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

comforting criticism,criticism,critics

Cut To The Quick – Is There Such a Thing as Comforting Criticism?

Comforting Criticism – well that’s a kind of paradox, isn’t it? Nobody really wants criticism – we don’t want to be told that our fledgling creations aren’t quite up to scratch, that we didn’t get it right.  Is there any value in criticism at all, we might ask? There are two things at stake here – one is our precious ego, and the other is our fear.  That fear that we are being seen for the fraud that we really are ( well so we tell ourselves), and the fear that we won’t be able to get it right at all. The fear that we are so bad, so dumb that we won’t ever get it right stops creativity in its tracks.

Man, that gremlin – does he sit on your shoulder sometimes, because he’s certainly spent a lot of time sitting on mine in the past? So this leads me to Comforting Criticism. – Just what is that really?  I have heard it described as an Oreo™ cookie. Why? Because you give some pithy comments upfront, followed by something mushier and follow-up with a last, slightly challenging sentence. In other words, your criticism is offset by some encouraging comments.

There are different ways to view criticism. We can take it too hard and get upset and even angry with the other person about their observations. Or we can be a bit thick skinned and say to ourselves ‘well is that true? What do I honestly think about that? Of course, any persons critical viewpoint is their opinion about the matter at hand. So obviously some criticism is going to be more valuable than others. If you are taking an art class and your tutor comments about something in your work that could perhaps be changed, and they explain why it needs to be, this is a lot more useful than one of your classmates commenting on your work, when they don’t necessarily have that much experience. However, that doesn’t mean to say that you have to dismiss the criticism out of hand, particularly if they have painted for longer than you have.
The trouble with criticism is that our fragile egos don’t like to think that we haven’t got it right, and it’ll go to bat for us, when that may not even be helpful at all. And the problem with comforting criticism is that we may be receiving a watered down version of the truth, which is not helpful either.

It is my belief that criticism certainly has its place in the scheme of things. And my positive response to it rises in direct proportion to the regard with which I hold the criticizer.  If it’s someone who I consider knows more about the subject than I do, I’m very happy to listen to their thoughts on the subject at hand.  

This Weeks Question: What has been your reaction to criticism of your work? Do you find it useful or do you fear it?

Look For Next Week’s PostAn artist’s biggest fear, what do you think it is?

 

 

Natures Expression,kadira_jennings,art_studios_gallery

 

Natures Expression opened successfully at the Art Studios Gallery last Saturday the 6th of May and closes Today Sunday the 14th of May.

The opening was a great success with several of the artists selling work and a great crowd turned out to celebrate the opening with the artists.

Above you can see my painting Dauntless Resilience and the sculptural works are by Lisa McArthur-Edwards.  Her works tell the story of man’s overbearing influence on the natural, sculpted forms of nature, comparing their ugliness with nature’s natural beauty.

The show was opened by celebrated artist and gallery owner of Me.Space Gallery in Sydney, Debbie MacKinnon. She gave an inspiring talk about our connection to nature and the way in which the various artists had approached the common theme of natures expression. Below is a lovely photo of Debbie with Lisa, after her opening speech.  Thank you, Debbie, for your wonderful words and for taking the time to come all the way up from Sydney to open our show.

Debbie MacKinnon,Natures Expression,kadira_jennings,art_studios_gallery

 

I would like to offer special congratulations to Kate Landsbury, who produced all the work she entered in this exhibition, in two weeks.  What a mammoth effort Kate, we are all so proud of you and to be rewarded by several sales is an awesome thing. Well done!

Kate Talks about her work,natures_expressions

Above we can see Kate pointing to her painting in the background which she had just sold! Below, Art Patrons are enjoying the exhibition.

Art Patrons Enjoying the exhibition,natures_expression

 

As a final word, I would like to thank everyone who took time out of their day to come and view our works, Debbie MacKinnon for opening the exhibition,  my fellow artists for their many and varied contributions to the exhibition, and Cathryn McEwen and the artists at the gallery who helped us hang the show and manned the sales and other bits and pieces on the day.  You all contributed to our success and a great exhibition – thank you.

 

This Weeks Question: What did you enjoy most about this exhibition?

Look For Next Week’s Post: Is There Such a Thing as Comforting Criticism?

Award Winning Painting,Dauntless Resilience,seascape,landscape,competition,light_space_time_online_gallery

 

Fantastic News This Week – Award Winning Painting Dauntless Resilience, makes a splash at the online gallery Light, Space, Time’s annual Landscape competition. It received a Special Merit award.  The work was chosen from 658 entries which were submitted from 19 different countries around the world.

Award Winning Painting,art prize

 

This came as a highlight in a very busy week, the least of which was hanging the exhibition which opened on Saturday at The Art Studios Gallery – 391 Mann St, North Gosford. The exhibition runs until 4pm on Sunday 14th May.

 

cracking the creativity code,creative practice

How To Make More Time To Create

Cracking the creativity code. One of the biggest problems we face as creatives are finding the time to actually do it!
We have great intentions, however, there is usually a host of reasons, that all lineup and look like a giant army of reasons as to why we don’t have that time.These include things like:

  • A bad mental space
  • Lack of physical space
  • Unwieldy or unhelpful creative habits
  • Being time-poor
  • No Boundaries
  • And a whole bunch of other things

I would like to share with you this week, a book I came across recently called, Creative Time And  Space – Making room for making art by Rice Freeman-Zachery

This is a fantastic little book with contributions from 14 different creatives and their perspective on how to manage your creativity – specifically how to find the time and space for it.

 

cracking the creativity code,creative practice

Here are some examples of the wisdom found within.

Carter has a great idea – something that might not readily spring to mind.  He puts forward the idea of buying meal helpers, such as – pre-cooked lentils and already cooked beets.  This cuts down meal preparation time and earns you some precious minutes.

But it’s not all about the list above either.  Just as important is filling up your creative well.  Going to plays, art retreats, films, and other creative events, is like a breath of fresh air and is all about cracking the creativity code.

Another idea I like suggests a tweak to your meditation practice – if you have one, (and beginning one if you don’t). The suggestion is to set up a low table in front of your meditation area with objects that represent your creative work.  Eg. if you are an artist, you might put some paintbrushes in a favourite container, something you’ve created, a small painting or drawing, and some treasures that you have lying around in your studio. Choose things that please you and are associated with your creative energy.

Put lighted candles on the table and take a few moments before you begin meditating, to look at your arrangement of art and light and ask for its energy to infuse your practice.

 

creative practice,cracking the creativity code

 

This Weeks Question: What is one thing you can put into place that will give you more time to create this week?

Look For Next Week’s PostA video and look at a recent painting

Ramping Up To May Exhibition

There have been a few paintings coming off the easel this month, as I geared up for the May Exhibition which is only a week away.

may_exhibition,art coop gallery,kadira jennings

 

So here is an invite to the exhibition.  As you can see the opening is on Sat 6th May from 2-4 pm. We would love to see you there.  There will be quite a variety of different styles on display.

‘Nature’s Expression’ is a collaborative exhibition from the artists of the Central Coast artists mastermind group. This group has over 150 years of combined professional practice!
The group comprises four visual artists from diverse backgrounds, practices, and media. Meeting every three weeks, the group collaborate, challenge, brainstorm and support each other’s creative practices and direction using the Mastermind concept originally established by Napoleon Hill 1920’s. Commitment and accountability act as catalysts to encourage each member to work through challenges and overcome blocks to achieve their creative and professional goals. But more than this, the power of the mastermind is the power of the group dynamic toward personal creative growth. It’s about ‘plugging into’ a group energy which allows for exciting new insights, ideas and creative work to emerge.
Using a combination of contemporary and traditional art practices,
the group expresses their shared passion for the natural world via the media of photography, digital art, mixed media, oils, acrylics, inks, and printmaking. ‘Nature’s Expression’ is a lush collaborative interpretation and response to the elements of nature that surround us and to our relationship with the natural world. It is also the unfolding of what compels each of us individually, as women and as artists, to express our experience of the natural world. An emphasis will be the close connection each of the group has with landscape, land, light, water and memory.
The artists are:  
                                                  Kadira Jennings
                                                  Julie McDonald
                                                  Kate Landsberry
                                                  Lisa McArthur-Edwards

minimalist mindset,blame game,not enough

How To Avoid The Minimalist Mindset Trap

The minimalist mindset trap?? What the heck is that you might be thinking. Well, this week’s post takes a look at the creative mindset and the different traps we can fall into as creatives.

Let’s begin with the minimalist mindset trap. This is a mode of thinking where you have pared down so much in your life and your work that you have little room left to move. Now, what does that look like in your daily life?

There are different ways this shows up – here are two of the main ones.

  1. There is not enough – is the main catch cry of this particular aspect of the minimalist mindset. This can encompass a whole range of things such as there’s not enough – time, money, support, materials, space, light, inspiration and on and on.  There not being enough of something is the perfect excuse to either not do something or fail at it. 
  2. The blame game. This goes hand in hand with the not enough syndrome and falls into one of three categories – you either blame yourself, others or circumstances.  Of these three the last two are the perfect way to self-sabotage. Why? Because if the blame lands on someone else or outside circumstances, you have no control over it and therefore can’t fix it. If it falls on yourself, you can either let it cripple you or you can say, ‘ there is no blame, only consequences.’ Realizing this you can move on to looking at those consequences and seeing how a different set of actions might lead to a different outcome. Blaming anyone or thing or yourself for a particular outcome is truly a waste of energy.  Rather, expand your mindset, allow the ‘failure’ to drive you on to better efforts.

So what do these two ways of thinking have in common?  They keep us from our creative birthright.  They stop creativity in its tracks. They pare you down, limit your choices and narrow your possibilities and once you are in that minimalist mindset, it is so easy to give up. 

How do I know this? Well, you guessed it, I’m very familiar with this beast.  We’ve been on intimate terms for a lot of my life. Only, now I recognize when it is creeping up on me and take steps to nip it in the bud before it gets a chance to spread its poisonous pollen all over me. 

 

This Weeks Question: Can you see a minimalist mindset working against you in your creative life?

Look For Next Week’s PostRamping up to the may exhibition

 

Photo by Karva Javi

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