I’ve been invited to participate in this Around the World Blog Hop by Michele Cooper from the Pacific NW of USA. Michele sketches, teaches and writes on her blog Michele's NW Studio. We met by accident one day on Instagram when she hashtagged one of her sketches #coffeeosophy. It was a sketch of a cow cafe cart which was so funny we ended up having a lovely chat and now here she is inviting me to participate in this blog hop. That’s why I love social media!
This blog hop is described as being "quite simple: answer a few questions and invite up to three more people to join in. Each publishes on their blog the following Monday after being nominated." Blog hops and talking about one's art are never simple, at least not for me. Although it's a challenge I love as it calls me to focus and define in as few words as possible, what it is that I do. Before I go on, I must thank you for visiting, I hope you enjoy what you read.
What am I working on?
Currently it’s Summer here in Australia so I am working on my 1000 words for Summer project. Now in it's the sixth year, from 12/12th to 26th Jan, I let Summer be my muse. It has been a wonderful way to creative a variety of works in numerous media under one theme. It’s also been the vehicle for meeting many people and learning lots about creating online as each year I’ve incorporated a different social media into the project. I’ve also run classes for families and children and interactions online. Last year I spent the summer sketching in ink line, this year I’ve written visual stories and played with coloured pencil. Other years, it’s been more about photography, words, painting, pastel or film. It's been a lovely thing to do and you can find out more about it on the project blog.
I am also working on a series I’ve called coffeeosophy which literally appeared in the months after my mother and mother-in-law's passing. They are are essentially daily mediations about life and love found in the sketches of coffee cups.
I have several other projects on the go, some of which you can read about here.
How does my work differ from other’s of it’s genre?
If I am honest I am still working out “my style”, what makes my work unique. As I haven’t limited myself to one medium or subject matter this may take some time, but essentially I like to capture the sense of life as it happens and distill it to it’s essence. I find great joy in creating my art and I hope that others find it enjoyable to view.
I guess its a combination of being trained in Landscape Architecture and Tourism, living in a different country as a child and being quite a philosophical, poetic person. I am quite spontaneous, enthusiastic and very sensitive to the both the outer world and the inner emotional landscape.
Using a variety of mediums in my artwork and sketchbooks as well as having a variety of projects on the go allows me to remain fluid and even though I have a structured program throughout the year, what I work on each day does depends on how I feel. Art for me is an expressive act. Throughout significant life experiences I have found solace in my art. It’s the one constant and my most loyal companion. I cannot imagine life without it.
How does my writing/creative process work?
As a passionate creative, I have found Projects to be a most useful way to create. By adding artworks on a regular basis the sum of the whole becomes greater than it’s parts. Projects allow me to focus on the individual piece that I am working on that day, to be in the moment, whilst consciously creating a body of work.
I work intuitively and allow the work to tell me where it wants to go. In doing so, a calendar of events has evolved based on the seasons of the year and the phases of the sun and the moon. From 1000 words in Summer, to Heart to Home, Winter Dreaming, Spring Flowers, the Solstices and Equinox and Full Moon Intuitive Drawing, I can constantly be working on more than one body of work at a time. I also have projects based on stories and film and the more creative I am, the more poetry I write.
It’s a little like having lots of children or blooms on a tree. One can be about to bloom whilst another can be just emerging. I used to think them up, but now the contents seem to create their own containers. I love how they find me and how having an underlying structure has allowed me to build a diverse creative life.
Whilst this seems super organised, I must also stress the invaluable art of Dreaming, of doing nothing, or the art of Wu Wei, that I have lived by since high school. I am a plate spinner, a valley wanderer and although I admire those who reach the mountain tops, whilst they are walking back down, I seem to have arrived at the next valley. It's a funny thing, how we work, but it's one of the most useful things to know. It's as important as any tool or technique, for we are all vessels in which creativity dwells.
There never seems enough time or space in this world to do all that I would love to do, so now in my 50th year, I have also begun to participate with others in Collaborations. My most successful ones have been online, in small secret groups on facebook with others I have met through ecourses. Online studio exchanges with other artists or like minded creatives. I have been incredibly lucky to have met some wonderfully inspiring and creative people this way and one of them is the next person on this blog hop.
Sandy Mair and I met in Kelly Rae Robert's Flying Lessons and since then we have done writing, illustration and other creative ecourses and joined in other groups online. We now skype regularly and share much of our working life. Last year we were lucky enough to do a poetry collaboration on Instagram called To Define Beauty. Sandy is a wonderful creative mentor/buddy who shares a need not to specialise. She also loves sketching, illustrating, textiles, photography and form and last year a little character appeared in her life, but I'll let her you all about him, please pop over to her blog Sandy Mair Art on Monday 19th Jan, 2015.
Working alone, having creative soul mates online, being connected but having enough space to develop your own unique style, is something that motivates me to make more and more art. Thank you for popping by, I hope you have enjoyed being here.