painting

Invited Guests - The Art Of Contentment Online Class

The Art Of Contentment - Meet My Invited Guests

Today, I’m thrilled to share my guest list for my upcoming class entitled The Art Of Contentment that goes live on 1st January 2019. I have 12 amazing women who will be sharing on the topic of ‘contentment’ as creative women living in a busy world. Hear/read/see their insights for living a slower life and finding contentment from within.

You’ll be hearing from successful photographers, artists, coaches, designers and authors - how do they find contentment? I think you’re going to love this - art and soul combined!

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So, without further ado, I’m sharing my guests names and ‘job titles’ in month order, starting with January, so here we go (starting top left):

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Michelle GD - Writer and Photographer

Cristina Colli - Artist, Photographer, Writer and Teacher

Michelle Turbide - Artist and Teacher

Sam Martin - UK Artist

Kerstin Martin - Squarespace Educator

Sheila Atchley - Artist, Author and Preacher’s Wife

Sarah Raad - Coach + Business Owner of Simple Happy Life

Lisa York - SuperMum Podcast Host

Renee Mueller - Artist & Online Teacher

Michelle Fletcher of Camels & Couscous - Artist, Explorer, Curator - all things art and travel 

Gabrielle Heckenbucker - Artist

Christianne Squires - Book Coach

Here’s what to expect from the class:

Let’s enjoy 2019 together as we paint through the year with soulful portraits and enjoy contributions from guests (and myself) on their insights for living a slower life and finding contentment from within.

Art helps us to switch off from the pressures of a busy world and enables us to reconnect with ourselves, refocus our priorities and slow down.

How It Will Work:

* Each month, I'll share with you a new and extensive soulful portraiture lesson. We'll be dabbling with various supplies and styles and creating paintings using acrylic, ink, watercolour, pastels, charcoal, collage, gold leaf, perhaps some clay and of course, using basic supplies such as graphite etc.

Along side the art, look forward to being inspired by other creative women and how they find contentment in a busy world. We’ll be hearing from talented artists, photographers, designers, writers and coaches - all with busy lives but with useful tips and heartfelt reflections to help you slow down. (See my amazing guest line up below)!

Make 2019 the year that you reconnect with who you are and what's important. Give yourself this monthly gift and watch how your year blossoms as you immerse yourself in portrait painting, slowing down, finding rest and discovering an inner contentment.

Please note: If you’d like to register, please click the button below (ps. early bird offer will end on 5th December - sale price currently £95 for the entire year)

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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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If you've enjoyed this post, please consider clicking the image above and pinning it... 

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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Brand New Mini Class - Flower Crown Girls - Registration Open

The Perfect Combination - Painting Portraits and Flowers!

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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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#Perfectionism in Art and Life - #letgo

Perfectionism and The Pressure To Be Perfect 

Don’t let perfectionism become an excuse for never getting started.
— Marilu Henner
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We all know it - perfectionism gets in the way of living our best life. 

The last few days I've been struggling.  I've created two paintings and hated both. Well, that's not strictly true; I liked them at one point and then I've hit a point of not thinking they were good enough and then ruined them by working them too much. Do you know that feeling?  

Even now as I'm typing this, I have a strong feeling to clarify the paintings here - yes, I know the eyes weren't quite right, yes, I know the arms and hands weren't in proportion but the thing is, I felt my heart. soaring. with. delight - that is until #selftalk decided that they were no good!  Isn't that sad?

When you strip it all away, this anxiety is all based on unworthiness. We tell ourselves, 'Just a little more effort is all it'll take' or, 'If I just get this right, I will be _____ (fill in the blank). We've got to stop this friends and I'm going to be looking at this topic in my upcoming project starting in March - Heads Up.  

Perfectionism is the modern addiction, says Seth Godin.  He also goes on to say:

Seeking a perfect sphere might be a hobby, but if it’s not giving you joy, it’s a lousy way to live. It’s an addiction, not a useful tool.
— Seth Godin

 

I take comfort from the words above and these:

I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.
— Philippians 4:13
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Understanding the difference between healthy striving and perfectionism is critical to laying down the shield and picking up your life.
Research shows that perfectionism hampers success. In fact, it’s often the path to depression, anxiety, addiction, and life paralysis.
— Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are

So, my message today is not to rely on your own strength but God's.  He knit you in the womb.  He knows how many hairs are on your head.  He strung the stars together in the sky.  He wants you to live your life with joy, to slow down, to enjoy the people He has included in your life and for you to hand over all your concerns to Him.  So, change isn't easy but I'm going to #letgo with His unending grace and help - will you join me?

Much love,

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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Receive my 'Heart Letters' & + enjoy optional extras: Free access to the 'Inspiration Library', 20% off online classes, Free prints, art videos + more...