Entries in painting (24)


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





art fair

Sales, networking, confidence building, fun - this was my first art fair experience on Saturday :-)

I did sell some prints and some cards and I would have liked to have been a bit busier, of course. It wasn't a massive success financially.  It wasn't a monetary success for any stallholder, I imagine, because it was the first one of this kind at this venue and the locals need to get used to us!! 

But my stepping out there was about so much more than taking money...

This was the first time I have had these paintings on display.  I have little confidence in my work and I needed to see it outside of my tiny conservatory/studio. From this point of view, the art fair was extremely useful. I had great feedback from fellow exhibitors and, more importantly, I know it looked good. I now know my art can be on show; and in my heart I know that it will look 100 tines better on a nice gallery wall rather than on trestle tables in a marquee. This is a massive, HUGE step for me. Me, Rachel Ellen Andrews...

A real bonus this kind of event has going for it is networking. I met some really nice people and made some important contacts.  People also picked up my business cards and leaflets about my workshops. I know from experience of doing Mind, Body & Spirit fairs that sometimes these little cards and leaflets languish in bags and pockets for maybe months until one day you get a phone call or an enquiry through the website.  So patience is key here.

And, when you're not selling, networking or realising that actually your work looks more than ok, you can drink coffee and people watch - which is always fun, anywhere!

So, friends, if you're hesitating about taking part in an art fair, go for it.  You'll make some sales (you will), you'll make some friends, and you'll boost your confidence.  You'll also have a great day out - what more could you want?

If you have experience of art fairs or not - please leave a note in the comments - I'd love to hear from you.

From my heart to yours

Rachel xox 

Art Fair


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





create art - create happiness 

Create art...create happiness it's my tagline right?

But I haven't ever written about why it's my tagline. So here's the story, morning glory...

The words popped up from Source on one of my very first journal pages over two years ago back in 2011.

I started art journalling when the whispers from my creative self became shouts that were just too loud to ignore. I had shut her away for so long... it's almost painful to remember that now. I originally trained in Fine Art back in the 70's; I graduated in 1980! I left uni just wanting to paint, paint, paint. For a few years I did just that; I supported myself with part time jobs waitressing and typing. But the black crow of my depression descended just before my 30th birthday and my muse left me. I felt dried up and with nothing left to paint.

Instead my creativity went into my family; a complicated tale and maybe one day I will be able to tell the full story but for now it's enough to know that I had two beautiful sons. I re-trained as a holistic therapist and lots of major life events occurred - but still no painting.

It was always at the back of my mind to be creating but I told myself I didn't have time, or that I had no space to do it in and all those other kinds of things we tell ourselves.......

Then about three years ago, something happened inside, not just one thing - it wasn't a bolt out of the blue mind blowing 'do it now' experience. Just over the days and weeks the whispers got louder and I had to listen. I read the Artist's Way by Julia Cameron and started writing morning pages and giving myself art dates. At her suggestion, I gave myself £5 and took my muse to buy kiddy art supplies. I cut up magazines and made collages from inspiring words and images. I started an art journal.

I don't even know how I found out about art journalling!! I do know that I looked on YouTube at videos and thought 'I can do that'. I was inspired by the dual role it played - accessing my creativity and self discovery. And, very mportantly at that time, I could do it in a way that was just for me. My art journal is for me and no one else need see it unless I choose to show them. I was amazed about what was actually inside of me that wanted to come out - I don't know why I was amazed - my creative self had been locked away for over 20 years!! I blogged about the joy that emerged here.

And I discovered that art journalling also had another role for me - manifestation. Right from the start, I used positive words and affirmations, creating my world for myself through the pages. My first ever page was this:

The words are a quote from Kelly Rae Robert's book 'Flying Lessons'; they made such sense to me. It was a truth and if I made a page about it, then I would be able to fly. I made pages about 'making time for making art', 'letting the sunshine in', 'being good to myself' and 'my true state of being'. (I've loaded a few to the gallery.) By putting these pages and words out there, I was letting the Universe know what I needed.

So, when I came to set up my website and blog, one year ago, and was searching around for a tag line - there it was - under my nose all the time 'Create Art - Create Happiness'

This is what art has done for me - making time for creativity and my creative self has brought such happiness back into my life. And this is what I want my art to do for others; my workshops aim to put people back in touch with their own creative selves and I hope that my work brings some happiness into the lives of those people it touches.

Which brings me neatly to the Blog Birthday Prize draw!! I hope that these little pieces of artwork will bring some light into the lucky winners, who are:

Giveaway 1 (Blue Goddess painting): Kate Cowin

Giveaway 2 (Here Come the Girls print): Margaret Abraham

Giveaway 3 (set of Earth Tribes greetings cards): Anna Tapp

Congratulations ladies!! I will get those off to you in the next couple of days.

Also a big, big, HUGE mega thank you to all those who shared on Facebook, Twitter etc and welcome to you new newsletter readers!!

See you soon

From my oh so grateful heart to yours

Love and light

Rachel xox