Entries in creative process (23)


dancing with the gremlins

Oh dearest ones - I've got something big coming up, something huge (for me), something I can't share with you yet. But what I will share is my crisis of confidence. It's a while since this happened quite this badly, but apparently it seems the bigger the challenge, the bigger the crisis. Have you found this to be so?

The gremlins are HUGE, the critic's voice so LOUD...what to do in order to step out of the paralysing fear they induce?

My favoured method to deal with the gremlins (or critics or whatever you want to call them) is the good old art journal. How did I get through my life crises before I knew art journaling?!!

There are lots of ways to do this but I like to start with a coloured paint surface and then, using a nice glittery pen, write a letter to my gremlins telling them exactly what I think of them. How dare they treat me like this? Calling me small and telling me not to get too excited, not to mention questioning my very existence!

Once I've done journaling and my gremlins have left the building I invite my goddesses in and let the page become their own.

How do you deal with your gremlins? What do you do when your critic starts whispering in you ear?

I would love to know because I might use your method next time!  Please do leave me a message below.

From my (now) positive heart to yours

Rachel xox

ps If you liked this post, don't forget to share, just click on 'share this article' to find the usual icons...



pattern love

So, who has signed up for SEWN? (Did you see what I did there?)  

This is a delightful class about creating pattern and sewn paper products from Mary Ann Moss at Dispatch From La

When I saw the #sewnclass hash tags all over Instagram from Sandra Kaye (@sandielovestoart on IG or sandrakayedesigns.blogspot.com) and Cat (@sea_story on IG or seaskystone.blogspot.com) I thought ooh, this looks different.  But is it me?  I'm a painter right? Do I want to make patterns? Shouldn't I be painting?  

But the thing is I haven't been painting for about a month now :-(   I'm not sure what's going on but my energy is very low so I had been thinking I needed something light and playful but with a bit of direction; something that would take me out of myself.  

I hummed and hawed about SEWN for a couple of days but mainly due to encouragement from Sandie and Cat (and seeing all the gorgeous work appearing from other lovely peeps on IG) I decided to go for it. And I'm so glad I did!

Who knew pattern making would be so addictive?

It's not so difficult to work out really.  I love making mandalas, and they are patterns of a particular kind.

My own paintings are full of pattern - albeit irregular pattern

I love to wear pattern

And my most favourite painter of all time is Matisse, master pattern painter of them all

Purple Robe and Anemones (Baltimore Museum of Art)

So I'm having a good time, hooked on painting patterns and now I'm making products with the pattern papers - this sewn paper book cover is my first project.  I've never sewn paper before; it produces such a beautiful textured product - I'm loving it. 

And I think, some weeks down the line, this is all going to feed back into my painting practice.  After all, my favourite contemporary painter, Flora Bowley, is currently queen of pattern.  So, maybe it's not all about a bit of doodling with paint and sewing.  Yes, it's great therapy and the repetitive nature of creating the patterned papers is very soothing but I think in the long run it's going to be more than that. I'm experiencing new ways and rediscovering old ways of making marks with the paint and also choosing different colours to my normal palette.  Somehow and sometime it will all work its way into my creative process. So stay tuned...

How are you spending your summer?  Are you painting like crazy or taking it a bit easy like me?  Have you signed up for SEWN and are you hooked too?  

I'd love to hear from you so leave me a comment below.  And I would love you to share this post if you've enjoyed it, just click 'share article' to bring up the usual options.

From my criss/crossy/sewn/patchwork heart to yours

Rachel xox





stepping out

Today I'm stepping out with my paintings, prints and cards for my first art fair.

This week, we've been knee deep in paintings...

There have been prints printed and cards carefully packaged...

And stress levels have been oh so high... it's partly to do with getting products ready to sell, but mostly it's about showing up and being out there with my work on display.

The last time I exhibited work was in 1986 (OMG). In truth, I'm petrified.

Not an extrovert, I have to force myself to do this; it doesn't come naturally to me. the critic's voice is loud in my ear 'who do you think you are?', 'what do you think you're doing?', nobody's going to like the work' yada yada yada - you all know the type of stuff... So I have been doing my positive affirmations and drowning out the critic with: 'I'm me, I'm great, I'm doing my thing and yes, I already know lots of people like my work' plus lots of visualising of packing up paintings and putting prints and cards in bags. Yay!!

I feel very much like the Fool in the tarot card of the same name - stepping off the cliff out into a new adventure, not knowing what's out there but knowing that it's time to take that step into the unknown. I have to face my fears of being exposed and vulnerable, of putting my paintings (and ultimately myself) on show.

Wish me luck!!

From my heart to yours

Rachel xox


unfolding (writing my artists statement)

How many of you have written an artist's statement?

That has been my task this morning - I'm applying to show some work in an open exhibition and need to have some words down on paper.  

This is not my idea of fun and although I write this blog, writing some formal words about myself and my process does not come naturally to me.

Feeling totally uninspired to do anything at all, I decided to go for the right brain approach and got out my Neocolors and some paper - wow, what a difference!! 

Would you be brave enough to submit something like this as your statement?  

Despite encouragement from IG and FB friends, that I could send this off :-) I think I still need a straight down the line written version.  Up to now, it's probably a little short, but I've at least made a start which means I will finish it.  And so, friends, here it is.  The Neocolours definitely helped me write it:

Art is my connection to Source.

I believe that when you step into your creativity, you step into your most authentic self.

I paint intuitively with no set intention at the start of a piece.  I let the painting unfold - the work is a dialogue between myself and the paint.

The process starts with layers of colour; the organic shapes and goddess archetypes emerging.  I like to leave some of the layers peeking through; life is multi-layered and so are we.  Very often I feel that the Goddess guides my hand and chooses the colours and motifs.  This is when the painting process is at its most joyful for me and the paint flows easily. 

My paintings are about the joy I feel when I make that connection, the joy I have in my life and the celebration of that joy. 

I would love to know what you think.

Have you had to write an artist's statement?  What was your process?  Did you find it difficult?  Easy? Please share with me in the comments below...

From my heart to yours

Rachel xox





Mandala workshop news

You all know I love Mandalas - they're in my Gallery and on the blog - I use them frequently for healing myself through art and also for meditation.  They are a salve for my soul.

I've been planning a Mandala workshop for a while now and YAY! I have now set a date for the 23rd June (a full moon).  Details are on the workshop page.

So... why come and make mandalas with me?

Mandalas are special.  Making them takes you to a different place - somewhere to meditate or dream, somewhere to be yourself, to forget worries, somewhere to grow or be healed.  Mandalas can be whatever you want them to be.  I just know how magical they are.

On this workshop we will meditate and connect with our creative selves.  We will spend some time in a quiet space feeling into our mandala experience and then start the magic bit, the making!!

just click for a larger pic

We will try several different methods using different art materials so you can try out what feels best for you.  You don't have to be arty, no experience is necessary, which is another wonderful thing about mandalas, anyone can make them...

Most importantly, it will be fun - a day for you - a day to connect with yourself and your feelings, your hopes and aspirations, your desires and your dreams.  Come and make mandalas with me!!  

Sign up here I would so love for you to join me.

Love to you all, from my heart to yours

Rachel xox