How to Survive Brexit from an Artist’s point of view

 

Boris Johnson

  • Keep a sense of humour at all times! – I highly recommend watching the discussions in the House of Commons, it’s far funnier and more entertaining than any Muppet Show I have ever seen! – Maybe only a 5/10 though for this one as you will have to draw yourself away from the TV and the other more serious analytical discussions about Brexit.

 

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  • Paint – this is my obvious default as an artist but it is fantastic for closing your mind to anything other than painting. Very therapeutic and it worked for Jackson Pollock! Also, there is the added bonus of spending a lot of time after the painting or creative event, wondering how you are going to get that great big splodge of green paint off your natural wood dining table! (Preferably before hubby comes home from work but hey at least you won’t be talking about Brexit)  – Excellent – I think this is a 10/10

Eat hey with a donkey

  • Go to the countryside and eat hay with the nearest donkey whilst staring aimlessly at said countryside. Of course make sure it is a reasonably nice day because you don’t want to sit in a soggy field (that isn’t even worth doing to escape Brexit) – Downside – you may well be sharing the field you are in with a lot of petrified farmers who are also sitting chewing hay staring aimlessly into space wondering about their livelihoods.  Another 5/10 then!

Prince Charles

  • When needing to go out into town or in my case the big City of London for shopping etc. Wear headphones and listen to Wham (other choices available) and when anybody talks to you about Brexit, just nod and smile. This method has worked perfectly well for my three boys.  Added bonus of this method is that no one really cares even if they notice that you are wearing headphones and listening to Wham, because everyone is more interested in listening to their own opinions on Brexit any way!  10/10

Book worm for web

  • Read a good chic lit and pretend you are actually Heidi the very gorgeous young, energetic, happy vivacious girl who is working in a beautiful little Cup Café in a sleepy seaside village where everyone just wants to chat about their holiday, love interest or new babies or even new puppies – Lovely! ( Not a politician in sight or anyone ever discussing Brexit so I also give this a 10/10

 

lady reading in bath

  • Take yourself somewhere in your home which has been allocated as your “Brexit” free zone.

In my house this could only be the bathroom as it has the only lockable door in the house! This is fine for about  an hour maximum as it can get a little claustrophobic in there!  Plus it is quite uncomfortable to sit on the loo reading chic lit for any length of time.  You can of course take a bath, whilst reading but this has never worked well for me – I tend to drop the book in the bath and end up with soggy pages.  Upside is my boys would never shout “Mum can you come out of the bathroom I need to talk to you about Brexit” – but downside is they will disturb you for any other reason i.e. “Mum the dog has been sick all over the carpet, How do I clean it up?”  How come it’s never “Mum, you ok in there?  Would you like a nice cup of tea?”  I therefore give this a 5/10

  • DON’T watch the NEWs – JUST Don’t (10/10)

Baby

  • If you have access to a baby in your family then this is the perfect opportunity to see the world through their eyes. Added bonus is that you can act completely ga ga and they will usually laugh at you making you feel good about the world in general.  Downside of this of course is that if you don’t have access to a baby you can’t really go up to any randomly in public speaking gibberish to them for any length of time as the parents will be most disconcerted. I give this 5/10 as I currently don’t have access to any babies.

Phoebe for web

  • I do however, have a gorgeous cavapoo named Princess Phoebe. All she is concerned with in this mad, crazy world is food, cuddles, walks and tummy tickles.  Easy and heart-warming so I give this 10/10 and even if you don’t have your own dog you can borrow and walk one (with the owner’s permission of course).  Added bonus is that if you do have a cute dog, you will be approached only by people who want to go all soppy over your dog – not a mention of Brexit – Very good outcome. 10/10 from me

Bridget singing

  • And last but not least pour yourself a large glass of wine, put your favourite music on and dance and sing to your hearts content.(Just like Bridget Jones).  Or watch a funny movie such as Bridget Jones diary or Laurel and Hardy and laugh yourself silly.   Upside you will be happily unaware of Brexit but downside is if you drink too much you may suddenly sink into despair and start crying about the state of the world.  I therefore award this 4/10

 

So my conclusion is after doing some analysis of this list that the perfect antidote to Brexit is:

 

Paint, wear earphones whilst listening to Wham, Read a chic lit and walk the dog! – My only problem is in which order to do these and how many can I do at the same time – hence concentrating on this solution and NOT thinking about BREXIT – I’m a survivor!!!

Snakes and Ladders

snakes-and-ladders (1)

 

So, remember the board game of Snakes and Ladders? Well, I remember it well. During the 1970’s when there were regular power cuts I was around 8 years old and my brother 6. After lighting all of the candles we would settle down to play this game. It passed the time, we would enjoy a good laugh and it has left me with wonderful memories. Of course at the time I didn’t realize that this game is actually a very good analogy for life. You make a move and suddenly you are faced with a challenge and if you make the effort and work to climb up the ladder your effort will be rewarded and you will move higher. If you, however, come across a snake – something that you have no power over, you will slip back down and maybe even be further away from your goal. What do you do? Do you sit tight and decide to give up or do you dust yourself off and start to move forward again?

Sometimes, in our lives we can take a lot of knocks and it can be hard to simply dust ourselves off and get back into the game straight away. This is the time when we need to allow ourselves to spiritually heal. How do you do this? Personally, my art and creativity always help me to re-charge my batteries and allows me to get ready to face the game of life again. Any hobby that involves your utmost attention and creativity is a huge bonus for your inner self-esteem, spirituality and overall well-being.

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The world of art and culture is fascinating regardless of whether you actually do art yourself. In every town and city there are Art Galleries. Many of them are free to enter, specific exhibitions are to be paid for. Have you been to your local Art gallery? It’s well worth a look. Most of them have their own websites where you can browse and see what they have on. Keep an open mind and just go along. Take a look at all different types of art and begin to build your own opinions of what you like and don’t. If you see a particular artists work that you are drawn to you can research them further on-line or get a book about them from the library.
As a student at University I was fascinated by Pablo Picasso. I still am! Artists from the past and today usually have very rich and interesting lives. I like all of Picasso’s art but I also love his quotations. He has an abundance of them, very insightful.

houzz

Another wonderful pastime is  creating a unique and comfortable home for your family. Interior design is another passion of mine. Just stop and take a minute to look around the room you are in. What do you see? Could you put it into a definite design category? – Contemporary, eclectic, traditional, retro, modern, quirky…… Do you have particular pieces of art that you have displayed in your home just because they fit in with the decor or because you love the artist’s work? What colours have you chosen in your room? Warm colours? Cool colours? What are your curtains like? What are your soft furnishings like? Does everything match or do you have key features that stand alone as a statement? If you love to put things together in your home, in your own way then you are just like an artist planning out his canvas for his/her next piece of art. If you are refurbishing a room then I would highly recommend that you create a mood board. I know when you start an interior design project it can be very daunting. I would also recommend you start with a favourite piece of art, new or old, or an ornament which you definitely want to put into your design scheme. You can design a whole room around an object with great success.

Check out the wonderful website Houzz.com where you will have ‘infinite’ access to great ideas. You can save anything you like to your own idea book (just like an on-line mood board) It really helps to play around with different designs until you come up with something that you feel really works for you.

http://www.houzz.co.uk/pro/judith-dawson/cobalt-moon-design
http://www.houzz.com/photos/query/objet-d’art

I recently refurbished my bathroom and as I changed the flooring to slate tiles I designed the room around the colours and theme of these. Afterwards I painted two canvases in abstract Lakeland designs and used part of the design from the canvas to add to cushions. I am thrilled with the result. See photographs below:

The Lakes abstract in bathroom with slate floor

Abstract Lakes 90 x 60cm

Canvas Print – Abstract Lakes 90cm x 60cm Available at: https://folksy.com/items/6668037-The-Lakes-Abstract-Canvas-Print-90cm-x-60cm


The lakes abstract cushion 40cm x 40cm

The Lakes abstract cushion 40 x 40

Cushions 40cm x 40cm Available at: https://folksy.com/items/6668076-The-Lakes-Abstract-cushion-40cm-x-40cm-    and https://folksy.com/items/6668076-The-Lakes-Abstract-cushion-40cm-x-40cm

Being creative then, gives you a sense of achievement and fulfilment. At the end of your hard work you can sit back and admire what you have created!

Good luck in your endeavours and let me see your work, whatever that may be.

Jude x

 

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Your True Colours

 

 

Color-Theory-PBS

 

Artists and Interior Designers will be familiar with the colour wheel above. If you have a basic understanding of colour theory then it will help you greatly when you launch yourself into painting or designing the interior of your  home.  Colours basically fall into two categories, cool and warm.  The colours next to each other are complimentary and work to create a harmonious colour scheme.  Those opposite work as a contrast.  So for instance, if you wanted to creat a cool and calm colour scheme in a room then the colours to the left of the wheel and closest to each other, in various tonality, would work to create this effect.

 

A good place to start when you take up painting is to learn how to mix your colours.  Experiment on cheaper water colour paper to create new colours.  This is a fantastic skill to learn and will set you up so that if you only have the primary colours available plus black and white you will never be short of the full rainbow.

 

 

This exercise is great fun, especially if you are using water colour.  You can play around to see how various depths of paint create varying colours.  Give it a go and keep experimenting.

You will need:

1) Water colour paper, as you progress the higher quality per gram is the best to use as it is so much more versatile.

2) A paint brush – if you can afford it and you intend to continue painting then buy the best you can afford.

3) A few small pots of water

4) Water colour tubes or a palette.  (Palettes can get muddy quite quickly but are portable). Once again for experimenting you don’t need to break the bank.

5) Kitchen towel

 

 

Watch this youtube video to help you out:

 

 

 

Good Luck!

Jude 🙂

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The Yellow Submarine

Yellow-Submarine-Header

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Imagination, in the music and art industry is an important factor.  How could the Beatles have written most of their songs without it?  It is the key component to creating something original or different from what is already out there.

Imagination + Your style + some skill + determination = creativity and unique ability

Of course when you look at Yellow Submarine and Lucy in the sky with diamonds the Beatles were probably taking something a little extra to help them with their weird imagination!  It is said that Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds  is the  pseudonym for the drug LSD.  That said, there are plenty of writers and artists who don’t need to succumb to the world of drugs to become creative.

The surrealists such as Salvador Dali created some very unusual pieces of work!  You could never doubt that Dali was blessed with a vivid imagination.  He was also a sculptor, scenographer, filmmaker, jewelry designer, and writer.   Was he a genius, born super talented or is it down to sheer hard work that artists like Dali, famous Scientists, Musicians, authors writers outshine their peers in their chosen field?

According to Michael Barber of Psychology today:  Genius may be a comforting fiction. For it helps explain why most of us do not achieve at the highest level in our chosen field: we are not geniuses. The trouble is that there is little compelling evidence in psychology for any such latent superiority. The concept of the genius may be comforting to the rest of us. Yet, it remains a fiction.

So, do we make excuses for not pursuing our own creativity in whatever field that maybe?  I think perhaps we do.  I do appreciate, however, that we may have a predisposition to following certain genre’s in the creative world.  Child musicians usually have a family connection to music and are exposed to it from a very early age, even in the womb!  So called child prodigy’s such as Picasso who showed incredible aptitude in his drawing skills at a very young age was the son of an Art Professor.  His father regularly sat with him and taught him how to draw.  Perhaps encouragement and motivation should be thrown in the equation that I developed above:

Imagination + Your style + some skill + determination + encouragement + motivation = creativity and  unique ability

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Salvador Dali – Born in Figueres Spain in  1904

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Persistence of Memory – Salvador Dali – 1931

So how do we all fit into “The Yellow Submarine”?    As adults we are totally responsible for ourselves and our own lives.  This is it.  It is not a rehearsal and so if there is a burning desire which you have ignored for so long through fear or self doubt then perhaps the time is right to consider giving it a go!  It’s that simple.  Start a hobby, and see where it may lead.

Jude Selfie

“Not Perfectly Me”   Selfie by Jude because

I’m not perfect but I am unique and so are you!

Please check out my tutorials which may help you into the wonderful world of creativity.  Comment below or leave your e.mail and I will get back to you with a 20% OFF promo code for my folksy and etsy shops.  (Bottom of this page)

Still doubtful?  Read this excerpt from Elephant Journal: by George Coyne

“Compared to the great vastness of the cosmos, the ocean of deep time, individual existence is a blip,
a bubble in the foam on the surface of a flowing river. We are a momentary arrangement of atoms and molecules, an arrangement that lives and moves, to be sure,—an arrangement that thinks, laughs, appreciates beauty, dreams, and loves—but a mere arrangement nonetheless, a transient state, an ephemeral gathering.

Soon the blip will go out, the bubble will pop, the arrangement will dissolve, molecular bonds released by entropy. Consciousness will cease. But the molecules that once were you will still exist. The atoms that made up your body—iron, carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, all the heavy elements forged in the crucibles of dying stars—will remain. Liberated from their temporary home, they will rejoin the rest of the planet, taking new shapes, finding new arrangements, becoming part of other life.

You will become merged with everything. You will become part of the trees that grow wherever your ashes are scattered, joining the ecosystem of the forest. You will be in the slow green heartwood of the trunks as they patiently tick off the centuries, in the buds that burst forth in spring and in the leaves that explode with color in autumn.

You will be the sparkle of sunlight on the surface of a flowing mountain stream. You will sink into the earth and mix with the groundwater, eventually flowing back and rejoining the ocean where all life on this planet ultimately began. You will be in the waves that crash on the shore, in the warm sheltered tidal pools, in the coral reefs that bloom with life, and in the depths that echo with whale songs.

You will be subducted into the planet’s core and join the three-hundred-million-year cycle of the continental plates.

You will rise into the sky and, in the fullness of time, become dispersed throughout the atmosphere, until every breath will contain part of you.

And billions of years from now, when our sun swells and blasts the Earth’s atmosphere away, you will be there, streaming into space to rejoin the stars that gave your atoms birth. And perhaps some day, billions of years yet beyond that, on some distant planet beneath bright alien skies, an atom that once was part of you will take part in a series of chemical reactions that may ultimately lead to new life—life that will in time leave the sea that gave it birth, crawl up onto the beach, and look up into the cosmos and wonder where it came from.

And the cycle will begin again.”

~ Fr. George Coyne, C.S.J., Retired Vatican Astronomer

 

 

How do you Doodle?

Doodle

Most of us doodle.  It’s usually used as a way of relaxing our minds and sometimes can be used as a distraction from what we are doing.  Or even to help us concentrate.  Have you ever doodled while you have been on the telephone  or in a meeting that is dragging on?  Our doodles are quite personal to us and some people do quite detailed pieces while others simply squiggle shapes.

Doodling is the first step into the world of drawing.  In this exercise I want you to get the following items together:

1) A sketchbook, pad or your drawing journal.  Any size, that you are comfortable with is fine.

2) Some soft charcoal.  Don’t buy the willow type which is too hard for this exercise.  You need to manipulate the medium so only soft charcoal will do.

3) A putty rubber, a normal pencil rubber.

4) Chalk

5) A pencil sharpener (to sharpen charcoal and chalk for finer details)

6) Kitchen towel, to smudge and blend the charcoal.  You can also use your fingers, either way you will get messy with this exercise, so be prepared!

7) Some wet wipes for your hands!!!

Now, have you heard of chiaroscuro?  – It is the Italian term used to describe the effect of light and dark in artwork.  So, you are going to do a drawing using this method.

The best way to do this, when you are starting out is to sit on an evening in low light in your home in the room of your choice.

Allow your eyes to become accustomed to the low lighting and start to look around the room and begin to notice where the light and shade falls on objects.  What shapes can you see on these objects?

Now, identify a part of the room or an object that you wish to draw.  If you are feeling very brave you can start with a portrait image of yourself by looking in a mirror.  I have some examples from my University studies to show you.  Don’t worry about how accurate your drawing is at first.  Just relax, play and have fun with the charcoal and then add the chalk.  Use the rubber to erase some parts to create lighter areas.  There are no definite rules, no mistakes.  This is simply an exercise.

A video that will help you along the way:

Examples of objects I drew in my living room using the chiaroscuro style.

Chiaroscuro 003

Low lighting in my living room, light fitting and part of fireplace.

Chiaroscuro face 001

A first ever self portrait done in the chiaroscuro style.  The proportions are not brilliant but it was a great exercise and I learned from it.

Now, let’s see your work.  How have you done?  Did you enjoy this exercise?  Keep practising.  You will find your own way of using the charcoal, chalk and rubber to create your pieces.  You can do whatever you like.  Just keep going!

Good Luck.

E: mail your drawings to www.Facebook.com/CobaltMoonDesign or if you would rather I just see them send them to my e.mail: pdm313@hotmail.com

 

Square Peg

square peg

 

I watched a documentary this week on Channel 4, called “Grayson Perry’s Dream House.”   Grayson designed a home as a shrine to the ordinary women of Essex.  He named a fictional character Julie and the house is an homage to her life.     At first I thought this was just an excuse for an eccentric indulgent project by another “crazy artist”.  I very quickly changed my mind, however, as it soon became apparent that Grayson Perry is an intelligent artist of our time.  There is a part of the documentary where, after the house is complete, Grayson meets up with a group of real life Julie’s from Essex.  They have an insightful conversation about the reason behind the design of his house. He says:

  “It is a celebration of the goodness of the ordinary woman and that there are lots of people out there who haven’t fulfilled their potential because they were women of a certain age and it’s still going on today.” 

There is a poignant moment in the documentary where Grayson, dressed as “Julie” shows all the other Julie’s around the house.  As they see the rooms adorned with his art and ceramics depicting Julie’s life, her marriages, her children, they become quite emotional.  It strikes a chord with them as he captures the modern-day woman very well.   He also admits that the house is also his way of

 “re-writing his mother’s life the way it could have been.”

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You can read more about this fascinating  artist  by following the link:  http://www.vogue.co.uk/spy/biographies/grayson-perry-biography

The interesting thing about Grayson is that he is happy within his own skin.  In our society he is often classed as an eccentric, a square peg!  Why, probably because he openly cross dresses in public and his art is very avant-garde.

I have recently painted two water-colour portraits of Sarah Lucas and Tracey Emin.  They were both part of the group which was known as the YBA’s ( The Young British Artists)  The title was given to them when they exhibited together in 1988.  They quickly became known for their entrepreneurial skills, their use of different materials in their work and the controversial and shocking aspect of their pieces.    Sarah Lucas is 52 now and representing the UK this year at The Venice Biennale.  Her exhibition is still as controversial as ever.

Gold cup maradonna

Sculpture at this year’s Venice Biennale by Sarah Lucas – Gold Cup Maradona, British Pavilion 2015

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                                                                      My water-colour of Tracey Emin – Available as a canvas print at www.folksy.com/shops/CobaltMoonDesign

Sarah Lucas 001

                                                                     My watercolour image of Sarah Lucas – Available as a Canvas Print at: www.folksy.com/shop/CobaltMoonDesign

I was wondering, why in our society today artists are perceived to be strange, crazy, wacky, eccentric – the list goes on?   Creative individuals who put their work out there in the public arena are exposing themselves to criticism.  It is no surprise to me then that there is a “fear” attached to being creative.  If you just look at Grayson Perry, Sarah Lucas and Tracey Emin you will see that they all have great tenacity and determination to carry out their role as artists and have made a successful career out of doing so.  They have certainly had to be “thick skinned” but thank goodness that it has never put them off from pursuing their vocation.   In the past, Van Gogh, immediately springs to mind, as an artist of his time who was so different in his style that he did not become famous until after he died.  It is so sad that his work is revered now and yet he struggled to survive during his lifetime and relied on his brother to support him.  Once again, he was compelled to do his work and the art world and culture is better for it.

My blogs, are always about, or attached to bringing out your creative self.  I know from experience that fear is a huge factor against allowing ourselves to set free what I believe is within us all.  Personally, I didn’t pick up a paint brush or pencil to paint or draw, after school until I was in my 30’s and that was down to a twist of fate.  I had moved to Portugal with my husband and two young sons.  We loved it but whilst my husband was settled into his career and my children were at the international school I found myself quite isolated.  To cut a long story short a neighbour introduced me to a painting workshop run by a local Portuguese artist.  She painted in the traditional Portuguese way, on tiles or azulejos as they are called.  If you have ever been to Portugal or Spain you will have noticed beautiful tile murals adorning the inside and out of buildings.  Well, that was what I learnt to do!!  I still remember the first day at the workshop.  I felt totally overwhelmed by the other artists work around me.  Everyone was so friendly, including Maria the artist and I was slowly but surely encouraged to start my first piece.  It was very daunting.  I felt suddenly exposed!  After a few weeks however, I was hooked and to skip forward a few years,  on returning to the UK I bought a kiln, set up my garage as a workshop and set up Ceramicart.co.uk (now closed) where I incorporated tiles into wrought iron furniture. After that, art has always been a major part of my life.

My point is though, that since leaving school I had effectively closed the door on my potential for any creative skills.  It happened by accident that the door was opened again and I have never looked back.  I want you to take the opportunity to pick up a pencil and sketch pad and in the comfort of your own home, without having to show anyone if you don’t want to – start to doodle!  – Simple as that.  Most of us do it any way while we are on the phone, usually!

Painting is another way of keeping a diary

                                                                                                   Quote by Picasso.

Its your turn!  Get a sketch book and pencil just for your work.  You could call it your journal and  make a small drawing every day if possible and over time you will see such a difference in your work.  It can be of anything you like.  Something at home or outside from nature.  A small detail of a flower or take an image from some of the photos you have taken from my previous tutorial “Get your Creative Juices Flowing.” and sketch out details from them.

I came across this video on you tube of an artist named Ari having a discussion about creativity and fear.  I think you will find it interesting.

Please join me for my next blog and tutorial where once again I will be encouraging you to open your mind to creativity.  The benefits are amazing.  You have therapy at your fingertips!

I mentioned that when I lived in Portugal I felt isolated.  That totally changed and with every move we have made as a family (and there have been a lot!) my art has always been my saviour.  Interestingly, I now work from home and I never feel lonely!  Why? …because:

“In loneliness there is pain,

In solitude there is gain”

I believe  art opens the door to nurturing your spiritual self.

Please leave your name and e.mail so that I can send you information on my next blog and tutorials.   I won’t pester you, because I know we are all so busy these days and you can always unsubscribe at any time.

Thanks for reading.

You can find me on www.facebook.com/CobaltMoonDesign –     If you have enjoyed this blog please like my page and leave a comment there too.

If you should like to look at my work you can go to: www.etsy.com/shop/CobaltMoonDesign

And www.folksy.com/shops/Cobaltmoondesign

Have fun.

Jude

Returning to Wonderland.

 

 alice 1

 

I was just thinking about how to get across what it feels like to go into creative mode.  I have always liked the book and film adaptation of “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.” by Lewis Carroll.  When I am about to be creative, I feel like I am Alice falling down the rabbit hole into another world, sometimes, scary, very new but always exciting.   There is a theory that when Alice falls down the rabbit hole she is going into puberty and all that entails.  In Wonderland she is constantly confused as she tries to understand this strange new world where she feels like she just doesn’t fit it in.  From an adults perspective, to feel creative we need to look at the world through a child’s eye’s and go back to those days of wonderment and gratitude for everything around us.  Quite a task!

At the beginning of the story Alice is sitting under a tree reading a book and in the conclusion, she wakes up and the whole story was a dream.  So what can we learn from this?   I think,  it is that our subconscious mind is a powerful tool and creativity is about tapping into this.  How we do it as adults is more of a challenge than when we were children but artists somehow find a way.

Pablo Picasso said:  “It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.”  

 

It is interesting to look at Picasso’s history.  His father was an art professor and taught his son to draw from an early age.  During his time at art school from the age of 8 children were taught to draw in a classic manner.  Their drawings were based on geometric forms and then more detail would be added.  This is the opposite of how children are taught art today, which is to allow them to freely draw or paint what they see.    The young Picasso was an excellent student and had an obvious talent and love of art.  He was a child prodigy.  Funnily enough, the synonym for this is the German phrase Wunder Kind, which means Wonder Child!  I often associated Picasso with his painting Guernica and his cubism art.  His later line drawings however, were often criticized for their simplicity and the prices he charged for something “which anyone could do.”

study-left-eyestudy-man-beard

                                                                                                                Picasso’s drawings aged only 5.

No-mas-horrores-al-estilo-Guernica1

 

                                  Guernica Picasso painted this cubist piece to show the atrocities that happened during the Civil War in Spain.  It is one of his most famous pieces.

Nu couche au lit

                                                                                                   Nu couche au lit blanc – Picasso’s, Nude lying on a white bed

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                                                                  One of my early attempts to draw in a cubist style 2010.

Picasso - line drawing

 

                                                                                                            One of Picasso’s many line drawings

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                                                               My attempt at a line drawing back in 2010.

I discovered through my own attempts to simplify my drawings how difficult it actually is to do this.   If you can take a moment, pick up a pencil and sketch book, choose a photograph or draw from life a portrait in a line drawing style.  Let me know how you get on.  How did you find it?  Perhaps, like me, you can see how it took Picasso a lifetime to simplify what he saw.  The difficulty in teaching adults to do art is that to be honest, you really can’t!  I believe you can teach the fundamentals of drawing but art itself is a very personal journey and each one of us sees the world differently.  During any of the art classes I have attended over the years I was always fascinated at how we, the art students, could all paint or draw the same image in front of us but we would all come up with something completely different.  That is the wonder of art.  It is a personal wonderland just waiting to be discovered.

 

Picasso sketch

                                                                           My drawing of Picasso using charcoal and chalk – 2010

If you would like to read more about Picasso, his life and work I found a website while doing my research for this blog that you may find interesting: http://pablo-picasso.paintings.name/biography/

Please take the time to watch this video below of “Why Kids Love Art?”  – They come up with some words of wisdom that we can learn from.

 

Thanks for reading.  I hope you have found this blog useful.  Please let me know what you think about it?  I would also love to know where you are on your creative journey.  Have you found your Wonderland?

Happy Drawing

Jude

 

You can view my art work and designs at:  www.etsy.com/shop/CobaltMoonDesign,

and at www.folksy.com/shops/CobaltMoonDesign

 

Some of my work is also on:  www.houzz.com/CobaltMoonDesign

Please join me on my Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/CobaltMoonDesign

 

Get Your Creative Juices Flowing!

 Exercise 2 – Research

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Use a camera (your mobile phone camera is absolutely fine for this exercise) and whilst out and about or at home start taking pictures of patterns, shapes, reflections and interesting angles.   Photography helps you to tune into your observational skills.  You begin to see the world differently.  You must persevere, it sometimes doesn’t happen straight away but the more you look and experiment with the camera the more you will see.  Zoom in, look up, look down, look all around.  Think of your eyes as a camera lens and get close up to trees, leaves, buildings, shop windows.  When at home, look closely at the shapes of fruit and vegetables when you cut them up.  The world is full of fascinating imagery.  We often miss out because we often can take things around us for granted.

Here are some examples from my photography archives when I was researching for my degree:

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  Interesting combination of reflections in this gallery shop window.

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                                                           And looking from the inside out.

The Baltic Art Gallery

                                                               Looking Up at the Baltic Art Gallery, Gateshead – interesting angles.

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                                                             Beautiful vibrant yellow tones in a Restaurant Display with these peppers.

Sculpture through car windscreen

                                                             Sculpture shape taken through a rainy car windscreen

curly bark 1

                                                               Curly bark and patterns in Hamsterley Forest

Pine Cone

                                                          Look at the orderly design of this pine cone.

Ghostly dog

                                               This dog dashing through the woods makes a mysterious image.

These images below were taken with my mobile phone camera at home in my studio on the day I was working on this tutorial to show you how spontaneous you can be and still get results (sometimes, not always of course!!!)

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Notepad and pen                                                                             Tea towel on Clothes Airer                                                             Reflections in crystal door knob

Now my friends, it’s over to you.   Go and get started and take some images.  I think you will surprise yourself at how creative you actually are.  Please let me see some of them.  I’m sure the ones you are happy with you will be dying to show off!

As always please leave your comments and photos.

Happy Clicking!

Jude 🙂

 

Get Your Creative Juices Flowing!

 

Inspire ME!

Inspire Me!       

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My inspiration for my art work comes from many places.  The creative eye observes the world constantly.  Everything is research.  I find that art is a very soul searching and spiritual experience.  It often seems that art is purely visual but that is just the end result!  To get that piece of work from your mind to the paper or canvas is the complicated part.  Life is always throwing problems at us to solve, distractions to keep us from our spiritual self.  When we meditate or open ourselves to what is around us, using all of our senses we allow ourselves to be free and this results in our creativity bursting from within.

It has taken me years to discover what makes me feel creative and inspires me.  What are the trigger points?  Sometimes if we identify what stops us from feeling creative we are half way there.  The number one creativity killer is stress!  So what is the opposite to this?  Feeling relaxed, happy and content.  How do I do this?  I will give you an example from last weekend.  It was my husband’s 50th and we had celebrations organized.  We love socializing, meeting friends and family is always a joy but often leaves us exhausted!  There’s a lot of work goes into organizing a get together and making sure everyone is happy and catered for.  After that celebration I knew we needed some “chill” time.  I definitely needed to re-connect to nature to feel creative and to boost my energy ready to start the week.

We went for a lovely walk with our dog, Phoebe.  She is an adorable cavapoo (yes one of those designer cross breeds! – a posh mongrel!!)  We took her to Corbridge in Northumberland on Bank Holiday Monday and it was sunny – something to rejoice and feel good about, in the North East especially.  As we walked along the river bank watching Phoebe bounding around in the grass I began to feel myself relax.  With the fresh air and the sun on my face  I began to notice the colours in the sky, the river flowing gently, the fresh green grass and its wonderful smell.  I started to collect pieces of bark, some leaves and pine cones.  I’m still as fascinated by them after all these years!  Their shape and design is incredible!  By the time we got home that evening, I could feel my creative juices flowing.  I knew that I wanted to paint, desperately!  When this happens,  I imagine it’s like an addict needing a fix.  Plus it can happen any time – often, I have had to get up during the night to write things down.  I managed to stave off the feeling until I had the time in my studio to work on “River Walk”.

Jude in Corbridge

                                             Me enjoying the sun and walk along the riverbank in Corbridge

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                                                                 My “bits and pieces” which I collected along the way.

River Walk  50cm x 40cm £70

                                                                                 The result:  River Walk – 50cm x 40cm Canvas Print  – available on www.folksy.com/shops/CobaltMoonDesign

Here in my video I explain a little bit more about this and my other inspirations.

Judes video Youtube

Our Easter holiday in the stunning Lake District was also a massive inspiration to me.  I took photographs and when I came home I produced a couple of pieces, once again the power of nature inspired me to be creative.

Insert “Look Up”

Look Up Canvas 60cm x 40cm

                                  “Look Up” – 60cm x 40cm Canvas Print available at: www.folksy.com/shops/CobaltMoonDesign

This video from youtube may help you to feel inspired too.

What makes you feel creative?  Can you identify the trigger points that stop you?  What are your inspirations?  How do you relax?  What makes you happy?  I would love to hear your comments.  Please leave them below, or go to my facebook page: www.https://www.facebook.com/CobaltMoonDesign

I’m also on Twitter – Jude4You

Thank you, watch out for my next tutorial to help you get creative.

Jude x

 

From London with Love

 

 

I recently had a few days visiting our vibrant, cosmopolitan capital city.   I took the opportunity to tag along with my husband who had a business trip down there.  How could I resist the pull of this amazing city full of great Art Galleries, museums, tourist attractions and some time alone to totally indulge in any combination thereof.

 

Day One: “I wandered lonely as a cloud in London!”

 

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We were staying in Victoria, an area of London I hadn’t been to before so my first day was spent finding my way around this very busy part of London.  I soon discovered that our Hotel was close to Cardinal Place Shopping Centre, quite small, but with some lovely shops and the surprise discovery of Westminster Cathedral towering over it.  After dodging the traffic and the pedestrians I was drawn to it like a pin to a magnet.  It is an amazing building full of black marble, huge pillars and the domes are encased in silver and gold mosaics.  After the hustle and bustle outside the calm, cool, spiritual atmosphere inside was like taking a long cold drink when you need to quench your thirst.  I wondered how many other people were actually in there to do the same as me; seeking refuge from the madness outside.    My 20 or so minutes wandering around in there did the trick and feeling refreshed I emerged from the comfort of the building back into the big crazy flow of Victoria.

 

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The stunning interior and exterior of Westminster Cathedral.

 

Day Two:

Saatchi Gallery

The Saatchi Gallery, Kings Road, London

Only one stop away on the underground from Victoria is Sloane Square which leads straight onto Kings Road and the wonderful Saatchi Gallery, home of Charles Saatchi’s collection of art on 4 floors since 1985 and impressively it is free admission too.   The staff were friendly and you are able to take photographs of all the work on display.   The exhibition was called ” Pangaea II: New Art from Africa and Latin America.”  I bought a perfectly adequate guide for only £1 although you can buy an audio guide for more.  I’ve discovered after visiting quite a few galleries over the years however, that the audio guides can distract you from taking in the visual experience so I am much happier looking and reading small concise excerpts about individual paintings but each to their own of course.  There are 15 Gallery spaces to enjoy and I managed to fit them all in.   I was impressed by every single artist’s work I saw but I have picked out my favourite’s to talk about:

 


Gallery 2 Frederico Herrero exhibited his “tropically coloured geometric compositions.”  Most of them were well over 2 metres in height and width and with his use of vibrant citric colours and a cacophony of shapes and form they could not fail to have an immediate uplifting impact.  Frederico is Costa Rican and apparently he started his journey into the art world by hanging his paintings on trees!  His work can now be seen on walls, floors, buses and garages around the world.  The Saatchi guide describes his work as “appearing to show an aerial view of downtown areas, with the old Spanish grid model disbanding into an endless labyrinth of seemingly never-ending suburbs (Amansalva, 2014)”

 


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Frederico’s large scale mixed media paintings in the Saatchi Gallery.

Frederico with his work Born in 1978, San José, Costa Rica
Lives and works in San José, Costa Rica

 


Gallery 3:  Diego Mendoza Imbachi

 

The Poetics of Reflection 300cm x 600cm

The Poetics of Reflection, 2014 – Graphite and binder on canvas 300cm x 600cm

 

Diego grew up in Venta Cajibio, Cauca, Columbia.  His work is a “reflection” of the impact of industrialisation on his villages farming and gardening community.  This image imparticular struck me as emulating very well his feelings and concerns for his environment as he watches the impact of mutation on his naturalistic world.  There is strong contrast  between the softness and delicacy of the leaves on the tree to the solid geometric rigidness of the industrial form on the left.

 

Gallery 4:  Ephrem Solomon

 

 

Ephrem Solomon - Dignity of the LadyEphrem Solomon - Detail

Dignity of the Lady, 2013 and detail of sandals.Woodcut and mixed media 90cm x 95cm

Ephrem’s work reflects on Ethiopian society and shows images of ordinary people who have unfulfilled lives and appear to be waiting for a better future.  He often uses monochromatic tones which give a sense of their world being “black and white” and the feelings of frustration and hopelessness this must lead to.

 

Gallery 10 – Aboudia

 

 

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Aboudia –  Untitled Head – 200cm x 125cm

 Aboudia – Born 1983, Abidjan, Ivory Coast Lives and works in Abidjan, Ivory Coast

 

Aboudia’s work focuses on the issues of growing up in a war-torn country.  His paintings of heads are symbolic.  He uses acrylic and crayon to create a visual representation of the children who were displaced in war and abducted by gangs.  The heads are large, eyes wide, teeth clenched, long necks.  They look aboriginal and allude to the child’s fear and the artists too for their predicament.

 

Day Three:  Visit to Marlene Dumas exhibition at the Tate Modern and The Shard

 

 

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Tate Modern and Marlene Dumas Exhibition

 

My main reason for visiting London this time was to see “The Image as Burden” exhibition by Marlene Dumas which shows work from her entire career.    She has been one of my favourite artists since I discovered her work whilst at University.  I am always drawn to portraiture but in an emotive way.   She totally captures a persons character without much detail at all and this is even more fascinating when you learn that she never paints from life.  In her work with oil she appears to use it sometimes like water colour which gives the image a dream like quality and amazingly some of her pieces even seem to have a transparency to them.    I was totally mesmerized by her work at this exhibition.  She once said “Art is not a mirror. Art is a translation of that which you do not know.”   In my opinion if you want a realistic image of a person you use a camera.  I showed my son a print I bought of a self portrait of her and he was also blown away with how she captured so much with so little detail.  I think she paints eyes with so much feeling, almost like she is seeing right into the soul of the person she paints.  I have two favourites of hers from the exhibition:

 

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1) – Self portrait of Marlene Dumas – (Evil is Banal), 1984, oil on canvas, 49 3/16″ x 41 5/16.”

 

 

 

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2) – Moshekwa, 2006, oil on canvas, 130 x 110 cm,

 

In this painting of Marlene Dumas’s friend Moshekwa she captures the essence of the person by painting the South African night sky in his forehead.

I could wax lyrical about Marlene Dumas’s exhibition from now to doomsday, as I was totally blown away by seeing her work in the flesh, as it were!

 

Marlene Dumas image

Marlene Dumas was born in Cape Town, South Africa in 1953.  She has lived in the Netherlands since 1976.

 

Thinking it through

 

One of my attempts to capture myself in the style of Marlene Dumas using watercolour, oil and charcoal on paper.  This print on canvas is 60cm x 40cm and available at www.folksy.com/shops/CobaltMoonDesign

 

http://bcove.me/7ykhd270Marlene talks about her work at the exhibition on “Great Men”

 

The Shard

We concluded day 3 with a visit to the top of the Shard! I must admit I am not a great fan of heights but I was determined I had to have a look.  I’m pleased I did but as you can see I looked slightly apprehensive as I had my photograph taken, champagne in hand right next to the window and the sheer drop to the busy streets below!  I must add that it cost us £30 each just for the pleasure and the champagne was £10 each so not a cheap excursion but worth it.  In comparison the Marlene Dumas exhibition at the Tate Modern was £16 each for a visual feast.  Horses for courses!   I thoroughly enjoyed my few days in London and I can highly recommend the Exhibitions I saw.

 

As always I value your comments and if you would like to be kept up to date with my blogs and tutorials please fill in the form below so I can get in touch when they are ready!


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Thanks again for reading my creative friends.

 

Love Jude x