ART from the HEART

ART from the HEART

This month, I am creating art from the heart.
As those of you who follow the blog will know, I have been exploring emotions on paper and creating work using my feelings and my body as a starting point for my art. I am being mindful and engaging in more of the activities that make me feel most alive. It has been a thrilling journey of one transformative experience after another.

Making art brings me such joy and what greater joy is there than sharing what you love with others? So, my latest offering is an afternoon art workshop, ART from the HEART. I love to share my passion for art and so this creative workshop is for you if you would like to connect through art… connect with yourself, your body and other people whilst making art.

Would you like to explore your creativity in a supportive environment, connect with others whilst creating a beautiful piece of art with YOU at the very centre? If so, please come and join me… it would be such a pleasure to make art with you. I promise it will be a playful occasion with plenty of smiles. You don’t have to have any art-making experience… just come and play.

Oh, and if the sun is out, the garden will be our studio! If you would like to join me, just click on the button below… there’s a special offer if you book before Sunday.

With love,
Julia x

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My June art adventures

June 1, when I committed to:
Doing something creative every day for the next 30 days
Sharing on the blog at least once a week
Being open to any direction my creativity may take me
Being open to any outcome
Sharing my feelings, learnings and realisations as I go through the process
seems like a lifetime away.

How is it possible for time to go so fast, yet for a mere month to feel like so long ago?
At the moment, I feel this way because I did so much more than I expected in the month just gone and in the doing, the time has flown. It has truly been a joyful, art-filled month of exciting discoveries, allowing myself to be free and get in flow.

I started the month sharing videos of my progress, but as June went on and paid work rolled in, there was less time to sit in front of the webcam and the journey became more of an action-based learning than the sharing I had initially intended. In writing this now though, I feel compelled to make a video of my learnings this month, as I realise that I am sharing very few of the details. To do so in a written blog post feels impossible right now, so… watch this space!

I made art almost every day. Some days a simple doodle or sketch; others a finished, framed piece. One of my simplest pieces was an emptying of my head before bed (above). It was a lipstick print of my mouth (representing me talking about what I love) enclosed in a heart (all the things I love) and a tracing around my hand (representing me making my art). The following morning, one of the simplest and most important pieces of advice from my coach summed up my previous night’s art-making in one sentence: “You’ve got to get out there and talk to people about doing what you love”. Yes!

And this is how the month has been.

June was truly a month of getting back to the heart of why I am here; delving deeply into my art and allowing it to flow in all areas of my life. The subtle shifts that have happened; the discoveries and realisations; all of these things, are becoming regular occurrences as I allow myself to do what I love; allow myself to be the artist I want to be; create and live the artist’s life I have longed for. It may seem, to my impatient self, like slow progress in terms of making a sustainable living from this artist’s life, but I feel optimistic that I am on the right path…

This week I created my first Birthday Art Experience for a friend’s 9 year old son. He made a beautiful work of art, way beyond his expectations. His Mum, a designer, is currently working on Art Experience Gift Vouchers for me to offer out to the world – the perfect solution for anyone wishing to give their loved ones the Gift of Art. Last week, I checked out the spaces to hire at Jacksons Lane and am working towards offering a workshop in one of their studios in September (if not before). I know now, that I want to help women connect with their true selves through the creative process.

In terms of personal satisfaction; in filling my daily life with more of what I love; in feeling closer to my true self and living the life of the Play Map in my previous post, this is fast progress indeed. I have spent a day at the coast with the kids, enjoyed other people’s workshops and spent a whole weekend immersing myself in art on a last-minute adventure. I wonder how much of this has to do with the fact that much of my art this month has involved body mapping (above), putting more of myself into my work and exploring my emotions through art. Perhaps the natural outcome is that I step closer to what matters to me. More of that in my next post… I have some wonderful images to share of my indulgent, art-filled weekend away, but for now, I just wanted to let you know that I am still here, working away on my art, finding new ways of sharing.

With love,
Julia x

Letting myself off the hook

Letting myself off the hook from Be Creative Daily on Vimeo.

So here I am, enjoying this freedom and feeling a fresh sense of optimism as though things are slowly slotting together and making sense, piece by piece, day by day, when I stumble upon the work of the artist Jonathan McCree.

McCree’s paintings spoke to me in a very immediate way, as art occasionally does, on a level I find it hard to explain, as though there is some sense of familiarity, like a deja vu or ancient knowing… a heartfelt connection that cannot be described.

So I dug a little deeper, found out a little more and discovered a video of the artist talking about his work. It is ten minutes long, but I have had it on watch and rewind, watch and rewind, watch…

And now, I understand exactly why his work spoke to me. I know why this art came up on my radar right now. In the artist’s words:

“Usually when I work on anything, I am trying to devise a strategy for unknowing something. It’s much more interesting for me if I don’t know what I’m going to do, so I tell myself all the way through, “I don’t know, I don’t know” so it’s almost like a mantra. And for me, the strategy of doubt and constant questioning or deferral of what the project is about is usually the best way to end up somewhere and I don’t know at this stage where I will end up.”

This is where I am. This is what I feel. This is what I trust.

When the artists talks about his approach to his work he is speaking about something that can (and indeed should) be applied to almost all aspects of our lives… letting go and allowing things to unfold.

I started on a collage this morning:
It is inspired by Jonathan McCree and I will developing this further.
When I do, I will share it here.

I want to see where the “don’t know” takes me, both in art and in life.

It is an interesting place to be… I feel like I am on the edge of something.

To the heart

To the heart from Be Creative Daily on Vimeo.

Day 4 of my month of creating daily and I chose to give some love to the area of my body that I feel needs the most attention at the moment… my shoulders and my heart. I drew around my shoulders, upper arms and torso with pencil on paper and coloured it with wax pastels as you will see in this short film.

Which part of your body could do with a little brightening today?

Using my hands to heal my heart

Healing Hands on Heart

Whilst strolling through Hyde Park today, I came upon Speakers’ Corner, a place I had not been to in 20 years. Wandering amongst the crowds, listening to the speakers, observing the interactions, it struck me that I am now in a similar position to where I was some 20 years ago, as a young woman, new to London, delving into her creativity, not sure where it would lead, but enjoying life’s little adventures, exploring the city and the characters within it. This time, I am older, a mother of two young boys, single for the first time in 20 years and committing to my creativity once again.

This realisation gave me a strange feeling which I felt deep in my heart. It was a kind of anxiety… a me on my own in the big, wide world, no partner to share with, and the responsibility of two children who rely upon me kind of a feeling. But it was also a fullness… a feeling that anything is possible, this is just down to me now, and I am free to create whatever I wish for me and my kids.

The reality, of course, is somewhere in between… their Dad remains very active in the boys’ lives, so it is not just me they rely upon. And the dreams…? There is no guarantee I can create all I may wish for the boys and I, but I can do my best to create a wonderful life for us all. And my heart…? I haven’t given up hope… far from it, but it could do with a little healing.

So, in my month of making art, I am seeking to reconnect with myself. I am using my hands to connect with my heart. Today, I created a little something that makes me smile. It is a simple something that warms my heart makes me feel protected.

In being present, and in putting my hands on my heart, I can give myself all the love I need right now… and in making my art, I will hopefully create something that not only heals me, but that may, if I am lucky, speak to the hearts of other people.

To be Lonely / To be Loved

I embarked on the 30 Day Challenge on March 1. My mission was to Share JOY through ART. As often happens, the path took unexpected twists and turns. I had not expected this so soon. All sorts of deep-seated feelings and emotions have been unearthed. I am learning to embrace them, feel them, learn from them. 

It seems so strange to be sharing these emotions and feelings when my challenge was to share JOY, but this is part of the process and I firmly believe it will come full circle as I do here. Already, having explored those feelings, I am stronger, they have less power.

In my attempts to share JOY, I have also been reconsidering how important it is to examine the way in which we experience other, darker emotions and rather than hide them, just be with them and let them do their work.

Today, I was moved by the work of Marina Abramovic. I feel am in a very important period of transition and transformation. Discovering her performance art inspired me to make this video.

To Be Lonely / To Be Loved from Be Creative Daily on Vimeo.

“In the deeper sense, it’s about hospitality. It’s that you actually open yourself to the public and show your vulnerability, your contradictions and be there in the full sense for them.”
Marina Abramovic

Gratitude Daily

LOVE - Gratitude board

Since my last post here, I have noticed how my gratitude practice has lifted my spirits and made me more aware. I notice (or take the time to truly appreciate) things in a different way. Last night, for example, I lay in bed listening to Classic FM, watching the dust dancing so gracefully in the spotlight of the bedside lamp. The choreography was so naturally perfect and never-ending. I had to grab my notebook so I would not forget.

Today, I am grateful for the beauty that is everywhere, but so often goes unnoticed.

I feel eager to share the good feeling these things bring and I have started a group to share Gratitude Daily throughout the month of February. Seventeen women have already started connecting online and I hope each of them will join me in using gratitude over the coming month to Share JOY through ART. I am already finding little ways to express my gratitude, be it on my Gratitude board or in little works of art.

Last week, I went to a performance at the Purcell Room on London’s South Bank. It was the delightful Letter’s End by Wolfe Boart which he was performing as part of the London Mime Festival. I love mime as an art form and this performance reminded me just how much it is possible to say without words… how much can be conveyed in a look or a sound… or a work of art.

Being as the performance was close to my favourite London spot, I took the opportunity to walk over the Hungerford Bridge, took time to appreciate the city in all its glory and to photograph the lights on the river.

London Lights on the South Bank from Hungerford Bridge

In appreciating the beauty of this city in which I live, I felt compelled to express my love of the place and the gratitude I feel for being able to enjoy all of the benefits of city life, whilst living on the edge of it. So, I went back to my little series of portraits of London today.

London portraits

This city in all its glory is a subject I return to again and again. This time postcard size, next time, I think I may go a little bit bigger, so watch this space…

What have you felt grateful for this week and how can you best express it?
I would love to know your thoughts…