Projects

New Class! Terrarium World - Making & Painting

Terrarium World - Bringing the outside in

I’m thrilled today to let you know about a brand new class called Terrarium World that I’ve created and that it’s open for registration with an early bird offer of £35/$50 for a limited time (regular price £45/$59). The class begins on 15th April 2019.

Science research shows us again and again, that nature is so restorative and helps bring a feeling of calm and wonder to our lives…

I’m fascinated with terrariums - these little tiny micro worlds and how they enable us to experience a little of the outdoors, indoors and with gales blowing outside, this class has been such a blessing to create.

I can’t wait to show you, from beginning to end, how to create both a ‘closed’ (with a lid) and ‘open’ (without a lid) terrarium. There’s a lot of information online on how to create a terrarium and it can get a little confusing but now that I’ve done all the research and created some for myself, I feel I have a really good understanding and would like to share the fun with you!

My soul can find no staircase to Heaven unless it be through Earth’s loveliness.
— Michelangelo

Being an artist, there just HAD to be an art element to this class, so you can look forward to exploring mixing greenscreating fern themed fridge magnetspainting a beautiful watercolour succulent and experience delight whilst creating a soft pastel painting featuring succulents and shells. Oh and I share how you could ‘customise’ any add ons with paint that you might want to add to your terrarium world.

What will I make?

There’s so much to learn and create in Terrarium World and below is a brief overview of the main projects:

* Lesson 1 - Closed terrarium

* Lesson 2 - Open terrarium

* Lesson 3 - Warm up - mixing greens

* Lesson 4 - Succulent study - watercolour

* Lesson 5 - Bowl of succulents and shells - soft pastel painting

* Bonus Lesson - Fern Fridge magnets x 5 - acrylic

What will I learn by taking this class?

* How to create an ‘open’ or ‘closed’ terrarium and then how to lovingly care for it

* Customise your terrarium ‘extras’ with paint

* Gain some technical expertise for mixing a green watercolour palette

* Create your very own fridge magnets (five of them) on slices of wood for gifts or for your home

* Building upon mixing greens and paint a succulent using watercolour (my reference photo included)

* Using soft pastel, create a pretty bowl full of succulents and shells to brighten your day no matter the weather outside (my reference photo included)

* Finding solace and inspiration from Psalm 23

My inspiration for this class was the following scripture:

Come away with me by yourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.
— Mark 6:31

My deeper desire to create this class came from listening to the weather storming away outside and feeling overwhelmed and busy on the inside. I really wanted to create a terrarium and have it remind me to take time to be with God. I wanted it to feel and look like a miniature garden that I could peek into and imagine myself sitting down at a pretty table with a pot of tea steaming away and give myself some time just to sit and rest.

From there, I wanted to inspire our youngest son (he’s 13 yrs old) to do the same and he excitedly picked out a miniature tree house and wanted to include that in his terrarium and you’ll get to see us both in that video lesson. It’s been such a joy and giggle to have him in this class and his enthusiasm is fantastic! (You can see Benjamin in the first pic in the gallery photos above).

I couldn’t stop there though, I wanted to try and capture the beauty of the plants that I was planting into the terrariums and with extra ones I had left over, I planted them into a precious bowl that my beloved Granny used to own many years ago that had been sitting on my windowsill waiting to come to life.

So, I hope you can see how this has been such a blessing for me to create and my prayer is that these gentle activities in Terrarium World help quiet your mind, embrace beauty and find rest in God too.

Much love,

Jane x

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Let's Celebrate Love - The Art Of Contentment

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Valentine’s Day is a wonderful chance to show people how much we care about them…

This month for my class, The Art Of Contentment and my theme of love, I thought it would be fun to create a mixed media portrait for a loved one. Once I’d completed the piece, I gave it to my Mum.

There is only one happiness in life: to love and be loved.
— George Sand, Author
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My Mum is often bed bound these days with extreme pain due to osteoporosis and I know things are really tough for her and my Dad and have been for some time. I haven’t given anything to my Mum before on Valentine’s Day but thought this year, it just felt right.

All the time whilst creating the piece and recording the lesson, I was thinking of my Mum and of other women taking my class and what they might feel called to create in the ‘name of love’. I was imagining someone painting their precious child, a grandmother, a special friend or a loving sister. The more I continued to paint and create, the more the class and my project felt infused with love.

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That’s the brilliant thing about painting and creating, you switch off from the busy, busy of the everyday and instead connect within to what’s at your core and what I would call my soul (you might say divine presence, spirit etc).

Throughout the process, my heart was filled with various memories, snippets of conversation and events. Life isn’t always rosy but there’s something really special about gifting a piece of art that you’ve created to someone else.

Reverse side of the project I made for my Mum

Reverse side of the project I made for my Mum

My hubby and I exchanged cards today. He also gave me a single red rose and some tulips - I was impressed! Our little celebration will be a few days late this year - on Saturday we’re going to see a live band and enjoy some nice food in a restaurant a little way from here - I’m looking forward to it.

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Valentine’s Day can be a lonely day for some people but I do hope that wherever you are and however you’re feeling today, I hope you feel loved for the truly special person you are…


Note: My class, The Art Of Contentment is open and available to purchase. Each month more content is added. There’s art, special guests, audio recordings from me, notable dates for each given month, books to recommend, favourite paintings from the past and throughout, ways to finding contentment in the busy of the everyday… You can see the full description here.

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Painting Prompts For Summer When You Have 10 Minutes!

Painting Topic Ideas...

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

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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{Video} 'Hope' Collage and The 'Why' Behind Stopping Taking Antidepressants

New Collage - Hope

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If you enjoyed this post and you're on Pinterest, I'd be thrilled if you could click the image above and 'pin' it - Yay!

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops - at all...
— Emily Dickinson

 

I'm sharing my latest video and collage entitled 'Hope' from my Heads Up project.   As I was creating the collage and thinking about the words of (click link for poem reading) Emily Dickinson's beautiful poem, it got me thinking more deeply about the word 'Hope' both in my life and generally.  

It occurred to me that hope is not necessarily about believing everything is going to turn out okay but rather trusting that whatever the outcome, it will be the right one...  I'm doing my best to live this out but it's not always easy.

In other news, our boys have finished school today and have a week's holiday.  I'm looking forward to spending extra time with them next week.  

Have an amazing weekend and I'd love to know what 'Hope' means to you...

Jane xo

ps. if you're interested in taking part in a 'gentle' art challenge in June, click here.


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[Video] Collages Feel, Fear and Nourish With Updates #headsup50project

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HeadsUp50Project Update With Video Over Tea!

Come to me, all of you who are weary and loaded down with burdens, and I will give you rest.
— Matthew 11:28 ISV

It's Mental Health Awareness Week until the 20th and the focus has been on stress.  Stress is a normal phenomenon of modern day living but it's when it spirals out of control that it can lead to a mental health problem.  

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Of course, some stress can actually be good for us because it enables us to push ourselves beyond our day to day limits ie. a presentation that we need to deliver at work.  It's when you are experiencing stress for prolonged periods of time that there can be a problem.  

I heard that 75% of adults (in the UK) have experienced periods of stress in the last year where they have regularly felt not able to manage and 80% of young people feel the same.

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This is a reminder for possibly ourselves and/or our loved ones to identify stress triggers, find and then practice relaxation techniques and know that situations often have a limited point in life and that they often will pass.  

These statistics remind me that I can always work, exercise, clean, cook and just be MORE in every which way but that doesn't serve me or the people I love.  I can choose what I fill my brain with and that I must make better choices wherever possible...

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Here are three more collages that I've finished this week and I've recorded another video that goes alongside them.  I share three books that I think are helpful, some personal thoughts, more detail on the collages and a cup of tea!  I do hope you'll watch https://youtu.be/HXDT1Lwg2SQ or, click the video below.  

Have a wonderful weekend - I'll be watching the Royal Wedding of Meghan and Harry on tv tomorrow!

Take care,

Jane xo

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Tender Art Videos and Talk on the Struggles of Mental Health

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Sometimes the most important thing in a whole day is the rest we take between two deep breaths.
— Etty Hillesum (1914-1943 Dutch-born Jewish Diarist)

#HeadsUp50Project - Art Collages + Process

I've been busy, busy behind the scenes (think swan swimming serenely, whilst in actual fact, legs are flapping madly under the water - that's me ;)). 

Today, I wanted to share three videos that I've created this week as part of my ongoing #HeadsUp50Project. This project explores the topic of mental health and the idea of trying to find that place of quiet, inner contentment whilst living in a busy world that wants our attention at every turn. It's a challenge for everyone and especially if you are feeling tender.

Click each video to watch (or click the links below and watch directly in YouTube).

https://youtu.be/TuLmsBRVjjghttps://youtu.be/hsTZ8fkhj6Ahttps://youtu.be/97Y86qJDIFw

This work is both a personal project exploring my journey off antidepressants that I've taken for the past 10 years and at the same time, my way of bringing this conversation out in the open and hopefully nudging that little bit further towards removing the stigma that is still prevalent in society.

Each video explores a different aspect to the overall topic of mental health and as I chat, you'll see me piecing together and adhering the fragments of each collage to the canvas. The different elements of the collage, for me, kind of signify the fragments of our lives.

I came across this really interesting and inspiring post entitled Tchaikovsky's Surprising Wisdom For Artists With Depression. Tchaikovsky experienced deep depression many times but I love how in spite of his suffering, he was able to find beauty and good things in his life.  

I assert that life is beautiful in spite of everything!
— Tchaikovsky

Lastly, it's certainly not always easy but if we are to find some solace; a sense of contentment, the quote below is a great lesson for all of us.  'It is our tremendous resilience as people that carries us through difficult times. There are thorns, yes. But there are roses, too' - thank you Lori Chandler for those words.

Thanks for being here...

Jane xo

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