9 Ways To Reduce Stress By Creating Art

If you're feeling the symptoms of stress or anxiety, you're not alone...

We live in a fast paced world and when we don't take the time to restore ourselves, we can feel overwhelmed and unable to relax even when we need and want to.  This can all to easily lead to feelings of anxiety, restlessness and in some cases depression.  

Today, I want to encourage you and say that we can ALL create art that feeds our soul.  If you can pick up a brush and apply paint, you can make art!  Please don't think you have to be an 'artist' in order to create art that lights you up or nurtures YOU.  

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There are many therapeutic benefits of creating art and reducing stress is just one of them.  It has also been proven that making art reduces high blood pressure and helps us to examine our feelings in a sub-conscious and non-threatening way.  Creating art also slows breathing (how amazing is that!) and is beautifully restorative and life-giving.
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If you're feeling overwhelmed and in need of de-stressing, look no further than a set of paints, paper and some brushes.    

You don't need to be a professional artist to make art and to see the benefits that making art can have on your life. 

Art helps you to slow down and put to one side feelings of anxiety, internal chatter and worry and instead put your attention to really seeing what is in front of you - it's very meditative.

Here are just some ways to start getting creative and making some art just for you: 

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Paint Outdoors - bring a small bag of supplies including watercolour paints, watercolour reservoir brush, art journal, pencil, eraser and paper towel.  More tips here... Begin by drawing something small like a wild flower, some clouds, pebbles, your dog, a person or a tree.  Next 'colour in' using your paints or coloured pencils.  Above is an example of a watercolour sketch a did at an RHS garden nearby.  The sculptural bench was both a challenge but also meditative as I couldn't not give it my full attention and by doing this, it puts aside the things of life for a little bit (which sometimes feels a relief...)  

Clay - air drying paper clay is brilliant for creating a little pinch pot.  Clay is so tactile and lovely to work with, you can't help but slow down and feel the cathartic benefits when you devote a little time. 

Colouring In - if painting your own scene isn't for you, there are so many beautiful colouring books out there and they are a lovely way to do a little creating in front of the television (or not) and enjoy the meditative benefits. 

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Colour - as we all know colour is very emotive - just think of a red dress versus a pale blue one.  Ordinarily red, orange and yellow are warm colours and usually associated with happiness and joy but equally may represent anger.  Try 'feeling' your way with colour on paper.  For instance you may ask yourself, 'Do I resonate with dark blue, light pink or violet today?'.  Whichever colour you choose, paint it on your paper and sit with the colours, close your eyes and take a deep breath.  

Paint A Face - the process of painting a face never ceases to amaze me.  It's difficult to put into words but when drawing faces, it's like you're looking at a part of yourself and this allows you to self reflect and get to know yourself and your feelings better. 

 
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Collage - use torn bits of magazine paper (see photo to the left), old books or any other papers you have and enjoy creating a simple scene, flower, a bird or a torn paper landscape. I also have an online class on the topic of collage called Fragments Of Joy and a personal project I'm mid-way through called Heads Up 50 (see photo above).

Pattern - the creation of repetitive shapes can be very calming and satisfying.  The process becomes a meditative act and can help you to reduce feelings of anxiety by using repetition ie. circles, triangles. 

Create With Friends - you can do all of the above and more with friends.  Gather some materials, some tea and with good company you'll be creating all sorts of things before you know it!  Think quilting bees and the camaraderie from creating together.

Soulful Release Art - when I'm struggling with overwhelm or worry, I like to write out what's on my heart without any sensor and then I simply paint over it after having taken some time to pray and reflect.  The idea is to 'cover over' the 'rubbish' and instead replace it with goodness, truth and beauty.  I might listen to some relaxing music, drink some tea, sit out in the garden or just close my eyes before covering over what I've written.  The process is always sacred, restorative and heart-felt (see right).   I may write out a bible verse, quote or poem that also helps to bring about calm, comfort or wise words. 

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Lastly, I do hope some of these ideas bring you a little bit of comfort and a chance to rejuvenate.  As always, please say 'Hi' over on Instagram or email me if you have any questions...

Jane xo


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Instagram Spotlight - Eugenia Loli Collage Artist

Today I'm sharing just some of the amazing work of collage artist - Eugenia Loli via another Instagram Spotlight

I'm continuing to explore all things collage whilst revisiting my class Fragments Of Joy and just had to share Eugenia's work with you.  Not only is Eugenia a collage artist but she is also an illustrator and film maker (her background is technology).  Eugenia is from Greece but has lived in California for many years. 

I find her work to be inventive, entertaining, intelligent and well, brilliant!

This is what Eugenia says about her work:

It’s important for me to “say” something with my artwork, so for the vast majority of my work there’s a meaning behind them. I usually do this via presenting a “narrative” scene in my collages, like there’s something bigger going on than what’s merely depicted. Sometimes the scene is witty or sarcastic, some times it’s horrific with a sense of danger or urgency, some times it’s chill. I leave it to the viewer’s imagination to fill-in the blanks of the story plot.
— Eugenia
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Below are just some of my favourites:

* The 'Cosmic Ballerinas' are part of the 'Worshipped Women' series and I love them!  

* The Farscapes series includes Rising Mountain (top row, middle) and Sea Poppies (third row, far left) aren't they brilliant - love the vintage feel to them too. 

More Titles:

Unconscious Experiences (second row, left). 

Let me get that for you (second row, far right)

Element 115 (third row, middle)

The Oh, L'Amour series is fun and I've included one collage from that series (bottom row, far left).

As an aside, I also love the titles of the collages - they make you think...  

So, I hope you've enjoyed that burst of inspiration from collage artist, Eugenia Loli - please visit her and thanks for visiting me.

Take care,

Jane x

 

Where to find Eugenia:

Eugenia - The Cargo Collective - Website

Instagram: eugenia_loli

Shop: Work for sale

Note: All images are copyright of Eugenia Loli. 


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Gift For You - Mixed Media Collage Video Tutorial

Today I'm really excited to offer you a free mixed media collage video tutorial...

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If you ever stop by my Facebook or Instagram feed, you'll have noticed that I've been enjoying learning, experimenting and playing with collage after recently adding a bonus project to my online class, Fragments Of Joy

There are just so many ways to use collage in artwork and there are pretty much no rules - this is good news to me and to you! 

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What You Will Learn:

In this free tutorial, I show you how to integrate photographic imagery (see reference photo  below) along with a hand-drawn expressive portrait.  I also incorporate a pressed oak leaf, grasses, lace etc - please scroll down the page to see the supplies I used.

Along the way, you'll be there as I encounter 'issues' and see how I overcome them.

You'll gain some understanding for my choices of items to add from a compositional point of view and how it evolves into a final piece of artwork. 

Reference Photo 

The photographer's name is Annie Spratt (love her work) and here is the link to this royalty free image obtained via Unsplash

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Supply List

Derwent XL Charcoal

Watersoluble pencil - Koh-I-Noor Hardtmuth

Mixed Media Paper

Papers - tissue, book print

Dried grasses, pressed oak leaf

Embroidery thread

Lace

Liquitex Matte Medium

Gelatos - peach/pink

Sennelier oil pastels

White paint

Brushes - large, medium and detail

Paper towel, water, palette paper etc. 


Goodbye and I Hope You've Enjoyed This Tutorial...

I feel privileged to have been your creative guide for this tutorial and would like to encourage you to keep going, keep learning and developing your own style - oh, and have fun!


Want To Have More Fun With Collage?

Why Not Purchase Fragments Of Joy?

 
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To purchase the class - Fragments Of Joy, click the button below.

Please note, if you're a Hearts Letter subscriber (or would like to be), you automatically receive a 20% instant discount code for both my classes - (£35 normally or £28 with discount).

This class is available worldwide and can be purchased using a debit or credit card on this secure site.  Here is a handy currency exchange checker.


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Paper Collage Portrait Bonus Project - Fragments Of Joy - Online Art Class

Portrait Collage Project - Summer Bonus Content for Fragments of Joy

I've been enjoying creating paper collage portraits this week and judging by how many positive emails and comments I've received, I thought it would be a lovely to add this project (at no extra cost) to Fragments of Joy - Play and Possibilities With Collage - one of my online art classes. 

If you can cut or tear, you can collage...
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If you like this post, please consider clicking on the image and pinning it - thanks. 

Here is a little information on the class below:

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The classroom is open, the videos are all downloadable and the class is self-paced.  This means that even though you may be really busy this summer (and beyond) with children off school, holidays, day trips etc, you get to dip in and out of the content when it's convenient for you. 

In case you're wondering, there are three other full projects (plus this new one), five mini projects, a little piece on art history and more!

The full description for the class is here and the short description underneath. 

 
Fragments Of Joy - Self Paced Online Art Class

Self-Paced, Lifetime Access with Downloadable Videos

This class is all about letting go using collage.  

Contains:

Three full projects

Five Extra Mini Projects

Bonus collage portrait - added Summer 2018!

A little art history

Pinterest board

More Resources

***

Enjoy the feeling of spontaneity as you create collages using 'fragments of joy' ie. scraps of paper, fabric, lace etc.  Make a 'memory or story' photo collage in a re-purposed book and then be filled with delight as you piece together a floral still life.  Watch your artwork transform with the addition of atmospheric transparent layers.  Embrace play - make art that doesn't have to 'make sense' but instead makes you feel joyful!  

Receive lots of tips, suggestions and ideas for using collage as a way to explore new inspiration as well as take a little detour as to how some famous artists have embraced collage.

After purchase, you will receive an email with details on how to access the private classroom.

 

This class is perfect for the beginner, or someone who just feels they don't possess any creative gene but would really like to try (incidentally, I believe we are ALL creative).  Equally, an artist would find this class great for a tackling a creative block, for trying out new ideas or if you're just needing to 'let off steam' and have some fun with spontaneous jumping off points like Matisse did when he began 'carving into colour' - by the end he'd made over 120 of them!

I hope you get to join us over in the classroom.


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Top 10 Art and Creativity Websites With The Best Resources and Tips

Hi there lovelies, when I was starting out on my creativity journey, it took some time to find some high quality resources to help me on my way.  So if that's you, today, I'm sharing a combination of some of the best art and creativity websites that contain great information, resources and well, you'll have to take a look to know what I mean... 

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If you've enjoyed this post, I'd be thrilled if you pinned it - just click the image.

To learn more, just click on the links below: 

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Tate Student Resources -  Tate Modern in London has some fantastic articles, information and guidance on a variety of art related topics.  Well worth a look. 

Tara Leaver - Tara is a very generous artist with her resources and experience.  Her enthusiasm is contagious and she is passionate about helping you create 'the art that only you can make'.

Jamie Ridler  - Jamie is a certified coach and writer and her website contains a plethora of resources.  You will find Jamie's popular podcast where she interviewed 'creative spirits' which was recently but is still available as an inspiring and substantial resource.  In addition, check out Jamie's Creative Living TV and many other useful resources too.

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National Gallery, London - A fantastic resource of exhibitions, artist information and many quality resources.  

Angela Fehr - Angela makes really good quality instructional art videos on a regular basis via You Tube on a variety of mediums and styles.  Great resource. 

This is a great resource if you're looking for an outlet to sell your artwork and need a brief overview of the main ones. 

Unsplash - Unsplash is a fantastic resource for license free reference images.  I use them often.

Fine Art Tips - Learn how to draw shades from this popular You Tube artist.  

Ivy Newport, Artist - Ivy's website includes some of the best online art classes around.  Her teaching style is very approachable for all levels of art experience.   Ivy also has a delightful creativity community that is very welcoming and inspiring for all. 

Juliette Crane  - Juliette offers a number of mixed media online classes which feature her distinctive and whimsical style, as well as a business class. .  There is also a business class offering too.  

Dirty Footprints  - Connie Solera is the talented artist and entrepreneur behind Dirty Footprints.  Connie offers retreats and online journaling and painting classes.  She has many years of experience and her artwork is always soulful, vibrant and expressive.   

So, I hope these  art and creativity websites are of help and if you have additional favourites, please feel free to share in the comments below.

Until next time.

Jane xo


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Painting Prompts For Summer When You Have 10 Minutes!

Painting Topic Ideas...

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I hope you're enjoying this new month; in fact, at this exact moment, I'm actually typing this in our garden - yay!  Today I started my 30 days of prompts for my gentle art challenge and thought perhaps you'd also enjoy some flexible painting prompts that will only take 10 minutes (or longer if you wish) to complete.  

I'm all for creating whenever I can and sometimes 10 mins is all I've got and so it's helpful to have what I'm going to paint already taken care of - hint, look below for the prompts.  

The Anglo-Saxons called June “sera monath” (dry month).
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You may have school aged children who are home for the school holidays already (hello, US friends) or perhaps little ones who like to paint with Mum regularly.  I know when our boys were a little younger, I really enjoyed looking at the Artful Parent and the wonderful resources there.  

I find painting quickly and without too much expectation helps shake my 'real' artwork up and helps me keep nimble; on my toes.  

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So whether you're joining in with the challenge (please use #createjoyfuljune2018 so we can find each other), or not, I hope you might try some of the Joyful June prompts and see where they take you and please consider popping by Instagram where you can see how the prompts are unfolding for me and I can for you... :)

Until next time...

Jane xo

 


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