Behind the times 5/52

Last week was such a wild week, full speed ahead into the future. …. Big mental adventures, idea exploration, culmination and loose end tying. And then the massive full moon on Tuesday. Maybe that’s why it’s taken until now to post last night week’s page.

This is where it started out: a splurge of words came tumbling… so many they needed watering down. (Literally)


Edit/note to self: a daemon from a daemon (transformed)


I’d spent the weekend at Jamie Catto’s Transforming Shadows workshop. I’ll post more about that separately once it’s settled more in my head – suffice to say for now, transformation occurred!  And it led me back to a bit of face drawing, I haven’t done this in a while…


The theme of the workshop was centred around befriending inner demons. As each day the page evolved the faces developed, coming more into their own. And the big full moon started to dominate.


Something tribal feeling began to show. I’ve had an increasing sense I need to find my Tribe. And the page seems to be reinforcing that. (Gotta love the way art unfolds answers to questions you didn’t know you were asking)


As a marker of time and achievement, the final additions: collaged left over bits of the project I completed this week, oh and a big ole FIFTY. Cos guess how many kilos I lifted at the gym this week? 😉 Gotta love a round number milestone!



4/52 Week-ends & Breathing Space

So week (page) 4 of the year (book) ends, and so does a project I’ve been working on for (what feels like) ever!


Week 4 is a wholehearted week, in all senses.

My computer is in for repairs this week, so my usual work is temporarily suspended. Last night I finally finished up this thing I’ve been working on for ages. It’s left a curious sense of spaciousness in my world. I can stretch out my hands and not touch any overrun deadlines, in any direction.

I know this grates with some folks, but I relentlessly endeavour to find the silver lining to any situation. It’s a challenge I can’t resist. It appeals to my stubbornly optimistic nature. So I’ve embraced the computer free week. Either my data survives or it doesn’t. My files are in a Schrodinger’s cat state and will be for a few more days.

While there’s nothing I can do to change this state so I’m enjoying being away from a cold office, I’m getting on with other stuff. To be honest, if this hadn’t happened, the other thing would likely not be finished yet. (I’ll show you that thing in a future post)

This afternoon I sat in a coffee shop making plans for what I’ve got lined up next to do in a relaxed, calm brain-zone. Such a refreshing change.

My engine is idling and I’m planning the next leg of my route. It’s all good.

And I’ll be back on the road again soon, come whatever.

Hibernation VS Motivation

2015/01/img_1787.jpg I’m sluggish in the cold, I’m part hibernating, and sleepiness seems to be the theme. So to counter this, I’m pushing a lot of energy into brightness and optimism.

The new (super) moon at the start of the week prompted me to set some new moon intentions, which are glued onto the Bagua vision board .

To accompany my makings, I’ve been listening to the podcasts of Zig Ziglar this week… (I’m reminded of Reverend Lovejoy from the Simpsons by his accent which informed my mental image to begin, but that’s fading as I’m getting more familiar with his style) which has an old fashioned, down to earth, honesty of common sense and untarnished positivity with a very wholesome feel. He’s kept me buoyant.


As one week folds into another the temperature drops some more, I’m upping the colour volume some more. I’m not usually a heartsy kinda girl, but they keep showing up, so this week has a big heart at its heart.

Wordage supplied by bits and things I’ve picked up along the way…. I was especially taken by this quote, which brings together themes I’ve been speaking about lately

“Whatever your gig or deal,
If you spend your time and your focus
and your emotion on creating and manifesting that,
There isn’t anything that can stop you.”

[Gina Devee]

What the eye-fish?

It might look like I’ve been deliberately obtuse about the eye-fish thing
What can I say, they appear in groups of three, and so far 2 of the 3 weeks of this new year’s book have hosted a set.
Yeh, really, they aren’t eyes, they aren’t fish. Eyes and fish are quite different things, and tbh, this one looks like it’s sprouted backward facing legs with which to march, tail first into the unknown.

But that’s just my drawing style –  everything piled up on each other style. It’s really a trick of perspective. The eye-fish is, in actuality, some way off in the distance, and hugely bigger than the foreground scribbley yogini attempting to master Warrior 1 pose.

But if you know me at all, you’ll know, it’s not in my nature to be cryptic. So this is as baffling to me as it is to you.

Here are the facts as I understand them to be:

  • I draw what arrives in my head when I stop thinking.
  • Eye shape and fish shape are largely interchangable to me.
  • I think that thinking about the word Focus has had a bearing on my subconcious. (This doesn’t account for the fish)
  • They hang out in threes, cos having drawn the traditional arrangement of two, I have to (recent compulsion) add a third. I’ve been getting a lot of dreams involving third eyes (more on that another time).
  • The third eye is a thing. I didn’t make this up. It’s just not a literal viewing hole in the face (mostly anyhow)

So there we are, more info and less sense. It’s all a big brain-dump. Making sense is an improbable ask.

52/3, Bagua Map and Coloured Wordery

Welcome to part next of the weekly unfolding of my year…

How-to-Make-a-Vision-Board-that-WorksI was reading this week about Vision Boards. As my MO in life is heavily weighted toward visual inputs I leapt at this new (to me) strategy. In the words of my inner kid: Squeee I wanna make me a Vision Board!

If you’re intrigued, this is where I started out, and I can’t imagine there’s a better place. Jean Van’t Hul’s Artful Parent site is just brimming with all you could want to set you off, and then a list of books and resources to take you on from there.

I especially liked the way Jean sets out her Vision Board as a bagua map. This is a 3 x 3 grid dividing a physical space into sections representing different aspects of life. It’s origin is in feng shui, but it’s been adopted as a tool in various fields of personal development, self care, life training, newage wishy-washery, right across the board to even include more down-to-earth folks like me (ha!).

So this is the layout, the skeleton of the Vision Board, on which to hang wishes, dreams, intentions,  ideas, metaphors and so forth. Jean uses magazine snippings – images and text that inspire and illustrate.

bagua-orgoniteOff on a tangent here – I really love the way an act of creativity shows up so many metaphors for life, cos right off my brain is spinning out: I don’t need all those categories… some just don’t apply and some can be lumped together. (Follow that to it’s natural conclusion and yes, my bagua is just one box with a confused, homogenised version of me sat in the middle, puzzled and pissed off with the whole business. Ok, so I’ll go with the boxes…. But I wouldn’t choose those colours.  So, which colours would I choose? where do I find the pictures that are the right colours for each box? or do I find B&W pics that I can colour?  or should I do it all in photoshop and fuck it, I can have a digital one as a screen saver instead… <some more time passes>. FFS, brain, take what you’ve got. You can’t afford to dwell on all this not-knowing when there’s a thing to be done. Get on with it!

Life lesson: Just get on and do it. I was pretty certain in the early stages I wouldn’t know what I wanted in each box, or how I was going to set about acheiving it. Also, as it was the thing I wanted in this week’s page, and that’s a fairly rigid time limit, if it spills beyond its alotted time the whole thing will unravel and fall down the rabbit-hole of what am I doing, where am I going and a great big enormous whole what’sthepointofitall. And that’s a place I avoid at all costs.

IMG_3677So I left that part of my brain running round with all the I don’t know what’s going to happen while the rest of me got down to drawing the boxes, writing the words, colouring the colours, and accepting it will probably turn into something, even if I don’t know what (yet).

And, as suspected, it did.

I’ve come to find, if you let go of the wanting to know, the what it is will show up. And often in a surprisingly pleasing fashion.

The words and phrases defining the grid were down: ‘Power, Abundance’, ‘Health, Well-being’, ‘Career, Work’

Curously, just the act of writing these out – and once I let them settle – they began to spawn new words and phrases. Ones I’d already been playing with in the quest to find my Word for the Year, words that encourage possibility. Some of them cropped up again and again (Relax, Nurture, Nourish, Enjoy, Strengthen, Develop…). And magically the crossing over of categories adjusted from the chaotic blur  as I had previously seen it as, into a self-supporting web.

2/52 Dream Big

One of the purposes of this weekly art journal is to offload some of the stuff I pick up through what I read and hear. Already I’m feeling the benefit of unburdening my busy head! I might never need to read these things again, but it’s a way of filtering them out of my internal monologue.


This week’s page has got a bit busier since last time I showed you. Curiously, the first words I wrote on this page asked “where are the words?” (on a day when I was unable to find the what I needed to say …) and since then there has been a steady flow of must write that down things.


Filling up the space with stuff that keeps showing up on my radar….


I have big dreams – by which I mean I have big plans and hopes for the future – but I also have big colorful episodes of imagination at night time. And I don’t distinguish much between them. Just the nocturnal machinations often want for some translation from the garbled jumble of metaphors my subconscious knits together out of the day’s happenings. It doesn’t always make sense, but often they are fun.

Sometimes the meaning shows up a long while later. sometimes it doesn’t!


These words  come  from Connie Solera of Dirty Footprints Studio. I love her style and she has a beautiful way of describing the creative process. She brings sunshine into my spirit.


A Sacred Space

I was pondering this thought: a sacred space doesn’t have to be a physical space.

It can be a space in my day, a number of minutes I hold back from everyday use.

A little bit of room in the day to release some thoughts into the ether.


And ask the rhetorical questions.


A few moments to flick water at a book and not care if you get ink splashes on your face.


Time to draw round the edges of that beige smeary paint. Because you like the sensation of pencil over grainy gesso. Also, just because.

These times the what and the why don’t matter. Only the doing matters. And the allowing the chance to do that matters most. This is a sacred space.

Color and Eye-Fish 2/52

My weeks now begin (as this year did) on a Thursday. I like this! It breaks up the week/weekend pattern in a refreshing fashion and in a way seems to make time stretch. I’m a busy person, this is enormously helpful! Week 2 of this year started out on a drainy-grainy grey day and I really needed to counteract that, so I did in the only way I know how: with colors.

I began with a wash over white gesso with Pebeo Colorex chartreuse ink I LOVE this color! This is my happy color! although it gets covered over through the week, little bits are still shining through.


The page already had a smeary something (acrylic paint? I forget already) on the right page which discolored to a nasty beige with the ink smears. But no matter, it’ll be obscured with stuff before long. To begin with, the same three strange eye-fish as last week. I can’t really explain them yet, I’ll come back to them later.
Swimming through the inks.


Slipping behind the doodled-on beige paint slick. The eye-fish do their thing…
Then it got some washes and splashes in Adirondack Stream. Close and open the book for a bitova Rorschach style ink spreading manoeuvre.

That puddly wet ink was just crying out for something a bit more lively and vibrant, so on with the Derwent Inktense

I love the variety of marks you can get scribbling on splashed paper, the wet and dry work well for doodling into with a fine paintbrush and water.

So that’s where my week began, It’s progressing a bit more each day so check back soon to see the next transitions 🙂

More Focus & Trust 1/52

So last night I polished off the first week of my 2015 week by week art journal. Little tweaks and changes…. more emphasis on Trust – I gotta trust in this process,


and more focus on the word Focus. Got me thinking about focusing on what this week has meant to me.

The big silvery full moon (which kept me awake Sunday & Monday nights) is now shining from the top of the page. Full moons symbolise the stage of a cycle which is full on, full volume: intensity. As the peak of night brightness passes and the moon wanes the power subsides but I feel like it’s added strength to my convictions and spirited up my wishes.

Y’know I told you about my goals for 2015… I’ve been working on weight training and this week I upped my eek-I-can-just-about-lift-it weight by another 5kg. Little by little I’m realising that dream!  The incentive behind my desire to get stronger is to improve my yoga practice. I’d so love to be able to do this. (and so much more… but this would make me happy for a start!)


Thanks to the darling Adriene, of  ‘Yoga with Adriene‘, from this week I’ve been practicing with a new found daily discipline. I love her gentle, easy going style, she’s doing this wonderful 30 day program on YouTube. If you’re even a little bit interested in yoga, go check this out, it’s so lovely!


So that’s where I’m at for now; Now onto week 2/52!

week by week 1/52


There’s something so deliciously enlivening about the start of a new thing

…a new year

…a new book

…a new project

In past years I’ve played with different art journaling projects, from page a day to a page a month.  This time around it’s a page a week.

So, 2015, here we go!

Week 1 has been a painty brain-dump.


The only thing I had in mind to start was colour: I’m in a big ole red/magenta/turquoise vibe this week. Look at them ZING!


I primed the pages with gesso and began with some dollopy finger-painting.  This process was fun but produced a textured surface so crunchy it really precluded writing with anything finer than a big soft marker. So the words are big n few.


I found some phrases through the week which stuck in my head:

Focus (my word for the year)

Let down your guard and Trust  (I’ve read this in more than one place. So it’s a sign, right?)

Stand in your Light (I’ve heard myself say I’ve been standing in my own way a few times, this is a better place for me to be!)

Speak your Truth (it doesn’t have a meaning I can grasp at the moment, but I sense I might come back to this one later and see what I can’t see right now – ‘the woods for the trees’ maybe. What the hey, good solid advice.)


I wrote out the Holstee Manifesto. It’s mostly buried under layers of paint now. But I know it’s in there….the line “Some opportunities only come once, seize them” is just showing enough still to remind me: I want to compose a 2015 manifesto for myself.


Then there’s the three eye-fish. I’ll talk about them another day 😉


Meanwhile it’s day 7 of week1… I wanna get home and get my last bit of painting done for this page. I’ll post the finished version tomorrow.

Til then, g’night folks – sleep like kittens and dream of joyful things X