Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Sample lesson content

Shoes by Irregular Choice

If you're wondering what the content of my eCourse might be like, then wonder no more. Here's some content from a typical week where we'll be exploring how to try on inspiration until we find the size that fits.... You might also like to look at my previous post, another example of the type of content I'll cover where I'll introduce you to the work of other artists and demonstrate how you can take their techniques and make them your own.

We'll share our work and inspire each other into new directions too. I want to gently push you into expanding your creativity and teach you how to find little tendrils of inspiration that pull you into their story and beg you to tell it...

Stories from Shoes

What do you see when you look at these shoes? Now don't go moaning that you're a bloke and what do you care about shoes, or that you wouldn't be seen dead in anything so outlandish. Keep looking, then listen to the voice in your head. What does it see? What does it hear?

I have conjured up fairy tale castles filled with adventure. Dainty ladies wearing their hair too high for battling dragons bent on destruction.... Is that a ring tied into the bow? So, that's where she hid it!

I see turquoise oceans; I feel aching feet that aren't used to heels; I smell the Chinese sweat shop where each tiny flower is hand sewn for a pittance as Wai wonders how she will hide her bulging belly from her employer. I hear music that makes my toes tap and, looking down, notice the beer splashes on my pretty ribbons and wonder if they'll wash...

These are not shoes. These are whimsical paintings of a Princess, dance music, contemporary poetry. These are a written outpouring of shoe envy or a lament at the heel height of 2012 fashion. These are colour, shade and story.

Your challenge is to look deeper into this picture than just the footwear and let your Muse whisper their creative longings.

There's a story for everyone in this fancy pair of turquoise party slippers. Will yours be painted, written or photographed.

Close your eyes and let you imagination wander.... but if you're still looking at a blank page, then try on a few of these:
  • Sketch your ideal pair of shoes - total fantasy - if you want wheels, you've got them; if they need rocket launchers or 500 buttons, then they're yours! What materials will you use? When will you wear them and with what... and who...?
  • Write about your favourite pair of shoes. Do you still own them? What make them so special? Put yourself in 'their shoes'.... What stories could they tell about you? What do they think of you?
  • Quickly scribble a list of words associated with footwear and then compose a poem using every single one of them.
  • These shoes are very different and will most certainly make their owner stand out. Why might they want to do that? What does the rest of their outfit look like? Where are they going and why?
 Share a link to your results in the comments on this page or on my Facebook Page and let me see where you (or indeed that pair of shoes) take this prompt.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Pretty Flamingo

There's a method to the madness... I'm experimenting. This week I was inspired by the work of Lawrence Yang who I 'stumbled upon'...

His bio reads:

Lawrence Yang wrestles with informational abstractions by day and paints by night. Influenced by graffiti art and traditional Chinese painting, he employs ink, marker, and watercolor, as the permanence of this media adds a sense of immediacy to his work. Lawrence's paintings make use of color to communicate atmosphere and emotion, and they are concerned primarily with creating order out of chaos (and vice versa).

Lawrence Yang

Lawrence Yang

He's seeing dimension in drip and dribble, substance in splatter... and little birdies and teddy bears in ... well ... maybe we shouldn't go there...

I took my own interpretation of his technique and, because I was wearing my best clothes at the time and didn't want to ruin them, printed out some splatter work I had 'prepared earlier' (just like Delia Smith). It was just some pink dribbles really with a random blog of green. It immediately spoke to me. In fact, truth be told, it sang.... 'pretty flamingo'. It sang it a lot... until I got really annoyed...

Anyway, we ended up with three pretty flamingos and one green bug. I was quite pleased that Manfred Mann hadn't recorded any songs about green bugs.

If you're interested in exploring new techniques (and getting annoying songs stuck in your head), then this is just the kind of thing we'll be doing on my Inspirational eCourse (shameless plug!). It starts on May 14th.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Group Working

I was given the book we're using for the book group - Mess: A Manual of Accidents and Mistakes - last autumn. It was a prize from another course. I was so excited when it arrived, having enjoyed a whale of a time with one of Keri's other destruction projects - Wreck this Journal. Somehow though, I just couldn't get into it. I put some attempt into a few pages, but something was missing...

Clarity finally dawned - making a mess is never as much fun on your own as with a group... especially when you need some encouragement and permission to start to let go. The Messy Book Group was born!

The last few weeks my messy band have been making tentative steps towards total abandon. Many of us are taking a leap into unknown territory. We're finding a side to our creativity we never knew existed or had packed away along with childhood toys.

 Mess or the place where the Dragon shed its skin?

Already some of us have been labelled as the local eccentrics as we leap about in mud and then dance over our artwork. Family members have questioned our sanity or written letters to The Times in distress over our wanton destruction of the bound page.

Yet, in amongst the mess, we are finding tiny treasures ready to seed and bloom into something altogether special. We are opening our minds and muses to possibility. As we enjoy the very act of creation with little heed to any final outcome we are more often than not surprising ourselves along the way.

The right sides of our brains are wide awake and laughing with glee as they connect the dots, splodges and sticky patches to find new meaning. It's a crazy adventure and we're enjoying the ride!

Finding the composition after the fact!

It is never too late to join the party. We're sharing our accidents and improvisation on the **FREE** Book Group blog page and throwing ideas and caution to the wind in our Facebook Group.

If you're wondering how this fits with the eCourse or indeed, just what that's all about. Well, it will more of the same with a dose of more prescribed material. We'll be learning where to find inspiration and stretching our right brains. We'll be telling stories in words and pictures and finding new meaning in the mundane. We'll look at the work of other artists and see how they can inspire us to take our own creative path.

It all starts on Monday 14th May. The clock is ticking... Tick Tock... Sign up here.

The Guarantee
…If after the first half of the course, you don’t feel inspired to create, then I will offer your money back, no quibble.

Monday, 16 April 2012

Take the leap

Are you feeling brave? Dare you step through this portal? What lies beyond the floral chandelier? What hides in the blue mist. Is it safe? Are there monsters or fairies? Is it perhaps a gentle Arcadia or will you set boulders rumbling?

Shall I let you into a little secret? I know what's in there... It's the gateway to your imagination. Through there lies paintings, poems and prose... The archways lead you to where your Muse lies waiting to guide you on an adventure through your creativity.

How about you share your stories and art with me in the comments here? Where would you like this particular portal to take you today?

If you enjoy adventures like this, then join me on my inspirational eCourse where we'll step into the realm of our imagination for an 8 week magical mystery tour.

A thought to leave you with...

This must be a simply enormous wardrobe!" thought Lucy, going still further in and pushing the soft folds of the coats aside to make room for her. Then she noticed that there was something crunching under her feet. "I wonder is that more moth balls?" she thought, stooping down to feel it with her hands. But instead of feeling the hard, smooth wood of the floor of the wardrobe, she felt something soft and powdery and extremely cold. "This is very queer," she said, and went on a step or two further.
CS Lewis

Just imagine if Lucy had been too scared to take those steps... I don't think her story would be half so interesting... do you?