Friday, August 21, 2015

Painting Race - 10 Miles of Paintings

This layer of the course was an interesting one.  I think I broke through many painting blocks and beliefs which were halting my progress. I highly recommend if you would like to learn the art of detachment, paint over your paintings on a canvas.  It's also a great way to grow your confidence muscles in the area of lack.  I know for myself often if I paint or create something, sometimes I wonder whether I can do it again and I don't want to ruin it.  Certainly in this process you become aware that there is no endless supply.  Although not every project, painting, artwork will be perfect, you will always find that creative source again and again as long as you show up.

So here are my paintings from 1 - 10. 

Mile 1 - this was meant to be a fun painting on which we were to paint a stick figure.  Pretty silly but definitely was fun.  A great way to start and of course very easy to paint over.


Mile 2 - Paint a sunflower, this was my version of a sunflower, very flowy and abstact.  Didn't love it so happily painted over it.
 


Mile 3 - Focusing on Unity, we had to pick a shape to paint on the canvas to create unity.  I choose the rectangle shape.


Mile 4 - Was to use papers on your canvas. Since my background is mixed media I loved this one.  So much so that I couldn't do another layer over it I wanted to leave it and work with it.  You will see later in my paintings I transformed it into an owl.



Layer 5 This is on a new canvas and the inspiration behind this canvas was proportion and we had to have a go at painting a nautilus shell.  I had lots of resitance on this one so much so that I avoided it for a few days.  I think I just wasn't inspired by what we were meant to paint.  Eventually I sat down did some google image searching and found a couple of images that I thought I could have a go at painting.  Needless to say it is very wishy washy and quick, next....


Layer 6 - This was actually painted in my art journal.  I had the background already painted from a while back.  The topic for this canvas was Harness - to harness what we want more of in life.  For me it was peace and relaxation and the buddha was the image that came to mind.  So here it is, this is my favourite.


Layer 7 - This was super fun and I highly recommend it when you are feeling stressed.  It was simply to finger paint dots on a canvas.  This was actually really relaxing because there was no expectations to create a masterpiece.
 


Layer 8 - I love this one too and how it turned out.  For this one you paint a background and then highlight some shapes with either paint or pencil and then paint all the left over space with one paint colour.  I chose a creamy white.  Then I got the inspiration to use a skewer to doodle shapes in the white paint while it was still wet.  Another great one for relaxation


Layer 9 - This canvas topic was to paint something that makes up happy.  I thought I wanted to have a go at painting a whimsical owl and I thought it would suit that background from earlier that I mentioned.  Can you see parts of it even though most of it is covered.


Layer 10 - The topic of this canvas is to paint change we would like to create.  I started this canvas a long time ago and got stuck with inspiration on how to finish it.  I decided to pull it out to finally finish it.  I felt inspired to paint mandalas and dreamcatchers on the canvas.  This is not finished as yet as I want to add some painted inspirational words to it as well.   I guess for me creating change and not being afraid to follow my dreams and learn to trust and believe that everything is working out perfectly even when it doesn't feel like it.


I thoroughly enjoyed this month of painting and it definitely stretched me as a person and creatively.  Hope you enjoyed my update.

If your are interested in learning more of this process, be sure to sign up to receive my emails for when I schedule classes.
 
Chat soon
Anna xx

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Painting Made Easy - Layer 2

During this last month of my creativity coaching course we explored painting.  Although I have been painting for a while it was great to explore a different way to approach it.

The first step of Painting Made Easy is to  create backgrounds and layers.  You can have fun with this mixing colours or making new colours.  Using complementary colours on the colour wheel or just playing with colours that you feel drawn to.  One way to do this is just to pick a few paint colours and go with those colours adding others if you feel you want to.

Here is a sample of a background or first and second layer.  You can incorporate so much into this layer: words., stamps, stencils, and even create a few layers, as long as you allow each layer to dry inbetween.   For this process I was focused on following the steps in the Painting Made Easy portion of my course so I kept it simple as I really wanted to be able to feel the experience as a newbie painter might be going through.

Here I chose a few colours and played with adding them in different ways, using brushes, my fingers.  I did wait for some colours to dry so as not to create mud with mixing different colours on the colour wheel.  As you can see I am drawn to bright colours and neon colours at the moment and I seem to be using them everywhere.


The next step was to chose an image that spoke to me.  This is always the place where I stall because I actually love abstract backgrounds and would be happy to leave the painting as it is.  I was almost to scared to ruin it.

This is where it gets interesting because often where we have resistance on the canvas we have resistance in real life.  I had a long conversation with Whitney my mentor about feeling stuck at this point and why I often don't want to mess up something that I feel looks good.  It is almost  a fear of thinking I can't recreate this (limitation) or I don't want to ruin it (make a mistake)  There could be lots of subsconscious conditioning going on behind the scenes here even that I am not aware of as well.  However we don't need to wallow in the past to find out why or what caused this just move forward and work through it now.  This is another block in itself and can keep us in procrastination mode for years not living our purpose.  After a few days of procrastinating I chose my symbol which was the lotus and decided to go for it.

At this stage you outline your image in black or white paint and I forgot to take a photo of this step.

But here is the next step and you can see the outline and a bit of new layers of paint inside the petals.


So you can guess what happened I totally did stuff it up.  Even though I did a rough petal sketch on paper when I went to do the rough sketch on the canvas the proportions were wrong and it looked weird and well there was nothing else to do but keep going.

At this stage I played around with the shape of the petals and highlighted paint here and there but it still didn't look right.  Needless to say I had released my attachment to the background at this point.  I even contempated painting over it all and starting again.  However I decided that I just needed to play around with the petals more and remove a couple of the lower ones.

Another important thing Whitney mentions is to get your painting to a place where you are happy with it.  If something is bugging you change it.  This was a huge aha moment for me because there are so many things in life that I just put up with for the sake of keeping the peace and moving forward and realising that before too long my boundries have become blurred and I am putting up with way more than I should have to the point where I don't know what it was I wanted in the first place.  So another discovery and lets move forward with the painting.  It needs to be changed but how.

I could have left it at the picture you see above but I chose to rework it. I changed the shape of some petals and removed some.  I also layered a teal background around the lotus.  It is not the most perfect or realistic Lotus and there maybe things I would change or add however at this point I am happy with it.  I could hang it on my wall and say I love it, imperfections and all.  The top image not so much in fact not at all.


As you can see the original background does peak through here and there and it creates texture and depth.  However most of it is painted over and that's okay because it is still there and provided a great learning curve in the process.

In finishing off I chose the Lotus because it represents a beautiful blossoming flower which has bloomed from the muck or muddy waters beneath it.  A wonderful metaphor for life I think and I resonate with it.

I stumbled upon these words about the symbolism of the Lotus quoted from this website "A person’s path in life is said to be similar to that of the Lotus. Starting at the seed stage, early in the karmic cycle, through to the bud emerging from the dirty water, representing a person following the path of spirituality and leaving attachment behind, and finally blossoming, this is when a person has become fully awakened and has achieved nirvana." 

I hope you have enjoyed my story here and be sure to sign up for my newsletter as I will be offering these painting classes soon both in person and online.  You can sign up on the home page here

Have an inspired day
Anna xx

Friday, June 5, 2015

Meet the Artist Within - Layer One Creatively Fit Coaching Certificate



Layer One - Creatively Fit Life Coach Journey


Wow how powerful is the statement above, by Matthew Fox.  When I read this I felt as though I had always known this, that being creative is an integral part of our nature.  It doesn't matter how we choose to be creative  as long as we allow ourselves to creatively shine and let that inner voice be heard.  It's not about the end result, its about the process.  These are often hard words to hear for a creative.

My first few weeks of the Coaching program has been all about meeting the Artist Within.  Understanding more about the right brain and the role it plays and integrating it more.  Also about  listening and allowing and to a certain degree surrendering to perfection.  

At the start of my journey Whitney intuitively chose a sacred symbol for me.  My symbol was The Sphinx.  As soon as I saw this immediately I couldn't relate and kept thinking, why would I get this symbol.  However Whitney and I had a skpye chat about this very symbol and it was only after that I realised her intuitive guidance was spot on.  The Sphinx amongst many things represents time.  Time is something I have struggled with for a while, not enough of it, not being in the present, projecting into the future, wasting it, unstructured time, rushing, you name it time has definitely been an issue.

I have always felt like I have to catch up and I don't have enough time.   Whitney suggested I have a go at painting The Sphinx and meditating on what it means.  I knew that it would stretch me artistically and it did.  I googled some images and chose one I was comfortable with to base my painting on in my journal.  Not my best art but one of the things I am learning on this journey is that it is not the end product, the picture as such it's the energy that is created when I paint and the meaning behind the art, the process if you will.


Throughout layer one we really focused on using our right brain more.  Our right brain is our creative brain which is often underused whilst our logical brain, left brain runs the show.  Using our right brain more has many benefits.  It can help us to relax more, to develop our intuition to balance using both side of the brain.  A couple of the activities we did to practice this were.

Cover a page with colour.  This is so fun and easy to do.  Grab a marker, crayon, pencil which ever colour you are drawn to and the cover your page.  Just let you hand move around the page not judging what you see, not trying to draw anything in particular.  Here is my page below.  Of course I was drawn to bright pink which I seem to be drawn to a lot lately.


Another activity we also did, which to be honest I found challenging was to close your eyes and scribble on a page for a few seconds, then open your eyes and try to find the pictures in the scribble.  Of course this dog or teddy face jumped out at me but I kept thinking it could'nt be it.  I have done several of these this week and each time I have to look for a while before finding the picture.  Usually there is a message in the picture a subconsicous message, once again the Right brain in action.  Another facet of this activity is to write out 5 words that come to mind right away from the scribble and what you see.  Needless to say I wanted to reach out and give this cute dog a hug. 


Finally a couple of other exercises that we did which I'm sure you have heard of was a dream collage (otherwise known as a vision board) in our journals.  The first is a dream board and the idea was to pick images that jumped out at me.  I actually did 3 double page spreads of this I was having fun it is a great right brain activity and very relaxing.

As you can see I was drawn to lots of bright colours and being outdoors in nature, I think I am dreaming of summer already.  Whitney said she saw blooming when she saw this spread, which is another great insight.  The whole point of these exercises is to allow the right brain voice to speak to us and to become more aware of its wisdom.


Finally the other collage which we did was a torn paper face collage.  The idea was to look at anything that jumped out at us.  This one definitely didn't flow as easily as I was really trying to find pictures and images that resonated with what I was trying to represent.  I loved finding the crown and jewels, adding wings and the clock for time.  I also added the big round jewel at my neck representing the throat chakra which is blue also.  The buddha for mindfulness, the glitter heart for opening my heart, the butterfly for spreading my wings, the mask for unmasking the real me, oh and there is an owl just on the top of my head for wisdom and knowing.  Of course the background is outdoors.  I feel as though I created this more with intention of what I am wanting to attract.


So these are a few of the exercises we did.  I have found that I am now more aware of creating for my own mindfulness and wellbeing and growth.  I can see the importance of using my right brain more and this could be a blog post or a few all on its own.  

I'd love to finish with some powerful words that,  are so relevant today.  We absolutely need both sides of brain to work together in harmony, but how often do we allow and receive.



I hope you enjoyed my overview of this first month I look forward to sharing more soon.

Anna xx

Meet Your Artist Within - Part 1 - My Journey




It's been a while since I have posted something spiritual and insightful here.   To be honest it used to be a natural progression to lead into long posts on this blog of things other than craft.  Then one day I wondered whether it was really appropriate to post since it was attached to a website that sold Art and Craft Supplies.  I was torn because I had so much to share with you all but then I wondered whether what I had to share was going out to my blog readers that just wanted to see samples of cards and scrapbooking etc.  I had this desire to blend in my creativity with spirituality or self growth but wasn't sure how to do it.  In hindsight I could have just kept sharing as you the blog reader always has the power to decide whether to read on or not.

A while after I stopped posting, I started to find artists that did in fact combine creativity with spirtuality.   When I say spiritual I don't mean religous. I mean going within and getting to know myself better. Listening to my soul or higher self or whatever you choose to call it.  There is no doubt I was running around trying to be everything to everyone and not really acknowledging what I myself wanted and needed, to help myself grow and heal.   It has taken me on twists and turns and highs and lows that have left me feeling at times inadequate, stuck, scared and at other times as though I may just have found the answer.  The next healer, the next practice, the next meditation style etc etc.  When you want answers to something that is bothering you, you will search high and low to get those answers for years even. Well that has been my journey.  By the way it's still going as I believe working on yourself just never stops.  But I feel as though I have many insights now that I want to share about how I  have evolved and where this journey has led me.

If you have been following me for a while you would have noticed that my art has changed.  First of all I am actually making art.  Funnily enough 16 years ago I actually did formal painting classes and then continue to paint on my own, this was before the internet.  I did a few market stalls with painted wood pieces.  Years later I started to get involved with the Scrapbooking Community and went from there.  I think I was drawn to all the beautiful supplies and creating lovely things.  There was still a need to create but I did get bored of scrapbooking even though I eventually opened up a store selling supplies Koko Vanilla Designs.

I evolved over to card making and still love making cards to this day.  They are quick and easy and great therapy.  But there was something still missing.  Yes I can make gorgeous cards but the fulfillment was gone.  Don't get me wrong I still love putting pretty papers and embellishments together and taking cute photos but my soul was asking me to go deeper here.  Creating had become just to inspire my customers, to the point that I wasn't creating for my own enjoyment but to demonstrate how you could use the products and supplies.  Once again fun but not really inspiring to me.

The last year or so I have really begun to combine my love of painting and mixed media together.  I love that there are no rules and you can go as crazy as you want to.  The process can be healing if you don't let the ego step in and criticise you whilst you create.  Over time I have filled my social media platforms with creativity in which ever form has called to me.  I have run a couple of classes here and there and done a video or two.  But still I needed more.

A few weeks back after months of going back and forth in my mind with what will I do now.  I kept feeling called to help others through my art, I just wasn't sure how.  I don't have qualifications as an Art Therapist and I am not a Qualified Life Coach although I have a lot to share from experience and life journey.  In my search to find an online course that would give me some sort of a combination of these two elements and some structure and insight when it comes to sharing and teaching, I found a lovely lady who I absolutely resonated with as soon as I heard her speak on an online podcast.  Her name is Whitney Freya.  Whitney runs several online courses but the one I have joined up for is Creatively Fit Certified Coach  This will give me even more insight and skill in sharing my art with you not to mention help me to feel more confident once I have gone through this journey to share it with others.  I am once again the student and absolutely loving it I have to say.

In my next Blog post I will share with you what I have learnt in the first 4 weeks of my course so far.  I wanted to share it here but the post will be way too long.  So I am breaking it up into two although they both relate.

As for the online store it is staying, and will evolve as I do.  As for my offerings that will also change no doubt.  For now I hope you enjoy reading about my first 4 weeks on my Creatively Fit Coaching Journey.

Anna xx

Friday, April 17, 2015

Hello Lovely! Handmade Cards for Mother's Day and more.....

Hello Friends,

Mother's Day is only next month, and I was inspired to create a new kit to celebrate the Lovely Ladies in our lives.

My previous themed kit "Celebrating Sisterhood" was extremely popular and sold out.  I just knew I had to have a similar theme this year as I think it is so important to acknowledge other Women in our lives with kind words.  Let's use our creativity to reach out to others, inspire and uplift and truly express our thoughts rather than keeping them bottled up inside.

Even if you find it hard to express yourself with the written word, a handmade card speaks volumes!

Introducing....

Hello Lovely! - Card Making Kit

http://www.kokovanilladesigns.com.au/store/card-making-kits/hello-lovely-card-making-kit/

Filled with gorgeous papers, cardstock stickers, embellishments and ribbons.  This kit comes with everything you need to create these stunning cards.  Additional items required are your basic kit of cutting tools and double sided tape, dimensional tape and glue.  This kit is a great Childrens activity also.  To find out more or purchase click here.

Have a happy day
Anna xox 

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Card Making Online Class - ECourse


Now you can attend one of my classes from the comfort of your own home...


Make Beautiful Cards - Online Card Making Class



Once you purchase the class you have instant access.  This class is self paced.

Have a closer look at what it's all about here

See you in class
Anna x

Thursday, February 5, 2015

A Collage of Card Making inspiration

Hello and Happy 2015,

I thought I would pop in today and share a collage of cardmaking inspiration which is currently on my homepage but won't be for too much longer.  By adding it here it will always been a point of reference for some card ideas when you visit this blog.


Even though I don't always post here you can find up to date photos on instagram and facebook.  I usually post there a few times a week.

Hope 2015 has been good to you so far.

Anna x


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