Workshops

Prayer and Paint Workshop Afterglow

Photo slideshow from the workshop...

Below are some photos from the Prayer and Paint workshop that I held on Saturday at Summerbridge (take a look at the new website---->) church that we are a part of.  I was thrilled that so many came and in the end we had around 20 people approx.! 

The workshop's aim was to explore the idea of using the medium of paint with prayer and reflection.  This is really close to my heart and has been so for some time now.  I really care about this aspect of my personal creative/reflective time and so wanted to offer this personally as a 'way in' for people that wouldn't necessarily paint or consider themselves 'creative'.  

I began by encouraging everyone to write out in pencil, without censoring, their worries, fears, anxieties; however small and to let them just pour out (side note: I ran out of paper).  I absolutely love this process and find it cleansing and such a relief to 'get it all out'. 

We then covered over our writing with gesso (white primer) and let that dry.  The idea being that by covering over our 'junk', we can 'start again', refresh and re-boot with Jesus' help.  We continued with another layer; this time with willow charcoal sticks.  I like to sketch out imperfect faces and encouraged others to do that or, to find their own way.  Some examples of what came out of this stage were: flowers, portraits, buildings, pattern, a wall, shapes and lots of mark making.

 My piece from the workshop - a bit psychedelic, I think...

My piece from the workshop - a bit psychedelic, I think...

I really enjoyed having people of all ages present.  We had a few men, younger children, teenagers, mid-life and older adults and it felt lovely to combine this experience with them all.

Next, we got out paint and began to add colour - it was akin to bringing light, warmth and 'nourishment' to our pieces.  Again, this idea of covering over the heartache/worries and lighting everything up with technicolour - so great.

Some people covered over their charcoal layer with something new, whilst others 'coloured-in' with the paint and added lots of vibrancy to the charcoal underdrawing.  All of it was just right.

I recognised that this could be challenging for people because putting the 'logical' side of the brain to one side is foreign to so many of us and can feel counterintuitive.  However, as the workshop went on, I sensed that more people were managing to do this and to appreciate the process rather than the end result.

We then finished the workshop by eating together and enjoying our shared buffet that everyone had contributed to.  A perfect way to spend a few hours on a Saturday. 

I think in a smaller setting it would have been lovely to have had a mutual time of prayer and reflection in a way that felt right for that individual.  I also think doing this at home would be fabulous with a few additions: lighting a candle, putting on some soft music, making a pot of tea and lastly, opening up your bible. 

Prayer is the key of the morning and the bolt of the evening.
— Mahatma Gandhi

Lastly, I think this would be a beautiful practice to do as a family, with your children, your church, with a special friend, prayer partner or perhaps your spouse (maybe??? lol).  

Anyway, I hope this inspires you to give this a go and please let me know how you get on... 

You may also like...

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FREE Expressive Art Video Tutorial - Releasing Emotions

Lost and Found - mixed media art demo.

Our feelings are our most genuine paths to knowledge.
— Audre Lorde

Today, I'm sharing with you a speeded up art video tutorial with voiceover.  The piece of artwork is called Lost and Found and really this video is my way of encouraging you if you have some emotions that you'd like to express on paper but perhaps this is a new idea for you and you've not tried this way of painting before.  

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Yes, I know that sometimes the last thing we want to do is to feel our pain but stay with me and give it a go.  This technique is great when you have emotions to express and release.  This is not about creating a 'pretty' piece of artwork necessarily but instead allowing your intuition to take over and make marks, scribble, move your body and reduce tension.

The other night, I was feeling a little sad with one thing and another and decided to do some expressive sketching using my Lyra pencil.  I hadn't set out thinking I would share this at all but I found the process, the supplies and method I used to be cathartic and thought it might help you.

Below are the supplies I used:

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  • Lyra Pencil 6b
  • Daler & Rowney A3 220g Smooth Paper
  • Sennelier Cobalt Blue and Walnut Ink
  • Brown Stabillo
  • XL Charcoal stick in - beige
  • Conte pastel pencils
  • Paintbrush and water
  • Golden Fluid Acrylic - hot pink

Thanks for reading and watching...

Jane x

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Inspiring Artist and Creativity Websites

Whether you are an artist or just beginning your creative pursuits, it's always nice to have some inspiration along the way and today I thought I'd share my top 10 sites (in no particular order):

Sometimes we can get into a rut or just need some time out from our own creative work in order to fill ourselves up so that when we return to our art table, we can feel refreshed once again...

So here's my list below:

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1. Jane Davenport - artist and popular online teacher. 

2. Jamie Ridler Studios - mentor and encourager.

3. Alisa Burke - artist + workshop and online teacher

4. Cloth Paper Scissors - magazine

5. Women In Art History - art and culture

6. Collage Art of Laura Lein-Svencner - art

7. JaneVille - creativity galore

8. sfgirlbybay - design, art and culture

9. The Jealous Curator - art, interviews, inspiration

10. Posie Gets Cosy - craft, art and just a beautiful blog

I do hope this list of sites has inspired you and hopefully jump starts your creative juices or, you just enjoy a well-earned break from your own creative work. 

A favour: please share in the comments section below if you have any favourite creative sites that you regularly enjoy.  Thanks.

Jane x

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9 Ways That Collage Can Be So Exciting and Life Affirming

Collage is SO much more than just gluing bits of paper to a substrate...

As I've been creating my latest online class, Fragments Of Joy, I've realised just how many possibilities there are with collage.  It's been really difficult to curate the projects I've wanted to include in the class.  

Below is Matisse with his 'cut outs'.  He was seriously ill after having had surgery and was diagnosed with cancer and I just love that the last years of his life were occupied by this joyful work. I'd have loved to have seen him at work - propped up against his pillows with the sound of scissors cutting paper.

Apparently, it was an extremely busy time and at least one of his assistants suffered from exhaustion.  He would ask his assistants to place the cut out on the plaster wall and secure it with a pin with Matisse directing the placement, all from his wheelchair.  All he used was white paper, gouache and scissors - not to mention his immense talent of course ;).

 Matisse with one of his studio assistants.

Matisse with one of his studio assistants.

 Matisse's Violet Leaf on Orange Background (1947). Photograph: © Succession Henri Matisse/DACS 2014

Matisse's Violet Leaf on Orange Background (1947). Photograph: © Succession Henri Matisse/DACS 2014

I love how his work seemed to hold no constraints and even though his wife had left him, he was incapacitated and dying and his daughter was going through horrendous suffering at the hands of the gestapo - still, his cut outs (his soul?) could rise above it all and fly.

So my vision was to make an online art class that was based upon collage, in an effort to show you, just how versatile (and joyful - hence the name of the class) can be.  

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Here are just some of the benefits of collage:

  • Collage is very freeing, spontaneous and inventive.  For instance, Matisse created cut outs that were huge and would cover part of the ceiling and wall at once.  Sometimes they were part tucked behind a radiator etc.
  • It's so versatile - you can use paper, fabric, found items etc and it works beautifully with other media too.
  • Collage is a great learning tool for composition mastery as you have to really think about placement of your shapes.
  • Create your own papers and watch how you use media in new and exciting ways.
  • You will learn so much along the way ie. ways to use texture, colour, line, form etc and of course all of this can be translated to new work.
  • If you're struggling with your 'regular' creative work you'll find that you can return to it with renewed passion, clarity and vision. 
  • You can use everything - nothing is off limits! 
  • The world around you becomes fresh and full of possibilities ie. the orange string bag that your satsumas contain, a piece of old jewellery, or a rubbing from a piece of rough bark that you came across whilst walking the dogs. 
  • There is great opportunity to work intuitively with images and ephemera as a way to exploring your inner life and what is either troubling you or conversely, making you feel alive.

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Want to explore collage more fully for yourself?  Fragments Of Joy just might be the ticket you need and I'd love to have you.  

Some of what you can expect:

  • Full projects PLUS one bonus (on the right is the 'floral still life' project).
  • Some ideas for creating your own papers.
  • Fun extra projects using magazine images.
  • Have fun with transparent layers.
  • Create a memory/story collage.
  • All levels - no art experience needed.

Use this discount code (case sensitive) below at checkout to get the Early Bird Price:

6OFFCOLLAGEJOY

Early Bird Price: £29 (approx. $39) - until 16th October 2017

Regular Price: £35 (approx. $46).

Fragments Of Joy - floral still life.jpg
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Roses, Picasso and Workshops

Sometimes you've just got to paint!

I picked these patio roses from my garden yesterday and just had to paint them even though we were in the middle of a plumbing disaster zone!  Whilst I was 'on call' to help my husband when needed, I threw together the piece below with such abandon and speed - it all happened in about 5 mins flat.  I just had to do it!

roses

What struck me was how much better I felt after.  It wasn't the greatest piece I've ever done by any stretch of the imagination - it was just a rough piece after all BUT it WAS a reflection of how I felt, what I saw and my energy in that particular moment and that's what's great about art and the beauty of expressing yourself.  

This friends, is what I want to encourage in my workshops - not necessarily the end product (unless you're wanting to sell your work of course) but the process along the way.

Another great thing about creativity is that how I might interpret something today might be very different tomorrow.  What I include or NOT in my artwork today is all a personal reflection of me and my life in the here and now - I find that beautiful...

Picasso for instance used a variety of styles in his art-making.  The image on the left, Dove was used to illustrate the poster of the 1949 Paris Peace Congress and is an accurate and beautiful rendering of a pigeon that Henri Matisse gave him.  The image on the right is an abstracted, simplified version of the same bird also by Picasso and no less beautiful or meaningful in my mind, just different...

Here are some questions to ponder and these answers will give you some insight into how to include more of 'you' into your work.  

Answer the questions below:

  • What is it that delights you?  
  • What marks bring you joy?  
  • What colours light you up?  
  • What textures do you enjoy?

It doesn't matter where you are in your artistic journey - maybe you haven't picked up a brush since the age of seven and you're scared of making a 'mistake'. I understand that and I was the same way but truly the benefits and blessings that we receive when putting brush to paper are numerous.

Lastly, risk getting it 'wrong' and know you can begin again.  Some of your pieces will please you more than others.  Some will have been carefully rendered and others put together in a few moments.  They're all valuable...

roses display
In my workshops, all I’m interested in, is helping you interpret your personal vision!  
— Jane
Grassfield Hall

So with all that said, if you would like to create loose, personally expressive and meaningful floral paintings at the beautiful Grassfield Hall on Friday, 7th July 10.30am-2pm, please book here and join us, I can't wait to create with you!

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Where do artists find their inspiration #9 Podcast

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Where do artists find their inspiration

Tips and suggestions...

Where do artists find their inspiration. Today I share suggestions for finding imagery and inspiration when creating your own artwork.  For those times when you're drawing a blank and by the time you do have a subject in mind, you're tired out!  Of course, the short answer is that there is inspiration everywhere, the long answer is found on the podcast lol.

Where do artists find their inspiration

I discuss using whatever inspiration you have right in front of you - perhaps a teapot, plant or pattern on a curtain even.  Then how about nature - seed heads, shells, birds and then of course the internet, photos and magazines etc.  Later I discuss how to collage all this source material so that you have it to hand whenever the mood strikes to create.

I do hope you find this episode useful and the next time you can't think of what to paint, you'll have a plethora of inspiration at your fingertips to turn to.

Remember, please send me your questions, comments or ideas – I’d love to hear from you.

 

Resources:

Tues, 31st January 2017 – Bloom Workshop sign up (3 places left).

Questions?: I’d love to hear from you – do you have a particular topic you’d like me to cover, an artist to interview? Email me: janehinchliffeartist @ outlook.com

Instagram: Come by and visit me.

etsy shop: My artwork: Originals, prints, gifts, cards, kits and gift cards.

Subscribe to The Art of Life Podcast via iTunes.

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