Letting go of the butterfly

It’s curious to relive the visual journey. There’s nothing like filming the process to relive the ‘why did I do that?’ moments.

Time Lapse Compilation: part 3

If you’ve been here before, you’ll know that lately I’ve been documenting my art journaling process through a series of time lapse videos.

It’s curious to relive a visual journey. There’s nothing like filming the process to relive the ‘why did I do that?’ moments. These came up a lot early on but I’m noticing a desensitising effect with practice, and letting go of expectations. Process is process.

Nonetheless, the push and pull of loving/hating the direction it’s taking remains real. It took a really long time for me to catch on where this one wanted me to lead it.

The irony of the words that fell onto this page is not lost on me, from an interview with
Sabrina Ward Harrison: “Splendidly Imperfect and Alive”.

This video is a compilation of little time lapse videos taken over a few weeks of back-and-forth-ing on this spread.

The more time I spend in art making, the more I find parallels between a creative practice and all the other everyday-everythings. Seems to me, how we make tends to mirror how we live – bravely – messily – stubbornly – inconsistently… all of these are here!

Releasing the butterfly

This particular spread got so sticky because I reeeally didn’t want to lose that butterfly. I painted and drew around him until I had such a mess there was no other option, ultimately burying him under a new layer of paint to ease the intensity of so much going on.  I was resisting letting go.

I’ll post the next in this series soon. To catch it ahead of everyone else + get monthly-ish updates on my other colorful studio antics, join up for my newsletter here.

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on letting go, on moving on

Continuing from yesterpost, as I’m finding my place in this book, it’s finding its place in my days.


I’m loving the contrast of my art against the books original purpose (which I spoke of more over here). The waves and the lines criss-crossing the verbal nonsense. More than this I’m enjoying the meditation of the evening ritual this book plays out in my life. It’s very lack of specific purpose is becoming it’s purpose.


It’s a bit solid ground in uncertain times as I’m feeling unsettled in aspects of my life with the turmoil of transition, that awkward movement into unknown territory. It sits in part of my world where I know I can keep moving, one little step at a time.


Behind the noise of confusion I soften the day, here is my haven. I leave the other realities, partially dismantled, they can wait for now.


I’m drawing in a series of moments of now.


I’m relishing the freedom: detaching from outcome , delighting in the hope, focussing on process,


the less I plan, the more fun I have.


The more I let go, the more I let go.






Time Hole (39/52)

I fell down another hole in time but it’s All OK Now.


I jumped. I was down there from some time, lurking
(it happens from time to time. Do you do this too?)

I’ve learned to TRUST I’ll fumble my way out eventually.
I follow my instincts and they lead me back to where I left off.


It’s a case of just ALLOWing. Letting go.
(Which reminds me – I’ve been reading this.)


There’s a lot about perspective…
Seeing the same thing from a different angle, a different approach.


What matters most…


Since I started this project back in January,
every week has entailed some sort of variation on the same theme:


There’s been doodles and scribble, lists and lyrics,
Notes to me-in-the-future, that’s to say,
to me-in-the-now from a-previous-me-in-the-past


There’s been a whole lot of mess and color.


(In that sense, no different from any other of my years, I guess)


This is the first time I’ve been disciplined to do the
same/similar thing consistently every week, for
39 consecutive weeks at this point, and still going strong


I’m just behind on showing you, so there will be a
flurry of catching up over the next short little while.


So this was that week then, the next week then will
follow in a blink of a thing. Hold onto your hats.

The Art of Letting Go

The things we learn at art school, that aren’t really art…

I’ve learnt how to let go.

I started out with very fixed thinking mentality. I made myself decide what the finished result would look like as a starting point. Then trying to find a path to get from point A (nothing) to point Z (end product). It was hugely frustrating. Not just for me –  I could see it in the face of my tutors too. But I didn’t understand why.

I spent so many years drifty doodling about aimlessly, I had no idea I could choose my direction and just go off n see where I got to.

Stubbornly resistant to the organic process – sketching, researching, dabbling, documenting and recording, experimenting, trial and error, figuring out – I wanted to race to the finish line and then jump into the next thing. Inner kid was at the wheel, and she travels at one speed only – giddyingly fast! Although she brings the very necessary vitality and exuberance, she doesn’t do planning or calm. And in order to get the best results I (we) could, these elements cannot be mutually exclusive.

I look back at early projects and think: what a bizarre way of going about things! (but isn’t that a life thing too?)

I believe we create best within a set of parameters. Told you can only have 3 colours for your painting,  3 notes for your tune, 3 minutes for your idea … set a restriction, and it forces the imagination swell to fill the limits. When you don’t have access to everything in the toy box, you can really set about making the best of what you’ve got.

While I already knew this, my first ‘free choice’ projects at college freaked the bejeebus out of me. The resulting confusion made me panic my own parameters into place. So much so, in the freedom of limitless choicefulness I’d literally hear myself think: Right, so it can be anything??? Ok………<eek> …….. Let’s make it 1.5 metres high, made of fabric, and green. I don’t know what it’s going to be, or why, or anything else. But at least I’ve got some clue what it’s going to look like. And then steadfastly refuse to budge from this plan.

And then reverse engineer my ideas from there.

Top tip, folks: Don’t do it this way!

pin-tail-on-donkeyIn the absence of any solid grounding I had to pin meanings on to the finished article, blindly, like the tail on a donkey.  It didn’t hold up, there was no integrity: just a decorative thing that isn’t an expression of anything.

The whole process was a lot harder than it needed to be, and it didn’t produce good results. I backed myself into a corner and I wasn’t going to let myself out of it for fear of … fear of… fear of the great abyss of everything that’s outside my self imposed boundary,  which is too overwhelming to consider.

So sometimes you gotta follow a route to its ultimate destination before accepting the truth of it, turning round, and going someplace else. Destination disappointment (could’ve done better). And eventually, several disappointments later, I did.

I’ll show you where some of these routes led next…

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