Thursday, 17 April 2014

Where it all started....

Hi guys,
firstly apologies for anyone that missed TAT this week, due to unforeseen circumstances I wasn't able to post it, and as now it's Thursday I thought I'd leave it to next week and do another post now to make up.

I want to share the place that was my first ever studio...well technically my little plastic red baby table and chair set that my mum brought me for my fourth birthday (that had a lid that lifted up so I could store my goodies inside and everything - man I loved that thing!) would probably be classed as my very first, but you know my first in adult life. I found these photos recently on a scrapbooking site which was the only place I ever posted anything when I started getting arty again - as at the time there was not so many great places out there to find art journaling as easily as there are now & scrapbooking was pretty much the only thing I thought existed that resembled what I was doing... till I learnt better and after a while got the courage to become the person that now posts as Jennibellie. 

(Apologies for the awful pictures they are all I have, phone pics from many years ago - if you think phone cameras are bad now you are forgetting where we started!!)


It was just a section of my bedroom - that black thing in the bottom right is my bed. My studio consisted of this section of wall, with the converted computer armoire


and the bookcase, and initially a dining room table that was in my room (usually with all 4 of the accompanying dining chairs), but after a while I prefered the free space on the floor where I could stretch out. 

It's hardly an awesome studio but I look back on it so so so so so fondly, and so thankfully. This is where it ALL started, my entire creative resurrection I guess. The YES that I said to myself - and I said it before I meant to say anything. You see I have to be thank you for every little thing that happened during that time - much of it not good at all - but all still happened so perfectly for me to rediscover my creativity (I can look back on it now and see that I was kinda being dragged...but in a nice way, sometimes lol). For instance me inexplicably picking this room in the first place, when it was large but ate nearly all my pay when bills were taken too. There was not a shortage of places to rent, there were even two available in the very same flat - the other one smaller but would leave me money at the end of the month to you know...live.. Not knowing if I was choosing wisely (in fact thinking I was doing the exact opposite) I went for the large space. I connected with it and my instinct just told me I was supposed to & as a response it allowed me room to develop in ways I could not have foreseen at the time.  I will leave you with a pic taken of another wall of my room the first night I moved in:


Note all the journals lined up in pride of place on the table & my journal trunks underneath, given a home before anything else had a place (see all the beauty bits/electricals just dumped in a pile on the right - the stuff that was actually used haha) the art had not even begun yet, it's like the journals knew what was coming....


Start where you are. 
Use what you have.
Do what you can.
Arthur Ashe

Friday, 11 April 2014

Messy Monochrome: Art Journal Page Process Video

Hi guys


At the beginning of the month I shared a video in the new Monthly Challenge Group I have set up on Journal Workshops, which is what is says on the tin: once a month we have a new prompt to create a piece (or pieces) of art based upon the given challenge. It has been an *awesome* group so far - really, really incredible. 

Soooooo many people have created art based upon this prompt of Messy Monochrome, it's truly inspiring. So I thought I would publish this first video further a far so others can see if they wish to join in with the group fun. I won't be making challenge videos every single month but I won't necessarily publish any videos I do create outside of the group either, so with that & all of the other great reasons - like all the wonderful community encouragement, inspiring art to drool over and the vast difference everyone's take on the same prompt can be - it seems silly not to join ;)

Enjoy the video
Come sign up here



Much love

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Site Tutorial for Journal Workshops


Hello gorgeously beautiful creative people,
I just wanted to do a quick post to let anyone who may previously have been scared to join (or use, once they have joined) my new ning site Journal Workshops that I have created a video tutorial page on there to show how easy it is to use all the fab functions and thingie-ma-bobs available to you....honestly if I can use this site I promise there is nothing to be frightened of!!! lol

If you are already a member you can see the tutorial page here, or by clicking the 'Site Tutorial' button (very visible in the top right hand corner).

So if you haven't already please come over and join us on this site, lots of stuff is happening and is planned for making it a fab place for art, journaling and creativity =)

Bye for now
Much love

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Tell All Tuesday ~ Featured Artist: Debs Mitchell

Hello lovelies,
 I cannot believe it's Tuesday again, seriously I cannot believe it!
This year I just cannot get a grip on, at all. I have plans for blogposts, lots of them, but as you can see lately all I've been posting is artist interviews because...I just cannot get a grip on this year. It's going so quick! but least I am still remembering to turn up here as I watch the weeks whizzing past me, giving a solitary wave as they go lol I will make a conscious effort to post more on here this month, till then though here's this weeks Tell All Tuesday.

Tell us a little bit about yourself & what kind of artist you are. 
I am Debs..... I am the wrong side of 40 and fighting it every step of the way! I am lucky enough to be a housewife, so I can more or less please myself each day in between the school runs ... which means I get to play with paint and pencils! I describe myself as an Enthusiastic Experimenter when it comes to my art..... no rules are safe from being broken... I am very much into Mixed Media and altering... and I love to try out stuff... no matter how bizarre, as you never really know what the outcome will be...... Only last week I discovered a WOW.... I had spray inked and watered a canvas (which I love doing as you never know which way the water will travel when applied to the upright canvas) then gone over areas in heavy black marker, which I knew worked... but hated the finished piece... so I painted over the black with silver acrylic...... did you know that activates the ink again and you get discs of metallic colour shine through? It was a WOW moment... stunning effect, sadly not the one I was after, but I have filed it for future use! I am also Positively Passionate about Pencils..... have a...few.... Ok 550 odd.... and all Derwent... Love them to bits!


What is the biggest challenge you personally face as an artist and how do you overcome it? 
My biggest challenge is to accept what I do and that is is OK and accept other people like it! I was told at school many years ago I was useless at art... and they refused to let me on the CSE course (remember them for people not smart enough to do an O level! LOL) So I had to drop it... and with it my confidence dropped. I only picked up a paint brush around two years ago... all that time wasted! I have now after a very stern personal talking to, and with the help of my wonderful friends, accepted that my art is actually great! It is not fine art, or detailed landscapes, or even reality sometimes, but it is My Art... and I am Unique, my art is unique and I am proud of it....... Being brave enough to enter an exhibition with my art group helped too..as that was strangers commenting on my work.... Yayyy Me! The biggest confidence boost though,
was a sale! :-) 


Do you think you have achieved a uniquely recognisable style as an artist, or do you find it a struggle to find your own style?
This is a very good question......Finding your own style is a very difficult thing to do as there is so much adorable and envyable influence out there! Over the last year and a half... I have taken courses by the fabulous Effy Wild... and I am very much drawn to her style of face..... I am also a YouTube fanatic for inspiration.. and it is easy to fall into the trap of copying (as is totally acceptable in a class where you are learning) It has been very hard to try to pull away and make the differences needed to be unique...... I am slowly getting there with my faces... but I still have a way to go before I stop calling them Effy-esque!


What advice would you offer to any perspective new artist? 
Go For It! Seriously.. pick up the brush, pencil, marker whatever and Do It! As I said above it is easy to be lead, and it is just as easy to compare.... I think the hardest bit is being able to put your work out there to show others..... once you have overcome that hurdle.. and read the fabulous comments... you are on a wonderful emotional high..... Go on.. paint something.. draw something... join a group (Facebook have some fabulous ones for starting out) show people and let the praise wash over you! Go on.. double dare you with a cherry on top! If you are really nervous .. look for the Mixed Media Chicken Coop on FB.... it is a group for beginners and those who lack confidence... shout and I will open the door... no negativity allowed... and lots and lots of encouragement and help! maybe see you there! 


Tell us where can we find out more about you & your art?
If you want to come looking for me, and see more of my art... I am on Facebook daily (I blame Candy Crush!) I have a page there for my art or you can follow my blog.

Thank you so much for sharing your art and outlook for us Debs, after reading your interview Enthusiastic is definitely the word that I feel is oozing out of your words. It's really nice as it reminds me of the enthusiasm I had when I first re-discovered art, which I've talked about plenty of times of here before, and now kinda want back a little...I'm internally laughing at the irony that most of us can't wait for that time to come when we are more skilled and I'm sat here reminiscing about the times I first picked up a paintbrush again and learnt about the simple joy of discovering. But the wonderful thing about art is that, the joy of discovery and learning, is always available but as Debs mentioned in the very beginning with silver acrylic discovery, sometimes it just might not come to you exactly as originally expected.

Want to be a TATer??
Email me or click the link to find all the details here =)

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Tell All Tuesday ~ Featured Artist: June Walker

Hello beautifuls, I can't believe TAT has come around so quickly again, even though it seems to be all I am doing on here, but that is because I have been so busy on Journal Workshops. On which I have just opened up a new Monthly Art Journal Challenge Group which is turning out to be super fun, so if you want some more inspiration after reading this head over there =) for now though we have a lovely interview and art my artist June Walker, enjoy =)

Tell us a little bit about yourself & what kind of artist you are.
My name is June Walker and I am interested in colour, animals and people.


What is the biggest challenge you personally face as an artist and how do you overcome it?
My biggest challenge initially was to figure out how to awaken my imagination. I wanted to paint imaginary scenes probably because I liked the work of artists like Chagall and William Blake and I wanted to find out if I had an artistic imagination of my own and what it might contain. I attempted to expand my imagination by trying out some surrealist methods, such as automatic drawing or scribbling, looking for images in random colour shapes, and non-dominant hand drawing. These methods worked pretty well for me as I feel my imagination is freeing up and I am beginning to draw more interesting and personal imagery.


Do you think you have achieved a uniquely recognisable style as an artist, or do you find it a struggle to find your own style?
I feel I have developed a personal style which is recognizable. I use a colourful palette composed of primaries and secondaries, and I mainly use acrylics. My imagery is fairly idiosyncratic and my style is expressive with short or dumpy human figures and imaginatively coloured animals. I hope my imagery is positive focusing on the interactions between people and some of their favourite things like toys, animals and other people.


What do you most wish your art to achieve?
At the moment, my style is pretty much linked to drawing. I would love to develop a more painterly style where the imagery is realised or found directly in paint instead of coloured after preliminary drawing. I’d also like to paint bigger canvases. I haven’t really launched into this painterly style because I feel rather tied to my original drawing style. I am not sure if this painterly method will suit me but I hope to take the plunge…soon!


Tell us where can we find out more about you & your art?
My Website. My Blog. My Facebook & My Fine Art America Profile.

Thank you for sharing June, I really enjoyed seeing your artwork and I'm sure you'll develop wonderfully in any method you desire. In your 'imagination' answer, you have hit upon something I have been thinking too lately and a challenge I think I want to start doing for myself more - creating completely original paintings in/from my mind, as I so rarely create 'a painting' aka not an art journal page or some instinctive art it is a skill I think I should work on. Thanks so much for a fab interview =)

Do you want to be TATed??
To be featured email me or find all the details here =)

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Tell All Tuesday ~ Featured Artist: Catherine Parkinson

Hi guys it's Tell All Tuesday...actually on Tuesday woohoo!!
This week we have an awesome textile artist & her work is rather mesmerizing, so sit back & enjoy the inspiration =)

Tell us a little bit about yourself & what kind of artist you are.
My name is Catherine Parkinson. I live on just over an acre of land next to a dairy farm on the edge of Te Awamutu, a beautiful area of New Zealand. I live there with my husband and 3 of my 5 children. I am a textile artist and photographer. I paint and use other surface design techniques on fabric and then I heavily quilt onto the surface. I am inspired by patterning and the natural world around me.


What is the biggest challenge you personally face as an artist and how do you overcome it?
Time and health. Having a large family makes my time very limited. I have to structure my time very wisely to be able to get time in my studio. I try to work while the children are at school and in small chunks of time when the children are home. I have had a few health problems over the past few years too. The reason I started quilting was to help me heal from an illness. One of my children has quite a few health issues so I spend quite a bit of time at the doctors with him. I work when I can and I try to plan my time well so each moment is spent the best way it can be.


What do you love most / least enjoyable about your art?
I love the whole design and making process, from the drawing and painting, right through to the quilting. Seeing my art come to life from a thought in my mind is wonderful. I don’t like the finishing off part as my mind is already working on my next piece of work. I also love being able to see the world through the lens of my camera and capturing light effectively and portraying an idea with a camera. I find editing can be a bit time consuming but the effect is worth it.


What do you most wish your art to achieve?
Bring light into other people lives. There is so much negativity in our lives I want to make the world a more positive place. I would also love to have my art financially support our family.


Do you ever lose your mojo, and if so, how do you get it back?
Yup!! To quote finding Nemo ‘just keep swimming’. Basically I just get back into the studio and keep going. I also am learning to accept where I am and what is going on in my life. I get out equipment I love and I play or I pick up an old unfinished project and force myself to finish it and pretty soon my ‘Mojo’ returns.

Tell us where can we find out more about you & your art?
You can follow me at my blog or you can like me on facebook

Thank you so much for sharing Catherine, it was fun to have a textile artist on here I loved seeing your work. The part of your interview that most resonated with me was sooooooo 'I don’t like the finishing off part as my mind is already working on my next piece of work', I was like 'is she using my mouth to speak here?' lol I am SO in that process right now with couple projects....still once they are done YIPPIE I get the freedom of a new project...until that ends up the same way, but we don't see that, not just yet anyway - I see us with our new projects like new mums in a way, and I guess we are actually birthing stuff here, looking at all the lovely good stuff and ignoring the pain till it comes - and usually it too is worth it in the end ;)

Do you want to be a featured TAT artist??
To be featured email me or find all the details here =)

Much love

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Tell All Wednesday ~ Featured Artist: Siobhan Beer

Hello beautifuls,
Okay so I posted a quick post yesterday explaining this week TAT would be TAW due to issues with my email, but hurrah the internet didn't end! (tee hee just a lil inside joke...for me, as I doubt anyone even read the filler post yesterday lol) so here it is the first TAW, although I don't think it technically is if you count the times I've been late...but it's the first officially named TAW so there we are, enjoy =)

Tell us a little bit about yourself & what kind of artist you are.
Well I’m Siobhan, I’m 24 and live in South West England between my two homes, one with my parents and the other with my boyfriend (life can be so topsy turvy!) Together we own a rather large collection of animals which give me so much inspiration and joy. I’m a complete dreamer, an avid creator who uses anything from twigs and leaves to paint and canvas for my art work, I guess I can be described as a mixed media artist most of the time! I’m also a self-confessed animal/nature geek who adores the natural world more than most people can understand. I’ve been creating for as long as I can remember and have always been inspired by the world around me. It’s rare for me to create anything without an animal or something natural in it… even if it’s a twiggy tree in the background. I used to primarily use graphite to work with but about ten years ago I saw the wonders of other media and couldn’t control myself. Since then I’ve worked with anything I can get my paws on. At the moment I seem to be going through a watercolour stage. It’s very difficult for me to go a day without doing something creative, I bake, write, draw, paint, sculpt, journal, scrapbook… I don’t like to be confined to one creative hobby which tends to leave me fighting with time as there are never enough hours in the day. I can normally be found working on my bed with Flynn my gerbil scampering around and trying to add his own unique talent to the world.


What is the biggest challenge you personally face as an artist and how do you overcome it?
My lack of confidence. The biggest challenge I face is letting people see anything I create. The idea of people seeing my work is terrifying for me especially when I’m in the same room to see their expression as they take in my creation. The first time I let my boyfriend see my sketchbook was awful! I was sat there trying to hide the shaking hands by fidgeting nervously and watching in horror as he looked through my ideas and feelings. It’s not that I’ve had bad experiences from people seeing my work, actually it’s usually the opposite but I put so much emotion in to my work it’s quite unnerving for other people to see, I worry that they’ll see something in me that they hadn’t seen before but over the past year through sharing my work I’ve come to the conclusion that what others see isn’t always what I saw when I created it. And if they do see something in me they hadn’t seen before maybe it’s not always going to be a bad thing. I’ve only just started to overcome this challenge and the only way I’ve managed this is by actually showing people my work and not locking all my sketchbooks away in a box somewhere. It’s been really difficult and I’ve had many moments where I just want to hide from the world but it’s done so much good and my confidence has grown so much in a very short time.


Do you ever lose your mojo, and if so, how do you get it back?
All the time. I get in to a state where I just sit staring at a blank piece of paper for hours, biting my lip, pulling funny faces and eating too much chocolate to ease the pain. It’s a horrible state for any creative person to be in and it really does get painful because you desperately want to create but you just can’t for some strange reason. I used to get it a lot more than I do now, I don’t know whether that’s because I’m in a more creative state or whether I’ve learnt to pull myself through it. The best cure for me is to stop forcing it. The more I sit and stare at the paper the more frustrated I feel which just makes things worse. Giving creating a break is so helpful, it not only reboots your creative mind but it also lets you focus on other things. I started going for walks, reading, writing among other things. The break usually gives me a fresh start and I’m able to get working again, usually with a strong creative force behind me and I can’t actually stop!


What advice would you offer to any perspective new artist?
Never expect to be perfect when you first try something out. It’s something we’re all guilty of these days. We try something new and for some reason we expect ourselves to be perfect from the start and be as good as somebody who’s done it for years. I’m guilty of it myself. I tried out watercolours a few months ago and was so disappointed when my first try didn’t look fantastic. Another thing I’ve learnt is that art work goes through something I call an ugly stage. No matter what media you use there is always an early stage where you just want to give up because it’s turning out to be a large blob of something rather than a branch of cherry blossoms. The thing to always remember is that if you keep working through this stage it will come together and look amazing. Believe in yourself.


Tell us where can we find out more about you & your art?
I’m a bit quiet with my work at the moment but the best place to find me right now is my blog. Originally started with the intention of showing work in progress. I can also be found on Twitter where I post many sketches and work I’m currently having fun or struggling with.

Thank you for not letting your biggest challenge of sharing your artwork stop you from sharing it with us Siobhan, I think it's something many of us can attest to when we had over our work to someone close to us, even if we feel the butterflies and do it anyway (and yes, sometimes I still get nervous posting something, especially when I know many people may see it). The only thing I can say for sure that helps dissolve the nervousness is practice, and the more you do the more you will see a change where it'll flip in the balance to be more excitement - and sometimes you'll actually be psyched to show people your stuff, it's awesome when that happens! ....but like anything with art it doesn't always come instantly, or without work =)

Do you want to be featured in an interview here?
Email me or click the link to find all the details here =)

TAT to TAW

Hey guys,
just a quick FYI that though I should be writing a Tell All Tuesday post now due to 'technical difficulties' with my email provider I can't get into my artist folder so TAT will be posted tomorrow (assuming that the technical difficulties are just a hitch and not the start of the end of the internet....it could happen). See you tomorrow =)


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