Today we learned more about the flexibility and scope of watercolours. Using apples and capsicums as our chosen objects we looked at how to observe light and shadows, how to build colours from light to dark using layers, and how different mediums will dictate the look and quality of the finished drawing. We used watercolours for the first drawing, then watercolour pencils for the second drawing. Love the vibrancy of these interpretations!
Have you ever noticed how babies and children are so connected to their bodies, how they love to explore their surroundings,how they play with whatever is at hand? It feels as if they are completely at one with themselves and with everything, connected in a way that we often lose sight of as adults.
"We Live in an ocean of energy" (Serge Benhayon, An Open Letter to Humanity, p512)
While out walking this morning along our country lane, I felt connected to the all, my body light and aware of the birds in the trees, the rain falling softly and then stopping, the sky patches of brilliant cerulean and grey clouds floating overhead. Observing my surroundings and feeling the space between the trees I had a sense of the limitless space beyond my field of vision. We are a part of the grand whole, a spark of light or energy in a particular place, suburb, town, which can be felt to be pockets of larger spheres called country or continent, which in turn make up the planet, which is part of the solar system, and it part of the universal spheres of our universe.
Wonderment is a lovely approach to hold as an artist. It allows us to appreciate whatever is in front of us and around us without judgement, it allows us to respond to our surroundings in a playful and joyful way, deepening our connection to ourselves, to nature, to the oneness of the all.
My tip for today: when feeling tired or that there is no impulse or inspiration ready to be expressed, surrender to a still place inside and wait. In the past I have exhausted myself with drive and push to make more, especially when there has been a deadline looming. Now I choose to listen to my body, and remember that when I take time out to allow the body to reconstitute itself, the next piece will begin with fresh clear energy. It is not about the quantity but about the quality - the quality i am in when making a painting, or writing, or drawing, or making my bed. This morning I remade my bed for autumn, adding a delicious fake fur blanket for cooler nights. That is my work of art today. It will feel so delicious to get into tonight.
Art forms can be expressed as architecture, fashion, film, video, painting, sculpture, design, home-wares, performance, animation etc.
Art and design are part of our everyday lives, as we live in a world of form.
Artists and designers have created the images and forms that confront us every day, on TV, in advertising, on packaging etc.
We are bombarded by images constantly, and we are affected by everything we see.
Some art today has become a commodity, misogynistic, political, exclusive, and inaccessible to many people.
“Every Picture Tells a Story”
Anyone can be an artist. All young children love to draw and paint and play with modelling paste. They do this naturally from a very early age.
Art is accessible to all of us, it is the art of everyday livingness, for example, the way we arrange furniture in a room, make a bed, create order and harmony in our work and home environments.
Choosing to make our life a work of art means that we add beauty, stillness, and harmony into our lives and the lives of others.
It is our way of connecting to, appreciating and responding to nature and each other.
It is a universal form of expression that crosses all boundaries of nationality and race, and it can give us more understanding about others, and bring to our attention something precious and beautiful. Sometimes it celebrates the every -day.
Living art can be healing, and bring us to a deeper connection to ourselves.
A dear friend brought me this delicate nest to draw. I spent hours with it, and I love being so still to observe carefully to allow the nest to unfold its secrets. After the drawing was framed (and sold) I took a photo of the drawing under glass and played a bit more in photoshop - this explains the added tricks.
A group of us enjoyed a stunning morning, swimming, sketching, walking, fossicking, taking photos at Broken Head, lovely to share what we saw and what we drew.......
On a recent visit to the Tweed Gallery I saw this wonderful display of Tasmanian landscapes by Philip Wolfhagen. Well worth a visit. This is a retrospective exhibition with paintings from many of Wolfhagen's collections and includes, display boxes with sketchbooks, photos and paint swatches which give you an insight into his processes and how he works. This may be of interest to your own practice.
Sharing a blog that was published in verandahmagazine: How do we create more space in our day without creating more stress?
In front of the blank canvas.....
Before beginning to paint, whether starting on a new blank canvas or continuing with the next layer of paint, if we take a moment to connect with ourselves, and how we are feeling, and then make a choice to let go of all other distractions - the to-do lists and what happened yesterday - the mind settles to the task at hand and we can focus.
Painting with a level of stillness and clarity ensures that the painting will convey that energy, it won't carry emotion or drive or any need to be liked.
Have you ever noticed how you feel when looking at paintings, perhaps in a gallery or on a wall at home?
Every painting or artwork carries the energy of the maker, and knowing this and how we are affected means there is a level of responsibility with making our art.
Painting with Presence - breathing gently - will ensure the body is not stressed, the mind stays focussed, and time comes to us. This feels light and spacious in the body, and this is the quality of energy we can offer the viewer.
From my studio
In the early morning you will find me at my desk with a cup of tea, making notes about a possible new painting, the next workshop, or the next article or blog to write. In the evening you will find me walking the beach, or along the lane from the house, looking closely at pebbles or footprints in sand, or gazing into the distance at clouds and horizons. In between - all manner of adventures, interactions, creative projects being developed.
Bernadette Curtin lives in the Byron Bay hinterland, in Northern New South Wales.
She has a wealth of experience as an artist, art educator and mentor, having worked with young artists at secondary and tertiary levels, at Ruyton Girls School, the NGV and RMIT, Melbourne. She has helped adults prepare folios for tertiary courses, and conducted art workshops from her studio. She has led field trips to the outback and runs on-line tutorials in creative expression. In her words:
"Painting and drawing were natural ways to express as a child. I loved playing with watercolours, coloured pencils and paint. Making art has been a constant practice in my life, and the best way I know to respond to the beauty of nature. I have enjoyed teaching art for many years, and I would love to share the joy and playfulness of your natural expression with you."