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

Art materials Student versus Artist quality. 

There is an age-old debate when one is a beginning artist, about whether one really needs to use Artist quality materials or not.  After all they are a lot more expensive and most beginners feel like they can’t justify the expense because they aren’t producing much of high quality anyway. So how does one solve this problem?


1. Well, let’s take a look at why there is a difference. The reason is that generally, artist quality paints have much higher quality materials in them. For example, in an artist quality paint, pure pigment will be used rather than a lot of additives like talc or chalk. One of the major problems with the additives is that these can cause changes in the actual colour of the paint.

For example, one of the worst colours for for not being true to colour is cobalt blue. When you buy a cobalt blue student colour, if you put it next to an artist quality cobalt blue you will see that the student colour has a lot of green in it. It’s very green looking, while the artist quality colour is a deeper blue and a much warmer colour as it has more violet in it.  In the picture you can see that the student quality has a slightly greener cast to it.  Also it took me twice as much paint to mix not even the same strength as the Artist Quality paint.

Artist quality,Cobalt Blue

Compare Student and Artist quality Cobalt Blue.


2. The second reason for choosing an artist quality material, again referring to paint, is that student colours generally not only have additives that affect the colour, but also change the consistency of the paint. The more expensive paints such as Old Holland, Bloxx and Sennelier use pure pigment only in their paint. This means, that even though the paint is more expensive, it goes a lot further because it hasn’t been watered down or diluted.  I love this picture below from the Old Holland Museum, of some of the original pigments used in painting.

Pigments from the Old Holland Museum

Pigments from the Old Holland Museum

3. The third reason to choose Artist Quality materials is that they will give you more consistent results.  It will save you time trying to mix a colour from paints that just won’t give you the results you are trying to achieve, because they are incapable of it, which can be very frustrating for the beginning painter.

4. Reason number Four, is that Artist Quality materials, whether they be brushes,  paints, palette knives, or any other material, they will last longer and be easier to use than cheaper versions of the same thing.

5. Reason number Five is simply that they are such a pleasure to use. So as a rule of the thumb – ALWAYS buy the most expensive materials you can afford because you really will notice the difference!

This Week’s Question: What kind of paints, brushes and canvas are you using?

Next Week’s Post: How Important are our hands?


Studio Update

Getting back down to work in the studio is always a bit challenging after time spent rushing around doing other things. I’ve had a lot going on and have a lot coming up apart from painting, between July and November. Last week I held the first of my kindergarten seminars for teachers,on how to teach art to preschoolers, the pitfalls and things to do about them.

This is a very intensive 2-3 hour course which I will talk about in a later blog post.

Now, back to the studio – progress is slowly being made.  I am doing a series of very intuitive works at the moment, as I feel at an end with the dresses and that aspect of the Mythic Journey. You will however see elements of the dress series creeping into the current work.  A new emergence seems to be the inclusion of figures, which keep appearing. I am however wrestling with the colour palette – I’d like to do something with colours similar to those that Ben McLaughlin uses, (see below),he’s such a master of subtle complementaries….. however as far as the work is concerned – well  ‘that just aint happening!!’

Studio,Ben Mclaughlin

Ben McLaughlin


My current works are informed by a growing awareness of the interconnectedness of the energy webs which surround all of us and the planet.  There is a saying that ‘every thing is energy’ – well it’s not just a saying – it’s the reality of the world we live in. I am intrigued and fascinated with energy flow – as in the dancer and the dance. And in fact that’s partly where the dress paintings came from.  

So there is a continuing desire to represent this energy – the dance of life and the webs and veils of illusion that separate us in so many ways. Therefore the current works speak to an unfolding of this understanding.  It’s incredibly challenging to paint in this way, as you only have the vaguest idea of what you are actually trying to do.

I keep wanting to run back to my safe landscapes – however I feel the great Creator pushing gently at me  – no rush – ( just get on with it for heaven’s sake!).  I have completed two smaller works so far and if you get my Collectors Newsletter you will have seen them already.

Studio,A Little Bird Whispered In My Ear,Kadira Jennings

A Little Bird Whispered In My Ear, Oil and Acrylic on canvas 18″x 18″ $650

Above is the first painting in this series and below is the second.

Whispers on the Wind Oil and Acrylic on canvas 24"x 22"  $900

Whispers on the Wind Oil and Acrylic on canvas 24″x 22″ $900


This Week’s Question: What themes run through your own life and work, regardless of whether you are an artist or not.? What do you keep returning to and why?

Next Weeks Post:  Student versus Artist Quality materials – the age old debate?


There is an exhibition of Peter Smeeth’s portraits on at the Gosford Regional Gallery at the moment, that’s worth taking a look at. The exhibition runs till the 9th of September. 

Peter Smeeth

Dr Bruce Klineberg 2007 Collection of Mrs Bruce Klineberg


Above is one of his arresting works. 

Peter Smeeth was born in Griffith NSW Australia and studied to become a doctor. He then worked in general practice at the Entrance on Central Coast for 34 years. He had a  change professions in 2008 and now works as a professional portrait artist in Sydney and the Central Coast. He has a special interest in the human condition which is portrayed within his portraits and figurative work. He is fluent in most media including, pencil, pastel, charcoal, watercolour, oil, acrylic and he does some sculptural work in plaster or bronze. 

His style is fairly traditional and he aims to paint light and a closely representational, three-dimensional reality.


He has won many prizes including the Archibald portrait prize at least twice, the Douglas Moran prize and many others. For a chance to take a look at his exceptional work take yourself along to the Gosford Regional Gallery this month and treat yourself to an extraordinary viewing experience.  If you are at all interested in portrait painting, you can definitely learn a thing or three from this talented artist.

Peter Smeeth

The Contemplation of Life


The image above is a pastel drawing not a painting.  This work was a finalist in the Adelaide Perry Prize for drawing in 2014.

He also paints horses and excels at Still Life.

Peter Smeeth

Redoutes Choice 2013 Inglis Equine Art Prize Finalist


This Week’s Question: What are your favourite Exhibitions to go and see?

Next Weeks Post: Updates from the studio.

Well of course as always the Archibald Prize is controversial. Quite often we see year after year the same old names popping up and every now and then there’s a new one pops onto the scene. A rising star, a new young blood. And of course there’s always ghastly art and brilliant art.

This year’s winner is a stunning, massive work of barrister Charles Waterstreet. The photo doesn’t do it justice as there is quite a bit of colour in the face. This might look like an easy work to paint, however as any artist will tell you, to get all that black to look smooth and non reflective is no easy feat. I understand it cost him $600 just to get it professionally varnished  so as to combat that very problem.

Nigel Milsom,Archibald Prize,winner,Charles Waterstret

The debate surrounding winner is often Lively and argumentative. The winner of this years Archibald Prize, Nigel Milsom, was born in 1975 and lives and works in Newcastle. He has had nine solo exhibitions since 2002. Milsom is no stranger to competitive success. He won the 2013 Doug Moran National Portrait Prize and the 2012 Sulman Prize. This is his third time in the Archibald.

The other much awaited prize is the packing room prize, awarded by the people behind the scenes who unpack all the entries. This year it was awarded  to Bruno Jean Grasswill for his portrait of actor Michael Caton.

archibald prize,packing room prize grasswill


As you can see – two very different kinds of work.

The exhibition is on till September 27th at the NSW Art Gallery – so if you are nearby it’s worth taking a look at.

This Week’s Question: What Exhibitions are on in your area this week and which ones will you go and see?

Next Weeks Post: Exhibition Review – Peter Smeeth

Hi – Thanks for coming by – this is just a short reminder that I’m posting on Monday’s again now.  For this weeks blog post please take a look at Monday’s Post.

Posting On Mondays Now,Whispers On The Wind, Kadira Jennings

Whispers On The Wind


What to Do with Old Art Works


# Offer the Art for Sale at Reduced Prices

  sale sign photo


In order to sell their work more quickly some artists will offer older work in a “bargain bin” at their open studio event, or at a show. The price may be dramatically reduced. I’ve come across some artists offering older work at 50%-70% off the original retail price. Is this a good idea?

The Problems with This Approach

  • Discounting in this way offers several problems for consideration. Firstly, the older work can be a distraction from your new work. You would be better off holding a retrospective exhibition and honouring the work’s place in your creative timeline.
  • Secondly the pricing of the older work can be a distraction. The bargain art may make your regularly priced work seem expensive and prevent sales – not the desired outcome at all!
  • Thirdly, if the art is greatly reduced it devalues the work you have already sold to other collectors.  You can put your prices up but generally speaking you should never put them down.

# Hold a Studio Sale

junk sale photo

Another idea is to hold a kind of art yard-sale at your studio. This sale may target existing collectors, or it may be an opportunity for friends and neighbors to acquire your art at prices more suited to their income. However rather than heavily discounting, you would be better to do something like buy 1 at full price and get a second with 10-15% off. This way you are offering a reward for their purchases.

The Problems with This Approach

  • If you target existing customers you risk training them that they shouldn’t buy your current work, but should instead wait for your work to age and for the price to decrease. When what we want it to do is to increase over time.
  • You may find that if you are targeting existing clients, that they end up feeling they paid too much for the initial piece or pieces they bought. It could also make them nervous about collecting your work in the future as they may think your work has become devalued and therefore is not as collectible now.
  • If on the other hand you are targeting your neighbors they may feel that even at a greatly reduced price, the work is still too expensive, or they may feel they don’t want to spend their hard-earned money on your rejects.
  • The other thing to be very mindful of is that you never want to undersell any galleries that may be representing you.


This Weeks Question: What do you do with your older artwork?  I would love to hear any ideas you might want to share with us. 

Look For Next Monday’s Post: 


Photo by Stewart Black

Photo by Goran Zec

Photo by Eastlaketimes

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