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

New Horizons Triptych  Fully Revealed

Finally I can show you the New Horizons Triptych finished.  It was rather a marathon effort I have to say.  My previous post on the subject revealed the latter moments of the second panel. This week I am sharing my vlog of the third and final panel and a photo of the whole thing completed at the end.

You will see the journey of the refugee, from a troubled homeland to a new homeland in the third and final panel.  Some of the other paintings in this series deal with specific difficulties faced by the refugees such as we see in  The Boat People below.

New Horizons Triptych,The Boat People

The Boat People

One of the terrors faced by these refugees is capsizing and drowning amidst raging seas and flying flotsam – as depicted in this work. An amazing story of such bravery recently came to light in the Olympics when the story of Yusra  Mardini,

Yusra Mardini,new horizons triptych,olympics,refugees

Yusra Mardini

one of the Olympic athletes, was revealed.  She escaped war-torn Syria with her sister last year but after making it to Turkey they struck trouble when they set off for Greece. The sisters saved their own lives and 18 others, preventing their sinking boat from capsizing in the Aegean Sea. When the motor failed they leaped over the side and into the freezing waters, pushing the boat for three hours to safety. 

My work is a tribute the bravery of all those who flee their homes, looking for a safer, better life.

New Horizons,Refugee Triptych,Kadira_Jennings

New Horizons

This Weeks Question: What can you do to help refugees?

Look For Next Week’s PostMore handy tips for art collectors.

 

 

See Frida Kahlo now!

Frida Kahlo has enjoyed a great resurgence in popularity in recent times. Her work is currently being shown at the New South Wales art gallery in Sydney. There is a movie out about her life, simply called Frida which is well worth watching. It gives some great background to this exceptional artist. The film is a biography of her life.  She was an artist who channeled the pain of a crippling injury and her tempestuous marriage into her work. She was married to equally famous artist and mentor the muralist – Diego Rivera.

Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera

Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera 1932, in a photograph by Carl Van Vechten

Her relationship with Rivera was stormy to say the least.  Discovering her husband’s infidelity led her to an illicit and controversial affair with Leon Trotsky. Frida Kahlo lived a bold and uncompromising life.  She was an artistic, political and sexual revolutionary.  Furthermore, not only did she have affairs with men but she also indulged in provocative, romantic and at the time, scandalous, entanglements with women.

Frida Kahlo (self portrait).jpg

Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird

Kahlo painted the above self-portrait after her divorce from Diego Rivera and at the end of her affair with photographer Nickolas Muray. Many of her works were self portraits, which she painted for friends. While we may admire her feisty nature and passionate story, we can appreciate how this informs her works. The other aspect we see popping up frequently within her work were images driven by the pain she endured from the accident she had as a young woman.

Henry-Ford-Hospital,frida Kahlo

 

This Weeks Question: Did you see the exhibition and if so what really stood out for you?

Look For Next Week’s Post: New Horizons Triptych fully revealed!

Pix Credits – Wiki

 

 

Ignite Your Art Practice To New Levels

Now how might I do that – ignite my art practice to new levels?

To understand this, you must first understand what an artist’s practice is.

Your art practice refers to both the conceptual and making processes of an artwork. Below are some thoughts and questions about the content and quality of an art practice.  What drives it and what kind of things should be considered? 

It examines:

  • How you develop your ideas,and concepts
  • What the influences both global and personal are, that impact your art making?
  • How do other artists and their movements inform your art practice?
  • This process is about how you define and refine ideas.  How do you develop and come to recognise your own style?
  • Is your practice about personal, societal or global issues?
  • Do you experiment with new ideas, media or technical challenges?
  • Do you  experiment and challenge your  audience? How do you help your audience to gain entrance into the meaning behind your works?
  • Is your work political, meditative or a rebellion? 

 

art practice,graffiti

 

The way we work as artists and the meaning behind our work is often driven by a deep desire to express something within us that words just fail to express. 

Once you gain an understanding of the subtleties that underpin your practice you then have the power to create an impactful story with your artwork. This is how you ignite your art practice to new and more powerful levels. Gaining deep insight into your own processes helps  you more clearly put your passion and your power out onto the canvas.

 

This Weeks Question: Can you identify the main elements in your own art practice?

Look For Next Week’s Post: See Frida Kahlo now! Be astonished, amazed and delighted!

 

 

Photo by Daquella manera

Travel Hacks – How to save thousands in travel Dollars now.

 

Cathedral Cove, Coromandel NZ

Cathedral Cove, Coromandel NZ

Travel hacks are the modern way to travel often for free, or certainly at a very reduced cost. If anyone in the world knows about travel hacking it is Chris Guillebeau.  He has visited every country in the world. Yes every country. He has written several guides on ways to do this efficiently and cheaply.

Now you may wonder why I’m writing about travel. Travel is something that many of us do or long to do Many artists find huge inspiration from visiting other places, myself included. So I thought it might be something you would be interested in also.  One of the things that Chris is a master at, is squeezing the last drop out of every dollar and travelling free to many places.

One of the main ways he does this is using credit cards and frequent flyer points. Rather than going into all the details here I point you to his guide on how to do this. The link below is a detailed guide on how to get the most out of frequent flyer points.

Frequent Flyer Master

 

I am a great fan of Chris’ work and just so you know I am also an affiliate for his products. Everything I’ve learned about frequent flier miles and other travel hacks, I learned from Chris Guillebeau. He runs the hugely popular blog The Art of Non-Conformity, all about unconventional strategies for business and life, and I pretty much buy everything he puts out. He has a page on his blog just for travel hacking resources.

I love his approach, being a bit of a non-conformist myself!

Here’s how to do it in style even on a budget….. if you are thinking about travelling at all, you owe it to your self to check these fantastic resources out. How many of the places on Your Bucket List have you yet to go to? Well there’s a way to do it!

Upgrade Unlocked: The Unconventional Guide to Luxury Travel on a Budget
Using travel hacks means you can travel twice as far for half the cost, or less – sounds great doesn’t it? 

 

This Weeks Question: Do you have any fantastic travel hacks – you would like to share? well – please share…….

Look For Next Week’s PostAnother look at those Disciplines for life balance. Next week I’ll be looking at Rest….

Exciting New Works

Exciting New Works are rolling off the easel every day now. In preparation for my solo show in December,  I am working hard, painting at least one new work a week,. Today I’m sharing some close up snippets of the new work and a vlog of work on the Triptych.

 

 

Below are some snippets from some of the other works, as well as this one, that  I’m currently creating.  If you would like to keep up to date with my latest works as they happen, please sign up for my Collector’s Newsletter,  ‘Notes From The Studio’.

 

One of the most exciting new works I have done recently is the Triptych, “New Horizons”.  It  is the major work in my refugee series.  Two of the panels have as their inspirational source, the mists of a Rotorua hot pool.

Photographic inspiration for LH panel

Photographic inspiration for LH panel

You may wonder how I see things in the mist.  I am I Myst Weaver.  One of the things I can do,  when I am connected to my inner source, is see images unfold within the mists. However the full impact of the images do not crystallise until I work with the images in paint. As I work with the painting many things then  begin to unfold.

exciting new works,Figures from the hot pool

Figures from the hot pool

For example in the centre panel, on the left,  (seen below) there is a large figure, an Earth spirit, related to the New Zealand land. Then if you look at the broken line of blue paint which leads from behind the blue figure in the middle,  down to the bottom of the painting, you will see near the bottom, a bird image. When I painted this section, those paint marks were intended to signify the detritus that man leaves in his wake as he passes through the world.

However a couple of days later when I was standing back and looking at the work, I noticed  there was a very definite figure of a bird sitting at the bottom of the painting. I have found on several occasions that air or water spirits seem to find their way into my paintings. This little fellow looks rather like an owl or perhaps the Australian kookaburra.

exciting new works,New Horizons - Middle panel

New Horizons – Middle panel

While this work is founded in the refugee’s story,  it is also a multi-layered piece. Part of the story is a comment on our environmental record as a race.

How The Series Evolved

To give you some insight into how this painting evolved I will describe how the left hand panel unfolded. You can see the figures at the top of this panel which did come from a photo of a hot pool. As I was working on the drawings for this panel I came across a news article showing the recent destruction of ancient antiquities in a Syrian museum, and in the Ruins of Palmyra. These priceless artefacts were damaged by recent fighting there.

 

Therefore this panel speaks to, not only the refugees plight, but also to the destruction of heritage that occurs during war. Two things are occurring here. One is destroying the priceless artefacts, from ancient races. Things that can never be replaced. And secondly is destroying people’s heritage. So often in war, we see, the attempt by the aggressors, to obliterate not only a race, but also any evidence that they might have ever existed. The latter they attempt to achieve, by destroying that race’s cultural heritage.

 

 

The discipline of reflection
The Discipline of Reflection

The Discipline of Reflection is a part of how to excel in Life Balance. Life Balance is something we all strive for, whether we are artists, entrepreneurs or stay at home mums.

Here are four keys to excelling in life balance. In fact these are four disciplines. They are:
1. The Discipline of Reflection
2. The Discipline of Rest
3. The Discipline of Recreation
4. The Discipline of Relationships

In this post I’m going to examine some thoughts around the discipline of reflection.

You may find that you are much better at some of these disciplines than others. This is certainly true for me. I find that when I examine the concept of Reflection, this is one of the easier things to do on the list.  So what is the discipline of Reflection?

We live in a very noisy, busy, world.  This  can suck the life out of us, particularly for creative people,  if we don’t take time to get away from it all.  I’ve spoken many times about the concept of artist dates and this is one form of Reflection. It is essential that we intentionally go away and find a quiet place, a place to pause and reflect alone. Connected to this idea is another problem that we have.  We live in such awa that we seldom find ourselves alone and there is always some kind of distraction going on.

In fact I was only saying to my partner on the weekend, as we sat on our balcony in suburbia, on a fine still winter’s day, that we are never without manmade sounds. I could hear the constant drone of cars far away in the background and a helicopter flying over head. In contrast to this, when we were visiting New Zealand in April, there were many days where we were surrounded only by countryside and all we could hear were the sounds of nature.  Those were treasured, precious days.

Excelling in life balance

The other thing of course, in today’s world, is that we can be alone but we still have our phones our iPads and technological connectors. So as part of the discipline of reflection, we need to leave these things behind. When was the last time you went anywhere without your phone or if you had it, you didn’t refer to it at all. Not only do we have the previous items, we also have things like my Garmin wristband,  that monitors not only my footsteps heart rate and other things but also let me know every time someone ‘Likes’ my Instagram feed.

So I think we can safely conclude that the discipline of reflection is a lot more difficult for us in the twenty first century than it was even 100 years ago, when the pace of life was slower, less complicated and much less crowded and cluttered. Ironically though, now we need it more than ever!

Photo by Moyan_Brenn

Photo: Kadira Jennings

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