more than one voice

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Putting practice into practice

I've decided that my word for 2013 is practice.  I chose this word because I feel that I needed to incorporate more practice into my art.  I think I need more focused intentional activities. I am a dreamer by nature and need more routine within my daily art practice.

For me practice also means doing something without the expectation of getting it perfect, rather it is about introducing things into my creative practice that can make it richer, that can give it more structure without being prescriptive.

One of the things I want to practice is drawing. I believe that dedication to this practice will over time build a certain amount of skill. People often say that they can’t draw and for a long time I also believed that but like any skill I think it takes practice to develop.

I’ve decided that I need to set aside several evenings a week, to draw for about an hour. I don't think it'll be too hard to do as this time normally would have been spent either in front of the TV or pinning yet another picture to Pinterest, which in all likelihood  I will properly never look at again.

I enjoy playing with  charcoal pencils to experiment with shading -  smudge it with my fingers and rubbing out areas to create highlights
Perhaps a new painting somewhere in these drawings?

learning about shading

This book is an excellent guide- a must have for any

Thursday, April 18, 2013

having fun

I share, with my husband a love for shabby chippy furniture.  He found this cupboard for me and thought it would work well as a bookcase for my 1000's of books. We tested the paint at the junk shop to make sure it would flake, which it did.

I used a paint scraper and lots of elbow grease to pull off large pieces of the white enamel paint - to reveal..........
It took longer to clean up the little bits of old paint than it did to strip the cupboard.  Doesn't it look beautiful!
And here it is in it's new home - my less than tidy study.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

whats been going on

I suppose a blog is really an online diary or journal, using it for that purpose I thought it might be fun to share a little bit of my everyday life.

Using my art and the amazingly clever Photoshop software I have designed a wonderful range of pictures that we make up into small ready to hang picture art. (see more on my website - link above) I just love being able to share my art and messages with people.  This is a picture of my garden 'factory', and the two sweet ladies that help me.  Nonzomo and Thembi.

Some of the pictures ready for packaging
My daughter Jess, does the iHeart market in Durban once a month with our pictures.  She loves doing the market - and always comes home with loads of new clothes and other lovely handmade things.
I love selling my art because I meet wonderful people, actually I meet amazing people, kind souls, interesting people and I love hearing their stories.  One of my customers is a yoga teacher and grows organic veggies.  She calls her veggies 'living food' isn't that such a great way to describe fresh organic food.  As a family we have decided to try and eat organic and free range food were ever possible.  I get a box of 'living food' delivered every week - it is a pot luck and you never know what your going to get, it just depends whats in the garden. The veggies come in brown bags and it's exciting to open up the bags and see what suprises are inside.  Every week there is a bunch of lavendar or rosemary or flowers with a little message tag.
Baked carrots with red onions,garlic, rosemary and balsamic vinegar.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

climbing into dreams

climbing into a dream

Dreams intrigue me – they are like hidden information about who we are. Mysterious puzzles to solve, clues to unravel – glimpses into our unconscious workings.  I love trying to solve the puzzle of a good dream.

I was listening to an interview with a dream expert on the internet (can’t remember who or where), but this was the question he asked.  When we dream all the images in our dreams, everything - comes from our own subconscious mind, we always feature in our own dreams.  If everything is created in our heads then when we encounter other people in our dreams and they talk to us, who are they? Obviously they are us, which wasn't that obvious to me until I spent a little time bending my head around that one. Which just means that there are more clues and puzzles and riddles to solve.  Aren't dreams just so cool!

Playing with photoshop - helped me to turn this painting on the left into a picture that expresses how I sometimes experience dreaming.  (also relating to my previous post - I just love PLAYING)

Sunday, April 7, 2013

remember to play

I believe that we all need to play, not find time to play, maybe if we can fit it in somewhere – we absolutely need to play.  It is essential, like food and water and air.  Playing nourishes the soul, allows us time to discover little surprises about ourselves, to uncover our true nature and it is fun.

When I was about eleven I had to stay after school and wait for my mom to collect us after work.  I was so jealous of all the other kids who got to go home straight after school.  The problem was that I realised that because I was almost a teenager I didn’t have that many days left to play and I really wanted to get in all the playing I could do before I got too old to play. This makes me laugh now because I never stopped playing!  I still have a playroom – it’s just called a ‘studio’. 


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

What's the weather doing?

Had a little fun painting this birdie - a reminder to be kind

It's been too hot to sit in my study and type up posts.  I'm actually sitting here dressed only in my swimming costume - I must look very funny, in my blue polka dot  cossie.  Luckily the family have gone to bed, although how much sleeping anyone will do is questionable. 

When I was a little girl summer also smelt of wet grass and molten tar. We had hot days, but every afternoon at about four the sky would grow very dark and then roar in anger and spit out big saucer size drops of rain.  It doesn't happen anymore. Climate change is a reality. 

They say it will rain towards the end of the week, I hope it does, we need the relief. Isn't it funny how we talk so much about weather if life?

Monday, January 28, 2013

Outside art at the owl house

I have a fascinating with outsider art, with the people who create these works, their stories, and their pure creative genius that is not tarnished by mainstream thinking about art.  They are raw and authentic, practicing their craft from a deep internal need for creative release without concern for technique or critique. They work outside the fine art system; they produce from the depths of their own personalities and for no one else but themselves. They do not follow fashion or tradition and care little what people might think about their work – they need to create and they do.

One of South Africa’s most famous outside artist is Helen Martins.  She lived in a small Karoo town called Nieu Bethesda, a dry dusty speck of a place.  Here she created wonderful sculptures in concrete and broken glass, mixing the two together to create ever changing colour and texture. She was misunderstood in the small conservative dorp where she lived. A sad figure, who was too shy to mix with people.  She hardly ate, spending the little money she had on supplies to build her sculptures.

Reading her biography I was transported into her world, into her imagination, I had a glimpse into her all-consuming need to create.  I was left with the sense that even after reading the book and seeing her work, there was still a mystery surrounding her.  Why did she really create all those strange sculptures?  What demons was she fighting? Did her creations bring her peace?  I suppose these questions will never be answered.  I think that is the beauty of outside art, we are left asking questions and feeling fragile after entering the world of the artist, we are left contemplating our own fragility and vulnerability. It is raw, honest and possibly the most real art there is.
Sculptures at the Owl House 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Memories of a creative childhood

What is the weirdest thing you have ever created?

Hands down I would have to say the wedding dress I knitted for my Barbie Doll when I was 11 years old – on toothpicks.  I figured if I was going to make it believable it had to be done with Barbie Doll sized knitting needles.  It took forever – most of my summer holiday – but eventually it was ready. I even knitted a bridesmaids dress (it was the late 70’s so knitted wedding dresses were completely acceptable).

This is what I love about being a creative – even 35 years later I remember this project – the detail, sitting still working on the dresses, the thoughts I had – the planning and the elation when the project was finished.  It reminds me of the strange little girl I was and how I didn’t really like her, but now I see her differently.  She was determined, resolute, funny and quirky – she just needed to believe in herself, because she could do anything she put her mind to – even knit a dress on toothpicks!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

I am a triangle

Me -  as a triangle
During 2012 I began to see myself as a triangle. No, I haven’t developed some sort of strange psychopathology – rather the triangle has helped me understand myself better.

My triangle looks like this:
Each element – needs practice!

These are the things that feel like my purpose, things that I love doing; things that help me understand the world I live in. This is how I express myself and understand who I am. Tying it all together in the middle of the triangle is the creative energy, which is vital for each of the three elements at the points of the triangle. When I start to wonder what it is all about, or how I fit into this crazy world, I go back to this diagram and contemplate for a while and things seem to make more sense.
When I was thinking about sharing this  – I went back to my journal played around with some more triangles and realised that I have another one, a bigger one – that looks like this and fits in with the one above.

I maybe more shapes – who knows – but for now I am a triangle. 
 What shape are you?

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2013 - Practice

My word for 2012 was 'fitting' - I knew that there was a lot to do in 2012 and my challenge was going to be to fit it all in.  Towards the second half of the year I began to feel the stress of trying to fit everything in and still try and remain true to my desire to be a creative.  Well, on reflection I think that somehow I have managed to fit everything in, it wasn't easy but here I am at the start of 2013 wiser and perhaps a little more realistic - ready for the adventures that 2013 hold.

My word for 2013 is practice. With the craziness of 2012 behind me I realise that I need to spend more time practicing art, practicing drawing, practicing healthy living - finding a practice that centres my day, that focuses my mind and brings me into a place of simple living.  I'm not sure what the practices will be but I have a feeling that this is what is needed in my life this year. 

I suppose I will find a way to 'fit' in the practices that I need to make this year wonderful and full of adventure and discovery.  I have a feeling this is going to be a great year!