A life full of color

Some lifetimes ago, a sixteen year old version of me failed to get the place in art school that she’d pinned all her early hopes to.

Dismissed by the grown ups who’d repeatedly explained: ‘being an artist isn’t realistic’ led to years floating adrift from my calling.

(They were wrong. And this isn’t what I do, I’ve come to realise, it’s what I am)

Some lifetimes ago, a sixteen year old version of me failed to get the place in art school that she’d pinned all her early hopes to.

Dismissed by the grown ups who’d repeatedly explained: ‘being an artist isn’t realistic’ led to years floating adrift from my calling.

(They were wrong. And this isn’t what I do, I’ve come to realise, it’s what I am)

A few years ago, rattled by some mid-life reminders of mortality, I finally fulfilled my life long ambition. But being an art student was as far as I’d thought this plan through. After spinning around in a self made feedback loop of regret for two decades, while I loved my time at college, I’d completely lost sight of the purpose.

My confusion was confounded when my course was cancelled after the foundation year. Before I’d time to consider my options my personal life fell apart, as a few weeks later my mum died.

Now I was free falling and had to find something to grasp onto, something simple I could rely on to slow the descent.  

I needed a project to latch my focus to. I needed a subject I could immerse myself in. It had to be something creative, it had to be something colourful.

It just had to be color.

 

 

I hadn’t the bandwidth for anything more complex. I needed colors, but one at a time. No other rules. Just me, a book, and whatever paints and pens and things I had to hand. In just one color. I began with the color I felt most drawn to at the time, which was red-violet, magenta. It was soothing. It was all I had space for.

I took that year, one color at a time, one month at a time.

 

 

After another family bereavement a couple of months into my year long color project, I knew I needed some accountability, some way to keep this project afloat. That’s when I started this blog.

By the end of the year I’d created a this whole book full of color.

 

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It’s still with me in my studio as a resource for inspiration – (that’s something I didn’t foresee when I began this project.)

(You can see it page by page here)

12 in 12 from mixy gecko on Vimeo.

 

 

As I showed my book of 12 colors to more of my artist friends, the idea of revisiting a year full of color began to develop. And they wanted in on it too.

So in 2017 I invented TWELVTY,  a way of sharing the adventure around the color wheel with other creatives as an online program.

It’s been an astonishing journey, (which isn’t over yet) and I’ve learned so much (more on that in another post).

I didn’t expect to run Twelvty as a program with others again after this year – it’s been all consuming and I had other plans for 2018 – but Twelvty has plans for me too, it would appear. 

So here we are, in preparation for:

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We begin the journey in the new year, but registration is open from November.

I think it speaks for itself that some of this year’s Twelveteers have already joined up for a second trip around the color wheel in 2018!

There are a limited number of discounted places available to folks on my mailing list. If you aren’t signed up already – what the hey?!! – scoot down to the end of this post to add your email before they’re all swooped up!

 

The magic of magenta

2017 is my year full of color, each month I dedicate to a new color: 12 colors in 12 months, a trip around the color wheel. And what a trip!

July has been a feast of violet purples. 

2017 is my year full of color, each month I dedicate to a new color: “TWELVTY” – 12 colors in 12 months, is a trip around the color wheel. And what a trip!

In August we explored red-violet: the magic of magenta, mauve & maroon!

Each month gets a few pages in the TWELVTY art journal, where I dive deep into pattern making and monochrome mixed media doodling.

 

Here’s how August’s pages turned out …. 
 

In September we explored the color Red — I’ll catch you up on this month soon!

 


Meanwhile, I’m fine tuning the details for the 2018 iteration of Twelvty. Yikes! 

Are you interested in exploring the color wheel with us next year?

If you’re even a little bit intrigued, why not hop on my mail list today. I’ll send you my eBook all about color to give you a flavour of the program, AND you’ll be first to hear about the launch closer to the time.

 

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A feast of purples

2017 is my year full of color, each month I dedicate to a new color: 12 colors in 12 months, a trip around the color wheel. And what a trip!

July has been a feast of violet purples. 

2017 is my year full of color, each month I dedicate to a new color: “TWELVTY” – 12 colors in 12 months, a trip around the color wheel. And what a trip!

July has been a feast of violet purples. 

Each month gets a few pages in the TWELVTY art journal, where I dive deep into pattern making and monochrome mixed media doodling.

Layer upon layer upon layer.
Circles in sqaures in circles in grids.
Stitching on ribbon on page edges.
Patterns of patterns.
Doodles and scribbles and more.
 

 

In August We move round to Red-Violet: from magenta to mauve. Good times!

 

 


All through this summer I’m offering a special discount in my Etsy Shop to all the folks on my mailing list – so clickety-hop aboard today if you want to snag a bargain!

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(and I’ll send you my ebook A Year full of Color)

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Flashback: Color, Color, Color!

IMG_9429Last year I had the great pleasure of producing an online class for 21 Secrets all about color. (If you know my art – you’ll know this is my thing!)

In the class I teach you how to make a really fun variation on a color wheel, using collage and mixed media painting techniques, to inspire new ways of combining colors in your mixed media art. This would be fab as a school holiday project for creative little ones!

And another 23 teachers (yes – this time there are more than the usual 21) share how they use color in their art.

This week there’s a Flashback Sale!

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From 1am PST on Monday July 3rd
(CLICK HERE for time zone conversion)
to 11:59pm PST on Wednesday, July 5th 

You can grab Color, Color, Color! For just $77
(a discount of $21).

Click Here & Enter Coupon Code: FLASHBACK

 

(By purchasing through the links in this post, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.)  

 


All through this summer I’m offering a special discount in my Etsy Shop to all the folks on my mailing list – so clickety-hop aboard today if you want to snag a bargain!

penngregory_Mailchimp12TEtsyBanner

(and I’ll send you my ebook A Year full of Color as a thank you for joining)

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contrast

Sometimes I take sideways look.

A change of perspective is refreshing and replenishing.

I’ve always surrounded myself in color, it lights me up and brings with it so many of my ideas.

And I love contrast.

I’m someone who thrives on change and novelty. I bounce along with the momentum. So alongside all the bright clashing colors I wrap every day in, I get a big zing from zebra stripes, dalmatian dots, and nothingy neutrals too.

So here I am.

After 3 months of prepping and planning and immersing myself in TWELVTY the year full of color, followed by a frantic fantastic cram-it-all-in-three-day-trip to the color-drenched delight that is Barcelona (more on that in a future post) my eyes and mind were full to bursting of full color.

I had to restore some balance before I could move forward.

Which is why, earlier this week, when I was up to my elbows in deadlines and adulting duties I had to spend time making this.

For so many reasons.

So, so many.

A slow learned life lesson for me has been fully grasping the importance of taking a few hours out of a really full day – counter-intuitive as it may seem – as this time will more than repay itself. Always.

It replaces the hours otherwise spent spinning aimlessly between tasks in the appearance of being really busy but not achieving anything. Apart from more confusion.

Cos while I work like that I only get bits of jobs dome, I don’t remember where I left off and have to do them again anyways. And it’s exhausting.

Y’know the old saying:
Too busy to find 10 minutes a day for mediation? Then you need to meditate an hour a day.
It’s how it works. 

So I made this.

The book I used is the art journal I’m working in throughout TWELVTY. Each month this year, which is dedicated to its own color, has a few pages for single colored doodles.  At the end of the year it will be a rainbow of mixed media, not unlike this.

I used a page toward the end, so in a few months time when its time arrives I’ll add some color to it. (Some time in the autumn, which will be in the Orangey-Red season – watch this space!)

Want to see this all coming into life? Here it is…

What’s your best way to keep swimming through the chaos every day life keeps throwing at you?

Have you got a creative practice that’s a sanctuary for your soul? I’d love to know.  


Would you like to get sporadic updates on my thoughts and drawings delivered right to your inbox? Hop onto my email list right here.

(and I’ll send you my ebook A Year full of Color as a thank you for joining)

Your email is utterly safe to me. It will be wrapped up snug and nestled with a hot water bottle & a kitten until the spring arrives. I will bring it fresh socks every three weeks, or as required.

Happy Birthday!

(But more on that in a moment… first let me set the scene…)

I was telling you about how TWELVTY has begun to take on a life of its own. It’s just a few weeks into its year long life and it’s not going the way I imagined…

Instead of being the set of 12 individual colored months, like I first planned, TWELVTY is turning into a story made of 12 chapters. They are woven together and already I can see that taken separately they lose the essential essence of the story. The full year of color has a life the months alone can’t provide. 

To begin I wanted to make this program available to join throughout the year, but what I didn’t know then was how all-encompassing it was to become! It’s grown beyond my imaginings, and to be honest if someone was to join later in the year I don’t think they’d get the full magic of being a part of TWELVTY just by accessing the material retrospectively.

So I’ve decided to close the doors on TWELVTY at the end of this month.
No more new recruits after the end of February. 
 

But wait up! that’s not all….
Before the doors close, as today is my birthday ………

I’m going to gift 2 FREE PLACES in TWELVTY 2017 in a Prize Draw.

The prize draw runs from Friday 17th Feb for ONE WEEK.
Winners will be notified Saturday 25th February.

 

Are you someone who gets all lit up about color?
Would you love to join a tribe of creatives who are just like us?

If so, just jump on my mailing list here and
reply to the welcome email with the title “I’M IN!”
to add your name to the hat for the prize draw.

(and as a welcome, you get this little ebook all about color when you join my list)

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Want to find out more about what’s in TWELVTY – it’s all  over here . I also did a big ole Q&A post over here. Or ask me in the comments – I’m massively excited about this – ask me anything! (anything about TWELVTY…I don’t have answers to much else!)

I don’t know if I’ll be offering this program again. Next year has different adventures in store for me, so this could be ‘now or never’, folks! 

Playing 

“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”

~ George Bernard Shaw

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don’t stop  😉

Twelvty launch!

Hi friends!

Here we are, after much squirreling around I’m delighted to let you know: TWELVTY is now on sale!

I am SO excited! 

To celebrate I’m offering a 2 month discount off the year long program if you sign up this week

TWELVTY is a brand new program I’m launching today, it will run from January through December 2017 and it’s all about color!

Intrigued? Find out more here

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knowing when

I’ve heard it said the key to painting is knowing when to stop.

Conversely, it’s also important (to my mind) to know when to keep going. 

How many abandoned sketches and paintings are there in the world? I would guess a great many more than those that finished (or past that point).

My current art journal is teaching me this more than I already knew.

The nature of dipping in and out of a book means most of the pages are, for a long time, just scraps of whims, streaks of paint, isolated doodles and jottings. And they are quite loud and ugly.

In a book of no intrinsic value, it means nothing to open it up and find a space to wipe off my paint brush, to test out an old pen, to blurt and vent some spleen. A dumping ground for bits of thing laying scattered on my work table. Cut outs and scraps, they all go in.

Nothing to lose. Some would argue (shhh — they don’t understand), nothing to be gained.

We know different, right?

Again I remember, how it’s all a metaphor for life. Keep pushing through, it’s ugly now but keep going, it’s a phase. If you have that strength of belief to carry you through it can come good.

At no point in this process do I have an idea of finished – what it will look like or when it may happen. (or if… tbh there’s always an if)

Then I catch a little corner, in my eye or my camera, and I know it will be ok.

 

21 Secrets!

 

If you’re an art journaler or a mixed media artist who follows what’s new online, you almost certainly know what I mean by 21 SECRETS. 21-SECRETS-2016-Color-artistblock-penn-gregory.jpg

I’m thrilled to bits to announce that in the fall 2016 program, I’m joining the 21 Secrets family as a teacher!


 

Twice a year Dirtyfootprints Studio release a brand new 21 Secrets program, where 21 teachers from around the world offer some of their secrets – their style, techniques, methods and wisdom – in the form of an online lesson. These are bundled together in a 150+ page downloadable eBook filled with 25+ hours of videos, full colored photos & templates. And you can join the gorgeous community who gather in the 21 Secrets facebook group to share their art and ideas. There’s no time limit on the program – once you buy it it’s yours to download forever!

All this is available for the amazing value of $98

The next 21 secrets comes out 26 September 2016, and I would like to invite you to The Early Bird Sale starting 3am PST on Wednesday, August 17th and closing at 12am PST on Saturday, August 20th.

The Early Bird Sale is a discount of $10 when you use Coupon Code COLOR

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This time round there’s the added bonus that there are 24 teachers!

In the interests of full  disclosure this posts contains affiliate links: at no extra cost to the customer I receive a small commission on sales of the 21 Secrets Fall 2016 program made through this post. Big thanks in advance if you choose to join in here 🙂

 

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