creativity

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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Brand New Mini Class - Flower Crown Girls - Registration Open

The Perfect Combination - Painting Portraits and Flowers!

flower crown girls class

I'm excited to share my new online class with you: Flower Crown Girls.  

This mini class is open for registration now, for all levels of experience and the classroom will open the end of February and as this class is self-paced, meaning that even if you are short on time at the moment, you'll know it's there for you when you have a little snippet of time and you're itching to do some painting, or want to try something different. 

Click for more info.

The cost is nice and affordable at just £20 - remember, this class has lifetime access and is self-paced. 

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Some of what you will learn in this class:

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  • Enjoy three full portrait projects
  • Experiment using alternative colour palettes
  • Learn how to mix colour effectively
  • Paint one project using just the primary colours
  • Adopt an illustrative feel for one of the portraits
  • Add your own motifs and bring your painting to life
  • Paint loose and also paint 'realistic'
  • 'Adorn' your portraits with earrings, bows or jewellery
  • Learn tips for drawing and some useful aids
  • Enjoy an upcoming BONUS project
  • + so much more!

Thanks for being here and thank you to all who have purchased this class, I'm most appreciative of your support.  

Jane x

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5 Tips On How To You Let YOUR Art Come Through + Free Portrait Video

I'm sharing a little video with you today that is just 5 mins long.   

As I've been busy adding content to my upcoming ecourse Portraits In Time, I took some time out to play and explore and the video below is the end result.  It took about 20 minutes to complete but I've speeded the whole thing up to just 5 mins.  At the end of the video, I've also shared a complete supplies list should you be interested. 

If I create from the heart, nearly everything works: if from the head, almost nothing.
— Marc Chagall

I often get asked 'How do you let your art, your 'unique you' come through to the canvas/paper?'  

So five thoughts on this:

  • The boring bit is just to practice, play and be brave.  It's about putting in the time and commitment to learning how to draw/paint and with time, your 'unique' vision will come through. I always remember learning to drive and realising that we all have our own little ways of driving but overall, the core skill is the same.
  • Know that there will be 'off' days and 'off' pieces of art that frankly just need to be binned or painted over.  That's okay and totally normal.  Give yourself permission to make mistakes and try again (and again).
  • Listen to your inner voice and add a splash of bright pink there, a scribble over here and a bit of collage there.  Yes, the process involves risk but this is where the magic happens. 
  • Know that you're always evolving and so is your art and that's normal, so pay attention to what is real for you in this time and space.
  • Let go of perfection and say 'hello' to play and truth in the process.  

I do hope you enjoy this video and that you'll be inspired to have a go yourself.  If you'd like to create some art with me, please purchase my upcoming portrait class - the classroom opens on 11th September. 

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Three Art Books I'd Recommend

Everyone loves a great art book, so today, I'd like to share three that I'd wholeheartedly recommend.

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Bold Expressive Mixed Media Painting: Painting Techniques for Still Lifes, Florals and Landscapes In Mixed Media by Annie O'Brien Gonzales.

Lots of beautiful and colourful projects in this book which are set out in a clear and easy to read format.  Annie includes lots of additional info including colour theory, 'Painting Notes' and 'Learning From Our [artist] Ancestors'.  

Various techniques and projects are included featuring collage, abstract, florals and landscape using acrylic, oil and mixed media. 

A great book for helping you create work that is personal, expressive and colourful - you'll love it!

 

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Pastel Innovations: 60+ Techniques and Exercises for Painting With Pastel by Dawn Emerson.

Lots of interesting ideas in this book make it suitable for beginners or the seasoned artist alike.  So much variety here and the opportunity to build on each task.  

This book goes through some 'basics' and then shares 20 exercises that help build confidence.  There are also 40+ innovative techniques that are also shared.  Lastly, a useful section on self critique.  

All in all, a great book for exploration and using pastels in exciting new ways!

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The Confident Creative by Cat Bennett.

Cat beautifully shares her belief that we are all creative beings who can readily tap into a never-ending supply of inspiration that lives inside us.  

This book will help you relax whilst giving you 'permission' to create from a rich well of personal expression and experimentation - there are no mistakes.

Included are various examples and illustrations that complement the book nicely.  

Overall, a very easy read that you'll want to pick up time and time again.  A keeper!

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Please note, this post contains affiliate links should you purchase the book.  I only include products on my site that I genuinely endorse. 

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Instagram Spotlight! - Hello Hydrangea

I don't know about you but I find Instagram a fun place to browse when I have a few minutes (or more lol). 

I also really enjoy connecting with the friendly community over on Instagram - I find them to be really encouraging and inspiring...

Anyway, today, I wanted to share some of that inspiration with you! 

Let me introduce Lindsey Campbell of HelloHydrangea.  

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Lindsey says: 'Each tapestry is handmade with love using materials sourced from around the world. Wall hangings sell out within a day or two..'

They say ‘Good Things Take Time’... weaving is one of those good things.
— Lindsey Campbell

I came across Lindsey recently and instantly loved her wall hangings.  They have such a modern feel but with a unique traditional twist which I love.  

Lindsey's feed looks so inviting and varied; I was instantly drawn (or weaved lol) in! 

Over on Lindsey's website, she details online courses, a blog with lots of interesting posts and some gorgeous woven necklaces.

I've also just noticed a recently published tutorial (fab!) on weaving and watercolour that Lindsey has generously provided, over on one of my favourite sites, Design Sponge!

Images all belong to HelloHydrangea, Lindsey Campbell

Links to follow:

@HelloHydrangea - Instagram

Hello Hydrangea - Website

So, I hope you enjoyed this Instagram Spotlight and if you're on Instagram, please stop by - I'd love to follow you! 

Have a wonderful rest of your week...

Jane x

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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!

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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...

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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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