January 2018 x2 paintings

I work full time, enjoy going to the gym a few times a week, like to spend time with my boyfriend, like to spend time by myself, enjoy practicing yoga, enjoy painting, reading, meeting new people, bettering myself and my lifestyle, have a business I’ve recently set up in my spare time, plus loads more bits and pieces fill my life.

The hard part is fitting it all in, prioritising what is best for me vs my relationship vs my professional development vs my passion vs my health…

I’ve had a rocky couple of years with dissatisfaction at my previous job, lacking a sense of purpose, lacking direction, feeling caught up on the merry go round of life and sometimes not knowing if I wanted to be on that particular ride or if I’d prefer to stand at the edge and mind the bags.

Anyhoo, fast forward to 2017 when I worked really hard at recognising the areas I wasn’t happy with and putting a plan in place to do something about it.

Fast forward again to present day, and every day is so busy and full and a real balancing act to fit everything in but also a great lesson in time management and prioritising (2 things I’ve always been very good at, thankfully!). I feel a huge amount of satisfaction and personal uplift from so many different things (I think I must be one of the easiest people to buy for) and I’ve realised that if I only commit to doing a little bit of this and a little bit of that, but regularly, then I can maintain that sense of well-being and reap the rewards in day to day life.

Put simply, one of my many goals for this year is to complete 2 paintings a month. Yes I could do, and would like to do, a lot more. But I’m realistic enough to know that it will be at the mercy of something else. If I happen to do more than 2 a month, fantastic. If I only do 1… ok it wouldn’t be the end of the world and it is a goal I’ve set for myself and nobody else, but I would be disappointed because I know how much I benefit mentally and spiritually from painting; I can ride on the high for days on end.

So there we go, that’s one of my goals, and I’m pleased to say I had a 100% success rate in January and I’m on track for the same in February!

Here are my two January pieces…I’d love to hear what you think

I’m really pleased with how the first one turned out. I had no idea how it would evolve or how it would end but simply carried on until I felt an inner peace when I stepped back to look at it.

I had every intention of layering this one up. I recycled an old canvas which I’d started to paint a field of poppies on but never finished. I’d made hardly any marks on it though and suddenly felt like ‘it was there’. So I stopped! (Which is often the hardest thing to do!)

Watch out for my next update on February’s paintings to see if I manage to do the two or even more!

Just a quickie

My weekend:

Relaxed;

Indulgent;

Inspired;

Creative;

Green;

Irish;

Ate too much (I mean really, who puts a full tub of roses in their guest bedroom?!);

Didn’t exercise enough;

Spent quality time with people/dogs I love.

Last week was a crazy-busy week for me. I needed a couple of days (weeks/months would be good too) to switch off and get back to basics again.

Recharged and gathered thoughts, ready for coming home and getting lots done.

I had a lot of thoughts and ideas for a variety of projects – arty and non-arty – and I’m looking forward to getting on with them. I only wish I had more time to dedicate to them all!

I’ve had a few people contact me for commissions over the last couple of weeks, which has been nice. I’m very short of time since I’m completely overflowing with ideas and inspiration at the moment, but I feel like I’d like to paint a couple of commissions this year.

Whilst waiting in the airport, my boyfriend and I partook in a round of Pass the pen(cil) to pass the time 🙂 :

In summary, life at the moment is a blur and a complete hive of activity. I’m enjoying it though and it has all (so far) been very rewarding. What a first month! 2018 is set to be a big one, I can feel it 😬

Early morning musings

I’m full of ideas again (still?). Tiring myself out with it all (but in a good way, surely?) and at the same time can’t sleep because there’s so much to do!

(Well, truth be told, I went to bed at 7pm because I was so worn out and have woken up at 4.30am – much to Maggie’s annoyance. I suppose I’ve had enough sleep really. Not the lie in I was aiming for though… )

Anyway, here I am in the middle of the night, propped up on Big Ted, thinking arty thoughts.

To frame or not to frame? (Probable future blog post title)

How do I want my website to look?

When do I include a ‘shop’ section?

Ring the framers at 11am.

What is my end goal?

What is my current goal?

Don’t forget to plan an exhibition.

Am I creating content I want to create or am I creating what I think other people want to see?

Am I doing both? It’s early days yet so probably difficult to tell at the moment.

I want (need, really, if I’m going to maintain my own level of interest) to stay true to myself and my ideas. I’m not a world famous artist (yet!), I’m learning the ropes with regards to websites, blogs, marketing etc, I’m fitting this in around a full time job plus other general life commitments.

I don’t know what people want to see. Maybe they don’t want to see anything! The plan is to create content that I enjoy and am happy/proud to put my name to. Law of averages means someone else out there in the Big Wide World will enjoy it too.

I intend to continue on my little self-initiated journey, doing what feels good and what feels right; documenting it as I go. There’s really not much more to it. The whole reason behind the name ‘art and sensibility’ is I really tap into all of my senses and that’s where I draw (excuse the pun) my inspiration from.

Ooh, speaking of authenticity, I must create some certificates to go with my artwork. *adds to mental to-do list*

Right, now I’ve rambled on and got that out of my head, I wonder if I can get back to sleep for a bit…

When you know, you know

When people see my abstract paintings, one of the common questions they ask is ‘how do you know what you’re going to do?’, and all I can say is ‘I don’t!’

I look at other paintings, pieces of art, the world around me in general, and I am always seeing compositions or juxtapositions that ‘work’ in my mind. Sometimes I’ll take a screenshot or a photo of it thinking I can refer back to it as a source of inspiration when I do my next painting, but invariably I never do. I wonder if the shapes and images I admire do leave an impression in my mind though and subconsciously I might draw on them (excuse the pun) for ideas… I can understand if somebody viewing my finished paintings might find it difficult to comprehend how I even know where to start: what colours to use, what random shapes or marks to make, when to declare it ‘finished’. IMG_6342


All I can say is, for me, it’s like a sixth sense. I’m embracing my intuition in all manner of ways across all aspects of my life – but particularly in my art this year. I can literally be sat in front of a blank canvas with no idea in my head of what I want to see on it. I’m enjoying the trial and error, because it goes hand in hand with a journey of discovery, and THAT is what I really enjoy.

I’ve gone from being a life-long perfectionist in practically everything I dare put my name to, to pushing myself beyond my comfort zones and realising that THAT’S where the real perfection is! It is the most liberating process, and one that spills over into the rest of my life, allowing me to enjoy the invariable ups and downs that come my way, because I have faith in my intuition. If I’m working on a piece of art and think it’s looking a bit messy or I’ve perhaps ‘lost’ the good parts that had appeared, I trust the process and keep going. It might be that it’s gone too far to bring back and I’ll be as well to paint over it and ‘start again’, but that in itself is fine because the history of the previous layers are what will end up making the finished piece a success.

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As for colours – I look in my tub of paints and choose the one(s) that stand out to me at that particular time.

Shapes and lines – I can scribble randomly, use my dominant or non-dominant hand, shut my eyes, turn the page or canvas round at random intervals before continuing.

If I see a part that I like, I might pay a bit more attention to it to emphasise it with colours or texture.

I love the layers. I love to look at a picture time and time again and see something new each time. If I have a part of the painting that I really like and don’t want to lose to more layers, I might cover it in a translucent texture medium to ‘preserve’ it a little whilst still being able to build up the rest of the piece around it.IMG_6351


And finally (although I could go on and on), to reach the elusive finish line, I need to look at the painting and ‘feel’ that it is balanced. Once it is balanced, to me, it is finished. I don’t mean balanced in terms of the use of symmetry; it is probably the hardest thing for me to explain actually. Perhaps this is my seventh sense?!

Once I feel (and it is almost a tangible feeling, as opposed to a thought) that the composition as a whole is balanced, (whether that is busy space vs empty space, curves vs geometric lines, colours, textures, really anything and everything), then I feel happy to step back and move on to a new one.

Occasionally I leave it for a while, not fully confident that I’m happy with it. I might go back and work on it a bit more at a later date with fresh eyes, and sometimes it can completely change or other times it can be a small addition of a few smudges or lines here and there.IMG_6354


I’m starting to post more images of the works in progress as I find the various stages of a painting as interesting and enjoyable (if not more so) than the final piece.

Reading back through this post, I think it sounds suitably vague and therefore accurately describes my thought processes through the evolution of my work!

 

Is there such a thing

as too many ideas?!

I have an absurd number of ideas coming to me at the moment, spanning pretty much every aspect of my life. Ideas around tasks I’m involved with at work; ideas around my fitness, and working to bring my training back up to where it was; ideas of ‘secret work’ (https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/the-accidental-creative/id93424211?mt=2&i=1000395029220) that I want to open myself up to. Hands down, the most exciting ideas of them all are the ones relating to my art. I’m buzzing with motivation and enthusiasm! My ideas are literally going between me and my sleep, and when they’re not, I’m dreaming about them. I wake up full of visions from my dreams but have to shelve them while I go to work. Funnily enough, I think one of the biggest repercussions so far from all this excitement is a big lesson in patience and self control 😫 “my job is my patron!” (Repeat as required).

I want to empty my head of all the visions and feelings and curiosities that are filling it. Not so I can be free of it – not at all – but so I can embrace it and explore the new directions it may lead me in. To be all-consumed by something that sets your senses on fire: I’d say it’s definitely a blessing and a curse. I wouldn’t want to be without it though! The excitement at what my future holds outweighs all the frustrations I might feel along the way. I can’t wait to see what comes next!