Monday, 31 August 2015

It is Spring. I am going to renew my blog. It is going to reflect the ideas that I pass on to my young art students and my creative tribe. It will be a treasure for us.

Saturday, 7 June 2014

mindfulness and creativity

I have not posted for some time because I have been trying to rewire my thinking.
Mindful living is a buzzword from the very heart of Buddism. It is a beautiful way to exist if you can master it. In our world it is very difficult. It speaks to the very meaning of holistic attachment theories., however. That is, nothing is left unresolved.
For people with a career and family it is almost impossible.
The world demands multi-tasking of sorts and rewards those who can maintain it. This is detrimental however, to creativity, optimum health and a nourishing relationship with the self.
To be mindful a person must reduce themselves to a sensation of only noticing a small detail of the moment at hand. It is very difficult to be mindful if you are a multi-tasker for your mind is chasing the next thought. It is taking your body - and soul - away from what you are actually trying to do, as you call in every idea that attaches to the activity. There is a paradox to being creative, in that a mind that darts about is gathering all the ingredients for a beautiful work, collection of elements and composition, but thus can fail to complete each stage of the process finely. 'More haste less speed' is a wonderful adage for an artist, but can be near impossible for some creative types, whose very essence is to respond to the tumbling ideas that cause a frenzy of activity in their painting, drawing, stitching, carving or writing practice.
The idea of writing from your gut - letting an avalanche of words pour forth onto a page is wonderful, for you can edit. You can rewrite, self-correct and build on the original framework.
However for an artist, it can mean that the materials are flung together before the brain can make its decisions resulting in an unsatisfactory mess that requires hours of rearranging.
Abstract Expressionism of the 1950's allowed this to be the outcome as well as the process.
I spent a year of my Arts Degree making paintings where I poured, dribbled, spilled, hosed, sprayed and squirted an assortment of colours onto canvas, before sanding, scraping and scratching it off until I was happy with the visual result. It was fun, freeing and exciting. I was unaware at the time that I was being mindful.
 To teach mindful art practice is to teach that each part of the process deserves its own complete focus.
We have taught the present emerging generation to create art like a child at an Easter egg hunt. The result is emotional emptiness, lack of engagement, boredom and no joy in creating. The plan is to end the process only. To tick the box. To have tried and exited. They have little memory of doing it.
Or it is done to please an audience with a product, rather than savouring the personal act.
Thus mindfulness is sacrificed.
How to address this?
Enjoy every tiny act. Focus on your senses. Breathe evenly, engage your tactile senses and the effect of colour, texture and shape. Watch it grow. Just try complete each step of the task with reverence.
Each physical act in creating, each line drawn, each paint dribble dribbled, each collage element glued and colour applied must have its own glrious second, moment or hour of attention.
Then the work is secure - a relationship network that will resonate with joy for its creator.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Happy New Year

Ok, so it's February.... I was away in Sydney for three weeks over Christmas and New Year so had no access to the internet. Then... it has been hot ....then I had messages that turned out to be nothing about infected links from blogs I follow. So I dumped the blogging!
We are back together again.
I have been doing more gel medium transfers, after buying some Golden Gel Medium in King Street in Newtown.
Love it.
Can't stop playing with gel mediums.
I am addicted to collage anyway, so it is just a step up.

Friday, 22 November 2013

feeling fine means....

If life is a series of connected experiences we are perhaps guilty of being arrogantly judgemental of it. I can consider everything that I have experienced this last year. I thus ponder the value judgements I put on those periods of time and how to categorise them.
There is time....a week....a month...a school term a whole year, a decade or a weekend.
'How was your week?' I will ask my offspring electronically. They will reply briefly and almost always that is was fine, enjoyable, busy and perhaps exhausting. But fine. I have been guilty of being unsociable, rude, angry and hard to like around my peers when my recent or daily experiences did not match my expectations of what I am worth. The week then was not fine enough for me.
What experiences make us 'fine' then?
For some it is the delight of feeling useful, valuable and relevent.
For others it is being hugged, touched, smiled at, patted or romanced.
Yet another may only be experiencing their 'fine' when they were aknowledged for their physical beauty often enough over that period of time.
For the grieving it is some relief from the pain and heartache.
For many it is having sufficient food.
For whole communities it is surviving the night uninjured.
For too many human beings it is feeling safe.
But feeling fine wears off.
What makes a child feel fine?
What makes a mother feel fine?
What makes a society feel fine?
What makes an addict feel fine?
What makes you feel fine?
Do other people influence your degree of feeling fine?

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Fashion, aging and how to get it right...

Fashion, aging and how to get it right....A lot has been written on style...I love Audrey Hepburn and Coco Chanel...also Debbie Harry aka Blondie, Innes and many more. I adore the 1930's, hats, scarves and bangles particularly if I have made them myself or 'redesigned' existing ones.
Op shopping is a buzz and out comes the box of stuff to make them my own...not erasing their history, but carrying it into my arena. At the centre of any fashion arena is ....the Body One Has. Back to aging and style ...check out will truly make you smile!

I recently wrote in musing...
'Style has many characteristics. Of course, some are obvious such as an understanding of what is appropriate for occasion, personality and the aesthetics of 'making it all work' visually....colour, texture, proportion, flow etc. But it is the innate relationship we have with our body on any given day that dictates our clothes' message to the onlooker. Age, experience, money, education or beauty won't cut it alone. If you take that body and dress it like a precious and sacred object every day, regardless of how the world has been treating you, your own honest, uncontrived and instinctive style will be enough. Begin lovingly with the personal in all its flesh and form and just drape it until it feels done without trying too hard. Then leave the house with confidence that it is the one thing you absolutely own.'

Pelicans in south west New South Wales Australia..

hello?...were they flying south for the summer?

a lot more rocks....