian scene - heavy on the mustard. I abandoned my decay and went for a bit of sunshine. I could just nibble on an olive now...
I'll leave you to guess which bits of the picture are collaged from my napkin... (my Muse has given up on me and retreated to bed with a cold compress).
Sunday, 27 December 2009
For something a little more light-hearted though you can't beat a bit of Ant & Dec with their old mate Robbie.
This is a very indulgent posting - I'm letting the talents of others do all the work. Where is my creative spark? I think it may be clogged in an over-loaded digestive system competing for attention among all the chocolate, cakes and other naughties. I can't seem to move. I'm beset by a fug of laziness. Or maybe I just need a rest?
Thursday, 24 December 2009
There is something very special about this time of year when you are around children. It is their belief in something magical. Whether it's angels telling shepherds that a King has been born in a stable or that an old man with a white beard will fly to your house in a sleigh drawn by reindeer and bring you a sack full of presents. There's not much beats the wonder as their faces light up in excitement.
Since my husband and I separated and divorced we have two Christmas visits from the man with the white beard. His first trip was here on Sunday. Aside from the mountain of brightly wrapped gifts we knew he'd been by the other clues he left behind - the handwritten thank you note for the mince pies, the crumbs on the plate, the nibbled carrots and most impressive of all, the magic sparkling glitter dropped by the reindeers in the snow where they had landed outside. If you look carefully you can still see some glistening on the path.
Yesterday we were lucky enough to receive another magical nocturnal visitor. The tooth fairy herself stopped by to make an important collection. My son's first tooth to wobble and fall. The tiny jewel came out in a piece of cheesecake but he made sure he licked all the sweet stickiness off before placing the fairy treasure in a special little box (made for the occasion by yours truly) and stowing it next to his pillow.
Morning came and with it indignation. "She's not been!" he wailed in disappointment while I struggled to regain consciousness at an unseemly hour. Of course she had been, he just wasn't looking carefully enough. You see she originally put the coin under the pillow, but came back later to check it was still there. She'd forgotten that small boys are equally as active in slumber as waking hours. The coin had been shoved down the bed. She thought it best to leave it on the wooden edging for safety and there it remained until he looked a little more closely (and with the light on this time).
My message to you is that belief, magic and miracles are not just the stuff of children's fairy tales or old books. Heed the wise words above and let a little something special guide you through life and be in your thoughts this Christmas.
Inspired by the Inspiration Avenue art challenge - Believe. Mixed media: yellows, greens and reds were painted in acrylic to form the background. An image transfer of a model in a posh dress makes the body of the angel, I painted in the wings then decided she needed a more dramatic background - a starry sky. I forced myself to find the time for the challenge this week, mainly because of the topic - how perfect for Christmas.
Merry Christmas to all my blogging friends. Health and happiness to you all.
Wednesday, 23 December 2009
Tuesday, 22 December 2009
Sometimes we labour for hours over a piece, only to screw it up or paint over it in disgust. Other occasions see the paint float across the canvas as if Turner was holding the brush. Then there's those pieces that just appear almost by themselves, like this one.
What do you see? I absolutely love the layers in this piece. Is it perhaps a view through a rainy car window in the city at night? A wild party at the paint factory?
Nah, it's none of those... It's my palette paper after a spot of art journling - working off excess paint from the brayer! And yes, I was happier with this than the journal page!
Might make a good art challenge - especially one over the Christmas period when we are all so busy with other stuff. Go on, share with me your accidental art and let's see what is lurking in the cupboards and drawers! Can't wait...
Monday, 21 December 2009
Saturday, 19 December 2009
This, dear readers, leads me to ponder just what exactly has happened to this week. Did someone perhaps press the fast forward button down too hard? Have we been hurtling through the space/time continuum on a race with the good Doctor in his TARDIS?
How can it possibly be Saturday again already? What did I do for the past seven days? Let's have a think... Well, I have barely had time to pick up a paintbrush that's for sure. I've only done one proper day's work. I've sort of cleaned the house but it's messy again already. I've wrapped up all the presents, written all the cards. I've spent all day cooking and preparing for a big family party tomorrow (and let's not mention all the shopping that entailed). I did my bit for the community by clearing much of the snow out of the road in front of my house (and now I have a back ache, no surprise there...). This morning I found myself unexpectedly mopping up the mess after a 'hidden' leak in the shower pump resulted in a waterfall through the kitchen ceiling. I've sat in the audience of both a nativity play and a carol concert starring my son. Friends have been wined and dined... Hmm, perhaps I have been busy after all...
This waffle is really an excuse for my entry this week. I just didn't have enough time to devote to create exactly what I was after.
Friday, 18 December 2009
Thursday, 17 December 2009
Fancy dress is usually the order of the day for me. Past festivities have seen me disguised as Dolly Parton, a lush has-been actress (personally I think my performance here was Oscar-worthy!), a hairy pirate and even Darth Vader. After it took me a week to wash off the 'eye-liner pirate leg hair' I decided enough was enough. This year was all about the glamour. After all, when you are the Company Director you have to set some standards.
Dress therefore by Dior, diamonds naturally Tiffany's, make up Bobbi Brown (in person), escort... (well, that would be telling!).
OK you got me. The more observant among you may recall I work for myself. The company consists of me, a desk a computer and a printer. I've discovered that furniture and electronics make poor party companions. Mix that with the fact I can't hold my drink any more, am not particularly fond of cheese and onion crisps and we have a rather dull cocktail dear readers - more of a Canvey Island Iced Tea than the Big Apple version.
So, no wild office party this year. Bottoms were held securely in undies and pain killers not required.
Oh well.... this time next year....
PS - Yes, I am silly enough to have specially mocked up that photo up top just for this post!
Tuesday, 15 December 2009
I have to say I was really impressed by the whole performance. They sang, they recited, they played instruments, including the steel drums (why didn't they have steel drums at my school?)If they were handing out gongs I'm sure my boy could have carried off best supporting actor in a donkey role.
I wonder if there's much money in writing scripts for school plays. It wasn't exactly Shakespeare... Hmm food for thought...
I think we might have to go and see this film together next week on school hols...
Friday, 11 December 2009
I've talked in previous posts about tribes and the new movement of New Brand Tribalism I am so interested in. I've been reading more on the subject this week and am understanding why it resonates so clearly with me and my Muse. It's about not being afraid of rocking the status quo. In fact, the more you shake and disturb the better...
Take this piece of art for example. At school I was a sheep. I did what I was told unquestioningly. When Mr Bailey said paint landscapes because you're good at that and they always come up in the exam, that is exactly what I did. (There wasn't a landscape option in the exam, but that's another story!). I would never have dreamed of producing anything like this and for decades after A levels I still only ever painted landscapes. I would doubtless have been told this wasn't 'proper art'. I'm certainly more proud of this than any piece I produced at school. This is an expression of my imagination. It comes from the heart and soul. I never had the guts or even comprehension that life could be like this. I have been a sheep for far too long. I am casting off my woollen comfort blanket and running free on the fells.
Sounds a bit mad I know. I've been thinking, maybe my last job, the one I hated, was in a strange way the a good thing for my career. It required me to be a sheep and I finally realised that I was no longer capable of bleating and following tails. I want to be the wolf! I looked at the rules and I didn't believe in them any more. I like to challenge, in fact I love to challenge and I want to make a difference. I know there is another way, there are other believers not afraid to let their imagination roam and 'colour outside of the lines'.
Back to Seth... Have a look and listen...
Thursday, 10 December 2009
Wednesday, 9 December 2009
Tuesday, 8 December 2009
Anyway, back to my bottles. I took a photo then had a good old playaround in Photoshop giving what is supposed to be a slightly vintage feel. I felt there was a bit of magic around this old glassware - I'm sure I can see the remnants of a spell or two spilling out...
Monday, 7 December 2009
I've only just stopped singing poker face and now I'm 'on the wings of lurve' with Jeffrey someone circa 1985... and Mixed Media Monday's prompt.
A magazine transfer took the effort out of getting her facial features aligned and arms in the right place, but other than general shaping not much of the original model remains. She was given her wings with a liberal dose of acrylics, ink, the magic of love and promised passion!
Sunday, 6 December 2009
Saturday, 5 December 2009
Friday, 4 December 2009
Thursday, 3 December 2009
Wednesday, 2 December 2009
Tuesday, 1 December 2009
PS Why does blogger sometimes repeatedly take out my carriage returns???