Celebrating Creativity

Hi I'm Kadira Jennings, welcome to Unfolding Creativity, a portal to Abundance Through Creativity.

I am a creative artist celebrating and encouraging the creative in all of us.

My blog is a discussion, and creativity resource. Please take your time, look around and join the conversation if you would like to.
It is my passionate belief that we all have deep within us a creative genius just waiting for half a chance to get out no matter what field we work or play in.

''There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it.''
Martha Graham


Underpainting – what value does it have? If you have been  following my blog for a while, you will have noticed my shift to underpainting most of my works now.  Why do it? Well the main advantage is that it can give great depth to your work if it is covered by several thin layers of paint over the top.

Underpainting is not only a rapid and economical way to envision and develop compositions, it also aids the artist in creating a number of optical effects that cannot be achieved by direct painting with color.

Traditionally underpaintings were usually executed in warm earth tones on neutral gray or warm brown grounds. Raw umber, at times mixed with black, were frequently used for this purpose. Another great mix is Burnt Sienna and French Ultramarine Blue. This mix can give you very neutral grey tones (with the addition of a little white) or the underpainting can be made either warm or cool depending on whether it leans towards the Burnt Sienna or the Ultramarine Blue.

Cool gray underpaintings were also often employed.  In the work below you can see Andrea del Sarto’s half-finished portrait and notice how the flesh has only been worked up on one side  and the underpainting is revealed on the rest of it.

underpainting Andrea del Sarto - unfinished portrait

Andrea del Sarto – unfinished portrait

‘In it’s simplest terms, an underpainting is a monochromatic version of the final painting intended to initially fix the composition, give volume and substance to the forms, and distribute darks and lights in order to create the effect of illumination.’ (1)

If you are going to experiment with underpainting only apply color over the underpainting  when it is thoroughly dry.

Not many painters use the underpainting technique today as most of them are after the immediacy of direct painting i.e.  coloured paint straight onto a white ground.  The problem with this approach is that many opportunities for subtlety are missed as underpainting is often the only way to achieve great depth and luminosity in a work.

Next Thursday’s Post: Songs Of The Sea

Next Monday’s Post: Colour Theory  - Mixing Blues

Posted By: Kadira Jennings

(1) Essential Vermeer 2.0

Pix Credit: Essential Vermeer 2.0


Creative Processes – talking about Resistance

Unfortunately most of us don’t recognize our resistance. Instead we sit safely in denial, in our illusion, pretending that the art class or the lessons in stage makeup are just something else that we are filling up our lives with. I know this because I spent 40 odd years of my life pretending I wasn’t an artist. I know all the distractions, excuses and rocky stones on this path of Resistance.  They are old well-loved friends, hard to leave behind. Here’s a list of a few of the things that will stop you from doing your true work in the world.

  •  I’ll do it later – when I have time
  • When the kids are going to school – I’ll have time then
  • It would be selfish of me to spend that money when my partner needs a new widget for his car
  • I’ll just do (x) before I look into it
  • Who am I kidding – me, a film director, dancer, artist ………. fill in the blank
  • I’m too old now
  • Everyone else has a head start – they will always be better than me
  • It’s just a pipe dream

This True Work –   It’s what I call SOUL WORK.

This has nothing to do with religion.  It has everything to do with developing the deepest core of your self, which is why we are all so afraid of it.

Now Resistance and Self worth kind of over lap, because often resistance occurs owing to our lack of self-worth.  How does this manifest?

Well unfortunately, often owing to religious beliefs, we have been taught that we are worthless. We have been conditioned to decry our gifts, to exalt our unworthiness and so give away our power. This is why creative people are often found on the fringes of society.

Sadly we often, must disown our tribes, be they familial, political or religious, in order to move forward, free from the strictures that want to contain our creative spirits.  Creativity threatens the tribe because by its very nature it is perceived as anarchy.  It brings with it change and horror of horrors GROWTH!!  And Growth ALWAYS  challenges the status quo and threatens those in power.

creative-freedom resistance

creative freedom


You see, creative spirits need to be free. They cannot create within the bound confines of strangling political and religious systems. It is the work of creatives to push at the boundaries of human understanding. Which of course why so many of them are not recognized as a genius until after they are dead. Society takes a while to catch up and because it does, and for all the reasons stated above, creatives and free thinkers are considered revolutionaries ( which of course they are) and are often persecuted.

Stepping out of Resistance

Stepping out of Resistance

Therefore we have resistance.  We want to hide.  We don’t want to be different. The call of the tribe is strong.  We don’t want to take up the responsibility because it means admitting who we really are and then doing something about it. Sometimes hiding from ourselves seems a lot safer.

This Week’s Question: Can you list at least 5  forms of resistance you are currently using to avoid your creative calling?

Next Thursday’s Post: Waitete Revisited

Next Monday’s Post: Colour Mixing – The Blues

Posted By: Kadira Jennings

Pix Credits: Creative Freedom, Business design


Waitete Revisited

This is a theme that has been popping up a bit this year.  A couple of weeks ago I was commissioned to do a painting to match one that one of my collectors  bought earlier in the year. She requested a similar scene but with a more moody/misty feel to it.

Here is the painting’s history.

Waitete Revisited Kadira Jennings,New Romantic Paintings

Waitete Revisited – Underpainting – block in

OMG there’s an elephant in the sky!!

Which progressed to an under layer of colour and establishing the sky clouds.  These clouds flowed really smoothly – such a pleasure  to paint when it all works!

Waitete Revisited Kadira Jennings,New Romantic Paintings

Initial colour layer and cloud work

And many layers later  - after more work on the clouds, mist and foreground we have …….

Waitete Revisited Kadira Jennings,New Romantic Paintings

The Finished Painting
18″ x 18″

And here they are together

Waitete Paintings

Waitete Paintings


For a better look at it – please visit my website Waitete Revisited

Next Thursday’s Post: The Value of Underpainting

Next Monday’s Post: Creative Processes – Talking About Resistance

Posted By: Kadira Jennings

Mixing Colours Yellows

Mixing Colours YELLOWS

What you need to know about yellow before you start mixing colours

Mixing Yellows

Mixing colours Yellows

Cadmium Yellow (Hidden Orange)
This Orange biased Yellow is opaque and contains a large amount of
Orange. When you compare it to a Green biased Yellow you can definitely see the Orange
colour within it. Even though Cadmium Yellow is also from the cadmium heavy
metal family, it’s toxicity is so low as to hardly register and it too is considered quite
safe whilst bound into a paint medium.
Lemon Yellow (Hidden Green)
This Green biased Yellow is very transparent and contains a large amount of Green.
When you compare it to the Orange biased Yellow you can see the way it leans towards

This weeks Question: Can you look at your paint charts and identify which bias each of your yellows has – does it have a green or orange biased?

Next Thursday’s Post: Waitete Revisited

Next Monday’s Post: The Creative Process continued

Posted By: Kadira Jennings

Its Finished!!

Yeah!! Its finished. It is finally finished! Pretty much a marathon really.

Here are the final stages. You can see I took it even further out there than last weeks image…. and then scrapped most of it….

Dance of Life Kadira Jennings,New Romantic Paintings

Dance of Life Take … How many was that?

and here ….. drum roll!!! Its Finished!!! This is the final abandonment of the image.  ”A painting is never finished – merely abandoned” Leonardo Da Vinci.

The Dance of Life - Completed,Kadira Jennings,New Romantic Paintings

The Dance of Life – Completed

For a better look at it visit my website ‘The Dance Of Life’  You can blow the image up to full screen size on that page.

Next Thursday’s Post: Working on a commission

Next Monday’s Post:  Colour Mixing – The Yellows

Posted By: Kadira Jennings

The Craft Of Creating

The Craft Of Creating – thoughts on the processes of creativity and art making.

Much has been written on the processes of creativity and painting.  About both the more esoteric and the technical skills that we need to acquire along the way. What do I mean by esoteric skills? These are those things which extend beyond the range of what brush to use or how to manipulate your materials. Rather they are those unseen gremlins that litter the creative path, whether you are a writer, painter, sculptor or film maker.

These are the demons of :

  • Resistance
  • Lack of self-worth
  • Perfectionism

There are probably many more, however many other things fall under the umbrella of these, which I like to call, The Big Three. So lets take a look at them individually. One of the really important things about being on the creative journey is that we

A. Recognize that we are on it and

B. Having recognized it, we Embrace it.

Even if you are only attending an art class or going to a creative writing group, stop and think for a moment – WHY are you doing that?

the craft of creating

Taking a Workshop

Most people will rationalize that away by saying something like “It’s just a hobby” or “it’s my time out away from the kids, spouse or whatever.”  However my question to you is,  WHY have you chosen to do that particular thing? Why didn’t you feel called to be an athlete or a deep-sea diver or anything else you might care to name? Well the reason is that you have felt the inner calling of your creative self. We are all called to do something in this world. We have a unique raison d’etre as the French say.  A reason for being that no one else can fulfill because they are not us.

Your turning up at an art class or a creative writing weekend is no accident. You have taken your first steps on the journey. The next post on this topic, will look at Resistance and how we do that.  What kind of behaviours can we identify as coming from Resistance? Check back in two weeks to find answers to these thoughts.

This Week’s Question: How then can you grab hold of your creative fledgling and bring it up to be the beautiful swan it was meant to be?

Next Thursday’s Post:The Dance of  Life Continued

Next Monday’s Post: Colour Mixing – Yellows

Posted By: Kadira Jennings

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