Layering it out...

I have been researching much for what's going on inside of me, as well as ways I could move forward with my work creatively.  I have been doing lots of free writing about where I'm at in my creative process and where I'm heading with my Body of Works for Gillian's class.

It's taken me a while to establish my theme and now that I've establish my storyline I am searching what that would actually look like that is authentic, vulnerable and real to me.  I have known for sometime I wanted to take my art up a level in seriousness.  I know that sounds silly and I'm not even sure what I mean by that exactly but it's what I wake up searching for and go to bed longing for.  And I think for the first time, I'm starting to have an inkling.  These pieces are evoking something deep inside of me and I'm also enjoying the process.

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Using pieces of my drawings and mapping down and layering out has been a beautiful playground for me and I know I want to go deeper here.  They are working well small and safe in my little journal and I'm looking for ways to go bigger without loosing my way.

What I do know... besides doing my TinyBagsofLove body of works, with a clear objective in mind, I have never intentionally worked towards putting a body of works together with a thought out theme of what's inside of me.  I'm finally settling into the concept.  I've been resisting this new process but I've been learning to surrender and move with it, instead of fight it.  I am excited to see what unfolds.

Counting down, Going, Going, Gone...

We have one week to go before this girl of mine heads to Europe for 6 weeks to ride her bike.  

She won a scholarship to ride in Europe to gain experience.  She will be living in a beautiful house with other young cyclists and they will be riding the beautiful roads of Europe together and be learning in abundance. Her University cycling team are financially supporting her too as she will be riding in her varsity colors.  My folks dairy is also helping fund her as she will be an ambassador for their Milk Gives you Go campaign when she gets back.  She is also being sponsored her hydration product while she rides.  I love that we started receiving calls of love and support for this incredible opportunity.

Thank you to all who have showed up for her and these incredible young riders.  Getting our kids out there is all on our own bat and having this incredible opportunity and the bits of support means more to us than you will ever know.

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Photo:  Ryan Lenferna

She's puts it all on the line every single time, not only on the bike but her whole life and we do believe it's why good things happen to her.  She's a gutsy girl.  We have always known that we would have to keep our grip lose and it's how we have tried to raise our girls, always ready to release them to go.  We are grateful she get's to have this incredible opportunity.  It has always been our dream to see them fly.  It doesn't come without trepidation and watching from the sidelines is by no means easy and sometimes we are deeply emotional at what she puts herself through.  Thanks beautiful girl for choosing life everyday at 110%.

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Photos:  Theo Bruwer

Ongoing Creative Retreat lesson...

This is the piece that I created for my lesson in the Ongoing Creative Retreat, it totally kicked my butt.  You know, how you don't want it to go when you are teaching and filming, right.  Well I had to rescue all the way.  The problem was my canvas.  We eventually found our way but I had to let go of trying to control the outcome and allow her to lead me where she needed to go.

It ended up being a lesson on surrender.

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Goodbye May, Hello June...

We retreated a little inwards for May.

The girls were in deep with exams and formal assessments and Digby had his 5th operation on his leg.  So far after every op, he regresses and this time was no exception.  He had to do a fix up on his December operation because it wouldn't heal and at the same time had the final two screws removed from his knee.  It meant lying low and time off the leg.  No riding, no walking but long hours in front of the fire.  In April, we celebrated one year since his hit and run accident (can you believe it) and if you told me that it would take well over a year for him to recover, I wouldn't have believed you.  It has made us weary.  There is a silent pressure on us when he regresses.

How can I say this... when he limped, we all limped.

We continue to walk alongside each other.  It has taught us much in patience and slowing down.  It has taught us appreciation for health and wellness like you can't believe, especially as we are moving closer to 50.  It has taught us kindness with our bodies and grace to move a little slower when we needed to.  

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It took the whole of May to recover and I'm relieved to be through it...

Digby is doing much better and rode on the road this weekend for the first time again.  The girls are finished their exams and assessments and the marks are in and all are happy.  My shingles have cleared and we are feeling like we have turned a big corner, mentally and emotionally.

We are ready to embrace a quiet and gentle June.

"Look Closely... "

This piece has been keeping me busy the last few weeks, exploring and creatively playing.  Finding new ways of creating is wonderful and I really needed it this year.  Exploring texture, marks and patterns and mixing mediums.... inks, print media, papers, paint, conte, charcoal and neocolors.  With my studio being at home, I don't have a huge capacity to store charcoal work, so I tend not to work in this medium but I do see it's value and I do want to spend more time using it and this is a great way for me to take pieces further.

I loved that the most of all.

  Look Closely  - 23.5" x 16.5" - Mixed Media on WatercolorPaper

Look Closely - 23.5" x 16.5" - Mixed Media on WatercolorPaper

 
I see your face in blurry shades
And I reach out for your hand.
All your ways I can’t explain,
But I want to understand.
— SYML
 

Beautiful ephemera packs...

I would love to share about the beautiful Ephemera that I've been using in my collage work.  Janet Reid shared this beautiful tip with me and I'm so grateful.  Thank you my friend.

I've been getting beautiful pre-made up packs from KristaMcCurdyArt's Etsy shop.  Her packs are sold in 50gm or 100gms and they are gorgeously filled with handmade cyanotypes, lithographs, vintage ephemera, printed paper.

It was a week of clay...

I got to work on new pieces and old pieces this week.

On my new pieces, I wanted to work a little more serious than my usual pieces.  I didn't want to focus on creating emotion in the face but I wanted to capture emotion and movement with body gesturing and hand placements.  Working those hands take plenty hours.

I am loving the outcome and I can't wait to do more.

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I have been working with this big girl for 18 Months.  But I keep changing her.  She's currently a journal book end #inmystudio.  She's perfect at this job.  I'm finally starting to enjoy her.  I came through this morning and she's full of cracks but we will start doing repair work tomorrow when she's more dry.  I can't wait to finish her.

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My beloved Jovi PaperClay has changed their recipe or something but my last two packets have not only been vastly different from each other but also different to what I'm used to and I'm having to work hard to find my way with it.  My studio is a fridge this time of year so my figures are taking longer to dry.

I'm trying to be patient - I'll keep you posted.

**Free Creative Weekend...

YAY... I am soooo excited to share with you that I've been invited to guest teach on the Free Online Creative Weekend and ongoing Retreat.

 7th to 8th July 2018

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A mixed media art online retreat organised by Galia Alena.  I am a huge fan of everything Galia does and organises and I know you are going to love being part of this Free Weekend.

Registration opens on the 28th May 2018.

So delighted to be among such wonderful teachers.  Really excited to learn from them.

Shingle Shmingles...

On Wednesday my doc told me I had Shingles.  I know right - I know that means my body is telling me what my mind already knows.  I'm not quite sure what to say about that other than I am feeling a little annoyed by it.  I do realise it probably goes deeper than a surface burn and skin irritation and I am exploring what it all means.

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The good news is I am responding quickly to the medication and I'm already feeling the relief from the burning and discomfort.  For that I am so grateful.   For now, I'm going gently and listening to my body.  The good news is that we are moving into winter and my work days will be less intense which means more time for studio play and to be really present in the class I'm taking.

Excited for the next few months.

Exploring... experimenting... expanding...

As most of you know, I have been back in learning mode this year and I have to say I'm finding it quite emotional.  I am not going to lie, at times I have even found myself in pain, emotionally and physically.  This has surprised me.  I'm working in Gillian's class and the class is specifically about building a Body of Works that is uniquely our own.  It has been brilliant and rich.  There is a huge amount of introspection work and it’s been bringing up a lot of things for me.  Some of the art fundamentals have been hard for me to grasp and that’s really upset me.  Understanding it’s my lack of knowlegdge and skill due to starting art late in my life that makes this challenging.  My creative process has been limiting but I know I’m learning so much, even though I’m uncomfortable.

  In terms of a body of works, I have a few ideas, but I am not 100% sure the direction I will be going yet and I am very much exploring, experimenting and expanding.

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The work I'm currently doing has felt deeply personal and I'm still processing a lot of it.  But something that keeps coming up, are my eyes and playing with them creatively is something I'm finding very interesting and I'm loving the outcome.  The collage, textures and layers are also things I am exploring, loving and I hope to share more about it with you soon.

Have a brilliant weekend.

To see or not to see...

I'm loving taking a moment to see the beautiful in the intricate.  I am humbled by the detail.  I have been leaving my macro lens around for me to play with when I am lucky enough to find something to shoot.

I love the detail when you take a moment to seek.  I am sad to see how much I miss with my naked eye.  I wish I could always zoom in close.

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A free drawing video...

I wanted to share this little video with you.

I was drawing a lot at the beginning of the year, almost everyday and I was recording some of them.  I have started editing some and it’s been lovely having them in the background of my mind to draw on whenever I want to.

I put this video together for Tamara (LifeBook) earlier this year for my interview with Gracie and I wanted to share it here with you too.  See the interview link below.

I hope to share more of these little video’s with you through the year.

Much love, always Jeanne-Marie

ClayPlay Therapy...

Oh Hello old creative play.... 

It’s been ages since I’ve had a desire to play with clay.  After I got home from America and after my {Held}Captive class, I haven’t really gone there.  I still have a lot of unfinished ClayWorks on my studio desk.  So what happened... I’m not sure exactly.  I think it’s the same thing that happened with art and lack of mojo - I wanted to do something new and more and I didn’t know how to move forward.  I’m having a few ideas but regardless of the outcome I’m back to playing and experimenting...

I love making armatures as much as I love playing with clay.  I love how quirky and a little bizarre they turn out.  I can’t wait to play here.  I have missed this.

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Happy Mothers Day...

Happy Mother’s Day to all the beautifulMoms in my life.

You know how much MotherLove means to me so I am offering a 30% discount on my Art Sling Bags for 2 days... Because you are worth it. ❤️❤️❤️ They are perfect for your artist dates, journals and art books. Coupon Code is BEAUTIFULMOM 😘

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Head down...

Wowser what a month so far...

I have been filming for two different creative platforms... eeck.  My headspace was deeply challenged, my Mac completely full and my canvas wasn't playing nice.  Plus I was in a full on battle in myself and my creativity, which usually happens when you are on a deadline, right.  Only when I stopped fighting with myself could I surrender to the process.

The whole month has felt like that.  It's been a real push and pull in letting go of the control, surrendering and feeling the relief.

Always tough lessons.

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Today I submitted my second assignment for Gillian's workshop.  The chapter was brilliant and challenging and I'm realising so much about my creative process. 

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graphite blocks with white conte - drawings in mini journal

Sorry I have been quiet on the social medias but it's been a head down kind of month.  Besides teaching and filming and working during the day, I had to do written homework and artwork on my assignment.  This chapter has been about exploration and experimentation and I'm in deep.  We are working in sketchbooks and I am creatively playing and exploring and I'm loving it.   I could do with another month in this section.  It's been brilliant.  I'm so grateful to be in this season of learning.  It has been pretty exciting.

AprilLove...

April was visually beautiful and the moments sweet....

  • Lots of showing up in my studio
  • A little long weekend away with Kitty
  • Stolen moments of quiet here and there
  • Beautiful and brilliant audible books
  • Coffee dates and artist dates
  • Beautiful green and beautiful flowers
  • Rainy days... a few
  • Walks on the beach
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Thank you sweet April.

Moments of Beautiful...

I am still finding and capturing moments of beautiful wherever and whenever I can.  When you seek, you always find.  To me it's the beautiful gift that comes in the art of observation.

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When the weeks are hard and they have been hard this year.  I am needing these touchstones more and more to help me hang onto the moments of beautiful.   They help me to stay connected, grounded and completely humble.  I am grateful in the small moments when I forget this small tangible fact...

 
Life is Beautiful...
— My friend, Gayle Braithwaite
 

EveryDay, EveryMoment, EveryBeautiful.

The Forgotten Language of Love and Life...

My LifeBook lesson is finished.

I'm shifting into my editing and uploading mode and I'm trusting my filming is good.  I am so excited to share my lesson with you and I hope you will love this as much as I did.

Thank you for the love, encouragement and support with my journey through this piece.

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My lesson is about TheStudyofSelf - a self portrait lesson and how speaking words of life and love over our creative journey really matter.

Ikigai - finding our purpose...

I have been reading such great books this year and this one is just beautiful and deeply profound in it's simplicity.  The Japanese Secret to a long and happy life.  I feel this is so in line with me finding art late in my life.  I'm so grateful for this gift and I want to read it again, immediately.

 

Our ikigai is different for all of us, but one thing we have in common is that we are all searching for meaning.  When we spend our days feeling connected to what is meaningful to us, we live more fully, when we lose the connection, we feel despair.  Modern life estranges us more and more from our true nature, making it very easy for us to lead lives lacking in meaning.  Powerful forces and incentives distract us on a daily basis, don't let them take over your life.

 

10 Rules of Ikigai:-

  1. Stay active, don't retire
  2. Take it slow
  3. Don't fill your stomach
  4. Surround yourself with good friends
  5. Get in shape for your next birthday
  6. Smile
  7. Reconnect with nature
  8. Give thanks
  9. Live in the moment
  10. Follow your Ikigai
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Life is not a problem to be solved.  Just remember to have something that keeps you busy doing what you love while being surrounded by the people who love you.

The Sacred Art of Showing up...

I had been dragging my feet with my LifeBook lesson because I felt overwhelmed about my commitments.  I am not sure how it happened exactly but I ended up with two lessons due on the same date for two different platforms.  I have been fearful that I could actually come up with teaching ideas for either lessons and it completely sent me in a state of procrastination.

I know that sounds strange but I've been in a weird and different space this year.  But like with all things that feel overwhelming, all that was required was to actually just start.

 TheStudyofSelf - 16"x16" Stretched Canvas - Black gesso and Titanium Buff and brown Stabilo pencil.

TheStudyofSelf - 16"x16" Stretched Canvas - Black gesso and Titanium Buff and brown Stabilo pencil.

Day one, I put my canvas down.  Day two, I drew up and day three, I did my undertones and that was enough to give me the momentum I needed to start.  I worked steadily everyday after work and I managed to film my lesson and I have to say, I loved the journey.  I loved that I had a theme before I started and I loved the introspection work that went along with this piece.  Working mindfully helped me think deeply and helped me find my way.

To me there is still a sacred quietness that comes out of the act of showing up everyday in spite of where my heart is at.  Sometimes I forget that.  When I have a week like this, I'm reminded that there is so much growth that happens in this place of daily work.  I am encouraged.

 
Small actions lead us to the larger movements in our creative lives...
— Julia Cameron