“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”
~ George Bernard Shaw
don’t stop 😉
This morning I launched my newest project – a year full of color – “TWELVTY” All as scheduled, 9am my time, so the early wee hours for the cross-pond recipients.
Each month this year has it’s own color: January is yellow, and it’s flooding my thoughts.
It’s the sunrise of a new project.
The idea came to me just a couple of months ago when I was on holiday. Bumbling about taking photos… as one does.
I notice color everywhere.
I had a moment of profound realisation when I found myself taking photos of a group of tourists emerging from their (red & blue) coach, just because almost all of them seemed to be dressed to match in some shades of red & blue….
I had one of those moments: Do other people see this too?
Like the fish who doesn’t know it’s swimming in water, my ideas have only swum in my mind, I’ve got no comparison unless I step away and try to look in from outside.
I mentioned the tourists & matching coach to someone a few days later – with gushing enthusiasm – but was met with blank nothingness. Not even the edge of a WTF? response I sometimes get when I share arty revelations like this, just a totally empty, disinterested blankness.
That was the moment I knew: I need to connect up with others who see & appreciate what I see & appreciate. My tribe. We need each other.
We need each other in a world of unknown areas of empty, disinterested blankness, a world with WTF? reactions to gushing arty revelations.
We need to reflect back to each other the magic of seeing some crazy spontaneous colour synchronicity, of seeing some beautifully matched chance happening, some little something somewhere that gets overlooked by most but makes our hearts sing just because of its orangeness, or blueness, or purpleypink, or whateverness.
I love how the idea is resonating among the folks who’ve joined already, the excitement bubbling up, and most of all the anticipation of what will emerge from this group as the year unfolds.
Want to make your 2017 brighter and more colorful?
Sign up below for more news on my doings & makings through the year, and get a lovingly hand crafted ebook all about color
…oh, and you can join TWELVTY too !
Be well, my friends, Much love to you all X
(Your email is absolutely safe with me, I’ll just pop by and check up on it time to time, feed it biscuits, plump up its cushions, that sort of thing.)
Last night I couldn’t sleep. So I painted. And I pondered.
Life is as quick as a flash, a sprint through some generations and it’s done.
And life is a slow evolution, spiralling up through understanding new layers of the game.
Everything & Nothing. Empty & Full.
Contrast & Confusion. Zigs & Zags.
Deep & Shallow.
Some folk like to scramble the edge, following the truths they’ve chosen to absorb, busying away their days in occupation and activity, punctuated with ritual and escapism.
Fearful of treading over the lines, getting their toes wet, or worse.
Some folk run at it fast, not leaving anything to chance, escaping the dangers by out-running and out-witting. No way is right, no way is wrong. We’re all just making it up one bit at a time.
I’ve been listening to Pete Holmes’ podcasts: You Made It Weird. He kept me company through the night, kept me laughing and thinking. So far I’ve really love love loved his interactions with Liz Gilbert & Deepak Chopra and been curiously riled by Noel Gallagher & Tim Minchin.
Traditional journalling – the outpouring of words and thoughts and the recording of happenings, events and reactions is quite linear: these things occurred, then were recorded; these things were planned and projected, then recorded.
Art journalling is far more holistic. Even the most literal illustrations are cast in the light of the mood, defined by the view of the artist and constricted by the limitations of their style and skill.
And then there’s this whole exploration of the psyche that forms from the deluge of abstraction that some of us create.
Like many other artists who play this game, mine is largely an unplanned stream of consciousness.
As life ebbs and flows there are periods dominated by torrential outbursts of imagery.
I’m driven by a force beyond my thoughts to combine and construct these collections of objects, images and notions. They make no sense at the time and only sometimes later can I pick out an impression of context, a reflection of thought.
Meanwhile, I enjoy the colours and the nonsense. Another metaphor for life.
Imagine. Just imagine… being able to make up your own rules.
Sure, some of the old ones still have to apply: do as you would be done by, two wrongs don’t make a right, gravity, etc. But what about the rest of them? Why ever would we allow anyone else to dictate the hows and the whys beyond these fundamentals?
This morning I was pondering this question.
So much is programmed into our thinking, our knowing, when we’re way too small to offer up much objection. Of if we try to we’re dismissed as not having enough understanding of the bigger picture. Right – like anyone has a mind broad and deep enough to encompass all of that. Our programmers – our significant care-givers, parents, family, teachers, and preferred celebrity heroes (real and fictional) – they’re still too little to get it all too. Everyone is. Even the oldests and the wisests. All of them!
Tomorrow is my birthday, my personal New Year, less arbitrary than January 1st (for those of us born on one of the other days of the year). As I was born on a Wednesday I’m attaching something to the fact it’s a Wednesday again this time round. Although this happens every 5-6 years, I just hadn’t given it much thought until this time.
To celebrate this turn of number, I’m considering making some new rules, some new truths, for this next phase of being me. I haven’t fine-tuned the details yet, but I think that being me is going to be different. Less limited. More fun.
I’m going out for a walk and a think, I’ll tell you more when I’ve mulled over the finer details.
As I look at what I do I try to pick out clues as to what I mean and feel and understand.
Already in week two of this selflove365 day project (and LOVING it, btw).
The pictures are fuzzy. They mirror the way I’m fumbling my way into the new year and this new project.
I’m finding my feet.
How do I interpret Self Love?
I’m defining it to myself: until recently I wasn’t aware of it even being a thing in my world. It’s new and a little confusing, I’m taking it on as a project: here in this book, here in my life.
So far, this is what it looks like….
Starting out with a literal expression of the theme. First thoughts… It turns out 1″ square is both larger and smaller than I expected it to be. I can squish more into the space than expected, also it’s also more squinty to look at and to photograph than I expected.
I went to see Star Wars this day. It was fab. (Apropos to nothing at all.)
What’s this? – like a tunnel into the future? IDK. I’m still consumed in confusion from the holidays. It’s still a blur. It’s been a Sunday for a very long time now.
This was the day I would have gone back to work if I hadn’t spent it flat out on the sofa, back home, recombobulating. I was watching a lot of YouTube. A lot of Kyle Cease. He’s reminding me to re-establish a daily meditation practice. I’m reading Gretchen Rubin’s Happiness Project. She’s reminding me the same.
In terms of the daily practice, I’m beginning to see how the squares can join up to become a bigger picture. I’m beginning to get a grip on things again. Thank fuck for that.
Finally got into the year. Five days in… I’ve done than that worse before 😉
Last year’s book seemed to be full of eyes. (My word for the year was FOCUS, it that kept coming out.) Also my art often has eyes in. So here’s an image who is looking back at us.
Today I began another year long project. I’m feeling more comfortable with commitment than any time before in my life. (Strewth – I’m not becoming like an actual adult am I?) (NO)
I hope the first week of the year has been gentle to you, dear friends. I look forward to reading your plans and adventures X
Sometime earlier this year I fell upon the Four Agreements (Miguel Ruiz). This week they fell back into my mind, so I caught them here on the page. If you don’t know them,
The Four Agreements are:
1. Be Impeccable with your Word: Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the Word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your Word in the direction of truth and love.
2. Don’t Take Anything Personally
Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.
3. Don’t Make Assumptions
Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.
4. Always Do Your Best
Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.
I remind myself of these to keep on track. Again and again. There’s something magical about the physical act of writing words. I think the process is wired up to a special section of the brain that remembers differently.
There’s a lot about contrast. By which I mean to say – everywhere – it’s all about contrast, isn’t it? And on a smaller scale too.. Yester-page saw the words shouting out unhindered by art. This page is the opposite as from almost the outset the wordage got drowned out by heavy paint.
But it’s ok, I know what I wrote. The words are still fresh in my mind and readily retrievable from this bountiful online repository of stuff.
This page saw me in the mood for change. Random artifacts. Desk findings.
Moleskine users will recognise this addition (I never had cause to use these stickers – or these others that turned up a recent tidying flurry – but as somehow-un-throw-out-ables, there’s quite a collection to use up now)
It’s been a few pages since I played with the paints. So that was the spark to the first layer of word covering.
Bring contrast: Add white
splurged on white
Thick dollopy white – oh THE PATTERNS!
OH MY DAYS!
Now too much white?
glimpses survive, but … more color to balance that white…
Like the proverbial kid in the sweet shop, or the bull in the china shop, I am the loon with the oil pastels, making the lumps and rhythms in the white paint come to life in all the colours of autumn that my eyes have been unconsciously soaking in.
Not usually a fav medium to me, I’m just developing a fondness for the slightly icky messiness involved.
And yet again, while the page (week) has a certain overall heaviness (ugliness)
that I didn’t have time to remedy,
the details (moments) hold the beauty.
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?)
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.
I love to learn.
I take in as much information as I can every day.
It swims about inside my head,
It gets filtered (a little bit).
Forming together into cohesive chunks
I consider my ‘knowledge’.
TBH, it’s a bit cluttered in there.
Oftentimes, when I extract some of these really interesting new things to share,
they get all mashed up on the way out.
One idea gets tangled up
with a theory from somewhere else,
In my mind it’s a beautifully crafted gestalt,
digested and distilled,
It’s the architecture of my reality.
But you only see a fin,
or a twig,
truncated from context.
It sounds like nonsense to you.
(I know this to be true)